I've been wanting to write an article on the heartbreak kid, Shawn Michaels ever since I've arrived to Bleacher Report. I didn't know what I really wanted to say about him. I still don't really know. I do know one thing though, HBK is the greatest superstar to ever step in a professional ring. That's not an opinion. This is a fact.
I remember Shawn Michaels when him and Marty Jannetty form The Rockers. This was a great era in professional wrestling. During the early '90s, The Rockers were the cruiserweights of professional wrestling before there was even a Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, or an Evan Bourne. Michaels and Jannetty were the high flyers with so much charisma and great team chemistry.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Shawn Michaels finally broke out of his shell as he turned his back on Marty Janetty. Everyone thought at that time that Michaels was just going through some things and they would patch things up. That's what it seemed like as the two did end up kissing and making up.
All of a sudden, Michaels connected with the "Sweet Chin Music" right to the chin of Jannetty then slammed his head right into the glass window. That was truly a classic WWF moment.
Fast forward pass the Sensational Sherri days of Shawn Michaels and onto the Heartbreak Kid version of Shawn Michaels as he held the heart break lounge along with his bodyguard, Diesel. That helped elevate Michaels to some degree although Diesel aka Kevin Nash became WWF Champion before HBK did.
HBK wins his first of back to back Royal Rumbles but loses to Diesel at Wrestlemania only to win the Rumble again and beats Bret Hart in the infamous Iron Man Match at that Wrestlemania XII to win his first World Championship.
Fast forward to 1997 where he infamous screwjob took place. We all knew what happen there. It showed HBK being the man that was always in the midst of controversy. This really elevated him into a mega hated superstar in the WWE.
Shawn Michaels would then turn over his reign as the superstar of the WWE to the Texas Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Michaels retires with a back injury and he doesn't wrestle for four years.
During his first reign during the WWE before his injury, I don't think there was another superstar who was as controversial as Shawn Michaels. I know there were guys like Bret Hart, Stone Cold, and Ric Flair. None of them went over and beyond to make a name for themselves and make decisions during his career that would still be talked about till this day.
Yeah, Stone Cold attacked McMahon and spray everyone with a beer truck. Bret Hart flipped off every American during his angle when he was representing the Canadians. That is nothing than the backstabbing Michaels took on camera and off camera to reach the top. And once he got to the top, he showed everyone why he was the true showstopper of the WWE. He could have retired for good here and still been a hall of famer. He decided to make a return.
Shawn Michaels returns to action for the first time in four years at Summerslam 2002, where he put on a classic rivalry for the ages with Triple H. This rivalry went on for nearly three years with Michaels picking up the last victory during the Tribute to Troops show. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/50453-hhh-vs-hbk-rivarly-of-the-decade
This showed that HBK really had what it took to still be a quality contender for the main title. This side of HBK is a different side from his first reign in the WWE. He's not the selfish guy that many said he was back in the '90s. He was more of a man who gave back and was truly a believer in God. He was willing to put over anybody in a match and give his all into a storyline.
That's what makes HBK stand out amongst everyone else during his second stint. He will put his all into a storyline and really makes wrestling believable to all fans. You kind of forget how scripted wrestling really is when HBK is on the scene. He will leave it all out on the line and he will put his body to the test. Don't believe me? Ask Ric Flair at Wrestlemania XXIV.
Watching Raw this past Monday against John Cena really cemented his legacy to me. He has not only put on a classic match and a potential match of the year with Cena but he turned the most hated storyline in many eyes into the most intriguing storyline in WWE right now.
What really gives HBK my respect is that he's giving his all into a storyline with JBL. JBL is one of the most hated wrestlers in the WWE and a lot of people hate to see him on TV. There weren't too many people that wanted to buy into this storyline but HBK put his pre-retirement to the side to work a storyline with a guy that no one really like to respect. That gives HBK respect there because he's not looking at JBL as a boring angle to work with but he's embellishing it and bringing it to life.
Shawn Michaels is perhaps the greatest wrestler of all-time in many people's eyes. I personally believe that he's the greatest and he can go toe to toe with any superstar to ever wrestled. He deserves more than just praised from wrestling fans and critics, he deserves the red carpet and the franchise tag. Shawn Michaels is the franchise of the WWE and all of professional wrestling. He is without a shadow of a doubt, a true class act.
I love to watch HBK on television. I would praise him if I've seen him in person. We must take this time to appreciate GREATNESS. There will never be another Shawn Michaels. Appreciate him now. ALL HAIL H-B-K!