March 20, 2010
Matt Peddycord

Shawn Michaels: My Journey
Disc One
Released: March 9, 2010

Michael Cole hosts the DVD as he feeds Shawn Michaels questions before each match on the set. If there’s anything interesting, I’ll be sure to tell you. Otherwise, I’ll just be recapping the matches.

Might I say, that was an unbelievably great intro. Great song too and I wish I knew who performs it.

One Man Gang vs. Shawn Michaels – (WCCW, 1/11/85)
Same day as the Billy Jack Haynes match from the Heartbreak & Triumph DVD, but apparently that was a TV taping day for two different episodes. I love how Michael Cole acts like Shawn spent YEARS in World Class when it was only a few matches as a jobber. It’s just what you did back then as a rookie – you bounced around different territories to learn. Anyways, OMG looks more like a barbarian type wrestler in World Class with that bear-skin sleeveless coat instead of the skull and crossbones big bad gang member look that he had in the WWF and WCW. Shawn tries to hit and move, but OMG grabs hold of him and beats Shawn down with no problem. Running powerslam sets up the 747 SPLASH. (2:36) Shawn, I think that’s enough getting squashed for one day.

The Midnight Rockers vs. Buddy Rose & Doug Somers (w/Sherri Martel) – (AWA WrestleRock, 4/20/86)
This is very early in the Rockers war with Rose and Somers as they aren’t even the tag champs yet. Rose takes offense to the announcer saying he weighs 271 pounds. He weighs 217, pal. Sherri also wants to be called managerette, not valet. Spell check says that is not a word. Gotta love the 1980s when two of the ugliest guys in wrestling are nicknamed “Playboy” and “Pretty Boy”. Same goes for “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey. It’s amazing how Rose at his weigh can do one-handed pushups and kip-ups. Rose attempts a backflip off the top turnbuckle, but Shawn thinks it would be funnier if he made Rose slip and fall instead. I tend to agree though. In comes Somers, he gets into a criss-cross with Shawn and takes an armdrag into an armbar. He fights out and a dropkick on the chin has him tagging out. Rose runs the ropes, but he gets stuck in an armbar as well. Tag to Marty, he flips out of a hiptoss and takes Rose back down into an armbar. Rose pokes Jannetty in the eyes and tags in Somers, who goes back into the armbar. Marty does that float over armdrag and tags in Shawn as they deliver the double arm twist and double chops Somers into oblivion. Tag to Rose, he *cartwheels* away from a monkey flip and does a little strut. Marty does the same to show anything Buddy can do, he can do better. Shawn comes back in and grabs a sort of cross armbreaker. When Rose tries to stomp out of it, Marty punches Rose back down. Next up, Jannetty tags in and splashes the arm. You knew it was coming if you have ever seen a Rockers match. For some reason, Trongard thinks it’s a knee drop. Knee lift by Shawn gets two, which brings in Somers for the save. As Shawn gets pissed at Somers, Rose trips him up and catapults Shawn into an elbow smash by Somers. They cut the ring in half on Shawn, but they can’t get him over for a suplex. However, Shawn can. Hot tag to Jannetty, he thinks he gets the pin on Somers with a powerslam, but the man got his foot on the bottom rope. Rose takes a double atomic drop to the floor, leaving the Rockers to go up top for their finish. Rose runs over and trips up Jannetty. Somers makes the cover and for some reason, Shawn blows right past Jannetty and takes Rose to the floor as Somers gets the three-count. (12:05) WHO GOT THE LAST LAUGH NOW? Probably one of their shorter matches as they didn’t really milk the heat segment on the Rockers all that much, but WrestleRock was overloaded with sixteen matches and they couldn’t give enough time to everything. **½

