Welcome to the Raw Deal. Before I start, I want to ask for your help in giving a proper tribute to Shawn Michaels. He's my favorite wrestler ever and the reason why I'm still a fan to this day. I've written gushingly about him through the years and I will do so again in the future. However, I want you to have your voice heard too. I know there are thousands of you reading this right now that are HBK fans just like I am. I want you to share your memories with me. If you're having a tough time coming up with something to write I ask you this: What made you like him? What memories do you have? What will you miss? What kind of thoughts are you having now that he's apparently gone? These are the types of questions I want you to answer for me.Email me at john@thejohnreport.net and I will post your emails later in the week. I'm expecting a lot of emails, so I ask that you try to keep it concise (let's say no more than 1,000 words) and write whatever you want. It doesn't matter if your grammar sucks (I'll try to clean it up as best I can) or if you're one of those people that refuses to email somebody. It's not for me. It's for Shawn Michaels and it's for all the fans of that man that gave us so many memories of over his 20+ years in the business. I'm not going to post email addresses. If you want your name posted, sign it at the bottom. If not, it's going in as anonymous or maybe I'll go with your first name plus the initial on your last name. I will also promise to do what I can to make sure Shawn Michaels reads that post. I don't know him, but I will ask, harass and bother whoever I need to in order to make sure that he sees it. I will post my Shawn Michaels tribute column on Thursday. I will post your emails about Shawn Michaels starting on Friday. If there are an overwhelming amount of them I will post more of them on Saturday and however long it takes to get them all in there. I will post as many as I possibly can. Like I said, he deserves it and this will be our way to thank him for what his amazing career. Once again I hope to hear from you. The email address again is john@thejohnreport.net so please write. Do it for Shawn Michaels. He's earned it. Live from Phoenix, Arizona this is the Raw Deal…<!--more-->They started with a brief highlight from WrestleMania 26 that ended with the crowd chanting "HBK! HBK!" as a way to let us know that this show would Shawn Michaels' farewell to the fans. I might as well say here that I'm going to brief for everything on this show except that part because that's what this show was about. Batista came out actually looking somewhat normal. No golf shirt? He said that he didn't care what happened at WrestleMania, "John Cena can't beat me." Um, he did. Great argument. Cena came out and said Batista can ask for his rematch tonight, but Batista said no. He wants the rematch except not tonight. At one point Cena referenced having done this a few times before. Yeah, because of all the short title changes over the years although he does have a couple of really long reigns too. They brawled momentarily with Cena winning that. Batista bailed and as he did so out came Money in the Bank winner (and also the guy that was jobbing to Santino a couple months ago) Jack Swagger. He attacked Cena with the briefcase multiple times, got on the microphone, lisped his way in saying he wants a ref out there now and by the time that happened Cena was able to get up. Jack waived the ref off, so the briefcase was never officially used here. It was a cool moment at least for a minute. They showed early footage of HBK with the Rockers. First time I saw him. Who knew that the blonde guy from the Rockers would become arguably the best ever? Crazy when you think about where he came from. For the next match the ring was surrounded by legends from the 1980s like Roddy Piper, Sargeant Slaughter, Ted Dibase, Ricky Steamboat, Pat Patterson and others. Most of them work for WWE while others were there for the weekend. That was followed by guest hosts from "Hot Tub Time Machine" Rob Corddry (who I loved on The Daily Show as well as on his one episode on Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Clarke Duke (a mini Dwight Shrute) announcing this was a throwback match like their movie. Yeah, what a tie-in there. They announced a hot tub match with the divas that we weren't invited to even though the cameras were on it later. They also announced Batista/Swagger vs. Cena and mystery, who was pretty obvious. The promo bombed big time. Christian vs. Ted Dibiase in a Lumberjack Match (*3/4)They got about five minutes to work, which is double what the average Raw match seems to get. They mentioned that