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FINALLY... Dominik Mysterio brings a championship back to San Diego

America’s Finest City is now home to NXT’s greatest champion.

WWE’s YouTube

What began as a typical Taco Tuesday for my wife and me quickly became an impromptu championship celebration in our hometown of San Diego as Dominik Mysterio defeated Wes Lee to capture the NXT North American Title.

“He did it! He did it,” Mrs. G0MEZ exclaimed as she accidentally spilled her Adobada fries on her lap. Meanwhile, our fellow diners let out a huge roar as Mysterio’s victory played out on the shop’s big screen.

As a near-lifelong San Diego resident, there hasn’t been much to cheer for regarding sports, as America’s Finest City has been the bridesmaid a few times but never the bride. Last April, our beloved San Diego State Aztecs made it to the NCAA Championship before getting trounced by UConn. Our Padres have had thirty-eight losing seasons and just two World Series appearances, both losses. Then there were the treacherous Chargers, who got their skulls caved in by the 49ers in their lone Super Bowl appearance nearly thirty years ago.

The best San Diego has done was when the Gulls defeated the Idaho Steelheads in an emotional series in 2001 to claim the West Coast Hockey League title. I was present at the Sports Arena that night. It was the first and only time I witnessed a sports franchise win a title, and it was magical.

But Tuesday night was something else.

Tension was high throughout our favorite taqueria, especially as the contest reached a fever pitch. You could feel the air knocked from patrons as Mysterio missed a frog splash midway through the bout.


From that point on, silence fell through the restaurant as both the cashier and customers stared wide-eyed at the television. The only sound heard was the sizzling and clanging echoing from the kitchen.

Perhaps the finish wasn’t ideal, as a few groaned when Rhea Ripley offered her support to Dirty Dom, though one guy ecstatically shouted, “¡Vamos!” (“Let’s go!”)

As Lee lay prone on the canvas out cold, we began to clap and stomp our feet, encouraging Dom to move in for the cover. Some counted in English, while others counted in Spanish.


Soon, smiles filled the taco shop as one of our locals made it big. And as we were leaving, a few people, ourselves included, decided to honk their horns as is customary in a true title revelry.

From the playgrounds of the South Bay, Dominik Mysterio has risen to the penthouse to give San Diegans a sense of sports pride not seen since, ironically, his father Rey — our last true champion — was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this past spring.

What a moment. Now, if only the Padres could do the same.

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