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[1996-02-18-WWF-In Your House VI] Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart

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This match holds up really well. I love the braggart babyface showboating early on with the hairpulling stuff, and the enzuigiri was worked into this match really well. You can sort of see some of the warning signs that Michaels isn't going to be the savior they thought he would be, in the sense that his entrance that they obviously thought was so cool dropping from the In Your House roof was kind of annoying, and the dancing was pretty obnoxious too. Great match for both guys, great booking with Michaels settling the score with Owen before moving on to bigger things, and the contrast in heat between this match and the main event is pretty noticeable.

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I didn't have cable in 1996 so a lot of the WWF stuff is new to me. I genuinely don't recall if I've seen this match before but I loved it. Crisp work by both guys and Cornette. Loved Owen playing off HBK's handslapping antics and getting caught for it, and his arrogance in wanting to get a pin being his downfall. Great match

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It's pretty funny that TNA used this angle with Kennedy but wasn't as successful as this was. Good match that told a good story. Loved the powerslam to the ground by Owen. Vince's fascination with HBK at the time was a little weird though.

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This isn't the best match I've watched on the set so far, but it might be my favourite. Michaels' entrance and striptease while McMahon verbally blows him on commentary went on a bit long, but after that it got REAL good. Loved all of the early stuff with Michaels just fucking around and having a good time making Owen and Cornette look stupid. I suppose one could argue that shit doesn't really fit into a rivalry where the guy screwing around almost had his career ended by his opponent, but I never saw this as the kind of feud where you'd need Tenryu-level hatred, anyway. Owen was really good on offence once he took over, and Shawn's sell of the enziguiri where he just collapses and tumbles out of the ring was great.

 

I understand the criticisms Michaels gets, and shit, I agree with almost all of them, but I still get a ton out of his matches (more so pre-comeback). They're generally laid out really basically (when he's working babyface it's the standard: babyface shine --> heel transition spot --> heel workover --> nip-up comeback --> short-ish run to finish --> finish), but I like basic. The Mankind match is an obvious exception, and I think that's the best match of his career, but every time I watch something like this or the Diesel match from In Your House, they always hold up. The nip-up is a problematic spot, but it just doesn't bother me much at this point.

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I understand the criticisms Michaels gets, and shit, I agree with almost all of them, but I still get a ton out of his matches (more so pre-comeback). They're generally laid out really basically (when he's working babyface it's the standard: babyface shine --> heel transition spot --> heel workover --> nip-up comeback --> short-ish run to finish --> finish), but I like basic. The Mankind match is an obvious exception, and I think that's the best match of his career, but every time I watch something like this or the Diesel match from In Your House, they always hold up. The nip-up is a problematic spot, but it just doesn't bother me much at this point.

Shawn Michaels is my favorite wrestler, and you just summed up how I feel about him almost perfectly.

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I remember watching this a few years ago and thinking what an excellently conventional match this was. They kept it simple and built most of it around the enziguiri angle; easy to understand, well executed, everything was crisp and clean and tidy. I also liked that Shawn won completely clean with a straight run through of all his signature stuff. It was comprehensive, put his arsenal over well and was the perfect way to build him for the Wrestlemania match with Bret. Strong booking overall, nobody seems to get protected that way anymore which is probably why the main event scene right now is such a jumble, and very few people feel like a legitimate threat, Even people who get built properly nowadays towards their big moment like Mark Henry soon have the rug pulled from under them and it's hard to recover from it.

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I didn't love this match, but I liked it. What really brought it down for me was Owen doing some good work on Shawn's back to set up the sharpshooter, and Shawn taking some big bumps (the corner bump and powerslam on the floor both spring to mind quickly), but Shawn never sold the back all that well. Even worse was that after Owen had to break the sharpshooter, Shawn's first spot was a jumping reverse prawn hold.

