Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #45 Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio (WWE Intercontinental Title vs. Mask, WWE The Bash 2009)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31277563/?contentId=31277563&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=the_bash)

Chris Jericho is virtually guaranteed a place in the WWE Hall of Fame, unless he has an epic falling out with Vince McMahon like many wrestlers before him. He’s held championships in WCW and WWF/E and been a staple of WWE programming for over 16 years. However, in the ring, he is ever-inconsistent. Yes, he’s had some great matches, but sometimes he can be horribly sloppy. Check out #59, Team WWE vs Team Alliance (click here for my review!), for some classic Y2J botches. Check out his matches with AJ Styles earlier this year as well. However, this match against Rey Mysterio is an example of Y2J on superior form. Both he and (the also-aging) Mysterio break free from their usual match formula to deliver a fantastic match!

I mentioned age before, and by 2009 age was beginning to wear Mysterio down. He still performed well, but stuck to the same old moves. Here, however, he seemed determined to break new moves out. The match stipulation was the Intercontinental Title vs Mysterio’s mask, and perhaps that’s why Mysterio broke out such an incredible performance. Either that, or the ever-dwindling crowd support willed him on to impress the audience. If it was leaping from the top rope outside onto Jericho, or executing a springboard to springboard moonsault, Mysterio leapt and jumped about like he was ten years younger.

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Both men made sure the pace of the match never slowed down, right from the beginning. Y2J caught Mysterio’s baseball slide to the outside and hurled him into the barrier in a wince-inducing move. It started an offensive streak by Jericho, but one that didn’t stall the match. Soon enough, Mysterio was fighting back, countering Y2J’s moves and leaping about. He springboarded like a maniac! There are counters galore from both parties. Y2J counters a top rope hurricanrana into a powerbomb. He twice reverses a move into the Walls of Jericho. Mysterio counters a spinning torture rack into a DDT. The match seemingly reaches a peak, but the two wrestlers keep on surprising with counters and big moves, creating a riveting finish.

It was one of those matches that I loved when I first watched it, but never seemed to watch it again. There are more than a few on the Best 100…List that I’ve watched countless times. I should watch this one more. Mysterio and Jericho wrestled like time hasn’t caught up to them. Mysterio became complacent towards the end of his WWE career. Yes, he could have MOTY contenders if he tried, but usually he stuck to merely having good matches. Jericho was always inconsistent. However, the two created one of the best Intercontinental matches of all time. You think of Intercontinental titles matches, you think of WresteMania X’s Ladder match or Bret Hart vs The British Bulldog at Summerslam 1992. Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho should be in those thoughts as well.

VERDICT: 9/10. One of the Top 5 Intercontinental championship matches of all time. You’d be mistaken for thinking that you’re watching Y2J and Rey face of in the WCW of the late 90s. A frenetic, supremely energetic match that never stands still.

Leave your thoughts/comments below!

Click here for my review of #46 Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) and Ryback vs. The Shield (TLC Match, WWE TLC 2012)

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