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“We Just Felt A Change” – Shawn Michaels On DX’s Success

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Shawn Michaels has recalled what it was when D-Generation X formed over 25 years ago following their recent celebration on WWE Monday Night Raw.

When D-Generation X formed in October 1997, the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels was an established main event star that was a former WWE Champion. Hunter Hearst Helmsley was developing more of a personality after his initial run as a rich “blue blood” type of character. Hunter also had the impressive Chyna with him, which was something new because she was a female bodyguard that could hold her own against male wrestlers.

Within a few weeks of the group being together, Michaels had become one of the top heels in the company while Hunter would be renamed Triple H, which is a name that he is still referred to by this day. While some people may credit “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock as the biggest stars of the Attitude Era, there’s no denying that DX was a key factor in why that era was so successful.

Over the course of the last 25 years, DX added more members after Michaels retires for four years due to a back injury. Triple H recruited X-Pac, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg, which would lead to better careers for all of them. In 2006, Michaels and Triple H were reunited as DX and they did it again a few years later. In 2019, D-Generation X was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a group.

As WWE’s Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, Shawn Michaels plays a crucial role in WWE because he’s the man in charge of NXT. It’s up to Shawn and his creative team to develop characters while also making changes as needed just like Triple H and himself did 25 years ago.

While speaking to Bleacher Report, Michaels talked about the irony of D-X being anti-authority, yet now Triple H is the Chief Content Officer running WWE main roster creative and Michaels is running NXT.

“Certainly there’s a difference of what you do from a storyline standpoint from back in the day with DX taking over and fighting authority and all that and you fast forward all these years later. It’s no secret everyone knew Hunter was eventually going to be someone in control or very close to it. He’s been readying himself for that for the last decade.”

Michaels also spoke about what he tells NXT and developmental talent about the hardest work they’re going to do in pro wrestling.

“DX has always been given a lot of free rein because it was a different entity in itself, and it’s built on not doing stuff the right way. I don’t think anyone would try to scalp DX, so to speak, because that’s just anti-productive to the characters and team as a whole.”

“I try to tell the talent that the hardest work they’re ever going to do is creatively. I think what made DX and the Attitude Era what they were was trying to think ahead of the times we were in. We just felt a change and a wave coming very different than what wrestling was. We wanted to take it from a traditional and purist standpoint into something more as sports entertainment.”

Four members of DX – Triple H, Michaels, Road Dogg & X-Pac – were together again on the October 10th episode of Raw as part of the company’s celebration of 25 years of DX.