In a recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed his pick for Shawn Michaels’ most important match, The Undertaker selling Mick Foley as a top star to Vince McMahon, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Jim Ross on Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind at In Your House: Mind Games and why it was the most important match of Michaels’ career: Shawn Michaels had been largely known as one of the best, if not the best all-around workers in the business. The other thing about that that I was excited about calling that match was that we were going to see a different side of Shawn. I thought that it was gonna be an opportunity for Shawn Michaels to show the wrestling public that he can fight because he had to fight to survive. I thought that match was a defining moment in Shawn Michaels’ career. It took him to a different place where he celebrated. It was a hell of an opportunity for him to re-tweak his game a little bit, and Mick was the perfect facilitator of that.
“I thought that match with Shawn and Mick was huge for both guys, especially for Shawn. This is the match that proved to the fans that Shawn Michaels is tough and he could fight. I thought it was really important because Shawn had always been known as a finesse guy. But can he fight? He was not known as a brawler. Working with Mankind, Shawn had to brawl, successfully brawl, or get eaten alive. This was the match I was thinking about that did more for Shawn’s career than any match to date that he ever did. The only other match that I could think that was as significant as that might be the WrestleMania 25 match with Taker, ironically. I thought it was just a fabulous presentation by both guys. I just think it did as much for Shawn Michaels career as any match that I remember him having.
On when Vince McMahon realized Mankind was a top star and his Buried Alive Match with The Undertaker: “Vince relied on talents that he trusted. One of great traits of a really good booker is you bring guys in or you put two guys in a marriage, and you count on them to add some creative to it. The more they add to it, the better it’s gonna be executed. I think Vince saw early on thanks to Taker’s selling that, ‘I think we’re onto something, boss.’ That’s all Vince needed to hear. Your main star felt invested. So, he’s onto something, and I’m gonna make sure I don’t cut this thing short. I think as time went on, all the big matches Mick has been in were basically with Undertaker. How’s he gonna do wrestling a guy that was known to be one of Vince’s favorites? We saw how that match played out, and it was fabulous.
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling JR with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.