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"What it feels like to be me"
by Shawn Michaels
Wrestling Superstars Magazine
Summer Edition 1997

[Editor's note: Before Shawn Michaels relinquished the WWF World title because of a severe knee injury, everything was seemingly wonderful in his life. This article penned exclusively for Wrestling Superstars, is a stunning contrast to his tearful announcement on national TV just a couple of weeks later]

I have always done things my way, and because of that my life is very good. Maybe over the years I've been a little too brash and upset some people, particularly Bret Hart, but Bret has never lived up to the standards he brags about. You call taking eight months off to look at other career options being a noble leader? But enough about the "Hitman".

This is about me and I don't care what other people think of me. But when you're "The Heartbreak Kid" your life seems to revolve around everyone else and everything else. I can't be myself for two minutes without having someone complain that my actions aren't good for the WWF or for Bret Hart or the fans. You know I never asked to be the ambassador for the WWF. All I asked for was a shot at the title, and God knows I had to battle for that. "He's too wild" my critics said. "He's a ladies man, he's rude, he's this and that. " I heard it all before I became champ, and I've heard it all since.

But believe me, there's a lot more good about being me than bad. Like the feeling I get when I use that "sweet chin music" on Bret or "Psycho" Sid, or anyone really. I barely hear the fans screaming and cheering when that happens. It's like it happens in slow motion, and I feel the impact of my foot on his chin through my whole body. It's like I feel the adrenaline surging though every vein. Sure you see a lot of swagger from me after I win a match, but that is just me. I am having a good time, because this is fun, and winning is fun. I've always been a winner, even during those crappy times when I was not champ. I have always been a winner because I'm not a phony. Those tears that poured down my face at Wrestlemania XII were real. When the bell rang after I beat Bret Hart for the WWF title, I thought about the night I had collapsed in the ring. I thought about how my career almost ended that night in Virginia. I don't know why, but that's what happened.

People used to hate me for being me. Then they decided to like me for being me. Now, some fans like me, some hate me, it doesn't matter. Sure, when I came out for my match with Sid at Survivor Series last year, I heard a lot of boos for the first time in a long time, and that gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. Every muscle in my body tightened up. My jaw clenched. For one night, it killed me, but boos will never bother me again. I forgot all about those boos that night when Sid hit Jose Lotherio. All I could do was react. I barely remember it happening, and I don't remember getting pinned. It's like my mind is blocking out most of that memory. But I do remember the look on Jose's face when I reached him. I have nightmares about that. It was one of the lowest moments of my life. I guess that stuff happens. What can you do...you move on and look for the high points, like when I return to my hometown of San Antonio to a hero's welcome. Everyone there knows I'm the real thing.

What gets me going? Sure, the women, the glamour, the glory are nice, but I love looking into a crowd and picking out one or two faces and studying those people's eyes. To see the emotion in those eyes, the joy I'm bringing to those people---it gives me such a rush. When I got all those Slammys last year----same feeling. I felt the same rush when I was posing for Playgirl, just knowing that my face and a lot of my body were going to be seen by so many women in that issue----man, what a feeling. Everytime the flash on the camera went off, it was great.

Of course, none of these feelings compare to the rush you get when you win. It killed me to see my former bodyguard, Diesel, as WWF champ. I'd been wrestling for about 10 years and never reached that plateau. In one year in the WWF, he became champion. That's the way it goes sometimes. Everytime I saw him hold that belt up and soak in the cheers, I'd think back to the day I got started in this business and promised myself I'd be a world champion someday. But I got my chance. I earned my chance. And I had the best teacher in the world in Jose.

