The Shawn Michaels Mixtape (Part One)
Since I’m trying to keep this mainly about Shawn’s singles run, you’ll find the Rockers era completely left out. There’s a handful of tags, but most of them just accentuate a feud he might be involved in at the time. Even if I did leave in the Rockers era, I can’t think of any hidden gems that I haven’t already recapped from their time in the WWF, for sure. I’m sure there’s an AWA match with Buddy Rose and Doug Somers I haven’t seen like the one from WrestleRock, but I’ve done the three main ones – the bloodbath, a cage match, and the title switch. I’ve recapped all three of Shawn’s DVD sets, which took care of a lot of his matches, so what you’ll see here is what’s left.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Diesel) vs. Marty Jannetty – (WWF Monday Night Raw, 7/19/93)
Does Marty have Shawn’s number? We’re about to find out. Our esteemed commentators wonder if Mr. Perfect is in the building. Heenan supposedly sends a stooge to go find out. Marty has a hard time with Diesel at ringside. This distraction allows Shawn to fire first from behind. Very quick sequence ensues from there as Marty tries to go for the fast win. Shawn tries to slow it down with a headlock, but Marty is one step ahead every time he breaks loose. Shawn takes a big shoulder bump in the corner and then turns around right into an armdrag to further damage. Shawn fights out of an armbar, but gets caught with a flying clothesline. He avoids a flying fist drop, but Jannetty lands on his feet and drops Shawn with a DDT. Cover, 1-2-3! (5:08) Shawn’s got his foot on the rope though. Diesel points that out to the ref while we take a commercial break.
Okay, so the match continues after the break. Savage feels this is the worst series of events he’s ever seen. I don’t know exactly how you can justify that feeling though, Randy. Jannetty is still in total control. Shawn fights out of a sleeper with a back suplex and knees Jannetty to the floor. Back inside, they double-KO each other, causing Shawn to take a tumble to the outside. Diesel tries to help him in, but ref Hebner won’t allow it. More commercials!
When we return, Shawn is wearing down Jannetty with chinlocks and headlocks. When he puts his feet on the ropes, Diesel leans on the ropes to justify the ‘shaking’ before Shawn gets caught. That’s actually really smart. Well, Shawn never gets caught, as Jannetty fights up and crotches Shawn on the top rope. Time for the Jannetty comeback. Jumping back elbow gets two. Shawn catches him telegraphing a backdrop and sets up for the Piledriver, but Jannetty counters into a hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Flying bodypress by Shawn, but Jannetty rolls through for another nearfall! Rocker Dropper stuns Shawn as he falls back and gets tied up in the ropes. Jannetty actually punches him free before charging him, as Shawn ducks and Jannetty goes flying over the top rope to the floor. Nasty! Diesel puts Jannetty back inside, allowing Shawn to drape an arm over him for the 1-2-3. (14:21 shown) Jannetty was just awesome in 1993. Fast-paced, great execution by both guys, and a logical finish to boot. This match was awarded the PWI match of the year: Shawn’s first of eleven PWI MOTY awards throughout his career. ****
- WWF Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels & Diesel vs. The 1-2-3 Kid & Razor Ramon – (WWF Action Zone, 10/30/94)
Best known as the Kliq match. Razor and Kid quickly take care of Diesel, leaving Shawn alone with them for the RAZOR’S EDGE. As Razor covers, Diesel yanks Shawn out to prevent the pin. Back inside, Kid is throwing everything at Shawn to get the quick pin, but can’t quite pull it off. Shawn blocks a headscissors with a powerbomb and tags in Diesel. He tosses Kid around for a bit. Tag to Razor, he punches out both Diesel and Shawn. It’s not too long before he’s stuck in the wrong side of town though. Commercials! When we return, Diesel gets a blind tag and runs down Razor. After some knees in the corner from Big D, Shawn catches Razor with a clothesline from the apron. Razor is *your* face in peril. Side Slam by Diesel gets two. Shawn hits a flying elbow and tries to wear down Razor some more with a