WWE Analysis: Has Rey Mysterio Plateaued as a Main Event Superstar?

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2012

09 Oct 2000:  Ray Mysterio Jr is strangled by Scott Steiner during their bout at the World Chamionship Wrestling ''Thunder Down Under'' night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Scott Barbour/ALLSPORT
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Rey Mysterio is one of WWE's most popular superstars and he has been known around the world for his exciting in-ring style for many years.

Being in the business for roughly 23 years has certainly taken its toll on the luchador, but does he still have anything new left to offer?

When Rey first began wrestling in Mexico he was in a world of similarly decorated superstars, many of whom were just as talented as Rey when flying off the top rope.

It was when he moved to ECW that he brought the lucha style to a new audience and became a popular competitor in the United States.

The move to WCW helped the thriving promotion develop the cruiserweight division. His image and character grew to new heights, while Rey himself stayed the same relative height of course.

Even with more than a decade of experience and a lot of titles to his name, it wasn't until he made the move to WWE where he became a main event star.

Rey's size and skill made him a standout talent in the company and eventually he would go on to win two World titles and a WWE championship.

Rey has feuded with almost every major heel WWE has had. He has also teamed with numerous superstars to win tag team titles throughout his storied career.

Suffice it to say, Rey Mysterio is a legend in the making and he has already earned his spot in the hall of fame.

So, now what?

Where do you go when you have already been to the top so many times?

How do you reinvent yourself when your entire career has been working towards building the same character?

Rey's image has remained largely unchanged throughout his entire career and even though some other superstars have been able to do the same thing, it is different with Rey.

As much as I hate to say this, Rey is a gimmick inside a gimmick.

His trademark mask has taken on a life of its own to the point where he can probably go out in public and go unnoticed as long as he keeps his recognizable tattoos covered.

The character of Rey Mysterio is both a blessing and a curse to Oscar Gutierrez and it is one I am positive he wouldn't trade for anything.

This doesn't mean he isn't getting stale, though.

The recent pairing of Sin Cara with Mysterio has helped to bring both men out of slumps, but they have yet to make much headway in winning the tag team titles.

The fault cannot solely be put on Mysterio. It is WWE that has pushed his character so hard over the years that it has put itself in a corner.

WWE can either change the character it knows all the kids love and risk losing some fans over it in favor of giving Rey a new persona or it can keep him the way he has always been and play it safe.

Safe is smart in most cases, but Vince McMahon didn't make a billion dollars by playing it safe.

The last few years have seen Rey go down with injuries on multiple occasions, sometimes taking him out for well over half a year.

His style in the ring has caused him to have to change the way he wrestles and use less dangerous moves in favor of moves that are easier to pull off, but that still get big pops from the crowd.

Mysterio's time in the ring is winding down and ultimately it is his choice whether or not he wants to do anything different.

Rey can either go with the flow and collect his check or he can fight for change and give us something new before he rides off into the sunset.