Michael Shawn Hickenbottom was born on July 22, 1965 at Williams Air Force Base in Chandler, Arizona. As a member of a military family, he moved many times as a youngster before finally settling in San Antonio, Texas. He was trained by Jose Lothario and made his pro debut in 1984. He is married to former Nitro Girl Whisper and has two children, Cameron and Cheyenne.
The Midnight Rockers:
In 1986, Shawn started to team with Marty Jannetty in the Cental States area. They quickly moved to the AWA where they immediately feuded with Buddy Rose and Doug Sommers. On January 27, 1987, they won the tag team titles. In 1987, they were very briefly in WWE but were fired. They returned to the AWA and regained the tag team titles. While there, he met Scott Hall.
In 1988, they returned to WWE and were renamed the Rockers. Most of their matches featured them in the role of David against their Goliath sized opponents. Despite being one of the top WWF tag teams for several years they never won the tag team titles. It appeared they once beat the Hart Foundation for the titles but the match was never televised due to the top rope breaking.
The Heart Break Kid:
In late 1991, the Rockers broke up when Shawn threw Marty through a plate glass window. Several months later, Shawn became Intercontinental Champion. He would lose the title to Marty Janetty but regain it with the help of his new bodyguard Diesel (Kevin Nash). He was stripped of the title in late 1993 for failing a steroids test. During this part of his career, the Kliq was formed.
In the mid-'90s, the WWF was controlled back stage by a group known as the Kliq. The group was made up of Shawn, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Triple H. They were blamed for derailing several careers and appeared to have their best matches against each other. Members of the Kliq deny having this power. Several wrestlers held such a grudge that when Hall entered ECW in 2000, he was thrown out of the locker room.
The Boyhood Dream and Lost Smiles:
Shawn became WWF Champion by beating Bret Hart at WrestleMania 12. It has been debated that when it came time to return the favor to Bret the next year, he quit rather than do it. He claims that a doctor told him he needed to retire due to a knee injury. In a televised speech, he said he lost his smile and vacated the title. He returned a few months later and formed D-Generation X with Triple H and Chyna.
Montreal and a Bad Back:
Behind the scenes, the tension between Shawn & Bret was at a breaking point. In the most talked about match ever, Shawn beat Bret in what is known as The Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 97. After winning the power struggle, Shawn injured his back at Royal Rumble 98 when he landed on the Undertaker’s coffin the wrong way. His next and final match occurred at WrestleMania 14 when he lost the title Steve Austin.
In his time away from the ring, he was briefly an on air commissioner and trained several wrestlers, including Matt Bentley and Spanky. He also became a born again Christian. Shawn returned to the ring at SummerSlam 2002 and feuded with Triple H. This feud has gone on for several years and has resulted in some of the best matches of his career. In addition to feuding with Triple H, he has also feuded with Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan. In 2006, Shawn and Triple H reformed D-Generation X.
WWE Title History:
3/31/96 WrestleMania 12 - Bret Hart
1/19/97 Royal Rumble - Sid
11/9/97 Survivor Series - Bret Hart
World Heavyweight Championship
11/17/02 Survivor Series - Won Elimination Chamber Match against Champion Triple H, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Chris Jericho & Kane
10/27/92 SNME - The British Bulldog
6/6/93 - Marty Jannetty
7/23/95 In Your House 2 - Jeff Jarrett
World Tag Team Titles
8/28/94 - with Diesel beat The Headshrinkers
9/24/95 In Your House 3 - with Diesel beat Owen Hart & Yokozuna
5/25/97 - w/ Steve Austin beat Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith
1/29/07 - w/ John Cena beat Edge & Randy Orton
Unified Tag Team Titles
12/13/09 TLC - w/Triple H beat Big Show & Chris Jericho in a TLC Match
9/20/97 - The British Bulldog
Sources Include: PWI Almanac and Shawn Michaels Autobiography