During a recent episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross spoke on why he considers his match against Mankind at Mind Games 1996 to be the most important match of HBK’s career. Here’s what he had to say:
Shawn Michaels had been largely known as one of the best, if not the best all-around workers in the business. The other thing about that that I was excited about calling that match was that we were going to see a different side of Shawn. I thought that it was gonna be an opportunity for Shawn Michaels to show the wrestling public that he can fight because he had to fight to survive. I thought that match was a defining moment in Shawn Michaels’ career. It took him to a different place where he celebrated. It was a hell of an opportunity for him to re-tweak his game a little bit, and Mick was the perfect facilitator of that.
I thought that match with Shawn and Mick was huge for both guys, especially for Shawn. This is the match that proved to the fans that Shawn Michaels is tough and he could fight. I thought it was really important because Shawn had always been known as a finesse guy. But can he fight? He was not known as a brawler. Working with Mankind, Shawn had to brawl, successfully brawl, or get eaten alive. This was the match I was thinking about that did more for Shawn’s career than any match to date that he ever did. The only other match that I could think that was as significant as that might be the WrestleMania 25 match with Taker, ironically. I thought it was just a fabulous presentation by both guys. I just think it did as much for Shawn Michaels’ career as any match that I remember him having.
You can listen HERE.
Credit: Grilling JR. H/T 411Mania.