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History and Biography of Shawn Michaels

Posted By on January 27, 2009

History and Biography of Shawn Michaels

History and Biography of Shawn Michaels

Date of Birth
22 July 1965, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Birth Name
Michael Shawn Hickenbottom

Nickname
The Showstopper
Heartbreak Kid
The Main Event
The Icon
HBK
Rocker
The Boy Toy
Midnight Rocker
The Pitbull
The Wrestler of the 90s

Height
6′ 1″ (1.85 m)

Mini Biography

Began his career in Texas. Trained by the legendary Jose’ Lathario, Shawn Michaels wrestled in Kansas, where he met fellow wrestler, Marty Jannetty. A year later, after sending tapes of his matches to the major wrestling companies at the time, he was contacted by the AWA, who proposed that he team up with Marty Jannetty. Together, Michaels and Jannetty became known as the Midnight Rockers. The AWA had just recieved a TV deal with ESPN, which did wonders for his career. The Midnight Rockers had a major feud with “Playboy” Buddy Rose, and “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers. Their matches were considered bloodbathes at the time. Eventually the Midnight Rockers came out the victors and were the AWA World Tag Team Champions. The WWF (now WWE) noticed their efforts and signed them to a deal. Both Michaels and Jannetty were soon fired for a incident in a bar, which Michaels claims never happened. The duo went back to the AWA for a brief time. After a while, they contacted the WWF, who gave them a second chance and they returned in late 1988. They were known simply as The Rockers. The duo had a great influence on many of the present teams in wrestling. Their trademark was being tag team specialists and using great double team moves on their opponents.

They had major feuds with The Brain Busters, The Fabulous Rougeaus, The Hart Foundation, The Orient Express, and Power & Glory. At one point the Rockers won the WWF Tag Team Title by accident. They weren’t actually supposed to beat the Hart Foundation, yet it happened. They were stripped of the tag team title which was returned to the Hart Foundation with the explanation that the ring ropes were loose which caused the match to go bad for both teams. Shortly after the Rockers were split apart and Shawn Michaels became a singles wrestler, after turning on his partner Marty Jannetty. In a related story, Michaels actually met with Vince McMahon to discuss his charactor. He told him he worked hard and would like to be pushed as a singles wrestler. He wanted to know what he had to do to convince Vince McMahon to do so. McMahon told him he just did it by coming to him. Michaels defeated Tito Santana in his first Wrestlemania as a singles wrestler. He was managed by Sherri Martel, who supposedly had a crush on him. In a major upset, Michaels defeated The British Bulldog on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Michaels won the Intercontinental Title from the Bulldog. At the 1993 Royal Rumble, Michaels wrestled former partner Marty Jannetty with the Intercontinental Title on the line. The match became Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Match of the Year. Michaels won the bout.

The following year, Michaels wrestled Razor Ramon (Scott Hall, who is one of his best friends) in a ladder match. This match was voted by Pro Wrestling Illustrated as the Match of the Year, and became one of the innovating matches of the last decade. In 1995, Michaels was again voted in match of the year by wrestling another great friend, Diesel (Kevin Nash) at Wrestlemania 11. Michaels won both the 1995 and 1996 Royal Rumbles, and again was in match of the year when in 1996 he wrestled Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 12 in a one hour Iron Man Match. Michaels was involved in the big Montreal Screwjob on Bret Hart, that Vince McMahon was behind. The match was stopped and awarded to Shawn Michaels because Vince McMahon was worried that Hart would refuse to lose and take the WWF Title Belt to WCW Nitro. This severed a friendship between Michaels and Hart. Michaels originally denied knowing about it in advance. Later on he admitted he knew but wouldn’t refuse to do what Vince McMahon wanted him to, since Vince McMahon made his career. Michaels innovated another match against the Undertaker, when he wrestled him in a Hell in the Cell Match. After Wrestlemania 14, Michaels didn’t wrestle for 4 years due to a back injury, but maintained an on air role on occasion. During his time off, Michaels became a father, and also became a Christian. At Summerslam 2002, Michaels returned to the ring to face his friend Triple H. The two had a great feud, and Michaels who didn’t think he could wrestle as well as he used to, dazzled the audience. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to continue his normal wrestling schedule due to the nagging injuries, but since then, he has been going strong. He won the Raw Heavyweight Title from Triple H, which he held for 2 months. Michaels had a great match at Wrestlemania 19 with Chris Jericho, which he won. Currently, Michaels can be seen on Monday Night Raw.

