March 20, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story
Disc One
Released: November 27, 2007

The intro gives you a great synopsis of Shawn Michaels in a nutshell. He became hard to work with because he hated himself so much because of his drug problems, but now he’s a Christian and a wonderful human being – there’s heartbreak and triumph.

He was born into a military family who finally settled down in San Antonio. His mom wanted a girl, but instead she got Shawn. At one point in his life, Bret Hart would probably argue that she still got her wish.

Shawn started to watch wrestling around the time he turned 12 years old, which translates to 1977. His family hated it, but they saw how much he loved it and let him be. He played all the sports, but he enjoyed wrestling more than anything else. As he grew older, his friends and him would constantly be wrestling each other in their high school gym.

When he left for college, he realized that he was wasting his time and his dad’s money because all he wanted to do was become a professional wrestler. So he quit school and one thing led to another, he was being trained by Jose Lothario. Within two months, he was sent to Mid-South right when that company was hitting their peak. After his first match, Terry Taylor let him know that he thought Shawn was pretty good. He says before he left Mid South, he was already calling matches before he had even been in the business for six months.

From Mid South to Kansas City, he began to team with Marty Jannetty. They got off to an awkward start, but they really started to gel together. Shawn was promised a big run back home in San Antonio, but politics entered in and he left to go up north to the AWA to team full time with Marty.

Cue the Midnight Rockers montage! They did some awesome innovative double-team stuff for the time. They were great in the ring, but they partied all night long.

They go over the Buddy Rose and Doug Somers feud. Clips of the awesome September bloodbath is shown. It’s the match that really made people notice them for more than pretty boys with pretty moves.

Onto the WWF, Pat Patterson was impressed with both of them. Heh heh. Unlike on ‘From the Vault’, Shawn actually calls out Jimmy Jack Funk for trying to provoke a fight. One thing led to another and the Rockers were fired. The Rockers head to the bottom-of-the-barrel Continental Wrestling down in Alabama. Even though he wasn’t making much money, this is where he got heavy into drugs. It even got so bad that he considered suicide at one point. Screw Continental, they walked out and went to Memphis.

They worked a while during the Memphis-AWA partnership, but then the WWF gave them another chance.

Here is where they became the huge success we know them to be today. Arn Anderson points out that they are possibly the best tag team he ever wrestled.

They go over the phantom title switch. Shawn agrees that the match was brutal. Even the title celebration was lame. Two days later, they get a call saying that the match will not air. Never again would they consider putting the tag belts on the Rockers.

As the Rockers grew apart on-screen, they started to separate themselves from each other outside the ring as well. Shawn decided he wanted to split the team and throws Marty through the barber shop window.

Pat Patterson put Sensational Sherri with Shawn because she had always been valets with the top guys in the WWF, which would bring him up a notch as well. It was around this time where Mr. Perfect called him the Heartbreak Kid on commentary. Triple H thinks with the “Sexy Boy” gimmick and Shawn wearing the police uniform from the Village People, people may believe he’s working for the other team.

So Shawn Michaels wins the IC title, but after a while he felt it still wasn’t enough for him. Shawn was watching WCW Saturday Night and saw Vinnie Vegas. Kevin Nash was sick of WCW and Shawn wanted him to bring him in as a bodyguard. And the seeds for the Kliq are planted.

Onto September 1993, he gets a call from Vince telling him that he tested positive for anabolic steroids and that he would be suspended. Shawn refused to send Vince the IC belt, but it didn’t matter because Vince just crowned a new champion in Razor Ramon. That led to the history making ladder match at WrestleMania 10.

By 1995, the Kliq consisted of Shawn Michaels, Diesel, The Kid, Razor Ramon, and Triple H. Pat Patterson thought they were a pain, but hey it worked at the time. While Shawn and Hunter both admit that they weren’t trying to overpower anybody in the WWF, JR and Ted DiBiase disagree and said that they got pretty sick of them.

Another break up ensues between Shawn Michaels and Diesel. At the time, Shawn felt he got screwed out of the main event spot at WrestleMania 11 in favor of Bam Bam Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor.

