July 25, 2005
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Rey Mysterio Jr. © vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Great American Bash 2004
June 24, 2004
What a match! I like the opening sequence a lot, with Rey busting out La Magistral early on and getting a nearfall pretty quickly. Chavo's ultra-low sunset flip is cool too, that may be the lowest one I've seen. Being really blown away by that move reminded me of the first time I saw one of Eddy Guerrero's low dropkicks. I can't imagine how hard that is to execute. The match starts out as a battle of wills, and that theme continues through the match. At first, each is fighting over control of his opponent's arm. There's a really great face/heel dynamic going on, with Chavo doing a better job of keeping the audience involved than I've ever seen from him. The coolness of it all is that every time they end up working any type of sequence, it always ends right back where it started, with Rey in control of Chavo's arm. Nice transitional move with Rey going up top and injuring his knee, giving Chavo a chance to do some terrific Flair-like leg work. The rule of threes is in effect here, as Chavo keeps placing Rey's leg on the ropes so he can drop his weight on it, and the third time he tries it, Rey uses his good leg to kick Chavo out of the ring. Fuck Zach Gowen, Rey Mysterio is the best one-legged wrestler ever in this match, taking awesome spin bumps off of Chavo's kicks. He even sells the leg *while* running the ropes. The attention to detail shown there is very cool. Whether it was intended or not, Chavo doing the Brock Lock on Rey mid-ring is some great continuity, going back to him losing out big in his world title match against Brock Lesnar in San Diego. This time, Rey gets out of it, and I love the next spot too, with Chavo executing a vertical suplex into a tree of woe position. That's an inventive spot, one I had never seen. He misses a blind charge soon enough though and reinjures his bicep. Michael Cole rocks in this match on commentary -- pointing out that there are two stories in play here, Chavo's injured bicep and Rey's injured knee. Both sell consistently without dragging down the pace at all.
Chavo executes a Gory special, which gets a really good nearfall and plays into the finish nicely, as there he would try it again and Rey would counter it this time. I also love Chavo countering the West Coast Pop into a single leg crab, which is sold and worked tenaciously. The only drawback to it is that Rey "heroically" reaches the ropes. This is more an indictment of WWE style, but traditionally, reaching for the ropes or being in the ropes is a heel spot, and WWE has made it something it was never intended to be where wrestlers try with everything they have to get to the ropes. The right psychology should be that the babyface won't take the easy way out and instead counters the hold, while the heel is quick to get there. And technically, wrestling rules have always been that you have to be in the ropes for a hold to be broken, NOT reaching for them. Anyway, that's a small gripe, and this was just a convenient time to point it out. My other problem with this match is how contrived the 619 setup looks. Rey got a huge pop doing the move in his first match, and in typical WWE fashion, they want it to be a signature spot of his and it gets run into the ground. It's something that happens a lot -- it happened when X-Pac used the Bronco Buster, it happened when Rikishi would do the stinkface and it happens when Jericho does the boxing shuffle before doing the vegamatic.
Nice finishing reversal, as Rey counters Chavo's second attempt at the Gory Special in what is really the ultimate revenge spot, as he retains the cruiserweight title. I'd probably call this one of Rey's must-see matches (not sure where I'd rank it overall since there's still essential Rey I haven't seen) and Chavo's best match I've seen, period.
**** -- and would possibly be higher if not for the limitations of the WWE style that everyone in the company has to work around.