WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle has confirmed that Vince McMahon’s preference for huge wrestlers led to his reluctance to push Rey Mysterio for main events.
Speaking on the October 16 episode of The Kurt Angle Show, the Olympic gold medalist explained that McMahon wasn’t completely sold on Mysterio as a main eventer, despite signing talents from lower weight classes during the Attitude Era.
“Yes, Vince was not very keen on a smaller guy making it to the main event. As a matter of fact, you had to have a certain amount of size on you, especially in the 80s and 90s, you had to be over 240, but then he kind of loosened up and started taking in guys around 200, 185, 190, the Eddie Guerreros and the Chris Jerichos and the Chris Benoits.”
According to the WWE Hall of Famer, Vince required some persuading from several company officials before giving Mysterio the main event spot.
Kurt Angle credits McMahon for his booking expertise, but thinks he was wrong to doubt Mysterio’s potential to draw with the fans.
“And Rey, he wasn’t folding with Rey, but somebody talked him into it and said, ‘Give him a chance.’ And he did it that night, and from then on, Rey was a main eventer. Vince was wrong. I mean, Vince is hardly ever wrong, but he was wrong about this.”
One of Mysterio’s earliest top-card matches came during an episode of Smackdown in 2002.
Mysterio had a memorable feud with Kurt Angle which included a one-on-one at SummerSlam 2002.
Mysterio would later team up with Edge and face Benoit and Angle in the tournament at No Mercy for the WWE Tag Team Championships. An early main event for Mysterio occurred in the run-up to this event.
The high-flying luchador has since won the 2006 Royal Rumble, held the World Heavyweight Championship twice, as well as the WWE Championship once, and gone on to headline several pay-per-views for WWE.
In a recent backstage segment, Mysterio approached Triple H and asked to quit WWE in response to his son Dominik’s behavior in the faction, Judgment Day.
All was not lost as it was later revealed that Mysterio would instead be appearing on the blue brand, replacing Karrion Kross in the main event of SmackDown.
Kross was lined up to compete against Sheamus, Ricochet and Solo Sikoa to determine the number one contender to GUNTHER’s Intercontinental Championship. Kross lost his spot after a fracas kicked off the 14 October edition of SmackDown in the parking lot, leaving a spot open for Mysterio take his place.
WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle recently returned to WWE in a series of nostalgic segments on the August 29 edition of Raw.
Angle spoke about his current deal with WWE, which you can read more about right here.
Transcription via Sportskeeda
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