Yeah, this ruled. We’re at a point know where Roman’s title reign has been so well booked and protected that any of his title defenses come off as major events. It certainly helps that a vast majority of his title defenses have been against the very best wrestlers of multiple eras of wrestling but the dude shows up to work every time.
But also, let’s not overlook that this is Rey Mysterio we’re talking about here. An all time great, a legend, iconic in his own right, and still going at an incredibly high standard of quality. His entrance for this match is pitch perfect, highlighting the gravity of the build as well as the intimidation of the Cell.
Rey comes out of the gates swinging with one of the better babyface shines in the Roman title reign. It’s not Daniel Bryan embarrassing Roman on the mat, sure, but Rey Mysterio playing a clever challenger and just walloping Roman with weapons from the word go is real satisfying in its own right. Roman plays it great as well, selling well, and convincingly displaying that he’s been caught off guard by the aggression of the smaller man. Roman’s fantastic at bumping all around the place for Rey and this early shine probably serves as the highlight of the match.
Roman’s control does slow things down as he’s wont to do but this match is short enough that it never feels like it drags for too long. Not counting matches wrestled against the greatest performer the industry has ever known, this is one of the best paced matches in Roman’s entire reign.
The finish is just amazing. Roman hauls Rey up and powerbombs him over the top rope into the Cell wall, mirroring the bump that Dominik took recently on Smackdown. Its brutal, spectacular, and it genuinely caught me off guard when it happens. Thankfully both Rey and Roman recognized that there’s no topping that spot and they go straight into Roman’s new submission finish to wrap things up.
Just another masterful display of everything that’s made this run from Roman so enjoyable. Top notch character work, a strong sense of pacing and selling, and fiery performances from some all time great workers as opponents.