Shawn Michaels is considered by many to be one of the greatest in-ring performers in pro wrestling history.
Michaels had a record of 6 wins and 11 losses at WrestleMania but he gained the moniker ‘Mr. WrestleMania’ because he found a way to steal the show no matter what the outcome was. As you will see in this list, some of Michaels’ best performances came in a losing effort, showing how talented of a sports entertainer he truly was.
Here are the best WrestleMania performances from Shawn Michaels:
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – WrestleMania X
The ladder match at WrestleMania X wasn’t the first-ever match of its kind, but it is the one that introduced the concept to a huge audience.
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon met at WrestleMania X in a ladder match for the Undisputed Intercontinental Championship. WWF President Jack Tunney stripped Michaels of the belt, but Michaels still proclaimed to be the real champion.
The match is still widely regarded as one of, if not the best, ladder matches of all time. Michaels and Ramon used the ladder as a weapon, and the pair performed many high-risk maneuvers that had never been seen in WWF at that time. Razor tangled Michaels in the ropes and climbed the ladder, securing the win by retrieving both titles hanging above the ring.
Michaels lost the match, but it was a strong showing for the man that would eventually become known as “Mr. WrestleMania.”
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – WrestleMania 25
It’s a hard task to accomplish for a sequel to beat the original. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker’s second WrestleMania encounter had bigger stakes, but their first match was one for the ages.
Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker met at WrestleMania 25 and Michaels’ goal was simple: end ‘The Streak.’ This match is not only considered to be one of the best in Michaels’ career, but in all of WWE history.
Michaels brought everything he could to try and beat The Undertaker, and shocked many when he kicked out of the Tombstone Piledriver. Undertaker won the match, but this set the stage for what would eventually be a retirement match the following year (and “The End Of An Era” three years later).
WrestleMania 26 was probably better from a storyline perspective, and the bout served (for a time) as Michaels’ retirement match. But it’s hard to argue that Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker had a better match than the one that took place at WM25.
Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart – WrestleMania XII
“The boyhood dream has come true for Shawn Michaels”
Vince McMahon’s commentary at WrestleMania XII lives on in history as one of the most memorable quotes in WWE history for good reason. Shawn Michaels finally won the WWF Championship, beating Bret Hart in an Iron Man match in the main event of WrestleMania XII.
This was the first televised Iron Man match in WWE history. Michaels and Hart fought for more than an hour, as the match went into sudden death overtime due to a 0-0 tie after regulation. Michaels entered the match via ziplining across the arena, still one of the best entrances of all time. At the end of the night, Michaels secured a victory after connecting with Sweet Chin Music and pumped his fists in the air.
Michaels became an even bigger star that night, and the image of him staring back at the prize he had just won is iconic.
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho – WrestleMania XIX
This was a clash between generations and it was also Shawn Michaels’ first WrestleMania match in five years.
Chris Jericho idolized Shawn Michaels and claimed he was the next HBK, but he told his childhood hero that he was washed up and didn’t have it anymore. Michaels and Jericho squared off in that year’s Royal Rumble match and ultimately agreed to a match at WrestleMania.
Jericho emulated Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music and held the advantage early on, but Michaels made a valiant comeback. Michaels teased hitting a superkick several times during the match and connected once, but Jericho kicked out of the pin attempt. Michaels ultimately won with a rollup to counter a suplex, showing he still had what it took to be a WWE Superstar.
The match was full of drama, but the post-match antics of Chris Jericho really brought things together. Jericho feigned emotion and offered a handshake, but Michaels instead hugged him. Jericho then low-blowed Michaels and left him laying in the ring.
Michaels and Jericho had other high-profile matches in their 2008 feud, but they only ever competed at WrestleMania once. This match was not only a reminder that Michaels could still go, but it was the first WrestleMania match in an impressive chapter that would last six more years.
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle – WrestleMania 21
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle was billed as a dream match and it certainly delivered.
Similar to his match with Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle first squared off at the Royal Rumble. Michaels eliminated Angle, who re-entered the match and eliminated Michaels from the match. Michaels then challenged Angle to a match at WrestleMania 21, which was quickly accepted.
Angle used Michaels’ past against him, as he made former Rocker Marty Jannetty tap out to the ankle lock. Angle also humiliated Sensational Sherri by making her sing “Sexy Kurt” and putting her in an ankle lock, setting the stage for a personal WrestleMania bout.
Angle and Michaels went for nearly 28 minutes, turning in a wrestling classic. Angle walked away with the win (via ankle lock submission, appropriately enough). WrestleMania 21 was one of only two singles match the pair would have on pay-per-view and it would probably get even more attention if it weren’t sharing headlines with John Cena and Batista’s first world title wins (and the inaugural Money In The Bank match) on that same card.
Angle and Michaels would share the ring many other times, but none matched the spectacle of their first encounter at WrestleMania.
Read More: Best Opening Matches In WrestleMania History