Even though Ronda Rousey may have made more headlines, the biggest surprise of the Royal Rumble was Rey Mysterio's return to WWE. While the former WWE Champion has yet to secure a contract, he's already teasing a match with one of WWE's most beloved champions.
Rey Mysterio's shocking Rumble cameo has already amassed over 10 million views on Youtube - a number that dwarfs Rousey's debut (2.8 million). Clearly, there is still a market for Mysterio and he appears to be aware of it. Mysterio posted a photo
As irony has it, AJ Styles and Mysterio shared a ring as recently as January 2016 for a promotion called 5 Star Wrestling. While we have no doubts it was an awesome match, it would hardly compare to what they could do in WWE.
PWInsider reports that Mysterio's night at the Rumble was only put together over the last week. With the idea looking to be impromptu, that made it easier for WWE to keep his entry a secret. Apparently, contract talks between the sides are open, but they have one major philosophical difference. At 43 years old, Mysterio does not want to work WWE's full-time schedule, but that's exactly what WWE is asking him to do. So it appears we're at a stalemate of sorts.
Mysterio spoke on his big night but made no allusions to his future in WWE.
“It’s incredible. It’s been almost three years since I’ve heard that WWE fan reaction and to be honest with you, a lot of people say it’s luck and a lot of people say it’s awesome to hear that but I’ll tell you, I’m truly blessed. I’m truly blessed to come back and realize the fans don’t forget about you, and not only the fans but the WWE family. This is a universal reaction and it feels good, it feels great," he said.
It's worth underlining that Mysterio looked fantastic at the Rumble. Trim and spy, we could make the argument that Sunday night was the best Rey has looked in at least a decade. As wrestlings version of a free agent, Mysterio has been attached to several other promotions, but Impact Wrestling appeared to be his likeliest destination. However, after an awesome Rumble appearance, WWE may want to keep him around.