The Intercontinental Championship is a title that has so much prestige behind it. It is hard to call it a mid-card championship when it’s been held by WWE legends like Randy Savage and Bret Hart.
In the modern-day era, the Intercontinental Championship has seen its great matches, but none greater than John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio. So great in fact, it is my greatest Intercontinental Championship match of all time.
Two high fliers that were well-known for their top rope ability. Some have actually gone as far as calling Morrison a “spot monkey”. This match proved that Morrison can wrestle with the best in the company, and even put on a classic.
I mean, come on. He made the Miz look good in a WWE Championship match! Who else can do that?
Anyway, this was when Smackdown was better than RAW. Matches like these made me want to tune into Smackdown. Jim Ross was even on commentary!
The match itself showed great aspects of both wrestlers. While both dazzled the crowd with their athleticism and amazing spots, it was great to see both add technical wrestling into the mix.
Morrison had recently come over from RAW to Smackdown, and wasted little going after championship gold. Morrison came into his matchagainst Mysterio already defeating the likes of Edge, Jeff Hardy, and the one and only, CM Punk!
It was only a matter of time before Morrison was a champion. While it was expected for him to be a champion, Morrison still shocked everyone by beating Rey Mysterio cleanly.
It was a rare occasion for the WWE by letting two baby-faces leave it all in the ring without pointless interference from a heel. That’s how WWE books these days for people who didn’t know.
Since there was two baby-faces, the crowd must’ve been split. Not so much, in fact the match began with a “Lets Go Morrison” chant.
At the end of the match, the respect was where it started…intact. Morrison and Mysterio shook hands, with the crowd chanting “this is awesome!”, followed by a standing ovation at the end of the match.
What made the match great was the smooth flow, transition, and execution. With two high-risk wrestlers like Morrison and Mysterio, a botch is an easy guarantee. Not here. It was like perfection on display.
When WWE camera crews showed crowd reactions to the match, people were out of there seats with their arms raised in excitement.
This is something that only great matches produce. The unpredictability and drama of this match was at its highest.
It was two of Smackdown’s top baby-faces. Did WWE want the veteran Mysterio to look strong in a title defense, or make Smackdown’s newest acquisition Morrison a top priority on the blue brand?
The ending of this match was incredibly mind-boggling, as Mysterio had Morrison on the top turnbuckle facing the opposite direction.
Mysterio then attempted a hurricanrana that would flip Morrison on his stomach if it connected.
Mysterio missed and crashed down onto the mat. Morrison then pulled of the nicest Starship Pain you will ever see.
Not only did he land perfectly, but all he used was his legs to push-off.
He didn’t use his hands, as this showed how incredible Morrison’s leg strength truly is.
Why did this match occur? It was WWE’s genius idea of having Mysterio drop the belt to Morrison instead of Ziggler at the “Breaking Point” PPV. Before I move on, I promise not to use the two words “genius” and “WWE” in the same sentence.
Moving forward, let me explain. Mysterio was scheduled to compete against Dolph Ziggler at “Breaking Point”, only to have Mysterio to violate WWE’s wellness policy two weeks before the PPV.
Instead of making the obvious choice to just have Ziggler go over at “Breaking Point”, WWE capitalized on Morrison’s recent success by giving him a title match on Smackdown, where no one thought he would beat Mysterio, certainly with a PPV just two weeks away.
Well, he did. And while Morrison and Ziggler’s match was scratched from the “Breaking Point” PPV card due to time constraints, it still promised a feud between two future stars at the time. It was also a fresh feud that had never been seen.
Smackdown in 2009. Ah, how great it was, and this was a reason why. Morrison was ascending on the WWE ladder, while Mysterio was reportedly not happy with his suspension for the Wellness Policy violation.
Despite this, you couldn’t tell Mysterio was upset at all. How can you be upset and put on a five-star classic?
For 25 minutes, Morrison and Mysterio went at it in the ring. While it did have great implications on Smackdown’s direction and storylines, the best part about it was the match itself.
It was the best televised match of 2009, maybe the best match of 2009. But one thing is certain. It was the best Intercontinental Championship match of all time.