WWE Classic of the Week: Remembering Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger from 2010

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

When a show touts two very good Ladder matches and a Steel Cage match for the WWE Championship, it is understandable that a basic singles bout for the less important World Heavyweight Championship may somehow get lost in the shuffle.

Since the inaugural Money in the Bank pay-per-view event in 2010, Rey Mysterio's title defense against Jack Swagger has been overshadowed and underappreciated thanks to a stacked card and the fact that the SmackDown title match was, at the time, often the second or third most important bout on the card.

What fans are missing out on is a great wrestling match between two extremely talented workers. Given time to craft a quality bout, they delivered in spades.

With the title now absorbed into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which will be at stake in the main event of the 2014 Money in the Bank show, relive one of the hidden classics from the popular pay-per-view's five-year history.



At WrestleMania XXVI, Jack Swagger shocked the world by winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, earning him a guaranteed shot at the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship at any time over the following year.

An impatient man, he cashed in two nights later during the SmackDown tapings, pinning Chris Jericho to capture the world title and begin a title reign some believed he was not ready for.

The All-American American knocked off Randy Orton at Extreme Rules, then shifted focus to a much larger challenger: The Big Show.

The two Superstars met at May's Over the Limit in a lackluster match that did more to hurt Swagger and his chances of a long, prosperous title reign.

Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio and CM Punk were embroiled in a very personal, heated feud that saw the Straight Edge Society leader uncomfortably sing "Happy Birthday" to Rey's daughter Aaliyah and target Mysterio's trademark mask. He attempted to take the mask from his rival on several occasions but failed to do so.

At the same Over the Limit pay-per-view in which Swagger and Big Show delivered a largely disappointing title bout, Mysterio and Punk tore the house down with a Mask vs. Hair match. Mysterio won and shaved the loudmouth prophet Punk bald.

All four men would become intertwined in June as WWE presented the first, and only, Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view. Nearly every match on the card would feature four Superstars, and the world title bout was no different.

With Mysterio, Show and Punk challenging the young, inexperienced Swagger for his title, it looked less and less likely that the Oklahoman would escape with his championship intact.

And that is what happened. Mysterio captured the title, and shortly thereafter, Swagger made his intentions to cash in his rematch clause clear. His opportunity to regain his title would come at the first Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July.


The Match



Some of Rey Mysterio's greatest matches have been against Superstars with great technical skills.

There is something about the way he uses speed, elusiveness and counter wrestling to escape the grasps of his opponents in those matches that somehow makes them better. Whether it was against Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit or Eddie Guerrero, Rey working as the speedy underdog against a proficient technician always makes for a great match.

That was the case here as Swagger targeted the leg and ankle of the champion in hopes of forcing a tapout with the ankle lock. Mysterio, ever resilient, was able to withstand the pain and punishment being dealt out and score an impressive pinfall victory over the younger, hungrier challenger.

The post-match involvement of Kane, followed by his cashing in of the Money in the Bank briefcase he won earlier in the night, set up the next five months of storylines and led to the return of The Undertaker.

It was a very eventful match despite being shoved into the middle of the card.


Historical Significance

The match was the only successful pay-per-view title defense of Mysterio's second championship reign. Immediately afterward, Kane cashed in Money in the Bank and won the World Heavyweight Championship, setting up a feud between he and his brother, The Undertaker.

Mysterio would square off with Kane at SummerSlam in a surprisingly good match before eventually being programmed with bright young star Cody Rhodes in a feud that would lead to a great match at WrestleMania 27.

Swagger, on the other hand, experienced the negative fallout from being champion.

He became lost in the shuffle and was thrown back into the midcard mess. There, he became "just another guy," working with the likes of Kofi Kingston but never really going anywhere. He would remain on the booking treadmill until 2013, when he reemerged with Zeb Colter by his side.

In February of that year, he won the Elimination Chamber match to earn a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship and, just over a month later, challenged Alberto Del Rio for the title at WrestleMania 29.

He lost, and he today finds himself again lost in the shuffle, unable to breakout from the pack as younger and more exciting stars thrive in prime spots.