Tagged with "wrestlers"
Roman Reigns - One of the greatest wrestlers of all time! Tags: roman reigns greatest wrestlers all time word life production new quality entertainment

Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoaʻi (born May 25, 1985) is an American professional wrestler, former professional Canadian football player, and a member of the Anoaʻi family. He is signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Roman Reigns, and he is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion in his third reign.

After playing collegiate football for Georgia Tech,[1] Anoaʻi started his professional football career with brief off-season stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) in 2007. He then played a full season for the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos in 2008 before his release and retirement from football.

Anoaʻi then pursued a career in professional wrestling and was signed by WWE in 2010, reporting to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Using the ring name Roman Reigns, he made his main roster debut in November 2012 alongside Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as The Shield. The trio teamed together until June 2014, after which Reigns started both headlining pay-per-views in singles competition and contending for world title that month. In his WWE career, Reigns is a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Rollins), and was the 2015 Royal Rumble winner and the 2014 Superstar of the Year. He also tied the WWE record for most eliminations in a Survivor Series elimination match with four in the 2013 event, and set the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match with 12 in the 2014 event.

Despite being pencilled in as WWE's future "face of the company" and being placed in the main event of numerous major pay-per-views (including WrestleManias 31 and 32), Reigns' ascendency as a world title-chasing heroic character has been marked by critics' disapproval and hostile crowd reactions; in April 2016, ESPN writer David Shoemaker described Reigns as "the most despised wrestler WWE has had since it turned Sgt. Slaughter into an Iraq-sympathizing traitor in 1990."

Anoaʻi played football for three years at Pensacola Catholic High School and one year at Escambia High School. In his senior year, he was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pensacola News Journal. He then attended Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team along with Calvin Johnson, who later became a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). Anoa'i was a three-year starter beginning in his sophomore year and was also one of the team captains as a senior. Anoa'i was named to the first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) after recording twenty-nine tackles for loss and twelve sacks in 2006.

After going undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft, Anoa'i was signed by the Minnesota Vikings in May 2007, but was released later that month. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed him in August 2007, only to release Anoa'i less than a week later before the start of the 2007 NFL season.

In 2008, Anoaʻi was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL).Wearing the number 99, Anoaʻi played for one season with the Eskimos, featuring in five games, of which he started three. Anoaʻi's most notable game came against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in September, where he tied for the team lead with five tackles and had a forced fumble. Anoa'i was released by the Eskimos on November 10, 2008, and proceeded to retire from football.

Anoa'i made his first venture into wrestling in July 2010, when he signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was later assigned to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). He debuted on September 9, 2010, using the ring name Roman Leakee (often shortened to Leakee), in a loss to Richie Steamboat in a singles match. Further losses to Idol Stevens and Wes Brisco ensued, before he gained his first win on September 21 over Fahd Rakman. He continued competing in FCW throughout the remainder of the year, wrestling mainly in tag team matches. On the January 16, 2011, episode of FCW television, Leakee was a competitor in a 30-man Grand Royal, but was eliminated. Later in 2011, Leakee formed a tag team with Donny Marlow and the pair unsuccessfully challenged Calvin Raines and Big E Langston for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on July 8.

In 2012, Leakee pinned FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger during a tag team match on the January 8 episode of FCW television. On the February 5 episode of FCW television, he defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match to become the number one contender to the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. He failed to win the championship when he lost to then champion Kruger the following week. Leakee later won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship with Mike Dalton and would drop the titles to CJ Parker and Jason Jordan shortly after.

After WWE rebranded FCW to NXT, Anoaʻi, with the new ring name of Roman Reigns, made his debut on the October 31, 2012 episode of NXT by defeating CJ Parker. After defeating Chase Donovan two weeks later, Reigns wrestled his last match on the December 5 episode of NXT by defeating Gavin Reids.

Reigns made his main roster television debut on November 18, 2012, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, assaulting Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to retain the title. The trio declared themselves "The Shield" and vowed to rally against "injustice". They denied working for Punk, but routinely emerged from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries, including Ryback and WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).This led to a six-man tag team Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC pay-per-view, in which Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match. The Shield continued to aid Punk in January 2013, attacking both Ryback and The Rock. On the January 28 episode of Raw, it was revealed that Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them.

The Shield then indistinctly ended their association with Punk while beginning a feud with John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus that directed to a six-man tag match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which The Shield won. The Shield had their first Raw match the following night, where they gained success against Ryback, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho. Sheamus then formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show to face the trio at WrestleMania 29, where The Shield emerged victorious in their first WrestleMania match. The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were stopped by Team Hell No. This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, which The Shield won. On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Shield's undefeated streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended in a disqualification loss in an elimination tag team match against Cena, Kane and Bryan.

On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Reigns and Rollins defeated Team Hell No in a tornado tag team match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. They made their first televised title defense on the May 27 episode of Raw, defeating Team Hell No in a rematch. On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, The Shield's unpinned/unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag team matches came to an end at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton, when Bryan submitted Rollins. Reigns and Rollins defeated Bryan and Orton at Payback to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. Further successful title defenses followed against The Usos on July 14 during the Money in the Bank pre-show and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) at Night of Champions.[55][56] On the September 23 episode of Raw, Reigns was pinned for the first time while on the main roster courtesy of The Usos when The Shield participated in and lost an eleven-on-three handicap elimination match.

In August, The Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H and The Authority. On the October 14 episode of Raw, Reigns and Rollins lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a no disqualification match, following interference from Big Show. At Hell in a Cell, Reigns and Rollins failed to regain the tag team title in a triple threat tag team match.The first seeds of dissension were sown in The Shield (especially between Ambrose and Reigns) with Ambrose's boasting of being the only member left with a championship. At Survivor Series, Reigns was the sole survivor for his team in the traditional five-on-five elimination tag team match after eliminating four opponents. After losing to Punk in a handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Reigns defeated Punk in a singles match following a distraction from Ambrose on the January 6, 2014 special episode of Raw Old School, making him the only member of The Shield to have beaten Punk. At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Reigns entered the Royal Rumble match at number 15, and set the record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble with 12, as he eliminated both his Shield teammates, and was the runner-up in the match after being eliminated by Batista. The next night on Raw, The Shield competed in a six-man tag team match against Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and John Cena, with all three members of the winning team qualifying for the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which The Shield lost via disqualification after The Wyatt Family interfered and attacked Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus. The Shield wanted revenge and a six-man tag team match for The Shield against The Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was arranged, in which The Shield lost. Despite more dispute, The Shield reconciled in March.

In March, The Shield began feuding with Kane, which turned all members of The Shield into fan favorites in the process. Over the next few weeks, The Shield continued exchanging assaults with Kane, who was joined by The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn), leading to a match between the two teams at WrestleMania XXX, which The Shield won. The feud with Kane also prompted The Shield to sever ties with Triple H, who reformed Evolution to counter them. The Shield defeated Evolution at both Extreme Rules and Payback. After Batista "quit" WWE the following night on Raw, Triple H initiated his "plan B" which involved Rollins turning on The Shield and aligning himself with Triple H and The Authority.

After the dissolution of The Shield in June 2014, Reigns (now a singles wrestler) was quickly inserted into world title contention that month, and he headlined the next two pay-per-views; the first when, two weeks after Rollins' betrayal, Reigns won a battle royal on the June 16, 2014, episode of Raw to gain a spot in the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at Money in the Bank, but failed to win the title during the main event match. The second pay-per-view was July 20's Battleground, where Reigns again unsuccessfully challenged for the world title, this time in a fatal four-way main event match (also involving Kane, Randy Orton and defending champion John Cena). The following night on Raw, Reigns started a feud with Randy Orton, which led to a match between the two, on August 17, at SummerSlam, where Reigns defeated Orton. Meanwhile, Reigns' former team-mates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had been feuding over Rollins' betrayal; with Rollins beating Ambrose in five matches, and ultimately injuring Ambrose in the storyline. This led to a feud between Rollins and Reigns, where a singles match was set up for Night of Champions. However, six days before the pay-per-view, Reigns cleanly defeated Rollins in a singles match on Raw. Then, Reigns developed a legitimate incarcerated hernia which required surgery a day or two prior to Night of Champions, and as a result, Rollins was declared the winner via forfeit, while Reigns was ruled out of action indefinitely.

