They were renegades, rebels and trendsetters in the way they showed no regard to authority. They broke the rules and they ushered in the Attitude Era which then kickstarted the Monday Night Ways. They were Degeneration-X and are arguably the most popular faction in wrestling history.
The members of DX are some of the most famous and accomplished wrestlers in the history of the business. Led by Shawn Michaels and Triple H, DX has done it all and won it all in terms of WWE championships. Five WWE titles, seven Tag Team titles and reigns as European, Hardcore, IC, and Women’s champions are on the resumes of DX members. They’ve survived multiple eras in WWEs lore and still occasionally pop up here and there whenever they see fit.
However, everything mentioned is what WWE wants you to remember about DX. Even though they are “degenerates” there are still things that not only WWE wants you to forget about the group, but members of DX would also rather you forget. We’re talking about infighting between members, widespread drug usage and a bizarre love triangle. DX was never shy about revealing anything and everything to the WWE universe, but their personal lives was usually off-limits.
That will change here as we look back at the worst of the worst regarding DX and its members. The WWE always tries to control the narrative and only put out good PR about its wrestlers. But we will peel back the curtain and divulge what the members of D-Generation X were really like. Here are 15 things the WWE wants you to forget about DX.
15. Billy Gunn’s Wife Trashed WWE For Their Treatment Of Chyna
While everyone knows about the once-close relationships between Chyna and Triple H and then Chyna and X-Pac, apparently the Ninth Wonder of the World was close to Billy Gunn as well. The two were members together in DX for less than a year but afterwards they teamed together during Gunn’s “The One” gimmick. Once Chyna left WWE, she and the company weren’t on the best of terms and Triple H barely even acknowledged his ex-girlfriend. It took Chyna’s death in 2016 for the WWE to mention her and that didn’t sit well with Gunn’s wife, Paula. In a now-deleted tweet, she posted this in relation to WWE’s treatment of Chyna:
14. Rick Rude Sided With Bret Hart After The Montreal Screwjob
Bret Hart and Rick Rude were always close during their time in WWE and Hart even said that Rude and Curt Hennig were the best technical wrestlers he ever faced. Rude operated on a pay-per-appearance deal with the WWE when he returned in 1997 and was added to DX as an insurance policy. While most know that he appeared on Raw and Nitro on the same night, what they may not realize is that Rude was one of the few (outside of the Hart Foundation) who was by Hart’s side after the Montreal Screwjob. Rude stayed in the locker room while Hart confronted, and punched, Vince McMahon. Afterwards Rude called Eric Bischoff and said he was done with WWE and wanted to join WCW. He did just that 8 days later on Nitro and in his debut promo, he called out Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon while praising Hart.
13. Shawn Michaels And Triple H Buried CM Punk
The fact that Triple H buried someone shouldn’t come as much of a surprise but the born-again Christian, Shawn Michaels, hasn’t been known to do so. However, Court Bauer, a former member of WWE’s creative team said Michaels and Triple H destroyed Punk at his WWE tryout:
“One time, Triple H along with HBK buried CM Punk. I think it was his 2005 tryout,” Bauer said. “Maybe he didn’t know the name, and wasn’t familiar with who it was but they buried him. They annihilated his look and his work and I’m like, ‘you just sunk the guy in front of the Chairman!’”
Back in 2005, CM Punk’s look wasn’t as acceptable as it is now and certainly not what Vince McMahon and Co. were looking for. Anyway, Michaels denied burying Punk and said he didn’t even see his tryout while Bauer responded that another WWE writer also witnessed Michaels ripping Punk. That writer, Alex Greenfield, called Trips and HBK ‘catty f—ing b—–s’ and said that Triple H is that friend who brings out the worst in Shawn Michaels.
12. Hornswoggle Failed A WWE Wellness Test Due To A Technicality
Remember when Hornswoggle was in DX? No? Me neither, but he was the official DX mascot for a couple of months while Triple H and Shawn Michaels were tag partners in 2009-10. Hornswoggle wouldn’t last long with DX but he did, somehow, last 10 years in WWE. He was suspended in 2015 for failing a wellness test and was released the following year. But according to Hornswoggle, he never failed a wellness test due to taking drugs but simply because he couldn’t “perform on the big stage.” Hornswoggle couldn’t pee in the time allotted for the test so he failed it due to a technicality. Despite that, Hornswoggle remains a fan of the wellness policy but thinks the WWE should alter its wording when tests are not passed.
