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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio

By @OmegaShammgod 

This week I'm going a little bit outside of the box. I love a good storyline. I hate tag team break ups. However, WWE creative absolutely nailed this storyline damn near from start to finish.

After losing out at the Royal Rumble in 2005, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero started up a tag team and won a shot at the WWE Tag Team Titles at No Way Out. At the event Eddie and Rey defeated The Basham Brothers. As had become the theme for months, the team teased dissension with Chavo "encouraging" Eddie to challenge Rey to a one on one match at Wrestlemania 21 instead of defending their Tag Team Titles. The match itself turned out to be one of my favorite Wrestlemania opening matches. Rey would come out the winner but already you could clearly see Eddie was unhappy with the result.

After Mania, Eddie and Rey entered a Number One Contenders Tournament for John Cena's newly won WWE Championship. In the first round Rey faced JBL and Eddie faced Kurt Angle. During Rey's match Eddie interfered and attacked JBL when Rey had the match won, causing the ref to disqualify Mysterio eliminating him from the tournament. The next week on Carlito's Cabana, the debuting MNN attacked Mysterio with Guerrero nowhere to be found,  which left Rey clearly unhappy with his partner.

The following week, Guerrero loses his match with Angle due to a distraction from Rey, who Guerrero thought was trying to hit him with a chair. They would lose the Tag Team Titles to MNM on the April 21 episode of Smackdown. They received their rematch in London with Guerrero walking out on Rey, allowing MNN to retain the titles. Eddie would complete his heel turn by attacking Mysterio, even going as far as to steal Rey's bloody mask. They squared off at Judgement Day in another match which Guerrero lost after hitting Mysterio with a chair. Guerrero,  bitter about the loss, threatned to tell a secret about Mysterio and his son Dominick. This led to a match at The Great American Bash with the stipulation that if Rey won, Eddie would not tell the secret. Mysterio did go on to win the match by roll up, but Guerrero would reveal the secret anyway, exposing that he was Dominick's real father. This led to a ladder match for the custody of Dominick, which again ended with Mysterio coming out on top. The feud ended with Guerrero beating Mysterio in a steel cage match on the September 9 episode of Smackdown.

I wasn't really a fan of this team as I was of their rivalry. I could have written a separate article focusing on this rivalry but they held many qualities of a memorable tag team in my mind.  For one, it brought two well established stars together and gave them an opportunity instead of leaving them directionless heading into Wrestlemania. Second, the chemistry was already there from years of experience with each other, which means there are no bad performances you can point out from their brief time together. Third, even though it seemed to be a secondary kind of thing, Mysterio and Guerrero were the first ones to give MNM the seal of approval and put those guys over. It was mainly to progress their rivalry, but it says a lot that they gave the rookies the shine in their very first match. Lastly, their split launched them into something better, which turned out to be a rivalry with each other. None of their matches fell below a 3.25 star rating with the highest rating, 4 Stars, coming on the June 21 episode of Smackdown. The rivalry was well done. Eddie's character change was phenomenal. He stopped driving the Low Rider, he remixed his music, he smiled less, and he came off a douchebag that you really wanted Rey to just punch in the mouth and shut up. My only complaint was the soap opera custody battle for Dominick. That is completely insane. At the time, 9 year old me was like "This is fucking awesome!", but now I'm thinking to myself "what kind of judge and social worker would allow a child's life to be decided in a goddamn Ladder match??" However, the best thing to come from all of this is Eddie's infamous "I'm Your Papi!" shirts.



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