Shawn Michaels

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Shawn Michaels performing his trademark entrance pose with pyros in background.

Michael Shawn James Hickenbottom (born July 22, 1965 in Scottsdale, Arizona) is a professional wrestler better known as Shawn Michaels or the Heartbreak Kid (HBK). He currently performs for World Wrestling Entertainment on its RAW brand.


Early career

Although born in Scottsdale, Hickenbottom grew up in San Antonio. Trained by Jose Lothario, he debuted in 1984 in Texas at the Texas Allstar Wrestling promotion, where Michaels & Paul Diamond were awarded the Tag Titles by Chavo Guerrero, Sr. He also wrestled for the Central States branch of the National Wrestling Alliance, with Michaels & Marty Jannetty beating the Batten Twins for the Central States Tag Title, later dropping it back to the Battens. He made his national debut in 1986 in the now-defunct American Wrestling Association teaming with Marty Jannetty forming a team called The Midnight Rockers. They won the Tag Team Titles twice and had some bloody matches with "Playboy" Buddy Rose and Doug Somers. The Midnight Rockers also had a stint working for the Memphis promotion of CWA as heels, even facing The Rock 'n' Roll Express. The Rockers did sign with the World Wrestling Federation but were fired two weeks later for "partying too hard." They returned to the AWA before being resigned by the WWF a year later.

The Heartbreak Kid

On a Saturday Night's Main Event broadcast, The Rockers did win the WWF Tag Titles, beating Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart. Neidhart had been fired and was filling contractual obligations to drop the Tag Team Titles. During the match, the top rope broke and caused confusion, in the end with the Rockers winning. The Rockers defended the titles a week after that, when Neidhart was re-signed by the WWF. WWF Chairman, Vince McMahon decided that the title change never happened and sent a story to Pro Wrestling Illustrated saying the top rope breaking caused an unfair working enviroment. The title reign was annulled and forgotten, and the match was edited out of the SNME broadcast.

Citing frustration with their lack of championship success and a wish to break out on his own, Michaels and Jannetty split on an episode of WWF Wrestling Challenge, shown on January 12, 1992 (but taped on December 2, 1991) during a famous incident on Brutus Beefcake's "Barber Shop" segment, when Michaels superkicked Jannetty and threw him through a plate-glass window. Shawn turned heel and became a singles wrestler, taking the nickname, "The Heartbreak Kid" (often referring to himself as "HBK"). In his new gimmick as a vain, cocky wrestler, he took on a manager, Sherri Martel, who was infatuated with him, and even sang the first version of his theme music, "Sexy Boy." Martel was the catalyst for a then-rare "heel vs. heel" feud with "The Model" Rick Martel (unrelated to Sherri), which led to a match between the two at the 1992 SummerSlam PPV

Michaels enjoyed considerable success as a singles wrestler, winning his first WWF title, the WWF Intercontinental Championship from The British Bulldog during the final episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, on October 27, 1992. Shortly thereafter, he faced Bret Hart for the WWF Championship in the main event of the 1992 Survivor Series. Though he lost the match, his on-and-off feud with Hart would last several years, and remain in the minds of fans long after Hart's retirement.

He also feuded with his former partner Jannetty, who reappeared in the WWF in late 1992. In the storyline, Jannetty accidentally injured Sherri when he hit her with a large mirror, intended for Michaels, who pulled Martel in front of him. Martel abandoned Michaels, and the two former Rockers faced each other in a match at the 1993 Royal Rumble. Shortly thereafter, Michaels debuted a new version of his theme music, with vocals performed by himself. He uses this entrance music to this day.

Michaels held the Intercontinental Championship for most of the following year, losing it briefly to Jannetty on an episode of Monday Night RAW on May 17, 1993, but regaining it on June 6, with the help of his new bodyguard, Diesel, who had joined the WWF after a run in World Championship Wrestling. In September 1993, Michaels briefly left the WWF. On WWF TV, it was explained that WWF president Jack Tunney had suspended him and stripped him of the title. While he was off TV, he participated in a "Survivor Series"-type match in the United States Wrestling Association during a WWF/USWA cross-promotion. He returned to WWF airwaves by the 1993 Survivor Series, substituting for Jerry Lawler in a match pitting himself and three of Lawler's "knights" against Bret Hart, Owen Hart, and two of their brothers.

