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Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels And The Interesting Place Chris Jericho Wrote Out Their Classic WrestleMania XIX Match

Chris takes a look at the amazing Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho history.

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Shawn Michaels Chris Jericho WrestleMania XIX

Chris takes a look at the amazing Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho history.

On March 30, 2003, WWE held the 19th edition of The Show of Shows for the first-time-ever in Seattle, WA and broke the attendance of 54,097 at Safeco Field. Two of the greatest sports entertainers of all time clashed for the first-time-ever. The Showstopper Shawn Michaels and The King of the World Chris Jericho; it was the ultimate dream match where the young star would face his childhood idol on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Below I will be recapping the stellar build-up for their five-star classic at WrestleMania XIX, and share the unique manner Jericho planned it.

A Miraculous Return For The Heartbreak Kid In WWE

At Summerslam 2002, one of the all-time greats in sports-entertainment “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels made his triumphant return to the squared circle, after a career-ending back injury that led to his in-ring retirement in 1998. There was only one opponent that HBK wanted to face, his real-life best friend and former D-Generation X bandmate.

“Shawn hasn’t been in the ring in five years, and we did like two things. I remember in five minutes going this guy hasn’t lost a step, it’s like I’ve gone back in time…five years”. –Said by Triple H

The two rivals competed in one of the most brutal contests an Unsanctioned Match, to prove once and for all who the better man is. With some insane spots and Michaels getting busted wide-open. HHH hit the Pedigree for a long two-count but Michaels surprised him with a surprise roll-up to score the victory.

Fast Forward to November 17, 2012, where at Survivor Series Michaels alongside HHH, Chris Jericho, Booker T, RVD, and Kane all competed in the first-ever Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. To add an impressive stamp to his triumphant return to WWE; Michaels shocked the world by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in his first title match in his comeback.

Credit:Rock-Cafe

“Shawn Michaels is back in the record books. Shawn Michaels is back on top. Shawn Michaels is the man. Shawn Michaels is the world’s heavyweight champion,” shouted Ross.

On November 17, 2017, on the fifteenth anniversary of the initial Elimination Chamber Tim Fiorvanti from ESPN took an inside look and the never before heard true stories from the six participants themselves.

The bitter rivalry with HHH would culminate at next month’s Armageddon pay-per-view where “The Cerebral Assassin” bested Michaels in a Three Stages of Hell Match, and took back “His” World Heavyweight Championship.

WrestleMania Rewind: Shawn Michaels VS. Chris Jericho–And Their Epic Show-Stealing Match

In the opening credits on the WrestleMania Rewind titled Mr. WrestleMania Returns, these are Jericho’s comments on Michaels being one of the best performers of all time.

“There’s nobody in the history of this company who’s had as many great five-star classic matches at WrestleMania than Shawn Michaels and there never will be and you can’t. For whatever reason Shawn was genetically created to steal the show at WrestleMania”.

While Michaels was nowhere to be found from 1997-2001 in what is dubbed “The Attitude Era”; another individual burst on the scene with an appealing flashy moveset and a wildly entertaining personality and with canary blonde hair, that superstar was none other than “The Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla” Chris Jericho. With his unwavering determination to be the best on any given night, resembling his childhood idol Michaels. As Jericho would enter the arena he would grab a microphone and scream “Welcome to Raw is Jericho” and the WWE Universe ate it up. They were 100% behind him because in every match he delivered a five-star performance.

On December 16, 2002-edition of Monday Night Raw, twenty-four hours after losing the world heavyweight championship Michaels was interrupted by an unimpressed Jericho.

The cocky and arrogant young star told Michaels that all the fans spent their money to see the King of the World. He goes on to elaborate how he started his pro wrestling career looking up to Michaels. Jericho claims that’s he’s better than him, by accomplishing something Michaels never could–defeating Stone Cold and The Rock in the same night to become the first-ever Undisputed Champion.

Shawn Michaels shares a conversation between the CEO of WWE Vince McMahon, himself and Jericho when he went back to gorilla.

Vince: “Did you feel that”?, “DID YOU FEEL THAT”?

Shawn Michaels: “What”, “It was at this time Chris came back”.

Chris Jericho: “I think we got something here, and that led to us having the WrestleMania match”.

