Re: Thoughts on Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21?
It was a great match and BY FAR Angle's best at Wrestlemania.
At the time (not so much anymore) people had put Angle up there as one of the Wrestlemania icons. He had so many matches that were deemed Wrestlemania classics and I just had to sit back and go "Really?".
Match with Jericho & Benoit for the European & Intercontinental Titles at Mania 2000 was good. It was one of the only matches from this show I enjoyed, but I would never say it was a classic.
Match with Benoit at X-Seven is massively overrated. I heard people at the time try to argue it was Match of the Night, and WWE even ranked it as the 10th Best Match in Wrestlemania History for their Top 10 Special before Mania XX. Sorry, but I don't see it. To me, it was a good match on par with other midcard Mania matches like HHH Vs. Owen at XIV, Jericho Vs. Christian at XX, Jake Vs. DiBiase at VI, and the like. But in no means was it a classic. I thought Austin Vs. Rock, HHH Vs. Taker, and even Vince Vs. Shane from this same show far outshined it.
His match with Kane at X-8 was forggetable and had a botched finished. Next.
His match with Lesnar at XIX is another very overrated one in my eyes. It is a GOOD solid match, but once again, it was being hailed as an all time classic bout, and I still don't see it. To me, it is an ordinary wrestling match that is only remember because Lesnar almost killed himself botching the finish. Not saying it is a bad match, but come on. Once again, looking at this same card, HBK Vs. Jericho, Austin Vs. Rock III, and even Vince Vs. Hogan far surpassed it in terms of excitement and just being memorable. Hell, I would say it was on par with HHH Vs. Booker, which nobody seems to remember.
People seem to have forgotten his match with Eddie at XX, but at the time, it was getting 5 star ratings and MOTY nominations. I'll be honest, I was never a huge fan of Eddie & Angle's matches. Their best outing was a match they had on Smackdown in 2005 (which I believe was included on an Eddie Guerrero DVD). As it stands with this match, I'm sorry, but once again, I didn't think it was anything special. It was a good match with kind of a hokey finish, and that's it. The main event far surpassed anything in this match.
So prior to the match with Michaels, I had never been truly blown away by any of Angle's Mania performances. He always showed great effort. That was never a question. Angle is the type of guy that if he flipped burgers for a living, he would bust his ass to flip five times as many burgers as everyone else. It is just that I never felt like Angle had truly had that one very special Mania match.
Then he gets into his feud with Shawn Michaels, which was awesome. It was some of Angle's best stuff leading up to it, showing off both his comedic skills and his ruthless side. And the match itself was a wonderful showcase of clashing styles. Angle's mat wrestling combined with Shawn's high flying skills was a match made in heaven and delivered a truly great match. I loved it.
And for the sake of completion, I didn't think Angle's 3 way with Rey & Orton for the title at 22 was that memorable either. It was a good & solid match, but Angle felt like he didn't belong in it. He was there just to hold and lose the belt and that was it.