He soon entered a feud with Razor Ramon, who had won the Intercontinental Title during Michaels' absence. Since Michaels had never been defeated for the title, he claimed to be the rightful champion, and carried around his old title belt. This feud culminated in a ladder match between the two at WrestleMania X, on March 20, 1994 in Madison Square Garden. Michaels lost the match, which featured both his and Ramon's belts suspended above a ladder in the ring. This match won "Match of the Year" awards from Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

On an episode of Monday Night RAW, taped on March 21, 1994, Michaels debuted a segment called "The Heartbreak Hotel", which was mainly shown on WWF Superstars throughout the year. The segment, which featured Michaels obnoxiously interviewing other wrestlers and managers, allowed him to showcase his microphone skills and appear on television, even when he was injured and unable to wrestle. The "Heartbreak Hotel" set was comprised of a heart-shaped bed and a flashing neon sign.

He was still accompanied by Diesel, who, though he remained a heel, had become popular among fans in his own right. On August 28, 1994, Michaels and Diesel captured the WWF World Tag Team Championship from The Headshrinkers. During their brief tenure as a tag team, they used a variation of the Headshrinkers' finishing move, where Michaels would finish off their opponent by climbing on Diesel's shoulders and splashing their opponent. The next day, Diesel lost the Intercontinental Title to Ramon (who had lost the title to Diesel earlier in the year), when Michaels accidentally superkicked his bodyguard. In October 1994, Michaels suffered a hand injury, which would put him on the shelf as an active wrestler until January.

Michaels and Diesel broke up their team on November 23, 1994, at the Survivor Series, when Michaels again accidentally superkicked Diesel (though Michaels had not actually wrestled in the match). Michaels then declared that the team was no more, and the Tag Team Championship was thus vacated. Also, Diesel was the WWF Champion at the time.

WWF Champion

Michaels became the perceived leader of a backstage group known as The Clique, which obtained sufficient clout with WWF owner Vince McMahon to become the dominant wrestling figures in the promotion for several years in the mid-1990s. For storyline purposes, Shawn's fanbase was nicknamed "The Kliq" as an inside reference to the real "Clique." Shawn won his first WWF Championship in March 1996 at WrestleMania XII, defeating Bret Hart in a 60 minute Iron Man Match, after failing to win it at last year's WrestleMania against Diesel. His title reign lasted from March to November's Survivor Series, where he was beaten by Psycho Sid, his former bodyguard.

At the 1997 Royal Rumble, Michaels recaptured the WWF Title from Sid in front of his hometown fans in San Antonio. He forfeited his title in February, claiming to have "lost his smile" to a series of injuries. Michaels was rumored to be unwilling to lose to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 in a rematch of the previous year's match.

In November 1997, Michaels beat Hart in a controversial match in Montreal. Hart, who then held the WWF Championship, had reportedly been assured that he would win the match via a disqualification. However, McMahon, concerned that Hart was leaving the WWF and might take the belt with him (in spite of Hart assuring him that he would lose the title before leaving), arranged for the bell to be rung when Michaels applied the Sharpshooter to Hart, making it look like his opponent tapped out (gave up). Michaels was given the victory in the match and therefore was given the championship as well. This incident has since become known as the Montreal Screwjob. Several years later, on an episode of WWE Confidential, Michaels admitted he knew about McMahon's plan beforehand and apologized to Bret Hart later on. Though it is unknown whether Bret and Shawn are friends, it is known that they are at peace with each other.

Back injury and semi-retirement

In 1998, a back injury that Michaels received in the Casket Match against The Undertaker forced Michaels into retirement after losing the WWF Championship to Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV. Shortly after WrestleMania, Michaels would return to the WWF, but not as a wrestler; instead, he replaced Sgt. Slaughter as the WWF Commissioner. Throughout 1998 and 1999, Michaels would switch between heel and babyface briefly joining Vince McMahon's Corporation faction and even costing The Rock the WWF Championship. In early 2000, Michaels handed over the role of commissioner to Mick Foley. Michaels continued to do work for the WWF often appearing at fan conventions such as WWF Fan Axess, and even refereeing the Iron Man match between The Rock and Triple H at Judgment Day in May 2000.

