Rey Mysterio began wrestling when he was only 15 years old. Throughout his decades in the industry, he has seen many changes and has wrestled in front of many different sized audiences.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, WWE went through a brief. Of time where they competed in front of no audience and they now compete in front of a virtual audience via WWE ThunderDome.
Speaking with Complex, Rey Mysterio opened up about how different it has been to prepare for competing in front of an audience. Rey has had some of the more unique matches during this time., competing in the Money in the Bank match at WWE headquarters, and competing in an Eye for an Eye match against Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules back in July.
"It's been really crazy and very hard at the beginning, trying to adapt, trying to step into a ring when there's no fans around. Now we have the bubble or [Thunder] dome, which at least we can see the fans and they can see us, and you kind of play off of [the] monitors.
I want to say I might have been the first match on Raw during the pandemic that was the first match televised. I believe we kind of kicked off the show for Raw that day and the first match on the card was me and Andrade so it just felt very weird. Very awkward. It felt like you were auditioning for a part in a wrestling movie, you know?
"Overall, we've managed to get through it. As time has gone by, nine months later, we create this connection between us the Superstars, and the fans. I think if this is the future for the next, I don't know, year, year and a half because we have to say “No, this is gonna get better, things are gonna get better.” Now we have a vaccine. When are we going to start having fans inside the arenas? NFL is doing it, Major League Baseball was doing it, so I think now, it's our turn, because me, personally, I feed off the energy from the fans."
Currently, Rey is on the road with his son Dominik. It is an experience that he says he cherishes because he knows how rare it is in any industry, let alone professional wrestling.
"I try not to let the pressure hit me but for some reason, it always just creeps in, you know, into my mind, and then it goes all the way down to my stomach and I start getting butterflies. Overall, you know, at this stage of my life, I try to enjoy moments more than I used to. Just because you're prepared, you've been there already so you know, everything's gonna be good and I'm just trying to soak in these moments that I get to live with my son. Not a lot of parents get to say that they work together with their kids, especially in the profession that we're in. We get to travel together, get to ride on cars together, we stay at the same hotels, we have breakfast, we work out, we're like best buds and it's just such a cool feeling. [But] That nervousness, that jitteriness never goes away, even after 30 plus years."
Dominik will compete tonight on Smackdown against King Corbin. Fightful has live coverage of SmackDown every Friday beginning at 8 p.m. eastern.