Rey Mysterio def. JBL (New Intercontinental Champion)

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April 05, 2008

HOUSTON - For months, John "Bradshaw" Layfield had promised that he would accomplish something never before achieved at a WrestleMania that's been 25 years in the making. On the final week before WrestleMania, he vowed to deliver "the most decisive victory in WrestleMania history." And the vessel on whom he would carry out his claims was Rey Mysterio.

Well, JBL certainly lived up to his words in Houston's Reliant Stadium Sunday night. And he did so in an astonishing 21 seconds, in front of more than 70,000 fans. The problem? He was on the losing end.

That's right, WWE Universe -- if you headed to the kitchen or Reliant Stadium concession stands for a beverage break, it's quite conceivable that you actually did miss the ring official slap down a three-count that would award Rey Mysterio his first Intercontinental Championship … and in essence, send The Longhorn Loudmouth into a frenzy that resulted in him quitting right on the spot.

Truly, no one expected such an historic moment quite so quickly, especially considering the significant height advantage enjoyed by JBL. Mysterio -- the David to JBL and his Goliath-sized ego -- had no such benefits heading into his first WrestleMania since 2006, when he captured the World Championship. In fact, one could argue that Rey had even less of an advantage this time around; after all, the match had been set weeks in advance, giving JBL plenty of time to prepare. And even though Rey defeated JBL on Raw less than a week leading up to WrestleMania, one had to believe that the Wall Street media maven would know precisely how to counter the "Ultimate Underdog."

Then again, JBL also probably thought that he would have been in this fight much longer than 21 seconds on Sunday night, particularly after several minutes of declaring himself a "hero" to the Lone Star State - a point vociferously debated by the fans he passed by en route to the ring. And when JBL nailed the Joker-themed Mysterio in the face with a boot before the bell even sounded, his historic victory seemed all but certain. But the bell did ring, and within those 21 seconds, Rey caught his opponent completely off-guard, nailing him with an immediate 619 inside the ropes and a Frog Splash off the top rope.

The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania was the latest example in which Rey Mysterio proved to be the ultimate bane in JBL's otherwise pampered existence. It was Mysterio who had forced The Longhorn Loudmouth into a premature retirement on SmackDown back in May 2006. And on a Sunday night in Houston, less than three years later, he would do so again … and this time, judging from JBL's irate reaction afterward, for good.

With that, more than 70,000 fans in Reliant Stadium welcomed Rey Mysterio as their newest Intercontinental Title holder Sunday night in Houston, and also made it abundantly clear that JBL would always be remembered in his final and most historic match in WWE history. Especially since they'd only need to remember less than a minute of it.

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