Relive The Beast Incarnate's savage return in this slow-motion video, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/18/2017 - 17:00
Nothing flattering about this imitation
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As Mr. Kennedy showed tonight on Raw, sometimes imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.
Earlier tonight, it was announced that the brash loudmouth from Green Bay, Wis., would run a gauntlet through several of Shawn Michaels' greatest opponents in preparation for their showdown at Armageddon. For the past several weeks, Kennedy hasn't needed a microphone as he's told the world that HBK's time has come and gone and that he needs to move aside and let younger, better Superstars (like himself), take their rightful place among the upper WWE echelon. Tonight, the former Mr. Money in the Bank said he wanted to learn more about Michaels from three of his closest friends and most legendary foes.
The North Charleston Coliseum buzzed with anticipation as our fans wondered who Kennedy invited from Michaels' past. When familiar pulsating drums began to blare throughout the arena, fans erupted into cheers. Onlookers craned their necks and looked to get a glimpse of HBK's former partner, Marty Jannetty.
But the cheers almost immediately turned to jeers when our fans realized that they weren't looking at Jannetty at all but a poor imitation. Kennedy had clearly been doing his homework on HBK and watched his new DVD, Heartbreak & Triumph. He took a page out of a parody of Bret "Hit Man" Hart that Michaels did years ago following the infamous Montreal Screwjob.
Kennedy was wild-eyed as he continued his mock stroll down HBK's memory lane as he brought out a faux Razor Ramon and Diesel. The "main event" of Kennedy's show-stopping performance was a preening, dancing and posing impersonator of Michaels himself -- until the real deal crashed the festivities.
The brash motormouth didn't seem to want to back up his bold words as he chose to leave the ring. For that moment, Kennedy and the fake HBK chose discretion instead of valor. But the fake Diesel and Razor Ramon tasted Sweet Chin Music.
A faint smile crossed Michaels' grizzled chin as he looked on at Kennedy. Maybe he was mildly amused that Kennedy read his old playbook and used it against him. However, the gleam in his eyes suggested a different story. At Armageddon, HBK may be fighting for his legacy while Kennedy will be battling for his future. The Showstopper wants to shut Kennedy up once and for all and perhaps send a message to other, younger, hungrier Superstars looking to make a name for themselves at the expense of his legend.
Meanwhile, Kennedy may believe he needs to defeat HBK to show the world that he is truly the future of sports-entertainment -- a boast he has been making for more than two years. With all this on the line, the battle between Michaels and Kennedy at Armageddon will be no laughing matter.