Reigns returned to WWE television on the December 8 episode of Raw, accepting the 2014 "Superstar of the Year" Slammy Award. Six days later at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, when Big Show interfered in John Cena's match against Seth Rollins, Reigns attacked both Big Show and Rollins, helping Cena win. This started a feud between Reigns and Big Show, in which Reigns defeated him multiple times by countout and disqualification.[88] On January 25, 2015, Reigns, entering at number 19, won the 2015 Royal Rumble match by eliminating the other entrants in the final four: Big Show, Kane and lastly Rusev. The following night on Raw, Reigns acknowledged being part of the Anoaʻi family for the first time on WWE television. On the February 2 episode of Raw, Reigns suffered his first pinfall loss in a singles match on the main roster when Big Show defeated him after interference from Rollins. Reigns was then forced to defend his WrestleMania title shot against Daniel Bryan at Fastlane and succeeded in doing so after beating him via pinfall. Post-Fastlane, Bryan and Paul Heyman endorsed Reigns with "two shockingly transparent promos... attempting to illustrate Reigns' greatness". On March 29, at WrestleMania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract while Reigns' match with Brock Lesnar was in progress, turning it into a triple threat, which Reigns lost when he was pinned by Rollins.

In April, Reigns re-ignited his feud with Big Show, which culminated in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules, where Reigns defeated Show. In May, at Payback, Reigns once again failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Rollins in a fatal four-way match that also involved Orton and Ambrose. On June 14, at Money in the Bank, Reigns competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which he failed to win after Bray Wyatt interfered and attacked Reigns while he was trying to retrieve the briefcase. Month later, Wyatt defeated Reigns at Battleground, after former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper attacked Reigns. On the August 6 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt accepted Reigns' challenge to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper. Reigns pinned Wyatt at the event,[103] and the following night on Raw, in a rematch, the two would be attacked by the debuting Braun Strowman. In September, at Night of Champions, Reigns and Ambrose teamed with Chris Jericho and were defeated by Wyatt and his teammates.[105] The feud between Reigns and Wyatt ended after their Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on October 25, in which Reigns was victorious.

On the October 26 episode of Raw, Reigns won a fatal four-way match (also involving Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens) to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, on November 4, then champion Seth Rollins legitimately injured his knee and vacated the title, which led to a tournament to crown a new champion. Following this, Triple H attempted to persuade Reigns into joining The Authority by offering him a bye into the tournament finals which Reigns declined. He then defeated Big Show in the first round,  Cesaro in the quarterfinals, Alberto Del Rio in the semifinals and Dean Ambrose in the finals at Survivor Series, to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Triple H attempted to offer congratulations, but Reigns hit him with a spear and Sheamus then cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and pinned Reigns, thus ending Reigns' reign at only 5 minutes. Reigns then failed to regain the title from Sheamus in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at TLC, after being helped by his fellow League of Nations members Alberto Del Rio and Rusev; subsequently, Reigns would attack the trio and also Triple H, who came out to stop him.

The next night on the December 14 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon granted Reigns a title rematch against Sheamus, with Reigns' career on the line, and after overcoming McMahon, Del Rio and Rusev's interferences, Reigns defeated Sheamus and regained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On the January 4, 2016 episiode of Raw, Reigns successfully defended his title against Sheamus, despite McMahon acting as the special guest referee. Reigns was then slated to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, where Reigns scored a total of five eliminations after entering first, heading backstage for much of the match after an attack by The League of Nations, and was eliminated upon his return by eventual winner Triple H. At Fastlane, Reigns pinned Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match also involving Brock Lesnar, to receive a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Triple H at WrestleMania 32, where he defeated Triple H in the main event to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for a third time.

While in NXT in 2012, Roman Reigns' character was a "businessman" who was "always dressed to impress" and viewed himself as "the most valuable commodity in WWE". After transferring to WWE's main roster, his character was changed to the "powerhouse" and "heavy hitter" of The Shield, as well as an "exceptional athlete". Noted as the least talkative of The Shield members, in mid-2013, Reigns' character was tweaked from "the quiet muscle" to being an "ultra-confident" source of leadership with "quiet strength" and only needing "a few words to make his point". CM Punk revealed that he was constantly reminded to make Reigns look "really, really strong" during his match with The Shield at the December 2013 TLC event, despite The Shield being scripted to lose. Reigns was voted the 2013 "Most Improved" by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. At the 2014 Royal Rumble match, Reigns broke the record for most eliminations and finished as the runner-up. The live crowd cheered for Reigns over eventual winner Batista, despite Reigns being a heel. Anoa'i later acknowledged the positive crowd reaction as a "cool situation" and a "surreal moment". In mid-2014, Stone Cold Steve Austin said that he saw great potential in Reigns, while David Shoemaker of Grantland wrote that Reigns had "mystery and intensity", as well as "superstar written all over him".

After The Shield disbanded, Reigns (unlike the other former Shield members) retained much of The Shield's aesthetic including ring attire, theme music and ring entrance. It was noted in July 2014 that Reigns was receiving a "vocal seal of approval" from live audiences, but suffered "continually fading reactions" each week by September. Reigns' win of WWE's 2014 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award garnered surprise to the point of accusations of vote-rigging, but both PWInsider and Dave Meltzer stated that the fan vote was legitimate. Reigns then finished in second place for Wrestling Observer Newsletter's "Most Overrated" award in 2014, a feat repeated in 2015. Writers from the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter criticized Reigns in 2014 and 2015, for a "very limited" in-ring moveset, "forced promo delivery" and a "petulant and annoyed" attitude ill-befitting of a top babyface. Fellow pro wrestler Mikey Whipwreck said Reigns was "trying to be like John Cena", who was "very polarizing".

From late 2014 to early 2015, various critics raised concerns that Reigns, despite being "not fully ready", was "being pushed too hard, too soon" while WWE tried to make him their next "flagship star", "no matter how fans reacted”. Dave Meltzer was asked if there had been anyone less over than Reigns while main-eventing WrestleMania: Meltzer answered, "No, there has never been". Several WWE personnel defended Reigns; Triple H said that no one could be really ready to be thrust into the company's top spot, while Paul Heyman said that the "talented" Reigns "has adapted to this business as fast as anyone I've ever seen".

At the 2015 Royal Rumble, Reigns was booed heavily after his victory despite portraying a heroic character and being endorsed by The Rock. Going into WrestleMania in 2015, A'noai declared to the media that WWE "is my ship now, I'm the captain here". Saying that all his critics "weren't wrestlers", A'noai stated that "it really does pop me" when non-wrestlers who cannot "lock up" critique wrestlers. On another occasion, A'noai ignored dissatisfaction based on him not doing "what Daniel Bryan or your other favorite wrestlers did", and told crowds that "when I'm talkin', shut the hell up and let me talk". Lastly, A'noai reminded "smarter fans" to "think about the kids, think about what kind of example you're setting", since WWE is rated PG and targeting families.

At WrestleMania 31, Pro Wrestling Torch described Reigns as needing security for his entrance while receiving "universal boos" and middle fingers. Reigns was also booed on the post-WrestleMania Raw. WWE reportedly confiscated a number of anti-Reigns fan signs both pre and post-WrestleMania 31. Despite the fan backlash in early 2015, Reigns' performances at Fastlane, WrestleMania and Extreme Rules were widely praised by reviewers as having "delivered" and "exceeded all expectations", including "a star-making performance" at WrestleMania. Yet, Reigns continued to face negative crowd reactions at 2015 PPVs such as Money in the Bank and SummerSlam.

In November 2015, Forbes wrote that "WWE continues to manufacture Reigns as a hard-luck underdog" chasing the world title. At the 2015 Survivor Series event, Reigns received mixed reactions from the crowd on his way to winning and losing his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In December, a Rolling Stone writer argued that WWE writers "spent an overwhelming amount of time" on Reigns "at the expense of almost everyone else on the roster... basically bending over backwards to create new obstacles for him to overcome". However, at the Raw after TLC, Reigns got a pop after winning his second WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Wrestling Observer then complimented WWE's booking of TLC and the following Raw, saying they "pressed the right buttons" with Reigns when he "beat up two of [fans'] biggest targets: Vince [McMahon] and HHH". Yet, a Wrestleview writer reflected in March 2016, "From that one December night when finally everything went right for [Reigns], it's been do During the 2016 Royal Rumble match, Reigns was booed again, over eventual winner Triple H; with a similar negative reaction at Fastlane. Dean Ambrose being cheered over Reigns not only happened at Fastlane, but also during two previous world title matches (Payback and Survivor Series in 2015). Even a prolonged, bloody attack on Reigns on the post-Fastlane Raw led to Reigns' adversary Triple H being cheered, including "Yes!" chants. CNET described a "fan rebellion" against WWE "moving heaven and earth" to make Reigns "the face of the company... for the next decade"; as despite Reigns being the storyline "ultimate underdog... forced (and routinely able) to overcome increasingly insurmountable odds", "many fans are aware" that Dean Ambrose "is the true dark horse, both on camera and behind the scenes". On March 29, pro wrestling journalist Wade Keller concluded that Reigns has been an "utter failure" in his top babyface role. Around March 2016, Reigns changed his ring entrance from through the crowd to the (default) entrance ramp, due to WWE wanting him to "get to that ring as fast as possible". wnhill ever since... Reigns got to the mountaintop once and immediately lost all of his steam".

