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411’s WWE Ruthless Aggression Report: ‘The Resurrection of Shawn Michaels’

November 25, 2021 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Ruthless Aggression Shawn Michaels

-Continuing along with episode four and it’s all about Shawn Michaels. Then later tonight I will have the latest Broken Skull Session with Jeff Hardy. Let’s get to it!

Run Time: 42:59

-As a reminder Pat McAfee is our narrator for this season.

-We start with Shawn Michaels backstage in 2003 talking about his comeback and how he is blessed with his wife and his son. Everything else is extra and it has been awesome to be back.

-In the mid 90s Shawn Michaels was the man as he rose up the ranks in the WWF. Austin puts him over as a performer and RVD credits him as being the standard for the change to more athletic guys. Bruce Prichard calls him one of the greatest performers ever to lace up a pair of boots, but also, “Shawn had an attitude and could be difficult.” He tells us his performance in the ring outweighed his attitude.

-Attitude Era Shawn wasn’t a character and Michael Cole calls him a dick. Checks out! Shawn was the WWF Champion as the Attitude Era was being ushered in, but an ill-fated landing on a casket snuffed that out as he crushed discs in his back. Everyone figured his loss to Austin at Mania XIV was it and they gloss over him throwing a hissy fit about doing the JOB.

-Sept 1998: Shawn does an interview and says his back hurts and we won’t see him in the ring anytime soon. Shawn has back surgery and gets addicted to pain killers. The WWF tried to find ways to throw him out there which meant referee gigs and being a commissioner. Shawn did what they asked, but apparently hated it as he was being robbed of being inside the ring competing.

-Triple H tells the story of Shawn showing up to a meeting high on pills. They went to Vince and enough was enough. Shawn left WWE and went home to San Antonio. He found The Lord and became a family man that put him on the right path.

-Bruce would travel to Texas to visit Shawn and his wrestling school (photo of Shawn working with a young Daniel Bryan) and there he didn’t see Shawn Michaels. What he saw instead was Michael as he worked with the students and spent time with his family.

-In 2002, Shawn returns as a member of The n.W.o and that’s still trippy to see, but it happened. Shawn was back as an on-air character and it felt good and like things in his life were getting on track. He superkicks Booker T out of the group in what was probably the only high point of his nWo run. He tells us he had no intention of wrestling, but he was watching it and started running around the ring. He got the itch as he felt he could do things in a limited fashion.

-Shawn gets put through a windshield by a mystery man and HHH is going to find out who did it. As with most things it turns out that it was HHH. Shocking! The match is set for SummerSlam 2002. Kevin Owens says it was cool to see Shawn return as Shawn inspired him to be a wrestler. The match was made a Street Fight and that was done to help Shawn use smoke and mirrors in case he couldn’t go. The idea going in was that it was a one-time deal.

-HHH recalls the morning of the match and looking at Shawn’s mom. He doesn’t recall her saying anything, but he noticed her look. He gets emotional as he mentions he grabbed Shawn’s mom and promised her he wouldn’t let anything happen to her boy. HHH then realized this could go really bad as he didn’t know people were that concerned with Shawn’s health. Perhaps Shawn was just hoping he was healthy enough and now HHH didn’t know if Shawn was going to break after he hit him once

-SummerSlam 2002: Shawn says it was exciting and they did everything they could to keep him comfortable. He says the biggest comfort was being in there with his best friend. Amazing match as the story was rather easy as HHH just worked the back in vicious fashion. HHH was amazed that Shawn was the best he was ever in the ring with even in that moment after 4 years being away. Shawn gets the win with a roll-up to protect HHH a bit in case this was a one-time match. Shawn kisses the ref on the head after getting through with the match. Vince told Shawn after the match he knew he could do it and never doubted him. Shawn told him to take it easy as he had to know Vince had money in his eyes again.

-Elimination Chamber: Gewirtz says they didn’t know how long Shawn was going to have matches, but if he was healthy and willing, they would use him when they could. Shawn wins the Chamber match and becomes the World Heavyweight Champion in a nice moment. Adam Cole calls Shawn the star of the match. Shawn says that they kept putting little pieces in front of him to get him all the way back and shucks, he just happened to be full time again.

-Shawn talks about being held to a standard and two weeks after his return he stopped being the guy coming off a career threatening injury. It was a case of see if you can do it again over and over again. JBL talks about how amazing it was for Shawn to recapture that same magic. Adam Cole says that Shawn/Angle at Mania 21 is his favorite Mania match of all time and Angle calls it the greatest match of his career. Yeah, it’s in my list of Top 10 favorite matches of all time and one I watch several times a year. Just amazing!

-Hey, there is WrestleMania XX where Shawn and HHH fought each other with nobody else involved. I’m not advocating for putting Benoit in there, but why even use a 3 second clip from that match when there are dozens of HHH/Shawn matches out there? Anyway, there was one match out there Shawn wanted and that was with Hulk Hogan. Here we go! Let’s see what they do with this. Shawn never got that match and says he doesn’t know anyone who wouldn’t want a match with Hogan no matter what they say.

