March 27, 2010
Matt Peddycord

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

Your host is Michael Cole who interviews Shawn Michaels in between the matches.

Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind – (Raw is War, 8/11/97)
This is Shawn’s first match back since the King of the Ring when he went to a DDQ with Steve Austin and split up the tag titles. He was just a MESS to work with in 1997 says virtually anybody who was around him at the time. Vince McMahon mentions something about an insurance policy for Shawn. Mankind brings a Rubbermaid trashcan with him to the ring. It gets used against him fairly quick. Michaels dumps the trashcan on Mankind and double-sledges him down. ECW Hardcore Heaven gets shilled by JR and Lawler. Vince reminds them that they work for the WWF. When he pulls off the trashcan, the trash bag is still on Mankind, but he manages the MANDIBLE CLAW anyways. A low blow ends all that. We go to the floor where Mankind hotshots HBK on the guardrail. Mankind walks into a backdrop on the Raw announce table. Shawn follows up with a crazy elbow drop off the apron. From there, Michaels sends Mankind into the steps and brings him back inside for the Flying Elbow Drop. Shawn tunes up the band, but Mankind ducks SWEET CHIN MUSIC and applies the MANDIBLE CLAW. They roll out to the floor where Shawn breaks the hold by bashing Mankind’s head repeatedly into the ringpost. Shawn proceeds to take Mankind over with a back suplex onto the announce table as Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna make their way to the ring. Oh yeah, plus commercials! When we return, Shawn pulls off Mankind’s mask and acts like its going to eat him. Funny stuff. Mankind fights out of a sleeper and beats Shawn down into the corner to set up the Running Knee. He pulls some hair out of his head as RICK RUDE from ECW shows up. JR assumes Rick Rude is the insurance policy Shawn was talking about. Mankind hits the DOUBLE-ARM DDT for 1-2-NO! While Chyna has the ref, HHH trips up Mankind into a chairshot to the skull by Rude! As Mankind turns around, he takes some SWEET CHIN MUSIC for the 1-2-3. (8:42 shown) Quite the shocker if only for ECW fans. Rick Rude hadn’t been on nationwide TV in over three years so he really had to make an impact here for his presence to matter to everybody. Otherwise, this was ROUGH stuff to see on free TV at the time. ***½

WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith vs. Shawn Michaels – (One Night Only, 9/20/97)
From the first of many UK-only PPVs from 1997 into 2003. As Shawn mentions in the pre-match interview, Davey Boy is HUUUUGE in the UK. Well, duh. Shawn gives a shove and gets sent to the other side of the ring courtesy of DBS. They lock up and Shawn gets pushed away. Shawn even tries to get a leverage advantage by climbing up the ropes during a tie-up and Bulldog just throws him down to the mat. Bulldog clotheslines HBK out where he goes flying chin-first onto the guardrail. Shawn takes a powder, but takes a couple turnbuckle smashes while he’s on the apron. Reverse suplex brings Shawn back inside. Davey Boy wants to press slam Shawn out to the floor, but the ref stands in his way, so Bulldog drops him in the center of the ring. Shawn hiptosses out of an ab stretch, but charges into a backdrop to send him flying out to the floor. Back in, DBS goes after the arm. Davey Boy leapfrogs Shawn a few times, but then Shawn puts on the brakes and pokes him in the eye. Hurracanrana is blocked with a sitout powerbomb by the Bulldog for 1-2-NO! Back to an armbar. Shawn battles out and tries a crucifix, but Davey Boy falls back on him and applies the Surfboard. When Davey Boy nearly has his shoulders pinned to the mat for a three-count, he releases the hold. Stalling Suplex gets 1-2-NO! Out comes Shawn’s insurance policy in Rick Rude. Just as he makes it to ringside, he overturns an O’Connor roll to give Shawn the advantage for a two-count. Rude causes Davey Boy to get distracted some more. As DBS leans through the ropes, Shawn knees him out to allow Rude to post him. Back in the ring, Shawn applies the sleeper. Bulldog fights out with a back suplex for two. Michaels grabs the short-arm scissors, which allows Bulldog to show off by lifting Shawn up and dropping him back down to the mat. Both men up, they collide into each other. If Rick Rude wasn’t enough, here comes Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna. Davey Boy mounts a comeback and delivers a catapult onto the top of the ringpost for 1-2-NO! Just when things are going the Bulldog’s way, he misses a corner charge and runs shoulder-first into the post. Shawn gives Davey Boy Smith not one, but TWO Flying Elbow Drops. He props Davey Boy up in the corner and goes for SWEET CHIN MUSIC, but Bulldog ducks and hoists Shawn up for the RUNNING POWERSLAM. As he starts to leave the corner, Rick Rude grabs hold of Davey’s leg! Davey Boy lets go of Shawn and pulls Rude up to the apron. Instead of nailing Rude, Davey Boy clotheslines Shawn to the floor. Davey Boy nails Hunter and tries the RUNNING POWERSLAM on the floor, but he slips on the ringside mats and gets his foot caught between the elevated mats and the guardrail. See, the ring is set up on a platform for these UK shows. With Davey Boy stuck, HBK gives him some SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Hunter, Rude, and Chyna all continue to smash the guardrail into Davey Boy’s leg while Shawn distracts Hebner. Helmsley delivers a PEDIGREE on the floor for good measure. Back in, Shawn rips off Davey’s knee brace and throws it to Diana Smith who is sitting in the front row! WHAT A JERK! From there, Shawn applies the figure-four and gets a TON of leverage help by the ropes, Helmsley, Chyna, and Rude until the Bulldog blacks out to give Shawn the European title. This title victory made Shawn Michaels the first wrestler to ever win FOUR different titles in the WWF. (22:32) This was a case where DX got as much heat as possible by constantly interfering in the match. I don’t think WWE’s intentions were to legitimately bury Davey Boy in his own homeland, but that’s what happened. Then again after what transpired six weeks later in Montreal, perhaps it was the intention. ****

WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Triple H & Chyna) vs. The Undertaker – Casket Match (Royal Rumble 1998)
This match is intended to metaphorically put their feud “in the coffin”. Apparently, the feud is UNDEAD because it rises to his feet again in 2009. Shawn corners Taker early and peppers him with jabs. Undertaker is less than impressed and catches Michaels with a crossbody out of the corner into a choke lift. Shawn rakes Taker in the face to escape, but runs into a press slam. The casket lid opens, but Shawn slips away and instead takes a backdrop to the floor. On the way down, he catches his lower back on the edge of the casket, which is the back injury that puts him out of wrestling that we all thought ended his career. UT follows him out and posts HBK before booting him into the casket. Shawn realizes immediately where he is and jumps out to safety. Back inside, Taker puts the brakes on an O’Connor roll and drills Shawn with a soupbone. Undertaker hits Old School and whips Shawn out for a crazy Harley Race bump to the floor. Michaels hotshots UT and comes off the top, but Taker catches him in mid-air with a powerslam. OPEN THE CASKET LID! Shawn gets rolled in and sticks his arm in the way to prevent losing. When Taker opens the casket lid back open, Michaels stands up and throws powder in Taker’s face! Back in the ring, Taker gets tired of Shawn’s jabs and grabs him for a possible Chokeslam, but Shawn rakes the eyes and since he’s up in the corner anyway, he delivers the Moonsault Press. It’s amazing that he’s able to do that with his back in the condition its in. They head to the floor where Taker goes knees-first into the steps. After Shawn drops the top part of the steps on Taker a few times, he gives UT the PILEDRIVER on the bottom half which makes that sick thud noise. Now Triple H gets involved where he uses his crutch on the Undertaker. Shawn picks up a chair and beats it across Taker’s back just for fun. Back inside, Shawn connects with the flying back elbow and calls for the casket lid to be opened. Once UT is in the casket, he punches Shawn back into the ring. Taker telegraphs a backdrop to end his comeback and takes a swinging neckbreaker. THE SLEEPER HOLD IS APPLIED! Taker fights out with a back suplex, but then Shawn nails him with the Flying Forearm. Shawn kips-up and hits the Flying Elbow! ZOMBIE SIT-UP! Doesn’t matter, because Shawn delivers SWEET CHIN MUSIC. Now Shawn rolls UT into the casket and before he closes the lid, he stands over Taker and gives him the crotch chop. Well, he quickly regrets that as Taker sits up and grabs Shawn by the balls. Literally. He beats Shawn back into the ring and proceeds to open up a serious can on the WWF champ. That is until Taker misses the Jumping Lariat and flies right into the casket. Shawn leaps off the top onto the Undertaker to hopefully keep him down for good. As Shawn climbs back out to hopefully win the match, Taker sticks his head out and pulls Shawn back inside the casket! Shawn’s clawing at the canvas trying to get away is quite the awesome visual. Anyways, both men are in the closed casket together. They both come up fighting as Taker beats Shawn back into the ring. UT hits a MASSIVE Chokeslam and takes Shawn over to the apron for a TOMBSTONE OFF THE APRON INTO THE CASKET! If that doesn’t win, nothing will. As Taker gets out of the casket to close it, the New Age Outlaws and Los Boricuas (Savio Vega and three other Puerto Ricans) jump on the Undertaker. JR – “THIS IS NOT RIGHT!” Immediately you think back to the Undertaker’s last Royal Rumble casket match in 1994 where like 20 people beat him up to give Yokozuna the win. During the beatdown, the lights go off and we all think Kane is here to help his brother. Kane clears the ring of the New Age Outlaws and Los Boricuas, but then starts laying in the punches and then chokeslams his brother into the casket as Shawn, Hunter, and Chyna all close the lid real quick to win the match. (20:35) And since this isn’t an Undertaker DVD, this is all the footage we get, because what happens next is Kane setting the casket on fire with the Undertaker inside. Nowhere near the drama of the other two HBK-Taker matches from 1997, but a great brawl nonetheless with the typical casket phobias explored. In hindsight, they couldn’t have really gone anywhere but down after the Hell in a Cell anyways. What could they have possibly done to top that? ***½

