WWE 2K22 has finally confirmed this year's cover star, and it's none other than the legendary luchador Rey Mysterio.
While some are surprised by the move, it's clear that WWE 2K22 cover star Rey Mysterio is the perfect selection as they revive the franchise.
Rey Mysterio revealed as the WWE 2K22 cover star
For some fans, it was a surprising move to go with the legend, partly because he's not been a major factor in the World Championship picture for years.
Those that primarily know him as Dominik Mysterio's father and tag team partner may not instantly realize the long-term impact and influence he's had on the industry.
Rey Mysterio isn't just a former World Heavyweight Champion in WWE, and his longevity and legacy over the last three decades make selecting him as WWE 2K22 cover star a no-brainer.
WWE 2K22 is also looking for a hard reset after the failures of WWE 2K20 and cancellation of WWE 2K21, and Rey Mysterio now gets to be a big part of trying to once again capture what has made wrestling games great in the past.
Rey Mysterio has influenced multiple generations of wrestling games
While he's only 47 years old today, Rey Mysterio has been wrestling since April of 1989 and and was making waves in ECW as far back as 1995.
It was with WCW that Mysterio continued to take off, and that also happened to be the first year he was featured in a wrestling video game.
WCW vs nWo: World Tour was released on Nintendo 64 in late 1997, and one man on that game's 40+ wrestler roster was a young Rey Misterio Jr.
That was only the beginning as Mysterio has been featured in over two dozen wrestling games since that first appearance, but this is the first time he's getting to grace the cover.
Multiple generations of wrestling fans, and wrestling game fans who may not have kept up with the wrestling product since those earlier games, still know exactly who Rey Mysterio is.
His presence harkens back to another era when Nintendo 64 and PlayStation set the tone for wrestling games for years to come, including the eventual arrival of the SmackDown vs. Raw titles and their introduction of GM Mode.
Rey Mysterio is one of the only active competitors who was featured in those GM Mode era games, and as such it's very fitting to have him on the cover as MyGM revives that fan-favorite game mode.
Rey Mysterio vs. La Oscuridad signals his enduring international presence
In late 2021, Rey Mysterio spiked interest from fans when he began teasing a major announcement that would change the history of Rey Mysterio forever.
While there was speculation about him passing the mask down to Dominik Mysterio and early guesses that he could be the WWE 2K22 cover star, the reveal ended up announcing a new animated series.
Rey Mysterio officially partnered with Cartoon Network Latin America to craft an original animated series debuting later in 2022 that features Rey Mysterio.
Officially dubbed Rey Mysterio vs. La Oscuridad in the Spanish language version and Rey Mysterio vs. The Darkness in the English language version, the show will offer a new story deeply rooted in lucha libre culture.
Rey Mysterio has been a crossover star with international appeal for decades, and he is a Mexican-American icon alongside WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero, who passed away in 2005.
No superstar in WWE today appeals to as many different people, both internationally and generationally, as Rey Mysterio can.
There is no doubt Mysterio will be a WWE Hall of Famer when his career concludes, but his influence on Mexican-American culture, lucha libre in the United States, and the wrestling industry as a whole is even greater.
As much as we, like others, may have hoped for a name like Sasha Banks or Big E to get the WWE 2K22 cover, there's really no arguing with Mysterio as their selection.