Shawn Michaels has undoubtedly gone into the history books as one of the greatest to have ever stepped foot inside the squared circle. It's too bad that his reputation outside of the ring is far from being as pristine as his in ring track record. Everyone knows some of the details about the horror stories that follow around Shawn's early days in the business but little do people know just how deep his influence went and how far he was willing to go to protect his top spot or the potential future top spots for his Kliq buddies.
From fans that were just ecstatic to see one of their favorites in person or legends of the business, no one was safe from the antics of The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. It's amazing to go back and look at the kind of stuff that Shawn was able to get away with but the fact of the matter is that he was so good in the ring that none of the other stuff mattered. He was able to pull off whatever he wanted because he knew the company needed him above everyone else and he wasn't afraid to flex that muscle.
Now this isn't to say that other top stars throughout wrestling history haven't pulled similar antics like this before, or even to this day, but Michaels is one of the only guys who has become infamous for his backstage shenanigans. Whether it was using his power backstage or taking liberties in the ring to make his opponents look foolish, or even just being rude to his legions of adoring fans, there is one thing that without a doubt Shawn Michaels can go down in history as being the best at, and that's being a jerk.
15 Being a Jerk to a 10 Year Old
I can't imagine anything more exciting for a young wrestling fan than to see their favorite superstar out in public. Finally being able to see these larger than life figures in the flesh would certainly be enough to take the breath away of any child, except for when the guy turns out be a jerk that is. Imagine going up to the star as a ten year old child and asking for an autograph, only to be told that since Shawn Michaels isn't his real name and there'd be a $10 charge for the proof of the chance encounter.
14 Being a Jerk to Fast Food Employee's
Down in Texas, there's a fast food chain called Whataburger that's extremely popular with people across the state. Naturally that would include The Heartbreak Kid, who made a pit stop at the burger joint back in the nineties. Now with Shawn being from San Antonio, Texas and stopping at one of the most popular food places around town, you'd have to think he would expect to have some sort of fan interaction but that apparently was not the case on this night. After being recognized by some of the employees, most of the store emptied out to take a look at Michaels through the drive thru window. Instead of offering autographs or pictures or anything like that, Shawn demanded that he get his food for free.
13 Being a Jerk to Chris Candido
Chris Candido was a man with a mountain of potential but was never able to reach the heights he probably should have, mainly thanks to the woman he was madly in love with, Sunny. During her first run with the company, Sunny was the manager of The Bodydonnas, Skip (Chris Candido) and Zip. While the group found moderate success winning the tag titles, it wasn't long until Shawn Michaels stuck his nose, and potentially other things, where it didn't belong. Shawn and Sunny allegedly began an affair that would drive a wedge between Candido and Sunny, as well as between Chris and The Kliq, which means he wasn't destined to stick around the company for long.
12 Being a Jerk to Bret Hart...the First Time
At WrestleMania XII Shawn Michaels finally broke through to super stardom after defeating Bret Hart in an incredible 60 minute iron man match to capture the WWE Championship. The only problem, however, was that the original deal was for HBK to drop the belt back to The Hitman the following year, which is something Shawn was not happy with. Instead of losing the title back to Bret, Shawn lost his smile, stepping away from the ring for a few months instead of doing the job to Hart. Shawn cited an injury that many, including Bret himself, deemed to be not nearly as serious as Michaels wanted people to believe, just so he didn't have to lose to Bret.
11 Provoking The Undertaker
Roughly a year following his first incident with Hart, there were a lot of worries going around that Shawn Michaels was going to try and pull a similar stunt against Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV. There were less doubts about the severity of Shawn's injury at this time after he crushed a few bones in his back in a casket match against The Undertaker (which you can read more about here!) but it's easy to understand where some of the concerns were coming from considering HBK's history at this point. Allegedly, throughout the match between Shawn and Austin, The Undertaker was sitting right behind the curtain with his fists taped up just in case Michaels tried to do anything he wasn't supposed to in the ring.
10 Nearly Squandering His First Chance
What often gets lost in the legend that is Shawn Michaels is the utterly disappointing first run he and Marty Jannetty had with the WWE. Shawn and Marty were out to prove to all the veterans in the locker room that they belonged not only in the ring, but that they could hang with the old guard outside of it as well. Between Shawn's well known drug problems of the past and the drinking that the pair engaged in, their attitudes were not those of what Vince expects from his superstars. They showed disrespect to the man in charge by not taking their possibly once in a lifetime chance to make it in the big time seriously, but lucky for everyone they turned it around enough to get another shot.
9 Being a Jerk to the Business
While these days, every fan over about the age of five is aware that the fighting we're watching on screen isn't actual fighting, it wasn't that long ago when that wasn't common knowledge. Back in 1996, at a house show in Madison Square Garden, The Kliq (Shawn Michaels, HHH, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash) decided to go out with a bang considering it was the last WWE show that Hall and Nash would be on before jumping ship to WCW. Following the main event all four members of the group found their way in the ring to give a salute to each other and a middle finger salute to the business as a whole.
