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[1995-08-27-WWF-Summerslam] Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon (Ladder)

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I forget where I read that this is the Misawa/Kawada of ladder matches, but that's most definitely accurate. It's the Wrestlemania X match that's the most remembered because it was the first, but this is by far the superior match, and one of the 2-3 best WWF matches of all time at worst. They play off of some of the more famous spots of the first match like Shawn's splash from the top of the ladder, the Irish whip into the ladder, the early superkick before the ladder was brought into the ring and more, where each guy has learned from the first match and has a ready-made counter. Razor's knee work on Shawn is probably the best body part work I've ever seen in a WWE ring. Who is this Scott Hall and why didn't we see more of him? Fabulous match. The best U.S. match of the year and on par with all but a few matches anywhere in the world. The botched finish doesn't take a thing away from this because they cover for it nicely enough.

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I disagree.

 

There are a lot of nice 'play off' spots here, but... this is so uneven it's not even funny. Much more than WMX, Shawn is putting on a show, and the by-product of that is, by the end, he's taken infinitely more punishment than Razor. The balance was much better at WMX. Everything felt so much more natural the first time around; here, you can tell they're (Shawn) trying that bit too hard to better it. This is still a very good match, and certainly a very strong candidate for USMOTY (I've always preferred Bret/Diesel at Survivor Series) but this is barely hanging on to being 'a match with a ladder' as opposed to the modern 'ladder match' (stunt show).

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I disagree.

 

There are a lot of nice 'play off' spots here, but... this is so uneven it's not even funny. Much more than WMX, Shawn is putting on a show, and the by-product of that is, by the end, he's taken infinitely more punishment than Razor.

It's funny you say that, because my thought was that this was much less Shawn Show than usual, because he spent most of the match selling. I was impressed by how little of the match involved the ladder compared to WM X, and when the ladder was involved, I thought they did a better job of logically incorporating it. Also, the pre-ladder wrestling in this match was so much better than the pre-ladder wrestling at WM X.

 

The balance was much better at WMX. Everything felt so much more natural the first time around; here, you can tell they're (Shawn) trying that bit too hard to better it. This is still a very good match, and certainly a very strong candidate for USMOTY (I've always preferred Bret/Diesel at Survivor Series) but this is barely hanging on to being 'a match with a ladder' as opposed to the modern 'ladder match' (stunt show).

I'm sure there are more ladder spots, but this is also a much longer match, so there's more of everything. I think in terms of the percentage of the match that involves the ladder, WM X would probably win out.

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I used to like this when it fist happened but watching it now, Not a big fan anymore. Shawn looks like he injures his leg numerous times by his leg getting caught in the Ladder. Plus his temper tantrum at the end is funny as hell. I like the WMX match better. I also don't get the point that this was smarter?

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Had Shawn bothered to continue selling the excellent leg work from Razor, not botched the finish three separate times, or not incorporated one too many of his ridiculously contrived spots (like the Irish Whip into the corner where he decides to launch himself and splash the turnbuckle so he ends up laying across the turnbuckle) I could see this being better than WMX. But, those things exist, and they heavily detract from the match, in the end making this a pale imitation of WMX and a match that falls just short of actually being great.

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Watched this via video vault on the Network and agree with those a bit down on it. Have not watched the WM X match in some time, so I took this on its own and just didn't love it. I don't mind that it's not a spot fest and I don't mind Shawn's tantrum (thought him jumping for the belt may even have been planned, but not if he immediately just went back up to grab the belt for reals). But the clunkiness of some of the spots (Shawn trying to hit Razor out of the ring with the ladder and instead falling through the ropes himself was...not smooth) and the lack of selling after Razor's extended leg work is enough to take this down some.

 

I assume his work was standard for that era and nothing unusual, but Vince is insufferable on the pbp.

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Personally, I feel like whatever flaws exist in the match are overcome by what they were shooting for in the psychology. I loved how they built off of so many spots in the previous match where lessons were learned and counters were ready-made, and that's something that's a pretty drastic difference from the traditional house style. What's great about this match swallows its flaws whole for me.

