(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348221/?contentId=31348221&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=halloween_havoc )
I’ve mentioned it several times whilst writing about the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, but the Cruiserweight division was a main selling point of WCW back in its 90s peak. Yes, the NWO was there, but for actual wrestling, you couldn’t get any better than the cruiserweights. Look at the WWE’s Cruiserweight division today and you’ll see something quite different. There’s plenty of great talent, but nothing behind them. They even have their own WWE Network show and still no one cares about the Cruiserweight division. Now they have Enzo Amore as champion…God help them! But the greatest match in Western Cruiserweight history is surely this classic between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.
WWE tried to replicate the magic of this match by having Guerrero feud with Mysterio years later over custody of Mysterio’s son, Dominic. They fought in a Ladder match for said custody with a contract hanging above the ring. Yes, it was as silly as it sounded. But, both men simply weren’t as young and agile as they were for this match at Halloween Havoc 1997. I hesitate to say both were at their peak, but they weren’t far from it. Here, Rey was the babyface and Guerrero, as the champion, was the heel. Mysterio put his mask on the line against Guerrero’s Cruiserweight belt, and both wrestled as if their lives were on the line!
Guerrero uses his vertical superiority to keep Mysterio grounded and pounded. He was always great at that, and you can see that here. His rest holds are never simply rest holds, but work both to rile the crowd up and add to the psychology of the bout. In almost every bout he’s in, Mysterio’s outsized, even here against Guerrero. He can’t out-muscle Eddie, but he can outwit him with dazzling lucha moves. Early on in the bout, he hits a moonsault DDT out of nowhere. He cartwheels, flips and leaps out of danger (or onto Eddie). They have great chemistry together. Every sequence is smooth and flawless.
The brevity of the match is another one of its strong point. It doesn’t even touch a quarter of an hour, but both wrestlers pack in an hour’s worth of entertainment. A particular highlight for me is Mysterio’s tope into a hurricanrana on the floor. It takes a hefty amount of skill and co-ordination from both wrestlers to pull off something like that. You don’t see that move often. But it’s more than just a collection of high spots from Mysterio, and a series of backbreakers from Guerrero. It’s a match where everything comes together to create a next to perfect match.
This is the shortest match in the top 10 matches of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, but that’s not a negative. There’s not a wasted second between these two Cruiserweight legends. Guerrero provides the heel heat, Mysterio provides the babyface comebacks. And those comebacks are guaranteed to inject awe into your viewing eyeballs. Both men are wrestling legends, but neither has risen higher than they did in this match. Awesome.
VERDICT: 10/10. The best Western Cruiserweight match in wrestling history? In my mind, without a doubt.
Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die? Leave your comments below!
Click here for my review of #6 The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (Retirement Match, WWE Wrestlemania VII)
Click here to view my list of reviews of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die
Actually, if I recall correctly, the first time they fought one on one in the WWE was at Wrestlemania 21. And that, in my opinion, was a great match.
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Yes! Think the best match they had in WWE was at Judgment Day the same year as WrestleMania 21. But neither was anywhere near the quality of this match