11. Triple H, Billy Gunn And Road Dogg Were All Jobbers In WCW
DX reached its peak during 1997-98 as the Attitude Era was taking off. But if you rewind about 5 years or so, many of DX’s members weren’t household names and they were instead jobbers in WCW. Road Dogg was known as both Brian Armstrong and The Dark Secret from 1991-94 and often wrestled alongside his three brothers. Billy Gunn wrestled as Kip Montana as a WCW jobber in 1993 both becoming Billy Gunn in WWE later that year. Triple H came along a little later as he wrestled in WCW in 1994-95 under three different names. He was first Terror Risin’ then Terra Ryzing and finally, Jean-Paul Levesque and came complete with a French accent.
He also teamed with Steven Regal and, at one point, they wrestled two of the Armstrong brothers (but not Road Dogg). After asking for a push as a singles competitor, and getting rejected, Triple H left WCW for WWE in January 1995.
10. Shawn Michaels Posed For The Anti-Hefner Magazine
The Heartbreak Kid reached the apex of his sexy boy phase in 1996. He was single, he was the WWE champion, and he was the biggest draw in the company. He assumed that appearing in Playgirl would give him a boost in terms of popularity with his female fans so he posed non-nude for the October edition. He even had a sit-down interview that made its way into the pages and included this line in which he described himself: “I’m a kissy-kissy, touchy-touchy, feely-feely kind of guy who, more than anything, is looking for “Mrs. Right.” Little did HBK know that Playgirl, which isn’t affiliated with Playboy, isn’t marketed to females and the majority of its subscribers are gay men. One can only imagine the ribbing that Michaels received for this from the boys in the back or the type of fan mail he received for this from Mister Right.
9. Tori Left WWE After Being Harassed By Raven
Tori was one of the WWE’s first bodybuilders-turned-wrestlers/valets and she joined DX as X-Pac’s girlfriend in 2000. She is best remembered for getting a stinkface from Rikishi at WrestleMania 2000 and for getting powerbombed through a table by The Dudley Boyz. After leaving DX, she aligned herself with Raven and helped him retain the Hardcore Championship. However, Tori would soon be moved to Tough Enough as a trainer and taken off weekly television.
She was soon released and claimed that she was verbally abused and harassed by Raven when she managed him. Both Raven and Jim Ross would deny the accusations but that was the last we saw Tori in a wrestling ring. Fortunately, that was not the last “Torrie” in a wrestling ring as Torrie Wilson would join WWE right as DX’s Tori was making her exit.
8. Triple H’s Humility After The “Curtain Call” Earned The Undertaker’s Respect
The infamous MSG Curtain Call was one of the earliest examples of wrestlers breaking kayfabe and it sent Vince McMahon into a tizzy. Hall and Nash were on their way to WCW so they couldn’t be disciplined while Shawn Michaels was the champion so he escaped free. Thus, Triple H took the brunt of Vince’s wrath and was demoted to jobber status. But Triple H didn’t complain about his punishment or his role and that earned him the respect of the WWE’s locker room leader, The Undertaker. The Deadman said Hunter was perceived as arrogant when he first joined WWE but his acceptance of his role earned him respect of the boys in the back. The two eventually became very good friends and while the Undertaker never joined DX, he did join Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Ric Flair and others as a groomsman in Triple H’s wedding to Stephanie McMahon.
7. BFFs Shawn And Hunter Had A Major Blow-up Prior To WrestleMania X-Seven
Up until he became a born-again Christian, Michaels had two vices: wrestling and pills. During his four-year retirement, wrestling was out of the picture so all Michaels had to rely on were the pills and he became addicted to pain medication. Triple H wanted to use him in his ongoing feud with The Undertaker but Michaels showed up to the Raw prior to WrestleMania X-7 in no condition to even walk to the ring. HBK and Triple H got into a major argument at that Raw and not only was Michaels not used that night, but he also wasn’t used at WrestleMania six days later.
It’s unknown as to what type of role Triple H had in mind but Michaels would later say that he was so upset with Triple H that the two didn’t talk for a year. It took Kevin Nash playing peacemaker when he rejoined the company in early 2002 for the two to get on speaking terms again.
6. Triple H Tried To Warn X-Pac About Chyna
Not only did Trips leave Chyna for the boss’ daughter, but he also tried to dissuade his friend. X-Pac, from dating Chyna. Pac said that he hooked up with Chyna right after getting out of a relationship and once Triple H caught wind of the relationship, he warned him about what he’s getting himself into.