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho – (WrestleMania XIX)
This is Shawn’s first WrestleMania match in five years, which means he gets a big ovation from the crowd. Feeling out process to start. We go to the floor where Shawn teases a pescado and instead hits Jericho with a baseball slide. Back in, Jericho rolls through a flying bodypress and then connects with a spinning heel kick. Jericho begins to get a little rough with Michaels, but then Shawn shoves off a bulldog and sends Jericho crotch-first into the corner. Shawn applies a figure-four, but Jericho reverses. Shawn tries it again and gets kicked off into the corner. Jericho tosses HBK out, but he skins-the-cat and headscissors Jericho to the floor for a pescado! They brawl up the aisleway and during the ten-count, Jericho blocks a dropkick and applies the WALLS OF JERICHO! He releases the hold and jumps back into the ring to tell the ref to STFU! Jericho then proceeds to drive Shawn back-first into the ringpost a couple times and heads back inside to work the crowd. Ahh, the lost art of working the crowd. Jericho springboard dropkicks Shawn off the apron and brings him back into the ring for a back suplex. He walks over to Shawn and slaps him across the face while he’s down and screams, “I’M BETTER THAN YOU!” Jericho hits a backbreaker and delivers the “YEAH BABY” double bicep pose with a foot on the chest pin attempt. It’s always awesome. It wouldn’t fit his character now, but I’m glad he did it here. Shawn punches out of a chinlock and counters a backdrop into a DDT. Both men are down. Shawn whips Jericho in the ropes, but gets caught with a flying forearm followed by a kip-up! Jericho unleashes his best Shawn Michaels pose as Shawn kips-up behind him. Now Shawn hits his own Flying Forearm and mounts his vintage comeback. Moonsault press connects for 1-2-NO! They trade nearfalls until Jericho tries the WALLS OF JERICHO. Shawn flips Jericho off him, but he comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for two. They rise up to their feet for a backslide, but Jericho kicks Shawn away and drops him with a clothesline. Running bulldog sets up the Lionsault, but Jericho hurts himself on the move and makes a slow cover for 1-2-NO! Shawn chops back and goes for a hurracanrana, but Jericho counters into a WALLS OF JERICHO! Shawn makes the ropes and pulls Jericho in for a small package that gets two. Jericho hits the double underhook backbreaker and follows that with the Flying Back Elbow! Now Jericho heads over to the corner and TUNES UP THE BAND! After he unleashes the Jericho shuffle, he connects with his own version of SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Cover, 1-2-NO! Shawn hits a crossbody out of the corner and starts wailing away on Jericho. He catapults Jericho onto the top of the ringpost and schoolboys him for 1-2-NO! Enough of this, Jericho forearms the back and tries a back superplex, but Shawn falls on top of Jericho. Slow cover gets two. As Shawn heads up top, Jericho kicks the ref off into the ropes to trip him up. Shawn blocks a superplex and hits the Flying Elbow! He tunes up the band, but Jericho ducks SWEET CHIN MUSIC and grabs the WALLS OF JERICHO! Shawn looks ready to tap, but then he finds the ropes. Jericho can’t believe it! He turns away to yell at the ref, but then turns back around into SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Cover, 1-2-NO! Now both men are at the point they don’t know where to go next. Jericho whips Shawn in for the Ray Stevens flip bump out of the corner. He staggers back into a back suplex, but Shawn flips out and delivers the rolling clutch pin for the 1-2-3! (22:30) Afterwards, Jericho hugs his wrestling idol and then kicks him in the balls as an exhausted and devastated Shawn Michaels slides down Jericho’s body. I didn’t remember this being that long, but anyways they did a great job WRESTLING in this one. Great story told with Jericho trying to convince himself and the world that he’s better than Shawn. Not to mention some excellent action from top to bottom. ****¼

Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair – (Bad Blood 2003)
Even with their meetings in Flair’s first WWF run, this was their first-ever match together on PPV. This is when Evolution was beginning to hit its stride as Randy Orton had just recently returned after suffering a shoulder injury earlier in the year. Shawn trips up Flair to start and walks over him to play some mind games. Big slap by Shawn sends Flair down. Not cool, Shawn. Not cool. More head games by Shawn. Flair charges into a drop toehold and then gets shoved back. Shawn clotheslines Flair out and hits a pescado. Back inside, Flair begs off into the corner. They run the ropes and as Flair drops down, Shawn drops down with him and grabs a headlock. Flair tries an inverted atomic drop out of the corner, but Shawn avoids that and nails Flair. As Michaels turns away to the ref, Flair flies in for the kill with a chopblock. Now Flair takes to school. WOO! FIGURE-FOUR! Flair gets a few nearfalls, but Shawn ultimately reaches the ropes. Shawn hits an enziguri and delivers a backdrop, but charges into a back elbow in the corner. Flair heads up top and gets slammed down. I know, it’s pretty much redundant. SWEET CHIN MUSIC fails, but Shawn manages to trip Flair up for a figure-four of his own. He pokes Shawn in the eyes real quick to end that. Flair counters an O’Connor roll with a handful of tights and gets two. We see the Flair Flip onto the apron as Flair runs over to come off the top (seeing him ascend to the top is just awful by this point) only to be met with a clothesline on the way down. Shawn hits a superplex and then sets up a table on the floor. What? They go to the floor where Randy Orton jumps the barricade and tries to interfere only to be met with Sweet Chin Music. Meanwhile, Flair is set up on the table for Shawn to splash him through it. How is that not a DQ? Back in, Shawn covers for 1-2-NO! Over in the corner, Flair’s trick knee acts up into both the ref’s and Shawn’s testicles. He’s got a real problem there. Even though the ref is down, Shawn makes his signature comeback and hits the Flying Elbow. He connects with SWEET CHIN MUSIC, but then turns around into a NASTY chairshot from Randy Orton. He gets rid of the chair and puts Flair on top for the 1-2-3. (14:18) In a rare occasion, the guy that the DVD is all about, a match is picked where he loses! So Shawn carries Flair to a match above what Ric was capable of doing at the time – much like what Shawn was able to do at WrestleMania 24 except that match had all the emotionalism and importance that this match didn’t have. Still no doubt one of the best matches (besides Goldberg-Jericho) on that night though. ***¼