The Incredible Build-up To The Dream Match Jericho/Michaels

In the weeks leading up to the 2003 Royal Rumble; Michaels goaded Jericho into entering at #1 to prove he was the best, this all culminated with Jericho claiming the #2 spot and his foe entering at #1 spot. At the event Michaels is waiting for Jericho’s arrival in the match, Christian who was aligned with Y2J distracted Michaels which allowed the vindictive heel to grab a steel chair and bust Michaels wide open and eliminate him. Later in the match, Michaels returned the favor by running and beating Jericho up and clotheslining him over the top rope.

“Chris and I get to talk and he goes on to tell me how he sort of mirrored his career after mine, he says he’s got pictures and all sorts of other stuff with similar outfits everything under the sun. Obviously, Chris and I also bond over this then we did our best to build this nice little storyline and then-and then go to WrestleMania”. –Michaels said

On March 3, 2003-edition of Raw, Jericho and Christian were delivering a post-match attack with a steel chair to Test. When they began to set up his girlfriend Stacy Keibler for one, Michaels made the save and Jericho missed Stacy and busted his WrestleMania opponent wide open. Jericho said, “He had tried to be the hero one too many times”. Jericho then proclaimed that his sole focus is ending Michaels career at WrestleMania.

A few weeks later both rivals would have another heated encounter; this time with Jericho sharing that he began his early pro wrestling career imitating his childhood idol, he displayed a few pictures of Michaels and him side-by-side performing reminiscent maneuvers.

Jericho used to believe being dubbed “the next Shawn Michaels” was flattering at first but, now it’s extremely insulting and he now only cares about being the first Chris Jericho. Michaels refused to look him straight in his eyes, so Jericho slapped him and Michaels returned the favor.

On December 25, 2015, Alessandro Passalalapi from www.therichest.com published an article titled 10 Behind The Scenes Secrets The WWE Never Wants To Reveal. One of the biggest and deepest secrets about the art of professional wrestling was revealed, whether or not the entirety of a match is planned out from the start to finish.

The only real part of the match that is discussed and planned is the finish. Matches are usually improvised with one wrestler calling most of the match. This usually falls on the heel of the veteran who controls most of the action, and he usually tells his opponent what to do throughout the bout. In more prestigious cases (like PPVs), some wrestlers do go over some things in advance. They usually practice some moves in the ring before the show.

In Chris Jericho’s Autobiography titled Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 easy steps he gives a stellar inside look into how their classic match was created.

“We went twenty-seven minutes and it was the best of Jericho and the best of Michaels. We constructed an amazing match(with most of my ideas coming a week earlier while shopping for a speedo undertights at Dick’s Sporting Goods) filled with so many twists and turns that the crowd in Seattle was on the edge of their seats the whole time.

False finish after false finish unfolded until finally, Shawn rolled me up with a move I’d seen Owen Hart use fifteen years earlier. Afterwards, the crowd gave us a standing ovation. In the middle of the applause, we shook hands and embraced in a classic WrestleMania moment–until I kneed him in the plums. He collapsed and looked up at me with his puppy-dog eyes, asking, How could you?”

 

Credit: WWE

Had Michaels competed in his one-off match at 2002 SummerSlam against HHH and returned back into retirement, we never would have witnessed this incredible feud and five-star match at WrestleMania XIX. Thank God that Michaels decided to stick around long enough for this dream match to come to fruition.


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Opinion

Steve Cook’s Fave Five: April 2021

It’s a little more than halfway through April! You know what that means…

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It’s a little more than halfway through April! You know what that means.

It’s time to talk about my current five favorite wrestlers like I’m Booker T. Let’s break down the Fave Five!

5. Samoa Joe

I figure what happened between Samoa Joe & WWE was the following: WWE offered Joe an announcing contract since either they didn’t want to use him in the ring or their doctors wouldn’t clear him to wrestle. Joe looked at the contract, noticed the financial discrepancy, realized he could probably get NJPW to let him train young boys in California for that kind of money and said “thanks but no thanks”. Nothing else really makes sense to me.

Unfortunately, those who thought that WWE wouldn’t utilize Joe to their fullest potential were right. It wasn’t all WWE’s fault though. Joe had a lot of miles on his tires when he got there. Injuries are always more of a concern with larger wrestlers the older they get. And when Joe was healthy, he did get to do some good stuff and show people a glimpse of the Samoa Joe that people like me raved about back in the mid to late 2000s.

