CHICAGO -- At the sacred arena where Rey Mysterio once won the World Championship at WrestleMania 22, The Master of the 619 reigned supreme over the nefarious Chris Jericho, retaining his coveted Intercontinental Championship in a Chi-town showdown that left the capacity crowd at Judgment Day in absolute awe. (Match photos) (Watch post-match interview)
Going into this incredible match, Mysterio had never lost at Judgment Day. And from the opening bell, his sheer determination made it clear that he wasn't about to start now. Mysterio thrilled the WWE Universe from the start, matching Jericho's brutal offense with one high-flying maneuver after another. Jericho struck back with a vengeance, relentlessly picking away at his opponent with absolute contempt. But after successfully blocking numerous attempts at the 619, Jericho's anger blinded him. Mysterio used the first-ever Undisputed Champion's momentum against him, causing his head to crash into the ring post. And then, the 619 finally hit its mark, delivering ultimate victory to the energized champion.
The wheels for this explosive test-of-wills were set in motion at the 2009 WWE Draft. In one revolutionary night of fate, Mysterio returned to SmackDown where he had created so many amazing moments for the WWE Universe over the years, and definitely had something personal to defend. It also brought Jericho, who did not have Mysterio's history with Friday nights, but immediately looked to establish himself as "The new face of SmackDown."
When Jericho began his campaign to rock and ridicule Friday night in the weeks to come, Mysterio was destined to stand up and meet that forceful contempt with the championship class. During a Fatal Four Way Match to determine the No. 1 contender to face World Heavyweight Champion Edge at Judgment Day, Jericho tempted fate by throwing a chair at Mysterio, getting himself disqualified in the process. The following week, after shoving Jericho down for all the WWE Universe to see, Mysterio's distraction helped keep Jericho from being added to the Judgment Day World Championship main event. Then, in the final week leading to their fateful pay-per-view meeting, after Jericho faced Edge, Mysterio emerged to deliver a West Coast beat down that hurt his Judgment Day adversary's pride as much as his head.
The final Judgment Day verdict on Rey Mysterio is that of a heroic champion, who took on the first-ever Undisputed WWE Champion with the mask of a warrior and the ferocious heart of a lion. Although Chris Jericho failed to break his own record and win his ninth Intercontinental title, Judgment Day rules that he remains one of the elite Superstars on SmackDown. But despite Jericho's skill and his ability to talk a marathon, in the end, The Master of the 619 still had what it took to cross the finish line with the gold.