Going All The Way
Unmasking Shawn Michaels' Claim To Fame
September 3, 2003 - by Emer Prevost

Before I begin, I'd like to take a few moments and make a statement.

I would like to thank all the people who responded to my last column, for they are deserving of thanks. While a few of the emails responded to the Undertaker/Kane statement, most commented about the Ultimo Dragon segment.

After reading these, as well as doing a little extra research, I learned that Ultimo Dragon, when loosely (and I mean really loosely) translated , means "The Last Student Of Bruce Lee", or simply "The Last Dragon." But, Ultimo really wasn't the last student of the legendary Bruce Lee. That title was bestowed upon him as a gimmick when he was wrestling in the CMLL promotion in Japan. Again, I would like to thank all the people who wrote in about this.

Now, about the whole Undertaker and Kane comment I made (you know, the one about the burning caskets), I got responses that I knew I'd get. Yes, they have burned caskets. But, they never burned them in the middle of the ring, and they sure didn't do it on a regular basis. To the few people who wrote in about this, I thank you as well.

Now, on to the new column!!

Well, I just re-watched the 2003 Royal Rumble, and I had to write about this. Am I the only one who notices that you know when January comes around if you watch the WWE. At the start of every year, a mention is made of Shawn Michaels winning the 1995 Royal Rumble and being the first man to enter the ring for the match. It seems that no one ever mentions that this was one of the worst Rumbles of all time, though.

Let me explain. First off, rather than the participants enter every two minutes (which was the norm at the time), it was shortened to one minute. This means that Shawn didn't last very long in the ring in the first place. Rick Martel lost the '91 Rumble and lasted longer than HBK did in this match. Ric Flair lasted almost twice as long in '92 and won the Rumble. So, first off, Michaels didn't earn a damn thing, as far as time is concerned.

Second, there wasn't a whole lot of talent in the match. Excluding Davey Boy Smith, Owen Hart, and Shawn Michaels, the rest of the entrants were glorified jobbers who had no future in the WWF. The other 'superstars' in the match were: Aldo Montoya, the Bushwhackers, Dick Murdoch, Henry Godwinn, Men On A Mission, Bob Backlund, Well Dunn, Kwang, The Heavenly Bodies, Rick Martel, The Smokin' Gunns, Lex Lugar, the Blu Brothers, Duke 'The Dumpster' Droese, The Headshrinkers, King Kong Bundy, Doink, Adam Bomb, Mantaur, and Crush. Right away, you see that the WWF talent roster at the time was pretty bare. Again, Michaels didn't earn much, when you look at his opposition in the match.

Third, Michaels really didn't do much in the match. He only eliminated Duke Droese, Tom Prichard, The Bushwhackers, Jacob Blu, and of course, the British Bulldog. The rest of the match, he pulled what Rick Martel did to last about 45 minutes in '91, absolutely nothing. Throwing a punch and running away isn't exactly entertaining, now is it?

On a plus side, Shawn proved his legendary status by eliminating both Bushwhackers, something I have never seen anyone else do in a rumble.

Now, a lot of people are probably going to write to me saying that I'm talking about this because I hate Shawn Michaels. Untrue. Well, not totally true. I just think that it is rather stupid to continue to bring up a match that wasn't any good.

I have been wondering something. Since the WWE seems to love talking about this kind of crap, then why not annually mention Vince McMahon's Rumble win. He started as number two and won the match, and that one had the two minute intervals between entries. Again, Vince, like a lot of other Rumble entrants of the past, was able to surpass Shawn's 38 and a half minutes. But, I guess it's because Vince eliminated one person (Steve Austin, who entered at number one) and spent most of the match outside of the ring.

Anyway, I think that if the WWE wants to show us the end of the Rumble every single year, they should at least mention the circumstances surrounding the match. The fact that 27 of the entrants were jokes, the match was just a little over a half hour, and winning such a short Rumble really doesn't mean a whole lot. But, because of the Kliq's monster power backstage, we'll never hear the end of the '95 Rumble.

Y2J holding TWO belts with PRIDE
Titles won from ROCK & AUSTIN!

As I was writing this, someone told me about Jericho pulling an identical thing with his reign as Undisputed Champion. Well, I thought about it, and yes, Jericho reminds us at all times that he was the first Undisputed Champion whenever he thinks we have all forgotten.

But, where the King Of Bling Bling does it all the time, he does it right. He mentions that he beat Rock and Austin to get the belt, and he actually did something of merit. Whenever Shawn Michaels mentions winning the Rumble, he never mentions anything else. It's always "I entered the Royal Rumble at number one and won the match." He never mentions any of his opponents or that there have been losers in better Rumbles who have lasted longer in their matches than he did.

Well, this one wasn't a huge column, but I had to make this point made. So, everyone, when January comes rolling in, and we see the same tired old Rumble Rewinds on RAW, and we all see the Shawn Michaels 'one foot' moment, you can all remember that the match in question was not that great, and HBK really has nothing to be proud of... except for maybe eliminating both Bushwhackers.

by Emer Prevost


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