In 2004 Shawn Michaels and Triple H took part in a feud that marked HBK’s return to the squared circle.
The former friends were settling old issues throughout this feud which ignited when Triple H turned on Shawn Michaels, attacking his former partner and cohort.
The two men had been back and forth, fighting both inside and outside of the ring and finally declared that the only way to resolve their issues was to be locked inside Hell in a Cell and destroy each other.
This feud, in my opinion, was one of the best from the early 2000’s, allowing Michaels and Triple H to work together and have some truly great segments and matches.
On this night, in Columbus, Ohio before the match we saw the video package as the cell was lowered over the ring.
Triple H and Michaels ruined each others matches leading up to this pay period view, culminating in an all out brawl during witch Eric Bischoff announced the pair would meet in the cell. Triple Hs poke about how he’d never lost a Hell in a Cell match and promised to end HBK’s career.
Triple H entered the ring first, looking as vicious as he ever had. Shawn Michaels entered next, the crowd cheering even louder for him than they had Triple H. The cell was lowered the rest of the way and the bell rang. They stared each other down, neither blinking. Honestly, it was performances like this that always set them apart from other wrestler, storytelling without actions or words. They locked up in the center of the ring and they immediately started doing their best to rip each other apart.
Triple H did his best to damage Shawn Michael’s already injury prone back, tossing him out of the ring every chance he got. Triple H was opened up early when Michael’s was able to reverse Triple H’s attempt to throw him headfirst into the steel fencing around the ring, resulting in Triple H’s face meeting the steel and opening him up slightly.
The pair battled in and outside of the ring throughout the match, Triple H using his strength to toss Michaels out of the ring (and onto his previously injured back) as often as he could. Michaels, on the other hand, used his quickness. He did his best to avoid Triple H’s attacks and countered often.
Triple H brought a steel chair in but Michaels was able to avoid the immediate attack with this new weapon. Michaels began to fight back, eventually tossing Triple H out of the ring. Rather than resting HBK jumped from the apron to the outside, an attack that Triple H avoided before he picked up HBK and rammed him from the turnbuckle to the cell corner a few times.
The crowd rallied behind Michaels but then Triple H dropped Michaels on top of the steel chair but even still Michaels kicked out. Triple H continued to use the chair against Michaels, going for cover after cover, hoping to pick up the win with no success.
Triple H was becoming frustrated, as Michaels began to fight back Triple H was hip locked over the top rope to the outside and in the ring Michaels collapsed from the pain in his back. Once both competitors were back in the ring Michaels had a flurry of offense but when Triple H almost scored the pedigree Michaels resorted to a using a series of low blows and an Irish whip before going for a 2 count. It was a desperate move, sure, but effective nonetheless.
Michaels threw Triple H into the cell wall, before telling a cameraman to watch out and move out of the way. The camera man did and Michaels whipped Triple H into the steel steps. Michaels tried to set Triple H up for a pile driver on the steps but Triple H countered and tossed Michaels over his shoulder down to the floor.
Triple H hits Shawn Michaels with a chair.
When Michaels was tossed back into the ring Triple H used another chair, hitting Michaels in the center of the back. With Michaels down Triple H went back outside the ring and tossed in the steel steps. Triple H was trying to hit Michaels with the steps but Michaels countered before going for Sweet Chin Music. He missed and when be turned Triple H met him with the stairs, splitting Michaels open. Michaels began bleeding from the head and the announcers were in shock at the damage the steps had done.
Triple H went for a cover and, stubbornly Michaels kicked out again. Triple H sat across Michaels and began punching him. He then tossed Michaels outside the ring only to throw him into the cell wall.
Triple H dragged Michaels’ face across the cell fencing, keeping in his attack as the announcers wondered if the referee would stop the match.
Michaels continued to fight back, weakly as the match continued, countering to the best if his ability. Michaels grabbed the chair and hit Triple H with it, busting Triple H open further. Michaels continued to hit Triple H with the chair before going for the cover, Triple H kicking out at 2.
Triple H sent Michaels out of the ring but Michaels returned with a ladder, ramming it into Triple H’s face & ribs. Michaels then set the ladder up in the corner, Michaels grabbed Triple H and whipped him into the ladder three times, the final toss resulting in Triple H hitting the ladder so hard he went over the top rope to the floor.
We then saw Michaels run Triple H’s face over the cell fence before he punched Triple H a few times. The pair would make it back into the ring and Triple H would try for a pedigree but Michaels countered, catapulting Triple H into the ladder again.
Michaels climbed to the top, looking for an elbow from the top rope but Triple H moved out of the way and draped an arm across Michaels for a 2 count.
The pair began trading punched on their knees, falling to the mat due to blood loss and exhaustion.
Michaels was the first to stir and attempt a pin. Once back on their feet Triple H threw Michaels into the turnbuckle, jamming Michaels shoulder on the corner before sliding outside. Triple H grabbed a table and set it up as Michaels laid draped over the second turnbuckle in pain.
HBK hits HHH with an elbow through a table.
Michaels rallied once more, laying Triple H across the table instead of allowing himself to lay there, vulnerable. Michaels grabbed the ladder and climbed up the ladder, his head grazing the top of the cell. He jumped off the ladder, driving his elbow into Triple H and breaking the table. Neither man moved.
Michaels crawled into a cover, Triple H kicking out twice. Shawn dragged himself to standing position, setting up for Sweet Chin Music, Triple H ducked it and low-blowed Michaels before hitting the Pedigree.
It looked like it was over as Triple H draped an arm over Michaels but it was a breath away from two count.
The two men grabbed each other, using the other and attempting to stand. Triple H shoved Michaels away but he came back and hit Sweet Chin Music. He crawled to Triple H and laid an arm over him. Triple H still managed to kick out.
Michaels got to his feet and dragged Triple H up. Triple H hit him with a low blow before hitting Michael’s with a Pedigree. Both men laid on the mat, un-moving. The referee observed the competitors, concern on his face. Still, the match went on, Triple H moving slowly.
The crowd cheered for the match they were witnessing, both men slowly stirring. Triple H hit Michaels with another Pedigree. Triple H rolled into the cover for the three count. Even as the bell rang and the ref lifted Triple H’s arm feebly, nether man moved.
Triple H hits Michaels with a Pedigree
Evolution came down to the ring, checking in Triple H. Flair appeared to talk trash to an unconscious Michaels. Evolution slid Triple H out of the ring and Batista and Flair carried him up the ramp. Randy following behind, his hand supporting Triple H on the back.
Michaels began to stir, barely moving. The crowd was quiet until Shawn Michaels stood. The crowd cheered for Shawn Michaels, despite his loss, as the referee helped Michaels from the ring.
Tags: Badd Blood, Hell in a Cell, Pedigree, Shawn Michaels, Sweet Chin Music, tables ladders and chairs, Triple H