Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas; April 5, 2009
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
This is the penultimate review on the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker feud and matches they brought. The one from Wrestlemania 25, the one many say is their best match ever. I would agree with them but by saying it is the best match they had at Wrestlemania. I still think that the Badd Blood Hell in a Cell match between the two 12 or so years ago is the best between the two but opinions are different and that is just my two cents on that one.
It starts off with an awesomely cool entrance from Shawn Michaels, who wore the all white outfit and was lowered in a fireman-like basket. Once he was lowered to the floor, his standard entrance music played and he performed his usual routine. The Undertaker made his standard entrance which is always really long but still pretty cool visually.
Shawn used the stick and move approach early as he has done in the past. He climbed to the second rope and did the crotch chop in which was made famous by him and Triple H during their DX run. The Undertaker ran at him and Shawn jumped over him. He came up holding his groin as if he was hurt and then dove at Taker to show he was faking him out, classic Michaels. Shawn controlled the first five minutes of the match and applied a leg lock on Taker, we then got reminded by Ross said he's never seen Taker submit once, well that sucks, this match now has to go on for longer.
Shawn continued to work over Taker's left knee as the live crowd traded dueling "HBK" and "Undertaker" chants, the crowd were up for this and boy so was I. The Undertaker caught Shawn when he was going for a move and took over on offense. He eventually hit Snake Eyes and scored his first near fall, the first of many boy believe me! The Undertaker signalled for the chokeslam early on, but Shawn countered with the STF. A very cool counter early on!
We are about ten minutes into the match now, Shawn jumped off the top rope and Taker caught him by the throat. Shawn broke free and set up for the superkick, but Taker dropped on his back, so far some nice story-telling by both men. Shawn went for a leg lock, but Taker turned it into the Hell's Gate. Shawn struggled and eventually reached the ropes with his legs to break the hold. You can tell both men want this win, the crowd are eating it up!
When Taker was outside the ring, Shawn went to the top rope while Taker was on the floor. Shawn went for a moon sault, but Taker just swatted him away, causing Shawn to crash hard on the floor, a horrible looking bump for Shawn but he's been taking them his whole career. Taker rolled back inside the ring while the referee checked on Shawn at ringside. Taker sat up in Dead Man style to a nice pop from the crowd. Taker ran the ropes and dove over the top rope at HBK, but Shawn pulled a cameraman in front of him to take the blow, and there we see more officials getting hurt in match ups between these two men, DAMN YOU MEN!!
Both wrestlers, the cameraman, and the referee were all lying at ringside, it was like a war scene out there, Taker landed dead on his head, looked fucking painful. The replay showed that Taker absorbed most of the blow and that the camera man didn't do much to brace his fall. The replay also showed that Shawn threw the referee into the guardrail, that bastard!
Shawn recovered and pulled the referee back inside the ring. A second referee ran out to check on Taker, watch out though referee, Taker has a habit of beating up referee's when he's angry, luckily this didn't happen this time, calm Taker. The referee started to count out Taker while Shawn sat in the corner praying that Taker wouldn't get back inside the ring. Taker made it back inside the ring at the nine count, SURPRISINGLY!
Shawn went for Sweet Chin Music, but Taker avoided it and chokeslammed him. Taker went for the cover and got a great near fall. The announcers put over the chokeslam in a big way, JR was awesome throughout the whole match and shows how a commentator can really add to a match. Taker and Shawn jockeyed for position as they both went for big moves. Shawn won the exchange by hitting Sweet Chin Music. He covered Taker, who kicked out at the last possible moment, I thought that was it!
Another finisher coming up and it was Undertaker's time to pick another one of his three finishers and this time went for the Last Ride, but Shawn slipped out. Taker caught him with a second attempt and hit the Last Ride for a great near fall that popped the live crowd in a major way. How many finishers can these guys take? Neither men want to lose this, awesome awesome match. You really started to think to yourself, who on earth is going to win this!?
The Undertaker whipped Shawn toward the ropes, Shawn skinned the cat. Taker caught him in the Tombstone position as he tried to get back in the ring. The Undertaker hit the Tombstone and covered Shawn with his arms folded on his chest, this is it, this has got to be it! But NO Shawn had kicked out again. Taker flashed a look of shock, a memorable image that'll go down in history as well as the commentary.. "BAH GOD, I JUST HAD AN OUTER BODY EXPERIENCE!!!", I love you JR, I really do!
The Undertaker pulled down the straps of his tights and gave the throat slashing gesture, this is it now surely. Michaels just got hit with a Tombstone, he can't have much left in him. Taker picked up Shawn and went for what appeared to be another Tombstone, but Shawn countered with a sloppy DDT, but I'm not complaining no one cared that the move was off. Shawn struggled to his feet and eventually climbed to the top rope. He nailed a top rope elbow drop!
After such a battle, Shawn struggled to his feet and set up in the corner for the Sweet Chin Music, he was tuning up the band. Shawn nailed the move and went for the cover, at this point you are wondering what the hell these men have to do to win the match, The Undertaker somehow kicked out at literally the last possible second, what the actual fuck!?
Both men eventually got back on their feet and exchanged a series of chops, which were greeted with "Woo's", hell watching from my sofa I gave a few woo's, who didn't!? from the crowd. The Undertaker ended the exchange with a big boot. He scooped up Shawn for a Tombstone, but Shawn fought his way out with elbows to Taker's head.
I looked at the clock and couldn't believe half hour had passed such was the brilliance of the match. Shawn went for a moonsault off the top rope, but The Phenom caught him in Tombstone position. Taker hit the Tombstone and covered Michaels, 1.....2.......3, no kick out this time but my word what an absolute slobber knocker. The live crowd gave them a standing ovation, the commentators gave them a standing ovation, fuck, even I gave them a standing ovation whilst both men were still lying on the mat. Absolutely brilliant by two absolute greats. A worthy winner for Match of the Year, nothing came close at all.
I give this match FIVE STARS ***** Just amazing, seriously. I am not over hyping this match because I like both men, it's pulsating from start to finish. I know a lot of people don't like matches with false finishes etc but this is as much enjoyable as any match you are ever likely to see. You can't help but get involved in the match and root for both men, you don't care who wins the match, in fact you don't even want it to end! Brilliant, absolutely brilliant, a match worthy of the five star rating given.
Coming up next is the last review of mine in the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker feud, it is the last match of Shawn Michaels and of course it is the Career vs. Streak match that took place at Wrestlemania 26...