Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Chris Benoit
WrestleMania XX featured a few really good to great matches, one of them certainly not being the monstrosity that was Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. Christian vs. Chris Jericho continues to be underrated, Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero was very solid as expected and Evolution vs. Rock and Foley was fantastic as well. But the crown here has to go to the triple threat that closed out the show between Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chris Benoit. It’s extremely unfortunate that the events surrounding Benoit will always overshadow anything he did in the ring, but you can’t deny that this match was pretty great.
It’s very difficult to pull off a great triple threat match. Sure, the tag teams did it but that was usually with the gimmick and that certainly helps. But this match was pretty special and is easily one of the best triple threat matches in WWE history, let alone WrestleMania history. The build for this match was great as the history between Michaels and Triple H was always there but Benoit’s Royal Rumble match win threw a wrinkle into things when he decided he wanted the shot at Triple H. But Michaels had already been promised a shot and hijacked the contract signing, which led Stone Cold to make this match at WrestleMania XX. And given that we’d already had multiple singles matches between HBK and HHH coming in, this was the right call.
The crowd at Madison Square Garden was really into Benoit winning this one as I think they felt it was finally his time to shine in WWE. As I mentioned, it’s hard to pull off a great triple threat but these three did a great job of getting it done. It wasn’t overly often that we were left with a one-on-one situation while somebody rested on the outside as all three men kept engaged and kept after one another. I thought all of the near falls were pretty solid and they mixed it up by getting some near submissions in there as well, my favorite one being when Benoit put Shawn in the Crossface and Triple H actually blocked Michaels from tapping out to end the match. This turns out to be even better when it’s Triple H that ends up tapping out to the same move to end the match and give Benoit one of the biggest celebrations in history as Eddie Guerrero joined him to close the show in a memorable moment that WWE will unfortunately, and yet understandably, never discuss during WrestleMania season.