Jushin "Thunder" Liger Vs. Shawn "HeartBreak Kid" Michaels

Jushin "Thunder" Liger (New Japan Pro Wrestling)
Shawn Michaels (WWF)
Shawn Michaels photo provided by Miss Shawna



Twenty minutes into this fantastic encounter, J-Crown Champion Ultimo Dragon has Liger on the ropes here at the Egg Dome!!!  He has just executed one of Liger's pet moves on him with is the "Liger-Bomb" (running powerbomb)!!!  He goes for the cover but Liger has his foot on the ropes to stop the count!!!  The Ultimo Dragon feels he has the match won as he goes to the top rope.  Liger, still stunned, manages to get to his feet and stumble backwards into the ropes!!!  This causes Ultimo to lose his balance and fall crotch first on the top turnbuckle!!!  Liger comes over and throws a series of chops at Ultimo!!!  Liger then heads to the top rope where Ultimo is and gets an amazing piledriver from the top rope!!!  This puts Ultimo down for the 1....2....3!!!  Jushin "Thunder" Liger is the new J-Crown Champion!!!  He leaves the ring with eight cruiserweight titles from eight different federations around the world!!!


After the encounter, Liger made this statement to the press via an interpreter:

"Ladies and gentlemen, this win is the highlight of my career as a wrestler. The Ultimo Dragon is a worth opponent and I hope I get the chance to face him again someday. As J-Crown champion, I intend to defend my title against not only wrestlers who compete regularly in the junior heavyweight ranks but wrestlers who fall under the 235 pound weight limit. With that in mind, I want to announce that I have expressed interest in facing a wrestler who has been a tag team champion and a world champion at a 232 pound body weight."

REPORTER: And who might that be?

LIGER (Through interpreter): I wish to face American wrestler Shawn Michaels!!!

A loud gasp filled the press room as questions began to fly from everywhere!!! Liger raised his hands and said, "That is all at this time." With that, he collected his eight titles and left the press room.


WWF Head Vince McMahon is sitting in his office, working (like always) to come up with a new idea to sell to the public. Then, Jim Ross comes in with a video in hand:

ROSS: Vince, sorry for coming without notice but I'd thought you would like to see this.

McMAHON: What is it?

ROSS: It is a tape from a New Japan Pro Wrestling card in Tokyo recently. Have you ever heard of Jushin "Thunder" Liger?

McMAHON: Yes. Isn't that the legendary junior heavyweight from over there?

ROSS: Yes, Vince. Recently, Liger won the J-Crown Championship from The Ultimo Dragon in Tokyo. The J-Crown title is actually eight of the top junior or cruiserweight belts in the world combined into one title.

McMAHON: My, my, my. That's a lot of hardware (Vince says this half-jokingly with an impressed tone in his voice). Still, what does this have to do with the WWF?

ROSS: Well, Vince, you might want to hear this.

With that, Ross puts in the tape of the press interview that Liger did recently. Vince wasn't too impressed until Liger made his comments about Shawn Michaels. Vince's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree!!!

McMAHON: Jim Ross, what is Shawn Michaels official weight?

ROSS: The last time I checked, Shawn weighed in at 228 pounds.

McMahon turned to Ross and said, "Ross. Get me Shawn Michaels."


Shawn Michaels is on the ropes as Ken Shamrock has him reeling!!! Shamrock hooks in his belly to belly suplex and is going for the ankle-lock when Hunter Hearst Helmsley jumps up on the apron!!! Shamrock goes over to Triple H and decks him but as he does, Michaels gives him the "Sweet Chin Music" superkick to the back of the head!!! As Shamrock staggers around, he gets a second helping of "SCM" to the jaw!!! HBK covers and gets the win!!! Afterwards, as Michaels, Triple H and Chyna are going up the rampway, they are stopped by Vince McMahon for an interview!!! Here is that piece:

VINCE:  Shawn!!!  Shawn!!!

SHAWN:  Yep, that's my name buddy!!!  Don't wear it out or I'll have to get a new one (he says in a joking manner)!!!

VINCE:  Well, be that as it may, I want to show you something that the WWF front office recently received from over in Japan!!!  Just look at the monitor.