WrestleMania 32 ended with a chorus of boos when Reigns won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the third time. Leading up to that event, Anoa'i gave several interviews due to his starring role; acknowledging fan backlash, but still claiming "a lot of supporters". Declaring that WWE is a "kids show"; Anoa'i said he was "in this business for the families" and "not really" for "grown men" who boo him. Then, Anoa'i defiantly taunted his critics: "There's nothing that anybody can say negatively to me that will make me believe you are correct. It's just your opinions... If you’re going against me, we're sorry for what's going to happen next". He went on to advise detractors to "continue to be ready to boo. You're going to be mad a long time. I'm not going away". ESPN reported that WWE muted the WrestleMania crowd's negative reaction to Reigns, and described that "WWE started building Roman Reigns as the next great hero of the company about 18 months ago", but Reigns instead became the "most despised wrestler WWE has had since" 1990's Sgt. Slaughter.

On the Raw after WrestleMania, Reigns declared that he was now not a "good guy" nor a "bad guy", but "the guy"; while this supposedly indicated a morally ambiguous tweener character turn, The A.V. Club reported Reigns lacked heroic attributes with a condescending attitude. Also in April, Pro Wrestling Dot Net reported that WWE "went out of their way to use [the charity] Make A Wish in hopes of getting [Reigns] over as a good guy".

Source: Wikipedia

 

Shawn Michaels - One of the Greatest Wrestlers of all time! Tags: shawn michaels greatest wrestlers all time word life production new quality featured entertainment blog

Michael Shawn Hickenbottom (July 22, 1965), better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is an American former professional wrestler, currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he has served in an ambassadorial role since December 2010. He actively wrestled for WWE, formerly the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), in every decade from the 1980s onward, officially retiring in 2010. He is considered one of WWE's senior performers, having consistently performed for the organization from 1988 to 2010, albeit in non-wrestling roles from 1998 to 2002.

Hickenbottom began his wrestling career with Mid-South Wrestling, now known as Universal Wrestling Federation, and American Wrestling Association (AWA). During his time with AWA, he performed in partnership with Marty Jannetty, as The Midnight Rockers; winning the AWA World Tag Team Championship twice. Hickenbottom and Jannetty briefly signed with World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1987, while in contract with AWA. They returned to AWA, only to go back to the WWF in 1988.

Hickenbottom later worked as a single performer, taking on a new persona of "The Heartbreak Kid" and, first as a villain and later as a fan favorite, moved into the main event sphere. He yielded considerable influence on booking decisions as the leader of The Kliq, a backstage group, which however fell apart in 1996. The following year, he teamed up with Hunter Hearst Hemsley, who often was referred to as Triple H (HHH), Chyna and Rick Rude to form D-Generation X (DX). This group of wrestlers was known for their sophomoric crude humor. That same year, Hickenbottom took part in one of the most controversial matches in wrestling history, dubbed as the "Montreal Screwjob." After a back injury forced him to retire following his WWF Championship loss at WrestleMania XIV, Hickenbottom opened a wrestling academy, called The Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy, in which he trained upcoming wrestlers. He made his in-ring return at SummerSlam in 2002. In 2006, Hickenbottom and Triple H briefly reformed DX, but after an injury that Triple H sustained, Hickenbottom returned to singles wrestling. Although as of 2009, the duo reunited as a tag team once more, with the two capturing the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship. At WrestleMania XXVI, Michaels was forced to retire from in-ring competition when he lost a career-threatening match. In December 2010, he signed a long-term deal with WWE, making his first live appearance at a WWE show since WrestleMania later that month. He will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011.

Among other accolades, Hickenbottom is a four-time world champion: a three-time WWF Champion and a former World Heavyweight Champion. He was also the winner of the 1995 and 1996 Royal Rumbles and was the company's first Grand Slam Champion. He has also won the Slammy Award a record 11 times. Hickenbottom currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Rebecca, and their two children.

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Career

Early career (1984–1988)

Hickenbottom began to train under Mexican professional wrestler Jose Lothario. During his training, Hickenbottom adopted the ring name, Shawn Michaels, a stage name used by a professional wrestler to hide their true identity from the wrestling fanbase. After his training with Lothario, he debuted as Shawn Michaels, with Mid-South Wrestling and Texas All-Star Wrestling (TAW) promotions in 1984. During his time with TAW, Michaels and Paul Diamond (Tom Boric) were awarded the TAW Tag Team Championship by Chavo Guerrero, Sr. (Salvador Guerrero Llanes). He also worked for Central States Wrestling. There, he and tag team partner Marty Jannetty (Frederick Jannetty) defeated The Batten Twins for the Central States Tag Team Championship, later losing it back to the Battens. Michaels also made several appearances in the Dallas, Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling throughout 1985.

Michaels made his national-level debut at the age of twenty in American Wrestling Association (AWA), once again teaming with Marty Jannetty. The pair were billed as "The Midnight Rockers", and held the AWA World Tag Team Championship, defeating Doug Somers and Buddy Rose (Paul Perschmann). In 1987, The Rockers were signed by a competing promotion: the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). They were fired from WWF two weeks later, for a bar incident (a misunderstanding, according to Michaels' autobiography). They then returned to AWA, but were re-signed by WWF a year later.

World Wrestling Federation

The Rockers (1988–1991)

The Rockers redebuted at a WWF house show on July 7, 1988. Due to WWF chairman Vince McMahon's desire to have his performers carry WWF-exclusive ring names, they were renamed, as simply "The Rockers." The team proved popular with both children and women.The team was a mid-card stalwart of television and pay-per-view shows for the next two years.

In October 1990, The Rockers were scheduled to win the WWF Tag Team Championship from The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), as Neidhart, half of the championship team, was in the process of negotiating his release from the company. The match was taped with The Rockers winning the belts, but soon after, Neidhart came to an agreement with management and was rehired. The belts were returned to the Hart Foundation, while the title change was never broadcast or even acknowledged on television. When news spread, WWF explained that the original result was void due to a collapsed turnbuckle in the ring during the bout. A buckle had indeed broken, but not to a noticeable or dangerous extent during the match. The Rockers plodded along, eventually splitting on December 2, 1991 during an incident on Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake's (Edward Leslie) televised Barber Shop talk show promotional segment. Michaels superkicked Jannetty and threw him through a glass window on the set of Beefcake's talk show. Jannetty disappeared from the company, and Michaels became a villain as "The Boy Toy."

Heartbreak Kid (1992–1995)

At the suggestion of "Mr Perfect" Curt Hennig, Michaels adopted the nickname "The Heartbreak Kid." Along with his new name came a new gimmick as a vain, cocky villain. He was put together with mirror-carrying Manager, Sensational Sherri (Sherri Schrull), who, according to the storyline, had become infatuated with him. Sherri even sang the first version of his new theme music, "Sexy Boy." During that period, Michaels normally wrestled during the first half of house shows, and his departure was announced with the words, "Shawn Michaels has left the building" (alluding to the phrase "Elvis has left the building").

Michaels failed to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart in July 1992, even losing the WWF's first-ever ladder match against him at a house show, a match where the objective was to climb a ladder and reach an object hanging above the ring. He, however, won the title from The British Bulldog (David Smith) on the October 27, 1992 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, which aired on November 8. Shortly thereafter, he was in a pay-per-view main event for the first time, in which he lost to Hart, for the WWF Championship at the 1992 Survivor Series. Michaels and Hart were moved to the main event after The Ultimate Warrior (Brian Hellwig) was unable to compete in the tag team match that involved Randy Savage (Randall Poffo) against the team of Ric Flair (Richard Fliehr) and Razor Ramon (Scott Hall). During this time, Michaels and Sherri split and he engaged himself in a feud with former tag team partner Marty Jannetty. Michaels lost the Intercontinental Championship to Jannetty on Monday Night Raw on May 17, 1993. He then regained it on June 6 with the help of his debuting "bodyguard" (and off-air friend) Diesel (Kevin Nash).

