Rey Mysterio Signs With Aro Lucha, Becomes Part Owner

According to an article in today’s The Tennessean, lucha libre legend Rey Mysterio Jr. has signed exclusively with new promotion Aro Lucha out of Nashville, Tennessee, and has been announced as becoming co-owner alongside co-founders Jason Brown and the Harris Twins (Ron and Don Harris). While this won’t jeopardize Rey’s upcoming NJPW match at Strong Style Evolved in Long Beach, California against NJPW legend Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, it looks to put an end to any rumours of Rey Mysterio returning to the WWE. With Aro Lucha gearing up to begin production of a new weekly television series, with Rey Mysterio set to be the “John Cena” of the show, it’s unlikely the WWE will want to work with a wrestler who is trying to sell another brand in North America, even if his name is Rey Mysterio. And considering the WWE has had a hard time replacing Mysterio as the face of their Hispanic audience, the fact Mysterio’s WWE presence would only help draw more to a show that is being targeted to that demographic would most likely hinder their attempts. While there’s always an outside chance that he could still be brought back for a WrestleMania 34 one off match (tapings are expected to start in May or June), the WWE will probably not want to invest any further than that.

Rey Mysterio Joins Aro Lucha, Becomes Part Owner

Photo: Aro Lucha

Aro Lucha came to the attention of the wrestling world last fall, when it was announced they were starting up, with another lucha legend, Konnan, as their Creative Director. In December, they began running some test shows, in Nashville and then early in 2018 in Texas (Lubbock and Amarillo respectively). The roster featured several Lucha Underground stars, such as Penta El 0M, Johnny Mundo, Willie Mack, and Taya Valkyrie, veterans like Low Ki, “Cowboy” James Storm, MVP, LuFisto, and Hurricane Helms, plus emerging indie stars like Sammy Guevara, LAX (Santana & Ortiz), Thunder Rosa, Lacey Lane, Trey Miguel, and Extra Talented (Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks). They also brought in lucha stars like Blue Demon Jr, Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy, Rush, Lady Apache, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Garza Jr.…the list goes on. Aro Lucha even tapped into the re-emerging Puerto Rican scene with “Mr. 450” Mecha Wolf, Vanilla Vargas and former WWE Superstar Carlito. They’ve built a roster with great potential.

Photo: Aro Lucha

The announcement comes just days after Aro Lucha set up a WeFunder page designed where fans can invest into the ownership of the promotion itself. On the page, co-founder Jason Brown stated that Aro Lucha “produces television, digital, and live event Lucha Libre content. Rey Mysterio and Konnan own shares of our company and are two of the most iconic names in the industry. What they bring to the table is unmatched in my opinion. We’re offering the 57 Million Hispanic and Latino people in the United States a Lucha Libre product that they can call “their own” for the first time in history.”

Nate Rau in The Tennessean explained the investment strategy behind this measure:

“During President Barack Obama’s final years in office, the federal government relaxed investor regulations, allowing companies to sell shares of stock to non-accredited investors. The practice is relatively new, just taking effect in 2016.

But the opportunity allows companies like Aro Lucha to raise up to $1 million by selling a minority stake in the company to fans. According to a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission from 2017, the median amount raised by companies utilizing the new tool was $171,000.” Nate Rau, The Tennessean, March 18, 2018 

Photo: Aro Lucha

It’s a bold move for the 43-year old Mysterio. These are the years where going for the guaranteed money of the WWE seems a smarter move. But it appears Rey knows exactly what’s he’s doing. He’s helping provide a true option for traditional lucha libre wrestling for the whole family (Aro Lucha plans on being 100% family friendly), away from the more mature elements of the WWE or Impact or even the more violent side of Lucha Underground. And he’s hoping his name and presence (which, as noted at this year’s WWE Royal Rumble is still quite strong) can help draw some quick and early attention to the upstart promotion. “I think what we are doing with Aro Lucha being fan-owned is revolutionary,” he said to Nate Rau for The Tennessean. “We are giving the fans something they have never had before, a voice and a chance to get in on the action.”

UPDATE (3/18/18, 10:45pm EST)

Earlier today on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer stated that the original article by The Tennessean had been “overblown”, despite co-founder Jason Brown stating that Rey and Konnan “own shares” of the company on the WeFunder page. Meltzer claimed that while Rey was booked for the upcoming TV tapings, he had not accepted any ownership in the company and was still in fact negotiating for a WWE return. The news was backed up by trusted lucha libre site, Masked Republic, on their Twitter account.