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Five-Star Match of the Week: Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels - Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match, WrestleMania X
Every Wednesday, WWE Classics and Greatest Matches team up with your favorite Superstars to bring you the Five-Star Match of the Week. We ask a Superstar in the WWE locker room to select one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, and WWE.com brings you that full-length match, uncut.
In today’s sports-entertainment landscape, Ladder Matches are not quite commonplace, but they are familiar to the WWE Universe. But in 1994, few fans were acquainted with the dangerous and awe-inspiring spectacle. The concept of the Ladder Match has its origins in Calgary, Alberta’s Stampede Wrestling where Bret Hart took on Bad News Allen in July 1983. When “Hit Man” joined WWE, he brought the idea to Mr. McMahon and faced off with Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship in WWE’s first-ever Ladder Match on an edition of Wrestling Challenge in July 1992. The Ladder Match then took a nearly two-year hiatus, but it was worth the wait.
When WWE Classics approached Zack Ryder to select the Five-Star Match of the Week, Long Island Iced-Z had only two broskis in mind. “Shawn Michaels versus Razor Ramon. WrestleMania X. The Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match. That’s my choice,” Ryder said.
“I was there for that at Madison Square Garden,” Zack told WWE Classics. After all, his hometown Merrick, N.Y., is only short ride from Manhattan on the Long Island Railroad’s Babylon branch.
“It was the first time I saw a Ladder Match live. I think it was the first time anyone really saw a Ladder Match,” he explained. “You didn’t know what to expect because most people never saw a Ladder Match before. They were using it as a weapon and using it as a tool.”
In fall 1993, WWE President Jack Tunney stripped Shawn Michaels of the Intercontinental Championship. HBK failed to defend the title often enough and a Battle Royal was held on Raw to crown a new champion. Razor Ramon was victorious, and became the new Intercontinental Champion. Michaels began to carry around his own version of the title, claiming to be champion still, having never been defeated. ( MORE SHAWN)
It was the perfect opportunity for WWE to resurrect the Ladder Match concept. Both titles were suspended above the ring at The World’s Most Famous Arena. Shawn and Razor battled in an attempt to grab them and win the match to become the undisputed Intercontinental Champion. ( MORE RAZOR)
“Those guys, they blew the roof off MSG,” Ryder said. “I was a huge Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon fan at the time. I was kind of rooting for both.”
Few had witnessed the grueling combination of impressive technical athleticism and sheer brutality the classic bout displayed. “They told such a great story in that match,” Zack explained. “There have been so many Ladder Matches since then, but if you go back, I still think this match stands the test of time.”
Ryder concluded, “It is definitely one of, if not the greatest Ladder Match in WWE history. The end.” ( MORE ZACK)
PREVIOUS FIVE-STAR MATCHES:
Oct. 3, 2012: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XII
Oct. 10, 2012: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, Halloween Havoc 1997
Oct. 17, 2012: Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout
Oct. 24, 2012: CM Punk vs. John Cena, Money in the Bank 2011
Oct. 31, 2012: Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase, WrestleMania IV
Nov. 7, 2012: Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog, SummerSlam 1992