, these would for sure be on my top 10 Raw matches list:
Austin & Michaels/Owen & Davey
Powertrip/Non-drawing, Canadian, Vanilla Midgets
Michaels/Benoit in Arizona
I'll have to think about/rewatch Michaels/Razor 8/94, Michaels/Kid 96, Michaels/Mankind 8/97, 10-Man Tag in Dallas, Edge/Hardy Street Fight, Edge/Flair TLC, Edge/Michaels 07 Street Fight, Christian/Jericho Cage Match, TLC IV, Angle/Benoit Cage, Taker/Hardy Ladder Match, Eddie/RVD Ladder Match, Michaels/HHH Dec. 03, and probably others I'm not thinking about right now.
Those Evolution tags were great especially the go home show to Backlash and the night after Bad Blood 2004.
Originally Posted by The Lady Killer
I don't remember that AT ALL. I remember HBK's return but nothing about their match.
Edit - Didn't Benoit and HBK have a really good Raw match leading up to Mania 20?
It's a classic and so is Benoit/Michaels from Arizona. This is what I wrote about Orton/Michaels a few months ago:
Originally Posted by Clique
Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels - WWE Survivor Series 11/18/2007
“Both men are forced to wrestle and it’s great to see a pure wrestling match here for the WWE Title.” – J.R.
Prior to this match for five weeks straight Shawn Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music to Randy Orton. At Cyber Sunday, the WWE Champion used a low blow to save his title. As a result, special stipulations were made for this blow off match. Randy got Sweet Chin Music banned in this match and if Shawn uses his finisher he will lose and never get another shot at the title again. However, if Randy intentionally gets disqualified, Shawn becomes WWE Champion. These stipulations are an intelligent answer to everything Michaels and Orton did to each other their heated feud.
The match instantly intrigued me based on the stipulations alone. Shawn is once again in his career forced to change his game plan in a big title match. HBK worked aggressively with grounded submission holds such as a neck vice then a headlock applied with vicious knee shots to the head combonation. After Orton escaped Michaels used his wit by feinting SCM and placing the Champion in a body scissors with a rear naked chokehold.
Orton, the resilient WWE Champion fought out of Shawn’s submission wrestling strategy and turns the match in his favor with a dirty thumb to the eye. King brought up a good point in questioning if Orton’s use of that dirty move constitutes a disqualification but just like Shawn's teasing of super kick didn't end cause a disqualification.
Shawn's vulnerable head also suffered the wrath of the viper like Orton with a DDT off the middle rope and then body scissors/rear naked choke combination himself. This was strong psychology shown by Orton playing on the story that he gave Shawn a concussion and he will exploit that injury with submission holds.
The match at this point is a nicely wrestled contest of back and forth submission applications but it was Shawn again to shock everyone with a famous submission hold. On the 10th anniversary of the Montreal Incident, Michaels used the SHARPSHOOTER in a WWE title match once again at Survivor Series! Shawn’s Sharpshooter was not 'excellently executed' and Orton made it to the ropes but it was an interesting callback to incorporate into the match.
Next, it is interesting Shawn tunes up the band again to throw Orton off his game (this plays a role in finish) which led to a quick near fall. Shawn shocks us again by using the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! This was the first time it was used live on WWE TV since the Benoit Incident. The Miami crowd popped because the climax of the match had arrived!
When Orton set up The Punt, the move he used to take Shawn out of the WWE for months, Shawn countered with an ANKLE LOCK! Shawn used many of the major submission holds he has felt from his former submission expert rivals (Hart, Angle, and Benoit). Talk about pulling out an unpredictable bag of tricks – I love it! When Shawn grapevines the leg it seems as if Randy would tap out. But Randy again used his long legs to kick Shawn in the head repeatedly until he breaks the hold.
Michaels tried the Figure Four Leg Lock (wooo) but Orton kicked him headfirst into the steel post in the corner of the ring. Again this is an intelligent play on the concussion injury. It is also ironic Orton used kicks multiple times in this match to save himself from losing yet Shawn can’t use his kick to extract revenge on the man that tried to end his career.
The finish is so smartly executed and completely connects with the story they created in the match. Orton has Michaels set up for the RKO but Shawn side swipes him and for a split second HBK instinctively attempted the illegal Sweet Chin Music. We see Shawn lift his leg up for the kick but he stops himself because he realizes he could lose the match. He loses the match anyway because Orton rapidly capitalizes with a swift RKO! Shawn being caught up, psyched himself out, and Sweet Chin Music ultimately led to his defeat not Orton's - brilliant psychology!
As I said earlier the stipulations made this match unique and both men had to adapt and wrestle out of their comfort zones. Both Shawn’s and Randy’s exceptional usage of psychology to tell their story in making strategic moves to win and obtaining revenge make it one of the best WWE Championship matches of 2007.