Cody Rhodes is out with a concussion due to Orton's kick to the head at WrestleMania, so I'd guess that keeps him out until the draft lottery show at the end of April. The match broke down when they got tossed to the floor and all the old guys were fighting eachother. That was hilarious to see the legends throwing punches. They went back in the ring, Ted was distracted and Christian pinned him with the Killswitch. Post match, Ted got mad at his dad, Ted Dibiase Sr., for distracting him during the match. Yeah, that's why you lost Ted. I've been very disappointed in how they've booked Ted Jr. in the last six months. Any heat that he once had is gone. I should point out here that as Dibiase was walking up the ramp at the end of the match, there was a yellow sign that said "TheJohnReport.net" on it. I haven't been able to get a screencap on it yet, but I saw it on the DVR after being told it was there. I want to give a shoutout to Anthony Venneri from Philly (long way to travel!) for bringing the sign. That was awesome. Thanks for the support. I appreciate it! The sign was also seen when Miz was at the bottom of the ramp talking to the Hart Dynasty in the ring. Good job Anthony!Clip of HBK turning on Jannetty during the Barber Shop segment. One of the best interview segments ever. I was still a mark kid at this point, so when it happened I was shocked. The guest hosts jumped into a hot tub with Tiffany, Rosa, Nikki & Brie Bella. Now you know why they're employed. They tried some lame comedy. I don't know what was said, but holy shit Tiffany & Rosa are gorgeous in those bikinis. Triple H came out to cut a promo talking about what HBK means to him. He said he knew that Shawn could beat Taker, but it didn't happen. He talked about knowing eachother for sixteen years and how they did it all side by side, back to back and even face to face (I love the Summerslam 2002 match). He even busted out the Kliq/Wolfpac sign as a symbol of that friendship dating back to the mid 90s with Hall, Nash & Waltman. He started tearing up, then talked about always wanting to say something, but never got a chance to say it until now. Right on cue, Sheamus attacked him in the back with a steel pipe. HHH went down as the announcers busted out the SERIOUS VOICES~! and went to break with doctors checking out HHH. Really good promo that seemed from the heart. The attack lets us know there's a match coming at Extreme Rules with Sheamus likely winning, which is what I wrote in my Mania preview.Mickie, Gail, Beth, Eve & Kelly d. Vickie, Michelle, Layla, Alicia & Maryse (NR)This was a rematch from the night before. Maryse posed during the open, so Eve rolled her up and pinned in her immediately. Ten women in one match, yet it was over in about 5 seconds. That's it? (That's what she said.) Match of the year. This was ridiculously short and disappointing. If you're wondering why WWE employs so many I refer you back to the hot tub scene. That's why. Video package on the HBK/Razor ladder match at WM10. A five star classic that still holds up. The Did You Know fact said that the HBK/Undertaker match from last night got 10 million views on WWE.com. I don't think I've ever looked at photos on WWE.com other than divas one. Speaking of those, thumbs up to Maryse's Hall of Fame outfit. Fantastic. Bret Hart came out for a promo. He said Shawn Michaels was one of the best ever and wished him the best in the future. It's so good to see them on great terms again. The best part of this was seeing the shirt he had on, which a picture of him with Owen in their younger days. He mentioned his dad, mom, Owen & Davey Boy looking down from heaven and it prompted the crowd to start an "Owen" chant. That was really touching. I smiled big time when I heard that. He was about to leave when Miz & Big Show came out. Miz said that he's 1-0 at WrestleMania, so he's 17 wins away from reaching the Undertaker's streak. Bret laughed, so Miz goes "Don't laugh, I'm awesome!" Ha, that was hilarious. Apparently losing in the pre-show last year doesn't count. Eventually all his talking to Bret led to the Hart Dynasty coming out to Bret's aid. That led to a challenge. Show didn't want it, but Miz did (and the TJR sign is in the background here), so it happened.The Hart Dynasty d. The Miz & Big Show via countout (*1/2)If it's a non title match who do you think is going to win? The challengers, of course. It should be noted that the Hart Dynasty have been heels since they started in WWE, but this looks to be the face turn for them. They even wore white and pink tights rather than the usual black with pink. The heels worked over Tyson for a few minutes until he got the hot tag to DH