Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes Latinos whose lives and careers captured the attention of the world. In the music industry, iconic singers Celia Cruz and Selena Quintanilla entertained millions with their amazing vocals and charming personalities. Professional wrestling is also a form of an entertainment. On the eve of Hispanic Heritage Month’s final day, it’s only fitting to celebrate Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero, a pair of legendary luchadors whose acrobatic style and overall prowess inside a wrestling ring captivated audiences everywhere.
Case study: SummerSlam 2005, Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero (Ladder match for custody of Dominick)
The story surrounding this match revolves around Mysterio’s 8-year-old son Dominick. Eddie Guerrero reveals that he is Dominick’s biological father. Guerrero wants to take back Dominick, but only to hurt Mysterio. A briefcase with Dominick’s custody papers hangs above the ring. The person to retrieve the briefcase wins the match and earns custody of Dominick.
Both men argue over Dominick at the beginning of the match. Mysterio lets his guard down resulting in Guerrero driving his right knee into Mysterio’s abdomen. Guerrero lifts Mysterio for a back suplex. Guerrero attempts to Irish whip Mysterio, but Mysterio counters and monkey flips Guerrero. Guerrero rolls out of the ring. As Mysterio leaves the ring, Guerrero grabs him and throws him into the steel steps. Guerrero follows it up by ramming Mysterio’s face into a ladder. Guerrero drags a ladder into the ring. As Guerrero begins to climb to the top of the ladder, he is knocked off the ladder by Mysterio who connects with a springboard dropkick. Guerrero exits the ring momentarily and slides a second ladder inside the ring. Mysterio tosses Guerrero over the second rope. Mysterio hits a baseball slide on Guerrero with Guerrero holding a ladder. Mysterio performs a springboard seated senton on Guerrero. Mysterio crawls back into the ring and starts to climb the ladder. Guerrero reenters the ring and climbs on the other leg of the ladder. Both men race to the top of the ladder. Guerrero and Mysterio trade punches until Guerrero gets the better of that exchange. Guerrero reaches for the briefcase but is stopped when Mysterio lands body blows on Guerrero. Guerrero slams Mysterio’s face repeatedly on the top of the ladder. Guerrero goes for a sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder.
Analysis: Miscommunication took place between Guerrero and Mysterio after they exchanged punches on top of the ladder. Mysterio had his head down when Guerrero reached for the briefcase which led to Guerrero having to alert Mysterio by tapping him on his back. At that point, Mysterio reacted and punched Guerrero to prevent Guerrero from unhooking the briefcase. The confusion occurred because Mysterio thought Guerrero would immediately perform the sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder rather than make an attempt for the briefcase. Unfortunately, Guerrero was unable to keep his arms wrapped around Mysterio’s legs leading to a botched spot on the sunset flip powerbomb attempt.
Guerrero returns to his feet first. Guerrero folds the ladder and shoves the ladder into Mysterio’s ribs. Guerrero dropkicks the ladder into Mysterio and bodyslams Mysterio onto the ladder. Guerrero uses a second ladder to sandwich Mysterio between two ladders. Guerrero stands on the apron and executes a hilo onto Mysterio. Guerrero rests a ladder on Mysterio in the corner after attacking Mysterio’s head several times with the ladder. Guerrero positions a ladder in the center of the ring and makes his way atop the ladder. Mysterio regains consciousness and pins the ladder onto the standing ladder. Mysterio catches up to Guerrero and launches Guerrero with a back body drop onto the pinned ladder. Both ladders collapse sending Mysterio crashing down as well.
Analysis: That last sequence shows how dangerous ladder matches can be. I don’t believe the ladder Mysterio was standing on was meant to fall. Mysterio took a nasty fall and so did Guerrero. Both men are busting their ass, literally and figuratively, to put on one tremendous match. The crowd is enjoying every minute of it.
