The reason we love wrestling is because it is a never ending drama of these mythical figures representing the times we live in. No group in the WWE or any of its previous incarnations were as momentous as the infamous D-Generation X. They were a group of outcasts representing the rejection of the old world in favor of a more radical, more and honest view of the generational reality by a bunch of a lude, rude, crude dudes. What punk is to folk, what cubism was to classicism, what Mac was to PC, DX was to the wrestling norm of The Corporation. It was a rebellion, a big fat middle finger to the suit and tie culture of the coming tide of the technological and cold 90s. Wrestling is a counter culture to our everyday lives and office jobs imbibing the virtues of temperance, patience, and civility. In this way, DX has come to be the embodiment of the very reason we watch the WWE in the first place. They haven’t always been the heroes, but we’ve always watched them.
The very nature of professional wrestling blurs these lines between the historical and the legendary. Since its inception, witch doctors come to blows with American war heroes. Though Hulk Hogan and Macho Man are long retired, and the color schemes have dulled, wrestlers still act out these battles that seem to acknowledge the business aspect of professional sports and the actual competition itself. Where the NFL and the NHL hide their shady political business dealings behind closed doors, the WWE brings it right into the act. In this sense of wonderment, these characters become real. Their antics in the ring find themselves a part of their real and everyday life, and any off camera craziness just gets rolled up into the lore of their character. Steve Austin and Dwayne Johnson have moved on to professional careers elsewhere in entertainment, but however successful they become in these other arenas, to us they will always be ‘Stone Cold’ and ‘The Rock’.
These are 20 real life stories about the members of D-Generation X that hedge the line between their history and legend as WWE performers as well as new American folk heroes.
20 Chyna Helped Invent A New Type Of Breast Implant
It is no secret that Chyna had some work done. She even appeared in Playboy on two separate occasions, which were were highly purchased editions, and is known for her home movie turned high grossing adult film, 1 Night in China. What many don’t realize is that she actually managed to burst one during a match. She had to receive another surgery to fix it, but she complained to the doctor that she did not like the way it fit on her build. They worked to customize an implant meant specifically for female bodybuilders that is still being marketed to women today. If you're curious how much a custom implant for Chyna cost, she said they came out to $6,000.
19 The "HBK Line"
Last NHL season, one of the lines of forwards of the Pittsburgh Penguins included Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino, and Phil Kessel. The line quickly picked up the name among the fanbase affectionately as the ‘HBK Line’ signifying their initials in reference to Shawn Michael’s ‘Heartbreak Kid’ nickname. This subject was a lot of fun between the franchise and Michaels on Twitter for weeks, until the team invited him to attend Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He sat in the box with the team owner Mario Lemieux and Steelers Defensive End Brett Keisel, who took Michaels on a tour of the Penguins and Steelers facilities after the game. The Penguins lost in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lighting, but they would go on to win the Stanley Cup that year.
18 Triple H Was Good Friends With Lemmy From Motorhead
It turns out that Triple H has been a huge Motorhead fan for most of his life, which shouldn't really surprise you, considering that he's using Motorhead's music for his entrance themes. He even modeled his facial hair after Lemmy’s for most of his career. When Helmsley first founded DX with Shawn Michaels, he had to reinvent himself as a heel. One of the first steps to this was changing his entrance theme. After struggling to find something that fit, he asked the band Motorhead if he could use their music. The band then proceeded to write three entrance themes for Helmsley over the duration of his career, including the iconic “The Game” which he still walks out to today in tribute to his friend, Lemmy.
17 X-Pac Was Beaten By Chyna While They Were Engaged
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, folks. Especially when you’re intimate with The Ninth Wonder of the World. Many would assume that it was X-Pac, the wiry, hyperactive 1-2-3 Kid that would enact violence on Joanie Laurer in their volatile and dysfunctional relationship, but a 911 call says differently. In 2005, the police were alerted that Sean Waltman was being physically battered by Chyna. Joanie Laurer was arrested and Waltman pressed charges against her. Waltman says this was a regular occurrence when she would return home from parties at the Playboy mansion, full of whatever vices were allotted there. Everyone loves a strong woman, but a female bodybuilder with a history of emotional and substance struggles probably isn’t what we have in mind.
