The Attitude Era is highly regarded as the most successful time period in WWE history, as WWE pushed the envelope with edgier content. Everyone rightfully associates Steve Austin and The Rock as the faces of the Attitude Era, but they were not the ones that ushered it in. Shawn Michaels and Triple H led the charge with their concept of D-Generation X. The new faction featured the two friends making inside jokes and using a juvenile style of comedy that was best suited for an adult audience. DX got over with the fans and the rest of the Attitude Era started to come to fruition.
Michaels retiring left Triple H in a bad spot, but WWE committed to DX continuing with a new group following Triple H as the new leader. The group grew in popularity and made history as one of the greatest faction of all-time. There were quite a few versions of the stable with members coming in and out over the years. We’ll look at the historical impact of each member to have been a part of DX at some point. We’ll look at the contributions of every single member by power ranking each person in D-Generation X.
12. Rick Rude
There’s no debating that Rick Rude was a legend that deserves to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. However, his time in D-Generation X was not one of his most memorable stints. Rude was forced to retire due to injury and found a new role as the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels. DX ultimately adopted him as the enforcer of the group.
Most of Rude’s moments featured him interfering in matches or standing silently in the background. There was very little for him to do or contribute. Rude chose to jump ship when his contract ended and showed up on WCW Nitro as a member of the New World Order. His final WWE show was taped, so Rude actually appeared on both shows as a member of the nWo and DX on the same night.
11. Jason Sensation
WWE brought in wrestling fan Jason Sensation for a couple of shows due to the fact that he did a great job of impersonating many of the talents. Sensation joined D-Generation X for one memorable night when DX did their legendary impersonation of The Nation of Domination. All of the members of DX played the various Nation of Domination heels.
Sensation was tasked with impersonating Owen Hart and did a hilarious job. According to Sensation, Chyna was originally supposed to impersonate Owen but claimed it was out of her character at the last minute. She was right and WWE used Jason in the role. It worked to perfection and his one night as a member of DX went well. Hart even got a kick out of Sensation’s work and he definitely did help contribute to a relevant moment of the time.
A later version of D-Generation X saw the group work as heels to protect Triple H as the WWE Champion. X-Pac remained a loyal member of the faction as the second in command to Triple H. Kane feuded with X-Pac in that time period and was dating Tori. DX pulled off the ultimate heel move by having Tori turn on Kane to start dating X-Pac and join the faction.
Tori’s role was basically being X-Pac’s girlfriend who joined him at ringside. She also played a role in helping Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley out in her matches by interfering. Due to her secondary position, Tori was a forgotten member of DX. Once DX ended, Tori lost her place on the show and was shortly released a few years later.
One incarnation of the D-Generation X faction that fans want to forget featured Hornswoggle. Triple H and Shawn Michaels brought back DX back from 2006 to 2010, but it wasn’t the same. The veterans were no longer the cool young guys pushing the envelope and came off like old guys having corny skits that harmed the legacy of the faction.
The tipping point in making fans roll their eyes at the DX rebirth was Hornswoggle joining. WWE typically used him in comedic segments and DX added him for the little person jokes. Hornswoggle participated in some of the weakest moments to ever come under the DX name. The younger fans enjoyed him, so he did contribute something positively but the longtime D-Generation X fans want to pretend it never happened.
8. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
Triple H marrying Stephanie McMahon on-screen was the storyline that saw him become a legitimate main event heel. This also helped to add another few months to the heel D-Generation X faction being relevant as top heels. Triple H then allowed his wife to become a member of DX. The new look DX were traditional heels with Stephanie and Triple H getting the majority of the boos.
Stephanie won the WWE Women’s Championship with the help of DX and started to get the confidence to become an impressive character. Her current heel work is superb and that all started during her time in DX. Triple H and Stephanie both found their greatest success working together on screen, leading to huge success. Stephanie may have looked awkward doing crotch chops, but she did learn from her DX run.
7. Mike Tyson
There were many turning points in the Monday Night Wars that led to WWE defeating WCW to take over the wrestling industry. Mike Tyson making his appearances in WWE deserves to be at the top of the list. WWE gained mainstream attention when Tyson and Steve Austin got into a shoving fest on Raw. This caused a huge moment when Tyson partnered with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna in D-Generation X.
