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[1992-03-29-WWF-Primetime Wrestling] Shawn Michaels vs Roddy Piper

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He shrunk in size over the years and was so often surrounded by bigger guys, that it's easy to forget how ripped Shawn was at one point.

 

I think this is really the first televised singles match Shawn had against a big name after turning heel. Both guys are fired up and cut a pretty good pace. Sherri of course is always great for spots outside the ring. If this went a little longer, it would be a good comp to the Bret match at Wrestlemania, just to see how Piper looks against the two best guys in the company.

 

After a ref bump, Sherri throws her boot in the ring and Shawn slugs Piper with it. Bret tosses Piper the boot, Piper swings at Shawn, the ref is back up, sees it and DQs Piper. Piper is hot at Bret over it and has words with Bret.

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I just don't know if Sherri really fit well with Shawn or not. She had some good spots and stuff but I don't think Shawn need her. Fun match and classic WWF face vs face feud tease.

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No rest holds here. Nice quick match between two and interesting to see these guys against each other at this point of their careers. Piper gets in his kiss with Sherri. Too bad we didn't get a few more minutes of match time. Bret comes down to try help Piper but they get in each other's face.

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I also like the Shawn/Sherri pairing, it worked for what it was, which was giving Shawn a little more heat and credibility. This was a fun little 10 minute TV match, which let Shawn do what he does best, bounce like a pinball. I liked the revisionist history on commentary, where Piper KO'd Mr. T at 'Mania II. I loved the booking too, Hart tries to help and only makes things worse.

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Sherri was awesome here on the way to the ring & before the match, doing a great job making Michaels look like a big deal. HBK was going out of his way to bump for Piper, who was moving pretty spryly during his early shine segment. HBK eventually delivers a reverse crescent kick as we're not yet in the Superkick era. HBK nails Piper with Sherri's boot which brings out Bret Hart to give Piper the boot to even things up. The ref then DQs piper to further their Mania storyline.

 

***1/4

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Amusing pre-match moment as Hebner holds up the IC belt for about half a second, before evidently realizing that this should be non-title.

 

This is really fun, with some crazy bumps from Shawn, natch, and he busts out a really cool counter by turning a back suplex or atomic drop into a victory roll. Full credit to Piper for being able to keep up with this. Also a really clever finish, with Bret trying to even things out and accidentally leading to Piper getting DQ'd. Michaels gets a visual pin and a victory over Piper--that's pretty rarefied air and has to be a sign that the WWF was very high on him as a single.

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I believe this is the first of Michaels on the yearbook since the Rockers split. There are plenty of signs of future greatness on display here. The amount of confidence he displays is off the charts and unlike anything you would see today. There seemed to be some communication issues causing a few bad looking spots but I was having so much fun watching old HBK I didn't really mind. Finish was a little overbooked but everyone left looking strong.

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I might be the only one who didn't really care for the finish. I've seen it just about every time the WWF does a face vs. face match, and it never quite looks right to me. At least Piper could have clocked Shawn with the shoe afterward. The only thing that's different is that we don't get the usual shoving match which every official in the building has to break up; Bret simply tosses the IC belt into the ring and leaves.

 

Shawn really looked like a future star here. For someone who's not used to wrestling singles, let alone heel singles, he keeps up with Piper better than most and never seems outclassed. If Piper had stayed, IC champion or not, he and Shawn could have had a nice little feud.

 

Interesting that we get a tease of a possible Bret/Shawn feud over the IC belt after Mania. Their careers seemed destined to intersect in some form or fashion from the second Shawn turned heel (and let's not forget the Rockers/Harts confrontations in '90).

 

I loved Heenan whistling along to "Sexy Boy". I've heard him do it before, and it always cracks me up. That song was never the same once Shawn did his own recording of it after Sherri left. Her voice fit it better, and the song was written to be sung by a woman in the first place.

 

About the Shawn/Sherri pairing: Shawn needed a manager at first while he learned the ins and outs of doing heel promos, which he ended up mastering fairly quickly, as it turned out. But since no one could know that at the time, he needed a manager, and since he going to call himself "The Heartbreak Kid" eventually, who better than a woman?

 

Sherri was the only available choice unless Vince brought in someone like Medusa, although I would have loved the idea of Moolah or someone not quite as attractive as Sherri taking the role, which of course included drooling over Shawn at every conceivable opportunity. I thought Sherri did a bang-up job, as always. Nothing will ever touch her reign as Sensational Queen, but she fit a lot better with Shawn than she did with Teddy.

 

Gino brings up a good point on commentary: Shawn never said in all the time he and Sherri were together that he cared for her at all, which of course fit his self-centered character to perfection. Hell, he showed more affection for Nash once he came in to be his bodyguard.

 

I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the bit about Piper and T. What had T done to piss Vince off enough to say that Piper had knocked him out clean at Mania 2? Only fans who had never seen or read about the card could have swallowed that line of bull, and even though I doubt that the average Hulkamaniac was a wrestling historian, surely most of them had rented the Coliseum Video by now if only to see Hogan/Bundy. Or maybe it was wishful thinking on Gino's part; from the way he said "He (Piper) knocked the bum out cold!", maybe Gino had some kind of problem with T that prompted him to go into business for himself a bit.

 

Line of the night goes to Heenan: "Piper should have two belts: one around his waist and one around his mouth."

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Shawn is good bumping around for Roddy.  Not sure about some of his offense.  Good way to up the ante for Bret/Roddy.

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