Why Shawn Michaels Was Fired By WWE After Only Two Weeks In 1987

Shawn Michaels is often viewed as one of the greatest professional wrestlers to lace up a pair of boots and step inside the ring. While The Heartbreak Kid went on to capture various titles in WWE, including the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship a combined four times, it wasn't always sunny skies for the eventual two-time Hall of Famer. Back in 1987, he and his tag team partner Marty Jannetty — known as The Midnight Rockers in American Wrestling Association (AWA) — were signed by WWE. However, their initial stint with the company would last just two weeks.


Michaels was just 20 years old when he debuted for AWA, ultimately winning tag team championship gold alongside Jannetty before Vince McMahon came calling. However, it didn't take long for them to be sent packing by WWE — partly due to immaturity on his end, combined with alleged fabrications of what really transpired.

Shawn Michaels said that the head booker told him and Jannetty to go to a bar, but instead of simply mingling with everyone like the booker advised, his immaturity at the time led to him taking a bottle and breaking it over his head in an attempt to match their partying ways. While HBK claimed McMahon didn't believe the story of them supposedly trashing the bar, the former WWE chairman realized they weren't quite ready for his promotion.


An Early Stumble Didn't Stop Shawn Michaels

Despite this early setback, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty were back in WWE a year later, making their second debut simply as The Rockers before splitting up in astonishing fashion. The Heartbreak Kid was born in 1992 when he super-kicked Jannetty in the face and threw him through a glass window, thus solidifying his status as a villain going forward. As it would turn out, that was just the beginning.


From then on through 1998, until he was forced to retire for the first time due to a serious back injury, Michaels won plenty of championship gold while being prominently featured in many famous (or infamous angles). From his short-lived WWE Tag Team Championship reign with Stone Cold Steve Austin, to being booed after defeating The British Bulldog, and his eventual role in the Montreal Screwjob which saw Bret Hart drop the title in controversial fashion, Michaels had a career filled with accolades and controversies.

These days, Michaels holds the title of Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative for WWE. His two-time Hall of Fame induction — 2011 individually and 2019 with DX — is a fitting reward for a career that saw countless championships along the way. His immaturity may have cost him initially back in the 1980s, but it didn't prevent Michaels from having a career most professional wrestlers can only dream of.