After a few years in WWE, Rey Mysterio became well-known for his annual WrestleMania outfit, which eventually became ever-more-elaborate cosplay. He has wrestled at the Grandaddy of them All as versions of Daredevil, The Flash, Captain America (Captain Mexico, actually), Heath Ledger’s Joker and a Na’vi.
But as you might imagine, WWE started to get a bit concerned that Mysterio’s outfits were becoming a little TOO iconic. On the latest episode of Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, Mysterio discussed WWE having to talk to him to tell him to make his gear a little bit more “fair use.”
“I always try to take care of my image inside the ring with my outfits, attire. Nice and clean. And I think that had a lot to do with my presence inside the ring.” Mysterio added, “once I made it to WWE, I was like, ‘my s–t has to be nice and clean and I’ve got to make sure I do something different every time. Pay-per-view? Superheroes! Lets blend that in. Believe it or not, I didn’t do it, in all honesty, with the intentions of making a profit out of it. That’s just how my mind flows, with outfits, with my gear, and with my wrestling moves. Actually, at one point, they told me, ‘you’ve got to stop doing this because we’re going to get sued.’ So I’ve always tried to keep it fun and mysterious for the fans because it was always like, ‘man, what are you going to bust out now, Rey?’ and they would give me ideas.”
It certainly makes a lot of sense. Whenever Rey would debut a new WrestleMania outfit, I would enjoy the sometimes-subtle-but-always-legally-distinct changes to iconic outfits, like using his eagle mask accents in place of the Flash’s head lightning bolts and whatnot.
It’s always a good idea to make sure you don’t infringe on other, very powerful companies’ intellectual property. That’s why Finn Bálor has given up the Carnage paint and gone with “vague demon” in his painted-up matches. Although … you’d think WWE would have remembered that conversation with Mysterio before they tried to put out a bootleg Pabst Blue Ribbon shirt.