Chris Jericho def. Rey Mysterio in No Holds Barred Match (New Intercontinental Champion)

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June 07, 2009

NEW ORLEANS -- At Extreme Rules, as the smoke on the explosive, gut-wrenching No Holds Barred Match for the gold cleared, Chris Jericho stood victorious over Rey Mysterio, winning his record ninth Intercontinental Championship in absolutely vicious fashion after ripping off his adversary's mask in a moment of complete dishonor. (Match photos)

In a brutal, career-threatening match specifically designed for pain, the resentment between two elite Superstars horrifically manifested itself on an open playing field of raw, volatile emotions that ended in dispare for one of them. Even before the bell, Jericho reaffirmed his scorn, emerging from the merchandise booth, brandishing a Mysterio mask and once again pledging to unmask his opponent and take his title. A high-risk onslaught took over from there, as the high-octane Mysterio and the ruthless Jericho tried to dismantle each other in a sea of near falls, steel chairs and absolute mayhem. And then the unthinkable happened. To the horror of the WWE Universe, Jericho suddenly ripped Mysterio's mask off as he was going for the 619. And before anyone could catch their breath, he quickly followed up to pin the stunned Superstar, taking his gold and his dignity in one fleeting moment.

Since being drafted to SmackDown, Chris Jericho has collectively held the WWE Universe, his fellow Friday night Superstars and General Manager Theodore Long in absolute contempt, almost instantly clashing with Mysterio, one of SmackDown's favorite sons. 

At Judgment Day, Mysterio heroically reigned supreme over his outspoken adversary with the 619, the very move that his opponent promised the WWE Universe would not happen. Jericho's defeat only further fueled the fire of his discontent and resentment. When Jericho insisted that Teddy Long give him a rematch with the champion, it was revealed that Mysterio had already asked for the match and it would be No Holds Barred at Extreme Rules.

The Intercontinental Championship itself is a title that both Superstars hold dear. Mysterio has voiced his hope to one day be among the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all-time, while Chris Jericho -- who had held the title a record eight times already -- seemed to be making his own record an obsessive, personal quest.

Since the beginning, Jericho has insisted his adversary "panders" to WWE Universe and claimed that he is a coward who "hides behind a mask." Jericho used both of these notions against his prey, disguising himself behind a Mysterio mask in order to launch a sneak attack on the unsuspecting Master of the 619. Mysterio hit back the following week, attacking Jericho and executing the sitting senton onto the dangerous, hard concrete.   

Now that Chris Jericho has dethroned and demasked his prey, ripping the coveted gold from Mysterio's waist and pride from his head, how will Rey Mysterio even be the same?

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