I would like to configure my Windows 7 system to not show the big blue shutdown screen and instead just show a black screen while it does its business. I have seen how to do the boot with no GUI but what about the shutdown? Is there a registry setting or option that prevents the blue "Shutting Down..." screen from showing at all?
The shutdown screen wallpaper can be changed, but the same wallpaper is also used for the logon and lock screens as well. If you don't mind all those being black (excluding the text messages and buttons of course), follow the instructions as specified in this question: How can I change the Windows 7 Logon Screen wallpaper? and add a custom completely black wallpaper.
Better still, if you have access to the Group Policy Editor in your version of Windows use that as detailed here to enable the custom background option instead of manually setting the OEMBackground DWORD value in the registry. The reason for this is that unlike the registry edit the Group Policy setting will persist even when you change your desktop theme.