WWE Wanted To Unmask Ultimo Dragon Because ‘They Already Had Rey Mysterio’
The cruiserweight legend was in WWE between 2003 and 2004
As one of the most beloved jr. heavyweight wrestlers of the 90s, Ultimo Dragon built up a loyal fanbase due to his successful stints in WCW and across the planet.
In 2003 Ultimo Dragon ended up in WWE, hot on the heels of former WCW rival Rey Mysterio, but left a year later after asking for his release.
Now in an appearance on the Perched On The Top Rope podcast, Ultimo Dragon - speaking via Sonny Onoo - revealed that WWE wanted him to unmask because they already had Rey Mysterio:
“Rey Mysterio was there, of course. He [Ultimo Dragon] says, ‘The way they [WWE] look at it, they were similar characters. Both masked guys, smaller, cruiserweights, but I didn’t understand at the time.’ He said, ‘That’s true, but I didn’t realise until afterwards.’ So they asked him if he would take his mask off. He said that’s one of the reasons why he left,” Sonny Onoo said.
But Dragon felt no resentment towards Mysterio, and even joked that if he was in charge of WWE he’d have pushed Rey too: “He said, ‘Rey Mysterio was really popular so, as a masked man, there wasn’t really a spot for me. Of course, I’m a promoter as well so I understand a lot more now.’ He says, ‘I’m a promoter now and if I was given a choice between Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon, I would choose Rey Mysterio!’” Sonny Onoo stated.
After leaving WWE, Dragon returned to Japan, wrestling for AJPW and Dragon Gate amongst others.