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Putting Shawn's career in perspective


TommyGoth

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I wrote this earlier today.

 

__________________________

 

By Jamie Patton

 

Wrestlemania 26 closed with Shawn Michaels standing at the top of the ramp for the last time as a performer.

 

Shawn did not end his career with as many title reigns as some of the other great Superstars such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Triple H, the Undertaker, or Stone Cold Steve Austin. However Shawn’s legacy will not be based on his title reigns. It will be based on the hundreds of superior performances he gave while entertaining us for 25 years.

 

It is hard to dispute that the Heartbreak Kid is the greatest performer to have ever set food in a wrestling ring. The stats do not lie. Here is a list of Shawn’s Match of the Year Awards:

 

From Pro Wresting Illustrated (as chosen by readers):

 

1993: vs. Marty Jannetty on Monday Night Raw

1994: vs. Razor Ramon in a ladder match at Wrestlemania X

1995: vs. Diesel at Wrestlemania XI

1996: vs. Bret Hart in an Iron Man Match at Wrestlemania XII

2004: vs. Chris Beniot and Triple H at Wrestlemania XX

2005: vs. Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21

2006: vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match at Wrestlemania 22

2007: vs. John Cena on Raw

2008: vs. Ric Flair at Wrestlemania XXIV

2009: vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXV

(and you can pencil him in for 2010 for his performance against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26)

 

From this list we can see that he had excellent matches with a few competitors that are not known for good performances. Diesel, Vince McMahon, and John Cena have never been considered great performers, however Shawn Michaels was able to carry them to such a level that they were able to share in this award with him.

 

Also, Shawn spent approximately 16 years total as a singles competitor. Of those 16 years Shawn won this award 10 times. Not only did he win this award often, but during most years he took 2nd place, 3rd place, or both.

 

One of his many nicknames is Mr. Wrestlemania and for good reason. As a singles competitor Shawn competed in 14 Wrestlemanias. Eight of those performances won him Match of the Year. In the years that his Wrestlemania performance was not honored with this award he still had undoubtedly the best match including his performances against Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIV, vs. Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania XIX, and vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania 23. His match with the Undertaker from Wrestlemania 26 will most likely take this award as well.

 

(Matches not mentioned include Wrestlemania VIII vs. Tito Santana and Wrestlemania IX vs. Tatanka. Also, he “lost his smile” shortly before Wrestlemania 13 and did not compete that year.)

 

In addition to his many match of the year honors, he is credited for revolutionizing both the Ladder Match and Iron Man Match. While he did not compete in the first of either type of match, he did set the standard. His Iron Man Match with Bret Hart still stands among most wrestling fans as the best match ever using that stipulation.

 

He also competed in the first Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber, again helping set the standard for both stipulations.

 

During the 90s he was a controversy magnet and participated in 2 of the most infamous moments in wrestling history. Shawn, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Triple H, collectively known as the Kliq, appeared at the end of a Madison Square Garden show in 1996 and broke kayfabe in what has become known as the “Curtain Call.” Of course he was also a key figure in the “Montreal Screw Job” in 1996.

 

In 1998 Shawn was injured in his Casket Match at the Royal Rumble. Against doctors orders he competed at Wrestlemania XIV, passing the title to Stone Cold Steve Austin and officially igniting the Attitude Era that he helped start.

 

After the injury Shawn, believing his career was over, took a 4 year hiatus from wrestling. After turning his life over to the Lord Jesus Christ he returned to wrestling in 2002. We did not know if he could perform at the level he did 4 years prior, but after a series of excellent matches against Triple H he left no doubt. The Heartbreak Kid was back and continued to leave his mark etched in annals of professional wrestling.

 

Truly Shawn had few peers inside the squared circle. Other great performers such as Ric Flair and Chris Jericho have credited him as being the best performer of all time. The fan voted Match of the Year honors speak volumes as to how he is revered by wrestling fans.

 

On a personal note, Shawn was not just an incredible performer. He was also an inspirational man. He set a good example as a Christian, never failing to kneel in prayer and give thanks to the Lord before every match. In his book Heartbreak and Triumph, the Shawn Michaels Story he recounted the day that he accepted Jesus as his Savior. Upon reading those words I was inspired to do the same. On June 8 2006 I knelt down and uttered a prayer very similar to the one Shawn recounts in his book. I was saved that day and have never looked back.