Biography

Who is “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels?

He was born on July 22, 1965 in Scottsdale, Airzona at Williams Air Force Base. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas under the name Michael Shawn Hickenbottom. He is 6’0″ 234lbs and made his pro wrestling debut on October 16, 1984. He has spent his entire wrestling career (in the big two) using the name Shawn Michaels and has only wrestled as a part of the WWF. He trained under former pro wrestler Jose Lothario in San Antonio after his parents gave him their blessing so that he could realize his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. Under the tutelage of Lothario his career took off and he turned into the one of the greatest superstars ever. Two individuals, “Sensational” Sherri in 1992 and Jose Lothario in 1996, have managed Shawn. To see the progress Shawn has made here’s a look at his ratings in the annual PWI 500. 1991 – #37, 1992 – #16, 1993 – #3, 1994 – #5, 1995 – #2, 1996 – #1, 1997 – #18, 1998 – Injured.

The Rocker Years

Shawn’s partner was his good friend Marty Jannetty who he teamed with to form one of the most exciting teams in wrestling history. The Rockers were together from the summer of 1988 until the end of 1991 in the WWF. Prior to that, they wrestled as the “Midnight Rockers” in the AWA.

They were both young men who were just getting their start in the wrestling business, as they tried their best to make a name for themselves. A lot of people do not know this but the Rockers never did win the tag titles although they teamed for more than three years. They had won the tag belts at house shows although they never were recognized on WWF TV as the champions nor are they listed as champions in the PWI Almanac. They were a team that gave fans exciting wrestling featuring plenty of moves that were not common to North American fans. They were doing hurricanranas and moonsaults before anybody else in the WWF and they earned a reputation as the best high flyers in the WWF. One of the best tag team matches of all time featured Michaels and Jannetty in a Royal Rumble ’91 battle against the Orient Express (Pat Tanaka and Kato who is Paul Diamond). I suggest you get your hands on this tape because this was one of the best tag team matches of all-time.

The Heartbreak Kid is Born

The Heartbreak Kid is a personality of Shawn Michaels that was launched in early ’92 after the Rockers breakup. When the HBK persona was born Shawn was only 27 and had great potential in him athletically. What everyone soon found out was that HBK was very good on the mic to go along with his tremendous workrate. His ability to get the crowd to hate him was evident as soon as he turned heel. He then established a regular talk show segment on WWF shows called the “Heartbreak Hotel.” This cocky, young, brash superstar spent his time gaining a reputation as a guy who did a lot of talk yet he was still able to back it up because of his in ring talent.

His first taste of WWF gold came in a match against the British Bulldog on October 27, 1992 when Shawn won the Intercontinental title. A month later wrestled Bret Hart at Survivor Series in a match he lost for the WWF world title. This was the first of three PPV matches these two had. It did not really have as much hype as you would expect although it was still a classic match.

Shawn’s IC title reign lasted for seven months, ending when he lost it to his former partner Jannetty in May ’93. Although he did lose the title, he regained the title only a month later. He never lost the belt in a match though. He had to give it up due to “not meeting certain contractual obligations.” In a span of a year he held the Intercontinental Title for 11 months. Shawn only lost IC title once and that was to Jannetty. He was stripped of it in ’93 as well as in ’95 when he couldn’t compete due to getting attacked outside of a Syracuse nightclub in October of ’95. I’ll have more on that story a bit later on.

He was stripped of the IC title in ’93 because he was in a contract dispute with WWF management. Because of the dispute, he did not defend the title within thirty days so he was stripped of the title in reality and in terms of storylines.

Being stripped of the IC title turned out to be a good thing for Shawn because of what happened at WrestleMania X. After coming to terms with management, a feud was built up between Shawn and Razor Ramon (the IC champ at the time) over who was the real IC champion. For storyline sake, Shawn carried around the IC title that he was stripped of a few months earlier. He claimed that he did not lose the IC title so the WWF decided to hang both IC titles from the ceiling and have a ladder match. The first ladder match saw Shawn losing the match to Razor in a match that determined the “real” IC champion. Despite the loss, both men came away winners because it was arguably the best match in the history of the WWF at the time.

