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Samoa Joe Squashes Rey Mysterio, Retains United States Title at WrestleMania 35

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Samoa Joe beat Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 35 on Sunday to retain the United States Championship.

The Samoan Submission Specialist made quick work of his opponent at MetLife Stadium.

Mysterio connected with a 619, but Joe countered his follow-up move off of the top rope and immediately locked in the Coquina Clutch.

WWE @WWE

Night-night, @reymysterio. @SamoaJoe is STILL your #USChampion! #WrestleMania https://t.co/6WtXRK88MA

Sunday's match marked Joe's first bout at WrestleMania, and it was Mysterio's first match at the marquee event in five years, as well as his first Show of Shows singles match since 2011.

Joe somewhat surprisingly won the United States title from R-Truth in a Fatal 4-Way match that also included Mysterio and Andrade on the March 5 edition of SmackDown Live. Five days later, he beat those three competitors again in a rematch at Fastlane to retain.

It was unclear who would emerge as a potential challenger for Joe leading up to WrestleMania, but Mysterio rocketed to the top of the list on March 12 when he and Truth beat Joe and Andrade in a tag team match.

When it was announced that Mysterio would be Joe's WrestleMania opponent, Mysterio had his son, Dominic, with him. Dominic first became known to WWE fans in 2005 when Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero had a storyline feud over custody of Dominic.

Now, Dominic is big, strong and trained in the art of pro wrestling, which suggested he would have some sort of involvement in the match, but ultimately he did not feature.

Making rivalries personal is nothing new for Joe. In addition to dragging AJ Styles' wife and kids into their feud over the WWE Championship, he brought up Jeff Hardy's past issues with addiction during their program.

There was a lot of talk surrounding the match entering WrestleMania because of the uncertainty surrounding Mysterio's status. On the go-home episode of Raw prior to WrestleMania, he suffered an ankle injury against Baron Corbin.

That injury caused his scheduled SmackDown Live match against Andrade to be canceled and created some doubt about his ability to compete at The Show of Shows.

Mysterio did manage to wrestle, but with Joe retaining, it is unclear where the veteran will fit into WWE's plans coming out of WrestleMania.

            

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