Why did Shawn Michaels retire from WWE in 1998?

Shawn Michaels retired from the WWF/E in 1998 due to a back injury
Shawn Michaels retired from the WWF/E in 1998 due to a back injury

Shawn Michaels is arguably the greatest in-ring performer of all time. It is safe to say that most of the 1990s belonged to Shawn Michaels.

The Heartbreak Kid had ample gold, main-eventing multiple events, was a fan favorite, especially for female fans, and was the king of the WWE mountain. Unfortunately, in 1998, one match changed his life and career forever.

At the 1998 Royal Rumble, the Hall of Famer faced The Undertaker in a casket match. During the match, The Deadman threw HBK outside the ring, and on his way out, Michaels hit his lower back on the casket. He ended up herniating two discs and crushing one completely.


However, he won the match but could not pull himself out of WWE TV as he was the WWF/E Champion and was supposed to face then-Royal Rumble winner Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14.

Even with the pain, he carried through for a couple of months. He lost the WWF/E Championship to Stone Cold at WrestleMania 14 and retired the next night on Monday Night Raw.

Former WWE employee claimed it was difficult to work with Shawn Michaels

HBK is currently the head of NXT. He is helping the next generation of superstars to develop their careers and not make the same mistakes he did, not only as a wrestler but as a human being as well.

Outside of WWE, he is a family and a spiritual man. However, this wasn't the case in the 90s. In the 1990s, Shawn Michaels had addiction issues and was not that great of a person to be around unless you were one of his friends.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda Wrestling on the latest edition of UnSKripted, former WWE referee Jack Doan revealed what it was like working with the Hall of Famer back in the day.

"The most difficult, I would say, Shawn Michaels. In two forms, one when he was going through his days, which he is very open about. You know, he was a j*rk and going through the times with his addiction and all that. He was very tough to work with in the ring," said Doan. [19:10-19:30]

Shawn Michaels is a changed man now. Across many interviews, the Hall of Famer has mentioned that he asked for forgiveness from almost everybody when he returned to the company in 2002 as a full-time performer.

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Edited by Neda Ali
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