Shawn Michaels On Dream Match With The Rock – “I Wish That Happened”
Shawn Michaels and The Rock are two of the greatest WWE superstars ever, but they never wrestled and the Heartbreak Kid made it clear he wishes it happened.
When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his WWE TV debut at Survivor Series 1996, Shawn Michaels was already a top guy that was losing the WWE Title after holding it for about eight months. The Rock was considered a top prospect with a very bright future (he was just 24 years old at the time) while Michaels was in the prime of his career at the top of the card. A showdown in the future seemed inevitable, but it just didn’t happen.
In the main event of WrestleMania 14 in 1998, Michaels dropped the WWE Title to Steve Austin while Rock was well on his way to the top as the Intercontinental Champion. That was also Shawn’s last WWE match for over four years due to a serious back injury that required surgery.
Shawn Michaels was able to wrestle again at SummerSlam 2002 in a memorable victory over Triple H. This time, The Rock was the main event as he put over Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title. Michaels would go on to wrestle for eight more years while Rock was off to Hollywood, so the Michaels-Rock dream match never took place.
While they never wrestled each other, Michaels did referee a few of Rock’s big matches like on the first episode of Smackdown in August 1999 when Michaels superkicked Rock to give Triple H the win to retain the WWE Title. Michaels also refereed Rock-Triple H in an Ironman Match at Judgment Day 2000 (the photo above is from that show). It was a fantastic match that Triple H won again in controversial fashion.
While speaking to Alex McCarthy of the Daily Mail, Shawn Michaels spoke about never having a match with The Rock.
“Everyone knows the story of me being difficult, having a huge change of heart and coming back in 2002.”
“I was always open to it but it didn’t work out. He became an incredibly busy man and famous guy and everything else and I would imagine his priorities changed quite a bit, and the things he wanted to do I think he did and I respect that.”
There were always rumors that The Rock didn’t like Shawn Michaels due to Rock’s loyalty and friendship to Bret Hart, who was Shawn’s biggest rival during his career. Shawn made peace with Bret in 2010 and according to two-time WWE Hall of Famer, Michaels smoothed things over with The Rock too.
“We all change and we grow. I for one always go back to the Hall of Fame when we did get to see each other and talk with each other and make peace.”
“But that’s the thing I’ve had the opportunity to do with everyone that I’ve worked with and that’s what’s most important to me.”
Fans of the NBC TV show “Young Rock” about Rock’s career may question that “make peace” point considering the show didn’t include Michaels when telling Rock’s life story and instead had a character named “Chad Frost” in the show with similar character traits to Michaels. Perhaps it was just creative liberties for the TV show.
In his current role as the WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, Shawn Michaels is the booker of NXT, which is where Rock’s oldest daughter Simone performs as Ava, who is part of The Schism group.