After arriving in the country last July 26, Thursday, 11pm, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Rey Mysterio is ready to promote wrestling in the country. “The Philippines is beautiful. My visits here are always very brief. I never have time to really enjoy the country and go sightseeing. I wish I did have that time because it’s even more beautiful that what I can just see on a quick visit. All the people are incredible here. They just let the love come out in every aspect,” he shares. The WWE wrestler is also here to spread awareness on the WWE’s anti-bullying campaign and met abused children under the care of Bantay Bata during his short visit.
The 37-year-old wrestler also appeared in programs like Umagang Kay Ganda and It’s Showtime on ABS-CBN, Game Day on Balls Channel (SkyCable ch 34), and in programs on Studio 23 and MYX. This is his second time in the country after coming here three years ago. “I did a tour then and I had a great time. I was really excited coming here for the first time back then and I’m still very excited about coming to this trip. Filipino fans are incredible. I always heard that Filipino fans were big wrestling fans. You hear that to a certain extent but really don’t appreciate it until you’re really here. And now I believe every word they said because they just show so much respect, love and just want you to come back. And here I am again,” he tells Push.com.ph.
During his media interview, Mysterio was not afraid to admit that he admires the talent of Manny Pacquiao despite the fact that the Filipino fighter has beaten his Mexican opponents in the ring. “I’ve been an avid boxing fan and of course ever since Manny has taken all my idols away (laughs). You just have to respect the fact that when Manny steps in the ring, he does what he does best and he has a gift and he displays it every time. He’s blessed and you can see it right through him every time he goes up there and performs. His main thing is of course God. That’s who he does it for. But then he takes in consideration all of his fans and I’m the same way,” says Mysterio, who is also known for being religious. Mysterio, who is also good friends with boxer Eric Morales, says he was lucky enough to meet the Pacman during a fight. “I was actually recovering from a surgery at that time and Morales asked me if I can join him in his corner with the Mexican flag. I said I would love to. That day backstage in the locker room I ran across Manny and I was able to say hi very, very briefly. I never had the chance to talk to him or anything. I think I was a fan way before that and you see Manny throughout his career and all the fights he’s been confronted with and again, I respect the man for what he does and for his ability, for sweating it out everyday and doing what he does,” he explains.
With a strong following among the young male teen demographic, Mysterio says he takes his role on WWE very seriously. “Besides the fact that it’s really cool to have that following of the youth, it’s also a big responsibility. You want to make sure that there is a image or a person that they see on TV that if they happen to run into in the street, that you have the time to say hi and take a picture, give an autograph and even if it’s brief, you give them a quick tip on something. I’ve run across a lot of my fans worldwide and I tell my kids everyday that I love them and to work hard in school so I kind of look at my fans like all my children because I always like to give out good advice especially if they ask for it. They’ll ask, “What do I need to do to make it to the soccer team or to become a wrestler?’ So I always stay on point, positive,” he admits.
Mysterio, who is married with two children, says that his family and wrestling are the two most important things in his life. After a knee injury, he almost toyed with the idea of quitting the sport altogether. “I really thought about that, especially this last year that I’ve been out on my surgery. I really don’t know how to do anything else. I love to be a family man. I love to be around my wife and my kids and give them all the time and attention when I’m not in the ring. Because I was gone for so long, traveling, just being part of wrestling. So when I’m at home I like to give them all my time as much as possible. But this past year that I’ve been recovering from my surgery, I definitely thought about that. My family has been supportive from day one, especially my wife. She tells me, ‘God is giving you the blessing to go out there and do it again, all over.’ After the surgery my knee is good and I’m just going to take this ride as long as it goes until God says it’s time to tap out. But now is not the time yet.” The Mexican lucha libre-style fighter says he wants to put up a wrestling school for boys under 18 when he retires.
The premiere wrestler, who has won over 21 titles in his career, admits that if he did not end up as a wrestler, he would have probably trained to become an American football player instead. “I used to love playing football and I’ve always been pretty fast. This was prior to my injuries to my knee and my injuries came from wrestling throughout the years. I think God would’ve given me the gift of shocking the world in NFL football with my size and my stature like what I did in wrestling. So I would’ve probably been one of the smaller guys to be part of the NFL,” he says.
Rey Mysterio fans can catch him at a meet-and-greet activity sponsored by Studio 23 at Trinoma Activity Center on July 28, Saturday from 4-6pm. Watch the highlights of Mysterio’s Philippines visit in a 30-minute documentary on Studio 23 entitled Mysterio sa Pinas airing on August 5, 2012, 8:30-9pm.