You still wondering who I am? What makes me tick? You should know by watching me. The Shawn Michaels you see in the ring is the same Shawn Michaels in San Antonio, in Boston, in Beirut. What I am most is the best damn wrestler in the world. The best technician with the best stamina, with the strongest drive. No one can bounce back from near-defeat to rebound as smoothly as I can. No one in the world combines power with grace, balance, and skill the way I do. There are a lot of great wrestlers out there, but no one is the complete package. No one except me, not Bret Hart, not Steve Austin. But popularity isn't necessarily about winning. It's about giving the people what they want. Helen and Stu Hart certainly made that clear to Bret. Look at Owen; he's true to himself, but he is hated by most of the fans.

My parents always told me as a kid to be me, even if it meant being alone. Jose always told me that any gold belt is meaningless if the wrestler wearing it is a phony. So excuse me if I don't fit the mold of champion Bret Hart would like. I'm too busy living up to my own standards. They're the only standards that matter to me.


SHAWN "TOUCHES BASE" WITH WADE! (WWF Magazine)

This past December - fresh off a Yankees' World Series win - gold glove Bronx Bomber Wade Boggs and his two sons (all HUGE World Wrestling Federation fans, I might add) decided to enjoy the off seaason by catching some Federation action in Tampa, Florida! Federation Champion Shawn Michaels was first in a long line to get a "photo op" with the third baseman and was also honored to get a John Hancock from one of baseball's biggest stars. "Hey... it's always exciting to meet a World Series hero," Shawn later said of Boggs. "On one of the rare times in this Heartbreaks Kid's life, I was the one asking for the autograph!"

(From one of the various Wrestling Magazines.)

DID HE AT LEAST WEAR HIS BELT?

Actually, then - WWF World champion Shawn Michaels kept his clothes on for this spread in Playgirl magazine, which featured his picture on the cover. Said Michaels, "I don't have to take my clothes off to drive the women crazy. Just the sight of me is enough to make them sigh with passion." Egotistical or not, Michaels certainly had kathy Lee Gifford tripping over her words during his appearance on Live! With Regis And Kathie Lee in November.

(from the WWF Raw Magazine. This is only part of the whole article. The whole article listed 10 people as great IC champs; Shawn was #1!)

#1 SHAWN MICHAELS

The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels' name has all but grown synonymous with the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Title. From the moment that he decided to switch from tag team competition and became a singles competitor almost until the day he captured the World Wrestling Federation Championship at WrestleMania XII, Michaels was either wearing the Intercontinental Belt or was pursuing it. Trivia fans have noted that he also lost the Intercontinental Belt on two occasions without being defeated in the squared circle: Once, he was stripped of the title in the midst of a sabbatical that he took from the World Wrestling Federation; another time, he forfeted the belt due to injuries that he sustained outside the ring. His greatest Intercontinental Title defense came at SummerSlam '95, when he triumphed over the Bad Guy Razor Ramon in an unforgetable ladder match. If Shawn Michaels brings the same level of pride and tenacity to his current World Wrestling Federation Championship reign, that title will ascend to an even greater level of dignity.

*Thanks to HBKIDsKLIQ'S newsletter* for the following article it was in a San Antonio paper :

THE GOOD (Headline)

While car shopping the other day, North Sider Ray Bibb and his daughter Stacey asked a salesman to accompany them on a test-drive of a new Pontiac. About 10 miles out of town on U.S. 281, the car ran out of gas. Bibb and the salesman tried to push the heavy automobile off the highway but couldn't budge it. "At that point," Bibb reports, "a gentleman drove up, asked if he could help us and then, single-handedly, pushed the car without any problem." It didn't take Bibb long to realize why the fellow made the job look easy: "It was Shawn Michaels!!!" "After moving our car to a safe place, he gave us a ride back to the dealership. "What a nice guy!"

Editor's note:- For Express-News readers who aren't with it.... Shawn Michaels, a native San Antonian, is a World Wrestling Federation star who at various times in his career held the Federation Title, the Intercontinental Title, and the Tag Team Title. According to press-agentry gush, the 227 pound Michaels "breaks not only the hearts of women but the careers of wrestlers." In his sparetime, he (Michaels) plays Superman on U.S.281.

