Simply put, Shawn Michaels and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are two of the greatest superstars in WWE history. Honestly, one could easily argue for one (or both) to be included on pro wrestling’s Mount Rushmore, given the impact both have had on the business.
Unfortunately, however, we never got that dream match between ‘The Heartbreak Kid and ‘The Great One’. It was certainly possible on multiple occasions, but a bit of actual animosity between the two legends — animosity that led to a legitimate backstage brawl — prevented it from happening. And it all started before Johnson joined the family business.
Shawn Michaels insulted the grandmother of a teenager Dwayne Johnson in the 1980s
As most know, Dwayne Johnson grew up around professional wrestling. His father, Rocky Johnson, won several titles in the NWA, and his maternal grandfather was “High Chief” Peter Maivia, a blood brother of the famous Anoa’i dynasty, which produced several WWE stars, including current superstar Roman Reigns.
But it wasn’t just the men in her family who lived and breathed the business. Maivia’s wife, Lia, was one of the first women to promote professional wrestling and ran the high-profile Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling territory in Hawaii.
The circuit attracted many big-name stars in the 1980s, as well as those looking to make a name for themselves in the industry. A young Shawn Michaels was in the latter category when he came for an event, and he apparently made derogatory remarks towards Lia. This obviously didn’t sit well with a young Rock, who certainly wasn’t a little teenager, and confronted Michaels, which nearly led to a clash between the two future legends.
And Johnson certainly hadn’t forgotten what happened when he joined WWE in 1996.
Michaels tried to bury The Rock’s late ’90s push
When Johnson arrived in what was then the World Wrestling Federation as Rocky Maivia, Michaels held a lot of power behind the scenes. He had remained loyal to Vince McMahon for a few difficult years in the 90s while others jumped ship for WCW.
But Michaels was battling many personal demons at the time, and he and his fellow members of The Kliq didn’t make it easy for those trying to take their top spots. Johnson obviously had the bloodline when he first came to WWE, but he was still very green, and Michaels & Co. made his life pretty tough.
At the same time, Johnson was trying to climb the WWE ladder, as was Michaels’ young running mate Triple H, whose The Rock won the Intercontinental Championship in early 1997. HBK and Triple H, who soon after became founder members of D-Generation X, basically tried to bury Johnson whenever possible, which obviously didn’t work.
Fortunately, for all pro wrestling fans, The Rock and Triple H have become massive stars. As for Michaels, a back injury forced him out of the ring in 1998, when a new generation of stars carried WWE into the Attitude Era and the famous Monday Night War with WCW.
But the story of The Rock and Shawn Michaels wasn’t over.
The Rock and HBK brawled backstage after Michaels hit Johnson with some Sweet Chin Music
Although not a full-time wrestler, Michaels made numerous WWE appearances after his departure after WrestleMania 14. And in one of those appearances, he was the special guest referee in a match. between The Rock and Triple H.
As Johnson was about to deliver his signature People’s Elbow, HBK hit him with Sweet Chin Music which rightfully landed on Johnson’s jaw.
When the two arrived backstage after the fight, Johnson informed Michaels that the superkick had been a bit stiff, to which HBK replied, “If you can’t handle it, you shouldn’t be in the business. . »
In that moment, the matchup The Rock had wanted all those years ago in Hawaii finally came to fruition as he tackles Michaels and pins him to the ground. Things
likely would certainly have gotten worse for HBK if the scrum hadn’t been broken up before things got out of hand.
By the time Michaels returned to the ring in 2002, Johnson was on the verge of going part-time as his acting career was about to explode. An angle was on the table for the two to finally face off at WrestleMania 20, but The Rock declined.
It took a while, but The Rock and Shawn Michaels are on good terms these days. But, again, unfortunately we never had the dream match. And what a match it would have been. Fall in love with another “what if” moment in pro wrestling, of which there are far too many.
Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on twitter @sportscasting19 and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
RELATED: Dwayne Johnson Reveals When He Hit Low In His WWE Career