Michael Shawn Hickenbottom (born July 22, 1965), better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is an American former professional wrestler, currently signed to World Wrestling...... Read more
Michael Shawn Hickenbottom (born July 22, 1965), better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is an American former professional wrestler, currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), serving in an ambassadorial role. He actively wrestled for WWE, formerly the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), from 1988 until his retirement in 2010. He is considered one of WWE's senior performers, having performed for over 20 years. Hickenbottom began his wrestling career with Mid-South Wrestling, now known as Universal Wrestling Federation, and American Wrestling Association (AWA). During his time with AWA, he performed in partnership with Marty Jannetty, as The Midnight Rockers; winning the AWA World Tag Team Championship twice. Hickenbottom and Jannetty then signed with World Wrestling Federation (WWF), while in contract with AWA. They returned to AWA, only to go back to the WWF in 1988. Hickenbottom later worked as a single performer, taking on a new persona of "The Heartbreak Kid" and, first as a villain and later as a fan favorite, moved into the main event sphere. He yielded considerable influence on booking decisions as the leader of The Kliq, a backstage group, which however fell apart in 1996. The following year, he teamed up with Hunter Hearst Hemsley, who often was referred to as Triple H (HHH), Chyna and Rick Rude to form D-Generation X (DX). This group of wrestlers was known for their sophomoric crude humor. That same year, Hickenbottom took part in one of the most controversial matches in wrestling history, dubbed as the "Montreal Screwjob." After a back injury forced him to retire following his WWF Championship loss at WrestleMania XIV, Hickenbottom opened a wrestling academy, called The Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy, in which he trained upcoming wrestlers. He made his in-ring return at SummerSlam in 2002. In 2006, Hickenbottom and Triple H briefly reformed DX, but after an injury that Triple H sustained, Hickenbottom returned to singles wrestling. Although as of 2009, the duo reunited as a tag team once more, with the two capturing the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship. At WrestleMania XXVI, Michaels was forced to retire from in-ring competition when he lost a career-threatening match. In December 2010, he signed a long-term deal with WWE, making his first live appearance at a WWE show since WrestleMania later that month. He will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011. Among other accolades, Hickenbottom is a four-time world champion: a three-time WWF Champion and a former World Heavyweight Champion. He was also the winner of the 1995 and 1996 Royal Rumbles and was the company's first Grand Slam Champion. He has also won the Slammy Award a record 11 times. Hickenbottom currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Rebecca, and their two children.