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[1997-07-21-WWF-Raw] Interview: Shawn Michaels

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This was awesome, a million times better than any interview he'd done as a face that year. It was pretty clear after this that Shawn would hugely benefit from a heel turn.

 

Some of the lines aren't even that good, but the way Shawn whipped the crowd into a frenzy was outstanding. Possibly his best mic segment ever.

 

It's remarkable that Michaels, while acting like an obnoxious prick throughout this, somehow is more likeable here than he's been at any point in 1997.

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The beginnings of the affection Canadian wrestling fans have always had for Shawn Michaels. Shawn seems to be enjoying the hell out of the boos, and it's clear right away that his heel turn is going to be off the charts. A KILL THE KLIQ sign! This is tremendous, and how is Shawn Michaels suddenly an awesome personality? Shawn announces that he will be in the main event tonight, and I remember how RAW eventually won the ratings game by doing endless bait and switch hype for matches that wouldn't take place.

 

Shawn finally gives us a blockbuster announcement -- he is going to be the special referee for Bret Hart vs Undertaker at Summerslam! If he doesn't call the match down the middle, he will also no longer be able to wrestle in the United States.

 

I'd agree that this is the best Shawn promo I've ever seen.

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Major boos for Shawn as he comes out. Michaels is such a dick! Even if you are an American you are looking at Shawn as a heel. Naughty words from the Canadians about Shawn. Michaels mentions he will be a part of the Flag match. Crowd wants Bret. Shawn will be the special guest referee in the main event. Shawn is obnoxious.

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Shawn was put on Earth to be a heel. I don't care what Jesus told him later on. Everything from his preppy summer garb to the backflip after he saluted the American flag was spot on.

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Shawn really was great here as one of the most smug bastards ever to be in wrestling. Every now and then Shawn can go a little too far Vince proclaims. Shawn is added to the flag match and also announces himself as the special referee. I remembered the WWF sputtering a little bit after Canadian Stampede but this has been great stuff.

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Mega-boos for Shawn even before JR can get the introduction out. Glorious. Shawn responds with the first of many crotch chops to come. Vince chuckling along with all of Shawn's comments is pretty unbearable. Shawn plays this crowd like a fiddle, and this is way better than his attempt to recreate that magic in Montreal in 2005. His way of playing off the crowd chants and not letting himself constantly act above it all is also refreshing--when the crowd gets louder with the "WE WANT BRET" chants, Shawn gets angrier.

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Shawn has INSANE heat here. Oh my God they hate him. He is incredibly obnoxious here saying the US has taken care of Canada for years & they should be thankful for that. He throws his name in the hat to team with Austin in the flag match later. He then announces that he will be the special referee for the main event of Summerslam (I loved him shooting a bit here & saying he always works the main event) between Bret & Taker for the WWF Title. If he doesn't call it right down the middle then he will be banned from working in the US which is an unnecesarry stip in my opinion. The stip should have been more like Shawn will be fired or Shawn will be banned from working in Canada (that's silly too, but at least there'd have been a great pop for it). Shawn ends this amazing interview by shoving two miniature Canadian flags down his crotch. Good lord.

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This is a tremendous. I've been working my way through the 97 Raw's and PPV's on the network and pretty much hated every babyface interview Shawn has given. He's been totally upstaged by Bret Hart and Steve Austin on the mic. He tries to be cool and funny but instead comes across like a gurning imbecile. As a face it just doesn't work. But here, heeling it up in Canada, everything clicks into place. Instead of trying to funny and failing pathetically, he actually is funny. His little jig around the ring while twirling the tiny Canadian flags had me rolling. I'm really looking forward to seeing this heel turn develop.

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