 

But I liked everything else, Shawn's bumping was great, and he sold the enzuigiri perfectly. I also enjoyed their early crowd play, especially Owen rolling to the floor to try high five the fans and he gets met with boos, and Shawn's hair pulling stuff driving Cornette nuts was great fun. Overall, I thought it was good, but not great.

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The prematch video package starts off with Todd Pettingill saying “Shawn will never quit.” Ha. Shawn goofing off and having fun at the beginning of match doesn’t set well since Owen was the one who supposedly almost ended his career. Owen puts an end to the silliness with a perfectly timed belly to belly suplex. From there match gets really good and the enzigiri is nailed but Michaels manages to end up outside the ring. Good enough delay for him to kick out when Owen gets Shawn back in the ring. Nice finishing sequence and Shawn is off to WrestleMania.

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I liked this a LOT--in fact it may be Shawn's peak as a pure babyface. Michaels has lots of ways to dive on top of Owen from various heights, and Owen has a great collection of counters and cut-offs. The plancha into a powerslam on the floor was a fantastic spot. This is also laid out almost perfectly, with Shawn going from a clowning babyface to an elite-athlete babyface to a gutsy underdog babyface. Great use of the enzuigiri, and Owen manages to work over Shawn's both head (obviously) and his back (to set up the Sharpshooter) in equal fashion without ever losing the plot. And the superkick-vs.-enzuigiri finish was a good one. I could see this being a darkhorse top-10 US match when the year is said and done.

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I don't know if Shawn ever was as good a babyface as he was in this match. Great stuff from him and Owen working a match with some hatred but not in a brawling sense overall. That being said, I never felt like Owen was outmatched and it gave credibility to the overall stipulation going in that Shawn wanted to protect his Mania spot. This match is one that when I see WWF- centric fans talk about how good it was, I also kind of balked at that chalking it up to them not having watched enough, but it delivered in spades for me. ***3/4

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Shawn Michaels dancing on top of a house, in that outfit, under a spotlight - haha - wow. The 80's style male stripper Tarzan swings from a rope from the top of the house down to the entrance ramp. It doesn't really look that smooth either. I'm a fan of HBK, but I did not remember this at all. It's pretty funny watching it now. I like how serious it got when he hit the ring, but after he throws Owen out of the ring, he immediately goes back into the hilarious striptease dance. I'm not sure why Owen didn't hit the ring and attack him during this, because it seemed like it went on too long and HBK didn't seem to be taking the moment too seriously. You wouldn't think his moment at Mania is on the line. He's waving at the ladies in the crowd, and "having fun" because "that's what it's all about" - Vince. I guess I'm going to contradict all those thoughts here, because I did think it was pretty great when HBK slid between the legs of Owen and ran around ringside high-fiving the fans. Then he kisses a woman, I would say she is Eric Bischoff's type based on the first NWO Sold Out PPV, and her and her friend FREAK OUT. Jerry Lawler says "All the women in here would LOVE to kiss Jim Cornette." Then Owen goes between the legs to high-five the fans like HBK, and they just boo. Great stuff. HBK hits Owen off the tope rope on the outside and the action picks up from there. They really get the crowd into it after a B2B suplex from Owen that HBK sells really well, and Owen starts going to work on HBK. Owen has a nice focused attack on HBK. Shawn does a good job playing to the crowd and getting them hyped during his comeback. I'm understanding all the praise of him as a babyface in this match during the closing moments, and post-sweet chin music. For the match itself, I think ***3/4 is probably about right.

 

#471 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-500-451/2/

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I absolutely hate this match. Shawn is coming in what is supposed to be an ultra serious match, putting his childhood dream on the line, yet he spends all of his time on offense doing goofy comedy spots and generally not taking it seriously at all. Even when Owen has the pressure on him, as soon as Shawn goes on offense, he's not taking it seriously. What could have been a great match that set up Owen for another main event challenge later in the year ended up as half a comedy match, Owen being cemented as a mid carder, and Shawn being the most grating top face WWE has ever had.

 

The heat that Roman gets from internet fans would be laughably small if those same fans were old enough to remember HBK's face run between WM 11 and DX.

