Why Mexican megastar Sin Cara will never succeed in WWE
One word can describe Sin Cara's career thus far in the WWE ― botched.
His in-ring work has been botched. His health has been botched. His judgment has been botched.
I was as excited as anyone when WWE signed him. He was the biggest draw in Mexico, where he's known as Mistico. The fanfare he was bringing added to the power of the machine that is WWE, and I thought there was great potential.
Boy, was I wrong. The only part of his career that hasn't been botched was his press conference announcing to the world that WWE had signed him. It went off without a problem.
Countless miscues in his matches stood out immediately. A wellness policy violation in July 2011 got him suspended for 30 days. He's suffered three notable injuries: a patellar tendon rupture in November 2011, a knee injury in December 2012, and most recently, he dove to the outside of the ring and suffered a finger injury, then stopped his own match.
He STOPPED HIS OWN MATCH. We're talking about a genre and company that has seen guys with broken necks, limbs and noses continue on and at least get to a finish of the match. It may be a different finish than originally planned, might not look good, but they FINISHED.
His continued reasons of being off television has made it impossible to gain momentum, because he's become a risk for WWE. You don't want to put valuable storyline time in building something around him given his track record.
Sin Cara's one feud in WWE has been with himself. WWE dressed another wrestler like Sin Cara and called him Sin Cara Negro. It was not riveting television.
Hindsight is 20/20, and we can now see a lot of problems. I wonder if WWE ever took them into consideration.
• Problem 1: His inability to speak clear English. The ability to communicate well is a big thing considering how important it can be working with someone in the ring. WWE has commonly put him in the ring with other Spanish-speaking wrestlers such as Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Primo, Epico and Hunico (who played Sin Cara Negro). Referee Rod Zapata is the official for nearly all of his matches because he speaks fluent Spanish.
• Problem 2: The mask. His name means “without face,” but that goes against what WWE is all about. They want emotion. They want facial expressions. They want you to play to the camera. Sin Cara can't do any of that because we can't see one bit of his face with the mask he wears. Mysterio's face can at least be partially seen, and his body language is so good you can tell what he is feeling.
• Problem 3: His style. Professional wrestling in the United States and Canada is all about the left. You work the left side of the body. When a wrestler is selling a hurt arm or hurt leg, it's the left one. Wrestlers are always moving counter-clockwise in the ring. This isn't the same in Mexico. There, they work the right side.
But in Mexico, the lucha libre style is much more like a bar graph. Things go up and down. The standard motions and chain wrestling in America is different than the standard is in Mexico.
This clash in styles highlights the issues of problems one and two where there is difficulty communicating and selling emotion to the audience.
At least Sin Cara does look like a super-hero. He's very kid-friendly visually on television and with merchandise. But how long can that remain important at the sacrifice of injuries, poor matches and a disgruntled locker room?
Sin Cara vs. Rey Mysterio has been the match WWE and the fans wanted to see put together since having both Mexican stars on the roster. They've had since April 2011, and it still hasn't been able to get done. The two were a tag team for a brief period, but that's it.
If it ever happens, it will be a good match. The two can work together and all three problems Sin Cara faces goes out the window if he has Mysterio in the ring to lead him.
Sin Cara came into WWE meaning “without face.” By the time he leaves, that will be nothing more than a punchline used by disappointed American fans.
Justin LaBar's pro wrestling column appears Mondays and Fridays on TribLive.com.