Is Shawn Michaels the Greatest of All Time?

'Rowdy' Ross RutherfordSenior Analyst IDecember 28, 2008

When you hear the word "great" when speaking of wrestling, you may think of Ric Flair, Buddy Rogers, Hulk Hogan, and Bret Hart. They all contributed so much to the business they love, but I believe there is one even greater: Shawn Michaels.

Now before you go off to write that hateful comment about how ridiculous that statement was, let me make my case.

In the 20 years that "HBK" has been performing for the WWE, he has done everything there is to do. While he may not have 16 World Titles or lay claim to setting the wrestling world on fire, he has done more than any other performer to ever step foot in a WWE ring.

Shawn Michaels is one of those guys who do not need titles to make them great. He has had so many classic matches with men who have long since left the world of wrestling. People like Vader, Bret Hart, and Steve Austin have all had some of the best matches of their career with “The Heart Break Kid.”

The difference between Shawn Michaels and the “greats” is that they were all good at one thing. Hulk Hogan was charismatic, Bret Hart was amazing in the ring, but Shawn Michaels is the total package.

He has charisma, he puts on fantastic matches, and he can make a moment memorable. Bret Hart had fantastic matches, but was horrible on the mic. Hulk Hogan could give a promo, but let's face it: his ring work was just bad.

Shawn Michaels can do everything. He has been the WWE’s most valuable player for around 20 years, and he deserves the title of “The Greatest of All Time,” but is he?

Is Shawn Michaels better than Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, or even Bret Hart? Well if you were to ask Ross Rutherford, the answer would be yes. Simply because he has outperformed every other legend on every possible level.

Shawn Michaels will retire someday and go into the WWE Hall of Fame, but the people who never got a chance to see HBK in his prime will never know what he was truly like. I don’t get that “Oh My God” feeling when Hulk Hogan makes an occasional appearance. I did not grow up watching Hogan.

I grew up watching Shawn Michaels and DX and 10 years from now when Shawn Michaels comes out of retirement to take on some punk at Summer Slam or Wrestlemania, and he will, I am going to say “Oh My God, its Shawn Michaels the Greatest of all time,” because to me, he was.

I guess different generations have their case on the subject. A wrestling fan of the 70s may say Buddy Rogers or Ric Flair was the greatest of all time. A fan of the 80s might say it was Hulk Hogan. A fan of the 90s might say Bret Hart, or if you're like me, Shawn Michaels. Maybe there is no one person that stands above the rest.

Maybe they all stand together to represent the "Greatest of all Time."

Who's your "Greatest"?