WWE World champion Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels - Ladder Match
Jericho walked under a ladder set up in the aisle as he came to the ring. They were pushing hard that Michaels revolutionized the ladder match at Wrestlemania X. I was there that night and no doubt it was awesome but it's so sad everyone forgets that great Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart bout that opened the show and is still, to this day, the best opening match in Wrestlemania history. I digress.
They did a long staredown at the ball. Michael Cole said, "We are looking at two of the greatest sports-entertainers of all tim." I hate that term. They grappled back and forth. Michaels tried for sweet chin music early but missed. He whipped Jericho into the corner then missed a charge, his shoulder hitting the ringpost. Jericho maneuvered Michaels to the mat, where he bridged out. They went back and forth until Michaels was clotheslined over the ropes and out of the ring. Michaels landed on the mat where Jericho hit the springboard shoulderblock over the ropes.
On the floor, Jericho tried to throw Michaels into the ladder but Michaels scrambled up and dove off it onto Jericho. Jericho whipped Michaels into the ringpost. Jericho grabbed a ladder in the aisle and charged Michaels with it, but Shawn hit a drop toehold and Jericho fell forward onto the ladder. Jericho came up with a bloody lip. Jericho smashed Michaels with the ladder and locked on a Boston Crab on the floor to wear down Michaels.
Jericho returned to the ring, dragging a ladder into the ring. Michaels slammed it as the ladder was halfway through the ropes, nailed Jericho as it swung upwards. Michaels set up the ladder and went towards the top but Jericho caught him. He tried to powerbomb Shawn, who rolled through. Jericho tried to catapult Shawn into the ladder but Shawn landed on the rungs and scrambled up. Jericho tipped the ladder over before he could grab the belt. Michaels clotheslined himself on the top rope coming down.
Jericho used the ladder as a battering ram then smashed it over Michaels' back. He set up another ladder in the corner. They teased whipping each other into it. Jericho reversed the whip and Michaels took a bump over the turnbuckles and back into the ring. Jericho went for a bulldog but was sent into the ladder. He screamed and grabbed at his knees. Michaels set up a ladder across the bottom ropes, then dropped Jericho onto it, crotching him. Michaels then locked on a figure four, which Michael Cole called "vintage Ric Flair." When Jericho was released, he kicked the ladder in the corner, which bounced off the ringpost and nailed Michaels in the face.
Jericho began smashing Michaels' head into a ladder set up in the center of the ring. He maneuvered Michaels in between the two sides and slammed it over his head. Jericho climbed the ladder but Michaels shoved the ladder over. Jericho landed on his feet and took Michaels out. Jericho set up a ladder atop one of the corners. He began peppering Michaels with punches. He charged Michaels towards the ladder but Shawn saved himself and tossed Jericho atop the ladder. Jericho bumped to the floor. Michaels picked up the ladder and dropped it out to the floor on Jericho.
Michaels pulled a huge ladder out from under the ring. He began smashing Jericho's back with a ladder. Michaels set up Jericho on the Smackdown announce table, then climbed the huge ladder. Jericho began following Michaels up the ladder. Jericho tried to hit a back suplex off the ladder but Michaels turned around into a bodypress as they came down through the table. In the replay, you could see what a nasty bump it was for both.
Michaels grabbed a ladder and was perched on the top turnbuckle to come down with it on Jericho but Jericho dropkicked Michaels, who crotched himself. They battled in the corner, teasing a superplex over the ladder but Michaels shoved the ladder backwards with Jericho bumping off of it. Michaels hit the picture perfect elbow but nailed the ladder as well and began selling the elbow.
Michaels pulled himself to his feet and began motioning for sweet chin music. As he moved in for the kick, Jericho slammed a ladder into Michaels' face. Jericho nailed the Lionsault. Jericho set up a ladder over Michaels' chest and climbed to the top. Michaels forced the ladder forward and Jericho bumped to the floor. He grabbed at his knee and the announcers wondered if he blew it out. The crowd chanted for HBK.
Michaels set up a ladder and made his way to the top as Jericho crawled back towards the ring. Michaels made his way to the top but Jericho shoved him over. Michaels crotched himself and was obviously trying to catch his feet in the ropes the same way he did at Mania 10 vs. Razor Ramon. Jericho set up the ladder and made his way back to the top. Michaels reached him as Jericho grabbed for the ladder. They battled atop the ladder with Michaels getting the better of it. Jericho fell backwards with his leg caught in the ladder.
Lance Cade hit the ring and grabbed Michaels. Michaels dove off the ladder and nailed sweet chin music. Jericho got back to the belt and Michaels caught him. Jericho unhooked the belt and they each ended up with half of it for a tug of war. They each tried to pull it from the other. Michaels pulled Jericho towards him and they headbutt each other. Michaels bumped off the ladder while Jericho remained on the ladder. Jericho pulled down the belt and retained.
Your winner and still WWE World champ, Chris Jericho!
It was obvious that Jericho broke at least one tooth during the match as he was walking out.
A great ladder match. Tons of awesome spots and a feeling that they were trying to beat each other, not fit in 10,000 spots. A really fun main event to close out the show. The top three matches are all worth checking out. Overall, a really enjoyable show.