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle – (WrestleMania 21)
Michaels eliminated Angle at the Royal Rumble and from there a rivalry was started to the point both guys have come to WrestleMania to see who the best wrestler of the decade is. This match is also labeled as an inter-promotional match, but all that really means is Raw vs. Smackdown. Both guys get into a wrestling stance to start and then Shawn shocks Angle with a slap! Charlie Murphy says, YOU DON’T SLAP A MAN! Angle explodes on HBK and rides him down to the mat. From there, Shawn does what Angle didn’t expect him to do – wrestle. HBK grabs hold of a headlock and doesn’t let go. Once Angle finds the ropes, Shawn applies a short-arm scissors down on the mat. Angle tries to lift and slam HBK out of it, but Shawn counters that into a sunset flip for two. Backslide gets another two. Back to the headlock. They brawl into the corner and as the “biased” Smackdown ref pulls HBK out, Angle blasts him from behind with a clothesline and grabs the ANKLELOCK out of nowhere. Shawn quickly rolls Angle off him and they take each other to the floor. Shawn sets up the Smackdown table for something big. They brawl on the floor until Angle ducks a blow and picks Shawn up for the ANGLE SLAM! Instead of dropping him on the floor, Angle backs Shawn kidneys-first into the ringpost! Back in, Angle hits a snap suplex for a pair of twos. Now he grabs a body scissors. HBK battles out, but gets caught with an overhead belly to belly suplex off the Ray Stevens corner bump. Angle places a knee in Shawn’s kidneys and pulls back on the neck. HBK escapes and during an exchange, slaps Angle again which gets him clotheslined hard to the mat. Shawn shoves off a belly-to-belly superplex, but misses the Flying Elbow. DOWN COME THE STRAPS! Michaels armdrags out of the ANGLE SLAM and takes Angle to the floor. He dives on top of Angle – driving his knee right into Angle’s face! Shawn avoids the German Suplex Off The Apron That Never Happens and knocks Angle onto the Smackdown table for the Springboard Splash, but the table doesn’t break! Back inside, Angle is bleeding PROFUSELY from the mouth. Shawn connects with the Flying Forearm and KIPS UP to continue his comeback. Flying Elbow hits this time as he sets up for SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Oh, Angle counters into the ANKLELOCK! Shawn makes the ropes and counters another ANGLE SLAM, but Angle rolls through into more of the ANKLELOCK! Shawn counters into a victory roll, but stands up into the ANGLE SLAM! Cover, 1-2-NO! Now Angle goes for it all with the Flying Moonsault and completely misses. Shawn slowly heads up top and gets caught with the SUPER ANGLE SLAM! Cover, 1-2-NO!! OH MY GOSH. Angle is REALLY frustrated right now. He grabs Shawn by the hair and SCREAMS at him to tap out, so Shawn shoves him back and delivers a desperate SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Slow cover gets two! Shawn was knocked so loopy by that Super Angle Slam, that it takes him forever to even get to his feet. Angle ceases the moment and easily takes Shawn down into the ANKLELOCK! HBK does one INCREDIBLE job selling the pain of the hold, but once Angle grapevines the leg Shawn has no choice but to tap out. (26:58) Such an incredible performance from both men. You have to think that Shawn and Taker may have looked back to this match when they got together at WM 25 in the way that there were several moments when the match could have been over, but it went another 10-15 minutes and continued to build and build up to a fantastic and dramatic ending. Without a doubt, one of the top three matches of the decade. *****

Final Thoughts: I don’t really have beef with any of the picks on this disc like I did with the first disc. I thought that maybe Shawn-Orton from Unforgiven 2003 should have been on here instead of Shawn-Flair, but I would have rather had Shawn-Orton from Survivor Series 2007 instead, so it works out fine. There’s some great matches here that sometimes get overlooked by other matches and that’s what you want to see with these DVD releases. This was the make-or-break disc for me and I was impressed. Still a thumbs up from me for this set.

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