Smith, who showed a lot of fire. I really liked his babyface comeback. Kidd ended up hitting the Hart Attack clothesline and then put Miz into the Sharpshooter while Bret was smiling at ringside. With Miz near the ropes, Big Show reached through and pulled him out of there. They walked up the ramp taking the countout loss. Can WWE go a week without booking a countout win on one of their shows? They love the countouts. Anyway, I'm fine with this as long as it leads to the Hart Dynasty getting a title shot at the PPV. They showed a video package on DX.More with the hot tub. Tiffany and Rosa just left. Then the third dude from the movie (Craig Robinson - Darryl from The Office) talked about how he was booking a "match" and the Bellas left. He also invited other guests into the tub, which included Mark Henry and Hornswoggle. Seeing Mark Henry in a speedo in HD was one of the worst HD experiences I've ever had. I didn't laugh. I nearly threw up. Of course you know that Vince thought this was great.They thanked Audioslave for Be Yourself. Audioslave broke up years ago. Of course the CD is available. It's been available for five years. Jack Swagger came out to cut a promo. He said he's the "odds-on favorite" a couple of times. I guess that'll be his catchphrase of sorts. Yes, because the guy that was barely used for the past six months and lost joke matches to Santino is quite the talent. I know he's good, but they booked him so poorly that nobody's going to believe it unless he gets some credible wins.John Cena & Randy Orton d. Batista & Jack Swagger (*1/2)A week after Orton teams with HHH, the guy he feuded with in the first half of 2009, he's teaming with John Cena (the guy he feuded with in the second half of 2009). Short memories. The crowd popped for the "surprise" partner huge, though. Orton's face turn is really working even though his mannerisms have stayed the same. The "RKO" chants during the match were pretty huge. Notice on commentary how they had Lawler really put over how big Swagger is at 6'6" 260 pounds. In other words, they're telling you a guy like Christian is never going to get that kind of push even though he's earned it through over a decade of service. Very frustrating, but that's Vince. He loves the bigger dudes. Orton got the hot tag, he scored a nearfall on Jack, Batista broke it up and Randy gave him a RKO. Then he gave the RKO to Swagger for the win. Crowd was going nuts for it. Have to give WWE credit here. I didn't think they'd book an Orton face turn well. They're doing it, though. It's working. They showed a video package on last year's WrestleMania match with HBK losing to Taker. Right now it's leading Austin/Hart in the finals of the greatest WM Match tourney on my blog. I love the match, as does everybody it seems.Shawn Michaels says farewellI don't know what to write here. I'm assuming most of you reading this saw it. If you didn't, go find it. Look on WWE.com or youtube or some place to see what Shawn said here. Before he spoke, Undertaker came out, tipped his cap from the top of the ramp and went away. I don't think I can do it justice because he spoke from the heart for 15 minutes in a way that you'll rarely see in a scripted company like WWE. He even poked fun at the script by mentioning that Vince didn't know he was going to talk about him, but Shawn did it with a grin on his face. He spoke openly about how all he ever wanted to do was wrestle, how he started at 19, got his beginning in the WWF at 23 and he was standing in the ring now at 44 (he'll be 45 in the summer). The crowd was really great during the speech chanting "HBK! HBK!" as well as "Thank you Shawn! Thank you Shawn!" at various points through the speech. It was very real as he talked about how there was a time in his life when wrestling was the only thing he had in his life. It's true. He used drugs in the 90s, he was a jerk and the only pace where he felt comfortable was in the ring. He also mentioned being tough to get along with in the 90s, which was also true. A famous story from that era is that he changed in Vince's office while everybody else changed in the same locker room. The guy was hated by most of his peers because he was such a jerk. The fans chanted "One More Match!" so he addressed that. He mentioned that a lot of guys say they're retiring, but they come back and he doesn't want to be one of those guys. He doesn't want to go back on his word to the fans or the Undertaker. He made it a point to say, "I'm going to do everything in my power make sure that doesn't happen" in reference to one more match. Will that prevent people from thinking he'll make a comeback? Of course not. We're wrestling