Ahh, the Syracuse nightclub incident. Some Marines beat him up. That leads to the Enziguri Kick of Doom from Owen, which Shawn overcomes the odds and wins the Royal Rumble.

WrestleMania 12 was Pat Patterson’s DREAM match. It was an unbelievable moment for Shawn and Vince as well. After the fact, Shawn became even harder to deal with because he felt he was better than everybody else who had been getting a bigger push than him. Even so, he gave everybody all he had in the ring.

The MSG Curtain Call. Bruce Pritchard felt it was a slap in the face to the business and to Vince McMahon. With Kevin Nash and Scott Hall gone, Triple H took the brunt of punishment for the incident.

With the WWF losing the ratings war to WCW, JR shutters to think where the WWF would have been without Shawn. Because he knew he would be lost without him, Vince put up with a lot of crap from Shawn.

Shawn regained the WWF title at the Royal Rumble, but then he “loses his smile”. Of course he had a knee injury too. They show the clip from WrestleMania 13 where Bret confronts Shawn and tells him to quit complaining about a pussy foot injury. “Why don’t you go and find your smile.” YES. Whether the injury was real or not, Chris Jericho thinks it was a creative way to lose a title without having to lose.

Onto the first Hell in a Cell. At the time, Shawn bragged about being in the main event above the world title. Triple H believes that Shawn Michaels is the guy that can do things that other guys can only dream of doing.

They go over some of the fun DX shenanigans from 1997. It got to the point where USA Network threatened to take Monday Night Raw off the air. Then the DX Special Report aired and USA Network began to love what the WWF was doing now.

Now the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. You’ve heard it all before. Everybody interviewed takes the side of Vince. No surprises there.

JR feels Shawn had a lot of heat backstage as though he were solely responsible for what happened in Montreal.

Onto the Royal Rumble 1998 in the casket match with the Undertaker, he tears up his back.

In what we thought was his last match would be against Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14.

Because he was sitting out with the back injury, he became very bitter. But then he met the Nitro Girl Whisper and got married after two months of dating.

Skip ahead three years later, Shawn Michaels is backstage on the night the WWF bought WCW. Shawn was pilled out of his mind and starts cussing at Hunter. Because of his actions, Vince told Hunter to tell that he was fired. I believe he was supposed to do something big at WrestleMania 17, but I can’t recall what it was. Back at home, Shawn was trying so hard to clean himself up, but then he passes out on Soma and his two year-old son can’t wake him up. The realization that his son is getting old enough to see that his dad is messed up really bothered him. Kevin Nash told Shawn that he needed to call Hunter since he hadn’t talked to him in a year to make amends.

Once his wife started going to bible study, he started going as well and soon accepted Jesus Christ into his life over at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. Shawn calls Hunter and now he’s back in the WWE.

SummerSlam 2002 was the place for Shawn’s huge wrestling comeback. From there, Shawn Michaels went on to win the world title in the first Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series 2002.

At WrestleMania 19, Chris Jericho was able to wrestle his idol in a classic confrontation. Shawn felt it was a huge confidence booster since it meant working with somebody besides Triple H on a big stage. Of all Jericho’s matches, he would have to say that this one was his favorite.

Onto SummerSlam 2005 with HBK feuding with Hulk Hogan. The faux appearance on Larry King Live is still awesome. Turns out Hulk didn’t like the skit, brother. Shawn says that some of the most successful people in this business are the most insecure and that’s pretty much Hulk Hogan in a nutshell.

We continue to the WrestleMania 22 street fight with Vince McMahon. Jericho says what Vince lacks in athletic ability, he makes up for by being a complete psycho. That’s the best way to put it.

Onto the God vs. Vince angle. It’s pretty irreverent, I don’t care what they say. Vince promises that it will never happen again.

The DX Reunion of 2006. Penis pumps, cocks, and drawing on Vince’s Muscle & Fitness magazine cover. Pretty silly. Lots of stuff bothered him, but they left him out of stuff that he wouldn’t do anymore. He also points out the absurdity of being in your 40s and acting like he did when he was in his 30s.

