Originally Posted by Killswitch Stunner
I thought WM 26 between HBK/Taker was better than WM 25. Most disagree with me but the match was great and it had a better ending.
I'm in complete agreement with you and I know a few regulars in this thread are as well, there's actually quite a nice split in terms of the established group of posters in this thread as to which is better which makes a nice change from everyone usually being in agreement regarding underrated/overrated matches and workers etc.
Personally, the selling from Taker was better than anything in both matches, though the Houston crowd are close. The legwork was really sweet with HBK busting out offence he hadn't used in a while (his version of the figure four he began using during the Flair feud in 08) and call back spots not only to last year's match (HBK faking out Taker with SCM to see if his leg was actually hurt or he was playing mind games like HBK did the year prior) but also to past Taker matches such as Michaels busting out Angle's counter to the triangle choke/hells gate which pinned him at No Way Out 2006.
The story and drama building from Wrestlemania 24 with Michaels now playing Flair was just brilliant to see unfold and some of the nearfalls at the end had me convinced the match was done, plus the actual finish itself is just the absolute best way they could have ended such a match and milked the in ring story for all its worth. What really hurts it at times is the quieter crowd than we got the year before, as well as the finisher attempts not being as believable/engaging given what both men kicked out of at Wrestlemania 25 (personally I never agreed with that, seeing as Taker's numerous nearfalls had been a regular thing at Mania since the Batista match and how big a focal point the Streak had become since).
I find the actual body of work, in ring story (WM 25 whilst not being a spotfest was to me a WWE style version of a sprint match, only with greater character dynamics and charisma to create a big match atmosphere), selling and character portrayals by both men to be infinitely superior to Wrestlemania 25, not to mention the one potential botch in 26 actually added to the match (moonsault to the injured leg). 25 was sloppy in parts to me, and despite Taker's missed dive being a great spot to build drama...it would have worked much better at 26 in hindsight given the odds of a HBK win in principle seemed greater at the time what with them finally doing the same match 2 years running which had people at the time convinced the Streak was done. The drama in the 25 match really picks up after the botched dive, but I find they hadn't progressed the story/action enough for it to really create the feeling Taker was on his last legs, after all the punishment he took and his selling to play up the Phenom was in a massive fight at 26, that spot would have probably convinced everyone HBK was set to win.