In September 1993, Michaels had quit the company, after it was announced that he had failed to defend his title enough times during a set period; in reality, he had been suspended for testing positive for steroids – a charge that Michaels denies to this day. After turning down World Championship Wrestling (WCW)'s advances, Michaels returned to the WWF and made several appearances in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) during a WWF/USWA cross-promotion. He returned to WWF television for November's Survivor Series pay-per-view, substituting for Jerry Lawler, who was dealing with legal issues, in a match pitting himself and three of Lawler's "Knights" against the Hart brothers, Bret, Bruce, Keith, and Owen.

He soon entered a staged rivalry with Razor Ramon, who had won the vacated Intercontinental Championship, during Michaels' absence. Since Michaels had never been defeated in the ring for the title, he claimed to be the rightful champion and even carried around his old title belt. This feud culminated in a ladder match between the two at WrestleMania X. Michaels lost the match, which featured both his and Ramon's belts suspended above a ladder in the ring. This match was voted by fans as "Match of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Over the next few months, Michaels battled various injuries and launched the Heartbreak Hotel television talk show segment, mainly shown on WWF Superstars.

On August 28, 1994, Michaels and Diesel captured the WWF World Tag Team Championship from The Headshrinkers (Samu Samula Anoa'i and Fatu Solofa Fatu). The next day, at SummerSlam, Diesel lost the Intercontinental championship to Ramon when Michaels accidentally superkicked Diesel. This triggered a split between Michaels and Diesel, a storyline that was drawn out until Survivor Series that November. Michaels went on to win the Royal Rumble in 1995, which set up a championship grudge match at WrestleMania XI against Diesel (who had gone on to win the WWF Championship from Bob Backlund). As part of the storyline, Michaels recruited Sycho Sid (Sid Eudy) as his bodyguard for the build-up, lost the match, and was attacked by Sid the following night. After this, Michaels took time off, because Vince McMahon wanted Michaels to become a crowd favorite.

Clique's influence (1995–1997)

Michaels returned to the ring, as a crowd favorite, in June 1995. He went onto defeat Jeff Jarrett at the July pay-per-view event, In Your House, to win his third Intercontinental championship. This led to a title defense against Razor Ramon at SummerSlam, in a ladder match, which Michaels won. Around this time, Michaels became the alleged leader of a backstage group known as The Clique.Others perceived the group to have sufficient clout with WWF owner Vince McMahon, becoming dominant wrestling figures in WWF for several years in the mid-1990s. Michaels disputes the perception, saying that McMahon pushed only deserving wrestlers. Michaels' fan base was later nicknamed "The Kliq" as an inside reference to the real "Clique". In October 1995, he was legitimately attacked by several men outside a bar in Syracuse, New York.Shortly afterwards, at the In Your House: Great White North pay-per-view, Michaels forfeited the Intercontinental championship to staged rival Dean Douglas (Troy Martin) because he was, according to WWF, unable to compete. Later in the night, Douglas lost the championship to Clique member Razor Ramon. The next month, during a match with Owen Hart on an episode of Raw, Owen performed a kick that struck the back of Michaels' head. They continued the match, but Michaels collapsed in the ring, supposedly because he had suffered a concussion in the Syracuse incident. The concussion was scripted, which was kept from most fans at the time.


After teasing a retirement, Michaels returned to WWF at the Royal Rumble match in 1996, which he wound up winning for a second year in a row, to receive a WWF Championship match in the main event at WrestleMania XII. Around this time, Jose Lothario became Michaels on-screen manager.At WrestleMania XII, Michaels defeated Bret Hart in the 'sudden death' overtime of their sixty minute Iron Man match, a match where the winner is determined by the number of scoring conditions by a certain time limit, which had ended in a 0–0 tie. On May 19, 1996 in an incident known as "Curtain Call: The MSG Incident," Michaels won a steel cage match, a match where the ring is surrounded by a steel cage, against Kevin Nash. After the match ended, Scott Hall, who was about to leave WWF to company rival WCW, came to the ring and hugged Michaels. Although, Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Paul Levesque) and Nash were seen as villains at the time, in contrast to Michaels and Hall, they were also members of The Clique, and group joined in the good-bye hug. The incident was seen as a rare breach in "kayfabe", which is the faux action and storylines that promoters wanted the fans to see as real.As WCW gained momentum due to the signings of Hall and Nash, Michaels held the championship for most of the year. Michaels' championship reign ended at the 1996 Survivor Series event, where he lost to Sycho Sid, his former bodyguard.Michaels recaptured the championship from Sid in January 1997 at the Royal Rumble.

On a special episode of Raw, dubbed Thursday Raw Thursday, Michaels vacated the WWF championship; he explained to fans that he was informed by doctors that he had conjured a knee injury, and that he had to retire. His speech was regarded as controversial, as Michaels was allegedly unwilling to lose to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 (since it was noted that he was going to have a rematch with Hart at WrestleMania). Michaels contemplated thoughts of retirement and stated that he "had to find his smile again," which he had "lost" somewhere down the line. After knee surgery by Dr. James Andrews, Michaels returned a few months later, briefly teaming with Steve Austin (Steven Williams) to win the WWF Tag Team Title. In his autobiography, Michaels reveals about his real-life feud with Bret Hart, claiming that Bret did interviews on live television claiming that he (Michaels) was faking his whole injury.

At SummerSlam, Michaels officiated the WWF championship match between champion The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) and Bret Hart. The match ended in controversial fashion, with Michaels hitting Undertaker with a chair (unintentionally, as he was aiming for Bret after he spat in his face). Michaels was then forced to award the championship to his nemesis, Bret Hart. At WWF One Night Only, held in Birmingham, England in September, Michaels defeated The British Bulldog to capture the WWF European Championship. The fans at the event were so appalled at the result of the match they booed Michaels out of the building, to the extent that they littered the ring with rubbish. With this win, Michaels became the first Grand Slam Champion, a distinction made to a professional wrestler who has won all of the major titles in a promotion. During the 1997 SummerSlam event, a feud culminated between Michaels and The Undertaker, after Michaels struck The Undertaker with the usage of a steel chair. At the October pay-per-view event, In Your House: Badd Blood, Michaels and Undertaker participated in the first Hell in a Cell match, a match contested in a ring surrounded by a steel cage made of metal. During the match, it saw Michaels fall off the side of the 15 foot high structure through a table and saw him as the winner in the match.

D-Generation X (1997-1998)

In the summer, Michaels joined forces with real-life friend, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Hunter's then-girlfriend, Chyna, and Rick Rude (Richard Rood) to form the stable, a group of wrestlers, D-Generation X (DX). Moving away from the family-oriented product, this marked the beginning of the WWF Attitude Era. Michaels continued his rivalry with Bret Hart and his reformed Hart Foundation, which was now a pro-Canada stable. Michaels taunted the group and Canada by engaging in acts, such as blowing his nose with and humping the Canadian Flag. Michaels later claimed the flag desecration was Bret's idea. Michaels' feud with the Hart Foundation culminated in a championship match at Survivor Series in 1997 against Bret Hart. Michaels came out of this match, dubbed by fans the "Montreal Screwjob", as the WWF Champion. Michaels now held both the WWF and European championship at the same time. Michaels, however, lost the European championship to group member, Hunter Hurst Hemsley, who often was referred to as Triple H (HHH), when he pinned him during a farcical match, making Triple H the European Champion.

At the 1998 Royal Rumble, Michaels received a legitimate back injury in a Casket match against The Undertaker, a match where the objective is to place the opponent inside a casket. Michaels took a back body drop to the outside of the ring and smashed his lower back on the casket, causing him to herniate two discs and crush one completely. This forced Michaels into retirement after losing the WWF Championship to Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV.

Commissioner (1998–1999)

Michaels returned to the WWF on November 23, 1998, but not as a wrestler; instead, he replaced Sgt. Slaughter (Robert Remus) as the WWF Commissioner, a portrayed match maker and rules enforcer, joining Vince McMahon's group of wrestlers called the Corporation as a villain. Throughout late 1998 and early 1999, Michaels made regular television appearances on Raw, in which he scheduled matches, throwing around his authority, and sometimes even deciding the outcome of matches. In early 1999, Michaels re-joined DX as a crowd favorite, but disappeared from WWF television for a few months to have back surgery, and by the time he had returned, DX had broken up.