AWA World Tag Team Champions The Midnight Rockers vs. The Nasty Boys – (AWA Championship Wrestling, 3/5/88)
This could be much better by the time these two teams hit the WWF. The Nasties are wearing some extremely lame cheap t-shirts that look like they used chalk or some REALLY old white spray paint to make their designs on their shirts, as compared to the cooler looking splattered paint shirts we all know today. Knobbs hooks up with Shawn to start. With Knobbs clearly being the bigger of the two, he bowls Shawn over a couple times until Shawn sees it coming and shoulderblocks Knobbs out to the floor. Jannetty and Sags tag in for the first time. Sags runs the ropes and attempts an elbow drop, but Marty rolls away and grabs a chinlock. He claws his way out and tags Knobbs, who takes the double hiptoss and elbow drop as the Rockers kip-up to run over and knock Sags off the apron. VINTAGE ROCKERS~! Now Shawn creates a situation where the Nasties tumble into each other to further frustrate them. Next up, Jannetty fakes out Sags as he turns around into a jumping dropkick by Shawn. The Nasty Boys regroup on the floor. Back inside, Jannetty whips Knobbs into the corner a few times and punches him down. Back to Sags, Shawn runs the ropes as Knobbs knees him from the apron to finally give his team a chance. Shawn gets stuck in the corner of the Nasties as they choke him with the tag rope and cheat during an ab stretch. Jumping clothesline by Sags gets a nearfall, but then he stands up into a superkick. That allows Shawn to dive into the HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER on the Nasties! Sags reverses a corner whip and Jannetty hits a crossbody out of the corner for 1-2-NO! Meanwhile, Michaels dropkicks Knobbs out for a pescado to take him out. Jannetty throws out Sags while Shawn chases Knobbs back into the ring for a flying bodypress from Jannetty for the 1-2-3. (14:38) Really good considering the Nasties weren’t that seasoned at this point. Great finish, too. The Nasty Boys would head to what was left of Florida Championship Wrestling for five tag title runs before joining the NWA for a cup of coffee and then onto the WWF where they would once again meet the Rockers. Except then, the Nasties would have the championship advantage. ***

The Rockers vs. The Brain Busters – (Boston Garden, 3/18/89)
If you’re thinking that I had already covered this match before this DVD was released, you would be wrong because I thought I had too. The WWF pulled a double shot at MSG and the Boston Garden in the same day with the same card. While they had two other spot shows in smaller towns, the WWF performed in front of over 35,000 fans in NYC and Boston alone, which was pretty typical for the grueling schedule at the time. Blanchard shows Shawn up a few times to start and makes to strut about it. AWESOME. Of course, he gets it back twofold as Shawn armdrags Tully down and throws him to the floor. The Busters complain about being thrown over the top rope, but they aren’t in the NWA anymore. Back in, Tully wants a leg and Shawn keeps on kicking him away. He rolls out and tags Arn from the floor, but that’s not allowed. Such trivialities! Tag to Arn for real this time, Shawn blocks a sunset flip and goes to town all over AA’s face. All four men get inside the ring as the Rockers deliver STEREO DROPKICKS to clean house. Back in again, Arn tries to draw Marty into the Busters corner like the genius he is. Jannetty won’t fall for it though and tags Shawn for the double-hiptoss and elbow drop spot as they clobber Tully off the apron. AA needs a timeout! Shawn whips AA into the Rockers corner as Jannetty runs down the apron to nail him with a clothesline. That gets two. To the floor, Arn gets his arm posted. Shawn brings him back in for a splash on the arm by Jannetty. Now the Rockers work the arm while Tully gets INFURIATED on the apron. Eventually, Jannetty lets Arn get too close to the Busters corner and Blanchard gets a tag only to miss a corner charge and runs shoulder-first into the ringpost! Marty grounds Tully with a hammerlock. Blanchard escapes and goes for a knee drop, but Marty catches the knee drop and applies the figure-four. In comes Arn, Shawn intercepts him with a figure-four of his own. STEREO FIGURE-FOURS! Too bad Boston doesn’t give a crap. Anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line would be flipping the F out right about now. Once everything settles, Jannetty tries a headscissors on Blanchard and Arn hotshots him on the top rope to end all that noise. Now the Busters try to break Marty’s neck with repeated necksnaps. Arn goes for the pin with a knucklelock and tries to splash Marty, but he’s caught on the way down in a body scissors. Being the stronger of the two, Arn merely catapults Jannetty into a right hand from Blanchard. Marty tries to dive for the tag, but Blanchard catches him in mid-air and drives him back into the Busters corner. Once again, Jannetty attempts a comeback and fails as he misses a corner charge and takes a CRAZY bump to the floor. Back in, Marty blocks a turnbuckle smash and hits a flying bodypress on Arn for 1-2-NO! Jack Brisco rollup on Tully gets two. Arn telegraphs a backdrop and takes a face slam. He tries a suplex and when he can’t, he blind tags Tully as Jannetty takes him over. Blanchard draws in Shawn while Arn dumps Jannetty over the top rope for ANOTHER huge bump. Back inside, Tully gets caught in the gut coming off the top and still manages to tag Arn. Jannetty fires back and slides underneath Arn for a HOT TAG TO SHAWN! All that build makes Shawn look amazing. He O’Connor rolls Tully, but only gets two. Arn dumps out Shawn (the legal man). As the Busters go to double-team Jannetty, Shawn pulls AA out and Jannetty schoolboys Tully for 1-2-NO! On the outside, Arn gets posted as Shawn hits a flying splash off Jannetty’s shoulders onto Blanchard for the 1-2-WHAT! Arn runs over and pulls out the ref right before the three count for the DQ. (22:25) That heat segment with Marty is the stuff of legends. Imagine if the Brain Busters had REALLY got rough with him. ***¾

