Wrestlemania Preview 2- HBK v. Taker
"Are you fifty?" a twosome once asked dX members Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and I wouldn't be surprised if they said the same thing about this match-up. But, neither Taker or HBK are 50, and in fact, there is no age advantage since Taker just turned 44 and HBK is turning the same age this summer. HBK joined the company in 1988 as Marty Jannetty's tag team partner in The Rockers and they competed in their first Wrestlemania in 1989 at Wrestlemania V The Undertaker joined the company in 1990 and competed in his first Wrestlemania in 1991 at Wrestlemania VII.
We all know Taker's record. Michaels, on the other hand is 6-9. However, Michaels has had more main event matches (4 v. Taker's 2) and, according to WWE, has even headlined more Wrestlemanias than Hulk Hogan. HBK has also had some of the most memorable matches, like the 60-minute Iron Man Match in which he defeated Bret Hart and the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship which Razor Ramon won.
Three men show up on both men's list of Wrestlemania opponents- Diesel, Triple H and Ric Flair. Taker defeated Diesel at Wrestlemania XII, but HBK lost to Diesel just the year before. Michaels took on Triple H as well as Chris Benoit in WWE's forgotten match at Wrestlemania 20, in which Benoit won the World Heavyweight Championship in the Triple Threat match. Both defeated Flair.
Championship-wise, both have held the WWE, World Heavyweight and Tag Team Championships. Michaels has also held the Intercontinental Championship and the European Championship. Taker once held the Hardcore Championship. Taker, though, has been a champion 14 times, while Michaels has been a champion 12 times.
Michaels claims he has an advantage over Taker's past opponents because he does not fear him. Even though Taker has faltered lately, I say Taker still has an advantage and will leave the neutral field with yet another win.