Five-Star Match of the Week: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - WrestleMania XIX
Every Wednesday, WWE Classics and Greatest Matches team up with your favorite Superstars to bring you the Five-Star Match of the Week, presented by Wrangler. 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.
The Miz knows a thing or two about locking up at WrestleMania. At the 27th edition of the event, the former reality television star stunningly retained the WWE Championship against John Cena. And while Miz’s pick for a Five-Star Match of the Week didn’t close out WrestleMania XIX, it certainly left a significant impression on the future champion.
The match was HBK’s first bout on The Grandest Stage of Them All since losing the WWE Championship to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV. While a back injury kept The Showstopper from competing for years, Chris Jericho rose to prominence as one of WWE most accomplished and talented performers.
“The reason why it’s my favorite is because I enjoyed the build up toward it with the story that Chris Jericho always wanted to be Shawn Michaels,” Miz recalled. “He dressed like Shawn Michaels, did moves like Shawn Michaels and he felt that he was better and he could beat Shawn Michaels.”
In the video clips promoting the matchup, photos of a young Y2J wearing fringed tights were paired beside a Rockers-era Michaels. Vintage footage was shown of Shawn performing a picture perfect hiptoss and other feats of athleticism, followed by Jericho performing nearly identical maneuvers.
“Not only had he become a big star like his hero,” Miz explained, “but he also felt like he was better than his hero.”
When the time for talk was over, the two veterans laid it all out on the canvas under the bright WrestleMania lights.
“They put on this spectacular match that was high-flying, hard-hitting, and just everything you want in a Five-Star Match,” Miz said.
The event featured one of the most stacked lineups of all time, including iconic competitors like Austin, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Triple H and Hulk Hogan. But most agree it was Michaels and Jericho who stole The Show of Shows. As the clash reached a zenith, each man’s arsenal had taken a significant toll on the other and HBK was finally able to reverse a suplex attempt into a roll-up for the pinfall.
“The greatest thing, in my opinion, was the ending,” Miz said. “Shawn Michaels pins Chris Jericho, and then Jericho has this emotional moment where he’s almost crying. And you feel it. You feel the inner kid coming out of Chris Jericho. And they both go for that hug and you’re seeing this wonderful moment, and then the mean Chris Jericho comes out.”
The Miz, always one to make an impression, made the point that it was what came next that defined this classic contest.
“He gives Shawn Michaels a low blow, shoves his face and walks out triumphantly,” The Awesome One recalled. “He didn’t win, but the thing you remember from that night was Chris Jericho making you feel that emotion.”