chinlock. Razor elbows out and delivers a backslide, but only gets two. Shawn catches him with a dropkick and tags in Diesel, who delivers Snake Eyes. Bossman straddle by Diesel sets up some elbow drops to the back for a two-count. The champs continue to wear down Razor with rest holds. They cheat like crazy during an abdominal stretch. Just great stuff here. More commercials! Time for the comeback. Razor drills Shawn with the Chokeslam to set up the false tag to the Kid. While the ref is with the Kid, Diesel holds Razor for SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Oh, but Razor ducks and Diesel gets KO’ed. HOT TAG TO THE KID! There’s kicks everywhere. Shawn takes the Harley Race bump to the floor. Kid makes him pay with a somersault pescado. Back inside, Kid hits Shawn with a missile dropkick for 1-2-NO! Back to Razor, he delivers the Fallaway Slam. He even throws Kid onto Shawn for a nearfall. Razor wants the Back Superplex, but Shawn reverses and lands on top of Razor! Wait, Razor rolls through and gets the 1-2-NO! Rocket Launcher onto Shawn! Kid covers for 1-2-NO! Some fast counting by Chioda here. Diesel is still knocked out by that kick. Razor stomps Diesel in the face, causing him to fall out to the floor. Meanwhile, Shawn grabs Razor for a sleeper. He works Razor down to the mat to the point the ref starts raising Razor’s arm. After the arm drops twice, Kid punches Shawn off the hold. Razor catapults Shawn into the corner and tags Kid, who delivers a Flying Legdrop for 1-2-NO! Hey look, Diesel is back up. As Shawn reverses a whip into the ropes, the Kid runs straight into Diesel’s big boot. That’ll do it as Shawn covers Kid for the 1-2-3. (17:55 shown) This is how you tear the house down. Just an incredible story told that never had a dull moment and great offense all the way to the end, which made for one of the finest tag matches in WWF history. The finish might seem out of nowhere, but Kid sold the heck out of that boot. ****½
I could definitely do the Montreal Screwjob here, but because of what I have to say about that, I want to save it for the actual Survivor Series 1997 recap.
- World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/Ric Flair) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho – Elimination Chamber (WWE Survivor Series 2002)
As many of you wrestling aficionados know, this is the *first* elimination chamber. As much as I love the WCW WarGames cage, this cage looks so much better. These matches normally lack the emotional level of a WarGames, but the wrestling quality and violence (arguable) of the Elimination Chamber is competitive. I don’t understand Shawn’s hair at this point. Whoever told him that the ’60s bob haircut was back in style – was WRONG. Interesting tights choice too: brown. Fun fact from JR: HHH has never won at Survivor Series. He says he’s 0-6, but that’s incorrect since he didn’t compete at either the 1997, 1998, or 2001 Survivor Series. He wouldn’t win at this event until he beat Ric Flair in 2005.
Triple H and RVD start the match. RVD abuses HHH on the steel to bust him open in the first five minutes. He does a cool Rolling Thunder from inside the ring out onto the steel. RVD climbs up onto the top of Jericho’s pod and gets his leg pulled down through the steel mesh. That causes some problems, but then RVD somersaults down on Triple H. Jericho joins the EC and goes after RVD only to be met with a bunch of kicks. Out on the steel, Jericho ducks a flying bodypress only for RVD to grab hold of the steel mesh like Spiderman. This is 2002, ya know! RVD flies off the steel and back down onto Jericho in a very use of the cage. Despite all their past issues, HHH and Jericho double-team RVD for a while. Booker T is next. He’s a HOUSE OF FIRE! Once the house is clean, Booker gives the crowd the Spinaroonie! He and Van Dam have a short little match where they exchange a bunch of kicks. HHH tries to take advantage, but winds up taking an AXE KICK. RVD climbs to the top of an empty pod to nail HHH with the FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH. MSG is loving this guy. While doubled over selling the impact of that, Booker T nails RVD with a Missile Dropkick to eliminate him at 13:38.
