Regular readers of Cageside Seats and especially our daily Rumor Round-Up know that when Sin Cara victoriously returned to WWE television this past Monday night, it wasn't exactly the same version we last saw abruptly stopping a match due to a finger injury.
As the realization that Hunico, the man who portrayed Sin Cara Negro in the program that WWE ran shortly after their latest luchador character debuted, was back under the mask spread across the internet, the company responded. They released the following statement to prowrestling.net this morning:
The original performer behind the Sin Cara mask remains under contract to WWE. WWE will continue to invest in the character and retain it as part of WWE programming.
Some have already speculated that the "original performer", Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde aka Mexican star Místico, signed a deal with the company that is due to expire soon (his debut was in early 2011, so a three-year contract would be up in the next couple of months). So saying that he's still under contract while not denying that he wasn't in the ring on Monday isn't much of a vote of confidence in the guy.
Saying that they still see a future in the character, with or without Alvirde, matches up with reports that Sin Cara merchandise remains a steady mover for WWE, and that the powers-that-be are set on a match with Rey Mysterio designed to pass the torch and get a truckload of people to wear masks in New Orleans for WrestleMania 30.
Kind of interesting that the Sin Cara product page on WWEShop.com only features two clearance items, though. But maybe they're clearing inventory before releasing a new wave with the push for whoever ends up under the mask for Mania.
With Hunico getting a program along with tag partner Camacho in NXT, some are wondering if he's not just keeping the mood lighting warm for another luchador to be fast-forwarded through developmental just as Alvirde was. Kalisto, the former Samuray Del Sol, is said to be on the short list for promotion, and could assume the Sin Cara role so that Hunico can stick with his current gimmick.
Either way, it certainly seems like the Sin Cara era will continue while the book gets closed on the Místico experiment.
What do you think Cagesiders? Should the character continue? Should Hunico, Kalisto or someone else assume the role? Does the "original performer" have a future in pro wrestling north of the border? And is his failure a black mark on the résumé of the man who signed him, Paul Levesque, aka HHH?