The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation – (Madison Square Garden, 11/25/89)
The “all-star” duo of Gorilla Monsoon and Hillbilly Jim are on commentary. Bret and Marty start us off. Anytime the Harts battle a team of babyfaces, they seem to revert to their classic heel tactics from the mid-80s. After some back and forth counters, Marty does the spin out of a hiptoss and grabs an armbar. Blind tag to Shawn, they deliver a double-hiptoss to Bret and drop some STEREO ELBOWS only to kip up into a running clothesline from Neidhart. Now Anvil tags in and shoves off a headlock. He REFUSES to go down to a shoulderblock from Shawn, so Michaels suckers into catching a crossbody and countering that when he goes for a slam with an inside cradle for two. Anvil cannot slam Shawn as he slips out of a second attempt and rolls up Neidhart for two. Jannetty tags in and grabs an arm wringer, but gets run down by Neidhart. He slides back in underneath the Anvil and works a front headlock. Tag to Shawn, STEREO CRESCENT KICKS score him a nearfall on Neidhart. Anvil slams Shawn down and tags in Bret. During some rope running, Bret catches Shawn for an inverted atomic drop. Bret works him over and tags Anvil so he can bury the knee into Shawn’s back from the apron. Just for old time’s sake. Backbreaker by Bret sets up a bearhug from Neidhart. Michaels fights out and dropkicks Anvil back into the Rockers corner where Jannetty gets a shot in for what Bret did moments earlier. Turnabouts fair play and all that jazz. Michaels leaps for a hot tag, but Neidhart catches him in mid-air and backs Shawn into the Harts corner. More face-in-peril stuff follows. Bret tries to slingshot Anvil into the ring, but Michaels moves out of the way. Bret manages to pull Shawn back into their corner though. Nice suplex gets two. The Hart Foundation continue to cut the ring off and keep Shawn on their side until Bret misses an elbow drop off the second rope. With nothing in between Shawn and Marty, Shawn seizes the moment and makes the HOT TAG TO JANNETTY! Knee-lift on Bret gets two. Jannetty gets another two off a backslide. Crossbody block gets another two. Jack Brisco rollup scores another nearfall. Bret stomps the groin to take back control. Jannetty tries to roll Bret up off the ropes, but Bret blocks. Jannetty charges for another crossbody block, but Bret ducks and Jannetty goes flying over the top to the floor. NASTY. Back in, Jannetty rolls underneath Anvil off a whip and makes the tag to Michaels. Anvil wipes him out with a jumping shoulderblock. Cover, 1-2-NO! Neidhart gets caught ducking low off a whip and takes a crossbody out of the corner from Shawn for 1-2-NO! Tag to Bret, he rolls through a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Now Shawn rolls through an O’Connor roll for 1-2-NO! Michaels blocks a suplex and hits one of his own for two. From there, Shawn counters Bret’s abdominal stretch. Neidhart comes in and breaks it up, causing Jannetty to walk over and shove him around as the 20-minute time limit expires. (19:38) Yeah, close enough. Tito Santana, Paul Roma, and Hercules all come down to break up the confrontation. Seems like the Hart Foundation were involved in more time limit draws than any tag team in MSG. Standard Harts-Rockers stuff that leads to their big match on SNME in April. ***½

