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[2005-06-26-WWE-Vengeance] Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle


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  • 2 years later...

Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle- WWE Vengeance 2005


Honestly, have no idea what this match was supposed to accomplish. I don't want to say this was the first of its style because it probably is not. This just reeked of trying to have a classic for the sake of having a classic. I thought it was good. At times even certain spots were great, but it just fell very flat.


The opening was a hodgepodge of matwork, limb psychology on various limbs, Michaels trying to keep Angle at bay with chops and whole assortment of things. I will say once the match transitioned to a heat segment it was quite good. They teased the Angle Slam into the post, but instead it was a German onto the announce table with nothing cleared off. Awesome spot! Best spot of the match! Great use of the announce table. I thought Angle worked a very effective heat segment with some great cutoffs. Michaels was really strong peppering in his hope spots. Michaels' punches looked way better here than usual. Good scrappy feel from him. Loved the powerbomb into the turnbuckles cutoff and there was a gnarly clothesline to cutoff sweet chin music. The finish stretch was just not good. Not at all. The best spot was a vicious back elbow by Michaels on a waistlock that they replayed. It was suplexes and counters and overly long stays in the AngleLock. Michaels gets Sweet Chin Music takes an eternity to cover him and SHOCKER HE KICKED OUT!!! THIS IS NOT DRAMATIC! Angle for not apparent reason climbs to the top just eat a Sweet Chin Music.


I love defending Shawn Michaels, but that finish stretch was horrible. Great heat segment keeps this above average. ***

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  • GSR changed the title to [2005-06-26-WWE-Vengeance] Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle
  • 2 years later...

I agree with everything above.

The term "Self Conscious Epic" comes to mind with this match. As the poster above noted, this may not be the first of its kind - I mean, would Warrior/Savage at WrestleMania VII count as a self conscious epic in a way? - but this match definitely comes across as two guys that know the ingredients for a great match, start by sprinkling them, and then, by the end, are just pouring them on to the point that the match loses any sense of realism.

It starts out decent - the usual slow-build that comes with these sorts of matches - and when Angle takes control, Shawn is perfectly fine selling. I liked the hope spots. The buckle bomb gets a massive reaction (it was a pretty rare move to bust out in the WWE back then and still is). Then, things get wonky. Angle starts the match teasing Ankle Locks but abandons that strategy. Michaels gets a cut under his eye, but Angle doesn't exploit it (which, if he was a better improviser, maybe he could've/should've). He hits the buckle bomb (seemingly going after Michaels neck), but then goes for suplexes to target Michaels' back before applying a rear chinlock to slow him down. There's no rhyme or reason for anything Angle does even though it all looks good. Michaels, meanwhile, is getting beaten down so bad that him springing to life becomes less and less believable. Kicking out at 2.9 can be awesome - but when you're doing it for every single nearfall from the very start of the match, it loses its luster.

This match didn't need a ref bump. This match didn't need Michaels taking a nasty fall on the outside and seemingly injuring his ankle - only to then survive the dreaded Ankle Lock for the amount of time he did. What was Angle doing going to the top rope? Was he going to attempt a flying forearm? Since when does he even do that move? His lone top rope move has always been the moonsault so the finish seems like it was designed to "look cool" rather than actually make sense. 

I'd still consider this above-average because the crowd is definitely into it, I think the commentators do a good job of giving this a big fight feel, and there are some spots and moments that are really good. I wasn't bored by it. I didn't catch myself checking my phone while watching. In some ways, had this match  and matches like it not become "the blueprint" for so much of the garbage we see today, it would probably be easier to enjoy. This is Michaels and Angle as the Godfathers of a style of match that we now get on NXT every week. But in isolation, in front of this crowd, in this context, it obviously pleased the fans of 2005 more than it pleased me.

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