Wrestlers Who Had Heat With Shawn Michaels

"The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels thinks he's cute. He knows he's sexy and has the heat that really moves 'em ... Wait, that's not how the theme song goes, but it should be!

HBK is widely regarded as one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time, and he has a decorated career to back up his claims as The Showstopper, The Main Event, and The Icon. Simultaneously, he's also one of the most controversial superstars in pro wrestling history, whose purported backstage behavior rubbed people the wrong way and attracted some nuclear heat in the process.


Michaels was renowned for lying down for nobody, so it's unsurprising to learn he contributed his fair share to the friction between himself and his peers. In some instances, time heals old wounds and fractured relationships have been repaired, such as his notorious, long-running feud with his main rival, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, which, after more than a decade, came to an end. While in other cases, there are still some pro wrestlers holding onto grudges like they're the last bag of fresh bagels in the zombie apocalypse. Nonetheless, let's take a look at all the wrestlers who made Michaels lose his famous smile over the years.

The Undertaker

Think about the year 1996 for a second. Los del Rio's "Macarena" electrified the radio charts and every bingo hall, while "Independence Day" was the hottest film on the planet and made everyone wonder if the Earth would be better off if the aliens won the war. In the world of professional wrestling, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels were the two hottest babyfaces in the then-WWF. Expectedly, they were kept away from each other since they were fan favorites and no one wanted to watch them battle against each other. However, this all changed in 1997 when Michaels turned heel and formed the D-Generation X stable with his real-life pal, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and "The Ninth Wonder of the World" Chyna.


The Deadman and HBK clashed several times from then on, but it was their first-ever Hell in a Cell match at In Your House: Badd Blood that drew all the plaudits. Despite the notable size difference, these two performers were excellent in the ring together and never failed to deliver. However, they weren't exactly bros behind the scenes, as The Undertaker revealed on "WWE Untold" (via talkSPORT).

"Where Shawn Michaels and I are today and where we were at back then on a personal level, it's taken a complete 360," 'Taker said. "If Shawn Michaels back then was on fire, I probably wouldn't p*** on him to put him out. But, that being said, there is no one that I would rather be in the ring with than Shawn Michaels."


Shane Helms

Without a shadow of a doubt, Shawn Michaels paved the way for smaller pro wrestlers to be successful. He navigated a time in the business where bigger physiques were deemed better by proving that talent, ability, and personality have a place in an industry dominated by larger-than-life performers. "The Hurricane" Shane Helms is someone whose career was unquestionably influenced by HBK's achievements; however, Helms wasn't the biggest fan of Michaels for quite some time.


It kicked off in 2011 when Helms randomly tweeted out that Ric Flair was a superior wrestler because he managed to make bad in-ring performers look good, while Michaels was only interested in himself. Naturally, fans were perplexed and stood back as they watched a hurricane come through social media like that — but why? Helms responded to one user: "[Because] Shawn went out of his way to hurt my career for no reason. He's a KNOWN LIAR and I'm not. So believe who you want."

The two appear to have spent some time in the Hurri-Cave talking and hugging it out, as Helms told "411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast" in 2019 that they're all good now, and there's no more bad vibes.

Scott Steiner

There are many similarities between Shawn Michaels and Scott Steiner. They were the breakout stars of their respective tag teams, they oozed charisma and sex appeal, and they were both outspoken personalities. The biggest difference is Michaels did it in the WWF, while Steiner experienced his major success in WCW. Yet, The Big Bad Booty Daddy doesn't appear to have much love or appreciation for the man who used to shake his booty for the adoring audience.


Chatting to The Baltimore Sun, Steiner laid into a number of performers whom he had issues with — one of them being Shawn Michaels. "Shawn Michaels is one of those wise-cracking guys who would say a smart comment to you, but then if you face him, he would run and cry somewhere," he said, before discussing the widely recounted story about Michaels' altercation with the Harris twins in the locker room. Reportedly, the Harris brothers were upset with Michaels for some backstage chicanery, so one of the twins found him in the room, told everyone to leave, then threatened to beat the Sweet Chin Music out of him. Michaels was alleged to have been so fearful that he cried.

While it's clear Steiner disliked Michaels, that's nothing in comparison to the colorful things he had to say about Triple H and Ric Flair.


Shane Douglas

Despite all of his success in other promotions, Shane Douglas never had the run he deserved in the WWF under the moniker of Dean Douglas. Regardless, he still picked up the Intercontinental Championship on one occasion after Shawn Michaels had to forfeit the title to him following the infamous Syracuse incident where it was either one Marine or 65 who beat up Michaels — depending on who was asked. Douglas didn't hold onto the title for too long, though, as he was defeated on the same night by Razor Ramon, one of Michaels' pals and fellow Kliq member.