Around this time, Hickenbottom married Rebecca Curci, formerly a WCW Nitro Girl with the stage name Whisper, with whom he would eventually have a son and a daughter. He also became a born-again Christian in 2001 (in large part, he states, due to Rebecca's influence) and does charity work for his church. (If one looks closely at some of Michaels' WWE merchandise, one can see crosses in some of the items.) His messages are known to contain religious, Christian like messages: eg: All things are possible and Prayer Warrior.

World Wrestling Entertainment

In 2002, Michaels came back to wrestling, brought in by Kevin Nash as the new member of the nWo. The storyline did not last very long. After the nWo was disbanded, Triple H asked Michaels to be his manager—the two are best friends in real life—but Michaels turned him down. Later on, however, they came down to the ring, with their D-Generation X music and attire, to the cheers of the crowd. When they were about to do their trademark "suck it" taunt, Triple H nailed Michaels with his finishing move, the Pedigree, knocking him out cold. Also, he attacked Michaels backstage, sending Michaels to the hospital. Michaels returned to the ring to wrestle a match against Triple H at SummerSlam 2002, laying the foundation for a feud that would last for years. Michaels won the SummerSlam match with a sunset flip but was attacked by Triple H after the match with a sledgehammer to the back of Michaels.

They faced each other in brutal singles matches, street fights, a ladder match, a steel cage match, a Last Man Standing match, twice in an Elimination Chamber match (where Michaels won the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H at Survivor Series 2002), and in a Hell in a Cell match (see below). Michaels' return was successful, and he has remained active ever since. At first, he was a full-time performer who wrestled on a part-time basis, but in 2003, he started wrestling full-time again.

He went on to be in the main event of WrestleMania XX where he came up short in a match against Triple H and Chris Benoit. Later on in 2004 Michaels faced Triple H in Hell in a Cell, but eventually lost after several Pedigrees. He also lost a World Heavyweight Championship match against his long-time rival Triple H at Taboo Tuesday when the fans voted for him to face Triple H one more time. Michaels went into this match with a torn meniscus in his left leg.

After his feuds with Triple H ended, Michaels began feuding with wrestlers such as Chris Jericho, Christian and Edge after Edge speared Michaels at Taboo Tuesday, costing him the World Title. At the 2005 Royal Rumble, Michaels lost a singles match to Edge, with Edge cheating to win the match, and later he was then taken out of the Royal Rumble by Kurt Angle, who he had eliminated earlier in the match. Angle then went on to leave Michaels in a bloody mess, after being hit in the head with steel steps and tapping out to the ankle lock starting a feud between the two that would eventually lead to their first match against each other at WrestleMania 21.

Michaels went on to lose the much-anticipated "interpromotional" match at WrestleMania 21 on April 3, 2005, when he submitted to Kurt Angle's ankle lock submisson.

The next night on RAW, Michaels was attacked by Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. This angered him, so the next week he faced Daivari; however, Daivari got the victory after interference from Hassan when Hassan kicked Michaels between the legs. Shawn then went to RAW GM Eric Bischoff and demanded a handicap match against the two at Backlash on May 1. Bischoff told him he couldn't do it, that Shawn would have to find a partner. So Shawn came back out, got on his knees, and asked WWE Hall of Famer and fellow wrestling legend Hulk Hogan to be his partner. The following week, Michaels wrestled Hassan in a one on one match that ended in disqualification when Daivari interfered. The two brutally attacked Michaels afterwards, even Hassan hanging Michaels with his towel, which brought Hogan out to even the odds. At Backlash that year, Michaels and Hogan faced Hassan and Daivari in a tag team match that Michaels and Hogan won quite easily when Michaels superkicked Daivari and Hogan made the pin.

