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Awesome / Shawn Michaels

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  • For starters, just about all of his WrestleMania singles matches.
    • WrestleMania IX - Shawn Michaels and Tatanka put on practically the only good match of the event (and likely the best match of Tatanka's career).
    • WrestleMania X - This show is famous for Shawn's ladder match against Razor Ramon, which had a few Crowning Moments of its own and is probably the highlight of Scott Hall's WWE career. PWI's Match of the Year.
    • WrestleMania XI - Shawn started his face turn with a match that's probably the best one Diesel's ever been a part of. Match of the Year.
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    • WrestleMania XII - Shawn and Bret Hart put on a stellar Iron Man match that lasted for over an hour; both men listed this as a top contender for best match of their respective careers, even throughout all of the acrimony that followed thanks to the Montreal Screwjob. This match is also significant for being Michaels' first major title win. Match of the Year.
    • Wrestleman XIV - Shawn competed with a severely injured back, put on an absolutely legendary match, and put Stone Cold over as a world champion; in the process, he helped launch the most successful period in WWE history.
    • WrestleMania XIX - After missing four WrestleManias thanks to that injured back, Shawn made his return and defeated spiritual successor Chris Jericho in what many consider to be the show's best match. "Match of the Night" may not sound all that impressive, but keep in mind that this particular night also featured the final WrestleMania match between Rock and Austin and Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle.
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    • Wrestlemania XX - Shawn puts on a clinic in a Triple Threat match with Triple H and Chris Benoit. This would be Michaels' fourth PWI Match of the Year match at a WrestleMania (and his fifth overall). To put this in perspective: at this point in time, nobody else had been in more than four Matches of the Year in their entire career, never mind at one specific event.
    • WrestleMania XXI - Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle. Match of the Year. This is what happens when you put two guys who are used to/capable of putting on *** matches with total scrubs in the ring together.
      • Both of their rematches were of comparable quality, as well.
    • WrestleMania XXII - Shawn beats the tar out of non-wrestler Vince McMahon and still somehow puts on a good enough show to rake in another Match of the Year. The fact Vince had taken every possible strategy (both in the match and before) to humiliate and destroy Shawn only made it all the more cathartic.
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    • WrestleMania XXIII - Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena. Largely considered to be one of the top five matches of Cena's career, this one sadly did not win Match of the Year (although their rematch later that month did). For those of you keeping track at home: at this point, Michaels had won four consecutive Matches of the Year, as many as anyone else had managed in their entire career.
    • WrestleMania XXIV - Shawn retired wrestling legend Ric Flair in another epic, which gave Michaels his fifth consecutive Match of the Year award, sixth at WrestleMania, and ninth overall, more than double the number of any other wrestler - except Ric Flair, who picked up his fifth in this match. The last time Flair had won the honor prior to this match was in 1989.
    • WrestleMania XXV - Shawn went up against The Undertaker, absolutely stole the show, and snagged his tenth Match of the Year (sixth consecutive, seventh at WrestleMania).
    • In the final match of his career (for now), Shawn headlined the "Showcase of the Immortals" one last time in a "Streak vs. Career" rematch with The Undertaker. After kicking out of TWO Tombstone Piledrivers, a Last Ride, and Taker's annual over-the-top-rope plancha, Michaels finally went down to a jumping Tombstone Piledriver. His reward? A mind-blowing eleventh PWI Match of the Year, ending his streak (barring a surprise comeback) at seven. The second longest streak? Four, from 1993-1996, held by...Shawn Michaels. There's a reason they call him Mr. WrestleMania.
      • Put it all in perspective: from 1993-2010, only seven matches were awarded Match of the Year that WASN'T a Shawn Micheals match, three of which he didn't even wrestle at all during that year and two of which he was gone for most of the year due to his forced retirement. Even with a four-and-a-half absence in the middle, HBK dominated two decades of Match of the Year.
    • Along with PWI's Match of the Year awards, Shawn also won the Slammy for Match of the Year every year that WWE held them when he was active: 1996 (the Ladder Match against Razor), 1997 (the Iron Man Match against Bret), 2008 (the hour-long match vs. Cena in England), 2009 (Shawn/Taker I), and 2010 (Shawn/Taker II). All of these matches, save for the 2008 match, were WrestleMania matches.
    • In short: the nickname "Mr. WrestleMania" isn't just for show.
  • The lone awesome moment in the entirety of Brutus Beefcake's "The Barber Shop" talk show segment was the moment that jumpstarted Michaels' flagging career. The Rockers had been bogged down in the WWF's midcard for several years, and despite occasional main-event status, had rarely a true moment of glory. By the fall of 1991, there was some real life frustration, and an angle was conceived to have Michaels turn against Jannetty, sowing those seeds by having them argue during matches and not wrestling as well together as before. Jannetty decided they needed to work out their differences and stick together, and publicly aired his grievances on "The Barber Shop." Michaels seemed to agree, stated he was resolved to sticking it out and shook hands with his "friend" … but then he caught Jannetty off guard and — in the moment of awesome — superkicked him before throwing him through a plate glass window on the set. While a series of matches, centered on Jannetty wanting revenge, was canceled when Jannetty was fired in early 1992, Michaels quickly gained main-event status. As for the other half of the Rockers... well, there's a reason the person who goes nowhere when a tag team breaks up is called "the Jannetty".
    • One last moment of awesome with the two still happened, though: on an early 2005 episode of Raw, Shawn and Marty successfully reunited and got a big win over La Resistance, in which they busted out all their signature spots. Marty looked a little rusty, but man was that match a mark-out moment.
