Harrison's 2010 WWE Match of the Year: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

Andre HarrisonCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2011

...Did you expect anything else? Haha, this is Andre Harrison back for the 10th time in 11 days as I finish up my countdown of my Top 10 WWE Matches of 2010. So without further ado, let's take a look at the gem that was this match, arguably, the greatest rematch ever...

The Backstory

These two first met back at Wrestlemania XXV, where The Undertaker beat Shawn Michaels after a blistering 30 minutes of action. Shawn and The Undertaker both took time off, but both returned around August 2009 at Summerslam, as Shawn reunited DX with Triple H, while The Undertaker was after CM Punk's World Heavyweight Championship.

The two's paths crossed again near the end of the year, as Shawn Michaels called out The Undertaker after winning a Slammy Award in December. The Undertaker declined Shawn's offer of a rematch in January of 2010, so Shawn tried to win the Royal Rumble to get a show at The Undertaker's World Heavyweight Championship...in which he failed in as Batista eliminated him.

So Shawn had to take desperate measures, ending DX due to his frustration and loss of the Unified Tag Team Championships, and he did so at Elimination Chamber as he cost The Undertaker the match, making Chris Jericho the World Champion. The Undertaker then accepted the challenge of a rematch, on the condition that Shawn had to put his career on the line...Let the games begin at Wrestlemania 26!

The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, Career vs Streak, Wrestlemania XXVI

The ring announcer stressed that the only way to win the match was by pinfall or submission. Pretty standard entrance for Shawn. Taker got the laser show treatment. It was circular lights around the center of the stage, and then, he rose from underneath the stage in a new long jacket with a hood. Very cool. Charles Robinson is the referee. No Jim Ross. What a crock.

Taker and Shawn stood face-to-face in the center of the ring. The announcers got quiet to let the crowd tell the story. Shawn did the Taker-throat, slash-hand-gesture in a really cool moment. Taker acted really pissed and then charged Shawn when the bell rang to start the match. Taker hit Snake Eyes within the first minute of the match and followed up a short time later by going Old School.

Lawler told the story that Taker appeared to injure his knee while going for a chokeslam early. Taker sold the knee, and Shawn worked it over. At 5:45, Shawn applied the figure four. Taker laid back, and the ref counted one. Taker sat up and glared at Shawn. He did the same sit up routine two more times and rolled it over to put the pressure on Shawn the third time. A great wide shot of the arena was shown that really captured how big the building is.

Shawn kipped up at 8:00, but it was right into Taker's hand. Taker chokeslammed him for the first good near fall of the match. Moments later, Shawn applied the ankle lock. At 10:30, Shawn went for an Asai moonsault onto Taker on the floor, but Taker caught him and turned it into a Tombstone piledriver on the floor. The trainer ran over to tend to Shawn, but Taker shoved him away and rolled Shawn inside the ring where he got another near fall.

At 12:30, Taker went for the Last Ride. Shawn held onto Taker's face and turned it into a facebuster for another near fall. The announcers were confused by what happened because the camera angle was poor, but they quickly replayed it. Shawn followed up with a top rope elbow attempt, but Taker put his knees up.

Taker caught Shawn in the Devil's Gate submission hold. Shawn flipped over and turned it into a pining situation for a great near fall. Taker was bleeding from the arm, and the blood got on Shawn's arm.

At 14:20, Shawn hit Sweet Chin Music. Taker kicked out at the last possible moment for a gem of a near fall. Shawn went to the corner and tuned up the band. He went for the kick while Taker was on his knees, but Taker caught his leg. Taker hit the Last Ride and Shawn kicked out at the last moment. Great emotion from the crowd for the near falls.

Taker threw Shawn to ringside at 16:00. Taker took apart the Cole and company's table. He picked up Shawn and tried to perform the Last Ride onto it, but Shawn slipped away and hit Sweet Chin Music, which left Taker lying on the table. Shawn went to the top rope and performed a moonsault that caught Taker's legs more than his body and the table collapsed. Taker clutched the leg that Shawn had been working over in pain.

At 19:00, they rolled back inside the ring. Shawn hit Sweet Chin Music at 19:30 for another great near fall. Shawn showed frustration. The majority of the fans were on their feet for that one. Shawn tuned up the band again, but Taker caught his foot. Taker chokeslammed Shawn. He clutched his knee in pain rather than going for the cover.

Taker picked up Shawn at 21:20, and hit the Tombstone Piledriver and placed Shawn's arms across his chest while covering him. Shawn kicked out. "What do I have to do," Taker said after Shawn kicked out. Awesome.

Taker stood in the middle of the ring and took his straps down. He was about to do the throat-slash gesture, but he stopped. Shawn struggled to get to his knees. Taker told him to stay down. Shawn made the throat-slash gesture again. Taker looked shocked. Shawn slapped Taker across the face. Taker scooped him up and left his feet while performing a great Tombstone piledriver for the 1-2-3. "Shawn Michaels' career is over," Cole said.

Cole said the 18-0 WrestleMania streak remains intact. "But at what cost?" he asked. The middle screen on the stage read "18-0" and fireworks exploded on the stage.

A few minutes had passed, and Shawn still hadn't moved in the middle of the ring. Taker picked up Shawn and leaned him against the ropes. He said something to him that ended with "you son of a bitch." Taker shook Shawn's hand and then hugged him as the crowd cheered. Taker left the ring to give Shawn his moment.

The fans changed "HBK" and then "Thank you, Shawn." Lawler said this might be the ultimate WrestleMania moment. Shut up and it will be. Shawn knelt down in the middle of the ring as the fans continued to cheer. He thanked the fans with tears in his eyes. He rolled to ringside and shook hands with the fans near the entrance ramp.

"I've been driving my kids nuts for three weeks," Michaels yelled to a fan. He stopped halfway up the ramp and took a look around the building. He stopped a shook the hand of a fan who was right next to some tool with a "This match sponsored by the AARP" sign.

Once HBK made it to the stage, Shawn knelt down and put his hands in the air. He waved to the fans and then headed backstage. The show went off the air without the usual recap video...

Winner: The Undertaker (24:05)

Harrison's Analysis: "...That was simply incredible. THIS is why I'm a Wrestling fan, it's for moments like this. These two men proved that they're the best in the business, in a match, better than last year, and was so good, it brought a tear to my eye. Thank you gentlemen, and thank you Shawn, for a remarkable career. Easily the best match of 2010 so far."

Harrison Match Rating: ***** Stars

That's what I said back in April, and it still holds true to this day. A true classic and something that may have saved Wrestlemania XXVI. Anywho, thank you for reading during the series; I really do appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed it, and I'd love to hear what you think as always.

Thank you very much and Sayonara!