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Charles (Loss)

[2005-05-02-WWE-Raw] Shawn Michaels vs Shelton Benjamin

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Watched this trying to determine why people hate post-comeback Michaels and I'm still confused on that. The beginning of this match with them doing amateur wrestling is some great stuff. Such a uniquely Michaels for him to try to outwrestle an amateur champion in the prime of his career. He gets schooled like you'd expect and I love how he sells the frustration on the rope breaks. He tries to shift into more pro-style stuff like headlocks and armdrags but again gets upstaged by his younger and more athletic opponent until he just cheap shots Benjamin with a hard forearm. The match loses a bit of its initial charm after that as it becomes more of a workrate sprint, but it's still entertaining stuff with Michaels taking some big bumps. Benjamin gets a good opportunity to showcase his athleticism, especially when he counters the superkick into a nice looking jumping spinkick. The finish is famous with the younger Benjamin taking an unecesssary risk going to some springboard move and paying dearly for it when Michaels catches him with the superkick mid-air. Honestly, I expected to get bored and turn the match off half-way through, but the match kept my attention the whole way really feels like it's about as good of a TV match as you could expect from WWE at this point. Great example of getting a guy over in losing as well. Benjamin really comes across here like he belongs in the main event scene and it really feels like he could have won if he didn't take that risk at the end. ***3/4

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Yeah, this is a the match with the iconic springboard to superkick spot, but the whole match is well worth your time. Starting off with some excellent amateur exchanges, Shelton really shines when he's showing off his athleticism. He also hits a dragon whip counter that would make Kawada blush. Probably his best performance ever. 

★★★¾

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