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Shawn Michaels exaggerated back injury question

Hey Scott,
Every time Shawn's back injury is covered on documentaries, video packages, etc., they always skim over the details of that four years. How could he comeback from a career ending back injury, perform at a high level, and perform some of the craziest bumps at his age?

Because Jesus, I guess?  Seriously, dude, he had SPINAL FUSION surgery, that wasn't something you can fake for time off, it was legitimate career-ending shit and to this day there's no rational explanation for why he was able to come back and still be able to wrestle at that level.  That's why it's all the more awe-inspiring that he was able to make an entire second career for himself and hold out as long as he did.  

Comments

  1. re:Doom...what's a safe age someone could have been to have no idea who Doom was at the time? Was like 10 when they started doing their thing and didn't know who they were

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  2. Shawn is the man.

    Simple as that.

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  3. Well, I'll put on my flame suit

    Because faith can be a very powerful thing.

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  4. There are few things that are absolute in wrestling, but Shawn's comeback is unarguably the greatest comeback in wrestling history.

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  5. Ah Doom, the first heels I liked. Okay I liked the Andersons. The first Black heels I liked.

    Is this around the time the Destruction Crew as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew II wore hoods and Ole managed them? Ole had a hilarious promo with them where he encouraged Sting to retire so he could go to the ice cream shop with all the Little Stingers on Saturday afternoons.

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  6. Or because people with SPINAL FUSION surgery can do more than we thought they could.

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  7. JESUS take the wheel

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  8. I wish Shawn would speak more about his career and how he did things in the ring. He was amazingly athletic but the second half of his career showed he was a master of ring psychology as well.

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  9. I'm as dubious of the back injury as anybody, but Shawn had a really reduced schedule when he came back. He was the first real part-timer and that must have saved some miles.

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  10. Once again.

    No one. I repeat NO ONE would take issue with the comment "faith can be a powerful thing"

    But people WILL get passed off at playing off a bullshit victim complex by assuming you'd get flamed for no good reason.

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  11. Agreed, there's a lot out there showing placebos can be surprisingly effective.

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  12. They are handi-capable!!

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  13. Just look at the HBK Running Up That Hill video!

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  14. Are you talking about the plane crash? Flair wasn't prime time yet and was only gone for 3 months. In fact, he probably would never have been Ric Flair as we know him if the crash didn't force him to change up his style.

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  15. So, for those reasons, it wasn't a good comeback?

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  16. In addition to the reduced schedule, they were extra careful with him at first. He only worked long programs with guys they were extra sure were going to be safe with him, first HHH, then Jericho and Benoit, then Kurt. It was a couple years before it seemed like they were sure he was going to hold up for the long term and he started doing regular guy stuff.



    Going back and watching those Raws right when he came back it seems like they thought he was just a special attraction but he just kept on going.

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  17. Sabu: "Benoit's safe!?"

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  18. It protects you from flames!

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  19. I never really understood the number of conspiracy theorists that somehow believed Shawn's injury wasn't legitimate. As Scott said, he had major surgery on his back. Yes, a year long delay could've occurred b/c he had to get his life straight, too, but there was nothing strategic about missing the biggest money-making years in the company's history.



    I prefer Shawn's comeback years over his prime years. He seemed to work more for the match than for himself. His psychology wasn't perfect, but it had improved. And his timing was unparalleled. Somehow, after losing a step, he had found a way to put on even better matches and make every move count for more.

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  20. Your insults don't hurt because Brother Love loves me!

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  21. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    And didn't Angle fuck someone up with a botched moonsault?

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  22. My favorite part of that clip is Benoit's reaction. He holds his hands in the air like "What the fuck am I supposed to do? He tried to do two backflips off a German suplex."

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  23. I'm sure part of it was that newzzz sites were pimping his return "next month" for the better part of 3 years. I wasn't reading Meltzer or anyone legitimate back then but all the crappy sites like Wrestlezone, Lordsofpain, etc were all over that any time they needed a few extra clicks that week. Probably a whole lot of people got worked by that.

