WWE WrestleMania 26: Top 10 Moments from the Night Shawn Michaels Retired
Two years ago, WWE took its biggest show of the year to Phoenix, Arizona. It was a very interesting choice for WrestleMania, but I decided to give it a chance.
As usual, the company knew exactly what they were doing. The event looked great on camera, and fans were all over the place. Along with the excellent audience in Phoenix, the entire WWE Universe was treated to a night they will never forget.
10. Opening Match
Big Show and Miz were the reigning WWE tag team champions. Their opponents on this night were R-Truth and John Morrison.
As expected, it was a glorified "squash" match for ShowMiz!
The match lasted a few minutes, and it was a nice opener for the crowd.
9. Legacy Explodes!
In a triple threat match, it was Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase.
The group was ready to go their separate ways, and it was all to come to an end at WrestleMania. Orton walked away with the (rightful) victory, but the other two earned just as much.
Cody and Ted were in a high-profile match and were given plenty of attention. Ted inducted his father the night before into the WWE Hall of Fame (overall lackluster class), and Cody showed the world what he could do.
Just like Miz and Morrison as a tag team, years later, fans are seeing who the true talent is and who has tons of work to do in this business...
8. Vickie Guerrero's Moment
Go ahead and skip to the 5:25 part of the video.
That was Vickie's moment. Some will laugh, while others will tear up in watching that.
For those that know the history of the Guerrero name in Phoenix, this had to be very special for Ms. Guerrero. While she never had the wrestling skills, she had all the other attributes to become a star in this company.
When she pointed in the air, nothing else mattered.
7. Mysterio Pins Punk
I liked this feud in 2010.
The Straight Edge Society was going strong, and Rey was doing some of his best work. On the Blue Brand, it all called for a match at 'Mania.
While the match was shorter than expected, I didn't mind. Five minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes, CM Punk and Rey Mysterio will always have an entertaining match.
This night was no different.
6. HHH vs. Sheamus
This was near the end of Triple H as a permanent performer inside the ring. His days were numbered, and he knew it.
Thus, The Game got one last victory at WrestleMania, all the while putting over Sheamus huge. I have said it before, "wins" and "losses" have very little to do with this business.
Sheamus was made to look like he belonged, and fans saw it even more a month later at Extreme Rules. This was the perfect match for both men at the time and was a great 10 minutes.
5. Swagger Is Money
This was during the time when WWE held a Money in Back match at WrestleMania annually. With its own PPV event nowadays, that is no longer needed.
In 2010, Kane, Christian, Kofi Kingston, MVP, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler all competed.
With WWE in the middle of a full-blown youth movement, there were only a few correct options here. Drew, Kofi and Jack were the only realistic choices.
Drew was not ready at the time, and Kofi blew his big chance a few months earlier. Thus, it had to go to Swagger. A few days later, he was the new World Champion.
Looking back on it, I still say it was the right move. WWE had to take a chance on somebody.
Did it work? No. Did Swagger get "over" as a main-event wrestler? No. Was it a big mistake? No.
Not every single "push" for every single guy in every single scenario is going to work. That is just the reality of the business. WWE took a risk on Swagger, it didn't pan out and they ended his run at the top a few months later.
Oh well! You live. You learn. You move on.
4. Bret vs. Vince
I love that video package.
Bret Hart had returned to the company after being "screwed" in 1997. This was a monumental story being told, and it needed to have a conclusion at WrestleMania.
The only man Bret would return to demolish was Vince McMahon. WWE knew this and wrote a perfect story leading into the grand stage.
To this day, I believe this was McMahon's last match. If I am mistaken, please let me know!
Bret should have went out there with his family and beat Vince senseless with a chair for a few minutes and put the sharpshooter on him. Vince taps out, and the family celebrates.
It was an easy (short) story to write. Sadly, WWE felt the need to drag this entire thing out for over 10 minutes—just like Cole and Lawler a year later...
3. Edge vs. Jericho
Chris Jericho was the World Champion.
Edge had won the Royal Rumble match in January.
The story between two former tag team partners writes itself. No reason for any "swerves" or talking about "insider" references.
Just a man returning to face his former friend who talked behind his back while he was injured. It was just a simple, logical story between two legends.
Their match, on this night, was fine. It was nothing special or out of this world, but both men did their job. In the end, Jericho cheated to retain the title.
2. Cena Wins!
Batista was the reigning WWE Champion.
John Cena was the former title holder. It was yet another simple story, in which the man received his re-match at the biggest stage of them all.
With Batista dominating Cena during their feud, it only made sense for Cena to win here. He had to get the victory here and after a great 20-minute match, he did!
The Animal was leaving the company, and Cena was (and still is) the top man in the entire industry. Again, the story writes itself.
The Champ was back on top, and the ridiculous "haters" in the front row had to wait another year for Cena's big loss at WrestleMania.
1. HBK Retires
That is the probably the greatest video WWE has ever put together.
Two years later, it is still excellent to watch.
As most know, the main event of the evening was Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. With the Deadman's undefeated WrestleMania streak on the line against HBK's career!
It was huge stakes, and neither man could afford to lose. Of course, anybody using any logic would realize the correct finish.
Shawn was retiring, and Taker wasn't going to lose at 'Mania. It was just that simple.
With their amazing match a year earlier still fresh in fans' minds, many wondered if they could top themselves. While I wouldn't go that far, both men proved that they still had it in 2010.
After a great 30-minute match, the ending was inevitable. Fans knew it. Undertaker knew it, and Shawn Michaels knew it.
Undertaker pinned Shawn Michaels in the middle of the ring, and the incredible career of HBK was over...