24. Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty - 1993
Who would leave as Intercontinental Champion? Where did Sensational Sherri's loyalty lie? Who had the awesomer mullet? Those were just some of the questions heading into this match at the 1993 Royal Rumble.
I just re-watched this match for the purposes of this list and two things struck me as unfortunate. One, it's a shame that Marty Jannetty's legacy is "tag team partner that fades into obscurity," because the guy was really, really good. He had a decent run after The Rockers, he had a lengthy feud with Shawn Michaels, culminating in a brief IC Title reign and The New Rockers were totally ahead of their time... and I will defend anything Al Snow does, ever. Yes, even Kennel From Hell, the idea of a cage inside Hell in a Cell was cool, dammit! So can't we call the abandoned member of the tag team something else from now on? How about "The Anvil" or "The Samu?"
The other unfortunate thing I realized was that a lot of HBK's matches pre-WrestleMania X ladder match have been forgotten. That's probably because he has a list a mile long of absolutely fantastic main event matches, but he had a ton of great matches after The Rockers and before the legendary ladder match, this match included.
It's not their best match, I'd say the one on Monday Night Raw where Marty wins the IC Title is the highlight of their rivalry, and it's not a high-flying fast-paced match you'd expect from two guys that pioneered the style in the US; it's just a great wrestling match. Gorilla & Brain provide sell the story superbly on commentary and Marty plays the sympathetic good guy perfectly. Go back and watch this one if you haven't seen it in awhile, or ever, it's good stuff.