Tag Archive | "Shawn Michaels"

Triple H, the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels end an era on new WrestleMania XXVIII DVD

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Triple H, the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels end an era on new WrestleMania XXVIII DVD

Posted on 08 May 2012 by Matt Hankins

We didn’t want to see Triple H vs. the Undertaker for a third time at WrestleMania. We didn’t think it was necessary to make Shawn Michaels the guest referee. We didn’t know where they would put the cage, and the Undertaker didn’t even know the date of the show. How could the End of an Era Hell in a Cell match be anything more than notch number 20 in The Deadman’s belt or a possible bridge between a stellar match at last year’s WrestleMania and some future feature bout? As it turned out, we were dead wrong.

The match was a brutal masterpiece in the often forgotten art of storytelling. While the cell itself was not used in the traditional way, it provided the only believable canvas on which these three masters could paint. There are no expectations of technical wrestling inside Satan’s Structure. It was perfectly acceptable for Triple H to dole out some 21 chair shots to the Undertaker and then demand that a cringing Heartbreak Kid end the match; a demand that ultimately went unfulfilled despite an emotional Showstopper considering it. This demand was not made out of collusion or cowardice, but out of fear; fear of what would have to be done in order to end the Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak (a feat Triple H had been unable to do in two previous attempts, including last year’s WrestleMania). That fear was nearly realized as The Game stood over a prone Undertaker, raised a sledgehammer over his head and was set to end much more than an undefeated streak before he was stopped by a diving Michaels. This series of lasting images personified the multiple narratives that unfolded over the course of the match. The diving HBK had preserved both the streak and the humanity of his best friend. Throughout the match Michaels turned in a visceral performance without over inserting himself physically.

No strike, no hold, not even a single step was wasted during this battle. Each man delivered his attacks as if they were the last that he would ever deliver. After each blow was delivered it appeared that it would only take one more and always take one more to finish them. With every glimpse of The Game’s anguished face and The Phenom’s purple and burgundy back, the story became clear. There is no tomorrow, only today and yesterday. They would usher themselves into history, on their terms, carrying their shields and being carried only by one another.

The Undertaker and Triple H end an era at WrestleMania XXVIII (photo courtesy WWE)

If this was the send-off to an era – more specifically the Attitude Era – it is peculiar that it came on the same night when one that era’s brightest stars (The Rock) was victorious over the current face of the company (John Cena). That is the duality of things. While the term “Superstar” has been appropriately applied to the unlikely triumvirate of Triple H, HBK and the Undertaker, they are wrestlers at heart; a fact of which I hope they are proud. This is why it was their match that represented an era. These three men have collectively been part of four of the greatest matches in WrestleMania’s nearly 30 year history and they all turned in their best performances as the sun set on their careers.

In the figure eight-shaped world that is professional wrestling, it is never exactly clear if you are witnessing the beginning or the end. As the three battered, bruised and emotionally-and-physically spent combatants embraced at the top of the ramp, the story found its ending. There may be other shows to stop, games to be played, and souls to put to rest, but there will never be a duplication of any of the three men who shared a cell a WrestleMania XXVIII. The era may have ended, but the memory remains, and long may it do so.

For more information, go to www.wweshop.com.

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“Michaels vs. Hart” closes the chapter in one of WWE’s most controversial rivalries

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“Michaels vs. Hart” closes the chapter in one of WWE’s most controversial rivalries

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Jonathan Williams

By Dan Kemp

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about the volatile relationship between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart? Anybody who’s been watching professional wrestling for the past 15 years (or anyone with even a passing interest in what goes on in and out of the ring) should already know at least a little bit about their storied rivalry. Even before the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Michaels and Hart had many great matches, always trying to outdo each other. In fact, their historic matches and constant one-upping helped keep the then-World Wrestling Federation afloat when World Championship Wrestling came to the frontline and began winning in the Monday night television ratings in the ’90s.

Apparently there is still quite a bit to discuss on this matter, as evidenced by the new WWE DVD release WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart. In this DVD, Jim Ross sits down with the two WWE Hall of Famers and starts off by taking a look at the humble beginnings of each man’s career. There is a nice video montage for each of them, which, if you’ve seen any of WWE’s previous Michaels or Hart releases, is really nothing new. Both men talk about how they broke into the business, who trained them, where they started, etc.

Soon enough, the interview begins to cover when Michaels and Hart crossed paths in the late 1980s. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) was already a fairly dominant tag team in the WWF when the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) made their WWF debut. Hart mentions how impressed he was with what he and Neidhart saw in the young Michaels and Jannetty, and how the Hart Foundation was pushing to face them in the ring. It’s clear that there was a mutual respect between Hart and Michaels from the beginning.

Eventually, the interview leads in the direction that we’ve all been waiting for; the beginning of the rivalry between Michaels and Hart. You’ll be surprised to find out a couple things regarding the events of the mid ’90s, where much of their hatred and disrespect came to fruition. Both men speak candidly about what was happening behind the scenes at the time, and for the first time you’ll be able to see just how bad things truly were between the two men.

Without giving too much away, the interview does end on a high note, as we travel to the present day and see Michaels and Hart reunited. There’s some backstage footage of the two meeting on the night of Hart’s return to Raw in January of 2010. After nearly 15 years, the two legends have patched things up and are moving forward as friends.

Along with the riveting interview, there’s also a slew of matches and in-ring segments on the other two discs in this package. On the second disc, you’ll see some early tag matches between the Hart Foundation and the Rockers, along with several high profile singles matches between Michaels and Hart. If you’re a longtime wrestling fan, you’ve likely already seen most of these matches, but that doesn’t take away from their amazing quality. These two men are two of wrestling’s all-time greats, and they prove it in each of these matches.

The third disc is bit of a letdown. Aside from the iron man title match between the two at WrestleMania XII, the only things on here are the Hall of Fame induction speeches by both men and their in-ring reunion from January 2010. It’s all quality stuff, but, again, stuff we’ve seen before.

Overall, this is a great addition to any wrestling fan’s collection. The quality of WWE’s DVD releases has always been top notch, and this one is no exception. You’ll learn something new about Michaels and Hart, you’ll see some classic matches, and most importantly, you’ll feel the real emotion that both of these men felt during the interview. It’s really something to see that peace has been made between these two WWE Hall of Famers despite the in-ring rivalries, backstage politics and other controversy that came between them for some many years.

For more information, go to www.wweshop.com.

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