Due to the success of the first ladder match, Shawn went on to have another ladder match with Ramon on PPV, this one coming at Summerslam ’95. This time Shawn came in as the face, walked in with the title and also walked out with the title still around his waist. I will have an article detailing the WrestleMania X ladder match in the future because it was one of the best matches that I have ever seen. Not only are these two of the best matches in Shawn’s career but they are the two of the best matches in wrestling history. After people saw these matches it seemed obvious that Shawn wasn’t just good in the ring, he was extraordinary.

The Rockers alliance ended when Shawn turned heel by throwing Jannetty through a mirror in Brutus Beefcake’s barber shop segment. It was one of those moments that will be etched in the minds of wrestling fans forever. It was the start of something special, it was the start of Shawn Michaels singles career as a heel.

1995 Starts out Great but…

In the eyes of many people, 1995 was supposed to be the year in which Shawn took that giant leap from midcarder to main eventer. He continued his role as a heel and was successful in terms of getting over. He “hired” Sid Vicious as his bodyguard because he claimed that he was too important to the WWF to get hurt. Although it was for the storyline, there was some validity behind it. He won Royal Rumble ’95 as he became the first wrestler ever to be the first participant in the match and come out of it as the winner. He earned the shot to face Diesel (Kevin Nash) at WrestleMania XI for the world title. It seemed as though it was the perfect time to put the big belt around the qualified waist of Shawn. He seemed ready, he seemed qualified but it did not happen. He lost to Nash cleanly in the center of the ring in what turned out to be a pretty good match. Maybe it’s because Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy were at ringside for that match. Nevertheless, Shawn’s stock rose after his great performance at WM XI.

The next night on Raw, Shawn was powerbombed by his “bodyguard” Sid Vicious who claimed that Shawn was stealing his spotlight. With every powerbomb the sympathy for Michaels grew. He took a short break in order to sell the powerbombs and when he returned he was one of the biggest babyfaces in the company.

At the July ’95 IYH PPV Shawn captured the IC title for the third time in a matchup against Jeff Jarrett. To this day the pop that Shawn received at the end of the night was one of the loudest that I have ever seen. I think it was important to Shawn because it was the first title he won while he was wrestling as a face. He defended the title at Summerslam ’95 against Razor Ramon in the aforementioned second ladder match. This time around, they were both babyfaces and after twenty-five minutes of showstopping action the two hugged in the ring to the delight of the crowd. Sadly, all of that jubilation was quickly forgotten due to an unfortunate incident that took place a few months later.

…Ends on a Sour Note

In October ’95 Shawn suffered a beating at the hands of several men outside of a nightclub in Syracuse, New York. This was not a work, it was a true story. The details of the incident are not fully known although there are many things that we do know about the altercation.

Shawn Michaels, Davey Boy Smith (British Bulldog) and Sean Waltman (X-Pac) were at a bar in Syracuse. At some point during the evening the three WWF wrestlers were confronted by a pack of men. Nobody really knows how many men were there although it is believed that it ranged from anywhere between 8-14 of them. When they left the bar these men met them out by their car and began provoking them. A few of the men held back Smith and Waltman while the others attacked Shawn probably because he was the Intercontinental Champion at the time and the most famous of the three. On WWF TV, they said that nine men attacked Michaels although nobody really knows if that is true. For the purpose of storylines, they did not mention that Waltman and Smith were there. The extent of Shawn’s injuries are not fully known although most believe that he had minor injuries because of the assault.

He appeared at the October ’95 PPV and forfeited the title to Dean (Shane) Douglas who in turn lost the belt to Razor Ramon. On the episode of Raw following Survivor Series ’95, Shawn took an enziguri kick from Owen Hart that forced Shawn to suffer from “post concussion syndrome.” In reality, Shawn was 100% healthy by that time and only sold the Owen Hart kick so that he can return in ’96 as the federation’s top babyface. I repeat, it was an angle, he did not really suffer an injury from Owen during that match. It was one of the first “worked shoot” angles that the company ever did. They fooled a lot of people with it and it also helped build Shawn up as a sympathetic babyface that the fans could get behind at the start of the new year.

