Rey vs. Dominik Mysterio was WWE’s most surprising success in route to WrestleMania 39, and boy oh boy, did it deliver.
On the biggest stage in pro wrestling in front of a massive crowd, Rey in Sofi Stadium, Rey—with a little assist from rapper Bad Bunny—defeated his son Dominik in what was the climax of one of WWE’s lengthiest—and most shockingly entertaining—storylines over the past year. In May 2021, Rey Mysterio became the first ever father-son duo to win the WWE tag team titles when they defeated Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania Backlash.
Now, things have finally come circle. Rey taught his son a lesson, and WWE has a new star on its hands.
When Dominik ultimately broke away from his father and ventured out on his own, it didn’t quite pan out despite WWE having sky high expectations for the third-generation star. Even way back in 2020, WWE officials reportedly viewed him as one of SmackDown’s top fan favorites, strapping the proverbial rocket to him even before he made history alongside his father.
Given that Dominik also debuted in a high-profile match against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2020, it was apparent that WWE had high hopes for him despite the fact that he was as green as grass. Dominik held his own against Rollins, but as someone who came to the main roster with relatively little pro wrestling experience, he clearly got there before he was ready.
When the luster of Dominik’s partnership with Rey ultimately wore off and perhaps even before then, there was widespread fan criticism calling for him to return to NXT to get some more seasoning. Solo Dominik’s weaknesses were exposed, until he joined The Judgment Day and began a long-running beef with his father.
Even though Rey once said he was against facing his son in the ring, that obviously changed, and once Dominik became a heel member of The Judgment Day, the writing was on the wall: The only way for this to end was with Rey vs. Dominik on “The Grandest Stage of Them All.”
Prior to their fantastic match at WrestleMania 39, the biggest moment of their rivalry came on the March 24th edition of SmackDown, when Rey finally punched his son and the crowd absolutely erupted. The video of that epic moment went viral, with more than 17 million views across WWE’s social media platforms in fewer than 12 hours.
The video was also a massive hit on YouTube, which continued Rey’s trend of being involved in some of WWE’s most viewed YouTube videos ever. Rey’s undeniable popularity has helped transform Dominik into a certified mega-heel who has drawn praise from Rey himself, from his fellow Judgment Day member Finn Balor and even Charlotte Flair.
Dominik’s metamorphosis from widely criticized son of a legend to one of WWE’s most despicable heels has been nothing short of amazing, and barely a week after Rey’s punch heard ‘round the world was a smashing success, so too was their WrestleMania 39 match.
No matter the outcome, Dominik is now positioned as a loathed villain, and as someone who’s still in his 20s, he should be a staple of the upper midcard—and perhaps eventually the main event—even once his father hangs up his boots.
In fact, WWE creative head Triple H is reportedly a huge supporter of Dominik and has plans to push him moving forward. In other words, WrestleMania 39 was just the beginning for Dom.