The SmarK DVD Rant for Superstar Collection: Shawn Michaels

Yup, another 90 minute special from the WWE DVD library.  But for the price, you can’t argue.  Especially with the content here…

Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels

From Judgment Day 2008.  I guess this is non-title.  Shawn teases the leg injury to start and they go right into a pinfall reversal sequence to trade some near-falls, then fight for the backslide before reversing each others’ bodypress attempt to put Jericho on top for two.  Shawn with the inverted figure-four, but Jericho makes the ropes.  Jericho goes for the leg, so Shawn bitchslaps him and now it’s on.  Shawn starts acting all heelish by hiding in the corner to hide, then grabs the headlock, so Jericho elbows out and stomps him in the corner.  Shawn, however, grabs the arm and holds an armbar while hanging upside-down, then takes him down with a nasty armbreaker.  Oh, I like these matches where it’s face v. face and it starts getting all nasty and mean because they want to win so much.  THAT’S wrestling!

Jericho sends Shawn into the corner with a Flair Flip and stomps him down, but can’t get a superplex.  Shawn sets up on top, but Jericho tries his suplex again and Shawn blocks with a front suplex, then follows with the flying elbow…which hits the knee.  OUCH.  Now that’s unique!  Normally you just move to escape that, not put the knees up.  Jericho starts working on the ribs and gets a backdrop suplex, leading to the abdominal stretch.  Gorilla is up there bitching about it now, I bet.  If Jericho is haunted by a mysterious voice telling him to hook that other leg, that’s why.  Gutbuster gets two.  Shawn gets sent into the corners, but Shawn blocks the bulldog attempt by sending him into the ropes and comes back with chops.  Flying forearm, but the kip-up hurts the ribs, so Jericho POUNCES with the Walls of Jericho.  Shawn makes the ropes, however, so Jericho stomps him down and follows to the apron…where he walks into a superkick.  Oh, snap!  Jericho’s ramrod-stiff sell to the floor was a thing of beauty.

Shawn doesn’t want the countout and drags Jericho back into the ring, where he gets two.  Shawn follows with the flying elbow, but they’re BOTH hurt by it.  This sets up the superkick, but Jericho collapses twice to mess up Shawn’s timing.  And indeed, he was faking, as Shawn gets fed up and moves in…right into the Codebreaker.  Awesome.  That gets two.  Shawn reverses a suplex into the crossface (what is WITH that move on WWE PPV lately?) and Jericho WANTS to tap, but ends up grabbing the ropes instead.  Another try is reversed by Jericho into the suplex he originally wanted, and he drops Shawn on the top rope to set up the Lionsault, but Shawn puts up the knees…which is what Jericho wanted!  He hooks the Walls, but Shawn reverses to the pin at 15:54.  Now this is more like it, a masterpiece of two guys being total pricks to each other in the name of WINNING.  Jericho offers a handshake and if someone turns on the other I’m adding another 1/4*.  Both guys flinch, but no turn is evident.  Darn.  ****1/4  Of course the turn would come a little later, leading to an even better ladder match between them.   Why they didn’t include that one here, I do not know, unless it’s because Shawn won here and lost there.

D-Generation X v. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase

This is the semi-main event of Summerslam 2009.  I had the unfortunate honor of being at the RAW in Calgary where Shawn made his “return” in a series of vignettes as a short-order cook who superkicks a little girl to pay the whole thing off.  DX literally rides a tank into the arena, preceded by the military, or least guys dressed like them.  HHH and Dibiase fight over a headlock in the corner and slug it out, which of course HHH wins.  Cole makes an offhand remark about how HHH won the World title at Summerslam there in Los Angeles one year.  I have no idea what he’d be referring to there, since he never won either version of the World title at Summerslam or even in Los Angeles at any point.  Suplex and kneedrop gets two.  Over to Shawn and he disrespects Cody, prompting Legacy to regroup outside.  Back in, Cody tries the sneak attack and gets foiled, but Dibiase manages to get the heat on Shawn with the Flair Flip in the corner.  Funny how poor Shawn is always the one who has to get the shit kicked out of him when he’s teaming with HHH.  Hot tag HHH and he beats on Dibiase before giving both heels the spinebuster.  Shawn comes in and it’s LUCHA DX, as HHH backdrops Shawn over the top onto Cody.  However, this allows Dibiase to punt HHH right in his chief operating officers.  And now HHH gets the heat for once!  Dibiase with the chinlock right out of Randy Orton’s boring playbook, as HHH is unable to escape and make the tag.  That segment goes on for quite a while until HHH makes his comeback and slugs it out, then tosses Dibiase to buy time.  Rhodes throws his partner back in, but it’s hot tag Shawn.  Dibiase cuts him off with a clothesline off the kip up, and the brawl is on.  Cody TO THE TOP, but the flying elbow misses.  Shawn goes up in turn, but Cody puts him down and they fight for a superplex.  Cody ends up on the mat, but Shawn drops an elbow on his knees and Cody gets two.  You’d think that would have hurt Cody’s knees as much as it hurt Shawn’s elbow.  And indeed, Shawn snaps a figure-four on him.  That’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame.  Dibiase breaks that up and it’s BONZO GONZO, leading to Rhodes hitting Crossroads on Shawn for two.  HHH breaks it up with a KICK WHAM PEDIGREE, but Dibiase hits the Dream Street on Shawn.   So Rhodes and Shawn are out in the ring, while Dibiase and HHH are out on the outside.  Superkick on Cody finishes at 20:00.  Mostly dull tag match with a tremendous finish. ***1/2  This would lead to a bizarre submissions-only tag match at that crappy Breaking Point show, and then a really good and unique Hell in a Cell blowoff.  The end result was supposed to be making Legacy look like superstars who could hang with D-X, but then they just ran a breakup angle after the Orton deal and they never teamed again.

