Sin Cara's high-risk style combined with a history of injury does not bode well for his WWE future, making him Rey Mysterio's unwitting partner in continual rehab.
The high-flying luchador has spent much of his time with WWE either suspended or injured, and it has been his knees that have been giving the most trouble. At just 30 years old, Sin Cara may already be on the downside of his career thanks to those knees.
Since debuting for WWE in 2011, Sin Cara suffered a patella tendon rupture at Survivor Series 2011, according to WWE.com, and as Wrestling Observer reported (via CagesideSeats.com), he required knee surgery after TLC 2012 in December.
These weren't Sin Cara's first instances of knee damage, either.
Luchaworld.com noted that he suffered a knee injury in a 2009 match. In an interview with Record.com, Sin Cara claimed that it was a medication for knee pain that caused him to violate the Wellness Policy.
Were this someone with Big Show's offense that had this history of knee trouble, it would be less troubling. Sin Cara’s style, though, is predicated on leaping, springing, speed and quickness. Sin Cara's knees are as important to his performances as a bird's wings are to its flight.
Take a look at him in this collection of highlights. Nearly everything he delivers puts him in danger of re-injuring his knees.
Couple that with the fact that Sin Cara went from working in Mexico—where his dizzying style is commonplace—to WWE, and he has more reasons to be pessimistic. Sin Cara has developed a reputation for botching moves, but at least part of that has to be attributed to the differences between lucha libre-style wrestling and the slower, more grounded WWE product.
If WWE's roster has trouble working with Sin Cara, the chances for moves going wrong and those knees twisting and bending the wrong way shoot up.
Rey Mysterio has been struggling with knee injuries as well. Tweets like this one have been too regular a sight on Mysterio's feed.
Good morning!About to C the man, Doc. James Andrews... Things haven't been good since I stepped back in the ring, possibly Acl tear again!— Rey Mysterio (@reymysterio) March 4, 2013
He, like Sin Cara, may be forced to end his in-ring career before he's ready or else come back but be unable to perform the same type of offense fans expect from him.
The difference is that if Mysterio retired today, his legacy is so well-established that he could start preparing his WWE Hall of Fame speech and order his tux. On the other hand, Sin Cara has barely made a dent in WWE after having a fabulous run in Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, where he was popular enough to have his own comic book.
Sin Cara looks to be close to joining a list of wrestlers whose careers were stalled by injury.
What would Brian Pillman, Magnum TA or Droz's careers have looked like had their bodies not been so damaged? Is that what we'll be asking about Sin Cara in a few years?
Maybe he's just had a run of bad luck and will go the next few years injury-free. Maybe he avoids seeing a surgeon's knife as often as he has so far. Mysterio managed to wrestle for decades flying around the ring.
If Sin Cara is lucky, his knees will hold up on his nightly flights. The next time he soars through the air, though, he may want to do so with his fingers crossed.