Monday, 2 March 2015

X-Rey of Mysterio in WWE


Yes, ladies and gentleman, Roy Mysterio has left the WWE after 13 years with the company. So what better way to celebrate Mr. Mysterio's tenure in WWE that saw him pick up twelve separate title reigns, by looking at the best matches from each year of his WWE stop. One rule - No one other than Mysterio is allowed to appear more than once on the list. Let's see if our list matches with yours.

2002 - with Edge vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit - No Mercy, 20th October.

It was in a tag team with Edge that Mysterio found his initial success in WWE, picking up the WWE Tag Team Championship on 5th November edition of Smackdown. However, it was this terrific tag team contest that stood out in Mysterio's first year in WWE. A true classic, up there as one of the best tag team matches WWE has ever put on, all four men work hard in a back and forth match, choc-full with dramatic near-falls and inventive double team offense. A match that every wrestling fan should see.

2003 - with Billy Kidman vs. The World's Great Tag Team - Vengeance, 27th July.

Beginning to find singles success with his first run as Cruiserweight Champion, and whilst matches with Matt Hardy Version 1.0 and Tajiri lit up the Cruiserweight division, it was within a tag team where Mysterio produced his strongest match of the year. Partnering with his old Filthy Animals stablemate Billy Kidman, this is a strong tag outing, fought at a fast pace throughout and with plenty of both solid technical wrestling and awe-inspiring high-flying moves, such as Kidman's Springboard Shooting Star Press to the outside onto Haas and Benjamin. Only a slight slip in final few minutes stop this bout being thought of in the same category as the previous match, but it's certainly still one to give a watch.

2004 - vs. Chavo Guerrero - The Great American Bash, 27th June.

Picking up his second and third Cruiserweight Championship reigns in 2004, and having strong bouts with the likes of Tajiri, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Luther Reigns, Billy Kidman, Spike Dudley and Booker T, it's this contest with Chavo Guerrero that I've decided to highlight from 2004. Not your typical Cruiserweight encounter, this match is full of psychology done well, with Mysterio showing the mask is no obstacle for his selling ability. Turning an indifferent crowd around by the end of the match is also an impressive feat.

2005 - vs. Eddie Guerrero in a Steel Cage Match - Friday Night Smackdown, 9th September.

Managing to pull of the impressive feat of winning the Tag Team titles with three different partners (Rob Van Dam, Eddie Guerrero and Batista) in the same year, Rey continued putting in strong efforts against the likes of Kurt Angle, Chavo Guerrero, John Bradshaw Layfield, Orlando Jordan and MNM, it was Mysterio's feud with Eddie Guerrero that lit up his 2005. The feud last for months and culminated with this Steel Cage masterpiece. A superb television contest, Mysterio and Guerrero remind us that even when handed a poor storyline involving Roy's son Dominic, it's wrestling ability that will shine through.

2006 - vs. Sabu - One Night Stand, 11th June.

Whilst many would consider Mysterio winning the World Heavyweight Championship to be the highlight of his career, the booking of Mysterio as Champion was questionable at best and that did have an effect on the quality of his matches. Whilst still having decent outings with Randy Orton, Finlay, John Bradshaw Layfield, Kurt Angle and Chavo Guerrero, this outing with Sabu typifies Mysterio's reign as Champion. Whilst still a fairly exciting bout, filled with some cool spots, a silly finish hurts the match and both men's momentum. 

2007 - vs. Finlay - Friday Night Smackdown, 9th November.

Beginning a long spell without a title, Mysterio's knee injuries really began to effect his performances. This bout with Finlay however manages to tell a strong story of the no-nonsense brawler against the flashy high-flying. Paced perfectly, this is somewhat of a hidden gem, if you can find it online in better quality than 380p let me know. Beside this match, only a bout with Montel Vontavious Porter is particularly notable from 2007. 

2008 - vs. CM Punk - Armageddon, 14th December.

Edge and Evan Bourne proved to be decent opponents in 2008, whilst a bicep injury kept him out for most of the year. But it's this face vs. face contest with later rival CM Punk that showed signs of a resurgence from Mysterio. Some superb sequences of reversals and lovely near falls, as the pair battle for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. A dream match that lived up to the hype. Their 2010 feud is also worth a watch for Punk's alone.

2009 - vs. Chris Jericho - The Bash, 28th June.

A resurgence of sorts came in 2009, with two reigns as Intercontinental Champion as well a series of exciting contests with a strong Smackdown roster including Jeff Hardy, Kane, Edge, Dolph Ziggler, John Morrison and The Big Show. It was his feud with Chris Jericho that really put Mysterio back on the map, peaking with this Mask vs. Title bout. Arguably the best match of Mysterio's career, all fast paced action, big spots, reversals and false finishes, this is a modern classic. Superb stuff. The two's series of matches should be required viewing, in what was a very underrated programme.

2010 - vs. Shawn Michaels - Friday Night Smackdown, 29th January.

Another run with the World Heavyweight Championship, as well as strong bouts with Batista, The Undertaker, CM Punk, Darren Young, Luke Gallows, Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, Edge and Kane, it was within the context of this "Dream Match", as part of Michaels "Retirement Tour" that Mysterio reminded us of what he could do in the ring. An exciting back and forth contest, it's a shame that this match is used to build other matches, as it feels like it's just about to get going when it's cut short. A taster of what the pair could have done in their prime.

2011 - with John Morrison & Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio & The Awesome Truth - SummerSlam, 14th August.

Mysterio's last year of really being able to go, even then this was usually restricted to multi-man matches like the one I looked at here. Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, Sin Cara and The Miz all had quality bouts with Mysterio and he even held the WWE Championship for a matter of minutes, but it was clear that injuries had taken their toll on the Biggest Little Man. A fun trios match, Kingston and Morrison take most of the load of the match for Mysterio. A burst of offence from Mysterio during the finish is about all we get here.

2013 - with The Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. The Real Americans - TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, 15th December 2015

After disappearing off the radar almost completely in 2012, Mysterio did manage to take part in this, his last good match in WWE. Mysterio's involvement is limited until near the end, where he puts together a decent sequence with Cody Rhodes. 

Mysterio had an impressive career in WWE, with multiple title reigns and a number of impressive matches. Whilst injuries hampered his last few years in the WWE, he's still popular and a big merchandise seller. A rumoured move to both AAA and Lucha Underground could be huge, but I can't be the only one concerned about Rey's age and previous injuries. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Rey all the best going forward.

Want to catch Mysterio in person? He'll be at 4FW on 19th July, tickets available here -

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