|Misterioso (The Mysterious One)|
Misterioso was born on May 28, 1966 in Los Angeles, California (some sources say he is from Santa Bárbara, but he claimed to be from L.A. when he lost his mask), but he's got Mexican blood as both his parents are from Oaxaca. He's the second kid from a family of three boys and a girl. At a young age he excelled as an athlete and sportsman, especially in amateur wrestling, and when he became a legal adult he joined the U.S. Army.
He spent four years in the Army where he always kept in shape and practised karate, boxing, gymnastics and some amateur wrestling. However, his love for lucha was born when he decided to attend a lucha libre card in Tijuana. He was really impressed by the beauty of this art of fighting, so he talked to some of the wrestlers and when he saw the money he could make in this business, he decided to give it a try.
During late 1986 he moved to Tijuana and started to train at the local gym with Rey Misterio Sr., though he also learnt from Super Astro, and locals La Gacela and Caballero 2000 (Damian).
Rey was so high on this guy that when he debuted on June 10, 1988, at the Auditorio de Tijuana, he was given the Rey Misterio II gimmick. During his first years he mostly wrestled in Mexicali, Tijuana, Ensenada and California. In 1988 Misterio II also worked for David Shults' "Muscle Rock" promotion as The Centipede, usually teaming with one of the Guerreros or Konnan. With this promotion, they mostly toured marine bases. A year later, Dan Farren's Hollywood Heavyweight Wrestling started out, and Konnan brought him there. They once had a match for Konnan's LAWA Heavyweight Title that is remembered as a local lucha classic - though here, Misterioso worked as The Predator.
He was improving and getting nice money, but maybe his expectations were too high so he started 1991 by quitting wrestling and re-joining the U.S. Army. However, Antonio Peña from EMLL contacted him and promised him a lot of money and a big push. Peña was looking for new, fresh talent to put on TV and once again, Konnan suggested Rey Misterio II's name to a promoter.
So in September, his name was changed to Misterioso and he was given a big program against respected and charismatic rudo Fuerza Guerrera. On December 6, 1991, Misterioso defeated Fuerza at La Arena México to become the NWA World Welterweight champ. This was considered a huge upset back in the day and nobody thought the young man would win.
Misterioso was really over as he had an awesome mask, an athletic body and a dynamic aerial style. Starting 1992, Misterioso was put in a team with another young wrestler called Volador. They were a really great team and had a memorable feud with Los Destructores (Tony Arce and Rocco Valente) for the National Tag Team Titles.
The popularity of the team skyrocketed and in that year they even starred in a lucha libre film that also had an appearance of the actress Gloria Mayo, and the giant Tyler Mane, better known as Nitron in Mexico.
Volador and Misterioso, were loyal to Peña (who made them stars) so they jumped with him to AAA. There they were put in a team with Rey Misterio Jr. (who briefly wrestled as Rey Misterio II, and had actually teamed with Misterioso and Rey Misterio in the past) called "La Tercia del Aire", and continued their feud with Arce, Valente, and now also Arce's younger brother, Rocco Valente. The level of work displayed in their series of matches is one of the reasons that put AAA on the map as one of the best promotions in the world when it came to actual good matches.
The Volador/Misterioso combo still remains as one of the best tag teams ever in the history of lucha libre. Most modern fans are quick to point out how Volador was "by far" the best worker and "carrier" of the team, but actually most old-time lucha fans and experts in Mexico and California agree that Misterioso was the best luchador of the team until sometime in 1993 (probably early in the year). Volador was always flashier, but Misterioso's timing and execution was generally better. However Volador really improved, and at the same time Misterioso became very inconsistent due to his recreational lifestyle, injuries, and the fact that he was a guy that naturally aged fast.
While Rey Misterio Jr. was pushed higher in the cards, the Volador/Misterioso team seemed to be stuck in nowhere. That was until March of 1994 when Misterioso turned on Volador during a trios match. Misterioso then started to team with the Guerreras (Juventud and Fuerza) and Psicosis, while Volador became parner of the Misterios, Santo and Octagon. Both guys' careers was given a new life, and different combinations of those great workers provided weeks and weeks of very good TV matches.
As a singles wrestler, Misterioso was doing fine. On August 29, 1993 (still as a tecnico) he became the first IWC World Middleweight champion ever by defeating Huichol in San Diego, CA. He had successful title defenses against Volador and Rey Misterio, but Misterio himself defeated him on November 4, 1994 in Mexicali, B.C.