Jericho goes after Booker, but misses the Lionsault and takes a Spinebuster for two. Kane enters the EC next. He torpedoes Jericho into the cage and then throws him THROUGH an empty BULLETPROOF pod. Just nasty. Jericho is bleeding from the forehead. Why doesn’t he pull a Tully and blade a deltoid? Man up. Kane gives Booker a Chokeslam and joins HHH out on the steel. Meanwhile, Jericho crawls over and lands a Lionsault on Booker to send him to the showers at 17:41.
Kane is ruling the roost here leading up to Shawn Michaels leaving the pod and entering the match. The Match Beyond begins? Even though Shawn is fresh, Kane is still dominant. Shawn hits a few of his signature moves, but Kane has Chokeslams for all three guys. He wants a Tombstone on HHH, but he gets shoved off into SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Now he gets a PEDIGREE. Lionsault by Jericho! Cover, 1-2-3 at 22:54. See ya, Kane.
And then there were three. Naturally, Hunter and Jericho work over HBK pretty good rubbing his face into the mesh to get him bloody. Just as Shawn tries to come back on Triple H with the Flying Forearm and the kip-up, here comes Jericho with a face slam and the Lionsault for 1-2-NO! Looks like Hunter is resting in the corner and waiting for his moment as HBK lands a Moonsault Press on Jericho for two. Shawn even applies the WALLS OF JERICHO, but HHH breaks it up with a DDT. Jericho crawls over to Shawn, but HHH pulls him off the pin. They both want to be the one to put away HBK, meaning now that neither one of them will be able to put away HBK. After some fisticuffs, HHH delivers a clothesline and a Facebuster for two. We get the WrestleMania 18 finish as Jericho leaps down into a Pedigree, but he blocks it and counters to the WALLS OF JERICHO. When HHH is in big trouble, Shawn decks Jericho with SWEET CHIN MUSIC to take him out of the match at 30:43.
It’s the only ending there could be. The match goes back out onto the steel flooring where HBK wants to Pedigree HHH, but Helmsley reverses and catapults Shawn through the BULLETPROOF pod. He throws HBK back inside and covers for 1-2-NO! Back to the steel, HBK gives Hunter his receipt by countering the Pedigree and delivering a catapult into the cage wall. Back in the ring, Shawn lands a Flying Elbow Drop off the pod! Time for Sweet Chin Music, but HHH blocks the kick and spins him around for the PEDIGREE. Delayed cover gets two. He wants another Pedigree, but Michaels backdrops HHH over and connects with SWEET CHIN MUSIC for the win and the world title! (39:21) Great debut for the Chamber as they used the cage to their advantage by introducing POD VIOLENCE~! The biggest problem with these matches though – especially this one, but we’ll forgive it since it’s the first and the main point was to establish what it is – is that it’s very obvious where they are heading with the winner. You had to know it would either be Shawn or HHH here. The ones that stand out the most in my opinion though are the ones that elevate guys, like for example the one in 2008 with Jeff Hardy. ****
- Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho – (WWE Raw, 7/21/03)
It’s WRESTLEMANIA REMATCH time! Thanks to Kane setting JR on fire, Coach has taken over commentary duties. So yeah, suck on that. Extended hammerlocks and headlocks sequence to start. We’re talking around five minutes or so. Shawn tries the skin-the-cat headscissors, but Jericho blocks and puts him back on the apron. Jericho wants the Springboard Dropkick, but HBK pulls the top rope down and Jericho goes flying to the floor. Big springboard splash by Shawn. Back inside we go, Shawn lands a flying bodypress for two. Hey look, here comes Ric Flair. He’s immediately met with a right hand by Shawn. Back in, Jericho blocks a hurracanrana and locks in the WALLS OF JERICHO. With no warning from Coach, we go to break. When we return, Shawn is out of the Walls, but taking