Shawn and the rest of Degeneration X look on as they show clips of Liger winning the J-Crown title and the press interview he did afterwards.  Triple H and Chyna had an arrogant look on both of their faces but Shawn's was more of an interested look:

TRIPLE H:  Are you trying to tell me Vince that some Jap who got lucky wants to take on the "HeartBreak Kid"?!!!  Please!!!

VINCE:  Wait just a minute here!!!  You are talking about one of the premier wrestlers in the world today!!!  I hardly call his victory for those eight titles luck!!!

TRIPLE H:  I don't give a damn what you call it!!!  Liger is better off staying across the pond than making challenges that he can't deliver on!!!  He's not worth Shawn's or DX's time!!!

Shawn finally cuts in and has some surprisingly strong words for Triple H.

SHAWN:  Hold it!!!  Hold it right there Triple H!!!  (At this point, both Helmsley and Chyna have a puzzled look on his face)  Now, the one thing that we can agree on is that Shawn Michaels can take Jushin Liger and those eight titles he holds!!!  We also agree that he's not worth DX's time!!!  But, if he wants to meet me soooo bad and if you (pointing at Vince) can arrange the match, then I will be more than happy to meet Mr. Liger anytime and anywhere!!!

Shawn leaves with Triple H and Chyna (who still puzzled looks on their faces).  In a private interview two days later, Michaels expressed that Jushin Liger was one opponent that he always wanted to face:

SHAWN:  I know it is something that Hunter and Chyna may not understand.  I am cocky and maybe arrogant but I have always prided myself to take on the best competition.  Liger is one of the best in the world and if he wants to challenge me then I am more than willing to meet him head on.  DX doesn't need this match (pauses).......but I do.


Over the weekend on WWF ShotGun, Vince McMahon made the following statement:

"I am pleased to announce that the challenge made by J-Crown champion Jushin Liger has been accepted by both Shawn Michaels and by The World Wrestling Federation.  Because New Japan is an international company that deals with WCW, we have decided to have a joint card in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Egg Dome.  It will be on May 3.  It will be called simply "Kamakazi".  Stars from WWC of Mexico, the NWA and ECW have contacted me with interest in participating in this card as well.  As for the match in question, it will be for Liger's J-Crown title.  Michaels, although classified as a heavyweight, is light enough - at 228 pounds - to legally challenge for this championship.  To both of these extraordinary competitors, I say let the better man win."


This undercard featured stars from WCW/nWo, New Japan, ECW, WWC and the NWA.  The card featured specialty and title matches but very few "company" matches (my term for two sides that work for the same fed.).  Let's run down the undercard:

"Buff" Bagwell VS. Hunter Hearst Helmsley

The battle of the egos raged in this match up.  Surprisingly, Chyna was not at ringside (later it was discovered that all managers, valets, attendants, etc. were barred from ringside).  This forced Triple H to raise his game a notch or two against this overseas star (Bagwell, I have heard, is very successful in Japan).  At the 15 minute mark, Triple H hooked in the "Pedigree" on Bagwell but was too close to the ropes as Bagwell managed to put a leg over the bottom strand.  Undaunted, Triple H picked up Bagwell and whipped him into the corner.  Helmsley charges in but is caught by a boot to the face!!!  Bagwell mounts the second rope and gets his "Blockbuster" neckbreaker for the three count!!!

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin VS. Bruiser Brody

Hell on earth in this match as both men didn't even wait for the bell!!!  Five minutes into this fight, Austin comes off the ropes at Brody but Brody puts up a big boot that nearly decapitates Austin!!!  Brody goes back to the attack with stomps to Austin's head, back and neck!!!  Brody goes for a bodyslam but Austin slides behind him and gets in "The Stone Cold Stunner"!!!  The beating has taken some toll, however, as Austin couldn't make a quick cover!!!  He takes about 10 seconds to cover but only gets a two count!!!  Brody rolls outside and Austin follows him!!!  Austin rams Brody's head into the ringpost!!!  Brody goes down to the floor.  Austin goes to pick up a bloody Brody up Brody gets a low blow on Austin!!!  Brody picks up his steel chain and bashes it into Austin's head!!!  Brody picks up his steel chain and bashes it into Austin's head!!!  Now Austin is bleeding!!!  The Japanese crowd is stunned!!!  The two continues to brawl outside the ring as the ref has counted them out (it is a 20 count in Japan)!!!  The two just don't care as they continue to fight!!!  Officials and referees come out to settle down the situation.  Finally, after 2 minutes, the wrestlers are escorted back to their dressing rooms.

