Author Topic: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2  (Read 353 times)

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Offline THE TUGSTER

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CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« on: September 05, 2019, 10:06:05 AM »
Well, I suppose it's time to end the suspense.



2. Shawn Michaels (110 points, 2 first-place votes)

Almost from the moment that Marty Jannetty jumped through the glass Barber Shop window to escape him, it seemed that Shawn was destined at some point to wear singles gold.  It was noted at his first singles PPV, WrestleMania VIII, that he had challenged the winner between Roddy Piper and Bret Hart.  But in fact, he had already challenged Piper shortly before the show.



Bret, of course, would win the match, and would in fact be challenged by Shawn throughout the summer of 1992.  Shawn was unable to win the belt in this series of matches, but on Saturday Night's Main Event in November (air date), he would finally get the elusive pinfall needed to win the belt from Davey Boy Smith.





Like Bret, Shawn did not shy away from any challenger, including Bob Backlund, Virgil, Skinner, and even former champion Randy Savage.  But soon, his past would come back to haunt him, as Marty Jannetty would make his return and seek out his former partner.  (perfect thumbnail, btw)



Jannetty was hot on the trail of Shawn throughout the winter months, but could not defeat his former partner for the belt.  Amidst this chaos, Michaels would defend the belt on the first episode of Monday Night RAW, defeating Max Moon.  (you may want to watch this with the mute on)



After seemingly vanquishing Jannetty (he was fired the day after the Royal Rumble, reportedly for passing out in the locker room), the challengers would come bigger, as he would have to fend off the likes of Kamala and Crush.  Then, the undefeated Native American star Tatanka would step up to the plate, defeating Michaels in a non-title match and later pinning him in a 6-man tag, setting him up for a title shot at WrestleMania IX.  (I had no idea this match was this damn long)

https://dai.ly/x5pxppt

Michaels would manage to escape with his belt, and later in the night, would kindle a rivalry with former champion Mr. Perfect, attacking him backstage as Perfect brawled with Lex Luger.  Perfect would seek revenge shortly after.  (the car which Shawn gets slammed onto was brand new and belonged to none other than the Fink.)



In the midst of his rivalry with Perfect, Marty Janetty would return to haunt Shawn once again, challenging him to a title match in which, with an assist from Perfect, Janetty would stun his former partner to capture his only major singles title.  It would be short-lived, however, as Michaels would recapture the belt just three weeks later, apparently with the help of his new bodyguard, Diesel (I say "apparently" because the match doesn't seem to exist on Youtube or dailymotion, so I can't see it for myself).  Michaels would fend off Jannetty one last time on RAW in July, before preparing for his epic clash with Perfect.

https://dai.ly/x2zw7bl

Sadly, what was hyped as an all-time classic was not to be, as Perfect's back issues just would not relent, and the match was something of a disappointment.  Perfect would turn his agression to Diesel, who cost him the match, while Shawn begun a series of matches against a new challenger, Razor Ramon.  However, Michaels was abruptly suspended and stripped of the title, allegedy for failing a steroid test, which he denies to this day.  Razor would win the vacant belt in his absence, and Michaels would return to unsuccessfully challenge him for it through the spring of 1994.

Over a year later, Shawn's fighting spirit had won back the adulation of the people, and the fans were solidly behind him as he claimed his third Intercontinental title from Jeff Jarrett.

https://dai.ly/x7e0who

Shawn would primarily wrestle in tag matches during his final reign, but he would defend against the likes of former rivals Tatanka and the British Bulldog, as well as Owen Hart, Jerry Lawler, and IRS (in 1995!)  His two most notable defenses, however, would be a ladder rematch against Razor Ramon, as well as an infamous match with SID shortly after, pinning the big man after three superkicks.

https://dai.ly/x3a3evz



However, just before a defense against Shane "Dean" Douglas, Michaels was ambushed by an undetermined number of marines in Syracuse (or one, if you believe Douglas), and his injuries from the assault would force him to forfeit the title to Douglas.  An anticlimactic way to end his last reign, for sure, but he was established for bigger things.

Shawn may have ended up being the bridesmaid here, but he was the most popular pick overall, as only one person left him off of their list.  I'm not quite as high as others seem to be on Shawn on this list, but I will say I am higher than I was when I started making this post.  Shawn's time as champion is quite storied, and he was the face of the belt in the advent of the RAW era, which is quite noteworthy.  And of course, no shortage of great matches.  I'd still have to think hard on him being #2 on this list, but I get the hype.
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Offline Thrasher

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Re: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 10:40:35 AM »
Quote
Michaels was ambushed by an undetermined number of marines in Syracuse (or one, if you believe Douglas),

This was real and not a way for Michaels to drop the title without jobbing?
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Offline THE TUGSTER

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Re: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 10:42:53 AM »
The incident with the marines was real, yes.  How incapable he really was of working is up for debate, obviously
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Offline Kahran Ramsus

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Re: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 11:50:33 AM »
Michaels is interesting because while he was a good IC Champion, I really felt he should have done more.  First the Marty feud was screwed up due to Jannetty getting fired in January 1993.  Then his struggles in the summer/fall of 1993 that led to him getting suspended and stripped of the title, cutting short that reign (at least the payoff at Mania was great, although that was a part of Razor's reign, not his), and he marines incident cutting short his third reign.  He did main event Survivor Series 1992 as champ, but the run as a whole didn't elevate him to the top although it certainly cemented him as a singles wrestler after the Rockers.  The main event rise happened afterwards in 1994-95. 

But he was involved in a lot of great stuff as well and some of that (such as the stuff with Marty) wasn't his fault, so I can't complain too much about his placing here.

Offline Super Leather

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Re: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 08:12:35 PM »
Watching Shawn's rise to greatness from the AWA days onward was truly amazing. Never thought he would go as far as he did, but that opinion started to change when Michaels struck out on his own and became Intercontinental champion. I recall enjoying his work as champion regardless of face/heel alignment; babyface Shawn before the Boyhood Dream stuff wasn't so bad. Shawn's effort during his IC title reigns showed that he could probably be a convincing world champion too. I had him rated at #3 with Bret at #2, but I honestly could have gone either way.

I took this at WrestleMania 9. Almost fell into the aisle trying to get the shot too, but it would have been worth it because my man HBK was still the champ.


Offline Harley Quinn

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Re: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 11:25:54 PM »
Good run as IC Champ with some very memorable feuds (Marty, Razor) and matches (his match against Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1992 is great stuff). I distinctly remember his IC Title win over Davey Boy Smith on the SNME as one of my earliest true "wrestling fandom" memories as a child because it seemed so unexpected.

I don't know if I would have gone as high as #2 but I can see why he'd place so high on the list. I had him a little lower at #4 on mine.

Offline Baby Shoes

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Re: CXF IC Champions Rank: #2
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 08:02:28 AM »
I had HBK on my list but think I had him toward the middle of the pack.

While I mentioned guys like Bret and Rock being more memorable beyond this title to me, HBK was one that I associated with this title very early.  And honestly, his run from 1992-1995 in this division was longer than his prime time in the main events of 1996-1998.

Definitely like Bret where this title helped elevate him and no arguments for me.  I was thinking he would wind up #2 with the other guy that is left.
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