a backdrop out to the floor. Flair gets a measure of revenge by choking him with his suit jacket. WOO! Going after the back, Jericho runs Shawn into the ringpost. In the ring, Jericho delivers a flying back elbow for two. Shawn catches Jericho with a dropkick as he’s flying off the top. He mounts his comeback and tries to put Jericho in the Walls, but settles for a catapult in the corner for two. Jericho fires back with a Northern Lights suplex. He misses the Lionsault once, but not the second time. Slow cover gets two. He wants a back superplex, but Michaels elbows him down for the Flying Elbow Drop. Sweet Chin Music misses and he nearly nails ref Hebner. While Hebner has his back turned, Jericho delivers a swift kick to the nuts ala WrestleMania. Jericho brings a chair into the mix, but eats the chair with SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Hebner and Flair have a confrontation that leads out to the floor. While that’s going on, Randy Orton runs down and RKOs Michaels on the chair! He disappears as quickly as he came. Hebner sends Flair to the back, which is fine with him since the deed has already been done. Jericho crawls over for the cover and gets 1-2-NO! He hooks on the WALLS OF JERICHO and corners himself so that if Shawn tries to power out, Jericho puts his head up against a turnbuckle pad to prevent that from happening. The Stan Hansen approach. I like it. Since Shawn can’t power out, he tries to crawl towards the ropes. Once he gets within inches of the ropes, Jericho pulls him back to the center of the ring to finally get him to tap out. (21:31 shown) I’m kind of disappointed with this match considering the amount of time given. It feel very uninspired. The crowd didn’t even seem to care by the end, which could be why they closed the chapter on this feud with this match. ***¼
- Team Austin (Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels & the Dudley Boyz) (w/Steve Austin) vs. Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Christian, Scott Steiner & Randy Orton) (w/Teddy Long, Stacy Keibler & Eric Bischoff) – Survivor Series Elimination Match (WWE Survivor Series 2003)
After being co-GMs of Raw for the better part of seven months, Austin and Bischoff have built teams of five to go to battle with the hopes of becoming the one and only Raw GM by the end of this match. If Team Bischoff wins, Austin is banned from Raw FOREVER. While it’s good action, nothing too interesting happens for the first couple minutes. Steiner throws RVD around a lot. Booker and BPP open up their old wounds as well. He lands the AXE KICK and does the Spinaroonie, which leads to a pier six brawl. Steiner and Booker remain in the ring where the STEINER RECLINER gets applied. Not enjoying being Steiner’s sex slave (and knowing what we know about Big Poppa Pump, who would be?), Stacy Keibler gets up on the apron to encourage Booker to fight out. That brings Steiner off the hold to grab her by the hair. The Dudley Boyz save the day with the other 3D where it’s a back suplex into a neckbreaker. BOOK END on Steiner is enough for him to call it a night at 7:28. Almost immediately, Mark Henry ends Booker T with the WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM at 7:51. RVD and the Dudleyz try their darnedest to rid the ring of Henry. It takes a 3D and a FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH to put him away as all three of them dog pile Henry at 10:04. Jericho and Orton work over RVD for a while. He comes back with the Rolling Thunder and heads up top for his finish, but Jericho shoves him down to cause him to stumble into an RKO to eliminate RVD at 12:06. Crowd wants tables. JR just can’t imagine RAW without Stone Cold. D-Von mounts a comeback on Jericho and could have got the pin except for the fact that Christian is distracting the ref. D-Von walks into the Flashback (remember that move?) as Jericho pins him at 13:49.