The next night on RAW, Michaels was entered into an eight man tournament to decide the number one contender to Batista's World Championship. He faced Shelton Benjamin and connected with his trademark superkick when Shelton was in mid-air springboarding off the top rope, for the win and advanced in the tournament, but in the second round he was defeated by Edge when the latter used a briefcase to knock Michaels out when Michaels attempted a sunset flip cover.

Michaels returned to Raw on June 13 and challenged Raw's newest draft pick from SmackDown!, Kurt Angle to a WrestleMania 21 rematch at WWE Vengeance, which he won when Angle jumped off the top rope and landed into a superkick.

On the June 27, 2005 edition of Raw, Michaels, John Cena, and Hulk Hogan won a six man tag team match against Chris Jericho, Tyson Tomko, and Christian when Hogan pinned Tomko after the Leg Drop.

On July 4, 2005 on Raw, Michaels and Hogan fought Kurt Angle and WWE Intercontinental Champion Carlito in a tag team match. Michaels and Hogan won once again, when Hogan have Carlito the big boot and the Leg Drop, and were trading poses to the delight of the crowd. The crowd was then stunned as Shawn nailed his patented Sweet Chin Music to the head of Hogan, knocking him to the ground. Michaels then looked down at Hogan, and left the arena. This is the first time Michaels has turned heel since his 2002 return with the New World Order. The following week, Roddy Piper returned to Raw and interviewed Michaels on Piper's Pit. When he asked Michaels the reason for his betrayal against Hogan, Michaels initially began bringing up events from twenty years earlier. Piper then demanded "a real answer" and called Michaels a coward, provoking a superkick. Michaels then challenged Hogan to a match at SummerSlam, which Hogan accepted on July 18.

On the next week's Raw (July 25), Michaels cut a promo for the upcoming SummerSlam match, which he ended by telling Hogan "Whatcha gonna do when the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, won't lay down for you?" This was a reference both to Hogan's catchphrase "Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?" and Hogan's reputation as the beneficiary of blatant jobs, notably the Fingerpoke of Doom. The following Monday (August 1) on Raw, Michaels did another promo on a set made to look like that of Larry King Live, with a Larry King impersonator serving as the interviewer of "Hogan", who was obviously a made-up Michaels. This was a parody of a real appearance Hogan had just made on Larry King Live. Michaels continued in "worked shoot" mode, parodying Hogan's age, mannerisms and backstage clout. Michaels then delivered his "Sweet Chin Music" to "Larry King" and followed by revealing his true identity. He then told Hogan he could go back to his reality show, and finished by saying "What are you gonna do when reality kicks you in the face?" and delivering Sweet Chin Music to the cameraman. On the next week's Raw, Michaels and Hogan had a "face to face" confrontation, hosted by Jerry Lawler. Michaels provoked Hogan and continued to interrupt him when Lawler asked questions. Finally, Hogan asked "whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?" , and Lawler turned and asked Michaels, "Well, what are you gonna do?" This resulted in Lawler receiving Sweet Chin Music, and Hulk throwing Shawn out of the ring after the big boot. On the next edition of RAW from Montreal, Michaels taunted the Canadian crowd, and made snide remarks about Bret Hart saying, "Hitman, I screwed you once and I'll screw you again." Right after he said this, Bret's music hit and the crowd went crazy. Michaels then laughed and said that Hart would never come back; he went on to say that he would screw Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam. At the end of the night, after Hogan was about to win his match against Kurt Angle, Michaels came in and applied the Sharpshooter on Hogan to end RAW.

This match would turn out to be not only an in ring bout, but one backstage as well. The decision about who would win the match came after a long bout of politicking. Vince McMahon chose to back Hogan, as he needed him to show up at WWE homecoming. Hogan was willing to work a second match, but only in the circumstances that he once again win, Michaels choose not to pursue that option.

