Most wrestling fans know Rey Mysterio as the most famous masked wrestler from the Lucha school of wrestling in the world. But before the Master of 619 became a marquee performer in WWE, he was with the rival WCW brand headed by Eric Bischoff.
Now, the 1990s was the time when the 'Monday night war' was at its peak. WWE's Monday Night Raw and WCW's Monday Nitro were constantly competing for eyeballs and higher viewership. Both sides were willing to use every tactic to overcome their rivals.
In 1997, Mysterio was with WCW and emerging as a popular hi-flying wrestler. Then, an American tabloid, National Enquirer published a story claiming that Rey was having a relationship with Jennifer Aniston. The headline read "'Friends' star Jennifer Aniston flips for incredible hunk" and had the pictures of both Aniston and her supposed boyfriend.
There was a major problem with this story. The wrestler was already married. He tied the knot with Angie Gutierrez in 1996 and had his first child, Dominick, in 1997. There was a lot of speculation about the story at the time and many thought it was nothing but a publicity stunt by WCW to push Mysterio towards greater stardom.
The wrestler himself was surprised by this report. To uncover the truth about this whole issue, Eric Bischoff was asked to clarify on a YouTube show called 83 weeks. The former chief of WCW started answering the question by asserting that the claims of National Enquirer were absolutely true. He said Mysterio was "living large, living really, really large" at the time and Aniston wanted "some Latin flavour" in her life.
But when the interviewer asked Bischoff whether he was serious, the latter came clean and said the story was completely untrue. The former WWE RAW manager also revealed that the story was not a plant by him or, as far as his knowledge goes, by anyone in his now-defunct organisation. He claimed to have no idea how the story got generated.
"I am not sure (about how the story emerged). I wasn't involved in it. I can't imagine it. Nobody in our office, at that time it probably would have been Alan Sharpe, he had the best contacts outside Atlanta.
"But I don't think Alan ever had a contact with National Enquirer because we never engaged with them prior to that, we didn't engage with them after that. So, it had to come from somewhere. Or, maybe, they just made it all up. Who knows?"
Whatever may have been the case, Mysterio didn't seem to mind the rumour and it didn't have any adverse effect on his marriage. It also got him some good publicity. Everyone seems to have benefitted from it.