It’s now 3-on-2 in favor of Team Bischoff. Shawn Michaels tags in for the first time in this match. He beats on Jericho for a bit, but the numbers game gets to him. Hot tag to Bubba Ray, the Bubba Bomb on Jericho fails after a low blow. Christian sneaks over with the UNPRETTIER on Bubba Ray to send him walking at 16:53. That leaves Shawn Michaels all alone with Orton, Jericho, and Christian. Shawn hits the Flying Forearm and the inverted atomic drop on Christian, but Jericho pulls down the top rope to cause him to fall out to the floor. Back inside, the heels continue to work over Shawn. When they go back to the floor, Christian catapults Shawn into the ringpost to bust him open from ear to ear. Just a bloody mess. Back in the ring, Shawn shoves off an Unprettier and catches Christian charging with SWEET CHIN MUSIC. He collapses on top of Christian to get rid of him at 20:29. Some good hope spots follow. Shawn’s best moment to capitalize on comes when he dumps out Orton. Jericho hits the bulldog and goes for the Lionsault, but hits knees. They trade finisher attempts, but Shawn counters the Walls of Jericho with an inside cradle to overcome the 3-to-1 odds at 23:56. Jericho lays out Michaels with a chair afterwards. Austin gives him the bird until he finally leaves. Orton crawls in for the cover and gets two. He tries a Flying Bodypress, but Shawn ducks and Orton wipes out ref Chioda. He wants some Sweet Chin Music, but Bischoff comes in and kicks Shawn in the ribs. That’s all the provocation Austin needs to nail Bischoff. STUNNER to Orton! While Austin beats Bischoff up the aisle, Batista sneaks in and delivers the DEMON BOMB to Shawn! Again Orton crawls on Shawn for the cover, only this time he gets the 1-2-3. (27:28) Steve Austin says his goodbyes to the people of Dallas where his career began back in 1989, seeing this as a fitting end to it all. He would be “fired” the next night on Raw, but would return by the end of the year as the Sheriff of Raw, which means he came in and did whatever he wanted. As for Shawn, this was taking things back to what was so endearing about him back at SummerSlam 2002. He could take the beating of a lifetime and somehow come out on top. Of course he didn’t pull it off here like he did back then, but it was still a great performance. Not his greatest performance of 2003, but pretty darn close. Besides Shawn though, still some great action, although you had to leave feeling like he was the man after this. ***¾
- Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit – (WWE Raw, 2/16/04)
A DREAM MATCH at the time for me and many others, I’m sure. Desperate to finish his feud with Triple H, Shawn interrupted the Benoit/HHH WrestleMania 20 main event contract signing a week earlier to force his way into the match by giving Benoit some Sweet Chin Music. During a staredown before the bell, Shawn stomps his foot on the mat to screw with Benoit. He gets a slap in the face. Benoit delivers a snap suplex and whips in Shawn for the Ray Stevens corner bump to try for the Crippler Crossface, but Shawn retreats to the floor. Back in, Shawn takes over and starts working on the neck after a swinging neckbreaker. He looks for the Flying Elbow, but Benoit moves. Shawn avoids the German Suplex, but takes a crazy bump to the floor to lead into commercials. AND WE’RE BACK! Benoit has Shawn on his knees and his neck crimped back in a cravat. Shawn fights out, but Benoit begins punishing the back – the well-known weakness of HBK. After Shawn hiptosses out of an abdominal stretch, he grabs a sleeper on Benoit. He escapes with a back suplex to do further damage to the back. After Benoit applies a sleeper of his own, Shawn counters with a jawbreaker. Benoit chops back and goes for the quick win with a backslide followed with an inside cradle. Shawn counters a back suplex by landing on top of Benoit, but then charges into a clothesline. They fight over a superplex, but Michaels finally punches down Benoit and scores with the Flying Elbow. He starts “tuning up the band” and goes for the kick, but Benoit sidesteps and tries for the Crippler Crossface. Shawn manages however to keep Benoit from clasping his hands, causing Benoit to change gears and go for the SHARPSHOOTER. Great dramatic