Hiro Hase VS. Carlos Colon

It is the former IWGP Jr. and International Tag Team Champion (Hase) VS. the former multiple time World Wrestling Council Champion (Colon).  Colon worked over Hase's left knee during most of the contest.  This proved to be an effective strategy because it prevented Hase from using his "Northern-Light" suplex!!!  It also set up Hase for Colon's figure-four!!!  The end came when Hase went for his finisher but his left knee gave out under the weight!!!  Colon quickly took advantage and put him in the figure-four for a submission victory!!!  Afterwards, Colon helped Hase back to the dressing room to a nice ovation from the Japanese crowd.

Chris Benoit VS. "Ravishing" Rick Rude (WCW United States Title Match)

In this evenly matched contest, Benoit came close to pinning the "Ravishing" one on several occasions!!!  At the 20 minute mark, he caught Rude in the "Crippler Crossface" but Rude made it to the ropes for a break!!!  Benoit followed up the "Crossface" attempt with a piledriver!!!  He then ascended to the top rope for his flying headbutt but Rude moves out of the way and Benoit crashes to the mat!!!  Rude then goes for the "Rude Awakening" neckbreaker but Benoit frees himself by working his hands away!!!  Rude attempts to counter with a clothesline but Benoit ducks and hooks a full-nelson and turns it into the "Dragon Suplex"!!!  Benoit gets the three count in a stunning upset and is the new WCW US Champion!!!

DOOM VS. Harlem Heat (Steel Cage Match w/Street Fight Rules)

The former NWA World Tag Team Champions took on the former seven time WCW World Tag Team Champions in this cage encounter with street fight rules!!!  It was the power and  brawling ability of Ron Simmons and Butch Reed VS. the power and quickness of Booker T and Stevie Ray!!!  After 10 minutes of hard fighting, Reed goes for the foreign object on Booker T but hits Ron Simmons!!!  Stevie Ray then keeps Reed in the corner with kicks and punches while Booker T goes to the TOP OF THE CAGE!!!  He does the "Harlem Hangover" onto a prone Simmons for the win and the three count!!!

Sabu/Rob Van Damn VS. The Midnight Express (NWA United States Tag Team Title Match)

In a return match from "Hell Burns Over", The Midnights put their US straps on the line against "The Human Sacrifice" and "Mr. Monday Night"!!!  The Midnights were also without their manager Jim Cornette as he was still recovering from the 30ft. legdrop received from Sabu during their scaffold encounter.  Van Damn and Sabu held their own in this bout as they used their aerial tactics to their fullest advantage!!!  Still, the experience of the Express proved to be too much as Van Damn misfired on one of his spinning kicks (intended for Stan Lane) and hit Sabu!!!  The Midnights nailed Van Damn with the "Double Gozzle"!!!  Then they took Sabu and put him in the "Veg-o-matic"!!!  Eaton covers Sabu for the three count and The Midnights retain the NWA US Tag Straps!!!

Nikita Koloff VS. Bill Goldberg

Taking a break from defending the WCW World Tag Team Titles with Ivan Koloff, Nikita was pitted against the nearly unstoppable Goldberg!!!  Both men tore into each other with fantastic intensity and brutality!!!  Surprisingly, both men seemed reluctant to try their respective finishers!!!  Goldberg managed to get is "spear" tackle on Koloff and went for his "Jackhammer" suplex but Koloff reversed out of it, hit the ropes and nailed him with the "Russian Sickle"!!!  Koloff covers but Goldberg just kicks out!!!  Koloff continues his attack and goes for a piledriver but Goldberg reverses that into a spinebuster slam!!!  Goldberg tries the "Jackhammer" again and this time he gets it!!!  He also gets the three count but Koloff is only stunned by the move!!!  After losing, he nails Goldberg again with his "Sickle"!!!  He then goes and gets a chain and whips Goldberg like a dog!!!  Several officials come in to stop the carnage!!!  Koloff leaves but you can bet there will be another day for this!!!

