The Hart Grapevine – Shawn Michaels’ Role At WWE WrestleMania XXX



smith-hart

As WrestleMania season approaches, one of the big questions looming this year is the potential participation of Shawn Michaels. As we all know, Shawn Michaels has vowed never to wrestle again (probably having lost his smile once again), yet for some reason has been teasing a match with protégé Daniel Bryan since October.

Shawn Michaels & Vince McMahon

I have known Shawn for years and seen the evolution of a very talented in ring performer who when given the opportunity to do whatever he wanted, was able to create magic in the ring, yet when told he couldn’t have what he wanted, would act like a child, either phone it in or as in most cases throw a temper tantrum and go home. Yet on the other side of that, Vince McMahon was always ready to welcome “his boy” back with open arms.

As I reflect back on the last years of HBK’s career, not much had changed. When he was able to work programs with friends like Triple H, Undertaker, John Cena or JBL, he was happy and would enthrall audiences with career performances. But when asked to help elevate new and younger talent like Shelton Benjamin, Legacy or Hart Dynasty, Shawn would revert to his old form and call in his work.

Shawn Michaels

As we come to such a monumental anniversary as 30, I feel as though it should be all hands on deck to celebrate 30 years of WrestleMania and utilizing many greats from the past as possible. Mr. WrestleMania himself, Shawn should be involved. For someone who has claimed such passion for wrestling, I feel in some ways Shawn has taken more from wrestling than he has given back.

Steve Austin & Bret Hart

I think Shawn forgets he wouldn’t be able to call himself “The Main Event” if it wasn’t for my brother Bret elevating him to become a top star. As Bret did also with guys like Steve Austin or Owen. I feel as though if Shawn wanted to cement his legacy to a new generation of fans, with more than his pathetic Duck Dynasty impersonation, he needs to have that one last great match where he gives back to the business that made him by passing the torch to a new star.

Whether it be Daniel Bryan or CM Punk or a combination of both alongside DX running mate Triple H, WrestleMania 30 really should include Mr. WrestleMania Shawn Michaels.

For more chatter please be sure to follow me on twitter @SmithHart1 and post your thoughts, opinions, feedback and comments below.


  • BeEpic203

    Daniel Bryan Vs Shawn michaels would be epic…

  • GaShane14

    Agreed!

  • Simon

    This author is totally clueless. Why are all the Harts so bitter? Did you ever see the matches Michaels had with Shelton Benjamin and Legacy? Some of the best bouts of their respective years (the match with Benjamin in May 2005 is one of the greatest Raw matches of all time), and Legacy main-eventing PPVs with DX was a huge boost for their careers.

    And sorry to burst your bubble, but Michaels would have succeeded with or without matches versus Hart. In fact, if anyone’s a baby, it’s Bret. Michaels jobbed for Bret consistently from 1992-94 – on PPVs, TV shows and in live events – without a word of complaint. And as soon as it’s time for Bret to return the favour in 1996? He storms off out of the company because he didn’t get his own way and hoped it would all go wrong without him (in fact, the opposite happened).

    Michaels wrestled for the best part of 22 years in the WWE, and had some of the greatest matches in the company’s history. To suggest that he’s taken out more than he’s given back is pathetic, and nowhere near close to the truth. He doesn’t need to prove himself to a new generation of fans.

    This is my first ever venture onto this site, and it will certainly be my last. This guy is about as bitter as it gets.

  • West Coaster

    I would be just as happy if I never saw Michaels on TV again. He’s there for himself. And Cena has modelled himself after Michaels. Two guys I could live without.
    Me Me Me Me Me.

    • Rulio

      Do you know what you are talking about ?.
      Michaels was there for himself ? what about The Rock ?
      Michaels wrestled 9 years after his back injury, i would love to see you doing the same thing…
      Shawn gave so much to the fans, and if you don’t like him, i don’t know which kind of wrestler you like..
      You are maybe a cheap like all the kids of the wwe univers…

  • Jay

    Michaels vs Punk would be very good
    or WWE could put guys like Sandow or Cody and Goldust with DX, which would help Cody to elevate to the top level of roster

  • Legacy of Hitman

    Tell it like it is with Shawn. It would have to be all about him, so I doubt he will run a program with Bryan or Punk. On the other side, stop giving him more tv time. Enough is enough and it’s time for a… Well, he’s had more than enough time to elevate some talent other than The Kliq.

  • NotAnUNFAIRperson

    Such a waste of space!

    This entry is total bullshit. HBK jobbed for Bret’s popularity during the early 90s. When it was Shawn’s time, who wouldnt follow rules and moved to the rival company? Vince IS (not was) RIGHT. Vince nor Shawn didnt screwed Bret. BRET SCREWED BRET!

    BRET MOVED ON ALREADY..
    YOU SHOULD MOVE ON TOO!

    Bret will always be ONE OF THE BEST. SHAWN IS TOO.
    Lets just be fair cause this blog entry is totally pointless, disrespecful and lacking factual basis (even if there are some right points). SELECTIVE JUSTICE ISN JUSTICE!

  • Wrestle141

    What a tool of a post. Fortunately the career of Michaels’ can’t be marred by an arrogant biased post such as this.

    Give back to the business ehh? Maybe you should talk to Bret about how he did “business” back in the 97 “screwjob”, when he put HIMSELF above the business and the WWE. Yet Bret was the victim right? RIGHHHHHTTT.

    And how did Bret give back to the business in his last Mania match vs Vince? How did HE elevate anyone? I see, since it was all about Bret, it’s OK. Funny how there was no issue milking money from fans to put on a boring, painful-to-watch “match” but you have so many issues with Michaels.

    Maybe if you had some total perspective you would know how instrumental HBK was in keeping CM Punk in WWE in the early years of Punks career.

