When the WWE signed Mistico back in 2011, it seemed like they finally found their successor to Rey Mysterio. Real name Luis Alvirde, Mistico was known as the best box office wrestling draw in Mexico and one of the best wrestlers in the country. Originally courted back in 2007, WWE was so excited to sign Mistico that they agreed to let him completely bypass the development system. Changing his name to Sin Cara, it felt like a major coup for the WWE.
What’s interesting is that the WWE actually signed Mistico back in 2009. Around the same time Alvirde became a pro wrestler in CMLL, Jorge Arias also started wrestling in Mexico as Mistico. He worked on the Mexican independent scene as Mistico de Juarez until debuting in AAA, now calling himself Incognito. Despite the name change, he would always be under the shadow of the more popular Mistico. In 2009, he signed with the WWE and worked in their development system as Hunico.
It is important to note that Hunico spent two years in FCW learning the North American/WWE style before he went onto television. Sin Cara, on the other hand, debuted immediately. Cara, only knowing the Lucha style, had incredible trouble adapting to the WWE style and had a tendency to botch a lot of his sequences. This earned him the reputation of a “Botch Machine”. So much in fact that when Hunico debuted in the WWE as an impostor Sin Cara, the first thing people noticed (aside from height and muscle definition) was that the impostor Sin Cara was smooth and accurate in the ring. The botches were gone and instead a much crisper, slick wrestler was replaced. The impostor angle allowed Hunico to play off his original history as the original Mistico, now as Sin Cara Negro. The original Sin Cara, now returned from a suspension, worked as Sin Cara Azul until unmasking Negro. The unmasking allowed him to become Hunico, unfortunately a Mexican street thug stereotype.
For the WWE, Sin Cara was a constant frustration. Whether it be botches or injuries, he seemed more of a hassle than the massive merchandise he was selling. A lot of fans hated his odd lighting scheme during matches and his repeated errors, but children love masked wrestlers. For Hunico, it was hard for him to get over with a new tag team partner as just a generic thug. Even if on WWE Superstars, Hunico was showing some incredible wrestling performances.
It wasn’t until Hunico showed up on a WWE YouTube show to show off his masks that I caught the kind of individual Hunico was. This was a man with a lot of respect for history and tradition, plus a magnetic passion for the industry. For all of the injuries, botches and demands from Sin Cara, it made me wonder why he had to live in the shadow of a prima donna. I’ve been pretty vocal that in a just world, their careers would be flipped.
Well, we might just have a just world after all. At least here. Current reports are that the WWE told Luis Alverde to stay at home only hours before the return of Sin Cara on Monday Night Raw. Who was under the mask? None other than Jorge Arias, better known in WWE as Hunico. Defeating Alberto Del Rio, while smarter fans could notice, it didn’t seem like the kids could at all. This gives the WWE a perfect situation. They can let the more expensive Alverde’s contract expire while giving the money maker Sin Cara gimmick to the man who did everything right for his position in the company and at most accounts is a better wrestler. Hunico for my money is one of the best wrestlers in the company. He can work any style at any pace. His time in FCW ensured he could work WWE style as well. Alverde can go back to Mexico and be Mistico, where he’ll surely make his money. But in North America, the eventual successor of Rey Mysterio will still be Sin Cara. It’ll just be someone else wearing the mask. If the WWE still plans to run Mysterio vs. Sin Cara at Wrestlemania 30, this is the way to do it.
In 1996, a fake Razor Ramon told you not to accept substitutes. I think this is one time you can.
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Photo via WWE.com