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Grimmas

Rey Mysterio Jr.

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Top 20 lock. A guy who I could easily see in someone's top 10. Super-fun flier in his early days, but to me the bulk of his candidacy rests on his WWE work. Incredible wrestler who continually adopted to his different roles in the company and his deteriorating physical ability. Wily Rey vs. big men is one of my favorite match types of all time. Had plenty of fun workrate stuff, including the 2009 Jericho series which, work-wise, might be the best thing Jericho's ever been involved in. A huge number of awesome TV match. Even during his recent, very short, return, he was a solid worker with a great sense for timing. 2002-present, one of the smartest workers of all time.

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I think I mentioned this in another thread, and it got no-sold (maybe deservedly so), but what do people think of the omnipresent Rey match trope of his opponent trying to sunset flip him, only for Rey to roll through and kick them in the face? I've seen 300lb guys trying to sunset flip Rey, and guys trying to sunset flip him in battle royals. I may have brought this up in relation to the Flair going up top just to get thrown off talking point. A lot of people gripe about the 619, but I don't think I've heard anyone talk about that spot before.

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Someone needs to suggest WWE Rey Mysterio matches to check out. I know I've enjoyed the ones I've seen in the past, but not to the extent that he's top 10 all time. I will keep an open mind about it, but I'd like to do some match watching.

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Someone needs to suggest WWE Rey Mysterio matches to check out. I know I've enjoyed the ones I've seen in the past, but not to the extent that he's top 10 all time. I will keep an open mind about it, but I'd like to do some match watching.

 

Off the top of my head...

 

Rey vs Chavo, Smackdown 25th July 2002 (debut)

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Summerslam 2002

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 12th Sept 2002

Rey vs Chris Benoit, Smackdown 3rd Oct 2002

Rey & Edge vs Angle & Benoit, No Mercy 2002

Rey & Edge vs Angle & Benoit (2/3 Falls), Smackdown 7th Nov 2002

Rey vs Eddie Guerrero, Smackdown 14th Nov 2002

Rey & Edge vs Angle & Benoit vs Los Guerreros, Survivor Series 2002

 

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 23rd Jan 2003

Rey vs Matt Hardy, Smackdown 5th June 2003

Rey & Kidman vs WGTT, Vengeance 2003

Rey vs Tajiri, Smackdown 4th Sept 2003

Rey vs Tajiri, No Mercy 2003

Rey vs Brock Lesnar, Smackdown 11th December 2003

 

Rey vs Tajiri, Smackdown 1st Jan 2004

Rey vs Eddie Guerrero, Smackdown 18th March 2004

Rey vs Jamie Noble, Velocity 1st May 2004

Rey vs Chavo Guerrero, Great American Bash 2004

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 26th August 2004

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 28th Oct 2004

 

The entire Rey vs Eddie 2005 feud: SD 6th Jan, WM21, Judgment Day, SD 23rd June, GAB, Summerslam (Custody Ladder Match), SD 9th Sept (Cage)

Rey vs JBL, Smackdown 7th April 2005

Rey vs Shawn Michaels, Raw 14th Nov 2005

Rey & Dave vs MNM, Smackdown 16th Dec 2005

Rey & Dave vs MNM, Smackdown 30th Dec 2005

 

Rey vs Mark Henry, Smackdown 20th Jan 2006

Rey vs Mark Henry, Smackdown 27th Jan 2006

Rey vs Randy Orton, Smackdown 7th April 2006

Rey vs JBL, Judgment Day 2006

Rey vs JBL, 26th May 2006

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 2nd June 2006

Rey vs Sabu, One Night Stand 2006

 

Rey vs Finlay, 9th Nov 2007

 

Rey & Shawn vs Miz & Morrison, Raw 17th Nov 2008

Rey vs Punk, Armageddon 2008

 

Raw Elimination Chamber, No Way Out 2009

Rey vs Chris Jericho feud: Judgment Day, Extreme Rules, The Bash (Mask vs Title), SD 10th July 2009

Rey vs Dolph Ziggler, Summerslam 2009

Rey vs John Morrison, Smackdown 4th Sept 2009

 

Rey vs Shawn Michaels, Smackdown 29th Jan 2010

Rey vs CM Punk feud: SD 12th Feb, WM26, Extreme Rules, Over the Limit

Rey vs Tyson Kidd, Superstars 25th March 2010

Rey vs Jack Swagger feud: SD 11th June, Money in the Bank, SD 23rd July (2/3 Falls), SD 30th July (Falls Count Anywhere)

