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Legend vs. Icon

Legend vs. Icon
From Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks in the inaugural SummerSlam main event, to HBK's brutal Street Fight against Triple H in 2002, Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels had seen just about everything at WWE's annual Biggest Party of the Summer…except each other.

In the summer of 2005, however, HBK changed all that. By nailing Hogan with the Sweet Chin Music heard 'round the world on the July 4 Raw, Michaels went from overwhelming fan-favorite to perhaps the most hated man in WWE in a split second. As time went on, HBK challenged Hogan, saying he needed to know if he was better than the WWE Hall of Famer; the match was made for SummerSlam, and the resulting battle of "Legend vs. Icon" checks in at No. 3 on WWE.com's list of Greatest SummerSlam Moments.

From the moment the bell rang, even those watching on pay-per-view could feel the electricity emanating from within Washington, D.C.'s MCI Center, and our fans in the nation's capital solidly behind the Hulkster. HBK -- like always -- stepped up his game to match that of the Hall of Famer, dominating the early portion of the contest. But as any long-time sports-entertainment enthusiast knows, if you don't put Hulk Hogan down early, chances are that you won't do it at all. While locked in a Sharpshooter, the Hulkster reached down deep for that "something extra" -- something the late Gorilla Monsoon had always noted during Hogan's heyday -- to escape the hold.

Still, things looked grim, especially after HBK tuned up more Sweet Chin Music on The Immortal One's jaw. Yet instead of leading to Hogan's downfall, that superkick ended up being the beginning of the end for Michaels. The Hall of Famer "Hulked Up," and became seemingly impervious to the blows a shocked HBK threw his way. Moments later, Michaels found himself on the receiving end of a size 16 boot. Hogan's signature legdrop immediately followed, and three seconds later, the MCI Center erupted as the Icon had pinned the Legend.

Like a true sportsman, Michaels picked himself off the mat and offered a handshake to the victor. Hogan graciously accepted, as the defeated HBK told him repeatedly, "I had to know."

What Michaels found out was that while Hogan might not still fulfill another Gorilla-ism as "The Greatest Professional Athlete in the World Today," he's still the Icon of WWE.

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