Lex Luger VS. Ahmed Johnson (WWF Intercontinental Title Match)

I-C champ Luger had to use more wrestling than normal against the powerful Ahmed.  At the start, Luger tried his usual power game and almost got pinned on five occasions within two minutes!!!  This match also saw Johnson use more wrestling holds than normal as well!!!  Ten minutes into the match, Johnson hits his version of the "Spinebuster" and signals for "The Pearl River Plunge"!!!  But, as he hooks Luger's arms and locks his hands, Lex backdrops Johnson and holds onto his arms for the three count!!!  Afterwards, Luger extends his hand to Ahmed out of respect.  Disappointed but gracious, Ahmed accepts and gets a nice ovation from the crowd!!!

The Sandman VS. The Great Muta (Ervin Griffin's Japanese-Style Death Match)

In this no-DQ, anything goes match, a wrestler must render his opponent unable to continue to win!!!  In short order, you must beat the hell out of your opponent until he can't move!!!  Both competitors were given nunchucks and kendo sticks before the bout and they were allowed to bring and wear anything to the ring.  Muta chose to wear his usual garb while The Sandman came in with jeans, t-shirt (ECW) and black cowboy boots with a steel tip to them!!!  Now, the match itself was wild with both men using their best attributes!!!  Muta used the 'chucks to work over SM while SM utilized the kendo stick, the caning stick, an aluminum trash can and a steel chair!!!  After ten minutes into it, Muta blew the green mist at SM but he ducked it and nailed Muta with an uppercut to the "privates"!!!  He then hooked Muta into a double underhook for a suplex attempt (or so it seemed)!!!  SM brought Muta over to the steel chair, lifted him up half-way and executed a double underhook piledriver on Muta onto the chair!!!  SM must've saw the Undertaker-Bruiser Brody match from "Hell Burns Over"!!!  Anyway, with Muta knocked unconscious, the ref called for the bell and deemed The Sandman the winner!!!

The Steiner Bros. VS. The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) VS. Land Of The Giants (Andre The Giant & WCW Giant)(Triangle Match)

Six big and powerful men do battle here!!!  The Steiners used their technique, Hall and Nash relied on power and shortcuts and the two Giants just used sheer mass and bulk!!!  Twenty minutes into it, all six men got into the ring and all hell broke loose!!!  Rick was battling Andre and the WCW Giant while Scott was being double-teamed by Hall and Nash.  Nash went for his big boot but Scott moved and Nash nailed Hall, knocking him out of the ring!!!  Scott then bulled Nash out of the ring with a shoulder tackle!!!  Rick broke away from "L.O.T.G" to help Scott!!!  They spike piledrive Nash on the floor and leave him there!!!  Then, they go and throw Hall back into the ring to "L.O.T.G" and leave!!!  Once there, WCW Giant plants Hall with the chokeslam and puts him in perfect position for Andre's rear-end splash from the second rope!!!  Both Giant's drag Hall to the center of the ring and put their feet on Hall's chest for the 1-2-3!!!

Kensuki Sasaki VS. Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert

This wild match saw 15 minutes of good action!!!  Sasaki had finally taken over on the game Gilbert with a running clothesline!!!  Unfortunately, it knocks Gilbert into the ref!!!  As Sasaki was moving in for the kill, Gilbert let loose one of his lethal fireballs but misses his target!!!  Sasaki then lets loose one hell of a storm of kicks and punches!!!  Sasaki picks Gilbert up for his bodyslam/brainbuster combo but Gilbert slides behind him, pushes Sasaki into the ropes, picks him up when he rebounds off, and nails him with the "Hot-Shot"!!!  By this time, another ref had came in and counted the pin and the win for Eddie Gilbert, much to the scorn of the fans here in the Tokyo Egg Dome!!!

Rick Steamboat VS. Sting (NWA World Title Match)

In his last title match before his showdown with Ric Flair in Nashville, TN, Steamboat and Sting had one for the ages!!!  Steamboat showing all of the championship determination while Sting (in his classic look, as he will be in from this story on) showed his desire to win the title!!!  Thirty minutes into this classic, Sting nails Steamboat with the "Stinger Splash"!!!  The match seemed to be won as Sting went for the "Scorpion Deathlock" but Steamboat turned it into a small package for the three count!!!  Afterwards, both men shook hands and left together!!!  Many say that it was this match that may have cost Steamboat the title four days later to Ric Flair in Nashville.  Many also said that Sting might have won the NWA title had it not been for the punishment he took at "WarGames" four days earlier (see Chris Benoit VS. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: WarGames).

