EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Welcome back, Rey Mysterio. After a career-threatening knee injury that kept him out of action for nearly 10 months, the sultan of the 619 treated our jubilant fans to his triumphant return at the twentieth annual SummerSlam, and dialed up much-deserved retribution against the opponent who nearly ended his career.

Before Sunday night in the Continental Airlines Arena, Chavo Guerrero had spent weeks endlessly mocking Rey on SmackDown; when he wasn’t wearing a poor man’s Mysterio mask and badly mimicking his voice, he’d throw the mask on the ring adversaries he decimated en route to the Biggest Party of the Summer. Clearly, Chavo’s obsession and hatred for a former childhood friend had utterly consumed him, to the point where he relished another opportunity at the former World Champion, looking to permanently damage the left knee he took out during their “I Quit” Match last October.

For Rey, his return contest must have seemed like a Handicap Match. As both SmackDown commentators Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield noted throughout the match, Mysterio had more to battle than the pugnacious Chavo. He also had to contend with the demons in his mind – the demons that make even the greatest athletes fear whether or not they can come back from severe injuries.

Thankfully, Mysterio had the capacity crowd in the Continental Airlines Arena chanting “Rey!” in support, right from the moment he catapulted up onto the ramp, geared and body-painted in silver. They roared his name with every high-risk maneuver he executed, and booed heavily at every assault Chavo made on the repaired knee (and there were many). Demonstrating the experience only a Guerrero could carry, the out-of-joint Chavo methodically, systematically pounded away on the leg, determined to separate the knee in more than three places this time.

Mysterio battled through the intense punishment, though, making sure he gave as good as Chavo. But the questions about his knee resurfaced continually, especially after two failed attempts at his signature move, the 619. It looked like Rey might not even get another opportunity after a missed flying crossbody allowed Chavo to start delivering his “Three Amigos” of suplexes. But then Rey blocked the third attempt and left Guerrero hanging on the ropes. For the naysayers who insisted that “ring rust” would be Mysterio’s downfall, they were nowhere to be found as the ace of the aerial assault dialed up the 619 on Chavo’s face, then splashed and pinned him for the three-count.

Our fans erupted as Rey Mysterio’s hand was raised in victory, but they weren’t just cheering for his win over Chavo. They were euphoric in the knowledge that Rey had triumphed over any demons that might have grounded his career, and perhaps even returned to WWE even better than before.

Pick up Rey's Master of 619 t-shirt at WWEShop...