Rey Mysterio is one of the greatest high flyers in the history of professional wrestling, but he has largely been grounded over the past couple years due to injury. It remains to be seen how long the master of the 619 can stay healthy, but he made his highly anticipated return to WWE programming on Monday, Nov. 18.
Mysterio came out to make the save when the Real Americans got involved after the massive 12-man tag match on Raw between The Shield and Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Rhodes Brothers and Usos.
It was then quickly announced that Mysterio would be the mystery partner on the team with the Rhodes Brothers and Usos when they wrestle The Shield and Real Americans in a Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match at Survivor Series on Sunday, Nov. 24.
He spoke on his return at WWE.com, stating that it is "overwhelming," to be back in the ring.
Mysterio's knees have really bothered him in recent years, which isn't necessarily surprising considering what he has put his body through over the course of his career. Knee injuries can be devastating for any athlete, but that is especially true for professional wrestlers due to the need for fluid movement.
After missing nearly a year due to a knee injury suffered in the summer of 2011, Mysterio returned to action in July of 2012, although his comeback was fairly short-lived.
Mysterio injured his knee once again back in February, though, which resulted in him being removed from the Elimination Chamber match to determine the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio initially feared that he had once again torn his ACL.
Luckily for Mysterio and the WWE, however, he only needed a minor procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews in June.
The masked marvel has been rehabbing ever since, and WWE fans have eagerly awaited his return. Mysterio may no longer be a main-event player at the age of 38, especially with his injury history, but that doesn't mean he can't be an integral part of the roster moving forward.
Perhaps the biggest question mark surrounding Mysterio is how much his most recent knee ailment will impact his in-ring ability. Mysterio has always had a penchant for putting on fantastic matches, and he simply won't be the same if he has lost a great deal of his explosiveness.
Even so, Mysterio is probably a better worker than the vast majority of the roster, so the WWE Universe has welcomed him back with open arms. His veteran presence is something that should help the product immensely, and the fact that he can do any number of things from a storyline perspective is a major advantage as well.
Prior to getting injured, Mysterio and Sin Cara had formed an exciting tag team, but the injury troubles of both men cut their run short. Sin Cara hasn't been seen since breaking his fingers on Raw in August, but perhaps the team can reform in the near future as it would add even more credibility to the burgeoning tag team division.
The Real Americans comprised of Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter are running rampant right now, and there is no question that a feud against Mysterio and Sin Cara would make a ton of sense. Given that Mysterio returned to attack the Real Americans and will be wrestling them at Survivor Series, it definitely seems WWE will head in a similar direction the remainder of the year, with or without Sin Cara teaming with Mysterio.
Mysterio's name recognition and popularity make him a solid candidate to jump into a high-profile angle at least temporarily, but he could really bolster the mid-card as well. WWE's mid-card is in a constant state of flux; however, Mysterio is the perfect face to help elevate some of the company's rising heel talent.
Even though Mysterio has become the brunt of jokes from some WWE fans due to his inability to stay off the trainer's table, there is little doubt that the product is better when he is in the fold. Mysterio isn't the same wrestler as he was 10 years ago, but declining is a natural part of the process for professional wrestlers.
Even at the age of 38, his name still carries plenty of weight, and there are a lot of Superstars who would love to get in the ring with him. Mysterio is a beloved wrestler, and it will be interesting to see what the creative team decides to do with him.
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