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About Michael Shawn Hickenbottom-HBK

HBK s t a r t ed ou t as
t he s i l en t ha l f
o f a t eenyboppe r
t ag t ea m, bu t
s ec u r ed h i s
l egend as an
ou t s poken s i ng l es
c ha m p i on .
S t and i ng j us t
6 ’ 1 ” 225 pounds ,
he a l s o r e -
es t ab l i s hed a
p l ac e f o r
s m a l l e r , h i gh -
w o r k r a t e
t ec hn i c i ans a t op
t he p r o w r es t l i ng
w o r l d ; and i t i s
“ t he H ea r t b r eak
K i d ” S ha w n
M i c hae l s , w ho i s
# 01 a m ong t he
i ndus t r y ’ s 100
M os t I n f l uen t i a l
F i gu r es .
M i c hae l S ha w n
J a m es
H i c kenbo t t o m w as
bo r n on J u l y 22 ,
1965 a t Wi l l i a m s
A i r F o r c e Bas e i n
S c o t t s da l e ,
A r i zona , w he r e
h i s f a t he r s e r ved
i n t he U . S . A i r
F o r c e . H i s
f a mi l y m oved t o
E ng l and s ho r t l y
a f t e r he w as
bo r n ; bu t w hen
h i s f a t he r w as
c a l l ed t o du t y i n
V i e t na m, t hey
r e t u r ned t o h i s
m o t he r ’ s ho m e t o w n
o f S t o r m L ake ,
I o w a . A f t e r h i s
f a t he r r e t u r ned
f r o m t he w a r ,
t hey w e r e t hen
s t a t i oned b r i e f l y
i n bo t h
W as h i ng t on D . C .
and Texas be f o r e
h i s f a t he r
r e t i r ed f r o m t he
mi l i t a r y i n 1971 ;
and t he f a mi l y
t hen s e t t l ed
pe r m anen t l y i n
t he S an An t on i o
r eg i on . The
younges t o f f ou r
c h i l d r en , he w en t
by t he na m e S ha w n
eve r s i nc e he w as
a s m a l l boy ; and
as a c h i l d , he
exc e l l ed on t he
f oo t ba l l f i e l d .
H e w ou l d
even t ua l l y s e r ve
as t he t ea m
c ap t a i n w h i l e
p l ay i ng ou t s i de
l i nebac ke r a t
Rando l ph H i gh
S c hoo l , and he
t hen b r i e f l y
a t t ended
S ou t h w es t Texas
S t a t e
U n i ve r s i t y .
H o w eve r , S ha w n
d r opped ou t o f
c o l l ege a f t e r
j us t one s e m es t e r
w hen he m ade t he
dec i s i on t o
pu r s ue a c a r ee r
i n p r o f es s i ona l
w r es t l i ng .
A t age 18 ,
S ha w n began h i s
w r es t l i ng
t r a i n i ng w hen he
s ough t t he
gu i danc e o f
M ex i c an r i ng
l egend J os e
L o t ha r i o . Wi t h i n
a yea r , he m ade
h i s p r o debu t as
S ha w n M i c hae l s i n
t he M i d - S ou t h
t e r r i t o r y , l os i ng
t o A r t C r uz i n
h i s f i r s t m a t c h
on O c t obe r 16 ,
1984 . A f t e r s i x
m on t hs , he t hen
t r ave l ed t o Bob
Ge i ge l ’ s Kans as
C i t y r eg i on ,
w he r e he w ou l d
f i r s t m ee t
ano t he r up - and -
c o mi ng h i gh - f l ye r
na m ed M a r t y
J anne t t y ( r ea l
na m e : M a r t y
O akes ) . Th r ee
m on t hs l a t e r ,
M i c hae l s m oved on
t o Texas A l l - S t a r
W r es t l i ng , w he r e
he f o r m ed a t ag
t ea m wi t h Pau l
D i a m ond kno w n as
t he A m e r i c an
F o r c e , and t he
t ande m w on t w o
Texas A l l - S t a r
t ag t ea m t i t l es
i n 1985 .
M i c hae l s nex t
a r r i ved i n t he
N W A ’ s C en t r a l
S t a t es t e r r i t o r y ,
w he r e he aga i n
m e t up wi t h young
M a r t y J anne t t y .