The addition of Tyson wearing the DX shirt made the faction hotter than ever. DX’s name value following Tyson joining is a major reason WWE couldn’t give up on it when Michaels retired. The big reveal came at WrestleMania XIV when Tyson turned on Michaels when instigated. Tyson counted the pin fall victory for Austin and left DX. Tyson did join again many years later in 2010 when he helped DX pull a fast one on Chris Jericho for old time’s sake.
6. Billy Gunn
Billy Gunn’s WWE career wasn’t anything special until he joined D-Generation X. Gunn had a couple of gimmick changes over the years with nothing getting over. Then, Road Dogg joined Gunn to form the New Age Outlaws tag team. They were starting to connect with the fans, but a huge moment saw them become the newest members of DX.
Gunn finally found his place in the WWE and contributed quite nicely to the second incarnation of DX. The New Age Outlaws were among the most popular tag teams in the company at the time. They were similar to Big Cass and Enzo today with Gunn being the in-ring threat to back up his partner’s trash talking. Gunn struggled immensely again when DX ended and never found noteworthy success in the WWE again.
5. Road Dogg
Much like his tag partner Billy Gunn, Road Dogg could not find a successful role in the WWE until forming The New Age Outlaws and joining D-Generation X. Road Dogg’s promo skills were quite underrated with the Superstar getting the fans to chant along with all of his catchphrases during the introductions. Road Dogg became a valued commodity in DX as one of the best talkers in the company.
Road Dogg is another wrestler that did well in DX, but struggled any time he was not in the faction. WWE couldn’t find anything to do with him when DX ended and it ultimately would lead to his release. Luckily, his relationship with the WWE is back on track with him being a significant producer for Raw and SmackDown. His stint in DX set him up for a future role in the business, one that he is certainly grateful for.
The late great Chyna was an original member of D-Generation X as the bodyguard/manager of Triple H. Chyna, Triple H and Shawn Michaels joined together with the formation of DX. She remained with Triple H in the next incarnation of the group as faces. Her presence was rare for a woman in the business at the time, as she was both a beautiful woman and a credible competitor.
Chyna shined as a credible heel in the first version of DX and showed her personality in the face version of the group. An interesting dynamic saw Chyna start to surpass some of the male members of DX and become a credible singles wrestler. To this day, Chyna is still the only woman to hold the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It all started with the success of DX.
X-Pac was pivotal in D-Generation X continuing to grow in popularity when Shawn Michaels retired in 1998. WCW fired him while he was hurt and he had a lot of anger ready to unleash. Following Michaels’ final match, WWE completely changed DX, with X-Pac coming back to join by cutting a shot promo directed at Eric Bischoff and WCW.
Triple H moved into the leadership role, but X-Pac’s consistency helped them move forward. His in-ring work had always delivered, but being in DX allowed him to show his personality for the first time in the WWE. DX would have tanked if they didn’t have a credible second singles star to go along with Triple H. It felt right when he finally returned to the company for Raw’s 1000th episode and rocked the DX colors for a reunion segment.
2. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels’ main event run always left a bit to be desired during his title reigns in the 90s. Michaels delivered incredible in-ring work, but his character lacked a true main event presence until he formed D-Generation X. The group started to rise in popularity and it added a lot to his 1997-1998 WWE Championship reign. It gave Michaels a new life by finally showcasing his personality along with working with his friend, Triple H.
Michaels retired in 1998, ending his time with the original version of DX way too early. HBK’s return to the WWE saw DX come back to life in 2006 with Triple H and Michaels rocking the green and black colors again. They couldn’t recapture the magic, but Shawn was still entertaining enough to make it work to a much lesser extent. HBK deserves the credit for the group beginning, but one person was more important.
1. Triple H
Many would argue Shawn Michaels deserves to be ranked higher than Triple H in the power rankings of DX. Triple H however is the only person to remain in DX through every single incarnation of the faction. The original group saw Triple H finally move up the card with a first glimpse into the performer he could be. We finally witnessed his great promos and charisma when joining the group.
The next chapter of DX is where Triple H made bigger strides towards moving towards the top of the WWE. Triple H thrived as the leader of the group following Michaels’ retirement. There’s no way he would have become a future World Champion and legend without learning experiences in DX. Triple H’s legacy has many chapters attached to it. but being the most important member of D-Generation X’s success is one of the more important ones.
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