Rey vs Alberto Del Rio, Smackdown 8th Oct 2010

 

Rey vs Alberto Del Rio, Smackdown 7th Jan 2011 (2/3 Falls)

SD Elimination Chamber, Elimination Chamber 2011

Rey vs Cody Rhodes, Extreme Rules 2011 (Falls Count Anywhere)

Rey vs CM Punk, Capitol Punishment 2011

Rey & Riley vs Swagger & Miz, Raw 27th June 2011

Rey vs John Cena, Raw 25th July 2011

 

OK this turned out longer than I expected. I can narrow it down if this is too many. I love Rey and Angle as a match-up so I've included all the ones I could think of. I'm not wild about most of the Chavo or Finlay matches, but I'm sure others do and could suggest more of those. I could also have missed something from his cruiserweight run (03-04) as I haven't looked at that period since it happened. I feel like there should be more matches in the vein of Rey vs giants and other different styles, but nothing specific is coming to mind.

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I've seen and forgotten most of Rey's WWE work from the '00s so will need to refresh myself on the big matches there. He may also suffer a little in my eyes from simply having so many good matches that blend together as opposed to someone like Lyger where I wasn't watching him every week but everything I did see stood out.

 

They obviously wrestled very different opponents and styles over the last 15 years, but curious how people rate him and Lyger.

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One match that I thought was outstanding and a surprise great match was the Royal Rumble match from 2010 against The Undertaker for the World Title. A spectacular performance, where Rey looked like he belonged. A stark contrast from the Kevin Nash matches.

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The impression I have is that Rey wasn't really a complete wrestler until he got to WWE. Before that, he was great high flyer and spot machine, but he was heavily reliant on his opponent to provide the match structure.

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The impression I have is that Rey wasn't really a complete wrestler until he got to WWE. Before that, he was great high flyer and spot machine, but he was heavily reliant on his opponent to provide the match structure.

 

That has become the talking point with Rey but I am not sure it is that cut and dry. He certainly became a more complete wrestler when he got to WWE but he wasn't hopeless at structuring a coherent match before then. I am not quite there on the 1998 year book yet but I am interested in re-watching his matches with Eddie, Kidman, and Juvi in the fall/winter of that year as part of the LWO feud. My recollection was that he had a very good stretch of TV matches during that angle and the credit certainly didn't belong all to his opponent. Rey knew then when and how to work his big flying spots into a match in a logical and coherent fashion. There are certainly matches earlier on his WCW career where that is apparent as well. So while I wouldn't argue that Rey was a more complete wrestler in WWE, he was already pretty great in WCW.

 

If he suffers anywhere, it is the fact that he has missed so much time due to injuries and basically coasted for a year and a half in WCW under Russo (late 1999 through end of 2000) during what should have been the start of the prime of his career.

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Even if that's the case--and I'm not sure it's that simple--one run as a historically great flyer added to another run as maybe the greatest babyface and TV worker in WWE history amounts to a pretty spectacular career.

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Rey Jr. could be anywhere from 5 to 20 on my list, without thinking about it too hard.

 

He's up there with greatest babyface ever, greatest TV match wrestler ever, greatest high flyer ever and is loaded with charisma.

I'll re-watch some of the gaps, but he could be real high for me.

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I think Rey might be the test of how I will fall with guys who I can recognize as good/great, but don't enjoy that much.

 

I loved 140lb Rey flying around in the cruiserweight division in WCW, but around the time he lost his mask and found out about supplements, he started to lose it for me. I would assume that is around the time of his knee injuries really taking a toll on him as well. By the time he got into WWE, he was a shell of his former self in terms of athleticism, even if he did figure out how to work his style into WWE type matches. I found his booking to be pretty boring for the most part, outside of the fun friendship/feud with Batista and taking Punk's hair.

 

The question for me ends up becoming is if a guy has a 20 year career, and I love a 2-3 year stretch and am at best ambivalent about the remaing years in spite of knowing/accepting his level of skill, where do I rank that?

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I just re-watched the feud Jericho had with Rey in 2009, loved it. Rey could easily be in my top 10, the hardest thing for me is deciding who is better between Rey or Liger.

