Originally Posted by Oxitron
Yea, Eddie died, but who was the next biggest face on Smackdown at the time? Taker was on hiatus (right?) and Eddie was to have a real proper face turn against Batista, who was going out temporarily for injury recoveries...
Then not long after they pushed Angle as a face, kind of, so they kinda split it to those two.
I have my own thoughts about it too, but Chavo, the guy who was originally given Eddie's position, respectfully declined, so Mysterio was given it. Chavo would NOT be friends with Rey if he took it in a disrespectful manner, so as far as we know Eddie could have told Rey that he thinks he's better than the low-card, etc, etc, and they may have thought "Eddie would've wanted it this way."
I'm pretty sure WWE chose Rey over Chavo, not because Chavo declined but because Chavo, while always a "good hand" has never drawn a dime, meanwhile Rey Mysterio has always been one of the biggest movers of merchandise.