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  24. he LOOOOOOOOOOOOVES you!


    (I always got a kick out of that.)

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  25. He broke Holly's arm but as with all Bob Holly injuries he probably had it coming somehow anyways

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  26. It was major surgery but I'm in the camp that believes it was a one year injury like Benoit or Edge that got extended to career ending to cover the drug problem.

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  27. Angle always seemed more in danger of fucking himself up than someone else, whenever I saw him. (aside from that match with Shane)

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  28. yeah, Holly went out of his way to make enough people look bad - stiffing and sandbagging plenty of rookies, so no shock he'd eventually get hurt a few times. The Lesnar thing was pure karma.

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  29. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Oh, he had it coming no matter what.

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  30. No, it wasn't a comeback at all. If you're not a big deal in the first place you can't "comeback". The whole idea behind a grand comeback is that you're on top, you hit rock bottom, then you get back to the top.

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  31. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Yeah, that was totally Sabu's fault.

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  32. I never heard that conspiracy theory before and I'm sort of baffled, as most dumb conspiracy theories leave me, as to what the overall plan was.

    1. Shawn fakes injury
    2. Shawn takes 4 years off to provide cover for injury
    3. Shawn takes reduced/no paychecks for 4 years while injured
    4. ?????????
    5. PROFIT!

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  33. I never really understood the HBK believers who really think this was a career ending injury. He had a very serious drug problem. He was able to put on great matches four years later because he had plenty of time for his body to recover and wasn't as concerned with doing piles of drugs and date raping girls all night. But you know, found Jesus so the guy is a saint. Give me a break.

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  34. I would, seeing as faith is horseshit,

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  35. Honestly I could go either way on this

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  36. The conspiracy theory makes more sense if you replace the word "injury" with "massive, insane drug problem" for years two through four.

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  37. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Because THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS HIM

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  38. Fine.

    You would have.

    I retract my usual statement.

    MOST people would let it slide.

    Besides, I'm an atheist but it seems ridiculous to discount the power of someone's faith in their mental state. The placebo effect and all that.

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  39. Ahhhhhh, there's the crux. Because he just developed it then and wasn't a massive pill head for most of the 90s.

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  40. You can't "comeback" from a plane crash that killed and crippled others?

    Guess this is one of those agree to disagree things.

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  41. More along the lines of "if we bring him back we get Jeff Hardy at Victory Road 11 every night."

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  42. Again, because that was a brand new thing.

    This is a dumb theory and you're a dumb person if you believe it.

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  43. More along the lines of he was breaking down and he's lucky to be alive.

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  44. He wasn't killing himself in the gym either.


    Seriously, at times, especially after he went from tights to pants, Shawn was the scrawniest guy on the roster.

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  45. Faith is not bullshit. Otherwise brainwashing couldn't work.

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  46. I remember his rights from SurSer 02 and the night after, before they had real gear for him. He looked like a chemo paitent.

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  47. So what about the reports of him getting sent home around WM15? Or the Doink shit in Jericho's book. There's a line between a manageable massive drug problem and one that gets to the point where imminent death is a possibility. Even Shawn admits he got to that point.

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  48. You must not have been around the net that long. It's a haven for bitter, forever alone, atheists who seem to hate the world. Before my atheist friends get all up in arms, let me say that only applies to a good portion of net atheists. Most I've met, and know in the not net world are cool people.

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  49. What's funny is atheists have faith too.

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  50. Sure he can. But the magnitude of the "comeback" is nowhere near the magnitude of Shawn's. Flair wasn't headlining major events before the crash. He wasn't close to being a top guy yet. He really wasn't "Ric Flair." As I said, it's arguable that the plane crash is responsible for making him into the "Ric Flair" that became a top guy in the first place. Sure, he "came back" from an injury that should've crippled him for life and that's amazing, but at the time he wasn't even the most famous guy on that plane.

