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The Shawn Michaels Story Part Eight - The Rebirth of DeGeneration X

······································································································································································ Date: Thursday, October 23, 2008 —— Comment: Reactions —— Discuss: Forum

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In 2005, Shawn fought a series of memorable dream matches against two wrestling legends. In early part of 2006 did not provide the same magical opposition. During most of the year, Shawn feuded against the WWE Chairman and a new faction that was as green as their ring attire. 2006 could have been a down year for fans of the “Heartbreak Kid” if not for the reformation of DeGeneration X.

Throughout his career, Shawn Michaels performed in the ring against many of sports entertainment's top stars and legends. From tag teaming against Tully Blanchard/Arn Anderson, the Hart Foundation, and the Road Warriors, to going to war against Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, Diesel, Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Hulk Hogan, the "Heartbreak Kid" has fought them all. There was one person who Shawn had yet to face inside the ring; Mr. McMahon.

After plying his trade in the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment since 1988, it was a natural fit for the creative staff to have Shawn Michaels feud against his boss. In December 2005, the WWE started the ball rolling on the Michaels/McMahon angle. During the first RAW of 2006, McMahon cut an in-ring promo, saying he would no longer take any crap from anyone and would be doing things for his own personal amusement, rather than what's in the best interest of the fans. The target of his amusement that that would be Shawn Michaels. In a pre-match stipulation he stated Michaels would be disqualified for using his superkick finisher in a match against Kane. When Michaels went to use the superkick, Mr. McMahon threatened to kick Shawn out of the Elimination Chamber match if he used the move. During the commercial break, Michaels was informed by Todd Grisham that McMahon selected him as the first entrant in the Elimination Chamber match.

To further the Michaels/McMahon angle, Mr. McMahon had Shawn face the World Heavyweight champion Kurt Angle on the January 16th RAW. The title would not be on the line. However, Shawn's career would be placed on the line. Shawn pinned Kurt Angle following interference from Daivari that backfired.

At the Royal Rumble, Michaels was eliminated from the Royal Rumble battle royal by an interfering Shane McMahon when Vince McMahon distracted Shawn from the opposite side of the ring. After being eliminated, Michaels fought off Triple H, and then chased the McMahons down the aisle into the backstage area. The next night on RAW, Vince McMahon showed footage of Shane McMahon eliminating Shawn Michaels from the Royal Rumble. Vince admitted that he abused his power at the Rumble but justified doing so. Michaels then came out, and challenged Vince to a fight. Vince refused, but dared Michaels to punch him. He then threatened that he would fire and sue Michaels if Shawn did hit him. Shane McMahon slid in the ring, behind Shawn, and hit Michaels in the back with a steel chair before leaving the ring with his dad. Todd Grisham later interviewed Shane as he and Vince left the arena. Shane said that he attacked Shawn because Michaels disrespected the McMahon family.

The next week, Shawn Michaels was supposed to face the Big Show in a Quarterfinal tournament match to face the WWE World champion at WrestleMania 22. However, Vince took Shawn out of the match when Mr. McMahon insisted that Michaels go through on his threat of walking out. Vince then announced that a "Shawn Michaels' Retirement Party" would take place the following week.

The following week, Vince McMahon aired a series of clips showcasing moments in Shawn Michaels' career. Vince conducted an in-ring retirement ceremony for Michaels where Mr. McMahon said he was going to put together a tribute video for Michaels and fly his family down, but Michaels deserved more. Vince brought out the Spirit Squad to give a cheer in Michaels' honor. After seeing this display, Michaels refused to sign the retirement papers, saying he loved the job too much to walk away from it. Michaels tore up the paperwork, and then Vince responded by slapping the "Heartbreak Kid" in the face. As Michaels prepared to fight Mr. McMahon, Vince took the mic and said that "by not signing the papers Michaels opened the floodgates to his own personal hell."

The WWE brought back Shawn's old tag team partner, Marty Jannety, to add more depth to the angle. Vince announced that he would give Jannety a full-time WWE contract only if Marty would join Vince's "Kiss My Ass" Club. While Marty Jannety didn't join the club, the next week, Shawn was bodily forced to kiss Vince's posterior. On the March 6th episode of RAW, Vince was elated regarding Shawn's joining the club. Vince thanked everyone who made it possible. As a reward, he gave Chris Masters and Carlito a tag team title shot against the Big Show and Kane at WrestleMania. He also announced that Marty Jannetty would not receive a contract nor would he ever appear in a WWE ring again. He also thanked Shane for making Michaels' face "Crash" into Vince's ass. Vince then showed off his cover of Muscle & Fitness to prove why Michaels has no chance of beating him at WrestleMania. Shawn snuck up behind Vince and attacked him until he was pulled off by security. Vince then announced that Shane and Michaels would fight later in the show in a one-on-one match. In a backstage segment later in the show, a pregnant Stephanie McMahon confronted Shawn Michaels and apologized on behalf of her brother and father. Stephanie then started having pains. Shawn sat her down and got her something to drink. As he left the room, Stephanie put powder in Michaels' bottle of water. During the match, Michaels succumbed to the powder Stephanie McMahon put in his drink earlier in the show, thus allowing Shane McMahon to pin him. After their match, Shane told Lilian Garcia that Michaels had another match and it would be against Vince. Vince immediately pinned Shawn Micheals. After the contest, the Spirit Squad came out and congratulated the McMahons by lifting them on their shoulders.