The British Bulldogs VS. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami (NWA/WWF World Tag Team Title Match)

As stipulated in their bout with the Harts from "Hell Burns Over", the winners could keep one title or defend both either separately or duely.  The Bulldogs have chosen to defend both as one championship.  In this match, they faced the veterans of Japan ring wars in Fujinami and Inoki.  This match saw mat wrestling from both teams.  As each team discovered that they couldn't outwrestle the other, they played to other strengths.  The Bulldogs used their speed and power while Fujinami/Inoki used speed and ring generalship. During this encounter, Rick & Scott Steiner came down and watched this match.  It ended when all four men came into the ring to battle!!!  Inoki had gotten his "Insiguri" kick on Davey Boy and had him covered but Dynamite (who had gone to the top rope while the ref was trying to get Fujinami out of the ring) dove off with his patented diving headbutt onto the shoulderblades and spine of Inoki!!!  Davey Boy turned Inoki over and got the three count!!!  But the story here is when the Bulldogs were leaving, they and the Steiners had a mini-staredown!!!  While no words nor blows were exchanged, the looks on all four men's faces told the story.


The ring announcer is Japanese and is talking in their language, so I'll describe the entrances for both competitors (this is not meant to disrespect anyone Japanese or anyone else).

The music of Degeneration X starts up but is immediately cut off after 5 seconds.  In its place is the sound of....."Ohhh, Ohhhh, Shawn!!!" as "Sexy Boy" blares over the speakers to the applause of the Japanese crowd!!!  Shawn Michaels then suddenly pops out of the floor and lands on his feet on the runway (much like that Michael Jackson effect at his HBO concert in Europe)!!!  He is wearing all white and has a look of seriousness that we haven't seen in a long time as he makes his way to the ring!!!  Surprisingly, he forsakes his usual posing ritual and mounts the second rope to acknowledge the Japanese crowd!!!  Then, he goes to the corner and awaits Jushin "Thunder" Liger!!!