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I consider Rey a number one contender. Probably the best t.v. match worker I've ever seen in the sense that if you ask him to have a three minute match with Jamie Noble it's going to be good and if you ask him to go fifteen with Shelton Benjamin it's going to be good and if you ask him to go nine minutes with Edge it's going to be good. Was good in that role during the Nitro era, good in that role as a junior in WWE, good in that role as the vet in WWE. I doubt anyone in history has more good televised matches than Rey, and he did it against a huge variety of opponents.

 

Possible knock on him would be that he wasn't a good heel, but he never should have been a heel and is an all time great face. The other big knock I could see is that he lacks true classics, but I don't think that's true at all. In fact I think things like the Punk and Jericho series are classic series, they just aren't thought of that way because the WWE is terrible at making special things seem special. One of my all time favorite highspot guys AND one of my all time favorite sellers. He will rate well on my ballot

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Checks all the boxes for me and only improved his resume during his WWE run. I'm one of the rare guys on this particular site that enjoys his WCW work more than WWE but can totally see the other end of that. The guy is one of the best babyfaces ever, was a shining light in an otherwise dim WCW for most of its run and overcame a lot of shitty booking in WWE to still be one of their top stars.

 

Absolutely a guy who, when given the chance, made an impression on each and every person who watched him. A lock for my top 50 at the very least, probably top 25.

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I just re-watched the feud Jericho had with Rey in 2009, loved it. Rey could easily be in my top 10, the hardest thing for me is deciding who is better between Rey or Liger.

 

Probably an unpopular opinion, but I'm not sure I'm very high on Rey. But his match with Jericho (who I am also not very high on) at Bash 09 was great. Watched it purely by accident, too. Just put on a random PPV on the network and watched it, and luckily, this gem was in it.

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So I’ve taken the list I wrote on the first page and expanded and added notes and bold for great matches similar to what stomper did for Daniel Bryan. I think we should call them Stomper Lists for posterity. So this is my Stomper List for Rey Mysterio in WWE.

Firstly though…

THE AWESOME FOURSOME

This is an idea I had after the talk about people doing “due diligence” on wrestlers and styles that they are unfamiliar with and/or have no interest in. When confronted with someone’s entire career, or even a comprehensive list of recommendations (as fantastic a tool as they are), it’s hard to know where to start, and the idea of sitting through dozens of matches from some random worker can be daunting.

So basically my idea for Rey and whoever else I do lists for is that the "Awesome Foursome" is where you start. Just a snapshot of their best matches or performances for someone who is completely unfamiliar with them (or in this case, a certain period of their career) to sample. Four matches, that’s easy, someone could knock them out in a day or two tops. Obviously we’d all like to watch as much wrestling as possible for this, but realistically we can only see so much in the next 18 months, especially from those workers/styles/eras we're not prioritising.

I deliberately went for the “awesome” stuff because you want to be able to say “If you watch these matches and still don’t like/aren’t interested in X at all, you can clearly move on to something more worth your time.” And if you watch them and DO get something out of them, you have the rest of the Stomper List to continue watching from.

Obviously Rey’s WWE work isn’t exactly the great unknown for the vast majority of people, but I’m just starting with Rey as an example since I already had most of the list posted on Page 1. I think guys who are pimping/invested in relatively unfamiliar names (like the modern indy guys) would be doing people a service to come up with a couple of top matches for those guys just to get people going. OJ’s method of posting one match per worker as a sampler for WoS is another fantastic way of opening the door to an entire style. At this stage for people with gaps it’s all about being able to find a place to start and diving in. And again I know I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know by pimping big modern WWE stuff, but even if nobody else gets anything out of it, it’s also helping me organise my thoughts by seeing all of the matches in one place and trying to separate the good matches from the bolded matches from the Awesome Foursome matches.

Anyway, so for Rey they are:

Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle – Smackdown 23rd January 2003

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Smackdown 23rd June 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho (Mask vs Title) – The Bash 2009

Rey Mysterio vs John Cena – Raw 25th July 2011

 

My thoughts on the matches can be found below in the list. As per stomper, the bolded matches are especially great and worth watching.

 

REY MYSTERIO IN WWE

 

Rey vs Chavo, Smackdown 25th July 2002

--- Rey’s debut in WWE, and a fun showcase for him.

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Summerslam 2002

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 12th Sept 2002

--- I think Rey is easily, by leaps and bounds, Angle’s best opponent. All of their matches are at least good, and Rey reigns him in tremendously because when Angle faces him, he abandons most of the overkill nonsense and instead becomes the obnoxious jock bully who shows ass, which is basically who Angle should be all the time.

