What was the controversy surrounding the Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit title match on Raw in 2004?

What was the controversy surrounding the Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit title match on Raw in 2004?

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit: A Controversial Title Match

On March 22, 2004, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit faced off in a title match for the World Heavyweight Championship on Monday Night Raw. The match was highly anticipated by fans, as both men were well-respected wrestlers with a history of putting on memorable matches. However, the match ended in controversy when Michaels won after a controversial referee decision.

The Match

The match was intense from the start, with both men trading holds and strikes. Michaels worked over Benoit’s leg, while Benoit targeted Michaels’ back. The match went back and forth for several minutes, with both men coming close to winning on several occasions.

Late in the match, Michaels hit Benoit with a Sweet Chin Music, but Benoit kicked out at two. Michaels then locked in the Sharpshooter, but Benoit was able to reach the ropes. Michaels then hit Benoit with another Sweet Chin Music, but the referee was knocked out. Triple H then ran down to the ring and hit Benoit with a Pedigree, allowing Michaels to pin Benoit and win the title.

The Controversy

The finish of the match was controversial, as many fans felt that Triple H’s interference had cost Benoit the match. The controversy was further fueled by the fact that the referee was knocked out and unable to see the Pedigree.

WWE officials defended the finish of the match, saying that Triple H’s interference was justified because Benoit had used underhanded tactics to win the title in the past. However, many fans were still upset with the finish, and the controversy surrounding the match continued for several weeks.

The Aftermath

The controversy surrounding the match had a major impact on the careers of both Michaels and Benoit. Michaels was booed by fans for several weeks after the match, and he eventually turned heel and joined Triple H’s faction, Evolution.

Benoit, on the other hand, was cheered by fans for standing up to Michaels and Triple H. He eventually won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2004, and he remained a fan favorite until his tragic death in 2007.


The Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit match is still considered one of the most controversial matches in WWE history. The match was well-wrestled, but the controversial finish left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans.

Despite the controversy, the match is still remembered as one of the most memorable matches of the Ruthless Aggression Era. The match helped to establish Michaels as one of the top stars in WWE, and it also helped to solidify Benoit’s status as a fan favorite.

also read:What are WWE veteran Shawn Michaels’ thoughts on Oba Femi’s potential in WWE NXT?

By Deepika

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