Shawn Michaels Was Involved In A Real-Life Brawl That Derailed Some Big WWE Plans

In the 1990s, "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels was a big-time player in professional wrestling. Michaels won the WWF Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the WWF Tag Team Championships three times each during that decade. However, he became known for his backstage antics just as much as his on-screen character. Michaels openly dealt with addiction, causing a number of issues with WWF owner Vince McMahon and the company as a result. On several occasions, there was genuine concern if he could or would even show up to work. One particular situation, however, almost changed the course of his career.


In October 1995, Michaels went out drinking at a club after a house show in Syracuse, New York, with Bruce Pritchard recalling this infamous night on his "Something To Wrestle" podcast. Traveling with his fellow Kliq member Sean "1-2-3 Kid" Waltman and "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, who he wrestled that night, Michaels reportedly flirted with a lady who was connected in some way to another patron at the club. With all three men being intoxicated and Michaels allegedly pursuing the lady uncomfortably, the bouncer asked his girlfriend to drive the wrestlers back to their hotel.

One Night In Syracuse

Bruce Pritchard continued to elaborate on what transpired with Shawn Michaels on that fateful night in October 1995 on the podcast. Donna Jones — the girlfriend of one of the club's bouncers — was asked to take Michaels, Sean Waltman, and Davey Boy Smith back to where they were staying. Michaels, who fell asleep on the ride back, was allegedly pulled out of the car's front seat by multiple men. Since Michaels couldn't defend himself, he suffered severe facial injuries in the attack. Waltman and Smith were in the back seat of the two-door car and couldn't quickly get out to help Michaels. Pritchard and podcast co-host Conrad Thompson further mentioned that there were nine attackers in total and the driver Jones was the one who ultimately broke up the fight, running into the club and getting a few other bouncers to scare the attackers away.


Since Michaels was the Intercontinental Champion at the time, he could not defend his title due to his injuries. This would lead to him forfeiting the title at In Your House 4 to Dean Douglas. Pritchard, an executive with WWE at the time, explained, "I think there was a segment of the audience that felt, 'Well, is this real or is it not?' So, you show Shawn, you show the injuries to his face and make a story out of it. You're dealt a set of cards, and you have to play them the best way you can at the time."