fans. We don't believe what we hear. In this case, I believe him because like he said he's an open book and he says what's on his mind without much of a filter. I think as of right now he has no plans to wrestle again. Could he change his mind next January as the WrestleMania season approaches and Vince gives him a call about working one more match? Of course he could. For now, though, I think he's resigned to the fact that he's done. Frankly, as his fans we should respect his wishes It was very cool to hear him thank HHH, Bret Hart, the announcers (great job calling Jim Ross the greatest announcer of all time, which I fully agree with) and the production team while mentioning a guy named Adam that puts together the video packages we love so much. He also thanked Vince McMahon at length saying that without him he didn't know if he'd be where he's at right now, which is a fair statement to make. Those two were always very close. Shawn was basically on the creative team during his peak in 1997, which pissed off a lot of people in that era including Bret Hart. He thanked the Lord Jesus Christ for saving him and told his family that he's coming home. Then he ended it with: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Heartbreak Kid has left the building." If you don't know that reference, when his singles run started in the early 1990s they would have the announcer say that over the speakers before a match started. It would be after his match and it would happen at some random point later in the show. It was originally something done for Elvis Presley back in the day. Hunter came out, they hugged and they spoke privately to one another. He took out two glowsticks, put them in an X symbol on the ramp and walked off to leave Shawn on his own. I thought the speech was perfect. They gave him free reign to say what he wants. He soaked in the cheers, he let the crowd chant what they wanted and he spoke from the heart. It felt like he was talking to each of us individually. The guy was always a gifted speaker, one of the best ever, and this last promo was no exception. I would have liked to see some of his peers come out to hug him, or maybe say a few words, but I understand why they didn't do that. They wanted to make it about Shawn's personal moment with us. It worked very well. I nearly teared up. I'm sure some of you did. In a business that a hater will tell us is "fake" it was a very real moment. It was Shawn Michaels at his best because he was at home in the ring one last time. Three One Star of the Night1. "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels7 out of 10Last week: 6I don't know how to rate this show. I'm not going to remember much before the last 15 minutes. This was a combination of joy and sadness for me as a Shawn Michaels fan. I bought the VHS tapes in the 90s and I own all the HBK DVDs even though I rarely buy any WWE DVDs. I've read the book multiple times. I've watched more of his matches than any one person in my 20+ years as a wrestling fan. This was my guy. My favorite. From my teen years through my 20s, this was the guy that kept me interested in the product that pleases me so often, but also disappoints at times too. Aside from that four year sabbatical, this was the guy that kept me glued to the TV. Does the PPV look bad? "It's okay; Shawn's on it." You know his match will be good. Is Raw poor? "That's alright; Shawn will find a way to save it." We relied on him to entertain us. And you know what? He delivered. For 25 years he delivered the goods better than anybody else. I'm always going to remember March 29th, 2010 because my favorite wrestler ever Shawn Michaels said goodbye tonight. His in-ring career may be over, but the memories will last a lifetime.------------I'm not going to shill my stuff like normal. I'm only going to remind you about what I said in the open about sending your thoughts on Shawn Michaels. My email address is john@thejohnreport.net and I want to hear from you. I will post my column on Michaels on Thursday and then on Friday as well as the days that follow I will start posting your emails about Shawn. I have no problem putting this all together in honor of this man. Sleep be damned. We've got a message to send. Nobody deserves it more than him. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Heartbreak Kid has left the building."Thank you Shawn Michaels. Best. Wrestler. Ever.John Canton - john@thejohnreport.net Visit the blog: thejohnreport.netAdd me on Facebook at Facebook.com/thejohnreportnet and Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreportAOLIM: OratorJC Visit My Archives to view ten years of The John Report columns.