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Monday, March 29, 2010

Michaels' Streak More Impressive Than 'Taker's

We will of course go through the formality of asking you to vote for Match of the Year as 2010 draws to a close, but, truly, we don't need to. It's going to be Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker for the second straight year. I know there are nine months remaining in 2010, and I'm sure there will be some superb matches in WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor, and even in the indies over that time; you can choose among them for second, third, and fourth place. Michaels-Undertaker was a five-star dramatic classic that, because of the retirement stip, exceeded the original.

Congratulations to The Undertaker for extending his WrestleMania streak to 18-0. Impressive as that is, let's not get carried away. This is pro wrestling after all, so while it's nice that Undertaker was deemed worthy of WM victories 18 times, it could not have happened without some divine intervention from the top of the Tower.

Michaels' streak of seven straight Matches of the Year (including, if you will, 2010) is almost entirely of his own doing. Sure, you have to give credit to his dance partners, Underaker, Ric Flair, John Cena, Vince McMahon, Kurt Angle, Triple-H, and Chris Benoit, but the common denominator is glaringly obvious. Aside from Flair and Benoit, none of these men has been in a Match of the Year with another opponent.

There are fans of Ric Flair and Bruno Sammartino and even The Undertaker who might not like to read this, but Shawn Michaels--win-loss record aside--is the greatest wrestler of all-time.

A note about WrestleMania 26: Taken as a whole, this was not a great show. Some early Internet chatter have even mentioned this as the worst WrestleMania of all-time. Had it not been for the aforementioned grand finale, I might give the notion some serious thought. Granted, my $59.95 will be reimbursed by my employer (I could not make the trip for personal reasons), but when I turned off my TV set, I was content. For those of you who have bought boxing pay-per-views, you never expect much from the undercard, but you're angry if the main event is not worthy of the purchase price. This one was.

I anxiously await your take on WrestleMania 26.

Stu Saks/Publisher


Lou said...
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Lou said...

I agree with that statement about Michaels. Oddly enough, Michaels' WM record is 6-11, and even Triple-H only has 6 Mania victories.

Even more puzzling is that his Mania record has been sub-.500 since he lost to Tatanka at WM 9.

But even in defeat, he's had probably 7 or 8 of the 20 most memorable Mania matches in the last 15 years, starting with the Ladder Match.

However, I also agree with you that Mania was, by and large, uninteresting. I thought it was just me being jaded by the business...but outside of the usual MIB cluster-F and the to me unexplainable love for Orton, the first 2 1/2 hours of the show was pretty boring.

I thought the final two matches, however delivered...and no, I don't count the Divas match.

-Louie Dee

Lou said...

Excuse me, 7 wins for Triple-H, as I wasn't yet counting his victory over Sheamus last night in the above total.

And speaking of which, did anyone notice:

-Triple-H's first Mania win since he beat Booker T at WM XIX?

-Matt Hardy looking like he's preparing for a role as Jake Roberts' stunt double?

-Jack Swagger nearly blowing the biggest spot of his career by taking nearly 30 seconds to unhook the MIB briefcase?

-R-Truth making the dumbest move of all-time by trying to hit a fully conscious Big Show with an over the ropes dive?

-CM Punk's awesome GI Joe-inspired gear?

Joshua said...

I'm not sure I agree that Taker/Michaels 2 exceeded last year's bout. At least, not in a strictly blow-by-blow sense.

With that being said, I agree that it should most definitely be the match of the year. And it belongs in the pantheon of the most memorable Wrestlemania moments of all time, without question.

Thanks to WWE, for having the class not to play HBK's theme as he made his way back up the ramp. The music of the fans chanting "Thank You, Shawn," was all I wanted to hear.

Now, nitpicks. Rey Mysterio's botched entrance raised an eyebrow, as did Swagger's inability to unlatch the Money in the Bank.

And, with all of the hype surrounding it, was anyone else disappointed in the Hart vs. McMahon match? I was.

Joshua said...

One last note to add to the previous post. The ending of the main event was perfect. Taker pleading with Shawn to stay down, HBK defiant to the end - it was one of the best moments I've seen in years.

Joshua said...
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Michael said...

I think last years HBK vs. Undertaker bout was much better. It's like Shawn vs. Razor in the ladder match. Their Summer Slam match didn't have a chance of topping the original. However, it was well done.

The Bret Hart match went on too long. Vince really needs to learn how to put on a fight. He fell on his rear end every time Bret hit him with a punch. The match made Bret look like an old man who can't go anymore. It was sad.

I'm pretty sure Randy Orton just became a face last night at the PPV. This should be interesting.

Triple H delivered a match that was far better than his boring main event from last year.

The Diva match was an abomination.

Overall, it was a good PPV. I wasn't let down and I left satisfied. Now I'm looking forward to seeing how they are going to handle Shawn Michael's send off. I sure hope he doesn't pull a Ric Flair and come back.

Anonymous said...

I thought the show way actually pretty good. I could of done without bret and vince,and im not keen on anything that has to do with john cena, but the other matchs were all solid. Shawn will go down as the best performer in WWE history, so going out in the main event,in a classic with the undertaker 2 years in a row is perfect.

Scott A. said...

This was on spotty ppv. I enjoyed one match then hated the next few then liked another only to be disappointed moments later. Wrestlemania 26 wouldn't of been worth it all and all if it wasn't for the epic finish. Not as good as last years match but definitely worthy.

Shawn's farewell speech tonight on Raw was the first time in a long time that I felt emotionally attached to what was happening on screen. It was real. The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, really has left the building.

Randy said...

No, HBK vs. Taker wasn't as good as last year, but sequels never are. Money in the Bank's time has come and gone. It lacks the intensity that a ladder match should have, with two bitter rivals competing in a brutal contest, not a fustercluck of guys Vince doesn't know what else to do with. Now that Orton seems to be turning, who becomes the next top tier heel? I'm not sure that Dibiase, Swagger, and Sheamus are seasoned enough to pull it off. C.M. Punk has been brilliant lately, his match was way too short. I would rather have seen more time given to his match versus seeing the divas match or even the tag title match.

Brady said...

It was an okay WrestleMania - certainly not the best or the worst, in my opinion. I was actually disappointed by HBK and Taker's rematch.

I'm sure at least part of that was because the match closed the show, so in the back of my head was this little clock telling me that the show would soon be coming to a close. For me, that definitely killed some of the excitement and "anything can happen" feel that helped make last year's match so special. I'm sure it also didn't help that I spent the entire match wondering exactly how The Undertaker would pin him.

Anonymous said...

Uh Lou? Triple H won last year at WM25 defeating Randy Orton