The first and best HBK DVD set.
Thu, 1 January 1970
by: The Gimmick
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He is known as the show stopper. The main event. The icon that can still go. He is Shawn Michaels; âThe Heart Break Kidâ and he lives up to all those monikers and then some. For ten years he delighted audiences everywhere with his high flying style of wrestling. Meeting and defeating some the greats the industry has ever seen. Then a career ending back injury grounded the legend in his tracks for over five years. Then, just as his millions of fans thought they would never see him in action again, he returned. And he returned with a vengeance. All this is chronicled in a DVD entitled Shawn Michaels: From the Vault. (Man, I hope Shawn reads this and thanks me for building him up like that.)
Iâm only kidding! He needs no false praise. The praise he gets, he deserves. And what we get from this 2 DVD set is approximately 6 hours of classic matches and interviews/pro-moâs from his long career. The disc starts out with a classic AWA (American Wrestling Association) Tag Team Match from 1986 between The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) facing âPretty Boyâ Doug Somers and âPlayboyâ Buddy Rose for the AWA Tag Team Championship. The match itself started out as a classic (classic in the literal sense) tag team match but deteriorated into a bloody brawl. Which, back in those days, was as rare as an underprivileged Liberal Party Member. The thing that stands out for me is Shawnâs wrestling style. It hasnât changed all that much from â86 to today, quite an accomplishment!
We next skip forward some eight years to the match that put him on the map. It was his WWF Intercontinental Title match against Razor Ramon. It was at Wrestlemania X and it was a âLadder Matchâ. I remember seeing this for the first time and cringing every time either of them hit the ladder. It wasnât the first ladder match I had seen, but it was by far the best. It also proved that you didnât have to be 270 lbs plus to be a main eventer. Headlining as a smaller guy in the WWF in those days had only ever previously been done by the legendary Bret âHitmanâ Hart.
The final match on this disc involves Bret Hart, and it is the famous Wrestlemania XII âIron Man Matchâ from 1996. In my opinion, this is definitely in my top 5 matches of ALL time. I still think about this match and get goose bumps. To see two top athletes in their primes, wrestling for 60 minutes is a pleasure that can only be topped by 2 other things. (And 1 of those things is illegal in this country, with the exception of Tasmania.) I canât say enough good things about this match. If you havenât seen it, please- check it out!
Disc 1 also includes interviews and promos. Plus an hilarious easter egg featuring a mock advertisement from 1990 with âPlayboyâ Buddy Rose and his weight loss product âBlow Awayâ. The weird thing about this is Jerry âThe Kingâ Lawler is doing voice over with Vince McMahon. But Lawler wasnât an employee with the WWF until late 1992. I wonder who was doing the voice over previously.
Ok, if you think the action lightens up on disc 2, well then you must think Richard Wilkins is talented. The disc kicks off with another classic encounter between HBK defending his newly won WWF title against âBig Daddy Coolâ Diesel, better known today as Kevin Nash. It was in â96 and was a No Hold Barred Match, and it can be compared with any hardcore match youâve ever seen. It was during a time when the WWF was transitioning from family entertainment to the attitude era. It had been a while since the WWF fans had seen chair shots in matches prior to this, but we got them in this one. Not only did we see chairs but belts, fire extinguishers, an awesome table spot and a false leg. (Thatâs not a typo. There was a fire extinguisher used). Although the attitude era wouldnât hit full steam for another 11 months, this was the first match of that ilk and speared the WWF into that direction.
Match #2 features HBK opposite everyoneâs favorite mental patient, Mankind from Mind Games 1996. Just like the previous match this was a trailblazer, but this one had more of an ECW feel to it. It was hardcore, but also had a lot of wrestling in it. It was Mick Foleyâs greatest match ever and certainly one of Shawnâs greatest also. When I think of hardcore wrestling, this is what it should be like. But try getting that kind of performance from any two guys on a regular basis and see how far you get. And if you do succeed, thereâs a little disagreement going on in the Middle East you might wanna fix.
Next match up is Shawn Michaels taking on âThe Phenomâ- The Undertaker in the first ever Hell in a Cell. Weâve seen a few more since this (1997) but none better. It had everything from blood to more blood. And when Shawn took that bump through the table from high up on the cell, I couldnât believe my eyes. We know Mick Foley saw this and bettered the bump some time later, but even with his falls, he couldnât better the match overall. If what Foley did in his HIAC match didnât better this one, Iâd hate to see what has to be done to accomplish it.
The final match is Shawnâs stunning comeback match from Summer Slam 2002 against Triple H in a ânon-sanctioned matchâ. I really feared for Shawn in this one after everything he had gone through. But in the end he proved that legends donât retire, they just cut down on their schedule. But HBK hasnât stopped; heâs continued the level of greatness that made him so famous. Again there are more interviews and extras to keep you interested on this disc. Plus, I forgot to mention the introductions before each match by the man himself. There is also a special audio commentary with HBK and Kevin Nash for their No Holds Barred encounter.
I have a lot of respect for Shawn Michaels not only for the years of entertainment heâs provided, but during his first WWF title reign he carried the company heavily on his back. In â96 WCW was on top and only he and The Undertaker were able to carry the WWF to an acceptable level. It seems kinda sad that the night he took his sabbatical was the night that the WWF became #1 again. I enjoyed watching this stuff so much. Some of it I hadnât seen for over 15 years. This 2 disc set does him justice; my only problem is that it could have easily been a 3 disc set.
by: The Gimmick
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