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Rey Mysterio’s return to the WWE at the 2018 Royal Rumble was a one-time appearance, but the door may be open for more, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com.

Last night at the WWE Royal Rumble, the former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion returned to a WWE ring for the first time in almost 4 years entering #27 in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match to a wild reception that, according to Johnson, WWE management took notice of. The reaction was MUCH different from his last appearance on WWE TV: a loss to Wade Barrett in front of a pro-Barrett crowd on the 4/7/2014 episode of Monday Night Raw the night after WrestleMania XXX, following a 12 year stint with the company. There had been on-and-off talks over the last year about a possible return with WWE looking for a full-time return, while Rey was looking to return on a part-time basis.

The standing ovation from the WWE Universe in Philadelphia was a stark contrast to his last Royal Rumble appearance in 2014, when he drew the ire of the audience in Pittsburgh when he entered at #30 and dashed their last-ditch hopes for an appearance from perennial underdog Daniel Bryan in that year’s Royal Rumble Match. It was an infamous turning point that led to a bizarro world scenario, with the crowd turning on Mysterio that night and for much of the remainder of his run.

Rey Mysterio was most recently seen on Lucha Underground Season 3, and was also in recent discussions with Impact Wrestling prior to his surprise appearance.

Tommy’s Thoughts: It was a welcome sight to see Rey back and getting a ton of love from Philly, even if might only be a one-off, looking in FANTASTIC shape. I had gotten the chance to see him at a Northeast Wrestling show over the summer headlined by Jack Swagger facing Cody Rhodes with their wives involved (those may be the luckiest men in wrestling today: I fell in love with Catalina Swagger that night!) and Rey was looking just as good back then, arguably in better shape than at any point in his WWE career. It’s scary how much he reminded me of his ECW days with how slim he is now. Seeing him at that show have an outstanding match with ROH’s Vinny Marseglia reminded me just how good he is when he can rest up, rehab his knees, and get some downtime between his matches.

Even if it’s only on a part-time basis, the WWE would certainly benefit from getting a renewed Rey on TV. Whether it’s putting him back to his home show with SmackDown, which would require less wrestling due to having a stacked roster that is lucky to get on-screen once a month outside the main event picture, or renewing a committing to 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division, from his performance in the Rumble match alone Rey Mysterio has proven that he still has a place in the WWE Universe.

Plus, it sure couldn’t hurt to keep a former world champion around.

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