In 2006, Rey Mysterio had one of the most successful years of his pro wrestling career as far as achievements. It first started at the Royal Rumble match, where Mysterio was able to outlast 29 other men to become the winner. Mysterio was the second entrant of the match, and lasted over 62 minutes after eliminating Randy Orton. As a result, Mysterio was guaranteed a shot at the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship.
Mysterio competed for the World Heavyweight Championship against champion Kurt Angle, along with Orton, in a triple threat match at WrestleMania 22. Mysterio won the match, and his first world championship in the WWE.
During his title run, he had quality wins over names such as Randy Orton, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, William Regal, and King Booker. However, even as champion, he experienced non-title losses to Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Finlay, and Rob Van Dam. After a little less than four months, he lost the World Heavyweight Championship to King Booker at the Great American Bash.
Mysterio won the World Heavyweight Championship a second time at the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view, defeating champion Jack Swagger, along with CM Punk and The Big Show. He only held the title for less than a month, before losing it to Kane at the 2010 Money in the Bank pay-per-view, shortly after Kane won the match and MITB contract.
Perhaps the worst championship reign was when he won the WWE Championship on the July 25, 2011, episode of Monday Night Raw. Mysterio defeated The Miz in the tournament final to win the title. However, he only kept it for about 45 minutes, before losing to John Cena on the same episode.
While these championship reigns help carve out the highly-likely WWE Hall of Fame career of Mysterio, they, unfortunately, came with a cost. On a recent episode of Konnan’s Keepin it 100 podcast, Konnan explained that former SmackDown writer Court Bauer explained to him that Vince McMahon did not want to see Mysterio as champion, but the creative team did. As a result of succumbing to the decision of the creative staff, Vince then had an ulterior motive.
“Everybody in the creative wanted Rey to be the champion except Vince [McMahon]. And Vince kind of gave in. And he was like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna make him champion but this is the date that we are going to take the belt off.’ So they were thinking to themselves, oh good. We’ll just make him as strong as we can up to that date. And Vince kept burying Rey, just to show them that they were wrong.”
Mysterio decided to leave WWE in 2014, and the departure was made official by WWE on February 26, 2015. Three years later, Mysterio made his return to WWE as a participant in the Royal Rumble match, and is reportedly in negotiations to make a return at WrestleMania 34.