Liger enters the ring wearing his traditional red and white outfit.  He is received warmly (as expected) as he carries all eight of his belts to the ring, representing the J-Crown title!!!  By the time Liger makes it to the ring, Shawn has taken off his extra garb and is standing in his ring gear.  Liger enters the ring and acknowledges the crowd as well.  After both men have entered the ring, they play the national anthems for both the United States and Japan.  After that, both men are called to the center of the ring for instructions.  The match will be conducted under New Japan rules.  Not a major difference except there is a 20 count for outside of the ring instead of a 10 count.  After both men are given their instructions, they return to their corners and wait for the bell to ring.  It seems like an eternity but the bell finally sounds and we are underway.  Both men circle each other for about 5 seconds until they lock up in the center.  Michaels takes the initial advantage with a side headlock.  Liger backs him into the ropes and throws him into the ropes!!!  The size advantage of Michaels is already apparent as he easily shoulderblocks Liger down!!!  Michaels hits the ropes again but Liger lays on his stomach to allow Michaels to go over!!!  As Michaels comes off of the ropes, Liger leapfrogs over him!!!  When Michaels comes off of the ropes again, Liger goes for a clothesline but Michaels ducks it, stops and goes for a dropkick!!!  Unfortunately, both men had that move in mind and go for dropkicks at the same time with neither man connecting!!!  Both men hit the mat but come back up to their feet at the same time!!!  Both men eye each other warily as they circle each other again!!!  After about 5 seconds, they lock up again!!!  This time, it is Liger that gets the side headlock!!!  Michaels quickly shoots him off into the ropes!!!  Michaels ducks down on the mat for Liger to go over!!!  When Liger rebounds, Michaels does this again but this time, Liger simply drops down into a side headlock on the mat!!!  Michaels is in this position for about 10 seconds before he gets to his feet!!!  Michaels goes for a back suplex attempt but Liger flips out of it and hits the ropes!!!  Michaels goes for a clothesline and misses!!!  Liger rebounds from the opposite ropes and Michaels goes for a back-elbow but misses!!!  Liger comes off again but Michaels catches him in a hip-toss....or so he thinks!!!  Liger, in mid-air, flips out of it, lands on his feet and catches Michaels with a dropkick!!!  Michaels gets up but gets caught with a dropkick again!!!  This time he goes outside the ring!!!  Liger, seeing him in a stunned position, goes for a flying move but Michaels moves!!!  Turns out to be a "head-fake" as Liger only meant to psych-out Michaels!!!  He flips backwards, points at Michaels and motions for him to come back to the ring!!!  Michaels, at this point, is showing a little frustration!!!  He does, however, calms himself down and re-enters the ring at the 10 count!!!  Liger moves in to lock up again but Michaels greets him with a boot to the gut, followed up with an elbow to the back of the head!!!  Michaels throws Liger into the ropes!!!  Liger comes off, Michaels leapfrogs over him!!!  Liger comes off the opposite side and Michaels leapfrogs again!!!  Liger comes off again and is caught with an armdrag!!!  Liger rushes in again and is caught with another armdrag!!!  Liger rushes in again....and is almost nailed with the "Sweet Chin Music" superkick of Michaels!!!  Liger quickly backpeddals backwards into a corner!!!  Michaels points at Liger and then points at his foot, smiling the whole time!!!  Liger nods in respect!!!  The two lock up again and Michaels gets in a drop-toehold to take down Liger and gets in a reverse chinlock!!!  This doesn't last long as Liger gets to his feet and gives Michaels two elbows to the stomach!!!  Liger hits the ropes and Michaels does a leapfrog once again!!!  Michaels tries it again but, this time, Liger catches him and gives him a reverse atomic-drop!!!  With Michaels stunned and can't move, Liger hits the ropes and nails him with a spinning heel-kick that knocks Michaels down!!!  Liger goes for the cover and gets a two count!!!  Liger gets in a front-facelock to wear Michaels down!!!  Michaels is trapped in this hold for about a minute and a half!!!  Michaels manages to get Liger into a corner!!!  The ref calls for a break but, as Liger releases the hold, "HBK" strikes with two quick shoulderblocks to the mid-section followed by a right hand to the face!!!  He grabs a side-headlock but Liger throws him into the ropes immediately!!!  He trips Michaels down and walks over top of him to go into the ropes himself!!!  Michaels, however, had a plan as he catches Liger coming off and nails him with a "Stun Gun" (a la Steve Austin)!!  With Liger standing but stunned, Michaels hits the ropes and nails him with a clothesline!!!  They both go over the top rope but Michaels hangs on and "skins-the-cat"!!!  With Liger stunned, Michaels heads to the top rope, dives off (getting unbelievable height and momentum) and lands on Liger on the floor!!!  Michaels then takes the fight to Liger with kicks to the chest and stomach areas!!!  He then picks up Liger and bodyslams him on the floor!!!  With Liger down, Michaels re-enters the ring, goes to the top rope and splashes Liger on the outside!!!  Michaels then throws Liger back into the ring and follows him!!!  He covers Liger for a two count!!!  Shawn follows up the pin attempt with a "Code Red" armbar on Liger's left arm!!!  Liger is trapped in this hold for about 3 minutes before he makes it back up to his feet!!!  He breaks the hold by raking his foot across Michaels' face!!!  As Michaels is getting to his feet, Liger pounds him with chops and elbows to the neck area!!!  