The Best Little Guy Not Named Rey Mysterio
If you ask anyone who the greatest height deficient pro wrestler of all time is, they are going to say Rey Mysterio Jr. There is absolutely no doubt his name will be coming out of their mouths. That man has been giving us 30+ years of absolute brilliance in the ring so why would anyone’s name other than his come out.
So let’s pretend that Rey Mysterio isn’t that guy, who raises their hand as the second best wrestler standing well… short? I asked myself this question and sat with it. What would be the requirement for this prestigious accolade? First off they have to be Mysterio’s height or shorter, he set the bar so let’s keep it there. Much to my surprise Google list him at 5’6. Which honestly I thought would be more like 5’4 but I’ll let him have those two inches, he’s earned it.
That’s it height is the only requirement, well that and you have to be an absolute savant in the ring. So I wrote down a list of short wrestler’s names. A few of these men and women got disqualified for being too tall so it really helped narrow down the list. From there I narrowed it down to a top four + the winner for “Best Little Guy Not Named Rey Mysterio” award. Let’s see John Travolta try and say that one on national TV. (Sidenote: writer knowns its outdated)
Before I start I like to say several wrestlers who are considered short but aren’t Rey Mysterio short were thought to be in the running before heights were disclosed. Wrestlers like Daniel Bryan (5’10), Owen Hart (5’10) Crash Holly (5’9) & Matt Sydal (5’9). You all are worthy of the list but fortunately you’ve been blessed with a few more inches than the rest of us.
There will be no Hornswoggle, if you came to see where he ended up I apologize.
5. Samuray del Sol fka Kalisto 5’6
When I sat down to hash out this list Samuray del Sol’s name wasn’t on it, like I stated before I had a list of names written down but they just fell a bit tall. However I started to look at his track record and was like damn…maybe he does belong.
This is the only wrestler where I’ll list all of their accomplishments because I feel like it needs to be said out loud. This man has been an NXT tag team champion, a WWE Cruiserweight champion, a 2 time WWE United States champion, won the 2014 NXT Tag Team Contender tournament and has a Slammy for OMG Shocking Moment of the Year (2015). He also won the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup in 2012 & The King of Flight tournament in 2013.
I wrote these out to say he isn’t just some gimmick WWE used to sell masks, he can really go. Before he signed with WWE back in 2013 he was showcasing his high flying ability in PWG, EVOLVE & Dragon Gate USA. This wasn’t given to him because he was the last man lest he earned this spot and looks to continue to do great things post WWE.
4. Juventud Guerrera 5’5
Before he was just another stipulation on Wednesday night Juventud Guerrera was the next best thing since Rey Mysterio. Hell, the two even had a lengthy feud early into Guerrera’s career in AAA. His run in the WCW cruiserweight division is iconic but things after that get a little dicey.
Guerrera’s stint in WWE as part of the Mexicools is one I think both parties would like to forget. Guerrera always felt like next up when Mysterio moved on till it was clear he was not. I think the best comparison I can make for him is that of Andrew Wiggins. There was a time when the online NBA community saw Wiggins as the second coming of LeBron, till we didn’t. Likewise for Guerrera. It felt like we had another once in a lifetime talent when reality hit he was just really good at a certain thing.
3. Bayley 5’6
You know how you set the bar high? You become the first ever WWE Women’s Grand Slam Champion. Bayley’s resume speaks for itself, not only does she have awards from the likes of Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated but she was 2020’s female wrestler of the year and even though she’ll spend most of 2021 on injured reserve she is bound to crack the top five again.
I’m not sure there isn’t anything she hasn’t done. She continues to reinvent herself, she’s has classic matches, she’s won awards for her feuds, she’s done it solo and in a tag team, there just isn’t much outside of the main event of WrestleMania, which Bayley hasn’t done.
Bayley has put on classic matches (go back and watch Bayley vs Sasha Banks Takeover: Brooklyn from 2015) she has had classic runs as both heel and face and she has won feud of the year and tag team of the year
2. Sasha Banks 5’5
Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”. I feel like runner up unfairly has a stench to the title and that quote proves it. You can still be at the top of your craft and not be the best. If anything this list sure as hell proves it. Hell I battled with putting Bayley in this spot but gave Sasha the nod by splitting some hairs.
Banks has proven time and time again that she can handle the biggest of moments and shines while doing so. She has run the gamut in WWE. From Espy awards to being a WWE Grand Slam champion Banks has done it. Her personality mixed with her talent is what makes her a shot above the rest.
She has shown up and shown out more times than I can keep count. She continues to stack up great matches. Most recently her WrestleMania main event with Bianca Belair. Banks still has a lot left in the tank.
1. Jonathan Gresham 5’4
The winner of first and probably last “Best Little Guy Not Named Rey Mysterio” award is Jonathan Gresham coming in two inchs shorter than Mysterio at 5’4. While he isn’t greater than Rey Mysterio the window is certainly open for him. At only 33 years of age Gresham has a laundry list of wrestling accomplishments. Most notably being the Ring Of Honor’s Pure Wrestling Champion. The first of his kind since Bryan Danielson unified it back in 2006.
Gresham has been on a tear as of late which has generated a lot of talk about owning the label “best in the world”. Gresham recently spoke with Sean Ross Sapp about that and what it means to him. (Watch Here)
Gresham seems to have an eye for talent and has been creating something special with his work with The Foundation. 2021 was the start to his peak run, one that I don’t see ending any time soon.
Some matches to check out: Jonathan Gresham vs Starboy Charlie @ GCW Homecoming Weekend 2021. Day 2, Jonathan Gresham vs Masashi Takeda @ Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport. Jonathan Gresham vs Lee Moriarty @ GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4.