Shawn Michaels with the greatest super kick of all time on Shelton Benjamin ! pic.twitter.com/slH97vSkGw— WrestlinGifs (@WrestlinGifs) January 21, 2018
If you're a wrestling fan on the Internet, there's a pretty good chance you've seen the clip above before. For context, the match was between Shawn Michaels and Shelton Benjamin on an episode of Monday Night Raw in May 2005 in what's now known as the TD Garden in Boston. On the surface the match shouldn't be remembered 14 years later — yes, Michaels was one of the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots and Benjamin has always had incredible athletic ability — but the result wound up meaning very little in the grand scheme of things. It was in the opening round of a No. 1 contender's tournament neither man won, and the two would lock horns again on numerous occasions in the years that followed.
And yet this inconspicuous match wound up being immortalized thanks to its finish. Michaels attempted to throw Benjamin over the top rope, Benjamin landed on the apron without Michaels seeing and springboarded off the ropes to try and hit Michaels from across the ring. But Michaels saw it coming and hit his Sweet Chin Music finisher before Benjamin could hit the floor, earning the win.
That little 20-second sequence wound up becoming synonymous with both men. It was part of Monday Night Raw's opening theme video for a while, it has stuck with Michaels in just about every career highlight package WWE has made of him and it continues to be shared and talked about on social media to this day.
Because both are godly🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/5ZtWHqbyHS— R.Dream (@WWERDream) March 18, 2019
Michaels discussed the finish in a recent interview with Comicbook.com, and while he couldn't recall if he, Benjamin or a backstage agent came up with the finish, he did credit Benjamin for turning the spot into an iconic moment.
"It's one of those ones that it's lightning in a bottle, that's the timing and everything else is just so perfect," Michaels said. "Because again, you can do that same thing but if the timing isn't perfect, it doesn't quite stand the test of time like that one does. That's one of those moments where everything comes together, and it certainly does not hurt that you have got unbelievably stellar athletes like Shelton doing all of the heavy lifting in that type of stuff.
"I'm the guy that got to win, but I will always argue that he is the guy that did the majority of the work in that particular instance," he continued. "I have to thank him for that."
Michaels will enter the WWE Hall of Fame for a second time on April 6 as a member of D-Generation X.
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