Shawn Michaels v. Kane

From RAW, March 2010.  Kane pounds away in the corner and gets a dropkick for two. Suplex gets two. Chinlock and corner clothesline and Kane slugs away in the corner and follows with a sideslam for two. Kane goes up and tries a clothesline, but Shawn catches him with a crossface on the way down. That was not a pretty sequence. Kane quickly gets to the ropes, but Shawn takes him down with an anklelock now. Kane makes the ropes again, so Shawn hits him with the flying forearm and goes up with the flying elbow. He sets up to finish, but Undertaker appears after a blackout and chokeslams him. Kane gets two off that. Tombstone is reversed to the superkick to finish at 5:25. Nothing match, which ended up being Shawn’s last one on RAW. *1/2

Streak v. Career:  Undertaker v. Shawn Michaels

Shawn’s last match to date, from Wrestlemania 26.  Shawn fires away with chops in the corner, but eats Snake Eyes and a big boot.  Corner clothesline and Taker tries to go Old School, but Shawn pulls him down.  A second try hits, however.  Taker pounds away in the corner and sets up for the tombstone, but Shawn slips out and fights for a crossface.  Taker fights that off, but nearly takes the superkick before slipping away.  Shawn decides to work on the leg in the corner, but Taker slugs him down and clotheslines him to the floor.  That sets up a tope attempt, but Shawn slides in and clips the knee to stop him.  Taker tosses him and runs his back into the post, then drops the guillotine legdrop on the apron.  Back in, Shawn takes him down with a figure-four, but that only seems to make Undertaker really, really mad.  He reverses the move and Shawn releases, and they slug it out.  Shawn puts him down and kips up, but it’s a chokeslam for two.  Tombstone is reversed into an anklelock by Shawn, so I guess that’s why Jericho couldn’t have it.  Taker kicks him in the head a few times to break, but Shawn clotheslines him to the floor and follows with a moonsault.  Taker catches that and tombstones him on the floor, and you have to figure that’s not good for Shawn’s career.  An EMT runs down to check on Shawn, but Taker beats him up and rolls Shawn back in for two.  Last Ride, but Taker’s knee gives out and Shawn gets two.  Looked bad.  Shawn goes up and drops the elbow, but Taker gets his knee up to block and Shawn takes the bump on his ribs.  Ouch.  Taker tries Hell’s Gate and Shawn rolls it over for two.  They both struggle up and Shawn superkicks him for two.  Shawn cues up another one, but Taker catches it and counters to the Last Ride for two.  That was a giant near-fall.  A frustrated UT tosses Shawn and preps the announce table, but Shawn escapes a powerbomb and superkicks him onto it instead.  And given that it’s Wrestlemania, Shawn can’t resist a moonsault from the top, which puts Taker through the table.  He even hits the knee, which is either a great bit of psychology or a lucky miss.  Back in, Shawn adds one more superkick…for two.  This match needs Jim Ross so badly.  Shawn wants another one, but Taker chokeslams him.  No cover, as he opts for the tombstone instead, and that only gets two.  The crowd is just going insane now.  Taker’s had it and he pulls the straps down, but he stops because he doesn’t want to end Shawn’s career.  Just awesome facials from Shawn, as he gives Taker’s throat-cutting gesture right back to him, and then slaps Taker.  And that’s it, as Taker tombstones him extra-super-duper hard for the pin at 23:57 to end it.  If this was Shawn’s last match (which it’s not), he went out with another Wrestlemania classic.   However, I just don’t think it was as good as last year, because expectations were so ridiculously high.   ****1/2

The Pulse

Hey, for $7 what are you gonna complain about here?  Nothing, that’s what.  Yeah, it’s really limiting to only be able to use stuff from the HD era and nothing past 2010 apparently, but for a quick fix (even if all the matches are already featured on other DVDs) you could do worse.  Recommended.

Order yours today at Amazon.com.

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