Chris Jericho Says The Rock Didn't Wrestle Shawn Michaels After HBK's Insult

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

FILE - In this June 24, 2015, file photo, Chris Jericho arrives at the NBCUniversal New York Summer Press Day event at The Four Seasons Hotel in New York. Backed by billionaire Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan and his son Tony, new promotion All Elite Wrestling is set to make its debut on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, on TNT. The company wants to give WWE a run for its money and has already signed big stars Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes to make an instant splash. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Charles Sykes/Associated Press

All Elite Wrestling star Chris Jericho corroborated claims of backstage strife between The Rock and Shawn Michaels during their time together in WWE.

Bret Hart said on his podcast that Triple H and Michaels made life difficult for The Rock behind the scenes and that they were "out to get him" (h/t Wrestling Inc.'s William Windsor).

Jericho addressed the story on his Saturday Night Special show. He said that The Rock had been upset by something Michaels had done when he was younger, and subsequently carried on the animosity in years to come (h/t Ringside News' Darshan Sheth):

"As far as I know, it's true, from what The Rock told me. It's the reason why The Rock and Shawn Michaels never worked a match. I think Shawn might have insulted The Rock when he was a kid in Hawaii or something, The Rock’s got a long memory. But yeah, even when Shawn came back, I believe there was one match where it was Triple H vs The Rock in Louisville, Kentucky. Shawn was the special guest ref and they were angling to try and do a storyline feud between Rock and Shawn and I don’t think The Rock wanted to do it."

That wasn't the only reason The Rock and The Heartbreak Kid didn't have a prominent singles encounter.

When The Rock made his televised debut at Survivor Series, Michaels was one of the WWF's biggest stars. Once The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment assumed that status, HBK was retired. A back injury forced him to step away from the ring at WrestleMania XIV in March 1998.

By the time Michaels returned at SummerSlam 2002, The Rock was effectively on his way out of wrestling, so their paths didn't have much opportunity to cross.