Rey Mysterio Returning to WWE on 'Smackdown 1000'

Rey Mystery is making his return to WWE. The former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion is set to return to the ring in SmackDown 1000 in a WWE World Cup Qualifying Match next week, marking his return to the blue brand for the first time in more than four years, WWE announced Tuesday.

The 43-year-old, whose real name is Óscar Gutiérrez, is set to challenge Shinsuke NakaMura at SmackDown 1000. NakaMura reacted to the news, saying that, “this is what I wanted.”

Rey Mysterio last made his return to the ring at the Royal Rumble for a surprise appearance in the 30 man Rumble, sparking rumors that the former world champion would be returning to WWE on a more regular basis, something that seems to have finally come to fruition. Shortly after it was announced that the 43-year-old would challenge Shinsuke NakaMura, WWE announced that he had also signed a contract with the sports entertainment company for two years.

“Rey Mysterio is back with WWE on a full-time basis, meaning the WWE Universe will have the opportunity to see The Master of The 619 live and in person in the very near future,” a statement from WWE read. “The masked marvel’s return begins on SmackDown 1000 next Tuesday when he faces Shinsuke Nakamura in a WWE World Cup Qualifying Match."

In addition, WWE fans in the following cities will get to see Mysterio in action on the below dates:

Hartford, Connecticut – Oct. 20
Boston, Massachusetts – Oct. 21
White Plains, New York – Oct. 22
Cardiff, Wales – Nov. 3
Aberdeen, Scotland – Nov. 4
Birmingham, England – Nov. 5”

The former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion had teased his hopes of a possible return while speaking to with the Mirror in March.

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“I want to say that there is a big possibility that I will be back. [We’re] figuring out what the situation is, you know from both ends. But there is definitely a positive feedback on behalf of the fans, on behalf of the WWE staff and behalf of myself man. I think we’re possibly going to sit down and negotiate something where we can both work together and have a good time and enjoy," he said.

Following his return to the Royal Rumble, Mysterio continued to work and was injured during an independent show in March. That injury kept him out of a match with Jushin Liger at NJPW's Strong Style Evolved event in Long Beach, California that same month, though he was able to return to WWE for one night in April.