“The Clique” and “The Kliq”

You may be looking at this heading and wondering what I am talking about. What I am referring to by “The Clique” is Shawn’s relationships with his best friends in the wrestling business. “The Kliq,” not the spelling, is the name he had for his legions of fans. The Clique consists of Shawn, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H, and Sean Waltman aka X-Pac. These are his best friends in the wrestling business. Although other people may be friends of these five men it is widely known that these men are the main members of “The Clique.”

The Kliq, Shawn’s fans, was formed in late ’95 after Shawn started getting sympathy babyface heat which was a result of the attack in October. It was also pushed by the WWF after Owen Hart nailed him with an enziguri causing HBK to suffer from post concussion syndrome. This was just an angle to get easier babyface pops for Shawn. It worked because when Shawn came back to the ring in January ’96 he was by far the most popular wrestler in the WWF as he proved to the world that he can carry a company.

1996: The Championship Year

If you were to single out 12 months of Shawn’s career that brought out the best in him it would have to be the year of 1996 because that is when he won his first WWF title. It all started in January at Royal Rumble ’96. Shawn was completely healthy by the time of the Rumble even though he did not wrestle for a few months prior to the big battle royal. He won the 30 man over the top rope battle royal propelling himself into the main event at WrestleMania 12.

Prior to wrestling in the main event Shawn had to beat Owen Hart to get revenge for putting him out of action for a couple months. After he beat Owen at the February ’96 PPV it was onto WM12 where he would face Bret Hart for the second time on PPV.

This was the Iron Man match that lasted over 62 minutes. It was a superb match by both men as they wrestled gallantly for 62 minutes without getting a pinfall. I always felt that if the match was 45 minutes instead of 60 it would have been the greatest match ever. Because of the extra fifteen minutes there were times when the crowd was silent and the action was slowed down by rest holds. Everything between the resting was dynamite and so was the ending to the match. Shawn won it with his “Sweet Chin Music” (a Super-kick) and as Vince McMahon said it best: “Shawn Michaels has just turned his boyhood dream into a reality.” Finally Shawn Michaels became a world champion.

In April ’96, Shawn had a memorable match against Diesel in what was probably Kevin Nash’s best match ever. It was a no-holds barred match that signified the start of the WWF going to the extreme in their matches. Better yet, it was the start of the “attitude” era. Shawn showed Nash the door that led to WCW and began to take on all comers who wanted a shot at his coveted world title.

Shawn’s next feud, May and June ’96, was against the British Bulldog. This one became heated after the Bulldog falsely accused HBK of sexually harassing his wife Diana. Shawn ends up winning this feud at King of the Ring ’96. That great match is often overlooked because it was the same night that Austin 3:16 was born. Although the feud was not legendary it did provide several good matches and it elevated a deserving competitor in The British Bulldog.

At Summerslam, HBK faced another big test who turned out to be Vader. At the time Vader was made to look as if he was unbeatable especially after pinning Shawn in a tag match at the July ’96 IYH PPV. In this match Shawn turned the tables and won with a moonsault in a 20 minute match that was one of Vader’s best matches in the WWF. Vader actually won the match on two separate occasions (countout and disqualification) but his manager Jim Cornette ordered the match to continue which led to Shawn’s victory. The highlight of the match was probably when Shawn took a Vader powerbomb on the concrete floor, which was something few people would do four years ago.

At the September ’96 PPV, Shawn participated in one of the most brutal matches that I have ever seen. It was a wild brawl against Mankind that provided some of the craziest bumps in the careers of these two amazing superstars. As Mick Foley said in his book, this was the match that Foley was most proud of in his illustrious career. It was arguably Mick Foley’s greatest match and is among the top four matches in Shawn’s career. Sadly, both men retired before they turned 35 years old due to their willingness to take suicidal bumps. Simply put, this was another great match that is often overlooked due to the fact that it was on a poor PPV and it ended with a DQ finish. No doubt about it, this was one of the best matches that I have ever seen anywhere in the world.

