Shawn Michaels vs. Tatanka (4/4/93)
But here he is at his most popular, armed with chops and war dances and indian warrior yells. Part of me thinks that Tatanka’s push was part of WWF’s quest to find a replacement for the Ultimate Warrior, and Chris Chavis could have certainly fit the bill. He’s more talented than the Warrior (who’d sooner be dead than caught on the top rope for a cross body), but after losing his first televised match in 1993 (to Ludwig Borga, trivia fans), it was all but over for the Native American warrior, who limped through feuds with Lex Luger and I.R.S. The I.R.S. feud was awesome though, as ‘ol Irwin R. Shyster believed that Tatanka should have paid a gift tax on a headdress presented to him by previous Native American wrestling legends. Tatanka disagreed on the grounds that his being Native American should have made him exempt. Why that didn’t headline pay-per-views, I’ll never know.
In any case, enjoy this blast from the past. It’s before Shawn Michaels had an actual finisher (the teardrop suplex counts, I guess, but whatever), so the Sweet Chin Music is called “a martial arts kick” by Jim Ross, who makes his WWF debut at this event. The next year, Michaels would take on Razor Ramon in a ladder match, stealing the show on a card that also included Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, and from there, his career as a legitimate main event worker was off and running. It’s almost charming to imagine Shawn Michaels opening WrestleMania now, but even in that spot, he managed to outshine the rest of the show.
Paul Arrand Rodgers
Paul Arrand Rodgers has this blog, and that's about it.