It’s Summerslam tomorrow! Oh wait, WWE have moved their Premuim Live Events (PLEs) to Saturday night…so it is actually tonight! With Rey Mysterio’s 20th anniversary in the WWE celebrated this week, I thought about the ‘Littlest Big Guy’s’ Summerslam matches. Two immediately sprang to mind. His awesome opening bout against Kurt Angle at Summerslam 2002…and his Ladder match against Eddie Guerrero at Summerslam 2005. I love the former match, but the latter match is something else…
In 2005, WWE turned Eddie Guerrero heel by having him viciously assault his best friend, Rey Mysterio Jr. They had a feud spanning most of the summer, but none of their matches could hope to reach the heights of their phenomenal match at WCW Halloween Havoc in 1997. That’s not to say their bouts were awful, but they certainly didn’t meet high expectations. The feud descended into absurdity when Eddie claimed that Rey’s son, Dominic Mysterio (yes, the same son wrestling today in WWE!!!), was actually his own flesh and blood…
I can’t remember the exact details, and the ore-match promo video didn’t jog my memory, but the whole feud came to a head at Summerslam…in a ladder match. But it wasn’t a title hanging from the rafters, or even a Money in the Bank briefcase. What was hanging from the rafters was custody papers for Dominick Mysterio! Yes, Rey agreed to put his 7 year old son’s future on the line, just so Eddie would stop saying ‘I’m your Papi’ to his son (should have bought one on the ‘I’m Your Papi’ shirts…). Oh, humanity! I mean…it’s only something that could happen in wrestling, isn’t it? Literally fighting for the custody of a child…
As for the ladder match itself…it isn’t great. I’d go so far as to call it a shambles, actually. The match is marred by miscommunications and botched aplenty. One or two can be forgiven, but there are obvious mistakes every few minutes. For example, Eddie goes for the (now typical) sunset flip bomb off the top of the ladder. But halfway through, he loses grip of Rey (and appears to hit his head on a ladder rung in the process), but Rey still slams himself to the floor. Awkward! Of course, they are some involving an uncooperative ladder, and those moments can’t be helped.
But both wrestlers seemed to be having an off night. And it is topped off by Eddie on the top of the ladder, trying to unhook the briefcase containing the custody papers for what seems like an eternity…until you realise he is waiting for something to happen. In the end, Rey pulls the ladder away from him and pulls down a hanging Eddie (causing a painful looking fall). Eddie then proceeds to scream and bang the mat in real anger. “Where the f**k is Vickie?” he shouts at the referee, spoiling the match. His wife, Vickie Guerrero, missed her cue to come out and push Eddie off the ladder.
(She eventually comes out, with Eddie staring at her with pure hatred).
The botched ending is the icing on the cake for a ladder match full of botches. Some are outside of the wrestlers’ power, but most of them are due to apparent miscommunication or ineptitude…and I hate to say the latter about either wrestler. You’d expect much, much more from these two. And, thinking about it, Rey doesn’t fight like the future of his son is on the line. Both wrestlers engage in a standard ladder match, without any real bitterness or hatred underlying the story of the match. Why?
From the absurd storyline about the custody of a child, to the constant botches, this was a doomed feud. In a recent interview about the match, Dominick even said he thought he might have to live with Eddie in ‘Latino Heat’ won the match! Poor seven year old Dominick… Yes, their previous two bouts in the feud were good, if not very good (and not a patch on their Halloween Havoc classic)…but the feud dragged on for too long, resulting in this inferior ladder match. If everything went to plan, I still don’t think it would be anything more than an average ladder match, truth be told. As it is, it’s one of the worst ladder matches in Summerslam history.
Hammy’s Rating: ** (out of 5)
(Click here for more of ‘A Wrestling Match A Day‘)