I just remember Hunter texting me, like, ‘hey man, hey kid, what kind of psycho s–t are you getting yourself into now?’ Yeah, it wasn’t like he was mad or ‘hey, what are you doing?’ He was just worried about me. Yeah, well, he had his experiences with her that I don’t want to get too much into. But he was just going by what his experiences were. I’ll leave it at that.”
Pac said that on Steve Austin’s podcast and he also said the tape the two made led to a downward spiral which ended in her death. But he still talks fondly about Chyna and said she deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame and that he wouldn’t want to be inducted unless she’s in it as well. X-Pac was also invited by Chyna’s family to speak at her memorial service.
5. Triple H Brought Up “The Armstrong Curse” To Road Dogg
When Road Dogg was at his lowest in WWE and struggling with drugs, Triple H reportedly tried to hold an intervention. It was then when Hunter mentioned that Road Dogg suffers from the old “Armstrong Curse” in reference to his three brothers who also all struggled with drugs. The Armstrongs were similar to a less successful, but less destructive, version of the Von Erichs. The Armstrongs didn’t suffer through quite the same tragedies that the Von Erichs did, but they also never achieved the same kind of commercial success that the Von Erichs did. Road Dogg mentioned in a shoot interview that Triple H brought up the “Armstrong Curse” to him when both he and Billy Gunn were burying Triple H for how he treats others.
4. Road Dogg Appeared At The Final Episode Of Nitro Looking For A Job
After a six-year run with WWE, Road Dogg was fired in January 2001 for drug use. He was initially suspended but when he couldn’t kick the habit the WWE terminated his contract. Road Dogg was apparently in such a daze that he wasn’t aware that WCW was on its last legs and was close to shutting down. Thus, in need of a job, Road Dogg, who lives in Florida, went down to Panama City, FL where Nitro was filming and pitched for a job. However, that Nitro happened to be the last Nitro ever as WWE had just purchased WCW.
It had been rumored for months that WCW was close to going out of business but that shows you the power of drugs. Road Dogg would go to the indy scene and later TNA before reappearing on WWE program for the first time in 10 years in 2011.
3. 7 Of The 10 Members Of DX Had Issues With Substances
Two of DX’s members have died due to drugs (Rick Rude and Chyna) while three more used drugs throughout much of their in-ring careers (Shawn Michaels, X-Pac, Road Dogg). Two others were suspended for wellness test violations (Hornswoggle and Billy Gunn). That leaves just three of DX’s members without known drug usage. Those members are Triple H (smirks), Stephanie McMahon and Tori. Seeing how Triple H’s physique has changed considerably since he was Hunter Hearst Helmsley and seeing how Tori was formerly a female bodybuilder; chances are Steph is the only clean member in the history of DX.
2. The New Age Outlaws Buried Triple H In A Shoot Interview
After both Billy Gunn and Road Dogg had departed WWE, they did a shoot interview in 2005 in which they did not hold back about their former DX-mate, Triple H. They echoed many of the same sentiments that others have said including that he buries people and is only out for his friends. They also said he was two-faced and would be friendly to certain people to their faces but then out them for drug usage or misdeeds behind their backs. Vince Russo also said that both Triple H and Shawn Michaels didn’t want the New Age Outlaws in DX and they only joined after Michaels went on his four-year hiatus. When the Outlaws joined TNA they would frequently call out the on-going revival of DX featuring Triple H and Michaels a “failure” and that they were the ones who kept the group afloat in the late 90s. But, time seemed to heal all wounds as the Outlaws rejoined both the WWE and DX in 2012 and, at least on camera, were on good terms with Triple H.
1. The Infamous Nitro Invasion Nearly Blew Up In WWE’s Face
On April 27, 1998 both Raw and Nitro were airing in Virginia and were separated by a mere 18 miles. The WWE had the great idea to send DX, and a tank, to where WCW was airing live and attempt to invade the premises. The vignettes that the DX army performed in were some of the most memorable during the Monday Night War but they could have ended in disaster for WWE. Eric Bischoff would later say that he wishes he would have let DX come right into the building and appear on Nitro. Allowing DX into WCW’s building, but keeping WWE’s cameras out, would have made for great television for Nitro and WCW’s audience while leaving WWE out in the cold in terms of Raw programming.
Raw would easily defeat Nitro in ratings that night after Nitro had won the previous week and Raw would keep riding that momentum as they won or tied in ratings for the next 10 Mondays.
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