Rey vs Chris Benoit, Smackdown 3rd Oct 2002

Rey & Edge vs Angle & Benoit, No Mercy 2002

Rey & Edge vs Angle & Benoit (2/3 Falls), Smackdown 7th Nov 2002

--- I know the Smackdown Six era stuff is controversial for some, but I honestly love it. Sometimes you need a bit of overkill, a bit of action, and everyone involved made for a really fun few months of TV wrestling. I cannot state enough how much I love these tag matches.

Rey vs Eddie Guerrero, Smackdown 14th Nov 2002

Rey & Edge vs Angle & Benoit vs Los Guerreros, Survivor Series 2002

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 23rd Jan 2003

--- Their best match together and a fantastic TV sprint. This is basically the definition of a “cat and mouse” match. You must watch this.

Rey vs Matt Hardy, Smackdown 5th June 2003

Rey & Kidman vs WGTT, Vengeance 2003

Rey vs Tajiri, Smackdown 4th Sept 2003

Rey vs Tajiri, No Mercy 2003

Rey vs Brock Lesnar, Smackdown 11th December 2003

--- Somehow, some way they manage to create a compelling, competitive match out of this complete mis-match. I could have gone bold on this but I want to rewatch it first.

Rey vs Tajiri, Smackdown 1st Jan 2004

Rey vs Eddie Guerrero, Smackdown 18th March 2004

Rey vs Jamie Noble, Velocity 1st May 2004

Rey vs Chavo Guerrero, Great American Bash 2004

--- I can’t stand Chavo but this is his career match. To me this has the feel of one of those big, long juniors matches.

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 26th August 2004

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 28th Oct 2004

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Smackdown 6th January 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Wrestlemania 21

Rey vs JBL, Smackdown 7th April 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Judgment Day 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Smackdown 23rd June 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Great American Bash 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero (Ladder Match) – Summerslam 2005

Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero (Cage Match) – Smackdown 9th September 2005

--- The Eddie/Rey feud. A fantastic series of matches that are all unique and all play into the ongoing story. The New Year match was a kind of friendly challenge thrown out to start it all and is a really good TV match. WM was a fun sprint between the tag champs. Judgment Day comes on the heels of Eddie’s turn and brings the hate, and by the SD match they’ve settled into war with each other. GAB is quite a different match because it goes heavy on the secret/Dominic angle, and Summerslam is a match for custody of a child (I’ve seen it called sloppy and disappointing but I think the emotion carries it, as long as you buy into such a hokey angle). And finally the blow off in the cage. Really a crowning achievement as a feud for all sorts of reasons.

Rey vs Shawn Michaels, Raw 14th Nov 2005

--- From the Eddie Guerrrero Memorial Raw.

Rey & Dave vs MNM, Smackdown 16th Dec 2005

Rey & Dave vs MNM, Smackdown 30th Dec 2005

Rey vs Mark Henry, Smackdown 20th January 2006
---
Rey runs. Rey flies. Rey bounces. Rey dies. Henry was good before this but this was a total coming out party for him. Fucking outstanding TV match.

Rey vs Mark Henry, Smackdown 27th Jan 2006

Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble 2006

Rey vs Angle vs Orton – Wrestlemania 22

--- The two above matches are for a career picture as those were his two big career wins up until that point. Rey works the entire Rumble match and is pretty much its MVP, however much you take away from the match as a whole. I find the Mania match quite poor but again, this is just for the result and the moment.

Rey vs Randy Orton, Smackdown 7th April 2006

--- This is a great TV main event and is also one of Orton’s best matches. Ignore the booking of Rey’s title reign and just watch this. It has Orton getting great heat and Rey selling accordingly and it all builds tremendously.

Rey vs JBL, Judgment Day 2006

Rey vs JBL, 26th May 2006

Rey vs Kurt Angle, Smackdown 2nd June 2006

Rey vs Sabu, One Night Stand 2006

Rey vs Finlay, 9th Nov 2007

Rey & Shawn vs Miz & Morrison, Raw 17th Nov 2008

Rey vs Punk, Armageddon 2008

Raw Elimination Chamber, No Way Out 2009

--- Bolded because this is one of those Chamber matches that is made by Rey’s bumping and selling.

Rey vs Chris Jericho - Judgment Day 2009

Rey Mysterio vs Edge – Smackdown 5th June 2009

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho (Extreme Rules) - Extreme Rules 2009

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho (Mask vs Title) – The Bash 2009

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho - Smackdown 10th July 2009

--- The Jericho feud is another big one for Rey. They did a great job building match after match, and also incorporated some elements from lucha as well (Jericho using the Atlantida, the focus on the mask, the similarities to the Casas/Mistico matches from the same time period). The Bash match is the highpoint but it’s a good watch as a series.

