Rey Mysterio vs Will Ospreay
Pro Wrestling World Cup First Round Match
Planet Ice, Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 11/08/2017) It’s funny how my favorite Ospreay match in some time is also the one I’d describe as his least impressive match in months. Not “least impressive” as I’d usually mean it, in being banal or melodramatic, but more in the sense that he does the least amount of big fancy flips that the kids would like in this match compared to his other high profile bouts. Mostly that’s due to the fact that he’s basing for Rey for a good chunk of this match. He does quite well in that role, being that he’s got more than enough flying experience to know how to be a good base and he’s also a bit bigger than most highflyers. I’m not saying Ospreay’s 1996 Psicosis or anything but he’s real good at bumping and feeding for his all-timer opponent here.
Per usual, Rey’s doing his usual late stage Rey routine, which is still quite fun to watch when you only see it four or five times a year like me. When he’s in control of the match I like to think he reins in Ospreay’s worst habits, in that his offense is all about being a smaller guy doing what he can with his skillset to stay on top and keep laying in moves in order to eventually win. The thing (I say “the thing” but it’s not like it’s only one thing) that I hate about guys like Ospreay is that their huge array of offense isn’t used so much to get across that sort of story but rather just to do a lot of cool moves. Maybe it’s just a level of “things were better back in my day” crotchetiness, but I think there’s so much more focus and heart to Rey’s work, something that’s lacking in the matches of the Ospreays and the Scurlls and the Omegas of the world. I don’t react to their big moves or their subsequent kickouts because I know there’s always six or seven coming down the stretch. None of them feel like they’re meant to be serious attempts at winning because the people doing them aren’t serious or trying to win.
Anywho, most of that is reined in here. Not all of it, as the finishing stretch certainly bleeds into that, but part of that is due to a deliberate passing of the torch that felt like a very distinct goal of this match, at least on Rey’s end. From the opening moments where he’s encouraging and singing along with Ospreay chants, it feels like Rey’s doing his best to make this kid a star, or moreso than he already is. I’m not thrilled with his intentions but the product of those intentions ain’t half bad, being my favorite Ospreay match in God knows how long. Rey is notably falling behind by the end, being out of place or unable to bump correctly for a few different moves, but I’m willing to forgive that being that he’s been wrestling longer than my parents have been married and in any case it sort of adds to the story of this fresh new highflyer just being so much better than the guy of the last generation. Even if I don’t agree with that assessment I get a little caught up anyway due to the veteran’s efforts, which I guess is the sign of a true great.