Michaels made occasional appearances on WWF television as the commissioner during the spring and summer of 1999. Michaels was absent from WWF television until May 21, 2000 when he returned to officiate the Iron Man match between The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Triple H. One month later, Michaels briefly reappeared to hand over the role of commissioner to Mick Foley and afterwards was absent from television for nearly a year. During this time, believing that his wrestling career was over, Michaels was interested in training individuals who wanted to become professional wrestlers. Michaels eventually left the academy. During this time, Michaels was a sportscaster for San Antonio's local news for a short time during his retirement.

Return to wrestling and feud with Triple H (2002–2004)

In 2002, Michaels returned to wrestling and was brought into the New World Order (nWo) by Kevin Nash as a new member of the group. After the nWo had disbanded, Triple H appeared to make amends with Michaels. This was solidified when Michaels pleaded Triple H to return to Raw. Later on, they came down to the ring sporting their DX music and attire. When the pair was about to perform their trademark "Suck It" taunt, Triple H tucked Michaels' head between his knees and lifted him up to slam his head to the mat, a move Triple H calls the Pedigree. Continuing the angle, a week later, Triple H attacked Michaels from behind in a parking lot and put his head through a car window, in storyline.In response, Michaels challenged Triple H to "a fight" (a non–sanctioned match) at SummerSlam, which Triple H accepted, laying the foundation for a rivalry that lasted for years. Michaels won at SummerSlam, but was attacked by Triple H with a sledgehammer after the match. At Survivor Series, Michaels won the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H in the company's first-ever Elimination Chamber match, where the ring is surrounded by a steel structure of chain and girders. Michaels' reign as champion came to an end when he lost the championship to Triple H in a Three Stages of Hell match, a series of three matches in which wrestlers attempt to win the majority of matches, at Armageddon.

Michaels then began a rivalry with Chris Jericho (Christopher Irvine), after Jericho claimed that he was the next Shawn Michaels. On January 13, 2003, after Jericho won a Battle royal, a multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until one is left and declared the winner, to select his entry number for the Royal Rumble, choosing number two in order to start the match with Michaels, who had already been named number one. At the Royal Rumble, Jericho, with the help of Christian (William), eliminated Michaels. Michaels defeated Jericho at WrestleMania XIX. After the match, Michaels offered his hand to Jericho, who instead of shaking it, hugged Michaels. At first it seemed like good sportsmanship by Jericho until he quickly kicked Michaels in the groin.

As a part of an ongoing feud with Triple H, the two competed alongside Chris Benoit in the main event match at WrestleMania XX for the World Heavyweight Championship. The former DX partners both came up short in the match, however, as Benoit had been scripted to win the championship. At Bad Blood in June, Michaels lost to Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match. Four months later, he lost a World Heavyweight championship match against Triple H, after Edge (Adam Copeland) interfered at Taboo Tuesday, when the fans voted for him ahead of Edge and Chris Benoit to face Triple H one more time. Following this, Michaels was out of action for a few months with a legitimate torn meniscus.

Feuds with Angle and Hogan (2005)

At the Royal Rumble in 2005, Michaels competed in the Rumble match and eliminated Kurt Angle. In seeking revenge, Angle re-entered the ring and eliminated Michaels, and thus placed him in an ankle lock submission hold, outside of the ring.Michaels issued a challenge to Angle for a match at WrestleMania 21, which Angle accepted when he appeared on Raw to attack Michaels. The following week on Raw, Marty Jannetty and Michaels had a one time reunion as The Rockers and defeated La Résistance Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier). Three days later on SmackDown!, Angle defeated Jannetty, after Angle made Jannetty submit to the ankle lock. To send a "message" to Michaels, Angle also humiliated Michaels' former manager, Sensational Sherri, when he applied the ankle lock hold on her.

The next night on Raw, Muhammad Hassan (Mark Copani) and Daivari (Shawn Daivari) came out to confront and assault Michaels. The following week, Michaels approached authority figure Eric Bischoff, in which he demanded a handicap match with Hassan and Daivari, a match consisting of one wrestler or team of wrestlers facing off against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority such as two against one, or three against two. Bischoff refused to schedule the match, but informed Michaels to find a partner and he would grant him the match. Michaels then made a plea for Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) to come back and team with him. On the April 18 episode of Raw, Hassan again led an attack on Michaels until Hogan appeared to save Michaels and accept his offer. At Backlash, Hassan and Daivari lost to Hogan and Michaels when Daivari was pinned. On the July 4 edition of Raw, Michaels and Hulk Hogan had a tag team match, which they won. During the post-match pose, Michaels hit Hogan with his superkick, knocking Hogan to the ground and making Michaels a villain for the first time since returning in 2002. The following week on Raw, Michaels appeared on Piper's Pit where he superkicked Roddy Piper (Roderick Toombs) and then challenged Hogan to a match at SummerSlam. Hogan defeated Michaels at SummerSlam, and after the match Michaels extended his hand to him, saying "I needed to know, and I found out" and he and Hogan shook hands. Michaels left the ring to allow Hogan to celebrate with the crowd, and Michaels once again became a crowd favorite.

Feud with McMahon and reformation of DX (2006–2007)

On the December 26, 2005 edition of Raw, Vince McMahon lauded Michaels for his part in the Montreal Screwjob. Michaels said he was only being loyal to his company, he had moved on, and McMahon should move on as well. McMahon then began setting unusual stipulations for Michaels' matches and interfering on behalf of Michaels' opponents. During the Royal Rumble, McMahon made his way to the ring, and as Michaels stared at McMahon, Shane McMahon made a surprising appearance, eliminating Michaels from the match. On the February 13 edition of Raw, McMahon tried unsuccessfully to force Michaels to sign retirement papers. The following week, Michaels won a handicap match against the Spirit Squad (Kenny (Ken Doane), Johnny (Johnny Jeter), Mitch (Nick Mitchell), Nicky (Nick Nemeth), and Mikey (Michael Brendli) and after the match, Michaels' former partner, Marty Jannetty, came down to help Michaels from the assault by the Spirit Squad. After the two reunited, McMahon offered Jannetty a contract if he "kissed his ass."The following week, Jannetty refused McMahon's offer and instead took Chris Masters' (Chris Mordetzky) "Masterlock challenge."Michaels tried to help Jannetty, which ultimately resulted in Shane attacking Michaels and forcing him to kiss his father's ass. At Saturday Night's Main Event, Shane defeated Michaels in a Street Fight, a match without disqualifications and where scoring conditions can occur anywhere, after he applied a sharpshooter on Michaels, which led to McMahon immediately ordering for the bell to be rung, even though Michaels did not submit, which was an allusion to the Montreal Screwjob. Despite interference from the Spirit Squad and Shane, Michaels defeated McMahon at WrestleMania 22 in a No Holds Barred match, a match where there are no disqualifications. At Backlash, The McMahons (Vince and Shane) defeated Michaels and "God" in a tag team match, with help from the Spirit Squad in a no disqualification match.On the May 22 edition of Raw, the Squad was scripted to injure Michaels' knee. This was angle was written so that Michaels could have surgery on his knee, which had been legitimately injured for some time.

In 2006, a series of events took place which suggested a reunion of Michaels and Triple H as DX. They began at WrestleMania 22, where both Michaels and Triple H performed the crotch chop, during their matches. On Raw, the two continued to deliver chops, as Michaels feuded with Vince McMahon and Triple H went for the WWE Championship, repeatedly butting heads with Vince McMahon in the process. On the June 12, 2006 edition of Raw, DX officially reunited. During Triple H's gauntlet match, which had him compete against the Spirit Squad, a match consisting of two wrestlers beginning the match, and replacing whenever one is eliminated (by normal means), with the last person standing being named the winner. Michaels came in to help Triple H, and the two did the DX "crotch chops." At Vengeance, DX defeated the Spirit Squad in a 5–on–2 handicap match. They also defeated the Spirit Squad at Saturday Night's Main Event in a 5-on-2 elimination match and defeated The McMahons at SummerSlam. At Unforgiven, DX once again defeated the McMahons and ECW World Champion The Big Show (Paul Wight) in a Hell in a Cell match.

