During Rey Mysterio's first WWE run, NXT was an entirely different concept and it has now evolved into WWE's third brand. Many of today's stars on Raw and SmackDown got their starts in NXT and Rey Mysterio has faced off against many of those stars.
Mysterio spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast about NXT as well as the work Triple H is doing to groom WWE's next stars.
"I think he's doing an incredible job. NXT is recruiting its own fan base; commentating and the matches are unbelievable. The fact that they can do NXT like any WWE show – Europe, Mexico, US – it prepares them for being on the bigger stage," said Mysterio.
"I think Hunter has done an incredible job of rolling out NXT slowly. Most of the stars on Raw or SmackDown now have come from NXT. So, he's molding up the future of this business."
One of those former NXT stars now on the main roster is Andrade and Mysterio had high praise for the former NXT Champion.
"This kid is awesome. I mentioned it before in previous interviews, but every time I'm in the ring with him, there's an affiliation to how I would move with Eddie [Guerrero]," admitted Mysterio. "This is how good he is: he's thinking a step ahead before you even move. He already knows the positioning and knows exactly what to do and how to do it. My hat goes off to Andrade as he's definitely the future of WWE."
Mysterio was then asked what Andrade needs to improve upon to become an even bigger star.
"Just like anybody else – once you can dominate the mic skills and English, then he is bound to become a star," replied Mysterio. "I've seen him work on his English, and it's a slow process but he's moving forward. Once he dominates his English language, he's on his way to stardom."
Many were surprised when Mysterio started using the Canadian Destroyer on TV because there was speculation that WWE had banned the move. Mysterio responded to that and revealed why he started using the move.
"I don't ever recall asking if I could do it or not," stated Mysterio. "I've always laid out what I wanted to do and there's no 'but' or 'and' unless something is limited because it's unsafe. With that move, it's funny because when I did it, everybody was shocked that I was able to do it. I'm like, what's wrong with it?"
Mysterio says he used the move on the indies and didn't even realize that it was reportedly banned by WWE.
"Unless somebody tells me that I can't do it, then I won't stop doing it," said Mysterio.
Mysterio is also working with Fight4Autism as a global ambassador in order to help kids with autism. He and his business partner David Mimila talked about the prizes than fans can win by donating to the cause.
"You make a donation of $4 and you have the opportunity to win t-shirts, hoodies, masks, pictures and some really, cool custom titles that were designed by myself," said Mysterio. "And anyone that donates automatically enters to win the Booyaka Bundle."
"The Booyaka Bundle is sort of a dream come true," said Mimila. "It's an all expenses paid trip for two people to a major live wrestling event as Rey's personal guest. You have airfare included, hotel included, $1,000 in spending money and you get to meet Rey and attend the fight."
Rey Mysterio is the global ambassador being Fight4Autism. He has created this global fundraiser in his determination to help autistic children all over the world, no matter where they live. His mission is to have his fans join him in the fight. To do so, fans only need to donate US$4 via the website https://www.winwithrey.com/. Your donation also enters you into a raffle to win Fight4Autisim merchandise as well as a chance to win an all-expenses paid experience for two, including business class airfares, hotel accommodation and premium seat tickets to a live WWE event as Rey Mysterio's personal guests.
Wrestling Inc's full interview with Rey was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In it Rey discusses why he's launched Rey Mysterio's Fight4Autism, his connection to children with autism and their families, when he could return to in-ring action, his feud with Samoa Joe, the launch of AEW, comparisons between Andrade and Eddie Guerrero, his relationship with Vince McMahon, a "dream match" with AJ Styles, his son Dominick's pro wrestling future, using the Canadian Destroyer on WWE TV and more.