Cole stresses that this business is all about SINGLES performances and that breaking out of a tag team is the only way to “make it”. Tell that to the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express (any combination), the Rock N Roll Express, possibly on a lesser extent the Fantastics, and MANY other teams that I’m not even going to bring up because I know you are thinking of them in your mind at this very moment. What Cole is saying is that tag teams are merely two individuals with similar goals, but that’s not what any great tag team is about AT ALL. It’s about two people becoming ONE single entity. It’s like a gay marriage, but let’s please not take that comparison too literally. Wrestling already has enough gay overtones as it is. I just mean in the metaphorical sense in that a team must think in terms of WE instead of ME to be successful. When fans of the ’80s came to watch wrestling in the Carolinas, they came to see presumably Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and the ROAD WARRIORS. Most people didn’t come to see Road Warrior Hawk and not Road Warrior Animal. They came to see the BOTH of them because they were one awesome tag team that had come to destroy everything in their path and made A LOT of money doing just that. Most people didn’t come to see Ricky Morton and not Robert Gibson. They came to see ROCK AND ROLL and those two made a lot of money by taking a ton of punishment by people bigger than they were. Maybe I’m taking this a little too hard, but I’m a huge fan of tag team wrestling (which obviously became a lost art over 15 years ago) and I just hate how they are reeducating the fans to think that tag wrestling is all basically meaningless and always has been because nothing matters except winning things on your own. It’s just not true. If that were true, why would you even have tag team wrestling to begin with? I mean that kind of statement couldn’t possibly come from the realization that tag team wrestling in the WWE has been dead FOR YEARS because nobody knows how to work it right! That’s just ludicrous, I know! You only have Ricky Steamboat and Arn Anderson working as your road agents. What could those two possibly know about tag team wrestling?! Okay, rant over.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (w/Sensational Sherri) – (Ottawa, ON, Canada, 6/2/92)
Each disc contains one match with alternate commentary from HBK and Michael Cole. Naturally, they spend the majority of the time talking about the relationship between Shawn and Bret and how it changed. Nothing really in depth, just basic information leading up to Survivor Series 1997. It was still more interesting than Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred Hayes. This was after the Rockers split while Shawn was trying to find himself as a singles star. Shawn pulls hair to keep Bret down in a wristlock to start. Bret sets Shawn up for a hammerlock and shoots him off to the floor. Back in, Bret grabs an armbar. Shawn breaks loose and gets caught off a leapfrog for a catapult onto the top of the ringpost for 1-2-NO! Shawn escapes the armbar again and catches Bret with a knee to the gut to gain a breather for himself. Sherri gets her paws on Bret, which allows a Bossman straddle from Shawn for two. High knee gets another two. Shawn works a chinlock, but he can’t keep Bret down. Small package by Bret gets two. Shawn grabs a choke sleeper and nearly puts Bret out. Bret fights to his feet and breaks up a sleeper by backing Shawn into the corner, but Bret is too exhausted to capitalize. Running dropkick by Shawn gets two. Bret comes back with a clothesline off the middle rope and whips Shawn all over the place. Headbutt followed by a clothesline to the back of the head gets 1-2-NO! Backbreaker sets up the vertical elbow drop for 1-2-NO! Shawn counters a lifter with a backslide and gets a nearfall as Bret’s feet land in the ropes. Bret ducks a swing and schoolboys Shawn for two. Double KO ensues. As Shawn gets to his feet, he decks Bret with a superkick. TEARDROP SUPLEX is countered into a sunset flip by Bret for 1-2-NO! Shawn flips out of a back suplex and O’Connor rolls Bret for 1-2-NO! Bret flies off into Sherri who is up on the apron. Shawn charges, but Bret moves and Sherri gets wiped out. Schoolboy by Bret gets 1-2-3! (13:31) Felt a little weak in the first 6-7 minutes. However, it picked up big time for a huge finale for a solid outing for these two. ***½

Shawn Michaels (w/Psycho Sid) vs. Davey Boy Smith – (Monday Night Raw, 3/6/95)
The final two from the Royal Rumble GET IT ON! We’ve got Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette on commentary. These two are just too polar opposites, which makes for a fun time. To keep you updated, Sid made his return to the WWF two weeks earlier on Monday Night Raw as Shawn’s new bodyguard. DBS catches Shawn off a leapfrog for an atomic drop that puts him on the floor. Back in, DBS clotheslines him back out to Sid. Back in again, they do an extended short-arm scissors spot where DBS lifts Shawn up in the air and drops him on his back. From there, Davey Boy applies a surfboard. Once it looks like DBS is about to pin himself, he releases the hold and backdrops Shawn out into Sid’s arms. Smith delivers a hourglass suplex for 1-2-NO! Shawn grabs a handful of trunks and yanks DBS out to the floor where he hurts his knee. Back in the ring, Shawn unloads and hits the jumping back elbow for two. HBK hits the chinlock. Davey Boy elbows out, but runs into a knee. Michaels hits the Flying Elbow Drop for another nearfall. Back to the chinlock. DBS escapes again with elbows, but comes off the ropes into a sleeper. He reaches for the ropes, but Sid pulls them back to avoid a break. Davey’s arm drops twice, but not three times. He counters the sleeper with a back suplex. HERE COMES DAVEY BOY! They fast forward to Smith pressing Michaels and crotching him on the top rope. Shawn does his signature flip in the corner and turns around into a headbutt for two. Shawn ducks a charge and causes Smith to fly out to the floor where Sid knees him into the ringpost. Back in, a small package from Michaels doesn’t get the win, but SWEET CHIN MUSIC will. (15:44 shown) Not too bad. Another big win on Shawn’s path to main event stardom. ***