16 Nobody Likes Billy Gunn
It’s hard to find stories about Mr. Ass because he wasn’t that great of a personality. It is agreed upon that he had the look, he was a good guy within the company, he could execute the moves, but he had little to no mic presence. His key phrase was “I got two words for ya,” but that was only after an incredible introduction from the Road Dogg. His real talent in the WWE was his ability to avoid injury and stay healthy. Steve Austin wouldn’t even work a program with him. Nobody would have worked with him if The Rock didn’t step in and agree to help out. The only problem is that his lack of mic presence couldn’t hold a candle to Dwayne Johnson. Billy Gunn won the King of the Ring in 1999, but was quickly buried in the card because of the return of The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and Steve Austin all in the same year.
15 Shawn Michaels Thought Playgirl Was Something Else...
True with his bad boy style, The Heartbreak Kid was the apple of the eyes of ladies back in the late 80s and early 90s. So much so that he was asked to pose for an edition of Playgirl in 1996. He did agree and it was a non-nude shoot (barely) that fans still find time to mock today, constantly using the shoot when laughing at the Superstar's arrogant nature at the time. Some of his fellow wrestlers got a good laugh about this too and teased him after the fact once he was informed after the fact that rather than women, Playgirl had a largely homosexual readership. But I guess Shawn always wanted attention, regardless of where he got it from. Smooth, HBK.
14 Triple H Doesn't (Always) Get Tested For Steroids
Scott Steiner gained an incredibly amount of muscle weight in the late 90s, which was widely attributed to steroid use, that helped propel him into the main event scene in WCW after he spent plenty of time in a tag team with his brother, Rick. Upon trying to return to the WWE, he shared a short story where he was cornered by the company and asked to take a drug test. He agreed only on the condition that Triple H took one too. He claims that the company agreed to his stipulations, but never followed through and Steiner was allowed to continue wrestling without being tested. I guess people don’t hassle you when you’re married to the boss’s daughter.
13 Shawn Michaels Was On A Christian Talk Show... With Sting
Shawn Michaels was raised Catholic but became non-denominational after marrying his wife. This would account for the crosses that began appearing on his ring attire and his taking a knee before entering the ring. HBK is a bible teacher where his family lives in San Antonio and often attends John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church. He's also starring in an upcoming Christian comedy movie entitled The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, which is his big screen debut.
In 2008, he was actually on a Christian program on Trinity Broadcasting Network with none other than Steve ‘Sting’ Borden, who was the host for the proceedings. Sting converted for a series of problems with steroids, alcohol, and adultery.
12 Rick Rude Appeared On Raw And Nitro On The Same Night
In the years that the WCW and WWE drifted closer together in the ratings, there was a lot of shenanigans going on with contract negotiations. Vince McMahon was in the midsts of restructuring Rick Rude’s contract when there was a small oversight regarding an overlap between the new contract and the old one. On November 17th, 1997, Rick Rude unknowingly made history when he became the only professional wrestler to appear on a WWE Raw and WCW Nitro on the same night. It is romantic to think that he hopped a plane from one venue to another, but in reality it was a taped Raw playing on top of a live Nitro. There was some frustration by Vince McMahon, but nothing that challenged Rude’s contract or career.
11 Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures
To further his full-blooded American-ness, HBK has always loved the outdoors. Michaels and his wife Rebecca met Keith Mark, a career outdoor television host, at SHOT Show (a Las Vegas gun expo) in 2010. The two hit it off immediately and now Michaels and Mark host a show about hunting along the MacMillan River in Yukon, Canada. Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures is easily one of the most popular shows on the Outdoor Channel and is nominated for five Golden Moose Awards including “Best Series” and “Best Conversation.” We're assuming those awards are important for hunting shows and the show is highly acclaimed for their “Wolf Episode.”
