Shawn Michaels' Greatest Matches
Shawn Michaels retired back at WrestleMania 26 after losing to the Undertaker. Fans loved Shawn for his classic promos and simply amazing matches he had each and every night.
Michaels surely is a first ballot hall of famer and his greatest matches should be note worthy so I decided to do a slideshow on his, in my opinion, greatest matches ever.
There really is no order for this slideshow but if you think I missed some of his matches or have any comments on HBK then leave them in the comment box.
Please enjoy this slideshow!
Judgment Day 2008: HBK vs Jericho
Judgment Day was a classic battle of two babyfaces with the storyline being about trust and lying. HBK had retired Ric Flair, defeated Batista, and lied about a knee injury in a month span. Jericho tried to put all the pieces to the puzzle together but in the end got his face kicked in for it. These two men stole the show at Judgment Day 2008 and they showed how real wrestling is in the WWE.
WrestleMania 21: Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle
RAW versus SmackDown, Icon versus wrestling legend, the best versus the best. All of those sayings applied HBK fought against Kurt Angle.
These two men had never fought each other before but the hype was so great when they teased the feud in January's Royal Rumble by having Angle eliminate HBK after HBK eliminated Angle just moments earlier. When the match was announced, people were excited and really expecting a lot out of this match, the end result was simply amazing.
OH HELL YEAH! Wow. This was amazing. This did live up to the hype. This did meet all expectations. This did deliver the goods the way we all hoped it would. My God. The amount of counter holds seen in this match were unreal. It was wrestling at its absolute best. Amazing stuff here. The drama in this match was unreal. You didn’t know when it was going to end. There was incredible spot after incredible spot here. Finishers kicked out of, drama at the end, and everything you want in a match.
The match time was great, the pacing was really good because it built up to the end and the last ten minutes were as good a finish to a match that you could have had.
Thank you Shawn. Thank you Kurt. That was an epic.
Vengeance 2005: HBK vs Kurt Angle (WrestleMania 21 Rematch)
A lot of rematches are not as good as the original thing but Vengeance 2005 is maybe the exception. Shawn and Kurt had the match of 2005 at WrestleMania 21 so when Angle was drafted over to RAW in June of that year, HBK challenged Kurt to a rematch at Vengeance which Kurt immediately accepted.
The match itself wasn't as good as Mania but it still was a classic match and is one of the most underrated matches in not only Shawn's career but in the entire history of WWE.
RAW October 3rd 2005 "Homecoming": HBK vs Angle; 30 Min Ironman Match
This was a match to determine who the rightful number one contender was to John Cena's WWE title. The match was set at Raw's homecoming event back to the USA network and let me tell you, this match was simply amazing.
When the Ironman stipulation was added, people assumed that this match would be a classic but I think this match was better than the one at Vengeance and I think this match gave WrestleMania 21 a run for it's money. This ironman match is one of the greatest matches in RAW history and it's one of HBK's finest performances in his career.
Survivor Series 2007: WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. HBK
Randy Orton tried to end HBK's career at Judgment Day of that year. HBK returned and beat the hell out of Orton for week's and even had him beat at Cyber Sunday when Orton got disqualified on purpose to save his title.
HBK used his sweet chin music every chance he got so when Survivor Series came around, something had to give. The stipulation was that if HBK used sweet chin music then he lost the match and any shot at the WWE title but if Orton got disqualified then HBK became WWE Champion.
The match was a classic and it really showed how talented both men were at keeping the audience in tune without using the super kick.
Cyber Sunday 2007: WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. HBK
Shawn Michaels won the fan vote to face WWE champion Randy Orton at Cyber Sunday. HBK was returning from injury and Orton was there to greet him with an attempt to end Shawn's career. Except for the DQ ending that Orton used to save his title, the match was great.
Overall people overlook this match but this match really saved a less than stellar pay-per-view event and it was one of 2007's top ten matches.
WrestleMania 26: The Undertaker vs HBK, The Streak vs HBK's career
Shawn Michaels had done it all according to most wrestling fans, he was a grand slam champion, Royal Rumble winner, and one of the most beloved performers in the history of the industry.
