Before his epic match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26, Shawn Michaels’ career and best matches were all put together on a 3 disc DVD released before ‘Mania. Disc 3 of this set features some of Shawn’s best matches from 2005 to 2009.
Match 1: Raw 2005 – Boot Camp – Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
In what I think is a great match to open up Disc 3, Shawn Michaels takes on Triple H in a classic Boot Camp match on a Tribute to the Troops special on Raw. While this may not have been the most amazing match of their careers, this match still represented a lot and meant a lot for several reasons. For one, it’s Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H! Whenever these two are in the ring together, something special is just bound to happen. Secondly, this match took place in front of hundreds of US troops. For the superstars to just go out there and perform in front of them automatically boosts this match’s reputation. Because this was a Boot Camp match, there was no disqualifications and no count outs and both men took advantage of this by beating each other senseless with odd objects such as sandbags. Once inside the ring, Michaels pinned Triple H to pick up the very symbolic victory.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Match 2: Backlash 2007 – WWE Championship – John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge
Just like the first match, this was another great choice to add to the DVD because of what this one stood for. 2007 was the year that John Cena, Randy Orton, & Edge all stood out with Shawn Michaels just hanging on in the sidelines. However, unlike the first match on this disc, this match was an amazing match with nonstop action and unbelievable near falls throughout. It astounds me to this day how underrated this match has become due to the fact that matches like Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena & Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton have totally stolen the spotlight. One thing I really admired about this match is that from the very start, there was no clear cut winner whatsoever. Anyone of these guys winning the title would be highly logical and because of that, it made the match that much more interesting. Early on in the match, Orton & Edge reformed Rated RKO to eliminate both the champ & Michaels out of the match. However, Edge drilled Orton with a vile steel chair shot to show that this match was every man for themselves. After that, the match was just incredibly fast with everyone playing their parts perfectly. After a huge chain of moves from all the competitors, Michaels landed some Sweet Chin Music on Cena who unfortunately for Michaels, landed on Orton which led to Cena getting the victory by pinning Orton. This was just an amazing match and is also a definite hidden gem. Whatever you do, watch this match!
Winner: John Cena
Match 3: Survivor Series 2007 – WWE Championship – Randy Orton (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
By November of 2007, Randy Orton had become an established WWE Champion and with Shawn Michaels making a surprise return a month ago, Orton’s reign was in question. Their first bout against each other for the title was at Cyber Sunday a month ago which Michaels won via disqualification. This led to Michaels once again challenging Orton for the title at Survivor Series with some odd stipulations. If Shawn Michaels used Sweet Chin Music anytime throughout the match, he would be disqualified to which Orton would then retain the title. Because of these stipulations, Michaels was forced to bring out some old moves from his arsenal which really made the match very engrossing. Unfortunately for Michaels, not being able to use the Superkick would end up becoming his downfall as Orton thrived on the messy stipulations. Orton made it clear early and often that he would do anything to retain his title like viciously beating down Michaels with extremely hard moves. Orton landed a surprise RKO on Michaels at about 16 minutes into the match to pick up the much needed victory to Orton. No matter how you do it, beating Shawn Michaels is an amazing accomplishment and for Orton, it proved that it can also boost your career by a mile. A great effort by Michaels, however, who adjusted to the stipulations amazingly and made this match and instant Survivor Series classic.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match 4: Unforgiven 2008 – Unsanctioned – Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
It’s no secret, Shawn Michaels’ feud against Chris Jericho in 2008 was one of the greatest feuds of all time and a huge reason on why this was was due to their amazing matches that they put on. While I think that their Ladder match at No Mercy was the best in the feud, their match at Unforgiven was an amazing one as well. It’s tough to put on hardcore matches on PG television but just like his match against Orton at Survivor Series with the odd stipulations, Michaels adjusted to the problem with no problem. His facial expressions and concentration he had during the match made you believe that he was seriously going to kill Jericho and because of this, it made you forget about the use of blood in professional wrestling. While this one really did tend to drag a little and while the crowd was somewhat dead throughout, Michaels & Jericho put on a show like no other did that night and for damn good reason. The spots they did in this match were absolutely devastating and really made you think that these guys wanted to just kill each other. Unfortunately, the ridiculous finish of the referee calling the match after Jericho was going through a series of nasty blows to the head by Michaels did take away some of it’s brilliance. Even still, this match is another highly underrated one in Michaels’ career and another one that you have no reason not to watch.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Match 5: WrestleMania 25 – Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
Sometimes, it is hell getting to heaven. For Shawn Michaels, heaven was defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. However, Michaels needed to go through hell, The Undertaker, to achieve this seemingly impossible feat. Though the two have had matches before in years past, none could compare to the importance that this one has set upon us. Let’s just cut to the chase, this match is perfect. From the symbolic entrances of Shawn Michaels coming down from the Heavens above and The Undertaker rising up from the depths of Hell to the jaw dropping close finishes, this match is an absolute classic. Things started off hot in this match with Michaels getting in The Undertaker’s head by giving him the crotch chop, faking a knee injury, and even standing right to the face of the Phenom and just landing nasty knife edge chops to The Undertaker’s chest. However, when it seemed like Michaels had The Undertaker, The Undertaker would sit right back up and show Shawn Michaels why he is undefeated at WrestleMania. Because of this, Shawn Michaels became desperate and tried to pick up the win by a count out after The Undertaker landed on his head after missing a dive over the top rope out of the ring. The Undertaker wouldn’t let that happen, however, as he got right back into the ring and continued on with the match. Not often in professional wrestling matches will you be engrossed so much into a match, conversely, this match was so phenomenally engrossing that even the referee trying to count out The Undertaker made everyone drop their jaws in awe. From there, the two men just simply did what they do better than anyone else in the world, wrestle. To a Tombstone, to a Last Ride, and to a Chokeslam, The Undertaker just could not keep Michaels down for a 3 count and everyone attempt at getting the 3 count on Michaels made The Undertaker shocked while it made every fan amazed. The Undertaker would not be the only competitor that was shocked by a kick out from a finishing move, Shawn Michaels was as well when he landed a couple Superkicks to which The Undertaker amazingly kicked out of. This set a path for Shawn to do wild moves like a silly and careless moonsault off the top rope which ultimately sent Michaels down to the depths of hell as The Undertaker caught him and hit him with a nasty Tombstone. This match proved that indeed, it is hell trying to get to heaven as running up that hill can be a lot more difficult than it may seem but even still, everyone should forgo their fears and do their best to succeed because God knows that you won’t every single time. Just ask Shawn Michaels.
Winner: The Undertaker
Overall Thoughts and Rating:
If you add these amazing matches to equally amazing sit down interview segments with Shawn, you have yourself one of the greatest DVD releases of all time from the WWE. This disc alone tops anything that I have ever seen and it should be seen by anyone with a pulse. Shawn Michaels has taught us to forgo our fears and find success with our gifts. This DVD shows us that size and age has nothing to do with professional wrestling and it definitely is one of the most symbolic and amazing DVD releases of all time.