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5 Reasons Why Shawn Michaels Vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI Was The Greatest Main Event of All Time
Throughout the storied history of WrestleMania that spawns three decades, there have been countless matches that have left the fans(WWE Universe *wink*) speechless, awestruck or temporarily paralysed....well, not really. Anyhow, but there are some matches that instantly create a thumbnail of WM in the mind.The matches that just changed the whole scenario or revolutionized the industry and helped it evolved into something that it is today. One can think Of Hulk Hogan Vs Andre ‘The Giant’ at WM3 or The Rock Vs John Cena or Daniel Bryan vs The Authority members or any other iconic match.
But there is one match that stands out of the crowd, the main event of WrestleMania 26, featuring The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels.....The Deadman Vs The Heart Break Kid....The Phenom Vs Mr.Wrestlemania....The Lord of Darkness Vs The Show Stopper. Just words could not hold the energy of this rivalry . It was something surreal and special. To relive that feeling, here are five reasons why HBK vs. Undertaker is the greatest WrestleMania main event of all time.
There's no denying the fact that Shawn Michaels and The undertaker are two of the most consistent performers in WrestleMania history. Pick and watch any of their matches and you should get entertained("Or SPORTS ENTERTAINED ...HAHAHA"). Perhaps Undertaker's first few Mania matches can be kept aside due to the not-so-good wrestling but hey, he is a Dead MAN WAAAALLLLKKIINNG ....and he was built as a monster and he had developed a strange star power. People enjoyed watching him roll up his eyes and do creepy stuff like that.
Shawn Michaels is one of the best this business has ever had. Many of his WM matches are considered to be pure classics. Take his match against Ric Flair at WM 24 for example.....I'm Sorry,I Love You. Pure beauty of storytelling. So both of these men were best for business and for great wrestling too. Although they had a cult match previous WM, people were still dying to see them clash once more, so much was their Charisma and aura.
The performers were not just any superstars, they were brands.
The match was billed as "Streak Vs. Career" for a reason. At one end, we had The Undertaker, who had a seemingly untouchable record of 17-0 at Wrestlemania. The Streak that was part of a historic career and legacy of The Deadman. He was unbeatable at the grandest stage. He destroyed many great names before HBK. It intrigued us fans more if HBK could beat the unbeatable.
On the other end, you had Mr.Wrestlemania. HBK had a stellar in-ring career filled with Wow moments that was decorated with countless title victories, in singles as well as the tag division. To put his great career at the line was gutsy thing. The sheer drama this whole situation created was just mind-boggling for any wrestling fan. The Stakes were huge going into this match that made it more competetive and it ensured that both the superstars would fight their hearts out in the match. The Undertaker's Streak against Shawn Michael's legendary career! The stakes could not get anymore higher.
The vignette that was shown pre-match set up the perfect environment for the showdown. The gigantic audience in the "University of Pheonix Satdium" just made it much more special. It was on Wrestlemania too so it couldn't get any bigger. The crowd was absolutely into the match. The enthusiasm was just electric. It had a big match feel all over it.
The fans were divided in their opinion, so technically there was neither a heel nor a face in the match. Just two superstars fighting to prove themselves. There were signs supporting Undertaker like- 'RIP HBK 18-0' and many more.
HBK also had many fans in the crowd who held signs like - '17-1 HBK destroys the streak'. Ocassional crowd chants also made the match feel so important and fans looked totally invested into the match. The Fans watching it on TV could also feel the electricity of the environment. The rush of adrenaline was felt by any true wrestling fan at that moment.
A great match always has a recipe that is often overlooked by some. The fundamental of any professional wrestling match is to convey a story to the viewers and invest them into whatever is happening related to a match. That’s what this match was able to not only achieve, but it excelled at it. Flashback to WM 25, Shawn Michaels was defeated by The Undertaker a year ago. It was not talked about until the Slammy Awards 2009. Shawn Michaels had come to receive his award. Nobody expected him to talk about his WM25 match, but he surprised everyone by saying, “Undertaker, I can beat you”. That moment instantly created a hype for a potential match between the two.
The following months were an example of how a story must be weaved. The promos were engaging and the segments were spot-on. The story-telling played a key role in building up the match and making it huge as it was.
A wrestling match is incomplete without, yes you guessed it, wrestling itself. Keeping its story and star power aside for a moment, even a person unfamiliar with WWE could appreciate the performance these two put together. There are many fondly remembered matches of the golden era that, to be honest, sucked at technical wrestling. But not in this case brothers. The expertise of Shawn Michaels and the striker persona of the deadman provided the match a graceful pace. The action was intense with hard-hitting spots. The two fought as if their life depended on it.
One of the highlighted spots was Shawn Michaels’ moonsault on the injured leg of the undertaker on the announce table. It was so fun to watch and brought many of the fans to their feet. The constant kick-outs out of the signature moves, the taunts and the unbeatable selling by performers was just mesmerizing. At one point when Shawn Michaels superkicked The Undertaker, many assumed that it was the end. The climax of the match was picture perfect as well. Shawn Michaels taunted The Undertaker with that throat cut and what followed was a devastating third tombstone piledriver, not just an ordinary piledriver, mind you, it was a jumping ‘god-damn’ Tombstone Piledriver. AND then there was 1-2-3, *ting ting ting*, the bell rang and The Undertaker emerged victorious. The streak was secured and Heart Break Kid’s heart was shattered. In the aftermath of the match, The Undertaker shook hands with HBK and the two hugged each other in respect.
The Undertaker left the ring and headed towards backstage while HBK savored his last moments in the ring as a full time wrestler. The fans thanked him for all the splendid moments he gave to them. Many crying faces could be spotted throughout the arena filled with passionate fans.
In many fans’ opinions, this particular match was a fitting and perfect conclusion to Shawn Michaels’ legendary wrestling career.
What do you guys think about the match? I surely want to know from you. Do you agree with me or have different opinions? Be sure to write your heart in the comments below.
Have you watched the match live on Pay-Per-View
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