Sin Cara gets so much hatred from WWE fans that you would think he committed a serious crime.
When he was performing as “Mistico” in Mexico, he became one of its most popular luchadores and was treated like a national hero. In the WWE, however, almost exactly the opposite has happened.
Due to all the success he had in Mexico, Sin Cara entered the WWE in 2011 with ridiculously high expectations surrounding him. He was labeled by many as “the next Rey Mysterio” and seen as someone who would revolutionize the WWE.
Unfortunately for Sin Cara, his transition to the WWE didn’t go as smoothly as planned.
The luchador style of wrestling in Mexico is drastically different from that of the WWE, and because he shot up straight to the main roster, Sin Cara didn’t really have much time to be able to adjust to it.
As a result, the early portion of Sin Cara’s career was marred by subpar matches and an unusually high number of botches. It earned him a reputation as a botcher and, to some, a full-fledged flop in the WWE.
Even today, Sin Cara still has tons of haters, who criticize his abilities in the ring. It just takes a simple YouTube search of “Sin Cara botch” to see that wrestling fans love pointing out any mistake that he makes.
But does the high-flying superstar really deserve all of the heat he gets from the fans? Absolutely not.
What many fans fail to realize, or perhaps purposely overlook, is that adjusting to the WWE style is much more difficult than it sounds.
When comparing the Mexican and WWE “styles” of wrestling, they’re essentially polar opposites. A move that you might perform a certain way in the WWE, such as an armdrag, is literally done the exact opposite way in Mexico.
So just imagine being Sin Cara, taking everything you’ve done your entire career and then essentially having to relearn it in a completely different manner. It’s like taking a 25-year-old man who’s been right-handed his entire life and then telling him that he has now has to do everything left-handed.
And guess what? The differences between the lucha libre style of Mexico and the WWE style don’t stop there.
The psychology of matches is significantly different, with luchadores working a quicker-paced, more-action packed match full of high-flying moves, whereas WWE wrestlers typically work a slower-paced bout with rest holds and more power-based moves.
It hasn’t been a challenge for just Sin Cara in adjusting to the WWE style. Whoever he works with also has to be able to adapt to Sin Cara’s unique style, which is somewhat of a combination of the lucha libre and WWE styles of wrestling.
It’s so easy to say that Sin Cara should be able to easily adjust, but again, that’s like you or I suddenly having to drive on the left side of the road. It’s going to take some time to get used to it.
Unfortunately for Sin Cara, the WWE fans haven’t had a whole lot of patience with him, even though he’s improved dramatically since returning from injury earlier this year.
While he was indeed prone to botching prior to his devastating injury at the 2011 Survivor Series pay-per-view, he’s cut back significantly on those botches and seems to finally be assimilating in the WWE.
No, he hasn’t been perfect, and yes, he still botches from time to time. But he also benefited in a major way from being partnered with Rey Mysterio in one of the WWE’s most exciting tag teams.
Sin Cara’s partnership with Mysterio has allowed him to be mentored by the man he’s supposed to “replace” down the road, and it’s also hidden some of his weaknesses while highlighting his strengths as an aerial artist.
Say what you want about Sin Cara, but one thing you can’t say is that he doesn’t have an incredibly unique and exciting move set. He does things that no one else in the WWE does, not even the aging Mysterio.
As Sin Cara has begun adjusting to the WWE style, he’s finally getting the chance to do what he does best, and that’s wow the crowd. He’s unbelievably agile and athletic, and those great skills shine through when he makes simple moves like back elbows and armdrags much more exciting than they should be.
While it will likely be years before he’s fully comfortable working the WWE style, he’s already improved significantly since returning from injury earlier this year. In fact, his injury was probably a blessing in disguise, one that allowed him to focus on improving without the pressure of doing it on national TV.
Sin Cara is still going to make mistakes, and he’s probably never going to win over some of the haters he’s had from day one. But let’s stop acting like he’s the worst wrestler ever or that he doesn’t have a place in the WWE.
He’s a very unique talent and one who’s worked hard to improve. He doesn’t deserve the heat he gets.
If anything, he deserves to be commended for turning his career around.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!