8 Being a Jerk to Carl Ouellet
While there are many of you reading this that may not be aware of the name Carl Ouellet, he was a former three-time tag champion as half of The Quebecers. The fact that a decision by Shawn Michaels led directly to him being let go by the company certainly earns jerk status for HBK. Ouellet was set to face Diesel in Carl's hometown of Montreal with the original outcome decided to be a draw so that the two could come back into town and draw some major money. The story goes though that Shawn got into Big Daddy Cool's ear and led him to believe that a man of his stature shouldn't have a problem defeating someone like Carl, so the finish was changed to Diesel going over. Carl was not having any of it and ended the match with a double count out instead and was released shortly after.
7 Being a Jerk to Tatanka
Upon debuting in the WWE, Tatanka was on quite the undefeated streak entering WrestleMania IX with a wave of momentum that was unmatched at the time. All of those things must have been utterly terrifying to The Heartbreak Kid as he allegedly complained and lobbied his way into changing the end of their contest for the Intercontinental Championship from a Tatanka win to a count out loss for Shawn, meaning he could hold on to his belt. Even now, it's impossible to look back and think what would've happened had Tatanka gone over in the match but thanks to Michaels, we'll never know.
6 Being a Jerk to The Rock
Shawn's problems with The Great One go back all the way to when The Rock was just a teenager. Apparently during a show that The Rock's family was putting on, Michaels was very disrespectful to The Most Electric Man in Sports Entertainment's grandmother, causing an early rift to open up between the two. Things didn't get better upon The Rock's arrival in the WWE either, as both Michaels and Triple H would go out of their way to suggest ideas that would keep Rocky Maivia in his place, like having him drop the IC Belt he recently won to Bret Hart to keep him out of the spotlight, which they thought belonged to both of them.
5 Being a Jerk to Dean Douglas
While Shane Douglas was never destined for great things in the WWE, getting a victory over The Showstopper for the Intercontinental Title certainly would've been a good boost. Unfortunately for The Franchise, Michaels found himself on the wrong end of a beating from a few marines at a local bar the weekend of the event and didn't find himself fit enough to compete. If Shawn was truly beaten up badly in that brawl, then that doesn't seem too egregious, but considering he came out of the scuffle with just a black eye, it's hard to imagine that he wasn't able to get in the ring to put over the new guy. Instead of getting a marquee win over Michaels, Douglas was literally handed the belt only to lose it to Shawn's Kliq buddy Razor Ramon later that same night.
4 Being a Jerk to The British Bulldog
In 1997, The British Bulldog was the reigning European Champion defending the title in his home country in the main event of One Night Only broadcasting from Birmingham, England, so surely he would keep the title against Shawn Michaels, right? If you've made it this far, then you know what the answer to that question really is. The story goes that while Shawn was already firmly above the European Title, he wanted it not just to become the first Grand Slam Champion in WWE History, but to rub it in the face of Bulldog's brother in law and HBK's long time rival, Bret Hart.
3 Being a Jerk to Hulk Hogan
What do you get when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? That's what this matchup was destined to answer, at least if you consider the sway both men held backstage throughout their careers as unstoppable and immovable that is. To be fair to Michaels, this match was supposed to be the first out of a best of three series but Hogan nixed that idea and was happy to take the win and move on with his life. Shawn wasn't very happy about that. so he decided instead to turn the contest into a mockery of professional wrestling, over selling everything that Hogan threw at him like a cartoon character making the match more of a joke than the icon vs. icon match that fans had been dreaming about.
2 Being a Jerk to Vader
In one corner you have Vader, a massive mountain of a man who has won world championships all across the globe, and in the other you have the reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Shawn Michaels. Seems like a match made in heaven doesn't it? Following his impressive run in WCW as well as in Japan, Vader was in a position to come into the company as the dominating monster heel that ran roughshod over all the babyfaces because he was just bigger and stronger than everyone else, while also being incredibly athletic. Unfortunately for him, however, he apparently worked too stiff for Shawn Michaels to handle with his punches landing a little too close to home and some of his in ring tactics rubbing The Heartbreak Kid the wrong way. So, Vader went from being penciled in to win the championship against Michaels to losing the match and never getting close to main event status again.
1 Being a Jerk to Bret Hart, Again
What other number one could there have possibly been? Is it even possible to be more of a jerk than working together with the boss and the referee to steal the title off of a man who was on his way out of the company, in his home country no less? Yes. it's the Montreal Screwjob, where Vince and company were afraid that Bret Hart was going to bolt to WCW while still holding the WWE Championship, despite his willingness to drop the belt the next night when they were out of Canadian Territory. Shawn will play this off as if he wasn't to blame on this one, but there's no way that he wasn't at least a part of it, even if he wasn't the mastermind behind it all. No matter what story gets spun about it, there's no denying this is Shawn's ultimate jerk move, which is really saying something.