Some of the best stories from the world of professional wrestling come from those who spend a lot of time backstage or those who aren’t necessarily looking to pick up a victory. Marty Elias is a former WWE referee and currently the senior official for Lucha Underground, and he was involved in a number of iconic matches. One of those matches was The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25, and he had quite the story to tell about it.
When WrestleMania 25 began, The Undertaker was 16-0 a the big pay-per-view (PPV) and going up against Shawn Michaels was the first time that many thought the streak would end. It didn’t end up coming to a heartstopping finish at this PPV, but the contest itself left many on the edge of their seats and out of breath on many occasions.
— John Pozarowski (@TwoManPowerTrip) February 7, 2017
Referee Marty Elias was assigned to this fantastic bout which went on third to last and was followed up by the Raw World Title and then, the SmackDown World Title. As difficult as it would be for any contest to follow The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, it was actually supposed to be much earlier on the card.
Elias was recently a guest on The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling podcast, and he spoke of many things including that match. He said that it was “amazing” to be in the ring with those two WWE legends and to be the one calling it right down the line.
Later, he addressed the fact that some people backstage wanted to have the match be cut down considerably and be much earlier in the night at WrestleMania 25, but who was going to tell The Undertaker that?
“I’m laughing because…if you read Shawn’s latest book, the first chapter talks about the WrestleMania match. I laugh because you said it wasn’t the main event. That match was actually only supposed to be 15 minutes and they were originally supposed to be third on the card for that show. I remember being told that and us sitting in there. It was me, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Pat Patterson and Michael Hayes and when Michael Hayes told Shawn and Taker that we were third and we only had 15 minutes…it was something that needed to be changed. Now, it did change and we didn’t get the main event but it was something that we just kind of looked at each other and Shawn and Taker looked at each other and gave these puzzled looks. I still remember that and when you said it wasn’t the main event, it brought back a bunch of memories and that is why I am laughing about it. It should have been the main event.”
Pretty much, anyone who watched that PPV and is a true wrestling fan agrees with Elias on that point. It should have been the big ending, but the two title matches closed out the show. After The Undertaker and Michaels, the World Heavyweight Title was on the line between Edge, John Cena, and Big Show.
The ultimate main event saw Triple H defeat Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship in a match that just couldn’t come close to what fans saw earlier in the night. Nothing was going to top The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25…nothing.
Marty Elias went on to say that when he and Michaels went through the curtain to the backstage area, they received a standing ovation. Hurricane Helms told him that “if there is a mercy rule in pro wrestling right now they might as well pull the mercy rule because nobody is going to follow that.”
No matter what anyone ever says, the former WWE referee believes it should have been the final match on the WrestleMania 25 card and that it “was the main event.”
For anyone that has seen the WrestleMania 25 match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, there is no doubt that it should have closed the show. It will go down as one of the greatest matches in the history of wrestling and it very well should have been the main event. Marty Elias’ story about how it was supposed to be so low on the card and the reactions of the superstars involved goes to show you that someone clearly had no idea how awesome it would be.
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