In any event, Joe got his WWE run. It was a thing that happened. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t wind up in AEW because he seems like the kind of guy Tony Khan would throw all the money at. Should be fun!

4. Kris Statlander

AEW does have a pretty insane number of factions right now. It risks the possibility of all of the groups blending together, with none of them really capturing the attention of fans. However, there are positive things about AEW’s faction warfare that shouldn’t be overlooked. It makes booking fresh matches to fill cards pretty easy. You can have groups facing off each week, but in different combinations that keep it fresh.

Another good thing: It can help us decide how we feel about characters that we might be on the fence about. Kris Statlander’s character was a topic of discussion from the moment she entered AEW. A lot of people weren’t sure how to take her. Wrestling aliens, or wrestlers who think they’re aliens, aren’t exactly common. Its the kind of thing that gets over in the indies, because those feds attract fans that are more willing to buy into unique concepts. Mainstream is a tougher sell.

Aligning Kris with the Best Friends makes sense to those in the know, since she came up working shows with them. It also helps people that don’t know about her figure out more. The Best Friends are a happy go lucky group that are the whitest of white meat babyfaces you’ll find in AEW, and that’s a good thing. They’re welcoming to people with unique personalities, as Orange Cassidy’s presence establishes. A friendly alien couldn’t ask for a better group to surround herself with, and from their appearances so far she seems like a perfect fit.

Add in the fact that the time on the shelf helped her get into better shape and refine her look & presence, and the sky’s the limit for Statlander. As long as she can stay in the ring, I’m expecting big things from her in 2021.

3. Tay Conti

Sometimes, all one needs is a change of scenery to approach their true potential. Tay spent a few years at the WWE Performance Center learning how to be a professional wrestler. During her time there, Tay never showed much in the way of potential. Even though she had a combat sports background and had the type of physical appearance that gets attention, Conti’s TV time was very limited and uneventful. She seemed like one of those wrestlers that was bound to stay in developmental until WWE gave up on them, then drop off the face of the earth without most wrestling fans noticing.

Tay’s story took a different route. She ended up being one of the cuts that AEW took an interest in, and was brought in for the Deadly Draw Women’s Tag Team Tournament. Her teaming with Anna Jay worked well on & off-camera, and she pretty much fit right in with the group immediately. She started training with Dustin Rhodes, and pretty much immediately started looking better in the ring & figuring out what worked for her. Now, she’s one of the people helping AEW’s women’s division go to a higher level.

This isn’t meant to denigrate WWE’s Performance Center or its methods. There just isn’t a wrestling training center out there that’s going to work for everybody. Tay had to find what worked for her. The people that recently got cut will have to do the same. Hopefully, the people that recently got signed by WWE will thrive in that environment.

2. Bianca Belair

We’ve recently seen three new Women’s Champions under the WWE umbrella, all of whom are great in their own way. I’ve talked about Rhea Ripley before, she’s got unlimited potential and so far she’s done very well on the main roster. Raquel Gonzalez is doing very well on NXT and her push to the championship made perfect sense & got over. I do think the best of the title changes was Bianca’s defeat of Sasha Banks in the main event of WrestleMania Saturday. It was a special moment for Bianca, a very fun match to watch, and a great performance from both Bianca & Sasha Banks, who did everything she could to make Bianca in that match.

You see the video of the NXT segment up above, with the three current Women’s Champions under the WWE umbrella celebrating together. Apparently there was a picture taken in 2019, and there were pictures taken after this week’s NXT, with Triple H making sure to get in there as he likes to do with all new champions. I’ve never really been a fan of that sort of thing, even the “Horsewomen” celebrations on previous NXT shows didn’t do much for me.

Besides the usual complaints people have about things like that, the thing that I didn’t like was how Rhea & Raquel came off. They were all smiling & happy like they were Big Daddy Cool Diesel after beating Mr. Bob Backlund in 1994. Completely against what Raquel has been up to this point, and what Rhea has been when she’s been at her best. Hopefully this is just a one-time thing for Rhea for the portion of the NXT audience that likes their lady wrestlers crying & happy after their performances, and hopefully it’s leading to Raquel getting dismembered by Dakota Kai, who can’t be happy about her heater winning the championship and then turning into Smilin’ Diesel.

