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[1991-03-11-WWF-Pensacola, FL] Shawn Michaels vs Mr Perfect

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This was a good match - much better than their '93 matches. Shawn does a dive that takes out a cameraman and takes a crazy bump on the guardrail in the first few minutes of this. I also really enjoyed the boxing stuff. I don't like how this eventually turned into Mr. Perfect vs The Rockers, with Jannetty hitting Perfect and Perfect attacking him from behind at ringside. Hennig's bumping was also too overdone. But they had the crowd, I have to give them that. The Boss Man runs in and attacks Perfect when he has Shawn pinned. The booking of this is a total mess.

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Michaels bumped like a total maniac here--not just the two bumps on the outside but even for stuff like Perfect's kneelifts and neck snap. Michaels' comeback is absolutely outstanding--he looked better offensively here than he probably ever did as HBK. Why was Heenan not out at ringside to start with? One of a few curious overbooking decisions in this match.

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I had to rewind and watch Michaels dive a couple times. He does the Undertaker type dive over the top ropes. Michaels over jumps Perfect and goes head first into a crew member near the railing. Some weird crowd piping at times. Heenan shows up at ringside. I did like the over the top atomic drop/inverted atomic drop combo with turnbuckle bump/clothesline. Typical non-finish type match as Boss Man gets involved too. Match was good but these guys just don't seem to be able to deliver a great match against each other.

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I didn't like the opening boxing exchange at all and thought the punches looked weak. Then Michaels takes that crazy bump and this match turns around. Perfects work was pretty good and focused. Finish was pretty crappy and overbooked but did help advance storylines heading into Mania.

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I liked this match also better the second time around as opposed to the first. I remember the match being really disjointed and pretty much having no flow. This time I enjoyed it as a popcorn match and one of Perfect's better focused heat segments. Did no one notice the hot blonde going absolutely nuts for anything Shawn Michaels did? I was beginning to think she was a plant until an usher actually had to sit her down halfway through the match. You can actually hear her scream towards the beginning of the match something at Mr. Perfect. I just love nutty wrestling fans like that.

 

Shawn hits a European Uppercut early and Mr. Perfect contorts and convulses as the Battle of Bumping begins. They do a little boxing exchange that comes off fine with Shawn hitting a diving right to win that. Shawn then rockets over the top rope over Mr. Perfect onto a crew member. Damn, son. Perfect drops him throat first across the railing, which begins the heat segment. Perfect does standard trademark WWF moves (standing dropkick, neck snap, knee lift) but with a bit more energy and punch to them. He also does a crazy bump off a Shawn kick when he telegraphs a back body drop. Michaels not to be outdone spins like a madman off a kneelift. Perfect slaps Jannetty and Jannety punches Perfect. Perfect knees Jannetty in the back to ringpost, while Marty was chasing Heenan. Michaels posts Perfect and his expression is hilarious. It is Perfect bump-o-rama as Shawn gets a series of nearfalls. Heenan distracts so Perfect gets the Perfectplex, but Bossman just comes in and hits Perfect with the nightstick. What the fuck?

 

This was a really fun popcorn match that really just featured a bunch of crazy sells and bumps off routine moves. Mr. Perfect is still the King of Bump, but Shawn was no slouch. Shawn seemed more confident in this match and you can tell he was getting better. The finish sucked as stated. Bossman did not have a motivation to really attack Mr. Perfect other than they were feuding so why not before then at that point it was academic anyways. The bigger question was did Shawn nail that hot blonde?

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Good little match, but too short. Enjoyed lots of moments including the boxing standoff, the dives, and Michaels atomic drop-centic comeback along with the trademark Hennig "Hold onto the ropes and flip" bumps.

 

I assume the version on the DVD is from Coliseum Video? This aired on the PTW WM VII preview show along with matches like Bret Hart vs. Brian Knobbs and the Undertaker vs. Tugboat. Point of the match is Rockers are facing fellow Heenan Family member Haku and the Barbarian so Shawn is matched up with Perfect as a setup match. On the actual show, Heenan is commentating with Vince and talks about how Perfect doesn't need his help to beat a Rocker. Jannetty comes down following Michaels' guardrail bump, but Heenan doesn't come down until Jannetty makes contact with Perfect.

 

There is a cool little shot of the green screened Heenan leaving the booth and then he appears running down the aisle. Then of course Bossman was about to face Perfect at Wrestlemania so it makes sense for him to eventually comedown. The overbooking aspect that makes the least sense is actually why the faces have 3 men to the heels 2.

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Seeing that this match originally aired on one of those setup shows that Prime Time used to do explains the finish. That was a staple of those shows, especially when one of the combatants in a certain pay-per-view match was facing a fellow stable member of the other. Inevitably the corresponding feud partner would come down to even the odds and end things on a high note.

 

At any rate, this was more heated and athletic than you'd expect a match taped for one of those shows to be. I'm guessing Shawn was auditioning for his singles push, and he certainly passed, as he stood toe-to-toe with Curt the whole time, matching him move for move and bump for bump, as that cameraman so well knows. I've never seen a guy take that clothesline-style bump off the guard rail in the forehead before, and Shawn sold it beautifully. You really could buy that Shawn didn't know where he was or who was helping him, as Lord Alfred pointed out. I also liked how the interference escalated: Michaels taking the guardrail in the forehead brought out Jannetty, which in turn brought out Heenan, which in turn brought out Bossman (with an assist from Curt's jumping of Jannetty from behind).

 

Sean and Lord Alfred were much better here than in the Jannetty/Tanaka match; they at least sounded like they wanted to be calling it. I liked Lord Alfred's explanation of how a man with one or two small flaws could still be considered perfect. The whole perfection gimmick had completely lost its steam by now, but I have to give Vince credit for continuing to sell it as best he could. Besides, what other gimmick could have fit Curt anyway?

 

The Coliseum overdub again tells a different story than the original commentary; if you notice, Sean's wondering what Heenan's doing at ringside, since he's released Curt from their contract and thus has nothing to gain financially from being there. Of course, at the time the match took place, he was still very much Curt's manager, but this tape had to have come out sometime that summer, after he'd left ringside. Thus, the rather awkward attempt to tie a months-old match into current storylines. Lord Alfred had to explain Bossman's presence by referencing the by-then concluded Bossman/Heenan situation.

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I wish the ending hadn't been so overbooked, because they had a really good match going. Shawn and Perfect seem like they have really good chemistry.

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Shawn's already feeling like he could be a big single star. Both him and Perfect bump around like mad. They decided to test each other with by boxing each other and it's great house show styled fun. Shawn's nasty dive to the outside caught by surprise for what looked like a low key TV match. Perfect wins by DQ when Bossman attacks him. Shawn is fine with Bossman costing him the match because ...reasons. Hulkamania-era babyfaces had less depth than a puddle. 

★★★

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I can't add much that hasn't already been covered here, everyone pretty much nailed the highs and lows of this one. Good at times, the battle of the pinball bumpers was bound to be a bit disjointed but overall this was more coherent than I expected. Hennig was great early with his dismissive condescending act. I loved that one lightspeed neckbreaker Michaels pulls off. I think my main criticism is for a pretty heated and at times wild match Hennig falls into his typical routines a few too many times. And obviously that finish stunk. Still a fun watch.

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