King Booker def. Rey Mysterio to become new World Heavyweight Champion

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July 23, 2006

For Rey Mysterio, it was a lifelong dream, and for the first 16 years of his career it seemed like an impossible one at that. Then, in late 2005, the passing of his best friend Eddie Guerrero turned the impossible dream into the quest of a lifetime. At WrestleMania 22, Mysterio's dream was realized and the endless years of hard work and dedication, along with the commitment he made to his fallen friend, was fulfilled when he pinned Randy Orton to win the coveted World Championship. At The Great American Bash however, the story of the greatest underdog Champion in WWE history was brought to a screeching halt with the single swing of a chair by one Chavo Guerrero. The man who was Rey's closest friend and most vocal supporter shattered both a dream and a family bond. The inconceivable betrayal resulted in the crowning of a new World Champion, King Booker.

The match was as intensely fought and extremely competitive as anyone could've expected. Mysterio and King Booker- one, a man living a dream and enjoying every second of it, and the other, a man spending every second craving a piece of WWE's richest prize- relied on their years of experience and extensive familiarity with each other's style in an attempt to seize the advantage.

King Booker's strategy was clear; keep Rey off his feet and he can't hurt you. The strategy worked for the early part of the match and the King recorded several near falls, but eventually the resilient Champion was able to regain the upper hand. At one point, it appeared Rey had Booker right where he wanted him, woozy and balanced on the middle rope, in perfect position for the patented 619. Mysterio's attempt was unsuccessful when Queen Sharmell interjected and took the liberty of tripping the Champion in mid-move. Sharmell's interference was only temporary however, as referee Nick Patrick witnessed the incident and banished the Queen from ringside. 

With the Queen removed, the odds were suddenly evened and Rey went right for the kill. A springboard DDT set Rey up for another chance at triumph, but referee Nick Patrick found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was inadvertently nailed by a soaring Rey Mysterio. The loss of the referee opened the door to the chaos that would immediately follow.

With Patrick down, Rey hit his signature 619 and followed it with a Frogsplash, reminiscent of his friend and WWE Hall of Famer, Eddie Guerrero. The Champion went for the cover, but with no referee, it was all for naught. King Booker took advantage of the distraction and climbed back to his feet. He caught Mysterio with the Bookend, and then looked to further exploit the referee's absence with the use of a steel chair. That move however backfired on the King when he received a dropkick from Rey into the chair, and thus, into his royal face. With both men down, the stage was set for one of the most shocking moments in WWE history.

Chavo Guerrero, who earlier in the night told Rey that he was at the Bash to help keep the dream alive, stunned the world when he picked up a steel chair and leveled his friend over the head. At the Conseco Fieldhouse, the site of Rey Mysterio's first WWE match, and Eddie Guerrero's final match, Rey's impossible and unlikely dream came to a sudden and tragic end. King Booker covered Mysterio, and waited patiently as the referee counted to three, signifying the crowning of a new Champion, and the dawning of a new era in WWE.

"All Hail King Booker!" If you aren't used to hearing those words by now, you will be soon, because after The Great American Bash, there is a new ruler in WWE, and his name is King Booker. After the match, WWE.com caught up with his majesty to collect his thoughts regarding his new crown.

"It's the dawning of a new era and the crowning of a great king," said the King. "I am the Champion of Champions. I will go down as one of the greatest of all-time. Now, the work begins. The new era starts tonight. The quest from Camelot is now over, and it's time for the new ventures of King Booker."

What those new ventures will include and what the new era will mean is a mystery at this point. However, knowing King Booker, it would seem likely that the new Champion and King of WWE will have something to say about his triumph this week on SmackDown.

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