At the Survivor Series in November ’96, Shawn went into battle against yet another monster, Psycho Sid. Sid ended up winning the title from Shawn thanks to the fact that Sid knocked out Jose Lothario and then nailed Shawn with a video camera to win the title.

Shawn ended up winning his title back at Royal Rumble ’97 in front of his hometown crowd in San Antonio to be the WWF champ for the second time. On both occasions Shawn proved why he was such a great wrestler because he was able to carry a pile of crap like Sid to a good match. Is there anything he can’t do?

Shawn’s role in the WWF during this time was very important because of the lack of success the WWF was having in the mid ’90s. Wrestling in the United States was suffering in ’95-’96 due to the WWF’s tendencies to produce characters with outrageous gimmicks rather than promoting good wrestling. After Kevin Nash’s unsuccessful world title reign in ’95, highlighted by horrible feuds with Mabel (Viscera) and Sid, Shawn was given the title for nearly eight months. While Shawn’s reign was in full force the WWF’s former champion Bret Hart took a seven month leave of absence to think about his future in wrestling. Without Bret around to produce good matches and with Austin and Foley climbing the WWF ladder, Shawn seemingly carried every PPV during the year. His matches with Bulldog, Vader and Mankind were all very good.

He was so productive during this time period that many critics offered the same praise to him that Ric Flair was given several years earlier. They said that Shawn could carry a broomstick to a **** match which backs up my claim that 1996 was as good a year that any wrestler has ever had in the history of wrestling. It came at the perfect time because without Shawn as their leader who knows where the WWF would be today. Wrestling would not be where it is today without all of the hard work put in by the Heartbreak Kid when the business was struggling to keep its head above water.

World Title Reign Number Two is a Short One

During an edition of Raw in February ’97 Shawn Michaels “lost his smile” on Thursday Raw Thursday. He went on the show and forfeited the world title. His reason was that he had a knee injury although some people, like Bret Hart, believed that he could have worked through it. Bret was upset about it because Shawn was scheduled to drop the title to Bret at WrestleMania XIII to return the job Bret did to Shawn the previous year. He missed the PPVs in February, March, April and May due to the knee injury and various other injuries that nagged him throughout his career.

The Dream Team of Wrestling: Michaels and Austin

Although Shawn missed a few months with a knee injury he came back as a force to form an impromptu tag team with Stone Cold Steve Austin. At the time, Shawn was a face and Austin was quickly becoming the most popular wrestler ever so the team was over huge. During an episode of Raw on May 25, 1997 they teamed up to take the tag straps away from long time champions, Owen Hart and the British Bulldog. It was one of the greatest tag team matches in the history of Raw due to the fact that it lasted nearly 20 minutes with a ton of heat and featured four workers who were very good.

At King of the Ring ’97, a year after Austin won KOTR, the tag team champions participated in a one on one match. As far as I know, this was the only one on one PPV match that these two had against eachother when they were healthy. It ended up being a short match that ended in a no contest finish that I am still complaining about to this day! I understand the WWF’s position at the time because they did not want either man to do job. I assume that they felt that Michaels and Austin had several other PPV battles ahead of them but sadly that never came to pass. Due to Shawn’s back injury and Austin’s neck injury the only other time they wrestled against each other one on one was at WrestleMania XIV in what turned out to be Shawn’s last WWF match.

In July, the team was stripped of the titles because of Shawn’s real life backstage fight with Bret Hart. On camera, they said he had an injury to cover it up. He sat out of the Canadian Stampede PPV in July ’97 due to the bogus injury. The main event of Stampede was a ten men tag where Shawn was rumored to be pinned which forced his critics to once again claim that he was avoiding doing a J.O.B. Although the Austin/Michaels team did not last for a long time it was fantastic to see two of the best wrestlers of all time on the same team.

At Summerslam in August ’97 he played the role of referee in the Hart/Undertaker world title match when he “accidentally” cost the Undertaker the match. This was when he turned heel, this was when he released the monster known as DX.

