Despite all of Shawn Michaels’ accomplishments and his tremendous popularity amongst the WWE universe, there are still many former pro wrestlers that hold a grudge against The Heartbreak Kid. Michaels has been able to remarkably mend many fences over the years, his most noticeable one was with Bret Hart. According to sources, Michaels asked Tyson Kidd for Bret’s number, and they were later put in contact and able to finally bury the hatchet. This feud was quite obvious and was showcased time and time again in and out of the WWE; for this reason, I decided to not include Bret as an entry and focus on 12 lesser known superstars that have heat with Michaels. Most of these problems arise from the mid 90s, when Shawn was on top of the wrestling world. As you can imagine, Michaels wasn’t the easiest to deal with, a drug problem mixed with the “Kliq” made things very difficult, so much so that some wrestlers still hold a grudge to this very day. With that being said, let us begin and take a look at 12 superstars that hated Shawn Michaels. Enjoy!
12) The Harris Brothers
The duo of Skull and 8-Ball departed from the WWE in the 90’s. However, before their departure the tag team was set on confronting Shawn before they left the company. A reoccurring theme in this article is how wrestlers were frustrated with Shawn’s lack of respect for others and just caring about himself and his “Kliq”. The duo decided to confront Shawn on their last day with the company. The story has it that the Harris brothers kicked everyone out of the locker room but Shawn. While Ron guarded the door, Don grabbed Shawn by the throat and threatened Michaels. Shawn allegedly started to cry in total fear of his well being. The brothers had a good laugh about the situation before departing. Turns out Shawn had the last laugh becoming one of the most iconic wrestlers in pro wrestling history, while the Harris brothers never made it back to the WWE again.
11) Chris Candido
It’s sad to see Chris Candido pass away at such a young age; at only 33 he still had a long way to go. During his time with the WWE Candido developed some heat with Shawn. The situation began during a lumberjack match at a house show, where Shawn was none too pleased when Candido kicked him when he was down on the ground. The situation continued backstage with the two wrestlers yelling at each other. Candido claimed Shawn was just there on the floor untouched and that someone had to kick him. Michaels, being the top guy at the time, was not happy with that at all. Later on more fuel was added to the situation when rumors that Shawn was having an affair with his spouse, Sunny, started to come forward. Candido laughed off the situation, claiming Michaels took his gimmick too far and was trying to be the “heart break kid” 24/7. Cooler heads would prevail, and Chris would leave the WWE and head back to ECW in 1996.
10) Bam Bam Bigelow
Bam Bam recalls the days with Shawn being on top, as the darkest days in WWE history. Bigelow claims the “Kliq” was running the show telling McMahon what to do. Bam Bam even went on to say that the group had no respect for anyone else. During a shoot interview, Bigelow went on to discuss how the group would just toy with people and ruin so many lives, like they did with Candido, who according to Bigelow was extremely depressed because of the way he was treated (in large part because of Shawn and the Kliq). Bam Bam calls the entire situation with Shawn on top as the darkest days in the history of the WWE.
9) Jim Cornette
Jim Cornette recalls Michaels as being one of the most unprofessional wrestlers of all time (to put it in a nicer way). Jim claims that Michaels had no respect for anyone, even those who helped him along the way, like himself and others. Jim also claims that the only reason Shawn found God was because he had no one else to turn to, so he looked to a “higher power”, claims Cornette. Jim also mentions that Vader never caught heat because of Shawn who had a tendency to burry wrestlers with no remorse. If you have not yet, I strongly advise you to check out some of Cornette’s shoot videos on YouTube. They are absolute gold.
8) Shane Douglas
Yet another wrestler that had a deep hatred for the Kliq, during a shoot interview, Shane Douglas recalls a situation where once again the Kliq exercised their power to go over. Douglas recalls a situation in which the champion at the time Kevin Nash, was scheduled the go over, and the finish on the other hand was directed to set up another encounter against his opponent. After hearing about this, Shawn reportedly convinced Nash that it was a terrible idea and that the champion should have went over cleanly. With all the politics and control the Kliq had backstage, Douglas had no other choice but to leave the WWE, claiming he would have never gotten an opportunity to be the guy he wanted to be, with those wrestlers in the business.
7) Honky Tonk Man
During a shoot interview, Honky Tonk Man was very blunt when assessing Shawn’s success in the WWE throughout his career. Honky Tonk claimed that had he not been Vince’s “boy toy”, Michaels would have been gone from wrestling a long long time ago. Honky Tonk claims that even Michaels himself knows this is the truth and so does everyone else. Honk Tonk also accused Michaels of faking injuries so he wouldn’t have to do the job to certain wrestlers. A pretty deep accusation by the former Intercontinental Champion.