The one thing HBK hadn't done yet was end the Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak. WrestleMania 25 was an absolute classic and maybe the greatest match in WrestleMania history but WrestleMania 26 had so much more on the line; if HBK lost this time, then his in ring career would be over. The match itself was a classic bout and there were so many exciting moments that it really kept the fans on the edges of their seats until the end of the match when Undertaker pinned HBK and ended one of the greatest in ring careers of all time. This was Shawn's last match ever as a wrestler and it was a classic no doubt about it.
WrestleMania 25: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
WrestleMania 25 was going to be one of the biggest event's in WWE history. On the card that night was Matt Hardy agianst Jeff Hardy in an extreme rules bout, John Cena versus Edge versus Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship, Triple H versus Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, and the famous money in the bank ladder match.
The card was stacked but the best match on the card for sure was Shawn Michaels agianst the Undertaker. Shawn had never attempted to end the famous WrestleMania undefeated streak but this was his chance to prove how great he was. The match is considered to be the greatest match in Undertaker's career and maybe the greatest match in WrestleMania history.
For Shawn, it was just another day of proving to everybody why he is Mr.WrestleMania.
WrestleMania 12: WWE Champion Bret Hart vs. HBK; 60 Min Ironman Match
"Vince McMahon felt like a sixty minute Ironman match was too long to keep the crowd interested", that statement was from Pat Patterson when he spoke about the booking for this main event at WrestleMania 12. Fans hadn't seen an Ironman match before on WWE programming but at WrestleMania 12 in 1996, it would main event the show and the two men that set into the ring were the top performers in the company.
Shawn and Bret didn't get along at all back in the day due to personal matters but the two tore down the house in this WrestleMania classic and Shawn would end up winning in overtime for his first title reign.
WrestleMania 19: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
This was Shawn's comeback WrestleMania due to his back injury in 1998 that had sidelined him for four years. Shawn returned to in ring action in August 2002 and even got to hold the world title for a fourth time in his career that fall.
When 2003 came around, people were buzzing about who Shawn was going to face at WrestleMania 19 so when Chris Jericho was picked, fans knew that this was going to be an epic classic. Jericho had a lot off the same wrestling style as Shawn did and those two were alike in many ways but this night would see Jericho become a legend in a lot of wrestling fans eyes. HBK won this match but the real winners of the night were the fans in attendance because once again they got to see Mr.WrestleMania steal the show yet again.
RAW November 14th 2005 "Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show: HBK vs. Mysterio
Eddie Guerrero passed away on November 13th 2005 due to a heart attack. The wrestling world was shook to its foundation because of the passing but the only thing to do was to have a tribute show for Eddie and remember all the good times Eddie left behind.
On RAW's tribute show to Eddie, one of the matches on the card was an epic dream match for all the wrestling fans around the world as Rey Mysterio battled Shawn Michaels. HBK and Mysterio wanted to honor Eddie's memory by having a good wrestling match, what they delivered was an all time classic match on RAW and maybe Shawn's greatest performance in RAW history.
1996 In Your House 10: WWE Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind
Mick Foley has gone on record many times by saying that his greatest match of all time was against Shawn Michaels back in 1996 for the WWE title. Fans were tuning away from WWE in 1996 for rival WCW at the time because of the unpredictable actions that WCW would do just to win the brutal ratings war with WWE.
Shawn was the top star in WWE in 1996 and felt pressure to steal the show every night and have the fans go home happy. Shawn was matched up against Mankind in the fall of 1996 and what the fans saw was the 1996 Match of the year contender and quite possibly Mick Foley's finest hour as a professional wrestler.
RAW April 23rd 2007: WWE Champion John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
John Cena and Shawn Michaels had a classic match at WrestleMania 23 which earned Cena a lot of respect with wrestling fans around the world but the match in England really was a classic battle. Shawn and Cena were going into Backlash as rivals but the two were set to battle on RAW the week before the pay-per-view.
Cena and HBK went into the ring to prove something, what they proved was how good they really are by going over an hour non-stop. Shawn won this classic match but the fans witnessed one of Shawn's greatest matches of all time and quite possibly John Cena's finest performance to date.
