Editors' Choice: 12 overlooked PPV matches you need to discover on WWE Network

Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle: SummerSlam 2002

The best athletes have a way of making things look easy. Spend enough time watching Kelly Slater slice through the break on YouTube and you might convince yourself that you, too, could become a world-class surfer if you only had the time. Same goes for Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle, two professional wrestlers capable of such flawless technique that they make the impossible — say a reversal of a modified victory roll into a German Suplex — look like something that humans are objectively capable of doing.

Therein lies their brilliance, because it’s practically impossible for anyone to do what these men do. Need convincing? Got 10 minutes? Rewatch their opener from SummerSlam 2002, an unsung mat classic that whizzes by with the speed and intent of a bullet from a gun.

The bout’s appeal — apart from the fact that it pitted the greatest highflier in sports-entertainment history against an honest to God Olympic Gold Medalist — can be found in its simple conceit. Angle wanted to snap Rey’s ankle while Rey was prepared to use every clever reversal he could think up to avoid said ankle snapping.

The relentless cat-and-mouse game brought out the best in both competitors as Angle displayed the grind-your-face-in-the-mat viciousness of the worst kind of amateur wrestling bully while Mysterio — appropriately outfitted in all silver — bounced around like a fleshy pinball.

The bout’s finish, which sees Angle reverse an attempted top rope Frankensteiner into an ankle lock, isn’t as pretty as it could have been. Still, it left both Superstars looking better than when they came in. Angle walked away as an even more serious threat to everyone on the roster while Mysterio hobbled off a gutsy contender even in defeat.

By the time you caught your breath, they were already gone, on their way to another classic. — RYAN MURPHY