The t w o began
t ea mi ng as t he
M i dn i gh t Roc ke r s ,
and t hey de f ea t ed
B r ad & Ba r t
Ba t t en f o r t he
C en t r a l S t a t es
t ag t ea m t i t l es
on M ay 15 , 1986 .
L a t e r t ha t yea r ,
t he M i dn i gh t
Roc ke r s en t e r ed
t he A W A , and
w h i l e t hey w e r e
i n i t i a l l y
d i s mi s s ed as
c heap r i p - o f f s o f
t he Roc k ‘ n Ro l l
E xp r es s , t hey
s oon es t ab l i s hed
t he m s e l ves a m ong
t he s po r t ’ s t op
duos , bea t i ng
“ P l ayboy ” Buddy
Ros e & “ P r e t t y
Boy ” D oug S o m e r s
on J anua r y 27 ,
1987 t o c ap t u r e
t he A W A W o r l d Tag
Tea m T i t l es . As
an exc i t i ng young
t ag t ea m, t he
M i dn i gh t Roc ke r s
even t ua l l y
a t t r ac t ed t he
a t t en t i on o f t he
W W F , w ho as ked
t he m t o t r y ou t
a t a TV t ap i ng .
H o w eve r , t hey
w e r e qu i c k l y
d i s mi s s ed a f t e r
t hey had pa r t i ed
a b i t t oo ha r d
t he p r ev i ous
n i gh t . As a
r es u l t , t hey
r e t u r ned t o t he
A W A , w he r e t hey
he l d a s ec ond
r e i gn as t ag
c ha m ps and f euded
wi t h t he Or i g i na l
M i dn i gh t E xp r es s
and Bad C o m pany
be f o r e t hey w e r e
g i ven a s ec ond
c hanc e by t he W W F
i n l a t e 1988 .
Rena m ed as
s im p l y t he
Roc ke r s , M i c hae l s
& J anne t t y
qu i c k l y bec a m e
one o f t he W W F ’ s
t op baby f ac e t ag
t ea m s w h i l e
ba t t l i ng t he
l i kes o f t he H a r t
F ounda t i on ,
D e m o l i t i on , and
t he B r a i n
Bus t e r s . O n
O c t obe r 30 , 1990 ,
t he Roc ke r s
de f ea t ed t he H a r t
F ounda t i on t o
c ap t u r e t he W W F
W o r l d Tag Tea m
T i t l es a f t e r J im
N e i dha r t w as
f i r ed f r o m t he
W W F . H o w eve r ,
N e i dha r t w as
qu i c k l y r eh i r ed
t he f o l l o wi ng
w eek ; and t he W W F
dec i ded t o keep
t he t i t l es wi t h
t he H a r t s . As a
r es u l t , t he t i t l e
c hange w as
annu l l ed , and t he
bou t neve r a i r ed
on t e l ev i s i on ,
t hus e r as i ng t he
Roc ke r s ’ W W F t ag
t i t l e r e i gn f r o m
h i s t o r y . D es p i t e
t he i r s uc c es s ,
M i c hae l s
g r adua l l y bec a m e
f r us t r a t ed wi t h
h i s r o l e as t he
s i l en t pa r t ne r
w h i l e J anne t t y
hogged m os t o f
t he a t t en t i on ;
and i n a l a t e
1991 ep i s ode o f
B r u t us Bee f c ake ’ s
“ Ba r be r S hop ”
i n t e r v i e w
s eg m en t , M i c hae l s
s hoc ked W W F f ans
by t u r n i ng hee l
w hen he t h r e w h i s
f o r m e r pa r t ne r
t h r ough t he s e t ’ s
g l as s wi ndo w.
D ubbed “ t he
H ea r t b r eak K i d ”
by ne w m anage r
S ens a t i ona l
S he r r i , M i c hae l s
qu i c k l y
es t ab l i s hed
h im s e l f as a
r i s i ng s i ng l es
s t a r , c ap t u r i ng
t he
I n t e r c on t i nen t a l
C ha m p i ons h i p and
t hen p r eva i l i ng
i n h i s f eud wi t h
a r e t u r n i ng
J anne t t y .