10 X-Pac's Suicide Attempts
What came first? The chicken or the egg? What about wrestlers and their substance abuse? It does seem to be a recurring theme with these men who fly high in the ring, but who also self medicate when they get home. It’s a tough gig that attracts people with troubled pasts. Sean Waltman is no exception. He was raised by a single mother, was molested as a child, and dropped out of school in the ninth grade. Married at the age of 19, Waltman was divorced that same year. In 2008, Alicia Webb, Waltman’s then-girlfriend found him hanging by his neck in his apartment in Mexico City. Webb got him to quit his cocaine habit, but he instead turned to drinking. He often argued with her over drinking a bottle of vodka a day. A physical altercation broke out between him and Webb and this was witnessed by Waltman’s son. Overcome with guilt over the incident, Waltman took 40 valium pills, drank a bottle of rum, and tried to hang himself again with a hose from a beam in his rooftop garden, but he was found again. Long time friend Kevin Nash and Waltman’s first WWE opponent, Matt Borne, flew out to see him and put him up for four months in a rehab facility in Houston. Gratefully that dark period is over for Waltman, but pasts can truly be monstrous things.
9 Shawn Michaels Was Married By An Elvis Impersonator
Professional wrestlers are known for having marriage troubles and many of them have been married a number of times. It makes sense, as wrestlers are always out on the road and distance can do terrible things to a relationship. With that, there should be no surprise that Shawn Michaels has been married multiple times. On March 31st, 1999 HBK married WCW Nitro Girl Rebecca Curci, known as Whisper in the ring. What is a bit abnormal is that his second marriage took place in the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The only people present at the wedding were the couple and the Elvis impersonator who married them. Wise men say only fools rush in, but these two are still together with two children.
8 Road Dogg Got Married During Desert Storm
We often think of the Road Dogg Jesse James as an irreverent semi-rapper with weird dreadlocks, who had a really catchy entrance back during the Attitude Era. But in reality, Brian James come from a long standing military family who also had deep roots in the wrestling industry. He himself served in the Marine Corps from 1987 to 1993, even serving in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 with 33 men serving under him. He was even married to a woman there because they thought they were going to die, which must be an incredibly powerful and moving moment. Thankfully the couple lived, but sadly they got divorced after the war, as they couldn't get things to work.
7 Goldberg Punked Out Triple H
At one point, Goldberg was supposed to break the windows on a limousine for a backstage segment. He was given a piece of metal in his sleeve to protect his elbow from hurting himself on the glass. Goldberg, in typical Goldberg fashion, got carried away and broke one with his fist. The resulting surgery put him off his title run for some time. Triple H was very vocal at how unprofessional and stupid Goldberg was being. He didn’t take very kindly to that. The story goes that at a convention, Goldberg began calling out Triple H and tried to pick a fight with him. Triple H courageously, heroically, champion of the WWE-ly called security to remove Goldberg from the premises. This story is largely legendary, but the riff between these two is very real.
6 X-Pac Almost Died From A Tear In A Delicate Place
Everyone has heard of ‘ripping him a new one’, but this one took it a step further. In 2013, while wrestling for TNA, Sean Waltman attempted his signature Bronco Buster. Horace the Psychopath hastily dodged out of the way, very routinely. The only problem was poor upkeep of the turnbuckle pad, making it a tough landing for X-Pac and his unmentionables. His pain in the ring was clearly visible, but he still completed the match. He even made it to an after-party, but the trouble started when he began gushing blood into his pants. Hotel security had to call an ambulance and Waltman was put under an emergency ‘sphincteroplasty’ to prevent him from having to use a colostomy bag. He was in serious danger of bleeding out, but he pulled through fine. Be grateful for the simplest of bodily functions folks. This sounded like a nightmare.