Fortunately for Bianca, it does nothing to affect her character or our opinion of her. That’s why I think her title run will go best. I’m also putting her here because I’m pretty well convinced there isn’t a wrestling move or spot she can’t do well. Insanely talented, and the more experience she gets the better she’ll be.

1. Darby Allin

Sometimes you just want to watch something that’s stupid fun. Something that doesn’t need too much thought in order to enjoy it. Just people doing crazy things to entertain an audience. Darby Allin matches are just what you need when you’re looking for something like this. There isn’t anybody crazier in pro wrestling today than Darby, which is probably for the best. I’m convinced this kid has a death wish.

The one thing that kinda gets me about Darby sometimes is how he kicks out of everything. Poor Matt Hardy wasn’t going to beat that kid unless he shot him with a gun, and apparently there’s a metal detector at Daily’s Place. (Shoutout to Matt by the way, hell of an effort in that match.) But then I remember that Darby Allin is a daredevil and constantly posting videos online where he’s jumping off high places and doing crazy things. Obviously, it’s going to take a little more to beat a daredevil than your average pro wrestler.

What’s it going to take to beat Darby Allin? That’s a good reason to keep watching.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: About that Cole-O’Reilly match…

It was the Takeover match that held the most promise. Where did it go wrong? 

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It was the Takeover match that held the most promise. Where did it go wrong? 

Exclusive: Kyle O'Reilly is ready to renew his career-long rivalry with Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

6. I was jacked to 11 for Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly. I was ready to give it a Tokyo Dome 6 stars. MOTY before the bell rang. A masterwork of storytelling. I correctly predicted it would be an unsanctioned match. Then the action started, and it quickly became “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”

NXT TakeOver: New Orleans | WWE

5. After the first few acts of violence, it was apparent that the problem with the match would be the stipulation. The last NXT unsanctioned match was Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa in 2018. That was 3 short years ago, but things move quickly in today’s world. There is very little chance an unsanctioned match can deliver the level of violence it promises as long as NXT is on the PG-13 Peacock.

The Most Brutal Spots from Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly's Insane Unsanctioned Match at NXT Takeover - EssentiallySports

4. Fans are losing their minds over all the content Peacock is leaving on the cutting floor. A lot of it was offensive and would never work today, but that’s not the point. The fact is there’s only so much violence Peacock’s parent company NBC will tolerate from wrestling. Take the chain, for example. Other than the clothesline, it was practically useless. O’Reilly tried to make it work, but it fell flat. In an unsanctioned match, 20 feet of heavy duty chain should be all you need to decimate another human being.

The B Word: Did Pro Wrestling's Blood Dry Up? | Ring the Damn Bell

3. Maybe I’m a victim of my own wrestling memory. An unsanctioned match in Memphis in the 80’s would have been a bloodbath. Someone would have been hung over the top rope with the chain around his neck. Whipped across the back. Hog tied. Someone would have wrapped it around their fist for a few stiff shots to their opponent’s forehead. But that goes back to my original point. None of that would fly today even if NXT was only on the WWE network.

5 Hilarious moments from this week's WWE programming

2. I’ll go so far as to say the only violent-promising stipulation that interests me is Falls Count Anywhere. There is zero drama in wrestlers pulling chairs from under the ring. The chance to use the naturally occurring environment as a weapon still holds a world of suspense. Someone is going through windows, walls, off the stage, over the guardrail, stuffed in a locker. Honestly, I’m tired of people getting hit in the stomach with folding chairs. Of all the ways to hit someone with a folding chair, that’s the least practical. 

WWE Announces Multiple Injuries At NXT New Year's Evil - WrestlingRumors.net

1. I’m sorry to say Kyle O’Reilly versus Adam Cole didn’t deliver what I expected. Maybe I’m in the minority. Maybe I don’t need over-the-top violence to entertain me. Maybe I don’t need wrestling to keep pushing the envelope. Five of my top 6 matches of 2021 are straight up wrestling matches. Maybe all I need is two (or three or four) strong characters and a good story. Damn, I sound old. 


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