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Charles (Loss)

[2008-07-20-WWE-Great American Bash] Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho

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I'm surprised no one has talked about this on the forums yet. This was absolutely fantastic, a classic of modern day WWE far more than their Mania XIX match was. The match is already pretty great to open with. Shawn catches a hurt to the ribs early establishing that injuries will be caused by far simpler offense than usual in this match. Shawn sells the ribs great in this match and the spots all build up nicely to each other as the two cut a pretty decent and fun pace. Jericho brings the cocky hate to this match as Shawn pulls out his usual arsenal.

 

Things go into absolute overdrive once a wild back elbow opens up Shawn above the eye. At that point, this great WWE-style match suddenly transforms into a Lawler-Dundee level match with Shawn putting in one of his legendary gusher selling performances. Jericho gets some amazing heat doing punches. Punches in 2008 in front of a WWE audience got actual heat. I couldn't believe it either. Throw in a desperation Crossface and some classic babyface booking and you've got yourself an all-time classic here.

 

*****

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Brutha, I fucking love that you went the fully month on this. I am not quite that high, but this is a fucking badass match that does not get talked about enough. 

Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho - Great American Bash 2008

The trilogy of the best WWE Blood Feud begins here. They had a great match at Judgment Day, but that was just a place setting. Jericho has gone full heel in memorable fashion by smashing Michaels' face into the Jeritron 5000 severely injuring his eye. Michaels retaliated by costing Jericho the Intercontinental Championship. Now we are here. Up until this point, this is easily the best Jericho singles match of his career. Michaels has had three all-time great years: 1986, 1997 and 2008. He is in the midst of an amazing run and it is a true testament to how good he was that all three of those years are in different decades. 

There is a lot to love about this match and it is shocking how overlooked this match is. I think it is because it overshadowed by the two matches that follow. I love physical this is, how uncooperative and how much they had to earn their offense. There was no wrestling at all. It was just forearm shivers and knees. I loved Jericho throwing knees right off the bat. Michaels comes back with some head rocking forearms, but he is grabbing those ribs. I love it. He knows he is injured so he tries to get out of Dodge quick. Chopblock and an inverted Figure-4 summarily follows. I love it. When the rope break happens, Michaels is tenacious on pressing his advantage, but the ref keeps separating him. Eventually this allows Jericho to make to his feet, he whips Michaels hard into the corner and Michaels does the Flair Flip. Jericho does his patented springboard dropkick and Michaels takes a hellacious bump on the apron. I love how Jericho sells his knee on the Irish Whip and through the dropkick. He knows it is going to hurt but he has to do it. I like how he gradually recovers during his heat segment. Michaels does a great job selling the ribs and peppering in hope spots. The Enziguiri was a great cut off and cover by Jericho. I love how Michaels had to earn his comeback. It was not just given. Cut off by a Walls of Jericho. Fighting through the pain for the kip up. Fighting Jericho off for the Top Rope Elbow. Jericho was great as he started to move from the body to the eye. After the Walls, Michaels went for a surprise Sweet Chin Music (makes sense he was losing badly, needed to go for the Knockout Blow), Jericho blasted him in the face. Once he earned the Top Rope Elbow, Michaels went for Sweet Chin Music and now that's when you get the chicanery. Lance Cade, Shawn Michaels' student turned Chris Jericho disciple, distracts Michaels who knocks him out. You get the big biel over the top rope as Jericho wipes out Cade. The Michaels top rope moonsault to the floor knocking out both guys is the climax for the babyface. We definitively got to the babyface Michaels triumphant. Just when it looked like he take it home, Jericho throws a wild elbow in a waistlock that connects with the injured eye and busts Michaels wide open. What a glorious moment. Five alarm blade job from Michaels. I love how Jericho sells it he does not even know. Only back in the ring, he sees it and is astonished. After a few seconds of that, he BLASTS Michaels with a right punch to the cut. It was amazing. Michaels sold his ass off. Jericho worked the cut like a vicious heel, not just punches by kicks and great headbutts. Great trash talk by Jericho even Cade got in a shot on the open wound for extra heat. I really liked the one last ditch hope spot for Michaels, Jericho is trash talking and Michaels wrestles him down by the arm and puts him in a crossface. Too little, too late. Jericho makes the ropes and just relentlessly attacks the eye until the ref has not choice to call it because Michaels cant defend himself. 

Another reviewer mentioned this and nailed it, this is some great Lawler/Memphis stuff. The fundamental body of the match that is efficient and lean. Everything is earned and makes sense. You get to see Michaels overcome both the ribs and Cade interference. Only to lose on a wild elbow. Then we kick in the big time, bloody Memphis angle that is going to draw big money. I have seen the two re-matches and love them both, but now I am really looking forward to them. This is the best work of Jericho's career and right up there with the best of Michaels. ****3/4

 

 

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