At Cyber Sunday, DX took on Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton). The fan-selected referee Eric Bischoff allowed the illegal use of a Folding chair to give Rated-RKO the ill-gotten win and the plaudit of being the first tag team to defeat DX in a tag team match since their reformation in June 2006. At Survivor Series, however, Team DX emerged victorious against Team Rated-RKO. At New Year's Revolution, Triple H suffered a legitimate torn right quadriceps during their match with Rated-RKO. Rated-RKO claimed victory over DX, citing Triple H's injury, as the "end" of DX. On January 15, Michaels lived up to his word of "dealing" with Rated-RKO, from his comments the previous week before, when he took out Randy Orton with a con-chair-to, a wrestler placing their opponent so that they are horizontal with their head resting on a chair, then hitting their head from above with a second chair, squashing the head of the opponent between both chairs, after a handicap match against Edge and Orton.

Various feuds (2007–2010)

On the January 29 episode of Raw, Michaels captured the World Tag Team Championship with WWE Champion John Cena after defeating Rated-RKO. He then defeated both Edge and Orton in a Triple Threat number one contender's match on another episode of Raw to earn a shot at the WWE championship. At WrestleMania 23, Cena retained the championship, after he made Michaels submit to the STFU. The next night on Raw, Michaels and Cena competed in two back-to-back ten team battle royals, winning the first and losing the titles in the second to The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) when Michaels threw Cena over the top rope. Michaels' feud with Cena continued and he faced off with Cena, Edge and Randy Orton in a standard wrestling match involving four wrestlers at Backlash for the WWE championship. Cena retained the championship when Michaels performed Sweet Chin Music on Cena causing him to fall on Orton, which gained Cena the pinfall.

Michaels then entered a feud with Randy Orton when Orton claimed that he could beat Michaels. The week before their scheduled match at Judgment Day, after Michaels won a match against Edge, Orton interfered, punting Michaels in the head, this kick sees the wrestler take a run up to a kneeling opponent and strike him in the head with the sole of his foot. Orton assaulted Michaels again, just prior to their match at Judgment Day, interrupting Michaels' interview segment. Michaels collapsed during the course of their match, causing Orton to win by referee stoppage. Afterwards, Orton continued the beating, when he performed a jumping cutter to a fallen Michaels. Michaels was then removed out of the ring in a stretcher. During the feud, Michaels conjured a storyline concussion. This injury was used to keep Michaels out of action, as he required surgery for his knee. Michaels made his return on the October 8 episode of Raw, performing a superkick to newly crowned WWE Champion, Orton, during his title ceremony at the end of the show and then celebrating over the knocked-out champion as Vince McMahon watched. At Cyber Sunday, Michaels was voted by the fans to face Orton for the WWE Championship; though he won via disqualification when Orton hit Michaels with a low blow, which resulted in Orton retaining the championship. Michaels got another opportunity at the WWE championship, when he was granted his rematch against Orton at Survivor Series. In their match, Michaels was banned from using Sweet Chin Music upon request by Orton, referring to as Michaels superkicking Orton week after week.Michaels lost the match, when Orton performed a jumping cutter for the win.

As part of the storyline involving Ric Flair, Michaels faced Flair in a Career Threatening match at WrestleMania XXIV, in which he won by performing Sweet Chin Music and thus ending Flair's career. Afterwards, Batista confronts Michaels about his actions at WrestleMania, calling him selfish and egotistical. The two faced off at Backlash with Chris Jericho as the guest referee. Michaels won after faking a knee injury and performing Sweet Chin Music. Jericho then confronted Michaels on this matter, in which Michaels admitted to faking the injury in order to defeat Batista. Michaels then defeated Jericho at Judgment Day. At One Night Stand, Michaels lost to Batista in a stretcher match, a match where the objective is to place the opponent on a stretcher at ringside and move it across a line located on the entrance ramp, thus ending their feud. On the June 9 episode of Raw, Michaels was attacked by Chris Jericho during his talk show segment, The Highlight Reel, being thrown directly through a television screen. The following week, it was revealed that, within the context of the storyline, Michaels had suffered a detached retina. At The Great American Bash 2008|The Great American Bash, a match between Michaels and Jericho was scheduled, in which Jericho assaulted Michaels' eye, which caused Jericho to win by referee stoppage. A month later at SummerSlam, Michaels was scripted to announce his retirement from professional wrestling, though the staged rivalry between Jericho and himself continued after Jericho punched Michaels' wife in the face. On the August 25 episode of Raw, Michaels denounced his decision to retire and challenged Jericho to an unsanctioned match at Unforgiven, which Jericho accepted. The following week, Michaels and Jericho held a scripted official contract signing for the unsanctioned match. During the contract signing, a confrontation with Jericho occurred. A predicament insured when Michaels suffered a small tear on his left triceps. Though, Michaels was medically cleared to compete in the match. At Unforgiven, Michaels defeated Jericho, after the referee stopped the match, due to the severity of the beating Michaels was giving Jericho. It was at the same September event that Jericho replaced CM Punk in the World Heavyweight Championship scramble match, which saw him win the match and become World champion. The following month at No Mercy, Michaels met Jericho in a ladder match in which Jericho defended the World title against Michaels.  At the event, Jericho defeated Michaels to retain the title. In December 2008, Michaels accepted an offer to become an employee of John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL).  The storyline was that Michaels had lost his family's personal savings due to the global recession, forcing him to accept JBL's offer of employment. After failing to secure JBL the World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena at the Royal Rumble, Michaels agreed to take part in an "All or Nothing" match at No Way Out in February. Michaels won the match, letting Michaels out of his one-year contract with JBL immediately while still receiving full payment. Michaels became the first person to successfully defeat Vladimir Kozlov on the March 2 episode of Raw, and as a result earned the right to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV in April. At the event, The Undertaker defeated Michaels to extend his WrestleMania winning streak to 17-0.  After WrestleMania, Michaels took a hiatus from WWE. Michaels returned to WWE programming in a series of segments that aired on the August 10, 2009 episode of Raw, where he had scripted left the WWE. Triple H met with Michaels at an office cafeteria in Texas where he was working as a chef; throughout the segments, Triple H would try to convince Michaels to return to WWE and reform DX. After several incidents during the segments, Michaels agreed to team with Triple H to face The Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) at SummerSlam.  At the pay-per-view event, DX defeated Legacy. The two teams would exchange victories, with their feud concluding in October. Two months later, at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, DX defeated Chris Jericho and The Big Show to win the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match (TLC). On the January 4, 2010 episode of Raw, Michaels buried the hatchet with long-time rival Bret Hart, as they shook hands and hugged in the ring. In contrast to the storylines featured on the show, this was in fact a real-life reconciliation which laid to rest animosities surrounding the Montreal Screwjob. While some cast doubts on its sincerity, Hart has confirmed that it was indeed genuine. DX lost the Unified Tag Team Championship in a Triple Threat match to the team of The Miz and Big Show on the February 8 episode of Raw, the match also included The Straight Edge Society (CM Punk and Luke Gallows). At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Michaels cost The Undertaker the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. At WrestleMania XXVI, Michaels lost to the Undertaker and, as a result, was forced to retire. The following night, on the March 29 episode of Raw, Michaels gave his farewell speech, departing with the familiar sentence, "Shawn Michaels has left the building."

Post-retirement appearances (2010–present)

On the December 14 episode of Raw, Michaels won the Slammy award for Moment of the Year for his match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI. Michaels made an appearance via satellite to accept the award. Three days later, he announced a long-term deal with WWE, where he will serve in an ambassadorial role. Michaels made his first live appearance at a WWE show since the night after WrestleMania at the December 11 Tribute to the Troops taping, where he and Triple H made a special appearance for a one-night only DX reunion. Michaels appeared on the January 10, 2011, episode of Raw, where it was announced he was to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011. After being ridiculed by Alberto Del Rio, Michaels hit Del Rio with Sweet Chin Music. On the March 28 episode of Raw, Michaels addressed Triple H and The Undertaker about their match at WrestleMania XXVII. Michaels was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 2 by Triple H. The two were also joined by Kevin Nash (who had returned to WWE previously to participate in the recent Royal Rumble) and Sean Waltman, reuniting the majority of The Kliq. He further made an appearance on the June 27 episode of Raw where he was confronted by CM Punk, and superkicked David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty. Later that night when Diamond Dallas Page made a special appearance and was interrupted and threatened by Drew McIntyre, Michaels superkicked McIntyre. He made another appearance on February 13, 2012 to confront his friend Triple H about not accepting The Undertaker's challenge. He also declared the fact that he was the special guest referee for the match between The Undertaker and Triple H inside Hell in a Cell at Wrestlemania XXVIII. On August 6, the live audience experienced "shawn Michaels Appreciation Night" on Raw. On the August 13 episode of Raw, Shawn was attacked by Brock Lesnar with an F-5 and then put into the Kimura Lock thus breaking Shawns' right arm. On the January 24, 2013 edition of  NXT, Michaels appeared to announce a tournament to crown the inaugural NXT Tag Team Champions. afterwards, He had an off-screen DX reunion with Kevin Nash as well.

