POINT 7: Mr. WrestleMania = Mr. Special Guest Referee
Josh: "I think Hell in a Cell does enough – it doesn't necessarily need Shawn Michaels." … "What is he gonna do? I don't think he's going to cost Triple H his match, I don't think he's going to cost Undertaker his match."
Chris: "Him basically saying that he knows who's going to win – that pretty much, in my opinion, means Shawn Michaels is going to cost one or the other." … "Where is the payoff?"
Josh: "They don't need Shawn Michaels at all!" … "There's just not any pay off either way."
Nick: "I absolutely do not see Triple H winning this match. So the question then becomes: how do they make this thing interesting? And I think that's why they put Shawn Michaels in."
Josh: "I would much rather see the Undertaker each week than seeing Shawn Michaels twice, or even three times." …"They could do intrigue much more in a different and more effective way if they gave Triple H and 'Taker a chance to create their own story, and not have to rely on history."
Chris: "If you just kinda look at it on the surface, it makes sense! To me it makes sense that the Undertaker wants to go out. It is about time for him to hang up his boots…"
Josh: "Everybody knows backstage 'Taker never wants to lose." … "I would rather have seen a storyline like that than one where they had to recycle, and add Shawn Michaels into the mix, when they couldn't even put together a few months of intelligent writing."
Nick: "[losing] is so not in the Undertaker's nature. It's not part of his character. He's the 'Deadman', the 'Phenom'. Why would he ever want Triple H to end him?"
Josh: You can bring Shawn in each week on Raw to further the storyline," … "It was more Shawn vs Triple H, when the big story is the streak and ending an era." …"[Undertaker] not being on Raw this week was a complete mistake in my mind."
My Reaction: There's over twenty years of wrestling HISTORY riding on this feud. Josh said it himself: it's all about the streak, and it's all about ending an era. How then, Mr. Isenberg, do you suggest two legends go about crafting a "unique story" without relying on HISTORY? To me this screams of three guys over-analyzing what is currently the best build in sports entertainment. Chris talked earlier on about the internet fans and our microscope – often times we can have the curse of being "too smart". I don't think "smart" is necessarily the right word, but I'll leave that up to our readers…
Where's the payoff to Shawn Michaels being involved at WrestleMania? Why bring old, recycled history into the feud? Why would Undertaker ever "want" to lose? Why didn't they create something original we've never seen before, instead of drawing on a half-century of combined wrestling knowledge..? WHO THE HELL CARES!?
This entire program has been amazing. Every time these guys get into the ring together it's magic; this match truly is the end of a dying breed of performers. The fact is that for the last three years we've criticized the angles surrounding the Undertaker's streak, and for three years a combination of Shawn Michaels, the Undertaker, and Triple H have been stealing the show. At some point we're going to just have to let go and realize these guys know what the hell they're doing…
Nick was right: it's not in the Undertaker's "nature" to want to lose, especially at WrestleMania. But keep in mind Triple H has been playing off the fact that he was the only one to actually walk out of last year's fight of his own accord. Nick might not agree that this fact has significance, but when it's the first time in two decades of matches I'd say it's worth bringing up… We still have three weeks left to figure out what's going on. Maybe the Undertaker will deny Hunter's claim. Maybe we're dealing with a "new" Undertaker – a lingering soul who wants it all to come to an end after a grueling career.
We're trying to over-analyze a group of guys who each revolutionized the industry at one time or another. Triple H is, in my opinion, the greatest promo guy to ever hold a microphone (especially as a heel). Shawn Michaels is, in most people's opinion, the greatest in-ring performer to ever lace up a pair of boots. And the Undertaker…? The streak is legendary, the career is un-matched, and the man is truly a Phenom.
Where's the payoff? The payoff is in the ring at WrestleMania 28.
chris cashChris JerichoCM PunkJohn Cenajosh isenbergMike KillamNick Paglinosantino marellaShawn MichaelsThe RockThe UndertakerTriple HVOW ReactionHave a news tip?Attended an event and want to send a live report?