Shawn Michaels vs. Vader from WWF 1996

Originally reviewed here.

WWF Summerslam
August 18, 1996

Shawn Michaels© vs. Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) [WWF Heavyweight Championship]
I recall disliking the booking of this match. I’m not sure what I’ll think of it now.

Shawn had a surprising amount of success early on and hit a Deadman Suicida. Shawn went for a slingshot hurricanrana, but Vader reversed it into a powerbomb to the floor. Vader then destroyed Shawn for a while. Shawn eventually made a comeback. He took both of them to the floor with a leaping crossbody. This match is so good at the moment, but it will soon become very bad. Vader dropped Shawn on the guardrail and then won via countout.

Jim Cornette wouldn’t let the match end. Cornette challenged Shawn to keep fighting. Shawn ignored the officials, and the match was restarted. Vader immediately took out Shawn with a lariat. Cornette hit Shawn with the racket. Shawn made a comeback. Cornette interfered and threw the racket to Vader. Shawn took the racket and destroyed Cornette and Vader with it. That got him disqualified though.

Cornette called out Shawn again for retaining the title in a silly way. The match was restarted again. Shawn made another comeback. SUPERKICK: 1…2…no? Vader apparently got his shoulder up, but I didn’t even notice. Ref bump derpa derp. Vader Bomb: 1…2…NO! Vader went for a moonsault, but Shawn rolled out of the way. Based on where Vader landed, he would have missed anyway. Shawn then hit the moonsault: 1…2…3

Vader seemed like such an epic failure in this match. First, he was stupid enough to win via countout in a title match. Then he got his ass kicked with a tennis racket. Then he lost clean. Three Vader fails in one match. On top of that, they had an incredibly awesome dynamic going on before the overbooking kicked in. A true mixed bag of a match if I ever saw one.
Match Rating: **1/2



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