On April 1, 2013 episode of Raw Michaels returned to offer his moral support for Triple H against Lesnar at WrestleMania by being Triple H's manager. As a result at WrestleMana 29 Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar to keep his career on the line and Michaels would launch a super kick to Paul Heyman during the match. Michaels returned on the May 27 edition of Raw in a backstage segment with John Cena, while also appearing on the SummerSlam Kickoff.

Michaels returned in October 2013 and was selected to be the guest referee in the Hell in a Cell match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Championship after winning a WWE App poll. at Hell in a Cell, michaels delivered sweet Chin Music to Bryan which allowed Orton to pick up the victory. The next night on Raw, Michaels told Bryan that Triple H was his best friend and always will be, and was upset at how Bryan attacked Triple H during the Hell in a Cell match the previous night. Michaels would then degrade Bryan for not showing him the respect he deserves, turning heel for the first time since 2005. Bryan would then put Michaels in the Yes Lock to end the segment. 

Personal life

Hickenbottom's marriage to his first wife, Theresa Wood, was brief and ended in divorce, but was amicably settled. He is now married to former WCW Nitro Girl Rebecca Hickenbottom (née Curci), who went by the stage name of Whisper. They were married on March 31, 1999 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada in a small ceremony. The only people present were the couple and an Elvis impersonator. The couple have a son, Cameron Kade (born on January 15, 2000) and a daughter, Cheyenne Michelle (born on August 19, 2004 ). His cousin Matt Bentley is also a professional wrestler having wrestled in TNA and WWE.

Hickenbottom has several tattoos. He has a tattoo of a heart with a sword through it, that has a snake around it in the shape of an "S." He has one on his wedding finger, that has an R for his wife Rebecca. Another in his left wrist, is a bracelet design that says "Cameron" for his son and "Cheyenne" for his daughter. On his left leg he has a picture of his wife, the other leg has a picture of the state of Texas. Finally, he has a small broken heart with the letters "HBK" above it, tattooed on his right hip.

In 1996, Hickenbottom posed in a non-nude layout for Playgirl magazine. It was not until after he posed that he discovered that Playgirl has a mostly homosexual readership, which was seen as humorous by his fellow wrestlers. He is ambidextrous, which caused him problems as a boy playing football, as he had trouble differentiating between his right and left directions. He uses his right hand to draw and color and his left hand to write. He typically uses his right leg when performing Sweet Chin Music, but has been known to use either arm when performing his signature elbow drop. Hickenbottom is a fan of the San Antonio Spurs. He has been seen wearing Spurs merchandise and attending Spurs games. John "Bradshaw" Layfield made a reference to Hickenbottom being a season ticket holder during the 2007 Royal Rumble.

Hickenbottom is a born again Christian. He was raised as a Roman Catholic, but became a non-denominational Christian under the influence of his wife Rebecca. His ring attire often incorporated cross symbols, and while on the way to the ring, he would normally get down on his knees and mouth a prayer while his pyrotechnics went off. He has been seen in the congregation during a televised service of John Hagee's Cornerstone Church in his hometown of San Antonio, where he is also a Bible teacher. He also appeared on a Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) program along with fellow professional wrestler Sting.

Trivia

  • Shawn Michaels defeated Ric Flair at Wrestlemania 24, which is why Ric Flair was forced to retire.
  • Shawn has two brothers, Scott & Randy, and a sister, Shari.
  • Shawn is the only wrestler in WWE history to simultaneously hold the WWE European Championship and WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Shawn was the first ever man to compete in a Ladder match, Hell in a Cell match, Ironman match and Elimination Chamber match.
  • Shawn is also the first wrestler to achieve the "Grand Slam".
  • Shawn, along with Chris Benoit, is the only superstar to have won the Royal Rumble event at entry number 1.

Quotes

        I suppose I always have to go back to the ladder match [with Razor Ramon in 1994] because I think that’s the one that sort of put me on the map. That’s the one where people said, “You know what? This guy could be a player.” I really have to credit that one for taking me to that next level. I don’t know that any of those other WrestleMania moments would have been possible had I not been in that match.     

            My persona is who I am: a born-again Christian, everything I do is real.     

            I don't know what an Elimination Chamber match is. But then, I didn't know what a Ladder match was, but I was the first to compete in one of those. I didn't know what a Hell in a Cell match was, i was the first to compete in one of those. And I didn't know what an Ironman match was, but I was the first to compete in one of those.           

            And of course, if you're not down with that. We got two... words... for ya!    

Source: Pro-Wrestling Wikia

 

Some of the greatest Wrestlers of all time- The Nation of Domination Tags: nation domination word life production new quality entertainment greatest wrestlers all time featured blog

The original Nation of Domination was formed in 1996 in the USWA. The group was led by PG-13, (a tag team consisting of JC Ice and Wolfie D). The group also consisted of Kareem Olajuwon, Sir Mohammad, Akeem Mohammad, Elijah, Shaquille Ali, Randy X, and Queen Moisha. This group never really got off the ground in the USWA but they saw greater success in the WWF.

The heel group was originally formed in the WWF when wrestler Faarooq was joined by manager Clarence Mason. The two men were also accompanied by two unnamed actors, Albert Armstrong and William Beach, who were supposed to represent other members of the Nation. The group was based loosely on the Nation of Islam. The extremism of the group's pro-black theme at times including the 'Nation Salute' and Faarooq's angry tirades on the microphone garnered them an excessive amount of heat from fans in arenas. Other wrestlers joined the Nation over time, including (in order) PG-13, Crush, Savio Vega, and D'Lo Brown. This lineup of the group remained intact until Faarooq became angry with them and fired the entire group with the exception of Brown after Faarooq's loss to The Undertaker at King of the Ring 1997, where Faarooq lost the match (in part) to the distraction caused when Vega and Crush were arguing at ringside.

Faarooq promised that he would deliver a "bigger and blacker" version of the Nation, which led to the induction of Kama Mustafa and Ahmed Johnson into the group. Johnson would be forced out of the group due to injury and replaced by Rocky Maivia (later known as The Rock). Meanwhile, former Nation members Vega and Crush formed their own rival factions, Los Boricuas (made up entirely of Hispanic and Latino wrestlers) and the Disciples of Apocalypse (made up entirely of caucasian biker wrestlers) respectively. This led to a WWF style "gang war" that was heavily criticized for separating each faction by race, eventually turning the "gang war" into an angle based on racism.

In the following months, the Nation feuded with Los Boricuas and the Disciples of Apocalypse with Ahmed Johnson eventually starting feuds with the Nation as well. Toward the end of the year, "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry, joined the group in a tag team match by assaulting partner Ken Shamrock, with whom The Rock was feuding with at the time over the Intercontinental title.

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In the beginning of 1998, The Rock went on to usurp leadership of the Nation from Faarooq, at which point the group dropped "of Domination" from its name and its militant focus permanently. Instead, The Rock's 'cool' gimmick spread throughout the faction with Nation members taking on considerably more hip characters, the most notable being Kama Mustafa's transformation into The Godfather. The Nation's primary focus by now saw to it that The Rock retained the Intercontinental title at any cost. The group engaged in a memorable rivalry with D-Generation X. At this time, Owen Hart, who had a past rivalry with D-Generation X leader, Triple H, would join the Nation. This was due to frustration Hart felt (kayfabe) towards the fans and his family as he felt they had abandoned him, and he 'snapped' and accepted The Nation as his real 'family' as a result. This highly popular feud saw the infamous parody DX performed in which they spoofed Nation members, The Rock thoroughly humiliating Chyna by alluding to a possible 'romantic' encounter between the two while the rest of DX were held at bay in their locker room by a forklift, a street fight between the two groups that wound up in Triple H being, in particular, singled out by the rest of the group and being beaten down with a ladder, and X-Pac & D'Lo trading back and forth the WWF European Championship.

Fall of The Nation

Toward the end of the year, the group showed signs of dissension as The Rock's mannerisms and swagger began to catch on with fans. The WWF could no longer ignore the cheers and adoration of the live crowds, so The Rock once again turned face. Owen Hart left the group when he believed there wasn't enough room for The Rock's ego and himself. The Rock would later be assaulted by D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry in October 1998 which would ultimately be the end of the Nation.

