July 26, 2011
The Powerdriver Review
Rey Mysterio: The Life of a Masked Man
Released: July 12, 2011
Respecting the Mask: Believe it or not, Rey doesn’t wear a mask 24/7.
Rey Mysterio vs. Batista – (Smackdown, 12/18/09)
Winner gets a World title shot against the Undertaker on Christmas night. Batista puts on the pounding on Rey to start, but then lets him get on the move with a springboard dropkick that sends him to the floor. Springboard seated senton connects! Rey keeps Batista on the floor and goes for a moonsault off the apron, but gets caught and driven into the barricade. Time for commercials. When we come back, Batista is still in control in the ring working the back. When Rey is loose, Batista shuts him down with big boots and clotheslines. A bunch of hard slams by Batista. He gets caught in the corner, so Rey tries a hurracanrana and fails. The dude is just TOO big. Batista flies down into a dropkick. Springboard seated senton is followed by the wheelbarrow bulldog for 1-2-NO! Rey DROPS THE DIME and gets 1-2-NO! Batista blocks the Buzzsaw kick, but cant prevent the swinging DDT for another nearfall. 6-1-NINER connects, but the Springboard Splash hits knees. He sets up for the DEMONBOMB, but Rey slides under his legs. As he comes off the ropes, Batista catches him for a Black Hole Slam for 1-2-NO! Another DEMONBOMB attempt, but Rey punches back on Batista and headscissors him to the floor. Now Batista is PISSED! He grabs a chair, but thinks better of it and runs back inside to SPEAR Rey for 1-2-NO! Batista picks up Rey for a Spinebuster, but Rey counters into a small package for the 1-2-3. (12:29 shown) A pretty unrealistic finish that left me wanting a better one. As history has taught us, Batista interrupted Rey’s title match on Christmas night, which led to a cage match a few weeks later where Rey won the chance to face the Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. **¼
Rey Mysterio vs. Shawn Michaels – (Smackdown, 1/29/10)
Shawn says it’s a foregone conclusion that the Undertaker will still be the world champ after the Royal Rumble, but Rey takes offense to that statement and looks to beat some respect into HBK. Lots of chops in this match from Shawn. He avoids the 6-1-9 early and goes back to chopping. Rey makes him pay for trying another 6-1-9. Shawn tries to nail him with SWEET CHIN MUSIC, but Rey ducks and headscissors HBK to the floor as we go to break. When we return, Mysterio is working over Shawn’s knee. HBK fights back with chops. What’s with this Ric Flair offense? Rey heads up top, but gets tripped up into the tree of woe. Shawn grabs the Modified Figure Four, but Rey makes the ropes. Rey CHANNELS THE SPIRIT OF OWEN HART and fights back with an enziguri! Shawn comes back with the flying forearm and kips-up. The inverted atomic drop is countered with a headscissors! Springboard seated senton gets 1-2-NO! Springboard splash hits knees. With Rey laid out, HBK hits the Flying Elbow. He tunes up the band, but Rey stops SWEET CHIN MUSIC before it can happen with a rolling kick right into position for the 6-1-9. He hits the move, but springboards into SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Here comes Batista to SPEAR Shawn away for the DQ. (11:42 shown) As he looks to destroy both men, Triple H makes the save and goes over the top rope with Batista. Just as the show looks to be over, BONG! The lights go out and when the lights come up, the Undertaker is in the ring to DOUBLE-CHOKESLAM Rey and HBK! Decent enough, but not the dream match you think it could be. **½
Coping with Injuries: His most well-known injury is his bad ACL in his left leg. Rey discusses his most recent bad injury he suffered which was his torn bicep in the early part of 2008 which caused him to miss WrestleMania 24.