5 Rick Rude Made Vague Threats Toward Eric Bischoff
Back in his WCW days, Ravishing Rick Rude took his championship very seriously. So much so that when President Eric Bischoff needed the belt back, he couldn’t track Rude down to physically get it back. In an interview with Ric Flair, Bischoff recounts that when he finally got Rude to give the belt back, he took Bischoff out to his car. When Rude opened the car, the belt was in the trunk, but right beside it was a .357 revolver. Rude looked in the trunk and back at Bischoff until finally saying, “Well, here it goes.” He reached in the trunk and handed the belt back. Bischoff described it as, “An awkward moment.” It sounds like it was scarier more than it was awkward.
4 Chyna Was A True Renaissance Woman
Chyna played violin and cello at a young age. After troubles with her mother, she left to finish high school in Spain and graduated from the University of Tampa in 1992 with a major in Spanish Literature. Alongside Spanish, she also studied French and German while in school. After graduating, she enrolled in the ROTC program. Originally she wanted to use her knowledge of foreign languages to join the FBI or the DEA, but instead joined the Peace Corps in Guatemala. Along her path to becoming The Ninth Wonder of the World, she was a strip club cocktail waitress, singer in a band, a 900-chat line worker, a flight attendant, a beeper saleswoman, and a belly-dancer. Though her life may seem like a stereotypical eighties movie, I glazed over a lot of tragedy. Her sexualized image and tumultuous childhood made a lethal pairing with her clear intelligence. It is sad to see such a star meet such a sad end at 46, but her struggles with addiction and depression seem to be a side effect of a lot of different factors in her fascinating life.
3 X-Pac Got High And Forgot The Outcome Of A Match
I describe elsewhere in this article the troubled past of Sean Waltman. A rough childhood and loving dangerous women set him up as a prime candidate for addiction, which let to some very difficult times for the talented wrestler. In his darker times, he was actively abusing crystal meth, which he's admitted openly at this point. So much so that one night before a high profile TNA X-Division Championship match, he shot up in the bathroom. He forgot the outcome of the match and ultimately cost him his place in TNA. Triple H paid to send him off to rehab where he finally kicked the habit. Vince McMahon later compensated half the cost saying ‘he was helping a friend’.
2 "Am I Going Over?"
There is a story out there, circulated by Matthew Randazzo, about a writer for the WWE. He brought a script to the McMahon dressing room where Triple H would dress because he doesn’t like dressing in the locker room with the rest of the wrestlers. Helmsley answered the door and grabbed the script out of his hands and flipped to the end, saying “Am I going over?” The writer said, no he wins. Helmsley handed the script back without reading it and said, “That’s all I need to know” and walked back inside. A couple of months later, the writer returned with a new script for a PPV and Helmsley answered the door again. Again he took the script, flipped to the end, and asked “Am I going over?” He said, “Well, sort of.” Helmsley froze, “What do you mean, sort of?” The writer tried to explain that he would lose by DQ, but he would keep the belt. “What page?” Helmsley responded. When the writer told him, he ripped the page out, threw the rest of the script on the floor, and slammed the door. The next day the script was changed without explanation depicting Triple H winning the match cleanly. The writer claims that this was hardly an isolated incident.
1 The WWE Refused To Resign Chyna
The McMahons are certainly heels in the narrative of professional wrestling, but it is fairly common knowledge that we know Vince has run the WWE and its former incarnations with sleazy and gangster-like tactics and ethics. The Triple H abduction of Stephanie McMahon in the narrative is almost adorably echoed by their real life falling in love. This story is often considered one of those nice little areas where the story and the truth overlap. One of the reasons it was shocking to fans (which no doubt, Vince found an opportunity to cash in on) was that Triple H and even Helmsley in real life was known to be in a long term relationship with Chyna. No doubt Chyna had her personal demons, but she seemed to be left out in the cold by the WWE. This was at a period when the company was trying to clean up its image to become more ‘family friendly’. A sex icon simply wasn’t what they were going for, so she wasn't resigned by the company despite her popularity.