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What dated better: Michaels/Ramon or TLC II


sj5522

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Was checking out this podcast earlier feat JR, talking about the last Money in the Bank. Ambrose/Rollins was my fav match of that night,  even more than the Cena/Owens match, but the podcast team didn't seem as keen.

Anyway, they start saying how people under 25 who go to revise Michaels/Ramon at WM10 will probably find it underwhelming or boring compared to what ladder matches have evolved to be like. I found this quite patronising, as I adored that match - serious 5 star stuff despite generally not giving a shit about Scott Hall.

Personally, I think Michaels/Ramon is a must see for all, never seen better psychology in this type of match, the ladder they used this wonky, clunky looking massive ladder - it just looked like a total hazard, was sure one of them would get KO'd by the ladder or that it was gonna give on them and break their ankle. (1 ladder in this ladder match, and at one point the legs of the ladder just fucking twisted under their weight, it looked so bloody dangerous)

With dudes like Jeff Hardy and that, they're kind of like a stuntman, you trust them to pull off what they do - being someone who didn't see TLC II til years later, that match definitely lost some effect on me even though I still think it's very good. I was probably expecting similar from Michaels/Ramon, seeing as it took me even longer to see it but nah, absolutely stunning match

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I watched both within a couple of days of them happening, and Razor/Shawn had much more effect on me. What you say about the feeling of "danger" is very true. There was far more of a sense of "I care who wins" with their match whereas with the WrestleMania XVII three-way affair, it was very much "I'm watching for stunts." The Shawn/Razor match very much made me sit up and go "Holy shit" for what they came up with, building beyond conception on what the Shawn/Bret ladder match had been like (from the Smack Em Whack Em tape, obvs) whereas Hardys/Dudleys/Edge & Christian didn't really wow me for originality. It felt like we knew what they were going to do, just from greater height and through more tables. If anything it was the No Mercy ladder match that felt like the most innovative match of that particular era, even if the Edge/Jeff dangling spear spot was the biggest "moment."

 

But the question is which dated better. It's tough to say. TLC II is probably the best of its type of match but there are many bump n stunt ladder matches like it if you strip away the setting and zeitgeist. The first Razor/Shawn match stands out a little more because the earlier WWF ladder matches were so rare and spread out that each one feels completely different. If you judge each strictly on adrenaline, you'll probably prefer TLC II. It depends how much you can appreciate the drama and storytelling of Shawn Michaels' insane attempts to prove that he's the best and to steal the show, his transformation from "cheating, arrogant little shit who can't stop whining that he never lost the belt" to "fucking hell, Shawn Michaels" and also, for me, that Razor plays crash mat for all his stuff, takes an absolute pounding... but doesn't stay down and in the end stands victorious, looking hard as nails.

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Jarrett vs Benoit at Starrcade 99 was my favourite ladder macth. i dislike most ladder matches, but this one, while short, was more like a fight than an overly choreographed show.

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Michaels/Ramon I and II are still the two best ladder matches of all time by some distance. Both matches age even better now seeing that virtually every single ladder match since then has become a choreographed spot fest with huge bumps that mean little. On the other hand, the Michaels/Ramon matches feels like a contest between two people trying to win the match. The psychology is far superior.

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If you put it in context then Razor/HBK wins it. Sure both were unique for their own times but since both matches the bar has been raised on the TLC type match that they are now just a sea of 'same old stunt matches'. Razor and HBK built the match with the ladder being the means to the end, using it as a weapon but also sparingly. The later matches - from TLC I and II onward - have such a heavy focus of 'getting your shit in' and wanting those 'OMG' moments that they aren't using the gimmick to full effect. 

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Dont see why Scott Hall is getting any credit for it, nothing against him and I was a massive Razor fan when I was a kid but Flair was spot on when he said Michaels had that match with the ladder, Hall just happened to be in the vicinity

 

 

That's not fair at all. Scott was a great worker during that period and he complimented Shawn really well.

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Flair's a tit. Razor's selling in that match is amazing, he convinces you he's in agony every time Shawn hits one of his big ladder-oriented spots, and draws his sympathy really well. They're going mental at the end because Razor won, not just because Shawn lost.

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