For a long time now, there have been whispers that WWE wants to find their “next Rey Mysterio”.
No one who’s been tagged with that label has panned out (and it’s worth wondering if there could ever be a “next Rey Mysterio”, if it’s a fair designation or goal, etc). But even before he signed with WWE in 2019, a lot of us have been pointing at Santos Escobar and saying, “there’s your next Latino superstar.”
Just as he did in CMLL & AAA as El Hijo del Fantasma and on Lucha Underground as King Cuerno, the second generation luchador has made the most out of everything WWE’s given him. In NXT and on SmackDown, that’s mostly been to play a heel gatekeeper role in the upper midcard. It’s the kind of spot we often see wrestler’s grumbling about on social media, or anonymously to the dirt sheets, but I can’t recall a rumor about Escobar complaining (wanting to get out of his LU contract after the show was cancelled doesn’t count... that was some bullpucky).
If anyone in WWE’s employ has been worthy of being the “next Rey Mysterio”, it’s the leader of Legado del Fantasma. And in this digital exclusive from WWE, taken after the two men shared several moments in the ring during the Intercontinental title #1 contender Fatal 4Way last night (Feb. 11), they shared a moment backstage.
Sharing stories about each man’s lucha libre legacy before showing the ultimate respect by sharing masks? Seems like that could be the start of a torch passing. Escobar’s performance here is also the latest sign he’s ready to do more on WWE television, whether that involves being the “next Rey Mysterio” or not.
Even if nothing else ever comes of it, this was a very cool moment.