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It should have been better than the original. This has a nice extended opening with finisher teases and then a tease of the ladder being brought in. You also have the spots playing off WMX and the great leg work by Razor and you are on your way to a classic. Then Shawn decides to no-sell the leg work, even though the drama of trying to win it on one leg would have had the crowd going nuts. Add in Razor looking really awkward and unsure taking some bumps and you end up with a very good, albeit ultimately disappointing, match

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I really, really like Razor's pre-match promo, for whatever that's worth. Even the visual of the camera following him from the interview set out the entrance was nice.

 

And whatever--this is easily the US MOTY and better than WM10. Not a *ton* better, but better. Things that struck me the most are: the pre-ladder portion is REALLY good. I thought the WMX pre-ladder portion was pretty underrated too, but they go balls-to-the-wall here even before the ladder gets involved, busting out new spots like Razor doing his blockbuster/fallaway slam off the turnbuckle. Thing #2: the family-friendly WWF style prohibited them from actually using the ladder as a weapon, so it's cool to see the many, many ways that Shawn and Razor get around that. Both try to take shots with the ladder and miss (with a great build on the WMX baseball slide spot as part of this). Both "accidentally or was it?" knock each other with the ladder. Both do moves *on* the ladder, but without actually picking it up and whacking them with it. Razor takes Shawn's leg apart, which is a two-pronged strategy (can't hit the Sweet Chin Music, can't climb the ladder). I didn't have any problem at all with Shawn coming back from that. It's not like he kipped up and started hopping around on the bad leg--he was able to sell the long-term effects of Razor's work without limping around like the overactor he often is. His pulling himself up to the top turnbuckle with just his arms, that sparked that comeback, was *very* well-sold. And I'm no Shawn fanboy looking to make excuses for him--his comeback was a fucking comeback, and I'm fine with that. The blown finish is admittedly pretty bad, especially the second time Shawn whiffs on the belt resulting in a trademark Shawn hissy-fit. But the initial attempt at covering, with Razor taking a fine bump to the floor, was quite well-done. I don't know if this qualifies as a top-10 MOTY for the entire world, but I could see it finishing there at year's end. Great show all around and maybe the best Razor performance ever.

 

Afterward we cut to Dean Douglas in the classroom, where he defines the word BAD for us, making sure to differentiate from the street/slang version of the word. Thanks, Dean. He's pretty much a Franchise clone by this point though, so I guess Douglas' vision of the character won out eventually. Anyway, this spiel pisses Razor off and he confronts Dean face-to-face. "Wait just a second, this is a classroom, and we don't need any violence here!" I've always liked that line for some reason. Dean tries to cheap shot Razor as he turns to leave, and eats a punch to the face, to set up one of the most ill-fated feuds of the year.

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WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon - WWF Summerslam 1995 Ladder Match Part Deux

 

Probably the greatest WWF match where limb psychology was the main hook of the match. Razor just decimates Shawn's left knee in a way you just never saw in the WWF then what adds to it is the use of the ladder. My favorite spot in this match is where Razor just lets the ladder fall onto the injured knee. It really is a master class in how to work a body part and Shawn is phenomenal at both selling and timing hope spots (like the kicking off into the ladder or over the top rope). In such a heavy, heavy heat segment, hope spots are so critical to avoid dying. I will get on people's case when heat segments go so far that they hurt the credibility of the match because they render a comeback unbelievable. Here I thought they toed the line, but it was Shawn that was keeping it all alive.

 

Before that all happens, there is a nice little match that happens without the ladder. It is face vs face so I loved the symmetry of them both going for their finishes. I liked that it took THREE big moves for Razor to finally bring the ladder in. The Irish Whip bump and the super Fallaway Slam were great spots, but the crown jewel was that suplex to the floor. Damn! Usually people just tease that and even when they do take it is a much safer bump on the feet. Shawn went all out on that.

 

I loved all the callbacks to WM X. Razor smartening up to the baseball slide. Shawn mooning the audience, but this time het tries to keep climbing, but when Razor pushes the ladder, he wrenches his knee. Razor taking Shawn's bump with the Irish whip to the ladder. Shawn doing a super tippy-top of the ladder splash to do WrestleMania X, but eating canvas.

