As soon as the participants were set for the four-way elimination match to determine John Cena’s opponent at The Royal Rumble, the finish was obvious: It would come down to Shawn Michaels and JBL, with JBL ordering Michaels to lie down.
And that’s exactly what happened last night on Raw. Predictable? Absolutely. Boring and anti-climactic? Absolutely not, thanks to an outstanding dramatic performance by Michaels.
With all due respect to John Cena, Kane and Mr. Kennedy (who all have starred in movies), Michaels showed once again that he is by far the best actor in the company. I think HBK could even give Mickey Rourke a run for his money.
Not only was the outcome of the four-way match (which also involved Randy Orton and Chris Jericho) predictable, but no one really buys into the story line that Michaels has to work for JBL because he is broke. With all that being said, however, Michaels still was able to manipulate the emotions of the crowd through his facial expressions and body language during his conflict of conscience. He had fans pleading with him not to lie down for JBL. Michaels’ performance was even more impressive when you consider that it was a tough crowd for most of the night.
From a booking standpoint, I think it was the right call to have Michaels ultimately refuse to lie down, choosing to take a Clothesline from Hell instead. It was more dramatic and made Michaels come across as more sympathetic and honorable.
by Kevin Eck of Ring Posts
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