No Mercy 2008: World Champion Chris Jericho vs. HBK; Ladder Match
Ladder matches are a specialty for Shawn Michaels for sure but in 2008, Shawn needed to prove how good he was in one against Chris Jericho. Jericho's feud with Shawn was the hottest topic in the summer of 2008 and it really evolved Jericho into a top heel like Triple H was in the early 2000's or how Roddy Piper was in the 1980's.
Shawn and Jericho had been at odds for the entire summer of 2008 so when No Mercy came around, the feud had to end and the method of ending was chosen, a ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn and Jericho battled for well over thirty minutes and even though Jericho won on this night. Shawn Michaels showed all of us wrestling fans that he still was the man in the WWE.
SummerSlam 2002: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, No Holds Barred
Shawn Michaels returned to WWE programming back in 2002 with the N.W.O. as a non wrestler/ manager for this heel stable. The stable fell apart after Kevin Nash was injured yet again.
Shawn Michaels was left with nothing to do on WWE programming.
Shawn prayed to GOD many times asking what he should do next, "Everytime I prayed, it seemed to lead me back into the squared circle," said HBK on Off the record Feb 2003.
Shawn finally decided to try a comeback and asked to do it against Triple H who recently made a heel turn against Shawn. The match was set and when SummerSlam came around, fans were eager to see HBK back in action yet again. Shawn and Triple H went for forty five minutes and stole the show with an excellent match.
Royal Rumble 2004: World Champion Triple H vs. HBK; Last Man Standing
The Royal Rumble in 2004 was Chris Benoit's defining moment as a pro wrestler when he won the Royal Rumble match. The match that was before the Royal Rumble was an epic battle between long time rivals; Triple H versus HBK in a last man standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H and HBK had waged war on each other for well over a year so when the Rumble rolled around, fans expected another classic battle between these two men. The fans got an epic battle all right, but it was HBK's best match since returning to full time action in 2002 and it maybe the greatest single's match in Royal Rumble history.
WrestleMania 24: Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair; Flair's goodbye
Ric Flair was set to retire in 2008, what he wasn't ready for was to steal the show at WrestleMania 24 against Shawn Michaels. Shawn and Ric were close friends since 2003 and when Flair wanted to retire, he asked to wrestle his final match against Shawn Michaels.
Shawn had done so much up to that point in his career that it seemed natural for Shawn to accept this challenge from Flair. When Shawn finally said yes to Flair, fans immediately bought the pay-per-view just to witness wrestling history. Flair and Michaels battled hard at WrestleMania 24 and when the night was over, Flair was retired but the match was honored as the match of the night.
Unforgiven 2008: Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho; Extreme Rules Match
Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho had been at odds for months now when Unforgiven came around. The feud made WWE RAW must see TV in a slow year for ratings but when Unforgiven came around, people expected an epic battle. Shawn and Jericho tore each other up in this classic battle but in the end, HBK won the match and laid out Jericho.
Bad Blood 2003: Ric Flair vs. Shawn Micheals
The best wrestler of the 1980's was Ric Flair. Ric had done it all in the industry including being the sixteen time world champion and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Shawn Michaels was the wrestler of the 1990's according to wrestling fans. Shawn was simply known as the showstopper because he stole the show each time he went into the ring to battle someone. So when the two met at Bad Blood 2003 in Houston Texas, fans knew that this would be a classic. Shawn and Ric did have a stellar match five years later at WrestleMania 24 but this was the first time these two legends met in the ring and it is considered to be a classic.
WrestleMania 23: WWE Champion John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
John Cena was on a major roll at the time by being WWE Champion for twenty two out of the last twenty four months. John was also the top babyface at the time but his WrestleMania opponent was no slouch either. Shawn Michaels was in his D-X phase but Triple H was injured back in January of that year due to a quad tear so Shawn had a lot to prove at WrestleMania 23.
Ninety three thousand people came to witness this WrestleMania and Cena versus HBK was the main event. Shawn and Cena had an epic battle and in the end, Cena made HBK tap out to the STF.