Rey Mysterio Makes First Post WWE In-Ring Appearance [Video]

Let the freedom begin.

After being trapped within the legal confines of a WWE contract, Rey Mysterio is officially free to work where he chooses. That freedom led him to the House of Hardcore 8 event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday evening. The masked grappler appeared after Eric Young defeated Tommy Dreamer in a Street Fight to aid the ECW original.

Here’s the video of Mysterio’s appearance.

This appearance by the 40-year-old Mysterio is the beginning of what figures to be a lengthy and pricey run on the independent circuit. The well-traveled luchador is reportedly charging $20,000 per appearance. That is a hefty sum, but the name value that the Mexican legend brings might very well be worth it.

Mysterio expressed his gratitude for being at the event on Saturday via Twitter.

The five-foot-six, 175-pound Mysterio became one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE during his 12-year stint with the company. From his underdog persona to his best selling merchandise, Mysterio was a hit with a vast majority of the audience. Despite his brilliant career with the company, the former three-time world champion’s tenure with the company came to a controversial end.

Having a “handshake agreement” in place with Triple H, Mysterio believed that he was done with the company in early 2014. However, Vince McMahon elected to renew Mysterio’s contract for another year based on a clause that allows the company to extend contracts based on the amount of time missed due to injury. Unfortunately for Mysterio, his injuries over the past few years added up, and he ended up stuck.

Mysterio didn’t perform for almost all of 2014 and allegedly turned down one final run with WWE, which would have culminated at Wrestlemania 31. New developments about his relationship with WWE revealed deeper issues with the company. Among the problems were reports that the company did not want to assist Mysterio with his ailing body.

WWE apparently no longer wanted to pay for Mysterio’s surgeries. That certainly couldn’t have helped the company in dealing with the obviously disgruntled Mysterio. Therefore, the mutual parting of ways will serve both sides well for the time being.

With House of Hardcore 8 now in his rear-view mirror, Mysterio has a ton of events coming up in the near future. Perhaps the biggest one is the announced match on August 1 for North East Wrestling. On that night, will see him go one-on-one against fellow former WWE champion and Mexican legend, Alberto El Patron.

We will also be seeing Mysterio wrestle for AAA in Mexico with Lucha Underground, another likely destination.

We’ve recently seen that most wrestlers who leave WWE do so with greener pastures in their future. Many people may fail to realize it, but making a living on the independent circuit is possible. Especially when you’re a known commodity that is a near three-decade veteran of the business.

[Image via WWE]