This week’s episode of Talk Is Jericho is a watchalong on the epic match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania 25. It’s a match that ranks among the best in WrestleMania history. Chris Jericho watched the match with former WWE referee Marty Elias and they shared some behind-the-scenes details on the planning and execution of the match. Marty Elias was the referee for the match.
Elias revealed that a moonsault was supposed to be the original finish of the match. He said, “the original finish was the moonsault but when we were walking through the match, Shawn couldn’t hit the moonsault.” He added that Taker was supposed to catch Shawn and then hit the tombstone to end the match.
He continued, “Shawn was going to the left, he was going under, he was going over. So he couldn’t hit it so we actually brought in some crash pads and everything and he was still going off to the side. So he goes ‘let’s do a plan B. If anything, if I don’t hit the moonsault I’m gonna land on my feet, Taker will kick me and pull me up, boom.'” Elias said that just before Michaels went out to the ring, he said that he wouldn’t need the plan B.
At one point in the match, Taker did a dive over the top rope and he crashed to the floor. Marty Elias says Taker told him to count him out if he couldn’t get back into the ring. Elias said, “the only thing I was given instruction was by Taker and he said ‘if I don’t make it back in, you shoot count me out.'” The cameraman was former WWE Superstar Deuce (son of Jimmy Snuka) and he was supposed to catch Taker but things did not work out as planned and Taker landed awkwardly on the back of his head and neck.
Elias said, “[Taker] had a concussion. He fractured his pinky and his ring finger and he fractured his collarbone on that…Right here I’m selling and I’m selling more because I have no idea what’s going on because when Shawn threw me against the barricade, I didn’t see [the dive] and my earpiece broke so nobody was in my ear.”
Elias said he was being dragged by Shawn because he was buying time for Taker and Shawn told him to take his time on the count to make sure Taker was okay to get back in the ring. Luckily for Taker and Shawn, the match continued as planned but Vince McMahon’s edict to referees is to count wrestlers out if they can’t get back into the ring so the streak could have ended in 2009 at Mania 25.
Elias said Taker was “loopy” after the match in the trainer’s room. Elias remembers Bill Watts being at the WrestleMania after party and being praised by Watts for the job he did during the match. Elias said he was released by WWE 3 months after the Mania 25 match. Click here for more on why he was released by the company.
You can see the dive in the video below.