Feature: Steve Anderson on Y2J vs HBK


Perhaps Iâ<80><99>ve written it before, but the feud between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho is one for the ages. They just donâ<80><99>t make storylines like this anymore. There has been build, twists and turns, and significant character shifts in this ongoing drama.

Most wrestling feuds over the years have felt hurried. Others have been botched. Still others have been abandoned with little to no explanation. Frankly, WWE creative hasnâ<80><99>t shown the attention span to craft out a long-term angle where the intensity and hatred between two wrestlers builds over time.

As wrestling fans, we are long overdue for a feud that can be described as epic. Y2J vs. HBK has the potential to be another, dare I say, Tommy Rich vs. Buzz Sawyer.

Okay, for you younger fans, I may have lost you. But older fans are nodding their head in agreement when it comes to the intensity of the two-year (yes, two-year) feud between â<80><9c>Wildfireâ<80> and the â<80><9c>Mad Dogâ<80> in Georgia Championship Wrestling. It seethed with hatred and it simply would not let up.

The feud ended in 1983 in the now legendary â<80><9c>Last Battle of Atlantaâ<80> featuring a â<80><9c>last man standingâ<80> steel cage match for the NWA Georgia National championship. To say it was bloody would be an understatement. It was hell in a cell before there was â<80><9c>Hell in a Cell.â<80> Rich won and later briefly teamed with his longtime nemesis.

Jericho vs. Michaels isnâ<80><99>t like any other feud. It has stripped away the gimmicks of both men. It isnâ<80><99>t over a championship. They are not fighting over a woman or control of the promotion. No one is going to be a manservant for the other. Neither man has to wear a dress. The storyline focuses on a legacy. Jerichoâ<80><99>s obsessed with his while HBK is merely protecting his place in history.

Jericho is no longer the party host. Michaels is no longer the â<80><9c>sexy boy.â<80> This past Monday night on Raw, Michaels and Jericho (via Titantron) underscored the effectiveness of the feud. Jericho was calm, cool and collected. He didnâ<80><99>t back down from Michaelsâ<80><99> challenge. HBK was controlled as well, but occasionally lost his composure, demanding Jericho face him in the ring.

It was realistic and intense. More importantly, it is bringing out the best in each man. Iâ<80><99>ve never been a huge fan of Shawn Michaels, but he is showing that there is still gas left in the tank. He can be more than just the degenerate goofball. He has set aside his â<80><9c>born againâ<80> approach to seek his â<80><9c>eye for an eye.â<80> Usually, wrestlers at this stage of their careers do not show such flexibility.

What WWE creative needs to do is not abandon this feud after Unforgiven. They need a slow build to a Wrestlemania showdown where Jericho and Michaels can settle it all. A series of confrontations and matches leading up to the big show and then their own â<80><9c>last battle.â<80>

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho. They just donâ<80><99>t make feuds like this anymore.


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