Rey vs Dolph Ziggler, Summerslam 2009

Rey vs John Morrison, Smackdown 4th Sept 2009

Rey & Batista vs JeriShow – Hell in a Cell 2009

Rey Mysterio vs Batista – Smackdown 16th October 2009

Rey Mysterio vs Batista – Smackdown 18th December 2009

 

Rey Mysterio vs Batista (Steel Cage) – Smackdown 15th January 2010

Rey vs Shawn Michaels, Smackdown 29th Jan 2010

Rey Mysterio vs Undertaker – Royal Rumble 2010

Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk - Smackdown 12th February 2010

Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk – Wrestlemania 26

Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk (Hair Match) - Extreme Rules 2010

Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk (Hair vs SES) - Over the Limit 2010

--- Another long, serious feud. Great Punk promos for this by the way. The SD match is actually the best stand-alone match, just a fantastic TV bout, but it’s another feud worth watching through as the story develops and they get more intense and play off previous matches. Watch for Punk’s freakout after the blood stoppage at OTL.

Rey vs Tyson Kidd, Superstars 25th March 2010

Rey vs Jack Swagger - Smackdown 11th June 2010

Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger - Money in the Bank 2010

Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger (2/3 Falls) – Smackdown 23rd July 2010

Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger (Falls Count Anywhere) - Smackdown 30th July 2010

--- The Swagger feud – particularly MITB and 2/3 Falls – is interesting because it is based around the Ankle Lock and Rey selling the leg. Rey selling the leg is theoretically problematic for two reasons. Firstly, from an artistic point of view it cuts out most of Rey’s offense which should make it difficult to work a good match. Secondly, without the benefit of his offense it could strain credibility that Rey can physically compete with larger opponents. But somehow he always makes it work. In these matches he does so with some great selling, not just of the physical pain but also the strategic conundrum he finds himself in. He has to find new ways to try and win, and he does so by relying on his striking, and by using the top turnbuckle for dives instead of running and jumping (the old “can’t jump high so jump from high places” compensation). I think for those using the Matt D School of Analysis these are worth looking at to show Rey’s ability to have a different kind of match and adapt.

Rey vs Alberto Del Rio, Smackdown 8th Oct 2010

--- Again, another example of Rey having a different kind of match than you’re used to, as here he comes for revenge against Alberto and they have a surprisingly brawly brawl.

Rey vs Alberto Del Rio, Smackdown 7th Jan 2011 (2/3 Falls)

SD Elimination Chamber, Elimination Chamber 2011

--- Another Chamber that Rey completely makes with his nutty bumping and selling. He absolutely kills himself in this match, and just like 2009 he and Edge work a great hot finishing stretch.

Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes – Wrestlemania 27

Rey vs Cody Rhodes (Falls Count Anywhere) - Extreme Rules 2011

Rey vs CM Punk, Capitol Punishment 2011

Rey vs Alberto vs Punk – Raw 20th June 2011

Rey & Riley vs Swagger & Miz, Raw 27th June 2011

Rey vs Alberto vs Truth – Raw 4th July 2011

Rey Mysterio vs The Miz – Raw 18th July 2011

Rey vs John Cena, Raw 25th July 2011

--- This is one of the best TV matches of the decade, and one of my personal all-time favourites. I didn’t even realise how much I loved the idea of Rey vs Cena until they announced this, and then they went out there and smashed my extremely high expectations. A textbook face vs face title match.

Rey vs Alberto vs Bryan vs Kane - Smackdown 27th July 2012

Rey Mysterio vs The Miz - Summerslam 2012

Rey vs Cody vs Miz vs Sin Cara - Night of Champions 2012

Rey, Cara, Gabes, Kidd & Brodus vs Tensai, PTP & Colons - Survivor Series 2012

Rey & Show vs Rhodes Bros vs Rybaxel vs Real Americans - TLC 2013

Rey, Bryan & Sheamus vs The Shield - Smackdown 31st January 2014

 

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Loss list could sound a bit confusing.

 

Anyway, I read through this and it shows the incredible depth of Rey's run in the WWE and also that there is still matches I really enjoy not on this list like the No Way Out 2006 Orton match and the SmackDown I Quit vs. Chavo.

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