It’s Day Four of #ShawnMichaelsWeek, a celebration of all things HBK and the eighth installment in our patent-pending Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week series. We started with A Wrestler You Should Probably Know Better, gave you the finer points of the Michael Hickenbottom oeuvre with some Essential Viewing, then marched through Hump Day with a GIF parade and, because we love you, some Hidden Gems from the Showstopper’s catalog. Today, we make our “Amazon.com on steroids” dreams come true with Juice Make Sugar Recommends… before finishing everything off tomorrow with a Difference of Opinion (where JMS HQ erupts in a Sweet Chin Music-fueled civil war.)
Revolver, The Beatles
Revolver is not considered the Greatest of All Time because of any specific song or match, even if “For No One” and “Here, There, and Everywhere” might be the two best songs ever written about love. None of Michaels matches are a clear cut choice for G.O.A.T., but many are among the best ever in their particular genre, from the first Hell in a Cell match at Badd Blood to his technical showcases with Kurt to his hardcore match with Vince to the storytelling majesty of his two Streak matches (all from various WrestleManias). The same can be said for “Taxman”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, and even “Yellow Submarine”. It’s not so much the height of the greatness — which is definitely in the stratosphere — but the consistent barrage of it that makes them capital G-great.
The Heartbreak Kid
We couldn’t think of anything better. Neither could the writers of this movie. #BAM
Marc Maron, an integral member of the 90s comedy scene before his boorish behavior and various vices knocked him off his trajectory, has now gotten back on the right track after creating the WTF podcast, revolutionizing the medium while also developing a new model for comedians to make their name in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Although he forged his own path, he finally reached the thing he was looking for the entire time: a TV show. Every bit the trouble maker and iconoclast that Maron is/was, Michaels — along with Bret and Owen Hart — turned the WWF into a place where quality of performance has become nearly as important as looking the part. And although his own path, he finally reached the thing he was looking for the entire time: respect.
This is a very obvious one: surefire first-ballot Hall of Famers who always seem to come up in big spots, but with tricky legacies that have less to do with their on-the-field performance than the perception of them in the media and those that fight against the “media machine”. For Jeets, it’s whether or not he’s a terrible defensive player/the fundamental idea of clutchness, for Michael’s it’s the drug problems and issues with professionalism that haunted HBK for much of his career.
Robert Downey, Jr.
More on the nose, but even better than Jeter is the obvious comparison between these two remarkably gifted performers. Like Downey, not only was HBK able to comeback and beat his addiction (which is, in and of itself, a remarkable feat) but actually reach the potential everyone thought he had from the very beginning.
Like Downey’s work with Val Kilmer in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, HBK’s feud with Jericho worked as a showcase of both the potential they had as boys, and the brilliant craftsman they had become as men.
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, by Rick Perlstein
Perlstein spends much of the non-fiction book portraying poor Dick as a bullied boy who became a bully himself. While Perlstein theorizes that Nixon changed the cultural landscape of the entire country through his use of wedge issues (see: Silent Majority, The), cold political calculations juxtaposed with a paranoid streak a mile wide, he gives him an out, trying to frame Nixon’s disposition and behind-the-scenes-machinations as a product of his hard luck upbringing and a seedy landscape where he was only a middle-of-the-road scoundrel. .