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[2007-12-31-WWE-Raw] Shawn Michaels vs Mr Kennedy


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Kind of under the radar gem and maybe one of the better Michaels TV matches of his second run. There are a couple other matches between them from around this time, one of which from Armageddon that I don't remember at all, so I guess they were feuding. I don't care much for Kennedy so I guess you can say it's faint praise, but this might be one of his best matches outright and I thought he was really good in it. Michaels worked over his leg early and I liked the sell of it, mostly in how he was super vocal. Michaels threw on a half crab variation where he sat across the hooked leg rather than doing the normal version of the hold that would target the back, which was a cool touch. He also yanked off Kennedy's knee pad during this section, and for someone I don't really think of as a "little things" guy he brought a bunch of neat touches. There was the aforementioned wrinkles with the leg work, the way he was dogged in fighting for a crossface, later on punching Kennedy in the knee to create some distance, it was good stuff. Most of Kennedy's run of offense consisted of back work as this is the 2000s and a Shawn Michaels match, but it was solid back work. The tackle to the floor that set it up was pretty gnarly (Michaels' bump was great) and he had a nice seated abdominal stretch where he was twisting the lower back at a mean angle. Shawn's comeback had some clutching at his spine like a pensioner with chronic sciatica tying his shoe laces and I know people hate that because he's a lame actor or whatever, but the hairline was on its way out and he was already cross-eyed so if nothing else I bought him as a pensioner with chronic sciatica tying his shoe laces (and, you know, I appreciate the selling whilst executing offence and such). Finish was surprising as well and I just enjoyed all of this a bunch.

I haven't really watched any post-comeback Michaels in a long time, but I'm actually kind of interested in going back to see how a lot of it holds up. For a guy who was my favourite wrestler all the way through childhood and then for a minute after that, it's strange how little I've thought about him in around a decade.

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