sequence as even though Benoit keeps Shawn in the center of the ring, Shawn still manages to reach the bottom rope. After Benoit hits the Hat Trick of Germans, out walks Triple H with the world title belt over his shoulder. With Benoit all distracted, he turns back around into SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Cover, 1-2-3! (18:23 shown) Just to show that Helmsley and Michaels aren’t working together, Triple H drops him with a PEDIGREE. Next thing you know, Steve Austin’s music hits (told you he wouldn’t be gone forever) and he rides out on his awesome four-wheeler. Since the Raw GM Eric Bischoff is scared of Triple H, he sent Austin out to bare the news. The main event at WrestleMania 20 will be Triple H defending his world title against both Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels in a triple-threat match. Boom. It never got to that level of ‘epic proportions’, but it was a very solid match. Probably the first time they ever touched as well. ***½
- Shawn Michaels & Randy Orton vs. Edge & Christian – (WWE Raw, 2/21/05)
More of an opportunity to get Edge & Christian back together than anything else. While Shawn and Edge are certainly feuding, Randy is in a kind of no-man’s-land right now after wrapping up his feud with Triple H at the Royal Rumble and starting his WrestleMania feud with the Undertaker. That is if you call being in an on-screen relationship with Stacy Keibler “no-man’s-land”. Christian and Orton start us off. Boy, Orton is unbearably cocky here. They punch and kick each other from corner to corner. As Orton grabs a headlock, Christian backs him into his corner thanks to a little help from Edge. Moving on, Shawn bounces Christian’s face off turnbuckle pads a bunch. Shawn has to fight his way out of the E&C corner and then works a headlock on Christian. After Christian finally escapes, Shawn gets kicked out over the top rope with some more help from Edge. Just GREAT team work. Edge sneaks a clothesline off the apron onto Shawn as we go to commercial. When we return, Shawn mounts his comeback and makes the HOT TAG TO ORTON! He delivers the forearm smashes to Edge, much like the ones Sheamus does today except not in the ropes. Flying Bodypress by Orton gets two. Christian slugs Orton from the floor and helps out with a side slam/reverse DDT double-team. That scores a nearfall. E&C cut the ring in half for another minute or two before failing on a double flapjack as Orton drops them both with a DDT. Tag to Shawn, he busts out the old TEARDROP SUPLEX on Christian, which JR calls the Angle Slam to allude to Shawn’s feud with Angle. Cover, 1-2-NO! Orton shoves off the Unprettier from Christian and tries the RKO on Edge, but that gets shoved off into ref Hebner. Edge nails Orton with the SPEAR as he turns around. Shawn wipes out Edge with the Flying Forearm and kips up to slam Christian for the Flying Elbow! Shawn gets the crowd going and starts “tuning up the band”. Unfortunately, Edge is there to trip him up and Christian helps out by pulling Shawn’s balls into the ringpost. They call for a Conchairto and just as they go to swing on Shawn’s head, he hits the mat and the chairs clang together. While Orton reappears and clotheslines Edge out of the ring, Shawn ducks another wild chair swing from Christian and gives him some SWEET CHIN MUSIC for the win. (15:10 shown) Good TV match that built to an exciting finish. Except for Shawn to maybe put over Edge, you can’t really ask for much more. Then again, he did *tap out* at WrestleMania 21 for Kurt Angle, and that’s no small potatoes when you have a guy with Shawn’s mindset. ***½
- Shawn Michaels vs. Edge – Street Fight (WWE Raw, 2/28/05)