World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio – (Royal Rumble 2010)
Rey defeated Batista in a cage match to get here. Mysterio corners Taker to start and unloads, so UT grabs him by the throat and throws him to the floor. UT blocks a springboard with a soupbone and gives Rey the legdrop on the apron. Rey counters the Chokeslam into a 6-1-9, but UT catches the move and sets up for the TOMBSTONE. Rey makes UT drop him before the damage is done with knees to the face and then kicks Taker in the head. He tries another springboard, but UT sends him down with a big boot. AWESOME. On the floor, UT misses a big boot up against the ringpost, so Rey uses his quickness advantage and baseball slides into UT’s knee. UT stops a hurracanrana from the apron and tries for the LAST RIDE, but Rey slips out and lands back on the apron to deliver an Asai Moonsault. UT is bleeding a little bit from the nose. UT grabs Rey by the throat and DRILLS him back into the barricade. Back in, UT hoists Rey up by the arm and drops him on the top rope. Rey comes back with an reverse DDT. Taker SITS UP, but Rey dropkicks him down and DROPS THE DIME for 1-2-NO! Rey avoids the LAST RIDE again and hits one 6-1-9 before a springboard dropkick sends UT into position for a second one. He goes for the WEST COAST POP, but that’s a big mistake. UT catches him and delivers the LAST RIDE for real and gets the 1-2-3. (11:09) Was there really any doubt? Undertaker made Rey play *his* game and came out on top. Good stuff. ***¼
Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler – (Smackdown, 2/5/10)
This is the final Smackdown elimination chamber qualifying match. Ziggler is a total douche to start, but a tilt-a-whirl headscissors takes Dolph to the floor. Rey follows out with a pescado. Back in, Rey flies down into a dropkick for 1-2-NO! Ziggler charges into a drop toehold to set up a 6-1-NINER, but he ducks out before the damage is done. Commercials! AND WE’RE BACK! Ziggler is in control inside the ring. Superplex gets two. Rey fights back with a springboard seated senton and then delivers the Buzzsaw kick. That gets two. Wheelbarrow bulldog scores another nearfall. Rey tries a springboard crossbody, but Ziggler counters into a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Famouser gets two. Ziggler goes for a back suplex, but Rey blocks into a victory roll of sorts for the 1-2-3. (7:26 shown) Not bad, but the crowd didn’t seem into it and then the finish came out of nowhere. **¼
Alone Time: His favorite gimmick match in WWE was his first ladder match with Eddie Guerrero over the custody of Dominic. Yeah, nothing quite like settling a child custody case by climbing a ladder. Another favorite was the Smackdown elimination chamber match in 2010. What he does when he’s not being Rey Mysterio, we will never know because for some reason this chapter isn’t working for me.
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk – (Over the Limit, 5/23/10)
Punk puts his long flowing pure locks of hair on the line here. If Punk wins, Rey has to join his Straight Edge Society. Before they begin, Punk tries to get Rey to say the Straight Edge pledge. Apparently he doesn’t, so Punk kicks him in the gut and we are off and running. He continues to recite the pledge in between stomping Rey. To the floor, Punk splats off missing a pescado. Rey slides out and headscissors Punk into the barricade. Back in, Punk stops a 6-1-9 and flings Mysterio onto the barber chair! AWESOME. We have a match stoppage as Punk is BLEEDING from the forehead. Was Taker exempt from this treatment? You can clearly see on Punk’s face as they try to stop the bleeding that he thinks this is stupid. Once the trainer leaves and the match continues, Punk UNLEASHES on Rey to make up for lost time. He throws Rey into the barricade a few times and then gives him a snap suplex on the floor. Back in, an Eddie Guerrero Hilo gets two. Punk punishes Rey with a headscissors on the mat. He starts dropping forearms on Rey while reciting the pledge. AWESOME. Mysterio fights back with a Code Red and a springboard crossbody gets two. Springboard seated senton followed by another spinning senton-type move for 1-2-NO! Punk prevents another 6-1-9 and delivers Welcome to Chicago, MF’er for 1-2-NO! Rey tries to counter the GTS with a hurracanrana, but Punk blocks with a buckle bomb. Steiner Bulldog gets two. ROUNDHOUSE KICK gets 1-2-NO! Rey springboards into the GTS, but Rey counters *that* into a 6-1-9! Springboard splash, but Punk sits up! AWESOME. Punk lays back on Rey, but Mysterio rolls him back onto the mat for the 1-2-3! (13:48) Classic finish as Punk got too overconfident there. I don’t think the interruption really hurt the match because of Punk’s explosion once the trainer cleared out. They worked around the circumstances and delivered what would make sense if wrestling were real. When they *were* wrestling, they didn’t let up for a moment and more than delivered. The hooded SES member jumps the rail and attacks Rey. Luke Gallows and Serena head down as well. Gallows pulls out two pairs of handcuffs intended for Rey, but then Kane runs down and cleans house. All except for Punk, who takes a chokeslam. Now Punk gets handcuffed to the ring ropes and loses his hair virginity. So much for purity! ***¾
“I Can’t Do It Solo”: He talks about his connection with his fanbase who are mostly kids. When you see him go down the aisle to connect with the ones wearing masks in the front row, he makes sure to give them a word of encouragement and tells them he can’t win without them. Now that his kids are growing up, Rey realizes how important it is to be a role model.