 

Shawn's comeback was perfectly pitched. It was a very gradual progression to finally gaining control. It was not too energetic, but it was also not completely dead either. The reverse crossbody off the ladder was great and the aforementioned missing the big splash was a good level the playing field spot.

 

The finish was my least favorite part even if it was not blown. It just felt so contrived and really drawn out like the cinematic WWE main events of today. So much down time selling, I usually encourage more selling, but this was excessive. The Razor's Edge, only for Michaels to still be able to set up another ladder. The two ladders in general just did not sit well with me. If Sweet Chin Music hit well AND he was able to leap and grab the belts, I would probably forgive everything because that would be badass. The fact he missed it a second time (nice cover with backdrop on Razor's Edge attempt) was pretty funny especially with the classic Shawn hissy fit. Third time is the charm for the Heartbreak Kid.

 

Callbacks and the leg psychology make this an all-time WWF classic for me. Razor never looked better on top and Shawn gave an impressive performance in a very difficult role. The finish is the only thing that holds it back from the tippy top. It feels like such a unique match in the WWF environment with how critical the leg psychology is in this match and they do a great job mixing in big time spots. ****3/4

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#125 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-150-101/2/

 

This blew me away today. I haven't seen X recently enough to compare, but this is incredible. I love the focused limb work by Razor. Shawn's bumping in this is insane. The spot over the corner to the outside and the suplex to the outside (that nobody ever takes) were just nuts. Razor throws one of the best working punches in the WWF. Lot's of callbacks to the previous match that I was still able to remember, and probably more if I had watched it more recently. Just on the side, I always like when Shawn follows up a moonsault with rapid fire punches to his opponent on the ground. I can remember, years ago, that the finish used to bother me. Now, I actually think it added to the drama of the finish. It doesn't take me out of it at all anymore. ****3/4

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This was a great match...perhaps a classic as they fought at a good pace, had a very solid in-ring storyline and surprisingly dangerous action.

 

Both men got caught up in the ladder and/or ropes numerous times. This was a very organically fought match...not something I thought I'd see from Hall or Shawn. I think that is what makes this great, the spots were not too telegraphed and the callbacks from WMX (I've not seen it in full) made this feel like a real fight and isn't that what pro wrestling is going for?

 

People may call the finish botched but, it think it played into the story of the match. Shawn did take the big beating so, he was clearly not a 100% with his leg and his brain was rattled.

 

It worked for me...totally one of the better WWF matches of this era.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this is much better than their first (PPV) ladder match together. Not only are the ladder spots much more impressive than the 'Mania match, but this one is more ripe with storytelling and psychology. This is worked as a face vs face match that sees them work in some quick exchanges before their attention turns to the ladder. After Shawn inadvertently hits Razor with the ladder, he has lightbulb moment and realises that he's not above using the ladder as a weapon on a fellow babyface if it means keeping his title. Shawn's leg gets mangled after a fall and Razor sets his sights on it. Razor is working as a temporary heel now as he takes control of his smaller opponent. Razor's violent side comes out as he arrogantly lets a ladder drop onto a prone HBK's bad leg. Shawn never stops selling his leg even when going for the high spots, one of which is a nice callback to the famous splash spot from their last bout. The finish might be botched, but it's always funny to watch prima donna HBK throw a pissy fit. Great match, and not a HBK carryjob like many others have claimed it to be over the years.

★★★★½

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The rematch of the famous Wrestlemania X match with the roles reversed since Razor was the heel intercontinental champion this time around. The pre-match ladder portion included some gigantic bumps and I liked the mixture of learned psychology and repetition of mistakes. For instance, Razor evaded Shawn’s baseball slide into the ladder but when he tried the Razor’s Edge too close to the ropes, he got backdropped to the floor again. Shawn’s knee got entangled in the ladder at one point and Razor’s attack on it was creative and brutal. There was a little too much downtime near the end and Razor probably oversold but I didn’t really have a problem with the ‘blown’ finish. In fact, it was quite realistic since Michaels was pretty battered. Maybe the best match of its kind. ****1/4
 

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