(From one of the wrestling magazines when Shawn was the WWF Champion for the 1st time.)

Madison Square Garden in New York continues to sell out for the WWF wrestling shows. Champion Shawn Michaels receives standing ovations whenever he wrestles but the noise level at the Garden is the loudest. "Twenty thousand people cheering me on really helps a lot," the Heartbreak Kid said. "It's like having an extra dose of energy whenever I need it," he explained...


(I don't remember what Magazine this came from by it was from November 1996.)
HOW I WOULD BEAT THE GIANT
BY SHAWN MICHAELS

FIRST THING, I don't make a habit of boasting about who I could beat, but I'm also not one to avoid a direvt question. If you want to know how I would do against The Giant, I'll tell you, and I'll hold nothing back. Would I wrestle The Giant? I'd take on anyone, if they had the guts and talent to become a WWF wrestler. Would I be intimidated by The Giant? I'm not intimidated by anyone or anything! Would I beat The Giant? IF I didn't think I could beat any man, I would be embarrassed to wear the WWF World championship belt. When I look across the ring, I don't see the size of a man. I don't care whether he's 6-feet, 7-feet, or 8-feet. Wrestling is not about size; it's about preparation. When most people think of preparation, they immrfiately think of learning how to apply holds and execute maneuvers, about gym work, lifiting weights, sparring. That's all important, but to really be special in this sport - maybe any sport or any aspect of life, for that matter - you have to be prepared to react instantly to situations as they arise. It's one thing to know how to apply a leglock or to even know a counter to that leglock. What are you going to do if you've been trained to break a hold in a particular way, using a particular muscle, and that muscle has either been exhausted or injured? Do you have a plan B or a plan C? Are you smart enough, collected enough, intuitive enough to develop a new plan right then and there? Shawn Michaels can. Few others in the history of the sport have. The Giant? His record is spotless. He's manhandled everybody who ahs crossed his path. That's great, isn't it? Not really. "The Heartbreak Kid" would be able to do things int he ring against The Giant that no other man has be able to do. That's a fact. Just how would The Giant react to adversity? That's really an unanswered question. I do know that a wrestler doesn't want his first taste of adversity against me. Once I've sensed uncertainty in a wrestler, he's in deep, deep trouble. I'll capitalize on that and just make it worse and worse for him. I know there are people who will say that a good big man will beat a good little man every time. If both are wrestlers art at the same level in every regard, and they only difference was size, I'd agree with that statement. In real life, it never works that way. I would be foolish to underestimate any opponent, especially one with such obvious physical gifts, but The Giant is stepping up to a different class of athlete when he gets in there with Shawn Michaels. Too many of The Giant's opponents freeze up when they see how big he is, and in that instant he simply grabs them and finishes them with a choke-slam. That wouldn't happen to me. I'd dart in and out, strike and retreat, and eventually impose my will. His confidence would be down so low. In his mind he would see me as being bigger than he is. Once I see that look in his eyes that he has mentally thrown in the towel, I'd hit him in the chin with a superkick and cover him for the pin. If The Giant wants to wrestle "The Heartbreak Kid." my advice to him is to wait about three or four years. A loss of this magnitude at this stage of his career could be devastation.

(This came from the WWF magazine. I thought this was a cute little thing the WWF did. This is only Shawn's article but there was one for many WWF superstars.)

