Rey Mysterio: How Much Time Does the WWE Star Have Left Before He Has to Retire?

Sebastian MaldonadoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2012

SAN DIEGO - JULY 12:  New cruiserweight champion Rey Mysterio Jr acknowledges the crowd after defeating Jericho during the WWE Bash at the Beach event at Cox Arena in San Diego, California on July 12, 1998.  (Photo by Elsa /Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Rey Mysterio is approaching a key moment in his 23-year career. For the 37-year-old WWE superstar, it’s not potentially chasing titles or renewing feuds with wrestlers. It’s possibly the end of his career.

How much time does Rey Mysterio have left before he retires?

Mysterio recently came back from a concussion suffered during his match at SummerSlam with The Miz. Add that injury to countless others sustained during his career.

Mysterio has had constant knee problems and many knee surgeries that have kept him out of action through the years. In fact, Mysterio has missed numerous events because of his knee injuries. Before his concussion, Mysterio returned from another knee injury he suffered from a house show match with Alberto Del Rio.

Mysterio’s first knee injury occurred in 2006, missing Wrestlemania 23. Mysterio continued to suffer knee injuries, most recently coming back for SummerSlam after a year out of action.

Mysterio also suffered a biceps tear in 2008, hindering his performance at No Way Out as well as costing him an appearance at Wrestlemania 24.

Over time, his injuries have hindered his performance. We all remember Mysterio flying around and being an innovator. Hitting hurricaranas from anywhere inside and outside the ring, running at full speed and providing exciting matches were what Mysterio was known for. Who could forget his classic encounters with Psychosis at AAA and ECW, Dean Malenko in WCW, and Eddie Guerrero in WCW and WWE?  

Mysterio could move at a fast pace, none that we’ve ever seen before at that time. As the injuries piled up, Mysterio didn’t move as fast as he did anymore.

Look at the Mysterio then and the Mysterio now. Mysterio works at a slower pace than in the past.  Slowly down has been the result of these injuries and thus he needs to avoid any further injuries. The last thing Mysterio needs is to miss more time.

The high-flyer used to perform springboard maneuvers simply from the top rope. From springboard splashes to springboard hurricaranas, Mysterio performed them magnificently. He rarely does those from the springboard anymore, if ever. Mysterio incorporated a splash from the top turnbuckle to make up for it, as well as a top-rope seated senton.

However, Mysterio can still provide an exciting match. Last Raw’s match with Cody Rhodes proved Mysterio could still go, despite his limitations. He’s also valuable with the PG rating demographic, giving a mask to a lucky child before each of his matches.

It also helps Mysterio that he’s worked with many wrestlers of the current roster. He’s worked well with Miz and Rhodes. Plus, Mysterio could wrestle CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler again.

Perhaps the feud everyone’s waiting for is a matchup between Mysterio and Sin Cara. This match would be a battle of generations, with Mysterio once in Sin Cara’s spot as the exciting high-flyer. Now, Mysterio is more the grounded veteran opposed to Cara.

The match could take place at Wrestlemania 29. They’ve already planted seeds with both men teaming up in tag matches. So far, no dissension has been made between the two. But it might be a matter of time before the two possibly feud.

This might be Mysterio’s last match. What does he have left to prove? He’s already won every title with the exception of the U.S. Title. Mysterio has headlined numerous pay-per-view events and is still a draw. The match with Cara would be of interest to the WWE Universe.

However, Mysterio doesn’t have much left. Despite putting in solid ring work after his knee surgeries, he’s not the same. Mysterio vs. Cara will not be the match that many expect. Cara would probably do more aerial moves, while Mysterio would pull off some. But it won’t be the aerial matchup people expect.

Fans must know and understand how Mysterio’s game has changed. He won’t pull off many of his old maneuvers. They shouldn’t be discouraged, though. Mysterio and Cara could put on a show if and when they ever wrestle each other.

It could be the swan song Mysterio might need. It would be fitting to end his 23-year career the same way he came in, fighting a luchador. But time is running out. Wrestlemania 29 is a few months away, but they’ll fly by before you know it. It seems the slow burn is in place for Cara and Mysterio to do battle. Whether they actually fight is another story.

It’s disheartening to talk of this great wrestler’s career. With Mysterio, it will be a sad day when he retires. Unfortunately, it may be sooner than we think. Here’s hoping he makes it to Wrestlemania 29 and gives fans what they want once more.