I've often read that there is some connection between the HBK/Flair and HBK/Taker feud, but i don't understand how
I mean, i understand how the other feuds connected to one another, but i've never understood how HBK/Flair connected to HBK/Taker.
Someone else in here will be able to articulate this a lot better than me but I'll give it a go.
For me at least it all starts with Shawn having to "put down" Flair and end his career. You have that great, emotional ending with Flair telling Michaels to bring it, you can see that Flair has nothing left but he won't give up. He won't lay down. Shawn knows this and he knows that he needs to be the one to end Flair's career.
I'm going to skip straight to HBK/Taker now rather than go into detail about Shawn's other feuds in between (because frankly, I can't be arsed). Shawn ended Flair at Mania 24 and now 25 is coming around. His focus is now on the Undertaker and the streak. Something else Shawn feels he NEEDS to end. Of course he doesn't (not for the lack of trying in spectacular fashion), but the match could've gone either way and three years later on a rewatch it still holds up as one of my favourite matches ever and my personal favourite of the two HBK/Taker Mania classics.
Anyways, a year later and Mania 26 rolls around and Shawn hasn't forgotten. It consumes him that he couldn't get the job done the previous year and he can't just let it be. He puts his career on the line because as far as he's concerned if he can't do this, if he can't be the best, his career needs to be ended by the best and there damn sure aint no better than Taker at Wrestlemania.
Do you see that now it's all or nothing much like Mania 24? However this time, Shawn is in "the Flair role". Flair needed to either be the best or be beaten by the best, and as far as he was concerned Shawn was the best. This is exactly how Shawn feels about Taker, he's either going to end the streak or his career isn't worth carrying on with.
Now the ending of the Mania 26 match is where it truly comes full-circle in what truly is one of the greatest match finishes I have personally ever witnessed. Shawn refusing to die (Flair) and Taker wanting him to just stay down (Shawn). Shawn out on his feet but being defiant right up until the end (Flair). Taker being conflicted but knowing exactly what needs to be done (Shawn). BOOM Tombstone (BOOM Sweet Chin Music). Amazing stuff.
Anyway, I suck at writing and as I said before I'm sure someone else can explain it much more articulately, but that is the story arc as best as I can describe it (at least from my perspective) so I hope that helped.
tl;dr - Shawn ends Flair - Shawn trys to end Taker - Fails - Taker ends Shawn