Well now that it is finally official, we are all starting to ask the question: Can Shawn Michaels beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania?
Well there are a variety of factors that go into answering this question. Let's take a look at all of them to see if we can determine who has the upper hand in this match.
We have continuously seen throughout wrestling history that a wrestler is more likely to win in front of his hometown fans. Well WrestleMania is being held in Houston, Texas this year. Shawn Michaels is from San Antonio and The Undertaker lives in Austin.
You would think they would be tied, but this isn't true. The Undertaker was born in Houston even though he isn't currently residing there, so if you were to pick a winner based on only hometown you would likely favor the Undertaker.
2) WrestleMania Appearances and Records
One of the most published and hyped streaks in wrestling history has to be the Deadman's 16-0 WrestleMania record. This is unparallel by anyone in WWE today.
The list of names he has beaten at WrestleMania reads like a who's who of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. The list started with Jimmy Snuka, than went on to include Jake Roberts, Giant Gonzales (albeit it was by DQ), King Kong Bundy, Diesel (A.K.A Kevin Nash), Sycho Sid (A.K.A Sid Vicious), Kane twice, Big Boss Man, Triple H, Ric Flair, the team of Big Show and A-train, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Batista and finally Edge (This marked the first time Undertaker won at WrestleMania by submission).
Shawn has appeared at WrestleMania more times than the Undertaker though he didn't have a match all the time (he appeared as a guest ref or commissioner).
While he has appeared more times at WrestleMania than Undertaker, his win-loss record isn't nearly as impressive. To date Shawn's WrestleMania record stands at 6-9. His most recognized win was against Ric Flair in 2008.
I know we really can't put too much weight in this due to the high experience factor of both wrestlers, but it is something could determine the winner.
The Undertaker is 6'10" and 300 pounds. He is by no standards an ordinary sized man.
Shawn is 6'1" and weighs in at about 225 pounds, not bad but the Undertaker is larger and physically stronger.
The Undertaker's size may remove some of Shawn's main moves, like the inverted atomic drop and the scoop slam, which he uses to build up for the Sweet Chin Music.
As I stated they both have very high experience factors. Both are senior performers in WWE. Shawn joined in 1987 and The Undertaker in 1990 after a brief stint in WCW.
Taking into account the four-year absence Shawn had from active competition, that pretty much ties them in terms of years active in WWE. Over these years with the company they have proved themselves as nothing but solid and recognizable veterans.
The Heartbreak Kid has wracked up a hell of a lot of championships in his time with the WWE. He has held four world titles, the IC title three times, the tag titles four times with three different partners, and the now defunct European title.
Shawn is also recognized as the first Grand Slam champion. When it comes right down to it Shawn is a very decorated wrestler and a very talented one too.
The Deadman is a very decorated veteran as well. He is a six-time heavyweight champion, a seven-time tag champion with four different partners and a one time hardcore champion.
While he has held more championships than Shawn it can be argued that Shawn held the more prestigious titles and thus has accomplished more in terms of championship belts.
Shawn is small and relies heavily on technical wrestling and speed. Shawn's speed is well versed and something he will need to use, if he is to beat the Undertaker.
His variation of the flying forearm is arguably the best since Tito Santana's. Ever seen Shawn's moonsault to the outside? If not you are missing one of the most interesting moves he brings to the table; the flying elbow also plays a major role.
Shawn also has a well-versed submission ability. He employs the use of submissions like the figure 4-leg lock, an inverted figure 4-leg lock, the sharpshooter and the arm trap crossface.
The Undertaker has a well structured move-set based around his unusual athleticism. The leaping clothesline he does is one of the most unlikely things you expect to see from a man his size.
This clothesline can easily counter Shawn's flying forearm. Old School will un-doubtly play a major role in the match. Undertaker is often credited for being the best raw striker in WWE history.
Shawn for the longest time has used the Sweet Chin Music as his finishing move. This move has beaten some of the best going today, including Triple H and John Cena.
Most of Shawn's heavyweight titles were secured by his use of the superkick. It is interesting to note that Shawn learned the superkick from the man himself, "Gentleman" Chris Adams in the mid-80's and he is often the one credited for innovating the move.
The Undertaker uses three different finishers, all of them extremely dangerous. The most lethal ones being: The Tombstone and the Hell's gate. The Hell's gate is the lethal triangle hold submission that he uses. It has beaten some of the best.
The Tombstone, well if you want to know who it's beat just take a look at everyone Taker has beaten at WrestleMania. This, if any, is the move Shawn has to watch out for.
The Undertaker relies heavily on the choke slam, a move that someone his size can use against just about everyone, especially someone as small as Shawn. Also take into account the Last Ride while mostly used as a counter, you can expect it to make an appearance on the grandest stage of them all.
8) Closing Thoughts
So who is going to win the match? It is difficult to say. They are both so evenly matched that it could go either way. Only one thing is certain: The match is definitely worthy of being WrestleMania's 25th anniversary match and will be a feast to the eyes.
Its going to be classic clash of legends, with the greatest coming out on top! The show is on April 5th at 7PM and we will be reviewing it live at http://wrestlinguncovered.net/go/live so be sure to come and watch the greatest match of the year with us! There will be live chat and commentary, from the ENTIRE Wrestling UncoveredÕs family!!!
For those interested: There will be episodes of Wrestling Uncovered released based on our WrestleMania predictions in the next near future! You can find them at http://www.wrestlinguncovered.net/go/videos