In a career-spanning interview with Beneath the Mat, Douglas recalled his WWF run and how he wasn't happy with how the whole angle was handled, stating that Michaels and The Kliq had pushed for Ramon to win the title. Additionally, he questioned the legitimacy of The Heartbreak Kid's injuries, explaining how the two had experienced a backstage altercation weeks earlier where Shawn Michaels told Shane Douglas he would "embarrass" him on television. "I said to Davey Boy Smith, rest his soul — one of my best friends in the business who was a great ribber and loved to stir the pot — that if he tries to embarrass me on national TV, that I'll stretch his rear end. And I didn't say rear end," Douglas said. "Almost within hours, I get the call that the finish has been changed and that Shawn has had a relapse of his concussion and can't perform. ... That's Shawn."


The Rock

It's mind-boggling to think that Shawn Michaels and The Rock never shared a WrestleMania moment. These two giants of the industry were in the same promotion at the same time on more than one occasion, yet the world was deprived of seeing The Showstopper versus The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment in a big-money match that would have stolen all the headlines. Unfortunately, there appeared to be some real-life tension between the two of them that prevented this from happening.


In 1999, The Rock was interviewed by PWTorch and was asked about Michaels, specifically if he had imparted any knowledge and wisdom. "He was not helpful to me," The Rock said. "I never sought his help. I really have nothing to say about Shawn." When pressed for more about HBK, The Great One praised Michaels' in-ring work, but stated he had no desire to step in the squared circle with him.

According to comments made by The Rock's father, the late Rocky Johnson, on The Hannibal TV, the issues between Michaels and his son can be traced back to an in-ring segment where HBK hit a stiff superkick on The Rock. Backstage, The Brahma Bull confronted Michaels about his actions, but HBK brushed him off and told him if he can't hang in the business, he must get out. Reportedly, The Rock pinned Michaels to the floor and was about to lay the smackdown before being stopped.


Stone Cold Steve Austin

WrestleMania XIV took place on March 29, 1998 and was a pivotal point in WWE's history. While the event might not be remembered as one of the best or critically lauded, it's important since it was the proverbial changing of the guard for the company. It was the moment when Shawn Michaels dropped the WWF Championship to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Attitude Era truly began, with The Texas Rattlesnake now firmly established as the new face of the company moving forward. For any fan watching the build-up to the event, there was only one way this bout was going to go because Austin was red-hot and one of the biggest draws in the industry at that point.


Despite Michaels doing the job — reluctantly, according to the rumor mill — Austin wasn't signing up for the HBK fan club or wearing his heart-shaped glasses. As revealed on "The Steve Austin Show" (via Sportskeeda), Stone Cold respected the performer, but not the man. "We both, Undertaker and myself, always respected Shawn's ability, his work, the talent, the things that he could do in the ring, because he was pretty much kind of unparalleled," he said. "He was that damn good. But as a person, I didn't like him. Quite frankly, I didn't like him at all." Austin revealed that he and Michaels are now on good terms, but that wasn't always the case back in the day.

Adam Bomb

Undoubtedly, Bryan Clark had the best run of his career in WCW alongside Brian Adams as part of the tag team KroniK. In the WWF, he is best known for his time as Adam Bomb — yeah, it was a weird time in wrestling with circus clowns, trash collectors, and atom bomb survivors running amok. While Bomb never conquered the top of the mountain, his impressive size and powerful wrestling style made him stand out in the mid-'90s. Someone else who was standing out in this era was Shawn Michaels, who had ascended to the main event scene at this point. However, Clark doesn't have much love for the man who was once considered a leader of the WWF's New Generation.


Speaking to Wrestling Epicenter, Clark referred to Michaels as a "joke" and someone who upset a lot of people in the locker room with his antics. He went on to suggest that HBK was far more devious than the rest of The Kliq members, while blaming Michaels for the lack of his own push. Clark also questioned HBK's claims of being a born-again Christian, wondering if this was a way for him to absolve himself of his past transgressions. To rub it in even further, Clark made disparaging remarks about Michaels' wife, Rebecca, and her time in WCW as a Nitro Girl.

Bret Hart

In the '90s, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart had one of the best rivalries on screen, as they put on banger after banger match. Yet, despite how well they complemented each other in the ring, they were like Batman and the Joker behind the scenes. As per Bleacher Report, their career trajectory had been similar as both men had broken out of popular tag teams to become singles stars and decorated champions. While they started out as friends in the business, this soon dissipated into animosity when they competed for the top position in the company.