The Legend of Shawn Michaels

Sir Laddy S. Man,the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of the Heartbreak Kid SHawn Michaels, was clearly known as the Don Juan of England. However, and more important, he is best known for being once sentenced to doom by King Arthur's Order of the Round Table. Legend has it that while the Knoghts of the Round Table would gather for their monthly meeting, their maidens would invite Sir Laddy over to their castles for what they would define as a "twirl in the Heartbreak Hotel." Keep in mind, however, that this was not necessarily the fault of the Hearbreak Knight. He was young, attractive and overall, quite a physical specimen. The fair young maidens just insisted that Sir Laddy be their Boy Toy. Well fault or no fault, the Knights of the Round Table handed down the order that the Sexy Knight be decapitated at once! Nothing could save the Knight...or so it seemed, until one day, one of the maidens was taken captive by the village psychomanic Squid - yes, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle of Psycho Sid. Nobody, not even King Arthur, dared to challenge Squid. As far as the Knights were concerned, Squid could have his way with the maiden. no onw was brave enough to save his beautiful prisoner. That is except for, of course, Sir Laddy. The blond - maned, blue eyed Soldier of Love took a valiant stand against Squid. He demanded that the psychomaniac unleash the maiden at once - or else. As the story goes, Squid unleashed her but not before he had mercilessly powerbombed Sir Laddy to the concrete floor of the castle three times! In the end, Laddy had to be rushed to the hospital. However, from that day forward he had gained the respect of the Kingdom known as Camelot!


(This article was from the WWF magazine)

the Icon!! the Showstopper!! the Artist?!

Everyone who watches RAW IS WAR each week knows that due to their controversial antics, Shawn Michaels and the rest of D-Generation X sometimes draw harsh criticism. However, during a recent week - long guest appearance on the popular game show Pictionary, fans also found out the Heartbreak Kid can "draw" while competing on another type of canvas as well!

The Show, hosted by actor Alan Thicke, features two teams made up of contestants and celebrities. The object is for each side to guess what the person is depicting on the canvas, but the trick is that the artist can't say a word!

During the five - day period Michaels joined fellow celebrities Darius McCrary (Eddie on Family Matters), Charles Perez (host of Inside Edition), Elisa Donovan (Elisa from Clueless), and Tonight Show with Jay Leno annoucer Ed Hall! Altough Shawn's team came up on the short end of the competition during the week, the DX member had a blast showing off his artistic ability by drawing a variety of objects, including houses and fish - at least that's what we think they were!

What's Happening
By: Bill Apter

SHAWN MICHAELS appears to be out as the leader of DeGeneration X, with Hunter Hearst Helmsley taking over his spot. At least that's the way "Triple - H" sees things.

"Shawn Michaels was a great leader," said Helmsley. "But just because Shawn Michaels is out of the picture at this time doesn't mean DeGeneration X closes up shop and goes out of business. DX is bigger than Shawn Michaels, it's bigger than every one of us. However, the truth of the matter is that I was responsible for most of our success, and Shawn was responsible for our biggest faux pas, and that was bringing Mike Tyson into the fold."

"I specifically told him I did not trust Tyson. I specifically told him I did not want Tyson in our organization. I told him Tyson could cost us the World championship. But no matter what I said, Shawn refused to listen - and look what happened. Life will go on without Shawn. Chyna and I have brought X-Pac and The New Age Outlaws into the fold. And you'll notice I haven't asked for Shawn's approval!"

HBK refused to comment when I called him at his home in San Antonio, but Jose Lothario, Michaels' mentor (they had a falling out when DX was formed, but have since mended their relationship) told me, "Shawn and I were watching Hunter on TV when he said that Shawn was responsible for all the problems. Shawn just gave me a disgusted look and said, 'I don't even want to think about wrestling.' He took the remote control, turned off the set and left. I haven't heard from him since."

