Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story

Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story

by Shawn Michaels

Kliqs and Curtain Calls.

Ladders and cages.

Forced retirements and redemption.

There are two sides to every story; for Shawn Michaels, there is "Heartbreak & Triumph."World Wrestling Entertainment fans think they know "The Heartbreak Kid." He's "The Showstopper" who pushes his high-flying abilities to the limit in the squared circle, on ladders, and in steel cages.

And of course, he's forever the guy who conspired with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to screw Bret "Hitman" Hart out of the WWE Championship in Montreal at "Survivor Series" on November 9, 1997.But that's the side "HBK" has allowed you to see...until now.

"Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story" introduces us to Michael Shawn Hickenbottom ("Everyone called me Shawn"), the youngest of four children whose "really conservative upbringing" made him shy and "afraid that people wouldn't like me if I showed who I really was." But upon discovering Southwest Championship Wrestling (SWCW) on TV one Saturday night, the preteen Hickenbottom realized instantly what he wanted to become, and years later would convince his father -- a colonel in the U.S. Air Force -- to let him drop out of college and pursue his dream.From there, Hickenbottom fully recounts the events that led to "Shawn Michaels's" tutelage under Mexican wrestler Jose Lothario; working matches at Mid-South Wrestling under the guidance of Terry Taylor and the Rock 'n' Roll Express's Robert Gibson & RickyMorton; flying high with Marty Jannetty as "The Midnight Rockers" in the American Wrestling Association (AWA); and how a barroom confrontation in Buffalo almost prevented the tandem from ever joining the World Wrestling Federation.

"The Rockers" would drop the "Midnight" and climb to the top of a tough World Wrestling Federation tag-team division in the late 1980s, though Michaels confesses how a "fear of abandonment" stagnated his desire to participate in singles competition, pressured him into a marriage he wasn't ready for, and drove him to drinking heavily and downing pills "just to get through the day."With the impact of some "Sweet Chin Music" (Michaels's Superkick finisher), "Heartbreak & Triumph" expresses the "sour note" that dissolved Michaels's partnership with Jannetty and started his transformation into "The Heartbreak Kid." You'll learn firsthand of the "unfair" allegation that brought about HBK's classic Ladder match with Razor Ramon at "WrestleMania X" ("I lost the match, but I made my career"); the incident in Syracuse that set the stage for Shawn's unbelievable "comeback" victories at "Royal Rumble 1996," and in the Iron Man WWE Championship match with Bret Hart at "WrestleMania XII"; and how his escalating backstage feud with Hart inadvertently built toward the formation of "D-Generation X," as well as the first-ever "Hell in a Cell" contest against The Undertaker at "Badd Blood" in October 1997.Beyond the squared circle, Michaels clears the air about his days running with "The Kliq" -- Kevin Nash ("Diesel"), Scott Hall ("Razor Ramon"), Paul Levesque ("Triple H"), and Sean Waltman ("The 1-2-3 Kid") -- their contributions to WWE's wildly successful "Attitude"era, and the consequences of their uncharacteristic Madison Square Garden "Curtain Call" in May 1996.

And for the first time anywhere, Michaels shoots completely straight about his role in "the biggest scandal in wrestling history," the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" at "Survivor Series 1997."While reliving the crippling back injury that forced him to retire in his prime following his WWE Championship loss at "WrestleMania XIV," Michaels credits the new loves in his life -- his second wife Rebecca, his children, and his newfound faith -- with giving him the strength to kick his habit, recover physically, and make a jubilant return to the ring at "SummerSlam 2002" (in a Street Fight against best friend Triple H, no ).

  • Language: English
  • Category: Biography
  • Rating: 3.89
  • Pages: 343
  • Publish Date: November 22nd 2005 by World Wrestling Entertainment Books
  • Isbn10: 074349380X
  • Isbn13: 9780743493802

What People Think about "Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story"

Telling from his early days growing up in Texas, to his dad loaning him the money to be trained at 19 as a professional wrestler, to his chart topping success as well as the infamous Montreal Screw job. You get to hear another version of events regarding the infamous Montreal screw Job. It wasn't all Shawn's fault, Bret has some blame to consider and accept. Likes: I like Shawn's take on the Montreal Screw Job. If you have read Bret's book and I highly suggest that you do, You can piece together what actually was going on at the time. This is mainly in part to me being a massive Bret Hart Fan (I even wanted Bret to beat the British Bulldog is '92' at Summer Slam, in my home country!!!) I did try to lay that a side, but I have listened and watched too many documentaries/shoot interviews from other wrestlers, both past and present to say that even after reading this book I still feel, if not more so now, a strong dislike towards Shawn Michaels. This is no where near the best Wrestling book by far to pick up and read, but it does give some interesting points for any wrestling fan to think over, in particular the Montreal Screw job.

I loved his ring gear, music, attitude and humor (especially in DX) I've watched several of his DVD's but this is the first time I read his book. One can argue that he is still cocky in this book, but one can not deny what he does in the ring. Everything is told through Shawns eyes and he takes his time writing it giving us a detailed story. I felt the stress of Shawn getting to me. you look at the long list of wrestlers lives that drugs have taken, Shawn could have been one of them hadn't God brought his wife into his life and prayed so much for him.

This self-serving book was one of my least favorite wrestling auto-biography. Read if you are a fan of hypocritical, self-serving, hide behind religion people.

So much of this book concerns the backstage politics of wrestling - which is fair, given the fact that Shawn Michael's is known for his out-of-the-ring antics almost as much as he is known for his in-ring talent. Hell, one reason why I read books about politics and politicians is because that sort of Machiavellian action has always been appealing to me. It's all very predictable, and it isn't very nuanced; it's exactly what you would expect from a super-macho basic bitch who can't admit what they are really feeling because doing so would make them seem "weak." A Machiavellian scheme is compelling when it's dastardly; when the entirety of the scheme is "I'm going to suck up to the boss when no one is looking because I absolutely have to be the center of attention but I don't want everyone to know that I'm needy" ...

Updated through the events of Wrestlemania 21 in 2005, Shawn shed new light on all aspects of his personal and professional lives in both pointedly and poignant ways.

This is the story of his life and career right up to Wrestlemania 21.