Degeneration X is Born

“The icon. The showstopper. The main event.” Those are the phrases used to describe Shawn during his DX days. There are many questions as to when DX was officially born. The first time Shawn and Triple H wrestled on the same team was on Raw in the middle of August ’97. It was a tag match that saw Shawn and Triple H taking on their rivals at the time, the Undertaker and Mick Foley. Therefore, the unofficial beginning of DX was on the August 18, 1997 edition of Raw. Following that tag match, Shawn and Triple H appeared on camera together often although the name Degeneration X did not debut on WWF TV until October ’97. If my memory serves me correctly, Bret called Shawn and Hunter degenerates (another word would be wicked or immoral). The term degenerate was coined by WWF hater Phil Mushnick and that word was the one he used to describe fans of the WWF. Chyna and the late Rick Rude later joined the group although Shawn and Triple H were the only ones that actually wrestled at the time.

Shawn Michaels defeated the British Bulldog at the UK PPV “One Night Only” for the European title on September 20, 1997 making him the first grand slam champion in federation history. He beat the Bulldog in his own country and then went on to heat up his feud with Bret Hart.

Bret was a big time heel in his role where he bashes America in every speech while HBK was attempting to be a heel by doing cheap tactics and basically anything for the win. This was one of the things that led to the downfall of Bret Hart. It is believed that the European belt was given to Shawn because Vince McMahon wanted to punish Bret for refusing to do the job at Survivor Series ’97. Since The Bulldog is Bret’s brother-in-law, McMahon felt that by punishing Bret’s family member it would lead to Bret changing his stance on the Montreal finish. Shawn walked away with the title even though he was never scheduled to win the belt in the first place.

Meanwhile, Degeneration X was growing on people quickly. They were doing such a good job as heels that Shawn had vaulted himself over Bret in terms of being the number one heel in the company. This caused a lot of tension between Shawn and Bret because Bret was promised the spot as the #1 heel because he was willing to do the anti-American angle.

Before the famed Survivor Series ’97 match, Shawn wrestled in a match that was just as memorable as the more popular Montreal match. It was the first ever Hell in a Cell match against the Undertaker at the October ’97 PPV called Badd Blood. This match changed Shawn’s career forever as he proved yet again that he was the best man to introduce a gimmick match. Just like he proved during the ladder match in ’94, Shawn was able to produce another five star performance in a gimmick match that nobody had seen previously. He took a huge bump when he fell from three quarters high up the cage onto an announce table that waited about 10 feet below. He ended up winning the match, thanks to the debut of Kane, in what was one of the most brutal matches anybody has ever seen. For the fourth year in a row Shawn delivered one of the greatest matches in wrestling history. Without Shawn, ladder matches and HIAC matches would not exist. He set the trend and now everybody is doing their best to follow the model provided by the greatest wrestler to ever grace a WWF ring. The HIAC match was so good that I wrote a full length column about the match which you can read by clicking HERE.

Feuding With Bret Hart On and Off Screen

The names of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels will always be linked together due to their relationship on WWF television and their supposed hatred for eachother out of the ring. Shawn was the man who ended up defeating Bret in what was Bret’s last match in the WWF at Survivor Series ’97. It was probably the most controversial moment in the history of wrestling. By now, I think every wrestling fan knows the outcome of this match. Shawn had Bret in Bret’s finishing maneuver, The Sharpshooter, when WWF owner Vince McMahon told the timekeeper to “ring the f**king bell.” The scheduled finish for the match was supposed to see Bret’s family members run in and cause a DQ. However, Vince McMahon changed that outcome without telling Bret thus providing wrestling fans with what many people believe to be the “biggest screwjob in wrestling history.” The whole thing is detailed on the Wrestling with Shadows documentary.

Whatever role Shawn Michaels played in this match is unknown to this day. The only ones that really know are Vince McMahon, Bret Hart and Shawn himself. In my opinion it really does not matter what role, if any, Shawn played in this whole situation. It was an issue between an employee, Bret, and his boss, Vince. Sure, Shawn could have been in on it but does it really matter what role Shawn played in this whole thing? It is something between Vince and Bret so instead of sitting here and speculating on the behaviour of Michaels I think it would be best if I just moved on.

