What’s the story?
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels is currently participating in a Q & A tour of the UK and Ireland, with UK Q & A touring company Inside The Ropes. The tour kick-started in Dublin, Ireland on Monday, 15th January and I was in attendance.
During the many topics of Shawn's career that were covered, he was asked about his 'Icon vs Icon' match with Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam 2005, where Shawn infamously oversold Hulk's moves and offence to a comical degree.
In case you didn’t know…
The original plan for the Hulk Hogan vs Shawn Michaels feud was to do at least two, or possibly three matches between them, with one being a Steel Cage match. Hogan would pull the injury card and backed out of a rematch which was said to have upset Shawn, and finding this out before SummerSlam, led Shawn to pull off the over-the-top performance that he did.
The heart of the matter
Shawn swore that he did not go into business for himself. He said that WWE's top officials told him they wanted him to be the Shawn Michaels of 1997, and Shawn said that this was how the 1997 Shawn Michaels sold moves in a lot of his matches.
Shawn said that it was an honor to be in the ring with Hogan and no matter how people feel about him today, Hogan will always be the biggest name in history of the industry. Shawn then compared his SummerSlam selling to the selling of moves from Dolph Ziggler today and said no one makes the comparisons to how similar their selling is.
If you look over some of Shawn's matches in 1997, he did oversell a little, not to the degree of SummerSlam 2005, but he still did. It may be possible that Shawn is being truthful here but I would take it with a grain of salt as Shawn also claimed during his Dublin show that he didn't fake the injury that caused him to pull out of WrestleMania 13 and his planned loss to Bret Hart.
Shawn 'losing his smile' is also wildly believed by most fans and many within to business to have been another case of Shawn going into business for himself.
Dublin was just the first show of Shawn's tour, he will also play to Belfast, Northern Ireland on January 16th, Manchester, England on the 17th, London, England on the 18th and Glasgow, Scotland on the 19th.
Following the tour Shawn will return to the U.S. just in time for the 25th Anniversary episode of WWE Raw on January 22nd.
I do find it a little hard to believe. Sure, much of Shawn's selling in 1997 was a little over-the-top, but it wasn't as much as SummerSlam with Hogan. I do believe that Shawn does still have all the respect in the world for Hulk Hogan and that he was honored to share the ring with him, so there is always a chance he may be telling the truth.