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Kevin Eck speaks in defense for Shawn Michaels

······································································································································································ Date: Thursday, January 08, 2009 —— Comment: Reactions —— Discuss: Forum

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When I made my selections for the year-end awards, I knew I was going to get some heat for giving the nod to Shawn Michaels in three categories (for best wrestler, best feud and best match). Sure enough, I did receive some comments and e-mails – although not as many as I thought I’d get – from people who thought I went overboard in regard to Michaels and accused me of being an “HBK mark.”

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have never hid the fact that I am a huge fan of Michaels as a performer. If that makes me an HBK mark then I’m guilty as charged. However, I did make an honest effort to select the top performer or performers in each category regardless of whether they were my personal favorites.

I truly believe Michaels is deserving of the three awards in question, so it would be disingenuous for me to have given one or two of them to someone else just to spread the honors around or to prove that I’m not biased.

I do think it’s funny that no one pointed out that I gave Tag Team of the Year to John Morrison and The Miz. Regular readers know that Miz has never been one of my favorites, but there’s no denying that he and Morrison were the best team. The truth is that I almost gave Most Improved to The Miz, too, but I think Kelly Kelly’s progress was more dramatic.

Back to Michaels. I wonder if the people who said that my picks were biased are actually the ones with the bias. Michaels certainly has his share of detractors. But can anyone really argue that the Michaels-Chris Jericho program wasn’t the Feud of the Year? As for Match of the Year, I wrote that Michaels-Ric Flair wasn’t the greatest as far as ring work (although it was good), but there is more to Match of the Year – in my opinion – than just the action. Emotion, historical significance and the magnitude of the show are also major factors. The Flair-Michaels match was by far the most memorable of 2008.

So if the same performer participated in the Feud of the Year and the Match of the Year, how could I not choose him as Wrestler of the Year? He also had an entertaining program with Batista, and his angle with JBL that began at the end of the year has been compelling.

The bottom line is that the awards merely represent my opinion. I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I just want to make it clear that I tried to base my picks on an informed opinion, not a biased one.

by Kevin Eck of Baltimore Sun's Ring Post

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