One thing that Hogan and Michaels had in common prior to the event is that at SummerSlam, the two of them had never lost in a one-on-one match scenario at SummerSlam. The match between Hogan and Michaels would turn out to be the main event of the night, and the two collided in a battle of Legend vs. Icon. The match went back and forth, with two referees getting knocked out of the match, and Michaels using a steel chair in an attempt to gain an advantage. Even after hitting his Sweet Chin Music, Hogan still kicked out and took it to Michaels, finally hitting him with his legdrop (as he would not win any other way) and scoring the victory. 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. This turned Michaels face once more.

Michaels began a feud with "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters on RAW the night following SummerSlam and was due to face the Masterlock Challenge on the August 29 edition of RAW. The challenge was postponed a week to September 5 for a Tag Team match with Ric Flair and Michaels taking on Masters and Carlito. Carlito and Masters won the match.

On the September 5, 2005 edition of RAW, while unsuccessful in breaking the Master Lock, Michaels did set a new record as he became the longest-lasting competitor to take the Master Lock Challenge so far. Michaels tried everything from ramming Masters' head into the turnbuckle to flipping him on his back, but Masters was able to keep the Master Lock applied. In an act of desperation, Michaels used a mule kick to deliver a low blow. When his hands seemed to separate, Masters threw HBK down to the mat, grabbed a steel chair and used it to hit Shawn Michaels in the head. Masters then reapplied the hold and HBK was unable to break free. It was announced on the same RAW that the two would face each other at the September RAW-exclusive pay-per-view, Unforgiven.

At Unforgiven, Masters repeatedly tried to lock in the Masterlock and was able to until Michaels got to the ropes. Later in the match, Michaels flew off the top with a crossbody but Masters caught him and slid him around. Masters attempted the Master Lock again but Michaels slid out before it could be locked in and connected with the Sweet Chin Music to win the match via pinfall.

At WWE Homecoming, HBK wrestled Kurt Angle to a no contest in a 30-min Iron Man match. This lead to vast dipute over the rightful #1 contender for the WWE title. After a victory over Carlito on the October 17th edition of RAW, he became a possible choice for Taboo Tuesday.

He became a part of the Triple Threat Match between John Cena, Kurt Angle, and himself, which Cena won.

On the RAW following Taboo Tuesday, Eric Bischoff announced that he will be on Team RAW in the 5-on-5 Elimination match at Survivor Series.

As for the future, Shawn Michaels has high hopes for his protege Jeff Sciullo.


Michaels performing a diving elbow drop on Triple H.


  • HBK
  • The Heartbreak Kid
  • The Showstopper
  • The Headliner
  • The Main Event
  • The Icon
  • Mr. WrestleMania

Previous managers


  • "I'm the showstopper, the headliner, the main event, the icon!"
  • "When I go down, I'm takin' everybody with me, and I'm going out in a blaze of glory!"
  • "The Heartbreak Kid lays down for absolutely nobody!"
  • "The Heartbreak Kid can keep it up all night!"
  • "Kicking it with the kliq."
  • "I am simply the greatest Sports Entertainer in the world!"
  • "D-Generation X rules the wrestling world!"
  • "I am going to give you a show that you have never ever seen before. Why?... because I can."
  • "D-Generation X! You make the rules, we break em!"
  • "I did not sleep with that woman. In fact I was up all night long!"

Finishing and signature moves

Championships and accomplishments

American Wrestling Association

National Wrestling Alliance

  • 1-time NWA Central States Television Champion
  • 1-time NWA Central States Tag Team Champion (with Marty Jannetty)

Texas All-Stars

  • 2-time Texas All-Stars Texas Tag Team Champion (with Paul Diamond)
  • 1-time Texas All-Stars 6-Man Tag Team Champion

Texas Wrestling Alliance

  • 1-time TWA Heavyweight Champion

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

  • PWI ranked him # 01 of the best 10 wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2005
  • PWI ranked him # 10 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003
  • PWI ranked him # 33 in the best tag teams of the PWI Years with Marty Jannetty
  • PWI ranked him # 55 in the best tag teams of the PWI Years with Diesel
  • PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year Award (1995)
  • PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year Award (1996)
  • PWI Match of the Year Award, vs. Marty Jannetty (1993)
  • PWI Match of the Year Award, vs. Razor Ramon (1994)
  • PWI Match of the Year Award, vs. Diesel (1995)
  • PWI Match of the Year Award, vs. Bret Hart (1996)

