A return to WWE has been rumored for Rey Mysterio since he was a surprise entrant in the 2018 Men’s Royal Rumble Match in January and it will finally happen next week.
WWE announced today that Mysterio will return at SmackDown 1000, which takes place on October 16 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Rey Mysterio to return at SmackDown 1000
SmackDown 1000 now has another number of significance attached to it. That number is 619, because Rey Mysterio is back!
The SmackDown legend will appear on the history-making episode, marking his return to the blue brand for the first time in more than four years.
The former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion is best remembered for energizing SmackDown with his signature aerial attack, unbelievable athleticism and never-say-die attitude. Mysterio was a cornerstone of Team Blue since the first brand split in March 2002 and helped define the SmackDown spirit.
What impact will The Biggest Little Man have when he makes his triumphant return to the brand he helped build? Find out when SmackDown 1000 airs on Oct. 16 live on USA Network at 8/7 C.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported last week that Mysterio would be returning at SmackDown 1000. Dave Meltzer addressed Johnson’s report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, saying that Mysterio’s return to WWE television as a regular character is imminent. Meltzer heard that his first match back would be on SmackDown LIVE, but it’s not a lock that he’ll permanently join the blue brand. Meltzer added that he’s not sure how much or in what manner WWE will use Mysterio since he signed on for a “limited date schedule.”
We heard about a month ago that WWE creative’s initial plans for Mysterio were for him to join SmackDown LIVE and feud with Shinsuke Nakamura. It’s unclear where this idea stands now.
PWInsider.com reported last month that Mysterio signed a two-year contract with WWE. He tried to negotiate an 18-month contract, but WWE didn’t budge on it being a two-year deal. Mysterio, however, did work a clause into the contract that would allow him to give notice at the 18-month mark.
Meltzer said the report is accurate, but the deal was “worked out some time back.” Over the summer, WWE tried to stop him from appearing for other wrestling organizations. He was slated to appear for Northeast Wrestling on August 24 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but a “contractual situation with WWE” prevented him from appearing, according to the indie promotion. WWE also didn’t want him appearing at ALL IN on September 1 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and for New Japan Pro-Wrestling in August.
“The PW Insider story on Rey Mysterio Jr. signing is accurate, although the deal was worked out some time back, as noted when Mysterio was pulled from the NEW show in August, when he wouldn’t take any indie dates after 9/2 and when WWE attempted to get him to pull out of the All In show. They really didn’t want him working the Budokan Hall show either,” Meltzer wrote.
“Both sides had been strong on the idea of a deal for months and it came down to all the usual things, money, which they came to an agreement on, a limited number of dates because his body won’t hold up to a full schedule, even though he’s been moving better than he has in years over the last year and has had less knee issues than in a long time, and the contract time frame.
“The report that he can opt out of the deal in 18 months is accurate. Mysterio had been asked and agreed to not say anything definitive until WWE announced it publicly, which it hasn’t done yet.”
On the September 5 edition of The Jim Ross Report with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross (h/t WrestlingInc.com), Mysterio said he’s waiting for WWE to bring him back.
“We’re still in the mix of it. We’ve been going back and forth, talking about possibly returning this month and then this month, so the longer it extends, the more I get work outside. That’s my bread and butter. That’s what I do for a living. I’m just waiting for them to say, ‘Now.’ When they say, ‘Now,’ if the time is right, let’s go!”