He throws Michaels into the ropes but gets reversed!!!  Michaels catches him with a powerslam and gets another near fall!!!  Michaels immediately hooks in a "Keylock" armhold to wear down Liger even more!!!  The crowd is now showing their bias as they begin to cheer for Liger!!!  With the crowd behind him, Liger gets to his feet and escapes this hold with a right hand to the gut!!!  Michaels hits the ropes!!!  Liger goes for a leapfrog but Michaels catches him and gets in a "Spinebuster"!!!  Michaels covers for another two count!!!  Undaunted, however, he presses his attack!!!  He picks up Liger, takes him to a corner and puts him on the top turnbuckle!!!  He goes for a superplex but Liger blocks it and throws him off to the mat!!!  Liger turns around on the top turnbuckle and executes a textbook moonsault on Michaels!!!  Liger covers and gets a two count!!!  Liger follows up with a "Tombstone" piledriver and connects!!!  He gets another two count!!!  Liger follows up with a bodyslam!!!  Liger hits the ropes, comes off, and nails Michaels with a rolling back-splash (similar to the one Lord Steven Regal and Eduorar Carpartia used to use)!!!  Liger goes for the pin again and gets another two!!!  Liger hits the ropes again but Michaels sidesteps him and throws him in by his head as he's going by!!!  Liger goes into the ropes chest-first, richochets backwards, and is met with a flying knee by Michaels to the back of the head!!!  Liger is laying face down on the mat!!!  Michaels takes about 10 seconds to catch his wind and then goes in on Liger!!!  Michaels throws Liger into the ropes and catches him with a flying elbow!!!  Michaels then goes to the top rope backwards, waits for Liger to get up, jumps off and nails Liger with a double-axhandle to the head!!!  Michaels covers for another two count!!!  Michaels then picks Liger up for a bodyslam but performs the "Taka-Driver" on Liger!!!  Michaels goes to the top again and delivers his elbowsmash from the top!!!  He covers and gets a 2 3/4 count!!!  Michaels gets up to argue with the referee!!!  This give Liger about 5 seconds of rest which is all he needs as he sneaks up on Michaels, spins upside-down, and executes a sunset-flip for another two count!!!  Liger gets to his feet but is met with a clothesline!!!  Michaels covers again for another near fall!!!  Michaels drops a knee into the chest of a prone Liger!!!  He goes to the top again, waits for Liger to get up, and performs a moonsault on Liger for another near fall!!!  Michaels now realizes he only has one move left to try and that's the "SCM" superkick!!!  He signals to the crowd by slapping his right leg!!!  The crowd lets out a big "ohhh" as they realize what this means!!!  Michaels sets up in the corner, waiting for Liger to get up!!!  Liger gets up and Michaels goes for it but Liger ducks it!!!  Liger goes for a clothesline but misses!!!  He turns around and goes for it again but Michaels had the same move in mind and they both nail each other at the same time!!!  The ref starts to administer his 10 count (I think it is still 10 for an in-ring knockdown in Japan).  Both men are back up at the count of 8!!!  Liger grabs a side-headlock but Michaels throws him into the ropes...or so he intended!!!  Instead, Liger goes head first into the referee!!!  The ref wasn't caught real good but he's shaken up!!!  Liger turns around and gets some "SCM" from Michaels that almost decapitates him!!!  Michaels covers but there is no ref for about 3 seconds!!!  The ref finally sees Michaels' cover on Liger and goes down to count!!!  1..2..but Liger kicks out!!!  Michaels, at this point, is wondering what the hell does he have to do!!!  Michaels gets up and puts Liger in the "Sharpshooter"!!!  Liger is struggling to reach the ropes but can't!!!  Liger, in desperation, picks Michaels right ankle and causes him to lose his balance for just a second!!!  Michaels doesn't break the hold but that split-second loss of balance was all Liger needed to get to the ropes and cause a break!!!  Michaels breaks the hold but picks up Liger for a powerslam attempt!!!  As Michaels prepared to run, Liger slipped behind him and pushed him into the corner chest-first!!!  Michaels turns around and gets a boot to the gut!!!  Liger then hooks Michaels into his "LigerBomb" (running powerbomb)!!!  The ref and crowd counts 1..2..but Michaels kicks out!!!  Liger sets up in the corner for another "LigerBomb" but, midway through the move, Michaels executes a "Frankensteiner" into a cradle for another two count!!!  Michaels takes about four steps back and goes for the "SCM" but Liger counters it by ducking it and executing a spinning footsweep!!!  Michaels lands on the back of his head!!!  Liger then bodyslams Michaels and goes to the top rope for another moonsault attempt!!!  He flies....and lands on the knees of Michaels!!!  Michaels moves in and gets a simple cradle move for the 1..2..3!!!  Michaels has won the J-Crown title!!!  Immediately, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna come in to celebrate with Michaels!!!  They go and get the eight belts that represent the J-Crown.  As they leave, Liger goes over to Michaels and extends his hand!!!  Triple H and Chyna starts to move in but Michaels waives them off!!!  He accepts the hand from Liger and shakes it!!!  Triple H and Chyna are bewildered by this action!!!  As they left, Michaels was overheard telling his companions "Hey, DX does what it wants to do but today, I chose to give the man respect.  He put up one hell of a fight!!!  But once again, "HBK" and DX proved that they are the best!!!"

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Former All-Japan Star
Member of Degeneration X (WWF)
Photo provided by Jon Shetler, Jr.
Editor Of RingWatch