6) Scott Steiner
Oh Scott. He’s never afraid to speak his mind, that’s for sure. Michaels is one of the many wrestlers Steiner has ripped on in the past (other targets include Triple H and Ric Flair, who got absolutely roasted by Scott on multiple occasions). As far as Shawn goes, his words against The Heartbreak Kid were not as harsh in comparison to his words against Flair and Hunter. Although, Steiner did call them three of the biggest pus*** in all of professional wrestling, claiming they couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag. Steiner proceeded to say that Shawn posing for PlayGirl was embarrassing and him dancing like a “chippendales dancer” every week was even more embarrassing. Steiner claims he never understood all the fuss around Shawn and his career.
5) Marty Jannetty
A real life fight between the two former tag team partners changed everything for the two who were never the same again. According to Marty, Hot Rod Roddy Piper instigated the entire fight and did not do much to stop the fight after it began. Michaels got the worst of the fight, and was very upset after. Michaels even threatened to quit the business and did not show up to a live event with Marty following the encounter. Finally the two were brought together by McMahon and made up. Though despite this, they were never the same again following the fight. They later permanently split up. Marty’s career took a major hit following the split, and he never made it to the upper card of the WWE again.
4) The Hurricane
For the Hurricane, meeting Shawn Michaels was a lifelong dream, but unfortunately once he met The Heartbreak Kid, his expectations of his childhood idol were shattered. Helms went on to say that he believes Shawn’s new found religion is a complete “work” and that Shawn is the biggest hypocrite in all of pro wrestling. Helms believes that Shawn should get much more heat for what he’s done, in comparison to Hunter who according to Helms, is a “straight shooter”. Helms made it clear that Shawn’s ring work is tremendous and he will go down as one of the best ever, but as far as Shawn as a person goes, Helms doesn’t buy anything he is selling. During a shoot interview, Helms also expressed his confusion on Shawn’s passion for hunting and killing animals. Helms cannot understand how someone with a religious background can kill animals as a pastime. Helms concluded the shoot interview by saying that it took a lot to not hit Shawn during many situations between the two. Helms claims the only thing holding him back from not hitting Shawn was the fact that he was enduring the biggest push of his career.
3) Hulk Hogan
The story of Shawn Michaels against the immortal Hulk Hogan, is the story of two egos colliding. During the buildup to their epic SummerSlam showdown, many jabs were thrown by both sides during various vignettes and promos. Despite the edgy material, both superstars were said to be okay with what was being said. Finally on the day of the match, the situation boiled over after Hulk refused to have another two matches against Shawn following SummerSlam. This infuriated Shawn because it meant he would not have a chance to go over against Hogan. Shawn’s ego took over that night, overselling every move and making Hulk work for the victory. Hogan was furious following the match, while Michaels had his own reasons to be upset. The following night Michaels took some final shots at Hogan during a promo, and the storyline between the two ended that night.
2) The Undertaker
As you can see from the previous entries, Shawn was seemingly very difficult to deal with (particularly in the 90s), and to put it quite simply, The Undertaker had enough. The Undertaker claims that Shawn was a real pain heading into WrestleMania XIV, where he was set to drop the title against Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Undertaker and many other superstars were worried that Shawn wasn’t going to do the right thing and instead, forfeit the match. During an interview on Off the Record, Undertaker claimed that had Shawn not done the right thing, it would have been a long night for Michaels. Taker claims that Michaels was a real pain and that he was going to do what needed to be done to Shawn had things not gone as planned. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and everything went according to plan.
1) The Rock
This long feud apparently began before both superstars became household names for the WWE. According to rumors, before their WWE days Michaels was very disrespectful toward The Rock’s grandmother, prompting The Rock to almost engage Shawn physically. In 2007, the wrestling world found out that this problem ran even deeper. According to Bret Hart’s autobiography, Shawn and Hunter were very envious of Rocky’s talents. According to The Hitman, Shawn and Hunter did everything they possibly could have done to not make the Rock turn into a mega star. Bret recalls a situation in his book where Michaels and Hunter wanted The Rock to drop his Intercontinental Championship to Bret, but Bret did not understand the move and turned down the opportunity to win the title (because it simply did not make sense for such a young promising wrestler to lose the title). Despite their attempts though, The Rock hit superstardom. As time passed, The Rock still held a grudge. Evidence of this was made when The Rock turned down an opportunity to work with Michaels. The Rock stated he simply was not interested in working with Shawn. Despite all these past issues, it is said the two are on good terms today.