World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk vs. Big Show – (Fatal 4-Way, 6/20/10)
Haha, Jack Swagger as world champ. As to not show off his own shaved head, Punk wears a mask. Big Show owns everybody and everybody tries to gang up on him until finally Punk and Rey work together to rid the ring of the big guy. That leaves three to compete over the belt. When Rey and Punk remember they hate each other, Swagger takes advantage and runs them down. Rey goes for the 6-1-9 on Swagger, but Punk catches Rey with a springboard flying body press for 1-2-NO! Punk keeps both men at bay – each in an opposite corner. Punk blocks a wheelbarrow bulldog, but Swagger runs up behind them for a THREE-MAN GERMAN SUPLEX! Swagger goes for the DOCTORBOMB, but Punk kicks him away. Rey goes for 6-1-9 on Punk, but Show wakes up and throws Rey onto the announce table. HE’S ALIVE! He wants the SHOWSTOPPER, but everybody is on the floor. Show grabs Punk, but Rey dropkicks the steps into him and then delivers a 6-1-9 around the pole! Punk springboard planchas down on Show to take him out. I can’t believe that actually worked. Swagger stops Rey’s springboard craziness with a big boot. Punk shoots in and hits a quick GTS on Swagger, but he can’t capitalize on the cover. And the arena goes red as Kane heads out wheeling a coffin. He’s looking for the dirty rat who put his brother in a comatose state. He thinks its CM Punk (who beat Kane to be in this match) and tries to put him in the coffin. Luke Gallows heads down to save his savior WHICH IS IRONIC, AM I RIGHT? Kane chases them off. And then there were three. Just like that, Rey hits the 6-1-9 on Swagger and delivers the Springboard Splash for the 1-2-3. (10:28) Folks, we’ve got a NEW world champ. A little bit of fun to set up Rey’s big moment. A month later, Kane would win the MITB and cash it in on Rey in the same night to capture the world title. **½
Opportunity Knocks: Shawn Michaels was the first guy to break the door down for smaller guys to make it in WWE. Rey Mysterio is one of the many to have the opportunity to take the brass ring (or the big gold belt) so that WWE will continue putting their faith in smaller guys to succeed for their company.
Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio – (Smackdown, 10/8/10)
Rey looks for revenge on the UNDEFEATED who fractured his wrist using the Cross Armbreaker. Del Rio makes a mistake of diving after Rey and ends up on the floor where Rey makes a fool of him. He takes a drop toehold into the steps and then Rey baseball slides into Del Rio’s arm which is wrapped around the ringpost. While Del Rio is on the floor, Rey dives out on top of him as we go to commercial. When we return, Del Rio slides out to avoid the 6-1-9 and seeks some encouragement from his personal ring announcer. Back in, Rey has hurting in the corner. Split-legged moonsault gets two. Del Rio stops Rey up top with an enziguri that knocks him to the floor. Back in, Del Rio gets two. Another step-up enziguri gets two. Rey comes back with a sunset flip powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Buzzsaw kick gets two. Springboard seated senton connects, but Rey runs right into a powerslam for two. Back suplex from Del Rio gets two. Del Rio misses another step-up enziguri and gets caught in the 6-1-9. Ricardo Rodriquez distracts Rey to prevent the move, but then Rey headscissors Del Rio into Rodriquez and hits a 6-1-NINER followed by the flying splash for the 1-2-3. (10:21 shown) Solid enough. Not sure they worked the arm psychology enough though since that should have been the story of the match, but still an enjoyable piece of work. ***
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes – (WrestleMania XXVII)
Rey hit Cody with a 6-1-9 and broke his nose back in January while wearing a knee brace to make him no longer suitable to be seen in public – according to Cody. Rey wears a Captain America outfit this year. I would use the excuse that sound goes straight up and you can’t hear the true crowd reaction, but this is Cody Rhodes we’re talking about. Cole says that Cody Rhodes is allowed to wear the face mask while he’s wrestling because its been approved by the board of commissioners. How long has it been since you’ve a ‘board of commissioners’ comment? Rhodes is all over Rey to start. In a tribute to his old tag team championship partner Hardcore Holly, he delivers an Alabama Slam for two. Cody headbutts Rey up top and delivers a pretty darn cool stalling superplex for 1-2-NO! CROSS RHODES fails as Rey armdrags Cody to the floor. Rhodes ducks the baseball slide, but takes a tilt-a-whirl headscissors into the ring apron. Back inside, a seated senton connects and a fancy rollup gets two. Rey goes for the mask, so Cody delivers a wheelbarrow suplex for two. The 6-1-9 gets caught and Cody catapults Rey into the second rope for another nearfall. Cody takes off Rey’s knee brace, but Rey makes him pay with a moonsault press for two. Now Cody’s mask is off. 6-1-9 is delivered. The flying splash was supposed to hit knees, but Rey settles for a Buzzsaw kick. Rey puts on the face mask and hits a springboard flying headbutt for 1-2-NO! Cody rolls out and grabs Rey’s knee brace to block a suicide dive. Back in, CROSS RHODES gets the win. (11:58) I am surprised that the crowd seemed to care more about Cody as the match went on. I did like that they played off the face mask and the knee brace angles and worked that into the finish. Decent match, but certainly not great by any means. **½
Fantasy Warfare: When Rey’s done with wrestling, he wants to do CARTOONS. Actually, that makes some sense for him. Past and present, who would he want to face that he never got a chance to wrestle? Past, the original Tiger Mask and the Dynamite Kid. Presently, he would want to have a match with either Triple H or Stone Cold Steve Austin. As far as the future goes, he wants to train his son and have a match with him – if wrestling is the field he chooses. Good luck with that, Dominic.
Going Home: More Matt Striker interview stuff with Rey Mysterio. No surprise there, but Rey is HUGE in Mexico.
Standing Ovation: At the time, Rey didn’t know that the Great American Bash was a PPV. If he had known, he would have FREAKED OUT. Being in the locker room, all the top WCW stars were looking at him wondering who he was. After his debut match with Dean Malenko, he came backstage and everyone was giving them a standing ovation, which is a pretty surprising story considering the politics of WCW.
Final Thoughts: I really do enjoy Rey Mysterio and have since I first saw his WCW debut in 1996. However, they now have released three DVD sets for the guy and I think that’s one too many. It’s an exhaustive set, but also an EXHAUSTING set to sit through. If you really want the best of Rey Mysterio that truly defines his career, I would pick up the first two sets and leave this one behind unless you are just a super Rey fan – like someone who owns a Mysterio mask and wears it around the house. That guy should get this set. Otherwise, don’t worry with it. I’m going with a thumbs in the middle as of course there’s nothing offensive about the set, but it’s just not truly filled with all his greatest achievements. Plus, I found Matt Striker very strange and weird as the interview guy – almost too interested in every word Rey had to say.