Chula Vista native Oscar Gutiérrez, known around the world as Rey Mysterio, joined the WWE Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles Friday.
"Thank you for letting me be break the mold of what a superstar should look like," he said to a roaring crowd.
In his induction speech, the wrestler shared the story of his early days in the business, tearing up several times as he spoke, especially as fans chanted, "Thank you, Rey."
Mysterio's achievements in wrestling include the titles of world heavyweight champion and WWE champion, but his career started as a teenager in Tijuana. Outside the ring, he has achieved global fame and helped to popularize the lucha libre style of wrestling in the U.S. with his soaring fighting style and colorful masks.
All the while, the luchador has represented his hometown with a signature finishing move called "the 619." During Friday's ceremony, he was introduced as "San Diego's favorite son."
Standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall, his height is part of his persona.
"Rey's only weakness was that he wasn't as big as everyone else, but he turned that into a strength," said WWE superstar Randy Orton during Mysterio's introduction.
"Rey took advantage of his small size with having crazy athletic ability," wrestler Hulk Hogan said in a pre-recorded interview during the ceremony.
Mysterio joins stars like Hogan, The Undertaker, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Mr. T in the Hall of Fame.
"It's been a long time deserved," said fellow Hall of Famer Kurt Angle at the ceremony . "Rey Mysterio is the best lucha wrestler I've ever wrestled in my whole entire life, and I love him like a brother. Very proud of him."
Tim White, Stacy Keibler, Andy Kaufman and The Great Muta were also inducted into the Hall of Fame at the event.
Mysterio still wrestles professionally — he can be seen this weekend during WrestleMania — and has been joined in the field by his son Dominik, who is also from San Diego .
This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .
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