One thing we do know is that Shawn and Bret did not like eachother during Bret’s last year in the WWF. The biggest reason is probably because of the perception that Shawn refused to job to Bret at WrestleMania 13 as originally scheduled. To add heat to an already hot fire, the two men often made shoot (meaning real) comments about one another on camera. The rivalry came to a head in June ’97 when Shawn and Bret apparently participated in a pull apart brawl backstage at a WWF show. Although the relationship between the two deteriorated in the summer of ’97 it seemed as though they were able to look past their differences. By the time Survivor Series ’97 came around they were on good enough terms that they were willing to change in the same dressing room. In recent interviews, Bret has said that he really doesn’t blame Shawn for everything that happened because, in Bret’s view, everything Shawn did was because of the orders of Vince McMahon. Nobody really knows what the relationship between Shawn and Bret is today but I doubt that any of you will be seeing them having a drink in your local bar. In the battle between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels I think it’s pretty obvious that Shawn was the winner out of the ring AND in the ring.

The Injury That Ended It All

After winning the title at Survivor Series ’97, Shawn retained the title at the December ’97 PPV against Ken Shamrock. At Royal Rumble ’98, Shawn once again defeated the Undertaker in a casket match at the Royal Rumble thanks to Kane again. During the casket match Shawn took a bump that would end up forcing him to retire from full time in ring competition. He took a bump on his back that caused him excruciating pain. He had suffered a major problem with the lower disks in his back forcing him to cut back on his schedule drastically. It is believed that the injury occurred when the Undertaker tossed Shawn over the top rope causing Shawn to land on the corner of the wooden coffin. It is one of those injuries that looks as bad as it sounds. Remarkably, Shawn was able to wrestle another fifteen minutes and finish the match. His career, however, would come to an end a few months later.

The Final Match

Many people felt that Shawn would be unable to defend the world title at WrestleMania XIV against Stone Cold but he made it and delivered yet again. This match was hyped unbelievably for a couple of reasons. It was the last big match in Shawn’s career so the WWF went all out in building up a good storyline. Austin and Michaels were the two wrestlers in the business which led to an unbelievable PPV buyrate but there was something else that helped their cause. The WWF brought in the $2 million nutcase Mike Tyson to be a part of this classic match. Tyson was playing the role of enforcer/referee in the match. He brought in interest from non wrestling fans to see what Tyson would do. Prior to the match it appeared that Tyson had joined Shawn in DX as Shawn attempted to “stack the deck” against Austin. As you all know, Austin won the match in what was a relatively clean match. Even though Shawn did not win the match he still put in a tremendous effort. He could not bump the way he used to and at several points in the match you could see him wincing in pain. This put an end to Shawn’s in ring career. He put the deserving man over and he walked away without any regrets. Although he didn’t win his last match, I have no trouble saying that Shawn Michaels went out on top like the true champion that he is.

The Return:

In his time away from the ring, he was briefly an on air commissioner and trained several wrestlers, including Matt Bentley and Spanky. He also became a born again Christian. Shawn returned to the ring at SummerSlam 2002 and feuded with Triple H. This feud has gone on for several years and has resulted in some of the best matches of his career. In addition to feuding with Triple H, he has also feuded with Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan. In 2006, Shawn and Triple H reformed D-Generation X.


The Present:

On the January 29 episode of Raw, Michaels captured the World Tag Team Championship with WWE Champion John Cena after defeating Rated-RKO. He then defeated both Edge and Orton in a Triple Threat number one contender’s match on another episode of Raw to earn a shot at the WWE championship. At WrestleMania 23, Cena retained the championship, after he made Michaels submit to the STFU. The next night on Raw, Michaels and Cena competed in two back-to-back ten team battle royals, winning the first and losing the titles in the second to The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) when Michaels threw Cena over the top rope. Michaels’ feud with Cena continued and he faced off with Cena, Edge and Randy Orton in a standard wrestling match involving four wrestlers at Backlash for the WWE championship. Cena retained the championship when Michaels performed Sweet Chin Music on Cena causing him to fall on Orton, which gained Cena the pinfall.

