Just before the Monday night wars began, Shawn Michaels retained the Intercontinental belt from Scott Hall at 1995’s Summerslam, held on August 27th. This was their second ladder match, following their first classic at Wrestlemania of that year. This Summeslam is also noteworthy for being Lex Luger’s last appearance on WWE TV, as the very next week he would appear on the first episode of WCW Monday Nitro. 95, numbering in your houses, 1 was in 95
WWF, in October of that year, held a show in Binghamton, in upstate New York. On October 14th, Michaels was traveling with Sean Waltman/The 123 Kid, and the British Bulldog/Davey Boy Smith. Shawn’s friends Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were doing shows in Europe at the time. Shawn and friends stayed in Syracuse overnight while they were en route to a show in Utica New York the next day/15th. Shawn Michaels doesn’t remember what happened that night, but it was reported that at a bar Shawn hit on a waitress who was a Marine’s girlfriend. Apparently the waitress offered to drive Shawn, Kid, and Davey to their hotel, and when they got outside several Marines assaulted them. The story goes that Shawn’s head was slammed into a car and then he was punched, and Shawn was so high he didn’t raise his hands to defend himself. Davey and Kid were also reported to be so high they couldn’t intervene. (Hart 369-370 and Michaels 212)
Shawn reports that he got back to his hotel where Sunny/Tammy Sytch and Chris Candido found him at their hotel room door. They called for an amulence, and Shawn woke up the next day in the hospital to find Sunny sleeping in a nearby gurney. (Michaels 213)
Winnipeg was the sight of In Your House #4, held on October 22cnd. In Your House was a series of monthly PPV’s that began that year. Golddust, an androgenous/cross-dressing wrestler played by Dustin Rhodes, made his live debut here. He had previously appeared in vignettes on Raw, and at this show would defeat Marty Jannety.
WWF owner was upset over the Syracuse incident, and did not allow him to wrestle at this PPV. On camera President Gorilla Monsoon revealed at the show that Shawn was unable to wrestle.
Shane Douglas was awarded the Intercontinental Championship, but had to defend it and lost it that night to Razor Ramone. Shane would leave WWF by the end of 1995.
At the next night’s Raw in Brandon Manitoba, Shawn did an interview regarding the Syracuse incident, which Shawn remembers in his autobiography. “This was one of the first times we ever used a real life incident and integrated it into a TV Angle.” (Michaels 215)
The angle would continue in November. During a match with Owen Hart, Shawn received an enziguri, a move that ends with a kick to the head. Only the two wrestlers, Vince, and the two commentators (Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler) knew what would happen next. Shawn collapsed to the mat and didn’t get up, as if he were actually injured. The announcers dropped their head-sets and emts came to the ring. In broadcasting terms, this is known as dead air, where no one is speaking and nothing is happening. Vince was naturally hesitant to have dead air on the programming, but obviously he agreed to have it. With the announcers not talking, it looked like Shawn was legitimately hurt, and this is how the broadcast ended.The work continued into the hospital Shawn was taken to, Hunter Hearst Hemsley arriving, playing the role of a concerned friend. Shawn even had to sign release forms in order to leave the hospital. (Shawn 215)
The following week on Raw it was announced that Shawn had post concussion syndrome, and the week after that he was no longer medically cleared to wrestle. Vince narrated a video package where he said the WWF wrestlers may seem superhuman, but they are mortal men. This culminated in Todd Pettingill interviewing Shawn at his home in San Antonio for the following Raw. Todd talked to Shawn about how he never won the WWF Championship, and now it looked like his career was over. When asked how he could deal with that, Shawn walked off the interview.
It all made for a great story, as towards the end of 1995 Vince told Shawn in private that he in fact would be WWF champion. (Shawn 215)
Hart, Bret “HItman” Grand Central Publishing, New York and Boston, 2007
Micheals, Shawn, and Feigenbaum, Aaron, “Hearbreak and Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story” Pocket Books, New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, 2005.