The two began to exchange barbs in the press about each other. From there, it escalated to personal insults in promos, such as the infamous "Sunny days" comment, and then to eventual backstage brawls that resulted in Michaels quitting the WWF for a short period in 1997. However, the worst was yet to come as Michaels played his role in the Montreal Screwjob that saw Hart embarrassed in front of his beloved Canada in a calculated way to get the WWF Championship off him before he left for WCW. For years afterward, the feud boiled on, before the two legends finally buried the hatchet when Hart returned to WWE in 2010.

Marty Jannetty

It's remarkable to look back at the history of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. The former Rockers were considered one of the most innovative tag teams of their era; however, most industry insiders believed Jannetty had the true potential to break out on his own, especially with that sweet-looking dropkick of his. Instead, it was Michaels who went on to become an icon of pro wrestling after dissolving The Rockers with one superkick to his former partner on Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake's "WWF Challenge" segment, The Barber Shop. While this was all a part of the storyline to kickstart HBK's singles career, Jannetty revealed there was a little additional sting to the kick that had carried some revenge to it.


Appearing on "The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling" podcast, Jannetty said, "I'm pretty sure it was a little bit of it on purpose because we had a little animosity going on at the time, but that superkick was in there." He added that he had heard from other performers that HBK could be stiff with his kicks, but he didn't believe it until he felt it. Any heat between the former partners disappeared over the years as Jannetty has been nothing but complimentary to HBK.

Jake The Snake Roberts

Jake "The Snake" Roberts is a name that occupied the headlines of most of the late '80s and early '90s in the WWF. The master of the DDT was involved in many feuds with the company's top stars, even though the WWE Hall of Famer never won the big one. Roberts departed the company in 1992 before eventually returning four years later. However, things were quite different when he returned, as Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were now the top dogs in the promotion, even though they couldn't get along behind the scenes.


For Roberts, this was unacceptable, as he revealed on "Talk Is Jericho." He explained how the two would always be embroiled in drama and arguments with Vince McMahon struggling to keep his top stars happy and having to expend a lot of energy to calm them down. Roberts recommended that McMahon fire both of them and make his life easier. In addition, Roberts suggested that Michaels and The Kliq destroyed the wrestling business with all of their politicking and backstage behavior.

Hulk Hogan

While "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H may have formed the Two-Man Power Trip tag team, it's a more accurate description of Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan. That's enough ego to inspire Sigmund Freud to come back from the dead and rewrite the book on the super, super ego, brother. Nonetheless, there was a grand expectation that the Hulkster and HBK would do what's best for business when they clashed at SummerSlam 2005. After all, they were more mature and seasoned performers, so, surely, they would work together like reasonable adults to deliver something the fans would love, right? To quote Nelson Muntz from "The Simpsons": "Ha-ha."


Michaels oversold everything that Hogan threw at him, as the audience and the pro wrestling industry realized something else must have been going on between them. Naturally, the rumors swirled around that Hogan didn't want to put HBK over in their clash. Discussing the match later, Hogan said that Vince McMahon decided on the finish, and he had nothing to do with it. The Hulkster explained that where he did put the brakes on their plans was the day after SummerSlam when Michaels cut a promo on Hogan and he wasn't all too happy with HBK mocking him, saying: "I thought that was going to be the business interview, but when he came out, [he said], 'Oooooh, he was too fast, he was too young ...' So I went 'I'm out.'"



It's common for superstars to have issues with each other. Sometimes, it could be because of a match that went wrong, or they may have said something that didn't go down well backstage. Hey, it happens in any ordinary workplace — never mind the wrestling business where everyone is buzzing before and after matches. However, there are rare circumstances when heat develops between two wrestlers and one party has absolutely no idea it's taking place. Case in point: Tajiri. Shawn Michaels and Tajiri were polar opposites in terms of their respective positions on the card, as they hardly ever came into contact with each other on screen; however, HBK reportedly pulled Tajiri aside once, simply for being too good at his job.


On the "Cafe De Rene" podcast, former WWE wrestler René Duprée recalled a story he had heard about Michaels. "I heard a story ... Super Crazy [or] somebody told me that [Michaels] had pulled Tajiri aside and told him to stop doing his kicks. Tajiri had some of the best f***ing kicks in the business, period, especially in that company. But, because they looked so good and that [was] Shawn's finish, he wanted him to stop doing it."