(This article is from Who's Who in Wrestling presented by Wrestling World magazine)

{My Note: Some of this infromation is wrong...but I just typed the article the way it was written. Here is what I noticed right away that was incorrect: Shawn won the tag title 3 times, 2 times with Diesel and 1 time with Steve. Sweet Chin Music is a Backwards Thrust Kick...not a Drop-kick. It is the WWF title he lost to Austin at WretleMania XIV not the AWF title. And Shawn has said times he has never inherited any money from any fans!}

SHAWN MICHAELS

"The Heartbreak Kid" is accomplished at more than just breaking hearts. When he defeated the British Bulldog on September 20, 1997 to win the WWF's European title, he became the Federation's first "Grand Slam" winner, meaning he's the first to have won four different WWF championships -- the intercontinental (3 times), Tag Team (2), World (3), and the European. Cocky doesn't begin to discribe the self - proclaimed "Boy Toy," who has been winning title belts since the mid - '80's... Trained by fellow San Antonian Jose Lothario, Michaels got his first big break in the AWA, forming the "Midnight Rockers" tag team with Marty Jannetty. They won the AWA tag team title twice (Jan. 27, 1987 & Dec. 27, 1987)... Both jumped to the WWF where they wrestled as "The Rockers" but failed to win the tag title. Michaels did win the top tag honors with two other partners, however, the first time with Diesel in the "Dudes with Attitudes" team in 1994 and three years later with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Jannetty won the honor once, with the 1-2-3 Kid in 1994. Shawn also outshone Marty in the singles ranks, winning the Intercontinental championship in1992 and beginning his first reign as WWF World Heavyweight champion with his defeat of Bret Hart at WrestleMania XIII on March 31, 1996... The 6'1, 227 - pounder faced Razor Ramon in the now legendary Ladder Match in Madison Square Garden at WrestleMania X. At WrestleMania XI, Shawn, with bodyguard Sycho Sid, challenged Diesel, Shawn's former bodyguard, for the World Heavyweight title... Likes to finish of his foes with some "Sweet Chin Music," a flying drop - kick that keeps them down and makes them easy prey for the pin. Joined forces with Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna to form D-Generation X, and the trio has been controversial from the start. After losing the AWF title to Austin at WrestleMania XIV, HHH took control of DX, Claiming Shawn "dropped the ball" ... Many feel Shawn's predilection for assaulting WWF officials, baring his backside to the crowd and just walking around the ring in his underwear has made him the most disreputable superstar ever! Despite these off - putting traits, Shawn remains immensely popular in certain quarters, belying his undeniable charisma and athleticism. OUTLOOK: Already the most decorated champion in WWF history, there is more gold in the HBK's future, unless he rubs the wrong person the wrong way, and that includes his DX cronies. Shawn is liable to suffer a career ending injury which many will think is much deserved! DID YOU KNOW...Shawn inherited a fortune from a fan who wrote the Heartbreak Kid into his will!


Credit Goes To: http://www.expressnews.com/pantheon/salife-ent/tv-now/0601bmca.shtml: San Antonio Express-News. (To go to the main page here is a link to that also: http://www.expressnews.com/)

Wrestling champ ready to retire
By Ihosvani Rodriguez
Express-News Staff Writer

Shawn Michaels, "The Heartbreak Kid," will be breaking the hearts of wrestling fans everywhere.

The World Wrestling Federation superstar has picked what has become the year of the wrestler to turn in his tights.

The San Antonio native likely will retire from the ring after he undergoes back surgery next Tuesday.

"It's a matter of looking at the risk vs. rewards ratio. I need to start thinking about the second part of my life," Michaels said from his North San Antonio home Tuesday afternoon. "It's time to say, 'That's a wrap.' "

Last year, Michaels, 33, received a serious back injury after he was tossed through a table during a match against The Undertaker.

Doctors told him 14 years of being body-slammed and enduring backbreakers however choreographed they might have been virtually destroyed two disks in his lower back.

"It's the most excruciating pain anyone can ever endure," Michaels said.

Doctors from the medical team that treated former New York Jets player Dennis Byrd were among those consulted by Michaels.

On Tuesday, San Antonio surgeons will try to fuse Michaels' disks back together. Michaels' doctors could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Michaels who played high school football for the Randolph Ro-Hawks and whose real name is Michael Hickenbottom said he's going to continue working for the WWF.

