Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reignited the age-old debate of who the greatest wrestler of all time is when he named "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan as his top three picks on a recent Instagram post. While those three names often come up in the discussion, other wrestlers (including Johnson himself) make a strong argument for being the greatest, whether it be because of their charismatic performances or their outstanding work in the ring. In a recent interview with Inside the Ropes, former Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho picked a man who had both in spades throughout his career, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels.
"(Michaels) is better than 75% of the roster...in my opinion, the best ever. It's not Flair, it's not Bret (Hart]) it's Shawn Michaels for me, what I like," Jericho said. "So even though he was coming back [at the time], he was great. And he has one match with Triple H, but this was his first WrestleMania back and it might have been the first program since the Triple H program, and it was never supposed to be."
Jericho had two notable feuds with Michaels throughout his career, one that culminated at WrestleMania XIX in 2003 and another that spanned a large portion of 2008. Jericho revealed his WrestleMania match with "The Heartbreak Kid" was never the original plan, and that Vince McMahon only got the idea after a random "Highlight Reel" segment.
"It was just a one-shot thing where I was doing a Highlight Reel and I was calling Michaels old, and that sort of thing," Jericho said. "I was just demeaning Shawn on the Highlight Reel, he superkicked me in the face and that was supposed to be the end of it. We walked to the back and I remember Vince sitting there, smiling, and just looking at Shawn, and Shawn goes, 'It's money.' And Vince goes, 'You're damn right it's money!' And that was where that whole angle started."
Michaels first debuted as one half of The Rockers tag team in 1988 and quickly rose up the ranks as a heel in the early 1990s. After officially retiring in 2010 (minus a one-off appearance at Crown Jewel back in November), Michaels finished his WWE run as a four-time world champion. He is currently slated to enter the WWE Hall of Fame for a second time in early April as a member of D-Generation X.
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