Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 is considered by many fans to be the greatest match in WrestleMania history. The Undertaker and HBK battled back and forth for over 30 minutes and they delivered an instant classic, but it almost didn’t happen that way.
Former WWE referee Marty Elias was recently a guest on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, and he revealed that not only did WWE officials want the match to go on third at WrestleMania, they were only going to give Taker and Shawn 15 minutes.
“I’m laughing because if you read Shawn’s latest book, the first chapter talks about the WrestleMania match. I laugh because you said it wasn’t the Main Event, that match was actually only supposed to be 15 minutes and they were originally supposed to be third on the card for that show. I remember being told that and us sitting in there. It was me, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Pat Patterson and Michael Hayes and when Michael Hayes told Shawn and Taker that we were third and we only had 15 minutes, it was something that needed to be changed. Now, it did change and we didn’t get the Main Event but it was something that we just kind of looked at each other and Shawn and Taker looked at each other and gave these puzzled looks and I still remember that and when you said it wasn’t the main event it brought back a bunch of memories and that is why I am laughing about it. It should have been the main event. One of the things I will say is that after that match, Shawn and I came through the curtain and we walked through and everybody is clapping and everybody is giving a standing ovation and Hurricane Helms was standing right there and I’ll never forget what he said. He said something like “oh my God, if there is a mercy rule in pro wrestling right now they might as well pull the mercy rule because nobody is going to follow that”. It should have been the main event and I always tell people it was the main event.”
Luckily WWE officials came to their senses and although it wasn’t the official main event of the show, it’s still the match that fans talk about when they look back on WrestleMania 25. Taker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25 wasn’t just a big match for the fans, it was also a big match for Marty Elias who noted that he still pinches himself when he thinks about being in the ring for the match.
“It was amazing. For me personally, it was something that I was in awe of being in the ring with Taker and Shawn but not to the sense where I was “marking out” (and of course we are all marks, I’ll admit that) but it wasn’t a sense that I was marking out because “Oh My God” this is WrestleMania and this is Shawn vs. Taker. I was marking out because of the fact that I had this opportunity to get in and do this and for me it was everything that I had worked for. The blood, sweat and tears and all the BS and the stuff like no pay days and long car rides and if I am doing the right thing for my family and relationships going bad or whatever but for me being in that match and the match turning out to what it is today, it was all worth it. All that stuff paid off and that match was voted the greatest WrestleMania match in the history of WWE.”