 

I would just like to say thank you to Shawn. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the thousands of hours of incredible entertainment. Thank you for helping save me. I’ll miss you.

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I wrote this earlier today.

 

__________________________

 

By Jamie Patton

 

Wrestlemania 26 closed with Shawn Michaels standing at the top of the ramp for the last time as a performer.

 

Shawn did not end his career with as many title reigns as some of the other great Superstars such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Triple H, the Undertaker, or Stone Cold Steve Austin. However Shawn’s legacy will not be based on his title reigns. It will be based on the hundreds of superior performances he gave while entertaining us for 25 years.

 

It is hard to dispute that the Heartbreak Kid is the greatest performer to have ever set food in a wrestling ring. The stats do not lie. Here is a list of Shawn’s Match of the Year Awards:

 

From Pro Wresting Illustrated (as chosen by readers):

 

1993: vs. Marty Jannetty on Monday Night Raw

1994: vs. Razor Ramon in a ladder match at Wrestlemania X

1995: vs. Diesel at Wrestlemania XI

1996: vs. Bret Hart in an Iron Man Match at Wrestlemania XII

2004: vs. Chris Beniot and Triple H at Wrestlemania XX

2005: vs. Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21

2006: vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match at Wrestlemania 22

2007: vs. John Cena on Raw

2008: vs. Ric Flair at Wrestlemania XXIV

2009: vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXV

(and you can pencil him in for 2010 for his performance against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26)

 

From this list we can see that he had excellent matches with a few competitors that are not known for good performances. Diesel, Vince McMahon, and John Cena have never been considered great performers, however Shawn Michaels was able to carry them to such a level that they were able to share in this award with him.

 

Also, Shawn spent approximately 16 years total as a singles competitor. Of those 16 years Shawn won this award 10 times. Not only did he win this award often, but during most years he took 2nd place, 3rd place, or both.

 

One of his many nicknames is Mr. Wrestlemania and for good reason. As a singles competitor Shawn competed in 14 Wrestlemanias. Eight of those performances won him Match of the Year. In the years that his Wrestlemania performance was not honored with this award he still had undoubtedly the best match including his performances against Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIV, vs. Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania XIX, and vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania 23. His match with the Undertaker from Wrestlemania 26 will most likely take this award as well.

 

(Matches not mentioned include Wrestlemania VIII vs. Tito Santana and Wrestlemania IX vs. Tatanka. Also, he “lost his smile” shortly before Wrestlemania 13 and did not compete that year.)

 

In addition to his many match of the year honors, he is credited for revolutionizing both the Ladder Match and Iron Man Match. While he did not compete in the first of either type of match, he did set the standard. His Iron Man Match with Bret Hart still stands among most wrestling fans as the best match ever using that stipulation.

 

He also competed in the first Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber, again helping set the standard for both stipulations.

 

During the 90s he was a controversy magnet and participated in 2 of the most infamous moments in wrestling history. Shawn, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Triple H, collectively known as the Kliq, appeared at the end of a Madison Square Garden show in 1996 and broke kayfabe in what has become known as the “Curtain Call.” Of course he was also a key figure in the “Montreal Screw Job” in 1996.

 

In 1998 Shawn was injured in his Casket Match at the Royal Rumble. Against doctors orders he competed at Wrestlemania XIV, passing the title to Stone Cold Steve Austin and officially igniting the Attitude Era that he helped start.

 

After the injury Shawn, believing his career was over, took a 4 year hiatus from wrestling. After turning his life over to the Lord Jesus Christ he returned to wrestling in 2002. We did not know if he could perform at the level he did 4 years prior, but after a series of excellent matches against Triple H he left no doubt. The Heartbreak Kid was back and continued to leave his mark etched in annals of professional wrestling.

 

Truly Shawn had few peers inside the squared circle. Other great performers such as Ric Flair and Chris Jericho have credited him as being the best performer of all time. The fan voted Match of the Year honors speak volumes as to how he is revered by wrestling fans.

 

On a personal note, Shawn was not just an incredible performer. He was also an inspirational man. He set a good example as a Christian, never failing to kneel in prayer and give thanks to the Lord before every match. In his book Heartbreak and Triumph, the Shawn Michaels Story he recounted the day that he accepted Jesus as his Savior. Upon reading those words I was inspired to do the same. On June 8 2006 I knelt down and uttered a prayer very similar to the one Shawn recounts in his book. I was saved that day and have never looked back.

 

I would just like to say thank you to Shawn. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the thousands of hours of incredible entertainment. Thank you for helping save me. I’ll miss you.

 

While it is nice to say that a prayer gets you saved the Bible paints a very different portrait. Once a person is saved, is he always saved?

Jude 5, RS: “I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Italics added.)

Matt. 24:13, RS: “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (So a person’s final salvation is not determined at the moment that he begins to put faith in Jesus.)

Phil. 2:12, RS: “As you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (This was addressed to “the saints,” or holy ones, at Philippi, as stated in Philippians 1:1. Paul urged them not to be overly confident but to realize that their final salvation was not yet assured.)

Heb. 10:26, 27, RS: “If we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.” (Thus the Bible does not go along with the idea that no matter what sins a person may commit after he is “saved” he will not lose his salvation. It encourages faithfulness. See also Hebrews 6:4-6, where it is shown that even a person anointed with holy spirit can lose his hope of salvation.)

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There have been many debates on the Once in Faith, Always in Faith issue. I'm not going to debate it as I never revealed my stance in that post. But I am a Sunday School teacher. I attend church regularly, pay tithes, witness, pray, believe, take my family to church, ect. I prayed to be saved and felt it in my soul on that day. I was a changed man and I remain a changed man to this day. That particular debate is irrelevant in my case.

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I believe that you can fall from grace, which is why it's important to pray every day. As Christians, we aspire to live a Christ-like life, but we are not perfect and we will sin even after accepting Jesus as our savior. Thankfully we have loving God who will forgive us when we ask. :)

 

Anyway, as for the actual topic here, I think your article was very nicely written and is a great tribute to an incredible performer. While the "greatest of all time" title will always be a matter of one man's opinion, I would find it hard to believe it if someone seriously didn't think that Shawn was right up there with the best.

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I believe that you can fall from grace, which is why it's important to pray every day. As Christians, we aspire to live a Christ-like life, but we are not perfect and we will sin even after accepting Jesus as our savior. Thankfully we have loving God who will forgive us when we ask. :)

 

Very good theory! Those who are saved should have a desire to go to church and be a good Christian.

 

Anyway, as for the actual topic here, I think your article was very nicely written and is a great tribute to an incredible performer. While the "greatest of all time" title will always be a matter of one man's opinion, I would find it hard to believe it if someone seriously didn't think that Shawn was right up there with the best.

 

I don't think an absolute "greatest wrestler of all time" can be selected. There are too many guys that were the best at one particular aspect that an absolute greatest is a moot point.

 

However I do feel that Shawn put on the best matches. Over the last 15 years he was in too many of the best matches not to be considered the best actual performer. That's not saying he's the best wrestler ever. If there were 5 guys nominated he'd definately be one of them. He's one of the few guys that did everything well. I honestly can't think of a flaw. The only other guy that I can find no flaw with is Ric Flair. The difference between Ric and Shawn, and I know this can change, is that Shawn went out still being the best. He still has the best matches.

 

Flair and Shawn did have one huge similarity. They both had the ability to make a hack like Cena or Luger look good. How many good matches did Flair get out of Luger? Luger was the most wooden wrestler ever. Cena literally has 6 moves but Shawn had incredible matches with him at Wrestlemania then again the next night on Raw. It takes a special guy to do that.

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Nice article, TommyGoth. I didn't know Shawn Michaels became a Christian. I didn't like Shawn Michaels early on, but I came to respect him as a wrestler in the later part of his career. Wow, he really was involved in quite a few epic matches in his career! I wasn't able to watch Wrestlemania on Sunday, but I think I'll try to see if I can watch in on cable later this week just to see his final match. (Hopefully, he won't try to come out of retirement again like lots of other pro wrestlers and athletes.)

 

PharmV

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