Review for WWE: Shawn Michaels - The Showstopper Unreleased
Shawn Michaels is one of the beat of all time. If you look at his record it would be hard to argue with this. A 4 time World Champion. First Grand Slam Champion winning the Intercontinental belt three times, Tag belts six times, European title, The Royal Rumble twice and Ten PWI Match of the Year awards. This is not even everything he’s won. This set (similar to the Macho Man one) is a look at some of the rarities from his career.
The set starts on Wrestlemania 34 weekend looking at his new role as a trainer in NXT and if I was a wrestler I couldn’t imagine a better teacher than HBK. It looks at his weekend and going to the Hall of Fame, NXT Takeover show and of course Wrestlemania.
Early matches from Mid-South include a tag match against Chavo and Hector Guerrero. It showed how good Michaels was in a tag team, but it is odd not seeing him with his usual Rockers partner Marty Jannetty. There is also a great match against Jake Roberts which is a fascinating look at both of them.
The Midnight Rockers as they were known in the AWA are shown in a two matches against Doug Summers and Buddy Rose. Both are great at showing just how popular the team were and not just for their looks, but in the ring they were both great. There is also another match against Brian Knobbs (from The Nasty Boys) and Dennis “I’m not booked" Stamp. It was worth watching just to witness Stamp being booked for something.
Getting to WWE The Rockers are shown against a number of teams including The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, Demolition twice, The Brain Busters, The Hart Foundation, The Orient Express, The Natural Disasters and The Legion of Doom (which was worth it for this match.
These are great to show again just how popular they were it is so surprising that they never “won" the tag team belts (Yes technically they did but it was disallowed in a win against The Hart Foundation). It is also amazing to remember just how awesome the tag division were I the late 80s/early 90s.
The breakup of the team lead to Shawn Michaels becoming one of the best in the business. His rise through the midcard with the SexyBoy gimmick was just genius.
They include a number of matches from this time against opponents such as Jimmy Snuka, Mr Perfect, and King Kong Bundy prove that he could work with anyone. A tag match with him and Diesel against the Headshrinkers is pretty good between them all as is a match against the Blu Brothers with him tagging with his nemesis Bret Hart?!? There is also a great elimination tag match between Sid, Tanaka and Kama against HBK, The Undertaker and Diesel.
A Piper’s Pit with Roddy Piper is just as fabulous as always. Also included is a promo interview from Times Square before his match against Diesel at Wrestlemania 11. Once he became champion he was constantly up against the likes of Yokozuna, 123 Kid, Stone Cold and Vader. All these matches are great and it’s from here on that you could probably say there isn’t a bad match.
Coming out of retirement in 2002 it was clear that the Showstopper was back and better than ever. This is where I have an issue with the set as there are multiple matches from Raw and Smackdown that can be found so there are few that no one has ever seen. However, when it comes to HBK this is like complaining because your mansion has only nine rooms instead of ten.
There is a fantastic match against Rob Van Dam which showed just how good he was. This could have easily been a PPV match and both worked so well together. His match against Chris Jericho is also great and these two had such great chemistry as is his matches against Christian and Kurt Angle which are both great matches.
A surprise match was against Ric Flair in Japan. I have no recollection of this match, but this had some great moments of two of the greatest in the business. As is an after Raw match with him teaming with Batista against Triple H and Edge. An interesting match that is surprising they didn’t do more with it.
There is a look at the revamp of DX and a segment from Raw is shown before it becomes a multi-team tag match. It would have been better to have included one of the more funnier DX opening segments as the match was fine, but seemed it’s only purpose was to bury the entire tag division.
A triple threat between Chris Jericho, Batista and HBK is a great match from them all and a good example of this type of match. The match ends with a bizarre tag match teaming him and The Undertaker against JBL and Vladimir Kozlov which is good, just certainly not the best match and it’s a shame they didn’t end on something better.
However, the final coda of the set seeing him retire against The Undertaker and the aftermath backstage and his work now in NXT was such a wonderful series of moments.
This is a great set full of some memorable and perfect matches. It’s true there’s probably a reason why most of this has not been on a previous set, but again if you asked someone to name Top Ten Shawn Michaels matches you would probably explode at the very idea of having to choose. There are thirty seven obscure matches that probably few people have seen or remember, but they could easily be in a Top Ten. This is why Shawn Michaels will be considered one of the greatest of all time and this set is a perfect reminder of this.