Rey Mysterio is often regarded as the closest thing pro-wrestling has to a child prodigy.
He started wrestling when he was fourteen and by the time he was eighteen he weas already putting on industry-changing matches, especially once he came to the United States.
But was he really worthy of all that praise during his 1990s run in ECW and later WCW, or was he simply being showered with admiration and adulation because he was so stylistically different and nothing more?
To answer that question we need to look at his output as a wrestler during this time. We’ve already covered two highly-praised Mysterio classics from around the same time and both of them have aged incredibly well. Does this match hold up just as well? Read on to find out.
As a reminder, I am reviewing Five Star and almost-Five Star wrestling matches as rated by Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. It goes back to the 1980s and I’m going to pick different matches from different eras to see how they look today. Check out previous entries in my 5 Star Match Reviews series right here.
Not much story here, just two cruiserweights coming to ECW to continue their long-running feud and add another match to their already storied history together.
This match originally took place on October 7, 1995. It was rated ****3/4 out of five by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer.
This is a two-out-of-three falls match. Mysterio shows off some of his acrobatic skill and then both men get in a quick chase until Psicosis falls to the floor. Mysterio flips over the rope onto the apron and hits a crossbody onto Psicosis over the barricade and into the fans. He recovers almost instantly and then does another dive to keep Psicosis granted. Both men make it back into the ring where Mysterio lands a jumping Frankensteiner and gets a three-count after about eighty seconds.
Rey Mysterio = 1; Psicosis = 0
After a short break, Psicosis misses a charge and then Mysterio lands a double tilt-a-whirl into…nothing. He lands on his feet and hits a wheel kick but Psicjosis ducks down to send Mysterio onto the apron. Mysterio pulls Psicosis down and then hits a diving headscissor takedown from the turnbuckle and then another from the apron to the floor.
The crowd gives Mysterio both a standing ovation and plenty of chants as Psicosis returns and offers a handshake. Mysterio readies a punch but Psicosis hits first by taking Mysterio’s arm and hitting both an enzuigiri and a standing kick to the back of Mysterio’s head. Psicosis arm drags Mysterio into one corner and then lands a dominator press into the opposite one. He follows with more running corner attacks and then lands a falling powerbomb for a two-count. Psicosis hits a front slam into a sharpshooter but Mysterio doesn’t give up. He throws Mysterio into the ringside barricade and then hits Mysterio’s leg with a chair which doesn’t cause a DQ.
Back in the ring, Psicosis gets a two-count off a slingshot leg drop and sends Mysterio into another corner. Mysterio dodges a charge which sends Psicosis shoulder-first into a ringpost. Psicosis charges to the ropes but Mysterio answers with a cartwheel electric chair headcscissor. Mysterio goes for a springboard but Psicosis answers with a leaping Tombstone Piledriver to even the score after seven minutes total match time.
Rey Mysterio = 1; Psicosis = 1
After fifty seconds of replays, the third fall begins and Psicosis powerbombs Mysterio onto a ringside table but not through it because it doesn’t break. He launches Mysterio into the crowd and moves a piece of barricade forward and then hits a running no-hands suicide senton from the ring to the floor onto Mysterio.
Both men struggle back into the ring and once there Psicosis charges into a corner but Mysterio ducks and Psicosis hits the post hard. Mysterio follows with a springboard 450 senton to the outside. Tensions boil over as both guys start kicking each other on the floor and Psicosis throws a chair at Mysterio’s head. Mysterio throws two chairs at Psicosis’ head, traps his head in another chair, and drives it into two ringposts. Diving Frankensteiner. Psicosis kicks out and reverses an Irish whip. Mysterio counters that with an amazing lucha headscissor followed by a triangle senton to the floor on the other side of the ring.
Psicosis drivbes Mysterio into the barricade again, puts him onto a table, and whacks him with a chair. Then he goes to the top rope and hits a diving leg drop through that table. Back in the ring Psicosis lands another powerbomb and another chairshot. He place the chair on Mysterio’s chest and goes to the top rope. Corkscrew senton press connects. Psicosis gets the three-count to win the match after around thirteen minutes of total match time.
Winner: Psicosis (2:1)
For a match once hailed as being nearly flawless it sure doesn’t hold up well to time. This was an inferior version of their 1996 ECW match which had the same environment (completed with raucous crowd), same stipulation, but had better match structure. This was just one big display of crazy moves done in somewhat random order with little follow-through from move to move. One never got the idea that there was any sense of flow. And while that made the match hard to predict it also made it hard to follow. Even with all the athleticism and acrobatics the match was all style and no substance, which is a shame because both men and especially Mysterio were capable of much better, even back then.
If this was meant to be just a random exhibition then it was alright but lucha works best when there’s a reason for existing. Save for a few flashes of aggression and open hostility, there was little reason to believe these guys were rivals or had any malicious intent toward one another. Most of the match was just acrobatic lucha libre with little story. Psicosis didn’t go after Mysterio’s mask despite being the clear rudo (heel) and Mysterio just did moves without having much of a comeback. Without any heat or tension the fans had no reason to get behind Mysterio as much, especially since Psicosis hit just many impressive moves as Mysterio did. His moves might not have been as impressive but he still landed the same volume of cool moves all the same.
Final Rating: ***3/4
This match is athletically impressive but that doesn’t mean much, especially in 2023. The past two decades plus have led to a cornucopia of highlights videos, compilations, GIFs, and memes that have centered on wrestlers doing the same kind of stuff that Mysteiro and Psicosis did here. While it might’ve been amusing to watch back then, it doesn’t hold up on a rewatch, especially since both of these guys (but especially Mysterio) would go on to have better matches without sacrificing any key aspects of the lucha libre style.
If you’re looking for great Mysterio matches (since he is, after all, the bigger and more iconic star of the two), then I think your time would better be spent watching his ECW match with Juventud, his WCW match with Eddy, or his title vs. mask match with Chris Jericho at The Bash 2009. All of those matches differ from one another in some way, yet all three of them deliver what this match provides and then some.