    Michaels went from being a top guy to missing FOUR years when the entire business changed to returning and competing at just as high of a level for another 7.5 years. From top to bottom to top. That's a comeback that no other wrestler has pulled off.

    But you're of course able to agree to disagree.

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  51. "I'm bi a lot of things, but lingual isn't one of them."

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  52. He was sent home around WM 17. I would think it would be fair to conclude that from early 2001 to Spring 2002, he had to get his life back on track.

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  53. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Didn't he get sent home from 17 too? I seem to remember hearing that the streak would have never even been a thing because HHH was supposed to beat Taker at 17, but ended up jobbing because Shawn showed up wasted.

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  54. I got mixed up. Thanks for the correction.

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  55. Only 17. I fucked up. Though I thought he got sent home from being commissioner too.

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  56. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    That too, but I think 17 was the final straw, "Until you get your shit together don't come back".

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  57. I'm on mobile so I can't find one but it's on YouTube under "Sabu breaks neck" and it's on the ECW documentary.

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  58. You also have to consider the fact that he somehow thought that rest and therapy would cure him for the first year after the injury. He didn't have the surgery until 1999. I can't think of a more violent flat back bumper than Shawn, so I believe there was plenty of uncertainty regarding if he should or could come back given his style.



    Bottom line is that we know he had a drug problem and that drug problem did delay any comeback attempt, but I think there would've been plenty of question marks about his comeback even if he was clean the whole time.

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  59. Both explanations are essentially true, I don't see why people feel the need to pick one or the other. It's obvious just from watching WM14 that his back was legitimately a mess, and it's not as though his drug problems were a secret.

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  60. One incident sure does constitute a 4 year layoff.

    But hey, whatever, believe what you wanna believe.

    P.S. 9/11 was an inside job and vaccines cause autism. Pass it on!

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  61. Get your calmness and diplomacy out of our slap fight, sir!

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  62. Out of all of the top guys in WWF/E history, did Shawn have the biggest disparity between talent and drawing power?


    Discuss.

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  63. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    I don't think Shawn was ever much of a gym rat. He never really had that bodybuilder look to him. Makes sense, he never wrestled a power style.

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  64. I'm not saying the spinal fusion didn't happen. I'm saying he probably could have come back earlier if he wasn't such a shitshow.

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  65. So it wasn't a comeback, because he's been there for years?

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  66. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    You could tell his back was fucked the moment he hit the casket at the Rumble. And it's not like the drugs started when he won the title or anything, him and Marty (especially Marty) were clearly wasted at their first WM appearance.

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  67. While the second half of his career was good and stuff, I do kinda wish he found his way back into the yayo so we could've had an extended run as a heel from him. Selfish, blah blah blah, don't give a fuck. Heel Shawn > Cross-Eyed Hillbilly Jesus

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  68. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Either him or Jericho.

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  69. Adam "Colorado" CurrySeptember 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    About 1:15 in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J--5O_mALEY

    And here's Taz breaking his neck again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntnTh3LynzU

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  70. I'd throw Angle into the discussion. Another fucking incredible wrestler (and IMO better all-round than HBK or Jericho), but never a draw in the way that others around him were.

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  71. None of us is righteous - no not even one. Not me and not Shawn. But I have seen a change in him. I know Troy Martin knocks him now for supposedly having cards with only Shawn's name instead of Christ's name on them -- but Shawn turned a new leaf but only God Himself knows our hearts for sure.

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  72. Not knowing Butch Reed is ok I suppose because his mid card run in the WWF had ended around 1988. But Ron Simmons was pretty well known in Crockett and had a very distinct voice so it was pretty easy to tell.

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  73. Vaccines might cause reactions to some people. For the most part, if I get bit or touch a bat -- I'm getting a rabies shot.

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  74. CruelConnectionNumber2September 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    JR used to say stuff like "Well, many people have guesses..." and "Some say it's no secret who these two are" a couple months after their Havoc 89 debut.

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