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Tracing WWE Legends’ careers: Shawn Michaels

9 months ago By Sports Desk

Shawn Michaels began training under Mexican professional wrestler Jose Lothario and adopted the ring name. He debuted in 1984 with Mid-South Wrestling and Texas All-Star Wrestling (TAW), where he won the TAW Tag Team Championship with Paul Diamond. He also wrestled for Central States Wrestling and appeared in World Class Championship Wrestling in 1985.

In 1986, Michaels debuted nationally with the American Wrestling Association (AWA), teaming with Marty Jannetty as The Midnight Rockers. They won the AWA World Tag Team Championship and gained popularity. 1987 they signed with the WWF but were fired two weeks later due to a bar incident. They returned to the AWA before being re-signed by WWF in 1988.

Return to the WWF/WWE

In WWF, Michaels and Jannetty were known as The Rockers and became popular with fans. They were a mid-card tag team for the next two years, appearing on television and pay-per-view shows. They were scheduled to win the WWF Tag Team Championship from The Hart Foundation in 1990. Still, the decision was reversed, and the match was never acknowledged due to a storyline explanation of a collapsed turnbuckle. The Rockers split in December 1991 after Michaels super kicked Jannetty and threw him through a glass window on the set of Brutus’ “The Barber” Beefcake’s Barber Shop talk show segment.

Following the split, Michaels adopted the nickname “The Heartbreak Kid” and became a cocky, vain heel. He aligned himself with Sensational Sherri and won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from The British Bulldog in 1992. Michaels had his first pay-per-view main event against Bret Hart for the WWF Championship at the 1992 Survivor Series but lost the match. He engaged in a feud with his former tag team partner, Marty Jannetty, and lost the Intercontinental Championship to him on Monday Night Raw in 1993. Michaels regained the title shortly after with the help of his new bodyguard, Diesel.

Temporary Retirement

In September 1993, Michaels temporarily quit the WWF after being suspended for testing positive steroids, although he denies the charge. He appeared in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) during a WWF/USWA cross-promotion and returned to WWF television for Survivor Series in November. Michaels then entered a feud with Razor Ramon, claiming to be the rightful Intercontinental Champion since he had never been defeated for the title. They had a Ladder match at WrestleMania X, which Ramon won. Michaels battled various injuries but won the WWF World Tag Team Championship with Diesel in 1994.

Michaels captured his third Intercontinental Championship in 1995 and had a successful title defense against Razor Ramon in a ladder match at SummerSlam. During this time, Michaels became associated with a backstage group called The Kliq, which influenced the WWF. Michaels won the Royal Rumble in 1995, setting up a championship match against Diesel at WrestleMania XI, but he lost the game and took time off to transition into a crowd favorite.

In 1996, Michaels returned to WWF and won his second Royal Rumble, earning a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania XII. He defeated Bret Hart in an Iron Man match, which went into sudden death over time and solidified Michaels as a top star.

All in all, rather than his on-paper achievements, Shawn Michaels’ overall personality and ability to command audiences make him a legendary and unforgettable name among top WWE stars.

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