WHEN Ten Sports announced Ray Mysterio was coming to Mumbai, it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for any World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) buff to catch a glimpse of him. For me, this was an opportunity not to be missed — even if it meant going to the other side of town.
Mysterio is the fourth WWE star I have met in three years. Last year, John Cena created ripples when he visited Mumbai on a promotional tour.
Three years ago, two other wrestler stars — Booker T and Gold Dust — were here.
The mother-of-all meetings took place at the Mayfair Rooms in Worli on Tuesday night when Mysterio appeared in front of a gathering.
Just a glimpse of him was enough to set my heart pounding. The crowd got to see the real Mysterio when he unmasked for a second.
He obviously did not look as menacing as he does with his mask. I shook hands with him while some others were busy posing for photos or taking autographs.
When my chance to get up, close and personal came, a strange feeling engulfed me. He asked me my name and when I spelt it out, he quipped, “Hey, that’s a nice name!”
In his typical Yankee accent he told a bit about himself. He said, “I always wanted to be a wrestler and started working out since 12.
That’s why I got stunted.” He added, “So don’t work out from an early age, you know what will happen. I did not listen to my mamma. I am originally from Mexico but I live in San Diego with my family.”
with writer Luqman Parkar
Like Salman Khan, Mysterio pulled off his T-shirt to show the tattoos in his body. The word Mexican was inscribed on his belly and his forearm sported the number 619, which he utters while annihilating his opponents.
His wife and son’s names are also inscribed (his wife appears smaller). “That’s because I don’t know whether she would stay with me. But now, everything is fine at home!”
He even folded up his jeans to show us an injury he received about six months ago for which he had to be operated upon.
“They (doctors) put me to sleep and did whatever they wanted to save my leg. When I came to my senses, I was screaming in pain,” he said.
“I love India,” he added and to show it, he wore a kurta at one of the events in Mumbai.
Mysterio even did a bit of arm wrestling, but bowled over the children when he conceded defeat to the kids.