In late 1994, he briefly became a member of the Gringos Locos stable, mainly to cover the absences of Eddy Guerrero, Love Machine and Black Cat when they were in Japan.
Even though they were feuding all the time, the Volador vs. Misterioso feud was pushed hard during all of 1995 and on July 14 they had their famous mask vs. mask at El Toreo de Tijuana (TJ bullring), which is considered Misterioso's "hometown".
This match drew a great 16,000 crowd, and even though the match itself was great, it's the finish what makes it a classic. Blue Panther (who was seconding Misterioso) was going to martinete (piledrive) Volador, and probably give him a career- ending injury. Misterioso saved his partner from the deadly move, however he got knocked out after a chairshot. Volador, out of respect for his old friend and partner, dragged him to the ring and put him on top of himself for the three count. The finish was really emotional as the crowd and Misterioso himself begged Volador not to unmask, but as a man of his honor, he made the sacrifice. Volador lost his mask, but regained Misterioso's friendship, never lost his honor and his popularity went up.
From then on, Volador and Misterioso reformed their legendary team, but even though Volador was still a really great worker, Misterioso's knees and performance level were way gone. And even that way, Volador suffered a serious injury, so as Misterioso couldn't work the tecnico style successfully anymore, he became a rudo again in a matter of months.
Starting 1997, Misterioso left AAA and became an independent wrestler, only based out of California and Baja California. He resumed his rivalry with the Misterios and had a respect/hate relationship with Santo, as Misterioso wanted to help Santo and get him to turn rudo, but Santo didn't want a part of that as even though in Mexico City he was a rudo and having a hot feud with Negro Casas, his plan was to be a rudo the capital only.
Everybody thought that Santo would take his mask, but Rey Jr. ended up beating him in front of a 6,500 crowd on December 19, 1997 at Auditorio de Tijuana. Misterioso was only a brawler back then and he was briefly known as El Rey del Tenedor (the king of the fork), as his only "highspot" was a fork stab, but he pulled out a last great performance to lose his mask with dignity.
He hasn't done a whole lot since then. He's been a regular of the lucha WPW, based out of Anaheim, CA, and he was their champion for a while. Also, on September 5, 1999, he lost his hair in Anaheim against El Hijo del Santo.
During 1999 he was briefly living at Valle de Guadalupe in Ensenada, B.C., and nowadays he still wrestles from time to time in Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexicali and California, just like he used to when he started out.
Misterioso's influence on lucha libre is very underrated, as with him came a big change that is ofter overlooked. Before Misterioso, the most common generic tecnico around the country was cut ot of the Atlantis/Lizmark mold - a guy with solid mat skills, a basic outfit with a nice mask, good workrate and basic, but spectacular dives. After him, a new generation was born - more colorful and flashy costumes and less use of matwork but faster work and new and more spectacular dives.
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|1989.09.01||mask||Rey Misterio II||Anarquista Punk||Auditorio de Tijuana|
|89/90||mask||Rey Misterio II||Atlántico||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|93/10/01||hair (1)||Misterioso||Vulcano||Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera - Mexico City|
|95/07/14||mask||Misterioso||Volador||El Toreo de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|97/12/19||mask||Rey Misterio Jr.||Misterioso||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|99/09/05||hair||El Hijo del Santo||Misterioso||Anaheim Indoor Marketplace - Anaheim, CA, USA|
|01/08/17||hair (2)||Príncipe Arandú||Misterioso||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|02/10/04||hair||Pimpinela Escarlata & Hijo del Enfermero||Jerry Estrada & Misterioso||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|03/03/22||hair||Piloto Suicida||Misterioso||Arena Frank and Sons - City Of Industry, California|
|03/10/17||hair||Latin Lover||Misterioso||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|03/10/31||hair||El Hijo del Solitario||Misterioso||Arena Lolita - Nuevo Laredo|
|2007/09/07||hair||Místico||Misterioso||Estadio Calimax, Tijuana, Baja California|
|2007/10/07||hair||Místico||Misterioso||Estadio Calimax, Tijuana, Baja California|
|08/11/30||hair (3)||Volador Jr.||Misterioso||Reynosa|
|(1) Triangle match with Huichol; (2) Triangle 'bull terrier' (chain) match with Tornado Negro; (2) Relevos Suicidas w/ Volador/Volador Jr. vs. Misterioso/Misterioso II|