World Wrestling Entertainment

Entrance Lyrics

  • Parentheses are used to denote the female chorus. The rest was performed by Michaels himself, or by Sherri Martel (in which case "He's" was substitued for "I'm", and so forth). The song, "Sexy Boy", was originally written for Michaels by Jimmy Hart, a manager who wrote many entrance themes. Hart thanked Michaels personally for continuing to use the song as his entrance music when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

First Verse

I think I'm cute
I know I'm sexy
I got the looks that drives a girl wild
I got the moves... that really move 'em.
I send chills... up and down their spines


I'm just a sexy boy! (Se-xy boy!)
I'm not your boy toy! (Boy toy!) X2

Second Verse

I make 'em hot
I make 'em shiver
Their knees get weak...
Whenever I'm around
They see me walk...
They hear me talk...
I make 'em feel
like they're on cloud nine
Repeat Chorus

[Spoken] Eat your heart out, girls! Hands off the merchandise!


  • Chris Jericho admitted that he emulated Michaels, early in his career
  • Michaels' chaps and tights come in many different colors such as red, black, and white which are made by "The Legend," Kevin Allen.
  • Michaels filmed a "shoot interview" with RF Video in 2000 to talk about his career from a "behind the scenes" perspective.
  • Michaels began using his "Sweet Chin Music" superkick in the early-90s after years of studying the maneuver from the master of the superkick, Chris Adams.
  • Michaels' cousin, Matt Bentley, is also a wrestler.
  • Michaels is the only wrestler in WWE history to simultaneously hold the WWE European Championship and the WWF Championship.
  • Michaels competed in the first ever Ladder Match in WWE history, losing to Bret Hart with the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the line on July 21, 1992, during a WWF Wrestling Challenge taping.
  • Michaels is the only wrestler in WWE history to have forfeited all three of the main titles: the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the World Tag Team Championship. No other wrestler has ever forfeited more than one.
  • In addition, of his eleven title reigns, he has actually only lost five of them in a match, only four of which were real contests. He has forfeited one WWF Championship and one Intercontinental Championship, was stripped of one Intercontinental Championship, forfeited or was stripped of all of his Tag Team Championships, and lost his European Championship by just laying down for friend and teammate Triple H (Michaels was the WWF Champion at the time and hence "gave" the lesser European title to Triple H).

Title Reigns

WWE Championship Reigns
Preceded by:
Bret Hart
First Followed by:
Sycho Sid
Preceded by:
Sycho Sid
Second Followed by:
Preceded by:
Bret Hart
Third Followed by:
Stone Cold Steve Austin

World Tag Team Championship reigns
Preceded by:
The Headshrinkers
Tag Partner:
Followed by:
Preceded by:
Yokozuna & British Bulldog
Tag Partner:
Followed by:
Title returned at behest of Clarence Mason
Preceded by:
Owen Hart & British Bulldog
Tag Partner:
Steve Austin
Followed by:
Steve Austin & Dude Love

(WWE) World Heavyweight Championship Reigns
Preceded by:
Triple H
First Followed by:
Triple H

WWE Intercontinental Championship Reigns
Preceded by:
The British Bulldog
First Followed by:
Marty Jannetty
Preceded by:
Marty Jannetty
Second Followed by:
Title stripped
Preceded by:
Jeff Jarrett
Third Followed by:
Dean Douglas
WWF European title Reigns
Preceded by:
The British Bulldog
First Followed by:
Triple H

Template:Start box | colspan = 3 align = center | Royal Rumble Winners |- | width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
Bret Hart & Lex Luger | width = 40% align = center | First Time | width = 30% align = center | Followed by:
Himself |- | width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
Himself | width = 40% align = center | Second Time | width = 30% align = center | Followed by:
Stone Cold Steve Austin |- Template:End box

External links

Template:WWEHeavyweight Template:WWEICchampions Template:WWEEurochampions

de:Shawn Michaels he:שון מייקלס ja:ショーン・マイケルズ