To continue the storyline regarding Michaels' "passing out," on the next RAW, Vince and Shane McMahon ordered Michaels to undergo a public urination test to see whether or not he was on drugs. Vince ordered Michaels to come out, and then said if Michaels was proven to be a junkie he would automatically forfeit his match against Shane McMahon at Saturday Night's Main Event. Vince then had Michaels a "sample" as Vince gave a public service announcement to the home audience, telling them not to do drugs like Michaels. Michaels told Vince "it was better to be pissed off than to be pissed on." He then threw the urine sample at both McMahons before leaving ringside. Later in the show, Kenny, Johnny, Nicky, and Mikey of the Spirit Squad defeated Shawn Michaels in a steel cage handicapped match when Michaels was pinned after Shane McMahon came out of the crowd and slammed the cage door on Michaels as he attempted to escape. After the bout, Shane assaulted Michaels inside the cage, busting him open, and hitting the Van Terminator.

On Saturday Night's Main Event, Shawn Michaels fought Shane McMahon. Shane McMahon defeated Shawn Michaels in "Survivor Series Screwjob" revisitation as Vince called for the bell after Shane locked Michaels in the Sharpshooter.

Shawn finally got a measure of revenge against Vince McMahon at WrestleMania. In a match that had no business being as good as it was, Shawn beat Vince in their no holds barred match-up.

The war between Shawn and Vince would continue following WrestleMania. In an effort to mock Shawn Michaels' strong religious beliefs, the WWE aired a segment on RAW that was clearly designed to mock Michaels' faith. There was a skit shown of Vince and Shane McMahon at a church in which Vince spat holy water, ala Triple H, and then spoke to God, saying they had much in common, read off several of his own commandments and told God that even he could not protect Shawn Michaels from his wrath. Vince said he would unleash armageddon on Michaels at Backlash and if he was lying may God strike him down. In a funny part of the skit, Shane moved away from his father after Vince said that.

The next week, Vince McMahon announced his new religion, McMahonism, in which he said he was the lord and master of all sports entertainment. He then showed historical religious images, as well as photographs of he and Budda and the Pope with McMahon inserted in them. He then said when he and his son Shane were done with Shawn Michaels, the "Heartbreak Kid" would bow before him and if he was lying may he be struck down. Moments later, Michaels came out of the crowd and hit the superkick on McMahon. After the commercial break, McMahon decided to throw his rage at another WWE Superstar. Even though, Triple H had a few matches against Shawn Michaels, leading up to Vince's WrestleMania match with Shawn, that was forgotten about by Vince. On last week's RAW, Triple H called Vince an old man. In retaliation for the comment, Vince ordered Triple H to face Edge and WWE World Champion John Cena later in the show in a handicap match. On April 30th, Vince and Shane McMahon were supposed to take on Shawn Michaels and "God" in a tag team match. However, "God" no-showed the match turning it into a handicapped match. Vince and Shane McMahon used the 2 on 1 advantage to beat Shawn Michaels.

It was around this time that Michaels knee started to bother him worse and worse. In order to give Shawn some time off to have knee surgery, the WWE set up an angle on the May 22, 2006 edition of RAW. During the main event that featured Shawn battling Kenny, Mikey, Nickey, Mitch, and Johnny of the Spirit Squad to a no contest. Late in the contest, the Spirit Squad targeted Michaels' left knee and locked it in a folding steel chair before Kenny came off the top with a legdrop onto the chair. Vince McMahon ordered Triple H to come out with his sledgehammer and finish Michaels off. After getting in the ring, Kenny took the sledgehammer away from Triple H, saying he would finish Michaels off himself. Moments later, Triple H dropped Kenny with a spinebuster and laid out the rest of the Spirit Squad before having a staredown with McMahon.

With Shawn Michaels out of action, Vince turned his hostility towards Triple H. The plan since before WrestleMania was to have a DeGeneration X reunion. Since Shawn wouldn't be turning heel anytime soon, the WWE needed to turn Triple H into a babyface. On June 12th, Triple H fought WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Mikey, Kenny, Johnny, Nicky, & Mitch in a gauntlet match. Shawn Michaels made his return from knee surgery, as he helped Triple H clear the ring, thus making the DX reunion complete. Throughout the summer, Shawn and Triple H fought the Spirit Squad, and various heel wrestlers that Mr. McMahon put before them. At SummerSlam, Michaels and Triple H finally got their hands on Vince and Shane McMahon, where they beat the two owners of the WWE after Triple H pinned Vince with the Pedigree following the superkick from Michaels.

The WWE decided to add the Big Show into the mix in the McMahon/DX feud. At Unforgiven, the Big Show joined the McMahons in a handicapped match against DX that took place inside a Hell in a Cell. Following Shawn and Triple H's victory in the cell, DX pulled down Show's tights and stuffed Vince's face against Show's ass.

In the early fall, Shawn and Triple H started to have matches against subpar teams like the Highlanders, while still making life hell for the McMahons. The next major feud for Shawn Michaels started on the October 16th's RAW episode. Edge and Randy Orton came out dressed as Triple H and Shawn Michaels. The two cut a promo on DX until Triple H and Shawn Michaels came out, with Triple H showing a photo of Edge's live sex celebration to joke about the size of Edge's genetalia before showing several photographs of a scantily-clad Orton to prove how popular he is in the gay community, with one of Michaels' Playgirl photos thrown in by accident. Orton then challenged Triple H to a match later in the show with Triple H agreeing and the four men brawling until DX sent Randy Orton and Edge to the floor. The two teams battled at Cyber Sunday where Edge and Randy Orton defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels when Orton pinned Triple H after hitting him in the back with a steel chair.

The two teams battled throughout the fall and the early stages of winter. However, their feud would be cut short. During their tag team match at New Year's Revolution, Triple H tore his right quadriceps. This injury would keep him out of the ring until Summer Slam 2007. With Triple H out of action, Shawn Michaels would be forced back into a position that he knows all too well. That being the headliner, the showstopper, and the main eventer.

by Ronny Sarnecky of

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