Mysterio recovers first and climbs a ladder. Guerrero dropkicks the ladder, causing Mysterio to drop to the canvas. Guerrero sits the ladder on the top turnbuckle. Mysterio charges at Guerrero, but Guerrero reverses and slams Mysterio into the ladder. Guerrero capitalizes with Mysterio down and climbs a ladder. Dominick jumps the barricade, enters the ring, and shakes the ladder in an attempt to prevent Guerrero from winning the match. Guerrero turns around and steps down from the ladder. Guerrero corners Dominick and scolds him for attempting to prevent him from winning and reminds him that he’s going to be his new father. Mysterio then blocks Guerrero’s attempt to slap Dominick.
Analysis: Guerrero’s interaction with Dominick showcased the brilliance of Guerrero’s heel work. He played the role of the bad guy to perfection. He delivered his lines well. Not only did he verbally threaten Dominick, but he used some sarcasm and humor, too.
Mysterio Irish whips Guerrero and back body drops him. Mysterio leans a ladder on the ropes and Irish whips Guerrero onto the ladder. Guerrero drops to his knees in 619 position and Mysterio takes advantage and kicks the ladder into Guerrero’s face with a 619. Guerrero falls flat on his back. With the ladder resting on top of Guerrero, Mysterio hits a springboard leg drop on Guerrero. Mysterio stands the ladder in the center of the ring and begins to climb it. Guerrero catches up to Mysterio and climbs right behind Mysterio. Guerrero attempts an electric chair drop, but Mysterio counters with a sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder. Mysterio climbs the ladder once again. Mysterio loses his footing on the ladder when Guerrero repeatedly kicks the ladder. Mysterio, however, stays dangling from the suspension of the briefcase. Mysterio ultimately falls and lands into the hands of Guerrero who powerbombs him.
Analysis: Guerrero sold the effect of the sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder very well. He did not recover in time to chase Mysterio up the ladder. Instead, he was still on his back and had no other choice but to kick the ladder away to force Mysterio to lose his balance. Guerrero catching Mysterio afterwards in midair and dropping him with a powerbomb was innovative. That had to be the first time a spot like that took place in a ladder match.
Guerrero sets the ladder in the middle of the ring and traps Mysterio underneath it. Guerrero looks to be on the verge of winning. Guerrero waves at Mysterio as he climbs to the top of the ladder. Guerrero, however, struggles to unhook the briefcase. Mysterio escapes from underneath the ladder and tilts the ladder away from Guerrero. Guerrero dangles from the briefcase just as Mysterio did earlier in the match. Mysterio pulls Guerrero’s left leg and drops him to the canvas. Both men slowly get back to a vertical base. Guerrero strikes first and connects with Three Amigos. On the third vertical suplex, Guerrero plants Mysterio onto the ladder. Guerrero restarts his climb up the ladder. Vickie Guerrero (Eddie Guerrero’s wife) rushes to the ring and pleads with her husband not to retrieve the briefcase. Eddie Guerrero refuses and demands that she leave the ring. Vickie Guerrero pushes the ladder causing Eddie Guerrero to fall. Mysterio capitalizes and climbs the ladder. Guerrero tries to stop Mysterio but Vickie Guerrero pulls Eddie Guerrero and holds onto him. Mysterio retrieves the briefcase to win the match.
Post match, Dominick celebrates with Mysterio as they leave the ring. Angie, Mysterio’s wife, walks to ringside to embrace Dominick. A furious Eddie Guerrero remains in the ring tossing ladders around. Mysterio slides back into the ring and knocks Guerrero down with the briefcase.
Analysis: A dramatic finish to an exciting one-on-one ladder match. Vickie Guerrero’s involvement made sense since she felt Eddie Guerrero was only concerned with hurting Mysterio’s family and not because he genuinely wanted to be a father to Dominick. In the closing moments of the match, Vickie Guerrero delays in pushing the ladder. Eddie Guerrero is then forced to instruct her to do so which the camera clearly catches.
Additional comments: Eddie Guerrero and Mysterio managed to entertain the crowd from start to finish despite the silly stipulation. They came up with clever spots that led to some exciting moments in the match. Had this match not featured a botched spot and a few miscues, it would have easily been a five star match. Both men gave a phenomenal effort to produce a classic ladder match. As a result, this match stands the test of time.
Verdict: A classic ladder match.
Final rating: **** (out of 5)
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Kevin Pinto- firstname.lastname@example.org
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