As one would know professional wrestling is about strength, agility, in-ring performance, stamina and appeal. Well, add good looks and here you have the perfect recipe of not only a wrestler but a good-looking wrestler, a lady killer, the envy of many men. Arizona born Michael Shawn Hickenbottom a.k.a Shawn Michaels fits the above bill perfectly.
What’s more, his 3-decade long career in the World Wrestling Entertainment is testament to his longevity and the constant endeavour to keep doing better.
Mr. WrestleMania, as he is popularly known made his WWE debut in 1988, forming a part of the famous energetic, high flying team, the Rockers also comprising of Marty Jannetty.
With their over the top moves, the Rockers soared in the Tag Team division and soon Shawn Michaels with his athletic ability and good looks marched on his way to singles competition winning hearts aplenty en route.
His consecutive Royal Rumble wins in 1995 and 1996 showed his unparalleled wrestling prowess and the 60-minute Iron Man match, where he beat the great Bret Hart was the cherry on the cake giving him his first WWE championship.
Not one to be devoid of controversy, many felt Michaels along with WWE chairman Vince McMahon had a big role in ousting Bret Hart in the 1997 Montreal Screwjob.
When we speak controversy how can we not talk about the degenerates? Shawn Michaels’ famous union with his real-life best friend Triple H to form D-Generation X, a much liked and equally controversial team which was also a huge part of this legend’s career.
Who can forget their 2 famous catchphrases ‘Are you ready?’ and ‘If you are not down with that we have 2 words for you, XXXX it!’
Shawn Michaels the 90s beats a host of good talent, the likes of The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, Diesel and Steve Austin to name a few before taking a hiatus from Wrestling in 1998 to 2002, owing to injury, his arrogant persona, real-life locker-room brawls with fellow wrestlers and his erratic lifestyle at the time.
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Becoming a born-again Christian on 24th April 2002, Michaels returned to the squared circle, a much calmer human being and slowly went on to become a locker room leader along with the phenom, The Undertaker.
His bouts with Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, JBL and others were legendary at the time and who can forget in 2008, when Michaels retired the Nature Boy, Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24.
Moreover, his famed double of facing The Undertaker on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania 25 and 26 in 2009 and 2010, were one for the ages.
Unfortunately, in both matches, Michaels ended up on the losing side with the latter being a career vs streak match.
Shawn’s career vs Taker’s streak and the career gave in with Michaels retiring from in-ring competition.
Such was the performance by these two greats that Wrestling Observer, a wrestling newsletter rated these bouts as matches of the year in 2009 and 2010.
Post retiring, Michaels did continue to make sporadic appearances in the WWE from 2010 to 2018 though not in a wrestling capacity but more as an entertainer on the mic.
On the behest of his buddy Triple H, Michaels returned to in-ring competition for one final time as a part of DX to face the Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane) at 2018, Crown Jewel.
DX won the match and it was only fitting for this great WWE legend to drive into the sunset on a high.
His accolades in the WWE are second to none with being a 4-time WWE Champion, 3-time Intercontinental Champion, 6-time Tag Team Champion, 2-time Royal Rumble winner, an individual Hall of Fame winner in 2011 and a Tag Team Hall of Fame winner in 2019 as DX with Triple H.
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A man with looks, style, charisma and an in-ring ability like no other, we salute this legend and wish him a happy 55th.