Shortly after, The Rock decided to run solo, riding his immense rise in popularity. He would be added to Vince McMahon's Corporation stable and would subsequently enjoy several years of success.

Owen Hart would go on to form a successful tag team with Jeff Jarrett, and later revive his Blue Blazer character before his untimely death in May 1999.

D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry would remain a tag team following the dissolution of The Nation, enjoying moderate success. After D'Lo attempted to help Mark Henry lose weight, Henry turned on D'Lo in the summer of 1999, ending the final remnants of the Nation of Domination. D'Lo would eventually hold both the Intercontinental and European titles at the height of his popularity. Mark Henry would form his "Sexual Chocolate" character and be involved in some angles of questionable quality until the development of his "Silverback" gimmick. As of now he and Faarooq (using his real name, Ron Simmons) are the two only former members who are still in the WWE.

Legacy

Similar stables and tag teams in promotions outside of the WWF have used the 'militant minority' gimmick that The Nation was well known for. The Latino World Order in WCW was an nWo parody led by Eddie Guerrero consisted of almost every Hispanic wrestler on the roster and sought to 'take over' the promotion. Latino wrestlers Homicide and Kane D. partnered together as The Nation of Immigration in Jersey All Pro Wrestling. The Latin American Exchange (LAX), also co-formed by and including Homicide, were just as, if not more, militant than The Nation because of their street thug gang mentality and use of a particularly brutal style of violence as they pushed their political agenda. Theodore Long managed a loose stable of black wrestlers (including former Nation members Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown) known as Thuggin & Buggin Enterprises on WWE Raw from 2002-2004, whom he claimed were held back from main event success by WWE management because they were African-American.

Source: Pro-Wrestler Wiki

Rowdy Roddy Pipper - One of the Greatest Wrestlers of All Time Tags: roddy pipper greatest wrestlers all time word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Although today he enjoys favored status as a beloved member of the WWE Hall of Fame, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper began his WWE career as one of the most-hated villains ever to step between the ropes. After making his bones in the NWA during the late '70s, the Hot Rod came to WWE in 1984, where he quickly rose to astronomical heights. His battles with Hulk Hogan became a WWE mainstay, and the two often engaged in heated banter during interview segments that rank among the most-entertaining interview segments in the company’s history.

Hogan and Piper also locked horns in the ring on several occasions. One of their most memorable bouts came at "The War to Settle the Score" on MTV. This landmark event set the stage for Hogan and Piper’s climactic clash at the first-ever WrestleMania. At that event, Piper teamed up with “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff with "Cowboy" Bob Orton in his corner to take on Hogan and Mr. T. Although The Rowdy One didn’t clinch the victory, the match more than lived up to the hype, ranking as one of the marquee main events in WWE history.

In addition to his formidable in-ring prowess, Piper was also a master on the mic, and he proved it regularly by hosting what is arguably the most innovative (and controversial) interview segment in WWE History: "Piper’s Pit." In each installment, Piper would break his guests down with a barrage of questions, manipulating the moment until he was completely in control. Often times the unexpected would happen, such as the night when he shattered a coconut over the head of Jimmy “Super Fly” Snuka. In another brutal moment, Andre the Giant confronted Hulk Hogan in the Pit, grabbing the Hulkster so hard that the cross he was wearing dug into his flesh. Piper, stunned at the turn of events, turned to Hogan and said, simply, “You’re bleeding, man.” This high-wire sense of danger and unpredictability made"Piper’s Pit" appointment viewing for any serious WWE fan.

The Hogan/Andre confrontation on the Pit led to their explosive meeting at WrestleMania III, a night that was significant for Piper as well, as it marked his last match before a brief retirement from the ring. Piper defeated Adrian Adonis by using a Sleeper Hold and added to the humiliating loss by shaving his nemesis's head. As Adonis’s locked were shorn, the Silverdome erupted, earning Piper one of his biggest ovations in WWE.

Piper went on to pursue a career in acting, most famously starring in John Carpenter’s sci-fi cautionary tale "They Live." But even the klieg lights of Hollywood couldn't keep Hot Rod away from the spotlights of WWE. Piper returned to the promotion in the early 90s, and received his first taste of Championship gold on January 19, 1992, when he defeated The Mountie for the Intercontinental Championship. At WrestleMania VIIIhe took on Bret "Hit Man" Hart in another classic match, losing the gold but remaining a fan favorite.

After another brief stint away from WWE, Piper came back as interim President of WWE in 1996. He went on that same year to face Goldust in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl at WrestleMania XII. Piper won the bout and stripped the Golden One down to his lingerie, revolting the crowd while also proving his status

Piper spent the next decade bouncing from promotion to promotion before returning to WWE for good as a vaunted member of the 2005 Hall of Fame.  Since then, he has proven more than willing to unleash his controversial wit and brashness on any Superstar foolish enough to cross him. In 2006, he did the unthinkable when he and Ric Flair managed to capture the World Tag Team Titles, winning them from the Spirit Squad at Cyber Sunday.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper has claimed he was born to controversy, and his wild, freewheeling life has proven that statement to be more than hyperbole. Now into his fifth decade as a WWE Superstar, Piper continues to shake things up wherever he goes. As John Cena, who was confronted by Piper on a November 2011 installment of "Piper’s Pit" learned, just when you think you know the answers, he changes the questions.

Source: WWE

Cactus Jack, Mankind, Mick Foley is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time Tags: cactus jack mick foley mankind greatest wrestlers all time word life production new quality

Mick Foley is a legendary professional wrestler, turned multi-time best-selling author, turned stand-up comic/spoken word performer.

One of the cornerstones of WWE’s meteoric rise in the late 90’s, Mick Foley earned the nickname ‘The Hardcore Legend’ for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. Already a respected veteran for his 11 physically punishing years wrestling under the name Cactus Jack, Foley’s career soared to new heights in WWE as ‘Mankind’, a character Foley claimed was inspired by a combination of reading ‘Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’ and listening tothe music of Tori Amos.

As Cactus Jack, Foley won the 1995 ‘King of the Deathmatch’ tournament in Yokohama, Japan, and continued wrestling, despite the amputation of his right ear, in a match against Vader in Munich, Germany in 1994. As Mankind, Foley was a 3-time WWE Champion, but is best known for his epic and brutal battle with The Undertaker in 1998’s ‘Hell in a Cell’ match, during which he was knocked unconscious after falls both off of and through the 16 foot Cell structure. Despite the injury, Foley finished the match – with one of his front teeth lodged in his nose.

With retirement looming as a result of that physically demanding style, Foley penned his own memoir, ‘Have a Nice Day’ without the aid of a ghost-writer – writing 200,000 words in longhand in 50 days. The book showcased Foley’s paradoxical blend of wit and wisdom, wildness and warmth, and shocked the literary world by hitting number one on The New York Times best-seller list in October, 1999. The book remained on the Times list for twenty six weeks. A follow-up, 2001’s ‘Foley is Good’ hit number one on The New York Times list as well. Foley has published a total of ten books; four memoirs, four children’s books and two novels.

After speaking at some of the United Stated most respected colleges and universities – including MIT, Syracuse University, Notre Dame and The University of Miami, Foley decided to take his verbal skills to the stand-up comedy stage in 2009. 2012 saw Foley earn rave reviews for his comedy sets at ‘Just for Laughs’ in Montreal, and the ‘Edinburgh (UK) Fringe Fest’ – the two largest comedy festivals in the world. He is currently represented by Innovative Artists.

Foley’s acting credentials include ’30 Rock’, ‘Warren the Ape’, Now and Again’, ‘G vs E’ and ‘Boy Meets World’ and he was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Beyond the Mat’ He has done voice work on ‘Squidbillies’ ‘Celebrity Death Match’ and ‘Avatar: the Last Airbender’ and was featured in a 2012 episode of ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’. His list of guest appearances include ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, ‘The Late Show with Jay Leno’, ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, ‘Good Morning America’, ‘Family Feud’ ‘Redeye’, ‘Larry King Live’ and several appearances on ‘Today’. He was featured in a 2010 story on ‘ABC’s World News Tonight’ for his work as an online volunteer with RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. Foley was also recognized for his work with RAINN at 2010’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’ – where he was awarded a Medal of Reasonableness’ from Jon Stewart.

Foley lives with his wife and four children on Long Island. His latest book, ‘A Most Mizerable Christmas’ will be published in October, 2012 by DK Books. The Foley’s have sponsored children with Child-Fund International for twenty years.

Source: Official Website

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