WWE superstars annually try and outdo one another for that coveted “WrestleMania Match of the Night.” Shawn Michaels continued to be that guy, and for over fifteen years wrestled the greatest matches in WrestleMania history. While WrestleMania 26 was the end, Shawn Micahels’ WrestleMania legacy will never be forgotten.
Shawn Michaels wrestled the last match of his career at WrestleMania 26 against The Undertaker. The loss sent the Heartbreak Kid into retirement and ended the streak of great WrestleMania performances.
In honor of the greatness known as Shawn Michaels, I take a look back at the Heartbreak Kid’s greatest WrestleMania matches and rank the Shawn Michaels ten best WrestleMania Matches..
1 – Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle…WrestleMania 21. Generally, this HBK match has become a forgotten classic. In my opinion, this was Shawn Michaels’ greatest WrestleMania match. This was a Dream Match that had been discussed for years amongst hardcore wrestling fans. Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels were at their best and the fans began demanding to see this great match. The build, the anticipation, and the payoff couldn’t have been better.
2 – Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho…WrestleMania 19. I tend to look at this match as more of a 1 A than a 2. This was the Heartbreak Kid’s long awaited WrestleMania return and boy was it worth waiting for. What I liked most about this match is that it was very different match for both Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels. Both guys used new moves, new transitions, and told a phenomenal story which made this one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time.
3 – Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart…WrestleMania 12. Like many matches on this list, some will call this Shawn Michaels’ greatest WrestleMania match. I think the match tends to get a little more credit than it deserves. However, the last fifteen minutes were some of the most exciting in the history of WrestleMania. The WWE has attempted a few more Iron Man matches since this one, but the Iron Man match at WrestleMania 12 is still the only one anyone ever talks about.
4 – Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon…WrestleMania 10. This match is quite arguably the most important match in the history of WrestleMania. This match began to usher in a whole new style of pro wrestling and influenced some of the biggest stars in WWE history. Beyond the match, people generally forget about the great storyline behind the match. Scott Hall doesn’t get as much credit as he should because he was in another zone altogether during this match. All in all a true classic and well worthy of a top-five spot on the list.
5 – Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker…WrestleMania 25. I think the legend of this match has grown well past the match itself. Unlike the WWE announcers who weekly tell us that this was the greatest WrestleMania match of all time, I tend to disagree. While the match was great, Michaels’ other matches blow this one out of the water. However, taking a backseat to the above matches is nothing to be ashamed about. I appreciated this one a lot more after WrestleMania 26 because even they weren’t able to top themselves with the rematch.
6 – Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon…WrestleMania 22. This is an odd one and another match that tends to is often debated. It is hard for fans to give this match the proper credit because it involved Vince McMahon. However, the match told a brilliant story and was one of the most dramatic matches in WrestleMania history. I dare the doubters to watch the match back with an objective eye, forget that HBK is wrestling Vince McMahon, and argue against the greatness of this WrestleMania 21 match.
7 – Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H…WrestleMania 20. This is where the list separates between amazing matches and really good matches. For me, this was one of Shawn Michaels’ most disappointing WrestleMania matches. On paper, I expected the match to blow away anything from Michaels’ second WrestleMania run. It was a very good match, but nowhere near the caliber of the above matches. I think the tree man crowd really hurt a match that on paper looked like a sure WrestleMania classic.
8 – Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker…WrestleMania 26. This certainly wasn’t the Heartbreak Kid’s best WrestleMania performance but it is certainly worthy of being in the top ten. The match as a whole came off a bit too one sided in my opinion where it appeared that The Undertaker just squashed Michaels. The match was also seven minutes shorter than the WrestleMania 25 match. While 23 minutes was more time than anyone else had, it just didn’t feel like enough for such a big match. While the match wasn’t even close to their previous match in terms of greatness, it was still better than 95% of the matches you will ever see at WrestleMania.
9 – Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair…WrestleMania 24. I find this to be an incredibly overrated match. Watching it back today for the list, I almost found myself bored. Never once did it seem like Ric Flair was going to win. It is hard to match the emotion, yet it tends to dissipate now that Flair is wrestling again for TNA Wrestling. This was a very dramatic match, but Ric Flair was probably two years removed from being able to do this one justice.
10 – Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (Kevin Nash)…WrestleMania 11. I tend to think this match doesn’t get enough love. It wasn’t the greatest, but it was a pretty decent match for the time period. Shawn Michaels’ 20 foot backdrop still gets a pop out of me. Critics tend to call WrestleMania X a one-man match and don’t give Scott Hall enough credit. In this one, the critics were right and this was truly indeed a one-man show. However, when that one man is a young hot shot named Shawn Michaels nearing the prime of his career you just can’t go wrong.
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