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Hey yo Stro, loosen up, dude.

 

Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart - WWF in Your House VI

 

Love this match! Wicked fun! Reminds me of 80s Southern wrestling with the fun antics up front leading to a serious heat section. The Shawn going to high five the fans, only for Owen to do everyone booing him and Shawn hitting the reverse crossbody to the floor is one of my all time favorite sequences. Not to be outdone, love the hair pulling shit they work. The transition is Owen's belly to belly. There were times when I thought Owen was working a little slow like the camel clutch, but overall I thought his offense looked great and Shawn was selling well. The powerslam to the floor and the missile dropkick was a great one-two punch. Owen even gets the Sharpshooter. The real drama kicks in when he hits the Enziguiri of Death! Awesome, awesome sell by Shawn stumbling and collapsing through the ropes. Owen throws him back in 1-2-NO! I smell a comeback and its red hot. Loved the Enziguiri vs Sweet Chin Music duel and BANG! Shawn hits it! He is going to Mania. One of the most fun Shawn Michaels matches of the era, nice to let your hair down every once and a while and just have some fun. This was that old Southern feel with the heels looking like idiots, but then getting their heat with some classic Shawn selling with the interesting hook of Shawn's concussion history and Owen having the enziguiri in his back pocket to the great finish. This one always puts a smile on my face. ****

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Vince going over the top insane for Michaels' relatively tame entrance is hilarious. Really good opening with Shawn a house of fire, include an awesome, awesome dive off the top rope. Once the match gets settled down, everything is executed fantastically but somehow it was hard for me to really get into the match itself. Maybe the pacing or rhythm of it. But still, there were lots of spots and moves I appreciated, especially the powerslam on the floor, and the ending sequence was really good.

 

Shawn as a character right now feels strange. It's not hard to predict that he would go on to connect much better as a heel.

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I loved this match. Thought that both guys were just absolutely on top of their game during this match. Owen looked wonderful on offense, really laying it into Shawn's back. Meanwhile, Shawn was on full-on bump monkey mode. The twisting crossbody off the top to the floor, the powerslam off the apron to the floor, both really fantastic spots and actually quite surprising to me as a viewer. I loved how threatening they made the concussion story so that when Owen finally hit that brutal enzuigiri, you could really feel the shock and importance of it and Shawn's selling of it was pretty much picture perfect too. I don't know what Shawn's formula for the nip up comeback was at the time but I do like that he waited out enough of the ten count so that he could still somewhat sell the damage that Owen had been laying in. The comeback was just quick enough that it didn't ever feel like Shawn was outright no selling Owen's offense.

 

My only gripe as many have pointed out are Shawn's mannerisms to open the match. I mean, this is our underdog babyface going into Mania? The guy acts like a total dick. But once all that goes out the window and they focus on the action, you can see why he's one of the all time greats.

 

****1/4

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Call me nit-picky but the commentary is very annoying. Vince’s love for Michals on commentary makes me sick. Not even JR praises Austin to the extent that Vince does.  It was very distracting. Thankfully, Lawler is on game. My favourite part of the match was Jim Cornette inches away of kicking Michaels before the ref sees him and he stops just in time. The timing of it was great, as way Cornette’s reaction. A few things I liked about the match: I dug Michaels’ sell of the enziguri, a call back to the angle. And Owen’s work on top is pretty solid though. Nothing outstanding but he gets heat on Michaels and builds to the eventual comeback well. There were a few spots that were poorly set up like the initial moonsault to Owen on the outside with Owen seeing Michaels whilst taking his time walking into the spot. The match really doesn’t have a ton of animosity that the feud and angle was built upon. Michaels says he wants revenge but it more that happy to dance and play with Owen instead of actually getting revenge. Just poor from him. From someone who is acclaimed for “storytelling” basic things like this seem lost on him in this match. In saying that, Michaels had a fun comeback to end the match. ***1/2

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