Following on from CM Punk's departure, could Rey Mysterio be the next big name on the way out of WWE?
Per a recent report, the star's contract ends in the next couple of months and his future is currently up in the air. In this week's (subscription required) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer notes:
Mysterio’s contract is the next major one to expire, in about two months or so. He has one of the highest downsides, and is also one of the biggest merchandise sellers. He’s got all the knee issues and it’s clear from his return that WWE has no plans to feature him. Usually at this point WWE would be aggressively trying to get him to sign a new deal and that hasn’t really been the case. When there was talk of him not coming back some time ago, some of the company’s business partners in Latin America freaked out because he’s the most important guy it is believed in those markets. But it’s long gone from the days when Smackdown was a top ten rated show in the Hispanic demo when he was there, and dropped greatly when he wasn’t.
While fans of Mysterio will no doubt be deeply disappointed if he doesn't renew his contract and leaves, truthfully, it has been in the cards for a while now.
While he remains a decent enough wrestler, the 39-year-old has had too many knee injuries and surgeries to count.
In fact, at last week's SmackDown taping, Wrestling Inc. noted it looked like he may have hurt one of his knees yet again.
Yikes. You have to wonder just how long he can keep going on like this.
(It's slightly scary to think what physical shape the former WWE champion will be in in five or 10 years. Will he even be able to walk around without being in massive pain?)
Throw in his two wellness strikes, and it's very easy to see why the booking team is reluctant to do anything major with the star (he's been stuck in the midcard ever since he came back). They, not incorrectly, seem to feel they can't depend on him like they used to.
Thankfully for Mysterio, he still has plenty left to offer the business...even if he is not a full-time wrestler. He could return to Mexican wrestling promotion AAA for part-time appearances.
It's easy to see the star doing well for himself on the U.S. indie and convention scene too. TNA, due to its floundering state, is probably out of the question though. (It's hard to see Mysterio making a significant difference to TNA's business anyway, so why would Dixie Carter make him a big-money offer?)
Or, alternatively, he could stick with WWE and sign a legend's deal, similar to Mick Foley and Ultimate Warrior. Certainly, with the network launch, the company will want to keep certain major names around.