Triple H admits the plans for WrestleMania 23, which was supposed to be the Cena-HHH WrestleMania rematch. Then he was injured in January with another torn quadricep muscle. That video package makes it look pretty great.

And we close the documentary out with everybody agreeing that Shawn Michaels is the greatest.

Extras:

Raw 4/4/94 Heartbreak Hotel – This is the debut of his own talk show segment. It’s a pretty sleazy set to say the least. It’s even got a leg lamp! Anyways, he sends out a challenge to Razor Ramon for a IC title rematch.

‘Tell Me A Lie’ Music Video – Yes, the whole thing.

Raw 8/1/05 Larry King Spoof – If you’ve seen it, you know it’s funny brother. Brother. Brother.

Deleted Scenes:

Wrestling Academy – The Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy was a huge success with four guys getting developmental contracts with WWE right off the bat including Brian Kendrick and Lance Cade. I’m assuming Bryan Danielson and Paul London would be the other two grads.

Bible Teacher – Pastor Matthew Hagee gives Shawn the proverbial pat on the back for how he adds to the Cornerstone Church ministry. Some of the kids from the church get to comment.

Colorado Expedition – Shawn Michaels and another minister who happened to be a Green Beret took a group of boys for a mountain climbing trip in Colorado. It was AMAZING.

Who’s the Greatest “Wrestler”? – Here’s the segment that was noticeably missing from the doc – the mention of the HBK-Angle match at WrestleMania 21. One of the greatest matches in Shawn’s career and they didn’t say anything about it? I’m glad they at least added it in the deleted scenes.

Stories:

High School Prankster – Shawn and his buddies steal his school rivals sign just until after their game was over. Of course he gets in trouble for it.

High School Talent Show – Shawn and his best friend wrestled at a talent show for about 35 minutes.

Letter Jacket – Once he got the letter jacket his sophomore year of high school, that’s when his obnoxiousness began.

Mom’s Approval – Shawn has to call mommy to make sure his clothes match – apparently even to this day.

The Bruise – During the Rockers-Rose & Somers feud, Verne wanted them to look bruised, but they over did it and then Verne decided against the whole deal. Needless to say, the Rockers were pissed.

The Rockers “Fight” – So Roddy Piper started a fight between the Rockers and didn’t do anything to fix it. The cops get called and as the Rockers are being dragged off to jail, Randy Savage smoothes things over with the cops and tell them they are setting up an angle. The next morning, Shawn looks pretty bad off after the fight and threatens to quit, but someone convinces him to stay. Marty really feels this was the beginning of the end for the Rockers.

This is a Little Higher Than I Thought – During the WrestleMania 22 street fight with Vince, the ladder he has to climb feels WAY too high for him. Oh well. He jumped off it anyway.

Brown Pants – HHH and Jericho make fun of HBK’s poop brown pants and his haircut from the Survivor Series elimination chamber.

Easter Eggs:

Head over to the Chapters page, highlight ‘Growing Up’, and press LEFT twice. Shawn’s mom explains that Shawn is ambidextrous and how he couldn’t figure out his left from his right.

Head over to the Chapters page, highlight ‘Midnight Rockers’, and press LEFT twice. From March 1986, the Rockers cut a promo on all the competition since they are new in the AWA.

Head over to the Chapters page, highlight ‘The Ladder Match’, and press LEFT twice. Jeff Hardy talks about going out and buying a $130 10 foot ladder and working a county fair show where him and his brother recreated the WrestleMania 10 ladder match. I love how they stress not to try anything you see at home and yet they tell us stories of their own wrestlers TRYING WHAT THEY SEE ON TV ON THEIR OWN. It just blows my mind.

Final Thoughts: Great job on the documentary. I felt it was quite inspiring and it left you feeling like Shawn Michaels truly is a changed man for the better regardless of what anybody says. Besides that, they cover most of the big rumors that you may have heard about on the internet and possibly that you hadn’t heard about. Overall, I would say it’s one of the best documentaries WWE has ever released. The only few docs that I personally believe are better would be Ric Flair and Bret Hart. Anyways, so far so good. It’s a DVD set that you should most definitely pick up.

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