Michaels then entered a feud with Randy Orton when Orton claimed that he could beat Michaels. The week before their scheduled match at Judgment Day, after Michaels won a match against Edge, Orton interfered, punting Michaels in the head, this kick sees the wrestler take a run up to a kneeling opponent and strike him in the head with the sole of his foot. Orton assaulted Michaels again, just prior to their match at Judgment Day, interrupting Michaels’ interview segment. Michaels collapsed during the course of their match, causing Orton to win by referee stoppage. Afterwards, Orton continued the beating, when he performed a jumping cutter to a fallen Michaels. Michaels was then removed out of the ring in a stretcher. During the feud, Michaels conjured a storyline concussion. This injury was used to keep Michaels out of action, as he required surgery for his knee. Michaels made his return on the October 8 episode of Raw, performing a superkick to newly-crowned WWE Champion, Orton, during his title ceremony at the end of the show and then celebrating over the knocked-out champion as Vince McMahon watched. At Cyber Sunday, Michaels was voted by the fans to face Orton for the WWE Championship; though he won via disqualification when Orton hit Michaels with a low blow, which resulted in Orton retaining the championship. Michaels got another opportunity at the WWE championship, when he was granted his rematch against Orton at Survivor Series. In their match, Michaels was banned from using Sweet Chin Music upon request by Orton, referring to as Michaels superkicking Orton week after week. Michaels lost the match, when Orton performed a jumping cutter for the win. Michaels’ pyrotechnics going off during his ring entrance

As part of the storyline involving Ric Flair, Michaels faced Flair in a Career Threatening match at WrestleMania XXIV, in which he won by performing Sweet Chin Music and thus ending Flair’s career. Afterwards, Batista confronted Michaels about his actions at WrestleMania, calling him selfish and egotistical. The two faced off at Backlash with Chris Jericho as the guest referee. Michaels won after faking a knee injury and performing Sweet Chin Music. Jericho then confronted Michaels on this matter, in which Michaels admitted to faking the injury in order to defeat Batista. Michaels then defeated Jericho at Judgment Day. At One Night Stand, Michaels lost to Batista in a stretcher match, a match where the objective is to place the opponent on a stretcher at ringside and move it across a line located on the entrance ramp, thus ending their feud. On the June 9 episode of Raw, Michaels was attacked by Chris Jericho during his talk show segment, The Highlight Reel, being thrown directly through a television screen. The following week, it was revealed that, within the context of the storyline, Michaels had suffered a detached retina. At The Great American Bash, a match between Michaels and Jericho was scheduled, in which Jericho assaulted Michaels’ eye, which caused Jericho to win by referee stoppage. A month later at SummerSlam, Michaels was scripted to announce his retirement from professional wrestling, though the staged rivalry between Jericho and himself continued after Jericho punched Michaels’ wife in the face. On the August 25 episode of Raw, Michaels denounced his decision to retire and challenged Jericho to an unsanctioned match at Unforgiven, which Jericho accepted. The following week, Michaels and Jericho held a scripted official contract signing for the unsanctioned match. During the contract signing, a confrontation with Jericho occurred. A predicament insured when Michaels suffered a small tear on his left triceps. Though, Michaels was medically cleared to compete in the match. At Unforgiven, Michaels defeated Jericho, after the referee stopped the match, due to the severity of the beating Michaels was giving Jericho.

Personal life

Hickenbottom’s marriage to his first wife, Theresa Wood, was brief and ended in divorce, but was amicably settled. He is now married to former WCW Nitro Girl, Rebecca Curci (Whisper). They were married on March 31, 1999 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada in a small ceremony. The only people present were Hickenbottom, Rebecca Curci, and an Elvis impersonator. Hickenbottom and Curci have a son, Cameron Kade (born on January 5, 2000) and a daughter, Cheyenne Michelle (born on August 19, 2004).

Shawn Michaels Tattoos

Hickenbottom has several tattoos. He has a tattoo of a heart with a sword through it, that has a snake around it in the shape of an “S.” He has one on his wedding finger, that has an R for his wife Rebecca. Another in his left wrist, is a bracelet design that says “Cameron” for his son. On his left leg he has a picture of his wife,the other leg has a picture of the state of Texas. Finally, he has a small broken heart with the letters “HBK” above it, tattooed on his right hip.

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Comments

2 Responses to “History and Biography of Shawn Michaels”


  1. I was wondering when shawn michaels is coming back to monday night raw wrestling, it isnt the same without him.


  2. ya i whant shawn michales back

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