    I’m all for seeing HBK in Mania’.

  • Guest

    He didn’t “call in his work” with those three examples. They simply couldn’t carry their end of the bargain. Especially the Hart Dynasty.

  • Guest

    Bret didn’t elevate Shawn. Shawn got himself over. If any wrestler(s) helped Shawn to the next level, Hall and Nash would deserve more credit for that. Bret sandbagged the Iron Man match and tried to use the aftermath to make it all about him. If anything, the Iron Man match with Bret hurt Shawn’s momentum.

    Shawn never phoned in against “Legacy”. Their PPV matches were fine. Ted and Cody didn’t get over because their own talent was lacking, not for Shawn’s lack of trying. Shelton was another person who was missing something, although they managed to put on a really good Raw match. The Hart Dynasty example is just laughable. They really had no business being in the ring with HBK or HHH. DX threw them a bone and had a solid Smackdown TV match with them, but it’s not like Tyson Kidd or DH Smith ever set the world on fire.

    As far as Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, I’m sure if the money was right he would work a match with them. But then again, it’s not like these guys are Wrestlemania main event level, at least in the WWE’s world of booking. Would Shawn come back for a midcard Mania match? I’m not sure.

    It’s very telling that this article has less than 10 comments so far, but I’ll do Smith a favor and post some real talk.

    • David Garcia

      Wrestling is a business, so I don’t want to make guys out as villains…but just to add to your excellent point about Bret working Shawn after the Ironman match, here’s just a few instances of Bret helping to shape Shawn:

      In 1990, The Rockers were set to be tag champs (with the bump in pay), then the rope breaks and the match is canned. Rather than make it an angle (how is that not a great storyline…) and do the title change, Bret politics to keep the belts until Mania, costing the Rockers both status and money.

      In 1992, Vince wants Shawn to be IC champ…but rather than do the job at Summerslam like Vince wants, Bret gets Davey Boy in the spot (who he works just like Shawn at Mania, stealing the spotlight) and costs Shawn a massive stadium payday. Then Shawn gets no rub from the longstanding IC champ, rather he gets it from a weakened babyface who just beat a bigger babyface.

      The Ironman match really is the graduate course. So Bret gets Shawn, who is a babyface living his boyhood dream, to dismissively tell Hebner to get Bret out of the ring in order to work an angle…but Bret makes Shawn look like a heel both on camera and backstage, then he leaves to be an actor, continues bashing Shawn publicly, and doesn’t do any rematches where he loses. The only way Bret kills Shawn more is if he had knee-capped him Tonya Harding style.

      Bret sabotaged Shawn as best he could…and it’s just business, so I don’t fault him, but his holier-than-thou bull***t along with the bull***t of the rest of the Hart clan is just exhausting.

      • Quoth the Raven

        As much as I enjoy Bret’s work and despise his sense of entitlement, I have to take exception with a couple of things you’ve said:

        1) I don’t see any scenario in which Bulldog wasn’t going to be in, and go over in, the main event.

        2) Shawn asking Hebner to clear the ring doesn’t seem to be an angle so much as Shawn wanting the ring to himself. He even has Earl ask Jose Lothario to wait before coming in. If Bret was setting up an angle he would have at least alluded to it in his promos.

        • David Garcia

          You gotta read Bret’s book. He lays everything out…and if you read between the lines and appreciate Bret is a very smart guy, then everything falls into place.

          The plan for Summerslam was Shawn beating Bret, then Bret sold Vince on the idea of using Davey Boy for Wembley, dropping the title to him and then Davey would drop it to Shawn later. This cost Shawn a huge payday and the rub of beating a non-transitional champ.

          Bret sold Shawn on that post-match interaction. He told Shawn it would set the stage for rematches and also work the boys in the back to make them think they had real problems. But Bret was already planning to take time off to do Lonesome Dove, then he kept talking trash in the Calgary Sun, and they never did have those rematches. Bret also lays out in his book how he was upset that Shawn had become a babyface and therefore a rival in the same side of the locker room, rather than a co-worker. Bret did all he could to sabotage Shawn…and I don’t blame him because it’s business, but the sanctimony and hypocrisy drives me nuts.

  • SemajTheSellout

    hmmm… this is kinda bs. Sure HBK had an attitude, but would we still be talking about the WWE if he didn’t? Sure there is a lot of talk about Stone Cold being the guy who elevated the company, but who set up the elevator?

    That being said, I don’t want to see another HBK match to be honest with you. He’s my favorite of all time but, I don’t want to see a sub par match. He’s old and broken. He’s done his time. I love him for it. Let it go! We should be focusing on talking about Punk vs Bryan for the title at WM31 if we want something special to take place.

  • David Garcia

    Bret’s Mania match with Austin is great…but let’s be clear where Bret’s motivation was in that match. Just like at Survivor Series, Bret was beating Austin. At Mania, Bret was turning heel and was there to set himself up as the top heel, while simultaneously hoping to “steal the show” going into business for himself by having Austin get color, which was a big no-no then. Bret was in business for himself…and Austin was a second-hand beneficiary.

    Bret never passed the torch to Austin (in part because it was never his to pass since he was A top guy…not THE top guy except in 1994, having been passed up for Nash, then Shawn, then Taker) and Austin got over thanks to his own initiative and those who actually put him over, whether it’s Pillman or Owen or Shawn or Taker or Mick or Rock or HHH. Had Austin been on the same side of the locker room (which Bret says in his book is where the real rivals are) and had Bret stayed in WWE, he would have done everything he could to sabotage Austin…just like he did Nash, Shawn, and Taker.

    And I don’t blame him for trying to make the most money…I just take issue with his hypocrisy, pretending he was a saint, while all the others were heels. And Smith is carrying Bret’s water here.


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