Nice thoughts Yeah1993
re Michaels/Taker. Agreed with your comments on Taker's great selling ability, which as you say is made all the more difficult when you consider the gimmick/character he has to work with.
If I may ask, why don't you consider Michaels a great worker? I'd personally put him somewhere in my top 10 or so (North American, anyway).
I'm talking more his 2002-2010 run, seeing as a lot of his first singles run is a blur outside of a few recogniseable matches, but generally I just have issues with his offence, his long term selling and the general layout of a lot of his matches post 2002.
A lot of the matches I used to like no longer hold up, Summerslam 2002, Wrestlemania 19 (that one is all on Michaels, since Jericho puts in one of his best performances), Wrestlemania 21 and Vengeance 05, Michaels/Jericho Unforgiven 08 etc. I've grown to appreciate workers who are more subtle in their craft and really work to not only create stories which dominate the moves in the ring, but also include minor little things which not a lot of other people think/care to do, someone like an Arn Anderson, William Regal or Fit Finlay is definitely better than Michaels in my eyes for this very reason. I don't really care for the played out workover of the back > knip up > finishing stretch sequence in a ton of Michaels matches, and whilst I understand that sort of formula is prevalent with a lot of WWE workers, I don't find him good enough in the workover or selling the match as I do Cena or Mysterio who also have very similar/played out formulas which they rarely deviate from. Shawn's dire acting is also something that really detracts from his matches when he really hams it up, the Unsanctioned Jericho match at Unforgiven 08 springs to mind as far as singles matches go.
Michaels is absolutely amazing in tags though, since it plays to his short term selling strengths and the ability to pull a crowd into his matches, whilst allowing him to tag out to Jannetty and therefore remove the burden of long term selling from the equation as well as keeping his offence to basis bursts rather than dragging it out over 15 minutes. He's at the very minimum a top 10 US guy in tags, hell top 5 really isn't out of the question although I'd have to rewatch the likes of Steamboat, Rhodes, Morton, Eaton, Arn, Tully and others before settling on it.
There are definitely things Michaels can do well, and there are still a few matches post 2002 I'm a big fan of, but at this point his style of working a match and what he'll do inside a ring aren't really what I look for or can get engaged by. I find guys like Mysterio and Cena to be better faces in terms of making me want to watch their matches, and the likes of Regal, Finlay, Arn Anderson, Sgt Slaughter, Bill Dundee, Dick Murdoch and many others are far more interesting characters and performers in the ring to me.