Location: Boston, Massachusetts
My brother is a massive Shelton Benjamin fan, so I've seen this match multiple times. This though, is my first time seeing it in a few years. For some backstory here, the WWE was holding the Gold Rush Tournament on this night and the matches were a surprise. When then Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin was in the ring, people wondered who his opponent would be. Shawn Michaels' music hit and everything was perfect. Shelton's stunned expression, Jim Ross' commentary and the crowd's reaction was great. It wasn't just "yay it's Shawn Michaels." The reaction was more of "oh my god, it's Shawn Michaels and he's going to wrestle Shelton Benjamin."
There were so many things about this match that I liked. Shawn, being the veteran, gets outworked on the mat and kind of laughs it off. When Shelton continues to do this, Shawn grows frustrated, knowing this isn't a game and Shelton is serious. They do well to make sure that the first half of the match isn't at a breakneck pace, building towards the climax, which is great. Shawn does a kip up, Shelton does one back. Shawn tries a superkick, Shelton blocks it. Shelton tries one, Shawn blocks it, but gets kicked anyway. They managed to have a great back half without overdoing the false near falls or having people kick out of finishers. The Sweet Chin Music and Exploder both get blocked, protecting them until the end where Shawn hits, arguably the best Sweet Chin Music in history. This is one of the best matches in the history of Raw for good reason.