On the tenth anniversary of SummerSlam 2005, we look back at the Shawn Michaels versus Hulk Hogan bout that headlined the show and the build-up to that match as we continue our build up to this year’s event.
A feud featuring Shawn Michaels against Muhammad Hassan and Daivari started on the April 4 episode of Raw, when Hassan and Daivari attacked HBK. It resulted in Michaels demanding a match against the two which was accepted with the proviso that he could find a tag team partner. Which he did in Hulk Hogan and the duo bested Hassan and Daivari at Backlash.
It was the last that Hogan was seen until the July 4 episode of Raw where he appeared in Carlito’s talk show segment. Carlito, along with Kurt Angle, made comments about Hogan’s daughter and eventually attacked him. Michaels made the save the they defeated Carlito and Angle in a match later that night. However, after the match, Michaels performed hit Hogan with Sweet Chin Music and left. The next week HBK challenged Hogan to a bout at SummerSlam which the Hulkster accepted. The “Legend vs. Icon” storyline was the main event for the Raw brand going into SummerSlam.
With less than a week to go before the PPV, sources were claiming that Michaels was very frustrated with Hogan and the fact that all discussions had been in “good-faith” rather than something more formal.
It had led to a situation where Michaels was adamant that the finish be changed from him jobbing to Hogan to a DQ finish. However, by all accounts Hogan had creative control – sound familiar? – written in to his WWE contract and got to call all the shots. Therefore the finish was a clean finish with his patented leg drop.
The match was initially accepted due to HBK having never worked before with Hogan. However, close associates had warned him that Hogan would get the finish he wanted and it would be a mistake not to agree a finish before agreeing to the match. It was a mistake that Michaels made. He had figured he could play hardball, in a similar vein to Hogan, but it wasn’t to be.
Michaels’ next tactic was to suggest a rematch, the very next month, giving both superstars a win and two big pay days.
Unfortunately for the Heartbreak Kid, Hogan also expected to win the second match – which was to be a steel cage match – the old school blue bars cage – with Hogan escaping from the cage before Michaels, who had climbed over the cage, could drop to the floor.
With the second match plan now nixed by Michaels, he went to plan B: lose to Hogan but do so by being so effective at making Hogan look good – despite the state of his body at the time – so that no one would talk about the finish and instead focus on how good Michaels was.
The Match Itself:
Shawn Michaels took a bad situation and made the best of it. He certainly got his wish in making the match stand-out. Throughout the bout he played a strong heel, going as far as to use a low–blow at one point.
The match lasted over 20 minutes—almost unheard of for a Hogan match—and Hogan bled heavily during it. It’s led to speculation that that was one of Michaels’ negotiating points: if he was to do the job he wanted to beat Hogan so that he bled.
After the match, Michaels shoved Hogan from behind, but then offered a handshake. He told Hogan he just needed to “find out for himself.” Which poses more questions than it gives answers…
If Michaels was as angry about the main event as many suggest, he was able to get a measure of success the following night on Raw. He made his way to the ring and admitted Hogan was the better man before being to mock the “catlike and nimble” Hogan and that he couldn’t figure out his catch-as-catch-can style “His (Hogan’s) ring prowess was in so many ways and on so many levels superior to mine that I simply could not compete,” Michaels said. “When it was over, even I, the evil Shawn Michaels found myself victim like so many before me to the vicious legdrop—1, 2, 3.” He then said Hogan wouldn’t be back until the fans gave him what he wanted and rubbed his thumb and fingers together to suggest money before stating that Michaels was here on Raw.
As for Hogan’s thoughts on the match, well you can hear some of those below: