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Dave Meltzer finally addresses his controversial Shawn Michaels, Undertaker star rating

Damian Priest

What is the greatest WrestleMania match in history? Is it going to be Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III? At WrestleMania III, will “Macho Man” Randy Savage face Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat? WrestleMania VI: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior? Or perhaps something more recent, such as Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24, or Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. The Usos at WrestleMania 39?

Many people believe that the “Heartbreak Kid,” Shawn Michaels, should face the “Deadman” himself, “don’t-call-him-Kane” The Undertaker, at WrestleMania 25 or WrestleMania 26.

Despite the fact that both regularly rank among the top Mania bouts of all time, neither achieved a five-star rating from Dave Melter, with both battles receiving a surprising 4.75 ratings. When Chris Van Vliet asked Meltzer on his YouTube show why neither performance surpassed his expectations, Meltzer revealed his reasoning.

“I mean, when I watched it, I thought, d**n, this is pretty d**n close.” And when I say “pretty d**n close,” I mean a four- and three-quarter-star contest. I have to be 100% sure. Okay, so, two of the greatest wrestlers, I mean, literally, after that match, which I’d previously ranked, but I just remembered, I mean, these are two of the all-time greats,” Meltzer remarked on Fightful.

“[Someone] called me up, you know what I mean?” And I felt that match was really fantastic. That match was incredible. And it’s like, you know, if I tried to do a bout like that, if I did a match like that, I’d have to fight my way out of the dressing room because so many guys would be mad at me for murdering the finishing. That could be said about a lot of other matches as well. But that was only a point of view.

“And then another one was just, you know, and I think subconsciously I thought the same thing.” I almost gave Shawn and Undertaker the first one five stars because it was that good. And some believe it’s due of the botched diving spot. It’s not that it wasn’t, but there was a predictability to it that made me feel like I knew what they were doing. And, in some cases, that isn’t necessarily a negative thing.

“But it was so long, and I knew what they were going to do every time.” And it was exhilarating as hell. But it wasn’t that – it didn’t make me think, ‘Oh, my God, this was wonderful.’ It was as if they were saying, ‘Okay, this is what they were doing, my turn, your turn.’ And it was effective. It was like, “Look, it won match of the year,” and I easily could have awarded it five stars. But whatever it was, when it was finished, I felt like I was debating. And I’ve done it numerous times. You know, where it’s just like, is it 4 and 3 three-quarters or five? That means it’s four and three quarters. If I say five minutes, no debate, then it’s good.”

While Meltzer’s decision to hold back on “going all the way” for either bout may haunt him on social media for the rest of his life, he did eventually give the couple a five-star rating for their combined efforts, as their Hell in a Cell match at In Your House 18: Badd Blood received flawless marks. Everything is well that ends well, right?

Shawn Michaels is regarded as the best wrestler of all time by Kurt Angle.

While Dave Meltzer did not enjoy two of Shawn Michaels’ signature matches as much as the general professional wrestling public, one of the performers who enjoyed getting in the ring with “HBK” was none other than the “Olympic Hero” Kurt Angle, who considers the “Sexy Boy” to be one of the “best of all time.”

“All I could say about him is he’s the best of all time,” Angle stated on his podcast, according to 411 Mania. “With every wrestler he’s ever wrestled, he’s had incredible chemistry.” I had a great rapport with him. Every time I worked with him, I had a great time since he was so easy to get along with. And for him to go 35 years is incredible. I mean, he’s been engaged with the WWE for 70% of his life, which is something that almost, hardly ever happens.”

Is Natalya required to summon “Smart” Mark Sterling and/or Stephen P. New for gimmick infringement, given that she is the undisputed “BOAT” of WWE? Angle is certainly safe in this scenario, but given the Hart family’s bond with Michaels, they surely don’t agree with his assumption, as there’s a certain “Hitman” who will likely occupy that place in the hearts of Calgary wrestling fans forever.