-Gewirtz says Vince loves doing first time ever matches and Shawn/Hogan was a match that nobody ever dreamed it could happen. Shawn says the same as it didn’t even cross his mind as being something he could check off a bucket list and yet, here was the chance and he told Vince he wanted it. So they team together for a few months and Shawn does what he always does (turns on his partners) and Hogan does what he always does and that gets turned on by his partners.

-Heel Shawn returns as he cuts a promo about Hogan living off a 20 year old reputation. Shawn got to have fun spoofing Hogan and Gargano calls The Larry King segment one of the best things of all time. KO cracks up about it and Adam Cole loved it as well.

-YES! THE MONTREAL PROMO! Shawn was hated more than any man in any ring at any time in wrestling history that night as Canada loves Hogan and loves Bret. Go find it on YouTube as it is a master at work and YES THEY DO INCLUDE THE FAKE OUT OF BRET’S MUSIC PLAYING. The crowd nearly had a heart attack and then just wanted to riot. Adam Cole says he clearly bought it and then hated Shawn for it. Just an amazing go home promo!

-Gewirtz says that Shawn is a born-again Christian, but there is some old HBK in there and it can come out when provoked. Shawn says they got along fine as Terry knew it was a match that Shawn wanted. Adam Cole was in the crowd and says it was electric in the building. We see Shawn bumping like a mad man on speed and Gargano credits Shawn for doing everything he can to make it great. He then points out the way he sold Hogan’s big boot. Shawn defends the match and says he would take the bump the same way again, as he was the heel and he would change nothing about that match. Again, I love it as it was a good match with 2 mega stars.

-WrestleMania 22: Shawn destroys Vince and throws up a crotch chop. HHH saw it and decided to do one as well in his match with Cena. Adam Cole saw it and was like, “wait a minute!” We all had that reaction Adam! They continued to tease it and in June of 2006 they put the band back together as it were.

-Unfortunately, this was a PG DX and while it was fun and made a lot of merch money it wasn’t what it was 9 years ago. Shawn even says they can’t act hip and cool in their 40s like they were in their 20s and 30s. RVD felt their pranks on The McMahons were entertaining and Gargano loved the inside jokes of Shawn protecting his Christianity when HHH would get a little more non PG.

-We move ahead a bit as it seemed we were building to HHH vs Shawn II at Mania 23, but HHH tears a quad..again, at New Year’s Revolution 2007. So it wasn’t the same show Lita destroyed her knee. Now they needed someone to take HHH’s spot and Shawn was given the spot to continue Cena vs DX. Shawn says he just wanted to do his best as the replacement and really, what we ended up getting was better than a match with HHH most likely anyway.

-WrestleMania 23: Gargano says everyone knew Cena could go, but could he go against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania. Cena says it was easy working with Shawn and credits the mind he has for creating a match. He says it was magical as he had no problem being led as he was in the ring with Shawn Michaels and trusted the process. Cena taps out Shawn a year after tapping out HHH. Shawn says it was a blast and calls Cena a hard worker and great dude. It was another thing that made his comeback awesome. He calls Cena the franchise player and he got to help him (among others) become that and he thinks that was cool.

-Kevin Nash notes Shawn was the star maker and we hear from Randy Orton. He says Shawn saw something special in him and helped him. JBL says the same and Shelton Benjamin says Shawn taught him to slow down. WOOO, you had to know once they had Shelton on here, we were getting the famous springboard into a superkick and it’s still fantastic as is, JR’s call of it. Shawn talks about passing the torch and how much of a joy it was.

-Shawn says he had an asterisk by his name before the comeback because he was a prick. The comeback helped leave a different legacy. Prichard says Shawn was a joy to work with that second go round. Nash compares Shawn’s second run to the one Michael Jordan had. Gargano loved the second run more and compares it to Shakespeare. He marks out over “I’m sorry, I love you.”

-WrestleMania XXV: I WAS THERE! The greatest match I have ever seen in person (edging out the rematch a year later). KO calls it the greatest match he has ever seen and then they nearly topped it a year later. Again, I was there for that one as well and amazing. Taker puts over Shawn as one of the greatest performers of all time and he got to leave on his own terms with no regrets.

-In a period of time that launched a bunch of new stars, one star was reborn. Shawn loved being able to go out on his own terms. He calls every aspect of his life and career, surreal.

-This was the cliff notes version of Shawn’s return as they touched on the high points while also noting he was a dick and he had substance abuse problems. Not any real news broken there, but I always enjoy going down memory lane. Shawn’s comments about the Hogan match are really the only noteworthy thing and what’s funny is Facebook played an old SmackDown where RAW invaded and Shawn bumped in the same fashion taking a 6-1-9 so there is some truth to him saying he was just bumping like a heel. Next time it’s the final episode and is all about OVW. Thanks for reading!