M i c hae l ’ s r ad i c a l
ne w pe r s ona l i t y
as a c oc ky
p r e t t y - boy l i f t ed
“ H BK ” t o bec o m e
one o f t he
c o m pany ’ s t op
hee l s ; and as t he
W W F began t o l os e
t he r a t i ngs w a r
t o W C W i n t he
mi d - 1990 ’ s , V i nc e
M c M ahon J r .
i n i t i a t ed a ne w
d i r ec t i on f o r h i s
c o m pany . Wi t h
B r e t H a r t
c u r r en t l y
i ns t a l l ed as W W F
W o r l d C ha m p i on ,
V i nc e s a w t he
po t en t i a l f o r a
s e r i es o f h i gh -
w o r k r a t e bou t s
be t w een t he
H i t m an and t he
H ea r t b r eak K i d ,
as t he t w o had
a l r eady w o w ed
aud i enc es i n
t he i r p r ev i ous
ba t t l es f o r t he
I - C be l t . S o a t
W r es t l eM an i a X I I ,
M i c hae l s w r es t l ed
H a r t i n a one -
hou r I r on m an
m a t c h , de f ea t i ng
h im i n ove r t im e
t o c ap t u r e t he
W W F W o r l d T i t l e
i n w ha t has s i nc e
been ha i l ed as a
one o f t he
even t ’ s c l as s i c
enc oun t e r s . As
W W F W o r l d
C ha m p i on ,
M i c hae l s
c on t i nued h i s r un
as t he c o m pany ’ s
t op pe r s ona l i t y ;
and a t t he s a m e
t im e , H BK f ounded
t he l egenda r y
D egene r a t i on - X
s t ab l e a l ong wi t h
T r i p l e - H and
C hyna . D- X w as
r evo l u t i ona r y i n
t ha t i t added a
r ac y edge t o w ha t
had been a s t a l e
p r oduc t . Wi t h
H BK a t t he t op o f
t he g r oup , D- X
w as huge l y
popu l a r wi t h t he
f ans , and i t w as
i ns t r u m en t a l i n
c a r r y i ng t he W W F
i n t o t he ne w
A t t i t ude E r a t ha t
w ou l d p r ope l t he
c o m pany bac k t o
p r o mi nenc e .
A t t he 1997
S u r v i vo r S e r i es ,
S ha w n M i c hae l s
w ou l d aga i n
de f ea t H a r t f o r
t he W W F W o r l d
T i t l e i n w ha t
w ou l d bec o m e
kno w n as t he
i n f a m ous
“ M on t r ea l
s c r e w j ob , ” as
M c M ahon
m aneuve r ed t he
W W F t i t l e a w ay
f r o m H a r t be f o r e
he c ou l d l eave
f o r W C W. The
bou t c a t apu l t ed
H BK i n t o a w o r l d
o f c on t r ove r s y ,
and f u r t he r
c e m en t ed h i s
s t a t us as one o f
t he i ndus t r y ’ s
m os t no t o r i ous
s upe r s t a r s .
U n f o r t una t e l y ,
M i c hae l s ’ c a r ee r
w ou l d c o m e t o a
c r as h i ng ha l t
w h i l e he w as on
t op o f t he
i ndus t r y w hen he
s u f f e r ed a
deb i l i t a t i ng bac k
i n j u r y du r i ng a
m a t c h wi t h S t eve
Aus t i n i n 1998 .
M i c hae l s w as
f o r c ed t o r e t i r e ,
and d i s appea r ed
f r o m t he s po r t
j us t as t he W W F
w as beg i nn i ng t o
r e - e m e r ge a m ong
t he na t i ona l
m a i ns t r ea m
i n t e r es t .
H o w eve r , i n 2002 ,
M i c hae l s m ade a
s u r p r i s e r e t u r n
a l ongs i de good
f r i end Kev i n N as h
(w ho had p l ayed
M i c hae l s ’
bodygua r d D i es e l
i n t he
mi d - 1990 ’ s ) , as
pa r t o f a ne wl y
r ev i ved n W o .
F ee l i ng h i s bac k
w as s o m e w ha t
r ec ove r ed ,
M i c hae l s ag r eed
t o t ake pa r t i n a
s i ng l e r e t u r n
bou t wi t h f o r m e r
pa r t ne r T ...
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