A rivalry for the ages
The rivalry between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels is widely regarded as being one of the greatest in the history of the company. The duo had locked horns in two consecutive WrestleMania encounters, with the first bout being touted by many as the greatest match of all time.
These two living legends of the squared circle have the utmost respect for each other. The Undertaker's appreciation towards Shawn Michaels was on full display after their match at WrestleMania 26. The Deadman shook Michaels' hand and left the ring for him to soak it all in, one final time. But was this respect always there since the very beginning? Apparently not!
Back in 1998, Shawn Michaels was at the peak of his career and wasn't well liked backstage. He was difficult to work with and had serious attitude problems.
Michaels was set to drop his WWE Title belt to the white-hot Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14. There was some suspicion as to whether Michaels would do the right thing. The year prior, he was set to face Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 in a rematch from the previous year's edition. Shawn didn't want to do the favor, and it resulted in him "losing his smile" and relinquishing the belt.
Reportedly, when The Undertaker was done disposing of Kane, he went backstage and took a seat near the Gorilla position, wrapping his fists.
This was a signal from him to Shawn that in case he decided to go the other way and ruin the main event, Taker would be out there, waiting for him to come back. Fortunately, nothing of this sort ended up happening and Shawn did the job to Austin, with Mike Tyson making the three count.
Over the course of the past several years, wrestling personalities have talked about this incident, including the ones who were involved in it.
Michaels confirmed that this did actually happen.
Mark went to everybody and told them, 'If this doesn't go down the way it should, I'm going to have a big problem and Shawn is going to have a big problem. I'll go over there and beat the heck out of him.'
Undertaker has said in the past that he didn't like Shawn at the time and the Heart Break Kid could sometimes be tough to work with.
According to Bruce Prichard, Shawn went on to interrupt the post-Mania conference, as he wanted to be at the center of it all.
Shawn felt that he should have been at the press conference and that he should have been there and that everybody should be talking about him instead of talking about Steve and [Mike] Tyson, which is not the case.
Following the win, Austin turned into the hottest commodity in professional wrestling and became the flag-bearer of WWE during The Attitude Era. Taker went on to become a WWE mainstay for years to come and extended his WrestleMania streak beyond anyone's comprehension. Michaels was out for four years and came back to have another impressive run, with Taker retiring him at WrestleMania 26.
What are your thoughts on this incident? Did The Undertaker do the right thing by threatening Michaels?Published 05 Apr 2019, 14:36 IST