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Friday, February 26, 2016

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Top 5: Shawn Michaels Matches

By @Headliner5

Last week we looked at Daniel Bryan as we presented Daniel Bryan week, and this week we shift our focus over to a guy who had his hand in the training of the American Dragon, as we look at Shawn Michaels and his contributions to the business during Shawn Michaels Week. Last week I presented a top 5 matches list for Daniel Bryan, so I figured why not do the same with Shawn Michaels. Without any further ado, lets get down to business.

5. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
WWE Wrestlemania 21

-This match when it happened was a pure masterpiece, and it still holds up today as not just one of my favorite Shawn Michaels matches, but one of my favorite matches of all time. Back when this match took place, the brand extension was in full effect, as Shawn was on RAW while Kurt was on Smackdown and they put on one of the best matches I've ever seen in my life.

4. Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair
WWE Wrestlemania 24

-There was so much emotion in this match, the greatest wrestler of all time in Ric Flair taking on the greatest big match performer of all time on the big stage at Wrestlemania. It had all of the ingredients of a classic and it became an instant classic. The "I'm Sorry, I Love You" quote that Shawn mouthed before the finish of this match still resonates with people today. Ric was on a tear and was beating everyone put in front of him after Vince McMahon told him that the next time he lost a match, he would retire. Well, he built up quite the winning streak until falling victim to the man who calls himself "Mr. Wrestlemania" in a fitting send off. And although Ric would continue to wrestle elsewhere, this was Ric's WWE retirement match and one that will be remembered for a long time to come.

3. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
WWE Survivor Series 1997

-Now this match showing up on this list may be controversial to some of the people reading this and other people from EOTR, but there's a reason why this match is on this list and that's for the impact it would have years later. Whether you liked this match or you hated it, we still talk about this match today because of the finish. We all know what was supposed to happen (or some of us do) and what actually happened. The shock of the finish makes this the most important match not only of the New Generation Era and the start of the Attitude Era, but it may be the most infamous match in wrestling history because of how everything went down. If you haven't seen this match I suggest you watch it right now (preferably after you finish reading this article).

2. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
WWE Wrestlemania 19

-The story of this match was simple, aa Jericho was a man who idolized Shawn Michaels and modeled himself after him. Jericho wanted to prove to Michaels that he had what it took to not only beat the Heartbreak Kid, but also take his place in a sense as the new showstopper in WWE. This match was a clash of generations and a true masterpiece and at the end of it all, Mr. Wrestlemania would prevail. The most memorable part of the match for me took place after the match when Jericho extended his hand to the man who just beat him in Shawn Michaels and as Michaels went for the handshake, Jericho would low blow him and get booed out of the building in the process. Jericho was good once upon a time (well he still is good wrestling wise, but that's the only Jericho I care about these days).

1. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
WWE Wrestlemania 25

-Was there ever any doubt what my number one match is?  If you listen to my ramblings on Eyes On The Ring radio, you would know that I consider this match not only to be the greatest match that Shawn Michaels ever had, but also the greatest match that The Undertaker ever had. Honestly, this match to me is the greatest match of all time period from a wrestling standpoint. It's not my personal favorite match of all time (its number 2 behind Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin from Wrestlemania 13), but this match is pure perfection from bell to bell and it's just amazing to watch. Some people might look at the match that these two had the following year as a better match because of the stipulation, but when you take the stipulation of their match at WM26 away and look at the matches as stand alone efforts, this match blows that one out of the water. The match at 26 was good, but there was nothing that they could do to top this masterpiece from a year earlier although they tried everything to make that happen. You want to see what a perfect match looks like?  Fire up the WWE Network and watch this match right now!

There you have it, five matches from perhaps the greatest in ring performer that will ever lace up a pair of boots. I would definitely check some of these matches out if you haven't and relive some of the greatest matches and moments from a truly gifted performer that was Shawn Michaels... he's in a class all by himself.

Thank you for reading and be sure to stay tuned to the site as Shawn Michaels week continues.


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