Best WrestleMania matches of all-time: WrestleMania 21 Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle
The granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania is just about a month away. The anticipation for the extravaganza is sky high among the WWE Universe. And since the pay-per-view is richer than Richie rich when it comes to history, we have decided to take a look back at some of the best WrestleMania matches with this latest series.
Over the last thirty years, WWE fans have witnessed some great WrestleMania matches.
One of the best WrestleMania matches of all time, is arguably the match between Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 21.
The match came about after the Royal Rumble in 2005. Shawn Michaels eliminated Angle from the Royal Rumble match, but then Angle would return and eliminate, and assault Michaels. Kurt Angles said he attacked Michaels, not because he eliminated him from the Royal Rumble match, but because he believed that it was an insult that anyone but him (Angle) be consider the best in-ring performer of all-time.
Going into this match both men already had storied careers. Both Michaels and Angle had already held the WWE Championship multiple times, and they had both competed and beat some of the biggest names in the WWE.
The only difference between the two men going into this match was the fact that Shawn Michaels had already stolen the show, and created countless WrestleMania moments. Kurt Angle had yet to have that match at WrestleMania (apart from that match against Brock Lesnar), that match that made the WWE Universe go “wow,” a match that gave the WWE Universe a moment to remember.
The match started off very technical, but the surprising thing was that Shawn was controlling the match from the mat. Michaels angered Angle at the beginning of the match by disrespectfully slapping him in the face. This threw Angle off his game a bit, as Michaels was able to counter Angle’s every hold, frustrating him even more.
Angle was able to turn the tide when he targeted Michaels back, hitting him with an “Angle Slam” (Angle’s signature move) on the steel post outside the ring. Angle targeted the back because it was very well documented that Michaels had a history of back problems. From the time Angle hit the “Angle Slam” Shawn Michaels could not regain the upper-hand. Every time Michaels tried to regain control of the match Angle would attack his back, stopping Michaels momentum.
The momentum of the match would again change. Michaels hit Angle with a “low blow,” after Angle tried to “German suplex” Michaels off the apron, and on to the floor. After the “low blow” Michaels pulled off a show stopping move, spring boarding from the apron on to the announcer's table, where Angle laid motionless.
After this point the match was back and forth, with both Michaels and Angle pulling out all their best moves.
Michaels started regaining momentum after he hit Angle with his patented elbow drop from the top rope, setting up “Sweet Chin Music” (Michaels signature move). Michaels went for “Sweet Chin Music,” but Angle caught it, and put Michaels in the "ankle lock," (a submission move).
Angle would hold the move for a long time, but Michaels would not tap. Michaels would get out of the hold only to get back in it a few moments later. Michaels would not stay in the “ankle lock” for very long this time as he countered it into a pin, forcing Angle to break the hold. Angle would then hit Michaels with another “Angle Slam,” seemingly ending the match. After the slam, Angle went for the pin only for Michaels to show his resiliency kicking out at 2.
Angle began to get frustrated at the fact that Michaels would not stay down, so he decided to take a page out of Michaels book. Angle went to the top rope, and attempted a “moonsault,” but it would prove to be a bad decision, because Michaels would roll out of the way.
Michael would then head back to the top rope looking beaten and exhausted, and as soon as he reached the top Angle sprung up, looking as if he had just been shot out a cannon, and hit Michaels with another “Angle Slam.” Thinking it was over Angle covered Michaels, but again Michaels would kick-out at 2.
Angle then began getting extremely frustrated, and began shouting at Michael to stay down and tap out, but then Michaels would hit one of the best “Sweet Chin Music’s” ever out of nowhere.
Michaels would begin to make his way to his feet, and there would be absolutely no movement from Angle. As Michaels began to rise Angle would grab Michaels leg, and put him back in the “ankle lock.” Michaels would do everything he could to get out of the hold, but then Angle would wrap the leg, giving Michaels nowhere to go. Michaels would try to claw his way to the bottom rope, trying to break the hold, but he couldn't, and Michaels was forced to tap out.
A lot of things happened at WrestleMania 21, Batista defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, and the face of the WWE – John Cena captured his first WWE Championship. The one thing that stood out the most at WrestleMania 21 though is, Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels.
Michaels and Angle showed exactly why they are two of the best in-ring performers of all-time at WrestleMania 21. Where Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels stands in WrestleMania history will be argued between fans for a long time, but there is no doubt that this was one of the greatest matches ever!