Shawn admits that he thinks Vince let him be as successful as he was to see him fail so he would shut up and then Vince could tell him that he told Shawn he couldn’t draw because he wasn’t big enough to be *the guy* in his wrestling company. At the time, it REALLY pissed him off. Apparently it’s still a soft spot with him too because he still talks passionately about the subject.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Psycho Sid (w/Ted DiBiase) – (Monday Night Raw, 9/11/95)
Kind of an infamous Raw main event. It was the first one that Bischoff spoiled for everybody on Nitro. Shawn uses the stick-and-move strategy to start and it works as Sid bails to the floor. Back in, Sid tries to toss out Shawn, but he skins the cat and dropkicks Sid out. Back in again, this time Sid controls. Shawn gets kicked off the top turnbuckle onto the apron where Sid clotheslines him to the floor and gives Shawn the snake eyes on the apron. DiBiase gets in his kicks as Shawn writhes in pain. He makes it back in the ring at the count of 9.7999999! Commercials! We return to see Shawn fight out of a bearhug only to charge into a Chokeslam! Sid poses instead of making the most of this moment as Shawn backdrops out of the POWERBOMB. Shawn fires back and hits the Flying Forearm. Flying bodypress gets 1-2-NO! Sid whips Shawn into the ropes and misses a swing. Shawn superkicks the gut, superkicks Sid while he’s doubled over, and then connects with SWEET CHIN MUSIC as Sid is staggered to get the 1-2-3. (7:24 shown) It’s just like Bischoff said! Shawn Michaels beats the big guy with the superkick. Maybe the commercial break blotted out the weak parts, but this was overall a decent big guy-little guy match while still keeping Shawn pretty strong. **½

Shawn’s drive to have only good matches was his way of sticking it to Vince because he knew the man didn’t believe he was money. That’s where his fractious attitude originated.

Shawn Michaels vs. The 1-2-3 Kid – (Monday Night Raw, 3/4/96)
Kid tries to shotgun HBK during his pre-match dance, but Shawn sidesteps the charge and throws the Kid over the top rope to the floor and continues doing what he was doing. Once they do lock up, Kid grabs a headlock. Shawn escapes into a spinning heel kick, but then he armdrags the Kid around and gives the Kid a press slam to send him out to the floor. Bret Hart joins us from the back to put over Shawn, himself, and their upcoming Ironman match at WrestleMania XII. Back in, HBK catches Kid with a powerslam for two. Now it’s Kid fighting out of a headlock, who then nails HBK with a jumping heel kick to the head to freak out McMahon. Kid dropkicks Shawn to the floor and follows him out with a springboard plancha. That leaves Shawn laying as DiBiase walks by and puts the boots to him. He doesn’t want to see Shawn get hurt here, because they’re friends. Ahem. Back in, Kid gives HBK the three kick combo in the corner and continues with a running corner dropkick as we go to break. We come back to see Kid still in control with a sliding legdrop. Shawn fights out of a chinlock and begins his comeback. Moonsault Press connects, followed by a Flying Forearm. He hits the Flying Elbow Drop and warms up the band. Kid avoids the SWEET CHIN MUSIC and baits Shawn around the ring to stomp him on their way back inside. Nice. Kid heads up top, but misses the Flying Legdrop! SWEET CHIN MUSIC! That’ll do. (10:08 shown) Good little match. The Kliq always worked harder with each other than with anybody else at the time. ***¼

Final Thoughts: I understand they wanted to put some rarely seen matches on here, but they could have put some of Shawn’s world title matches on here instead of the Davey Boy Smith and Sid matches from Raw. Neither the Beware of Dog match or Shawn’s title win at the Royal Rumble 1997 have made it to DVD yet and that by itself eliminates any repeats. While there’s nothing wrong with those matches per se, you don’t get the feeling that there’s any importance to them like you would with those two world title matches. I’m just saying.

On the other hand, Shawn Michaels fans will love it and even with the slew of good matches on the first disc, you don’t get the feeling that you really saw something special here. Obviously, there’s still two more discs to go, so we’ll see how I feel after I get through those. So far, it’s just a very mild thumbs up simply because there’s nothing inherently bad here.

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