I basically stopped watching wrestling for a year and a half. I got excited because I heard that Extreme Rules didn't suck absolute dick, but I didn't get a chance to see it. Now, as we all know, I can't review matches that I haven't seen, so here's a Randy Orton/Shawn Michaels Match instead.
Randy Orton (c) vs. Shawn Michaels, Survivor Series 2007, WWE Championship match
Match opens with Michaels employing a side headlock on Orton, a little chain wrestling occurs, and then Michaels locks in the neck vice. Snapmare into a short pinfall attempt. Orton tries to roll through, but Michaels holds on. Orton tries to break out with some punches, and eventually a body slam, but Michaels holds on again. He's eventually forced into the corner, and Orton starts to unload on the number one contender. Orton trying to goad Michaels into super kicking him was a nice touch. Michaels feigns the kick, Orton covers up, and is taken down by a tackle. Back to the side headlock, Michaels is sent off into the ropes, but he hits the champ with a shoulder block. Orton tries to trip him up one the next one, but Michaels is a step ahead, and locks in a rear-naked chinlock. Eventually we're back to the neck vice. Orton tries to break out a few times with some throws, but Michaels holds on. The champ decides to take a breather by squirming outside the ring. Michaels feigns going over the top rope, but goes low with a kick, hitting Orton in the abdomen. Follows it up with a springboard moonsault. A "bit of the HBK we've come to know and love", after a slow and methodical beginning to the match.
Michaels gets Orton back in the ring and goes for a crossbody from the top. Orton rolls through for a two count, follows up with a nasty European uppercut. Orton throws Michaels into the ropes, goes for a kick to the abdomen, gets caught. Michaels locks in the Sharpshooter. Absolutely love the way that he's forced to throw in all these submission holds, in lieu of his finisher. Orton makes it to the ropes and rolls out to the apron. Thumb to the eye and a hangman- nice heel tactics. Orton starts to pick apart Michaels with the stomps and knees, hits the rope-hung DDT for a two count. Orton locks in his own rear-naked chinlock now, and Michaels starts to fade before powering up. Elbows to the abdomen by Michaels to get out, and the two start to slug it out- Michaels with chops, Orton with right hands. Crowd are really getting into it, now. Hits Orton with the flying forearm, and does the kip up after some weird twitching movements. Michaels hits the inverted atomic drop, and a couple of right hands. Goes for another atomic drop, but Orton forces his way out and hits Michaels with a beautiful dropkick. Two count. Orton throws Michaels into the ropes, goes for the dropkick, but gets caught up. Roll up by Michaels for a two count. Michaels is really having to take advantage of Orton's mistakes. Scoop slam and the flying elbow drop. Crowd wants the Sweet Chin Music. Michaels tunes up the band and feigns a kick, but turns it into an inside cradle after Orton tries to protect his face. Two count. Michaels goes for a crucifix here, but it looks really awkward and he just tries turning it into a sunset flip. Orton counters by sitting on him for a two count. Orton goes for a clothesline, but Michaels counters into a Crippler Crossface. Big pop.
Orton nearly taps out, but he gets to the rope with his foot. The crowd is pissed. Michaels goes for another crossface, but Orton rolls out and hits a nasty
clothesline. Orton starts to take control with an inverted backbreaker, and he gets down to set up the RKO. Changes his mind, however, and goes for the punt. Michaels counters, and sets up an Ankle Lock. Orton tries to get to the ropes, but Michaels sets up a grapevine and traps him in the middle of the ring. Orton gets close to tapping before reversing the pressure and kicking Michaels in the head a few times. Does a nice job of selling the leg here, going for a clumsy kick with his left foot. Michaels counters and goes for a Figure Four, but is kicked into the ringpost. HBK's head has been taking a lot of punishment. Orton goes for the RKO, gets countered into the ropes. He floats over, and Michaels goes for the Sweet Chin Music, but hesitates. Orton hits a brutal RKO on Michaels for the pinfall.
Really cool match. Starts off a little slow, but that's to be expected given the match stipulation. It was really nice to see Michaels try and wrestle without access to his finisher. He busted out a lot of nice holds, and Orton's selling off the leg towards the end was subtle, but fun to watch. Don't know what happened with that crucifix into a sunset flip. Whether or not it was a botch doesn't matter, because it looked sloppy. Ending was awesome, and a really nice ending to a well told story. Probably one of Orton's best matches, and an overlooked classic. ****1/4