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Shawn Michaels vs Diesel (WWF MSG 05/19/96, Cage Match)

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The match is fine, but obviously, that's not why this is here. This is here for the famous Clique Curtain Call that resulted in HHH being depushed for a few months, as Shawn, Diesel, Razor and Helmsley said goodbye in front of everyone. Considering that Helmsley wasn't over at all at this point and no one cared about him, he looked kinda silly out there next to three genuine stars.

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The commentary is my favourite "IT'S THE KLIQ!"..."YOU KNOW WHY HE'S DOING THAT RIGHT!?" and then the utter marking out when they all embrace "WHAAAT?!?! OHH MY GOODDDDD YEAH YEAH YEAH!" is just awesome. That dude is near orgasmic.

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I'd heard about this plenty of times but never seen the footage. What struck me is how positive the fan reaction was, not just the 'Smart Marks' but the whole crowd.

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Match is typical boring WWF climb-the-cage stuff, with a few great bumps from Shawn both into the cage and off the cage. Davey Boy also makes a cameo appearance. Then of course, "But--but I'm a good guy! And you're...you're...you're a BAD GUY!" Pretty brazen, but the crowd approves of it. It occurs to me that doing this even 3 years later would probably be a total non-issue.

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Action disappointed me and felt by the numbers with the cage tropes plaguing it that PeteF mentions. The commentary on the finish sounds like Parv watching a Dibiase match as he loses his shit at the four embracing. It is a surreal moment to see and odd that the MSG crowd was still hot making me unsure if most were in the know or were just cheering stuff. **

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I thought the match was pretty darn good. Helped that the downtime was mostly edited out of the video. The backdrop into the cage was a good spot. Good crowd-pleasing match with a lot of heat. Love the one guy going totally nuts for the Kliq.

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