BoxingRobes wrote:Interested in hearing @cubsfan's take on Mistico in as a candidate.
He's an easy Yes for me. From about 2005 to 2010, he was the top draw in his country during a boom. He was part of great matches. He was part of great matches, and he's a big influence on the lucha libre style. The drawing power is easier to document and should be enough to get in.
After the first FantasticaMania, Mistico got on a plane to Los Angeles to secretly join WWE and film his debut vignettes. If Mistico instead got on a plane to Bolivia and was never seen or heard from again (fading into Bolivian), he's breezes into this hall of famer. The WWE run is a negative, but he was still somehow over enough to sell lots of merch, enough so that they've gone out of their way to keep his character live even if no longer wanted him in it.
I think the knock on him are a comparison to Vampiro, as a guy who a big draw during a hot period of wrestling and did not do particularly well elsewhere. Mistico's run as a ticket seller last longer, he was part of better matches (and a bigger part of making them better), and Mistico has had a much bigger influence.
I think people feel like Mistico was a product of his booking. In the time since Mistico, I've seen CMLL try to recreate the magic with many others since 2005, with limited success. They've tried Mistico La Nueva Era, and it hasn't taken in a big way. They tried Magnus before him, it didn't work. Volador and Sombra are immensely talented luchadors, and they hit a wall of fan resentment being pushed in similar ways as Mistico until they turned heel. None of them crossed over near as much as the original. (La Mascara & Sagrado didn't really click as well before him either.) And it's not just CMLL - AAA tried a half dozen guys over a decade without finding one that worked out. Mistico was able to make a connection to the crowd that few others can.
He's not as big a star now as he was in 2010. But that just leaves him at about Atlantis' level, a nationally recognized famous luchador who can main event any show and any mask match he's in will be a huge deal. He's not giving up wrestling any time soon, so his longevity argument is just going to get bigger. He'll probably go up this year because people who see first ballot as a big deal will be freer to vote him, and he'll go up more over time as the WWE fades away and as people who don't want to vote for a guy still in the middle of his career see him move more towards the end. But I think he's going to end up as a guy who everyone wonders what took so long when he finally gets in.