If you’re unsure or unfamiliar, JR and Lawler explain to you why this feud has escalated to “street fight” levels of violence. I love these ‘come as you are’ bunkhouse brawls. Shawn rips off Edge’s vest to whip him with his leather belt. WHIP HIM! WHIP HIM LIKE A DOG! They fight in the crowd and back out to ringside. Shawn finds a camera dropped by a fan and takes a picture of Edge before tossing it back to the fan. Awesome. Shawn belts Edge with a trash can and then pulls out a ladder from under the ring. Edge makes him pay with a nasty trash can lid shot to the face. Back inside, Edge DDTs Shawn on a folded out chair to bust him open from ear to ear. Commercials! When we come back, Shawn fights out of a body scissors and retrieves the ladder. Edge dropkicks the ladder back in his face though. As Edge heads up top, Shawn throws the ladder at him to send Edge falling on the floor. Back in, Michaels lays the ladder on the second turnbuckle only to eat it as Edge gives him a drop toehold into the ladder. Cover, 1-2-NO! With the ladder set back up in the corner, Edge delivers a flying splash on Shawn! Delayed cover gets two. Shawn fires back with a catapult into the ladder and then KO’s Edge with a chairshot. No blood though. Edge finds a kendo stick and takes a wild swing at Shawn, but misses. VINTAGE HBK COMEBACK! After the inverted atomic drop, Michaels whacks Edge with the kendo stick to set up the Flying Elbow. Shawn wills himself back up to his feet and rips off the t-shirt! That must be the Shawn Michaels equivalent to Jerry Lawler dropping the strap. Edge ducks Sweet Chin Music and low blows Shawn with a chair! He wants a One-Man Conchairto to finish Shawn once and for all, but Shawn reaches up and punches him in the dick. HA! As Michaels goes to whack Shawn with a chair, Edge jumps up and delivers a SPEAR! Cover, 1-2-NO! WHAT. Edge “tunes up the band” and waits for Shawn to get up. He charges for another Spear, but Shawn catches him with SWEET CHIN MUSIC for the 1-2-3! (15:05 shown) Just bloody enough, just violent enough, and just exciting enough for a TV match. Great stuff. ****¼
- Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin – Gold Rush Tournament Quarterfinals (WWE Raw, 5/2/05)
The eight-man Gold Rush tournament was just the Raw GM Eric Bischoff’s way of finding a new #1 contender to Batista’s world title that wasn’t Triple H. JR – “This is going to be AWESOME!” They go through some amateur sitouts and whatnot to start. Being the legit shooter of the two, obviously Shelton owns Michaels here. That starts to frustrate Shawn as he resorts to blows. Benjamin answers back by clotheslining Shawn to the floor to further frustrate HBK. Commercials! When we return, Benjamin counters a back superplex and falls on top of Shawn. We see Batista is watching on a monitor backstage. Shelton begins his comeback with an arm trap backbreaker for two. Shawn fires back with the Flying Forearm. He takes a moment to collect himself before the kip-up. On the other side of the ring though, Shelton kips-up as well! They get into a rollup sequence with Benjamin scoring a nearfall. Michaels chops Benjamin back into a corner, but gets a whip reversed in the opposite corner for the Stinger Splash. Shelton looks for the T-Bone Suplex, but Shawn elbows out and backdrops him away. Shawn wants to finish him off with Sweet Chin Music, but Shelton ducks and lands the Dragon Whip Kick that busts Michaels mouth open. Fantastic stuff. Cover, 1-2-NO! Michaels elbows down a superplex and hits the Flying Elbow. He really wants this match to end and tries once more for Sweet Chin Music, but again Shelton blocks and kicks Shawn’s head off again for 1-2-NO! To show off how awesome he is, Benjamin springs off the top rope from the mat and drills Michaels with a clothesline. That gets another nearfall. Shawn tosses a charging Shelton out to the apron. As Benjamin springboards towards Michaels, Shawn finally catches him with SWEET CHIN MUSIC to completely rock his world. The pinfall is academic. (12:43 shown) Did Shawn Michaels show himself to be a selfless company guy out to make Shelton look as good as possible or is he kind of an evil genius? You can’t exactly argue that he didn’t give Shelton any offense or sell for him at all because he gave Benjamin control of probably 90% of the match. At the same time, the finish is the only thing that anybody remembers from this match, which only made Shawn look like a killer. All the same, I do like the story of Shawn virtually not being able to finish off this kid and having to use his own offense against him. A classic Raw encounter that you would have never saw coming. ****¼
To set up the next match, you can’t leave out the Larry King sketch of Shawn Michaels imitating Hulk Hogan, brother brother brotherrrrrr. From RAW 8/1/05.
- Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan – (WWE SummerSlam 2005)
That has to be the biggest American flag I’ve ever seen during Hogan’s entrance. It covered the ENTIRE SummerSlam set! Hogan shoves away a few collar and elbow tie-ups to start. Shawn oversells the heck out of them. After some time in the headlock, Hogan comes out and shoulderblocks Michaels to the floor. Back in, Shawn clubs Hogan and chops him in the corner. Hogan reverses the cross-corner whip causing Shawn to land on the top turnbuckle. Hulk kicks him a few times until Shawn crotches himself. He gives Michaels a turnbuckle smash to set up the Curt Hennig somersault sell off the bottom rope. Shawn goes to the eyes for more chops because what else can he do with this guy. Hogan answers with a backdrop and clotheslines Shawn to the floor for another ridiculous oversell. Back in, Hogan hits the AXE BOMBER, but Shawn fires back with more chops. From there, he changes over to slaps. Hogan whips Michaels in for the Flair Flip and punches him off the apron. On the floor, Hulk slams him on the Spanish announce table and then runs him into the post. He puts Shawn over his shoulder and charges for the ringpost, but Shawn drops to the floor and runs Hogan into the post instead. Shawn begins to pound on Hogan’s forehead until he eventually blades. Hulk’s a bloody mess as Shawn grabs a sleeper. His arm drops once, twice, BUT NOT THREE TIMES. He shakes the index finger and comes out of the hold with a back suplex. Flying Forearm by Shawn! He kips-up and tries the Flying Elbow, but Hogan moves out of the way. Hulk sees his own blood and gets REVITALIZED! He points at Shawn, punches him three times, whips him in for the Big Boot, but Shawn counters with another Flying Forearm and crashes into ref Chioda. Shawn kips-up anyways and starts to head up top, but decides to try the Sharpshooter instead. It’s a pretty lousy Sharpshooter to boot. Out comes another token white guy ref to check on Hogan. Hulk reaches the ropes anyways. Shawn looks for another shot at the hold, but Hogan kicks him back into the second ref. Shawn takes full advantage of the fact that there’s no referee by giving Hogan a low blow and a grazing chair shot to the head. This time, the Flying Elbow connects. He wakes up the second ref and “tunes up the band”. SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Cover, 1-2-NO! Time to Hulk Up. Three punches, Big Boot, and the LEGDROP gives Hogan the win. (21:24) You’re seeing before your very eyes from bell to bell the two best physical arguments over the age-old debate of what’s most important in wrestling: “drawing money” or “having the best match on the card” and Shawn wanting to prove why those two things should be in sync. This wasn’t about having a good wrestling match. It turned out to just be a typical Hogan-style match where he does what he had been doing for the previous twenty years with no real twists or turns along the way and Shawn determined to make that style look as ridiculous as possible. Recommended viewing if you find the closing statements to be intriguing at all. To be fair on the Hulkster, he was incredibly limited here even for Hogan standards due to being 165 years old and probably did as best he could here, brother. **
TEN MORE SHAWN MICHAELS MATCHES COMING ON SUNDAY NIGHT. 2007-2009! That’s right, I’m skipping 2006. Sue me.
Posted on July 26, 2013, in WWE and tagged 1-2-3 Kid, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Christian, D-Von Dudley, Diesel, Dudley Boyz, Edge, Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Kane, Mark Henry, Marty Jannetty, Randy Orton, Razor Ramon, Rob Van Dam, Scott Steiner, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Steve Austin, Triple H. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.