It finally happened and is one prime example of why I believe predictability isn’t always a negative in professional wrestling. There hasn’t been a bigger disappointment in WWE over the last year than Dominik Mysterio, the son of squared-circle visionary Rey Mysterio. In my “Clash at the Castle” predictions video, I did predict The Judgment Day to defeat the elder Mysterio and Edge. That didn’t happen. What I got right from that match was the 25-year-old son of the master of the 619 to turn on his papi.
After temporarily celebrating their victory, Edge got kicked in the dick by Dominik. Rey tried to reason with his son after, but only got his head taken off by a lariat moments later. It was the most impressive and believable move I’ve seen from the younger Mysterio, which is both promising and unfortunate truth of how Dominik got to this point. We’re in year No. 3 of making Rey’s son interesting on his own since his debut at SummerSlam 2020. Here we are Labor Day weekend and this heel turn is his best opportunity to date. It may be his final one too.
Dominik isn’t in danger of losing a job. That’s far from my point. He only started professional wrestling training four years ago. A WWE main-roster spot of his caliber, involved in a well-woven web storyline, requires the acumen of a seasoned vet. Some grapplers can be ahead of schedule development-wise, look at Matt Riddle. And there are examples, maybe the son of one of the greatest cruiserweights of all time, where being in the lineage of a Hall of Famer doesn’t mean you pick up the art form directly because of genetics.
When Dominik re-emerged onto WWE television 14 years after being involved in a feud where his storyline custody was up in the air between Rey and the late Eddie Guerrero, the young adult looked like the skeleton of a good wrestler. He obviously had the mental capacity to be great and all he needed was time to hone his skills. Brock Lesnar’s WWE title defense against Rey showcased Dominik. Everyone involved looked great. Small improvements happened after his singles debut. In present day, we’re still there, looking for more from Rey’s son with no tangible proof of a better character or in-ring skills. Until Saturday’s low blow and lariat.
Dominik’s shortcomings aren’t 100% his fault. Remember that storyline involving his entire family again with Seth Rollins and his sister Aalyah kissing Buddy Murphy? Yeah, gross, and not exactly what a promising WWE prospect should be involved in. And for his first year in the company, there were no fans in the building. That undeniable exchange between wrestler and crowd wasn’t part of Dominik’s vernacular during the most important time of his career to learn it. AEW benefitted from having crowds at 10% capacity to give its younger stars a chance to get that feeling. Tony Khan’s crew also had roster members right at ringside. WWE settled for the ThunderDome.
That response from a live crowd makes every wrestling event different and helps dictate long-term storylines. Does Roman’s current character come to be without crowds rejecting him as an overwhelming babyface? Nope. It’s almost as if Dominik didn’t emote enough within that exchange. This heel turn is a new lease on life for him. Feuding with his father could be amazing. Rey is one of the best “good guys” in WWE history. And it’ll give Dominik someone to work with that he has strong chemistry with.
This trajectory change should’ve happened months ago. And now that Dominik has a new lease on life within WWE, he needs to take advantage of it. It’s not too late for a massive improvement but if he can’t make a feud with his father work on television, what faith do you have that anything else with him could work? He’s got Paul “Triple H” Levesque pulling the strings and that will help prop him up. Now’s Dominik’s time to sink or swim.
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