Shawn Michaels Entourage Through His WWE Years
Shawn Michaels' career in WWE has been unique. We could re-visit it with many perspectives and I would like to do it with a different light in that slide show.
He is known as Mr. Wrestlemania, The Showstopper and The Icon, among other nicknames. He is one of the rare Grand Slam Champion in pro-wrestling history. He spent 25 amazing years in the same company and he has written a whole chapter in the WWE History Book.
We could list all his achievements, his championships or his greatest feuds, but it has been done before. So I would like to invite you to follow me in a list of persons who have been associated with him on-screen.
HBK has got many allies in his corner. From valets to bodyguards, and from tag teams to stables, he has been accompanied by some of the the most iconic wrestling figures.
It took a bunch of the best in the business to side with one of the best and I will present them in chronological order.
Now, let's roll...
He's an unique kind of icon. No wrestler wants to be referred as "The Marty Janetty" of a disbanding tag team.
As "The Rockers," Shawn Michaels and Janetty formed a very popular mid-card tag team. Despite receiving as much props from the crowds as any top-card wrestler at their time, from 1988 to 1991, they never officially touched gold.
Their breakup is still remembered by many old-school fans as one of the biggest upset in WWE history. Michaels then became "The Boy Toy" in his first heel turn.
After The Rockers breakup and a short absence, Shawn Michaels came back in 1992 with a new name, The Heartbreak Kid.
In that spectacular repackaging, the iconic Sensational Sherri became his manager for several months.
She appeared in WWE for the first time at Wrestlemania XI as Shawn Michaels' valet. Their run together only lasted few weeks. Her presence on his side was only to ignite a feud against Sensational Sherri who was in Tatanka's corner.
Her association with HBK in 1993 might have been short lived, but it did help her to put her name in pro-wrestling history books.
After parting ways with Sherri, The Heartbreak Kid hired a giant sized bodyguard. In June 1993, Kevin Nash had been introduced by HBK to side by him at ring-side.
In 1995, the duo became two-time Tag Team Champions. In the mean time, Diesel got his share of success in the ring, quickly becoming a Triple Crown Champion.
After the tandem broke up, they entered in a memorable feud until Nash left for WCW. It's hard to say who pushed who, but we can certainly say that they both have legendary careers.
In May 1995, Sid came back to the WWE as Michaels' bodyguard in an angle leading to his match against Diesel at Wrestlemania XI.
The night after, Sid turned on HBK and attacked him, making him leaving WWE under an injury story-line.
If this alliance has been short lived, it however led The Showstopper to a face run and to his first major championship.
The group worked backstage and might have had some booking power in WWE back in 1995-96; it was composed of HBK, Triple H, Kevin Nash (Diesel), Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) and Sean Waltman (X-Pac).
The clan was not an on-screen stable, but its members have placed important milestones in pro-wrestling history.
They have been involved in the Madison Square Garden Incident (also referred as the "Curtain Call") in which the kayfabe illusion of heels vs. faces rivalries had been broken.
The Kliq had also been the base of what would become two of the greatest pro-wrestling stables. Shawn Michaels, HHH, and later X-Pack, formed Degeneration X (DX), in WWE; then Nash and Hall formed The New World Order (NWO) with Hulk Hogan, in WCW.
Lothario was HBK's legit trainer and he became his on-screen manager for few months in 1996 to lead him to his first WWE Championship at Wrestlemania XII.
Lothario was a highly decorated wrestler in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and got a more than 50 matches winning streak in the 60's.
He appeared in Shawn Michael's promos at this time to play the boyhood dream card and to solidify his top face status.
The year was 1997 and Steve Austin was in his rise to super-stardom.
HBK joined forces with his rival of the time to capture the gold on the May 26th episode of Raw for a reign that lasted until July 14.
It was short, but The Showstopper was there and he helped The Rattlesnake build his legacy in many ways. They both headlined multiple pay-per-views as enemies; and, more than that, HBK had been McMahon's tool for the Montreal Screwjob, the event that launched the Attitude Era later led by Austin.
P.S.: sorry for the poor quality of the picture; that is the only one I found and it is a very rare one.
D-Generation X (v. 1)
In September 1997, Shawn Michaels founded the original DX with HHH, Chyna and Rick Rude.
In that version of DX, Rick Rude was HBK's insurance policy, while Chyna acted more as Triple H's valet.
Once again, Michaels was surrounded by big names and the stable became one of the most important and controversial in pro-wrestling history. But, due to legit back injury, he had been booted out of the group by HHH in March 1998.
Founded in 1996 by Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, the legendary stable existed in many versions.
Even Shawn Michaels had been a member of the New World Order (NWO) in its 2002 version. In that WWE chapter of NWO, he joined Kevin Nash, X-Pac and The Big Show (who was not a jobber back then).
It didn't last very long and the stable officially disbanded after few months. But HBK can say he was there and a member of this revolutionary group.
This alliance was a forced one, in an interesting story-line. At the end of 2008, HBK had been involved in an angle in which he declared bankruptcy and JBL bought his services.
Michaels couldn't help JBL win the World Heavyweight Title and was his employee until February 2009.
Triple H (DX - v. 4)
The last ally Michaels had before retiring was his real life friend HHH. They had been part of the original DX together and, in 2009-2010, they formed a final and reduced version of the stable as tag team partners.
They also had none other than Hornswoggle as their mascot at some point.
They had won what would become HBK's last Title in WWE when they defeated Big Show and Chris Jericho for the Tag Team Gold. DX officially disbanded for the showdown leading to Wrestlemania 26.
Anyone I missed?
These were the wrestling characters who have helped HBK to build his legacy and those who have been pushed by him.
If I missed anyone, please comment.
I hope you enjoyed that travel in time and all comments are more than welcome.