Defrost Reviews…Stone Cold vs Shawn Michaels

1

Sorry for the wait. Schedule was just insane the last  couple of weeks.
Shawn Michaels never had a catch phrase. Suck it, maybe? That feels like stretching it though. The Rockers had some hokey rocking their opponents kind thing. Stone Cold had a ton of catch phrases. Maybe that’s why business was so much better with Stone Cold on top.

Raw 10/14/96 (Herseypark Arena)
WWF Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels(w/ Jose Lothario) vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

King of the Ring 1997 (Providence Civic Center)
WWF World Tag Team Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs WWF World Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels

Wrestlemania XIV (FleetCenter)
World Wrestling Federation Championship/Special Enforcer Mike Tyson
WWF Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels(w/ Triple H & Chyna) vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

2

Until you figure out what they’re doing the King of the Ring match seems like it is going nowhere. Then as the match unfolds, and you look back to the prematch promos, it dawns on you what the story is. Shawn is trying to keep things as a nice athletic contest as to not jeopardize their WWF Tag Team titles. Grabbing headlocks and armbars and doing nifty little pinning sequences. Steve Austin does not give a shit about any of that stuff so he just Gorilla Press Slams Shawn on the concrete floor he exposed when he lifted up the mats. HBK is worried about killing the team. Stone Cold is not worried about killing HBK. The finish will be controversial to some. It makes sense though. Neither guy was at a place where they should have lost. Not to mention Shawn’s attitude toward losing at the time. It made Storyline sense. Wasn’t the killer that Vader running in when their Raw match began to resemble something these guys could do together.

3
The Wrestlemania match is much better than could possibly be expected considering the situation. The biggest problem with the match has nothing to do with anyone’s physical state. Instead the glaring issue would wind up being Austin’s selling or lack thereof. At the beginning of the match Shawn looks like Shawn. It was not until he attempted the Ray Stevens corner bump that his back went out on him. Even after that there was something compelling about watching Shawn in that condition. Meanwhile, Austin does a Tetysuya Naito level job of selling the leg. Shawn viciously attacks the leg including a long figure four spot, but there was nary a limp from Stone Cold. Other than that the match is really good. DX gets thrown out, and Tyson swerves Shawn because why not. At least that storyline is better than their Raw match being hijacked by having the viewers watch Sid watch the match the entire time.

Results and Ratings

Raw 10/14/96
WWF Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin vis disqualification when Vader ran in. (Star Rating: *)

King of the Ring 1997
WWF World Tag Team Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin fought WWF World Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels to a double disqualification at 22:28 (Star Rating: ****)

Wrestlemania XIV
Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated WWF Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels via pinfall at 20:02 with the Stone Cold Stunner. Stone Cold Steve Austin won the World Wrestling Federation Championship (Star Rating: ***3/4)

Average Rating: ***

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