  • Beyond his many WrestleMania accolades, Michaels was pretty much the guy who validated new match formats. He was involved in WWE's first ladder match (losing to Bret Hart), the first Hell in a Cell match (he defeated The Undertaker), the first Iron Man Match in WWE (he defeated Bret Hart), and the first Elimination Chamber Match (where he defeated Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Chris Jericho, Kane, and Triple H). All four of those formats have gone on to be popular in WWE (and in the case of Ladder and Iron Man Matches, the industry as a whole). All four are still generally associated with Michaels (who competed in each one at least twice).
  • A specific match that deserves some attention is his Survivor Series 2003 match. With Steve Austin's career on the line in a Survivor Series Match, it comes down to Shawn Michaels facing off with Christian, Randy Orton, and Jericho. Beaten and bloodied, he manages to take out Christian, then Jericho, and has Orton beat before interference from Eric Bischoff and Batista ultimately costs him the match. To top it off, he and Austin - old rivals who put on two absolutely classic matches themselves - share a powerful moment in the ring that is more or less painted with Shawn's blood by this point. Oh, and he goes and avenges the loss by beating Batista about a month or so later.
  • Shawn is absolutely legendary for dragging fantastic in-ring performances out of guys who are either known more for their mic skils, way past their prime, or barely even wrestlers. He is also one of the best — if not the absolute best ever — at putting over new talent.
  • Four words: "Who's your daddy, Montreal?!" Easily one of the best promos he's ever done, and even more brilliant considering that one was delivered AFTER he got religion and cleaned up his life, proving he could still be one of the best heels in the business. Watch all 16 minutes of brilliance here.
  • Being the first man ever to win the Royal Rumble from the #1 spot, outlasting 29 other wrestlers.
    • Not just being the first #1 entrant to win the Royal Rumble, but the way he won. All that can really be said about it is "only ONE of Shawn Michaels' feet hit the floor."
  • The "Let There Be Light" promo he did before WrestleMania 25. Hell, all the promos he did leading up to that qualify.
  • All of his matches with The Undertaker.
  • His comeback match with Triple H at SummerSlam 2002. No one thought Shawn, four years out of the business, after a crippling back injury, would have a chance in hell against Triple H in his prime. No one expected it to get that hardcore. No one expected Shawn to last 4 minutes, never mind forty-five - or to actually win.
  • Shawn and Hunter's hellacious 25-minute Last Man Standing match at Royal Rumble 2004, which was capped by a no-contest finish in Philadelphia and made the Mutants give both men a standing ovation.
  • The aforementioned Match of the Year winner that wasn't at WrestleMania: his rematch with John Cena on Raw. Cena and Michaels went a solid fifty-nine minutes (they were originally supposed to have a much shorter match, but backstage reasons forced them to fill time) and put on a Pay-Per-View-worthy wrestling clinic for free on television. To put that in perspective, that's about the same as having four commercial breaks.
  • His surprise appearance on Raw after being named an inductee into the Hall Of Fame class of 2011. He shows up on Raw, delivers a spot on Superkick to an interrupting Alberto Del Rio, and walks out without having said a single word.
  • Oh, and apparently, he didn't trust the WWE to keep up the Awesome-quotient without him. So he helped train Daniel Bryan.
    • And on October 21, 2013, when Triple H says he shouldn't have wasted time training Daniel Bryan, Shawn objects, saying that he doesn't regret training him. He even challenges his best friend and asks what has happened to him the past few months before saying that he's not being the referee for business...he's doing it for the people.
  • Any time he gives someone a superkick in midair. One of the most famous being the one he gave Shelton Benjamin on Raw.
    • Which is best known as either "Sweetest Chin Music" or, more appropriately, "The Superkick From Hell."
    • No hyperbole there, either; the kick was so vicious, after Michaels made the pin, he stayed in the ring to make sure Benjamin was all right. Hell, even referee Earl Hebner winced like he had been kicked!
    • Give credit where it's due. That entire match was top-to-bottom amazing storytelling and ring psychology, with so many near-falls and amazing moments, it could only be capped off by the Sweetest Chin Music.
  • In the dying moments of his match against Undertaker in WrestleMania 26, Undertaker told Shawn to stay down, since it was painfully apparent that he was only prolonging the inevitable. His response? Crawling back to his knees with his final ounces of strength and mocking Taker with his own "finger across throat" taunt. Needless to say, this didn't end well for him, but as far as final moments in the ring go, it was a suitably epic way to end a lengthy career.
  • During Brock Lesnar's WrestleMania match with Triple H, Michaels was present... and despite being brutally attacked by Lesnar throughout the match, he stopped Paul Heyman from giving Triple H the chair. Considering their past matches, Paul Heyman's interference often winning matches for Lesnar, and how Lesnar had been treating Michaels throughout the match... it was satisfying.
  • In the 1996 Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels tossed both the sumo wrestler Yokozuna and the very large Vader over the top rope at the same time.
  • Shawn can not only claim to have the first Hell in a Cell match to his name but also the longest in WWE history, held at Bad Blood 2004 against Triple H. Over 45 minutes in one of the most chaotic and arduous Cell matches to date (involving chairs, tables, and even a ladder). He did not win but it was not for lack of trying (since the best Triple H could manage for a pinfall was a very deflated ragdoll arm across Shawn's chest).
  • Unlike Ric Flair, who got a sendoff for the ages after losing his retirement match only to cheapen it by signing with TNA, Michaels stayed retired from wrestling for over eight years, and simply put in occasional appearances as a commentator, referee, or for a promo. Even though he came back for one final match at Crown Jewel 2018, he's shown no sign of coming back to wrestling full time. The fact that his final match with The Undertaker has kept its legendary status deserves mention here.


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