His primary role will be "commissioner" for the wrestling organization, serving as spokesman and front man as the WWF expands its audience globally.

After spending several years toiling in minor wrestling federations, Michaels quickly rose through the ranks in the world where showmanship and charisma are rewarded with fame and fortune and marked with a championship belt.

"I've accomplished many things in the ring, including reaching the top as a world champion," Michaels said. "If I hadn't won the title, then perhaps I would still be trying to get back in the ring one way or another, but you have to start thinking about your personal life."

Michaels will continue to work with local wrestling legend Jose Lothario on a wrestling school set to open in April and continue his efforts with local charities, he said.

To explain his absence while he recovers from back surgery, Michaels was "pummeled" by WWF wrestlers on "Monday Night Raw," then tossed through a car windshield.

Michaels said he will not be part of Sunday's WWF live telecast "Sunday Night Heat" from the Freeman Coliseum.

Tuesday, Jan 5, 1999

Credit: http://www.wwf.com
WILL HBK CONTINUE TO WALK THE WALK?
by Phil Speer

After his beating by the Corporation, and with back surgery on the horizon, Shawn Michaels is contemplating retirement, a newspaper in Texas is reporting.

"I've accomplished many things in the ring, including reaching the top as a world champion," Michaels told his hometown newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News. "If I hadn't won the title, then perhaps I would still be trying to get back in the ring one way or another, but you have to start thinking about your personal life."

It’s not the first time that Michaels has talked openly about hanging it up. He suffered multiple injuries and a concussion this past week on RAW. It is reminiscent of 1995, when a group of thugs in Syracuse, New York, dragged Michaels from his car and assaulted him, leaving him battered and with a concussion.

I was a student at Syracuse University in 1995 and the assault generated widespread local publicity. There was rampant speculation that Michaels would retire. Dealing with traumatic Post Concussion Syndrome, doctors encouraged him to do just that.

Of course, he returned, won the 1996 Royal Rumble, and went on to capture the World Wrestling Federation Championship for the first of three times.

Doctors are once again encouraging him to retire. The Heartbreak Kid faces back surgery later this month to fuse two damaged vertebrae in his lower back that have left him out of action since WrestleMania in March.

Michaels could easily walk away.

The goals that Michaels came back three years ago to accomplish have all been accomplished. He is the only superstar in history to hold the Tag Team, European, Intercontinental and World Wrestling Federation Championship. He has worn the Federation Championship on not one but three occasions. He is rich and famous, and is set to open a wrestling school in the next few months to keep him occupied.

His body is bruised from the punishment he took from the Corporation as so is his ego. Michaels must be speculating, like all fans, that D-Generation X indirectly assisted in the attack by giving Michaels the wrong car keys and trapping him outside alone.

Plus, knowing Mr. McMahon, the man who gave Michaels his opportunity so many years, orchestrated the assault may also be weighing on Michaels’ mind. Does HBK have any friends in the locker room that will watch his back?

It is easy to see why Michaels is telling the San Antonio Express-News that he is thinking about walking away.

But how many times do we see high-profile athletes say they are going to retire, and then come back? Michaels himself has already done it. Michael Jordan insisted he was done with basketball after his father was killed, only to return two seasons later.

Just as Jordan has basketball in his blood, the World Wrestling Federation runs through Shawn’s veins. The superstar bleeds Attitude. Remember, Michaels left to heal his wounds after WrestleMania, but could stay away. Still too injured to compete, he returned last summer for guest commentary on RAW. Remember the excitement in Michaels’ face when he first showed up? That excitement from the crowd, that "pop", is what it’s all about.

The Heartbreak Kid is also a competitor. There are always more championships to win. More main events to compete in. More shows to stop for the showstoppa. You think Michaels is satisfied being a three-time champion?

Sure, he’s in pain. He’s got a concussion. Maybe he’s got no friends.

But, still in his early 30’s, can the most charismatic and resilient superstar of all time actually walk away?

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