My Favorite Match.
Today we will look at my all-time favorite WWE match.
As a wrestling fan, there are numerous moments that jump out to me, whether it is a promo, a shoot, or a match. My favorite, however is WrestleMania XXVIII in 2012 where The Undertaker and Triple H battled inside the Hell in the Cell, with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee.
Before we get to the match, let’s take a look at the back-story to get a better perspective on it. Starting in early 2009, WrestleMania season was underway. Championship matches were set, rivalries were coming to a head, but one question arose, who was going to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV. At that point, Undertaker was 16-0 at the yearly event, and people were asking, is this the year, “the streak” dies. Just when they thought no one would answer, Michaels did, and at WrestleMania XXV, Michaels came very close to defeating Undertaker, but not close enough.
The following year, Michaels was enraged. He wanted a rematch, and he wanted it badly. In January 2010, he entered the Royal Rumble for a shot at Undertaker’s title. He ultimately lost, and became even more mad. The next month, at the Elimination Chamber, he interfered in the match, causing Undertaker to lose his world title to Chris Jericho. The following night, on Monday Night Raw, Michaels and Undertaker stood toe to toe in the ring. Michaels asked one more time to have a WrestleMania rematch. This time, Undertaker finally accepted, but under the condition that if Michaels was to lose, he would retire. At WrestleMania XXVI they met, and Undertaker won again, forcing the “Heartbreak Kid” into retirement.
The following year, Undertaker, not being seen since that last match, returned on Feb. 21. Just as he was about to speak, a returning Triple H, emerged and stood face to face with “The Deadman.” While they didn’t say a word, they both gazed at the WrestleMania XXVII sign, signally a match. Triple H vowed to break the streak at WrestleMania. He came close. Very Close. Closer than any man before him. He was literally a millisecond away from winning. But it wasn’t enough, Undertaker won, and improved to 19-0 at WrestleMania. However, he had to be carted out of the arena, due to the beating during the match.
That brings us to this year. Undertaker, after another long hiatus, finally returned, and challenged Triple H to another match, because he didn’t want the memory of him being carted out of the Georgia Dome the year before being his lasting memory. Triple H ultimately refused, because he was willing to put his ego aside, as that was “best for business.”. Weeks and weeks went by, his best friend Michaels even tried instigating him to take it. Finally Triple H accepted after Undertaker said that Michaels will always be better than him. Soon after, Michaels was named the special guest referee, thus putting the streak in dire jeopardy.
The match itself was intense, and back and forth. They each gave everything they had. They hit finisher after finisher on each other. They even used steel chairs, steel steps, and Triple H’s infamous sledgehammer. One of the big highlights during the match was Michaels hitting Undertaker with his signature “Sweet Chin Music” which lead to a “Pedigree” from Triple H. During the match, Michaels constantly kept deciding whether to call the match, especially when Undertaker was down. That lead to Undertaking taking matters into his own hands, using the “Hells Gate” on Michaels to keep the match alive. The finish saw a battered Triple H with a sledgehammer in hand, goat Undertaker in. Just as Triple H is about to use the sledgehammer on him, Undertaker grabs it, and uses it on him. While Triple H is down, Undertaker taunts Triple H and sets up the infamous “Tombstone Piledriver.” When Triple H got up, Undertaker hit the finisher on him, and this time, it was good enough for the three count, and to improve to a remarkable 20-0 at WrestleMania.
After the match, Undertaker and Michaels helped Triple H up and walked him up the ramp to the back. Right before they went behind the curtain, the three of them, stood tall, and looked back at the crowd, and the ring, thus signifying an “end of an era” and the end of a beautiful, four-year long story.