Being one of the biggest stars in WWE history, Shawn Michaels has gone through everything wrestling has to offer. He is a former WWE Champion and was one of the biggest stars of the 1990s, with his rivalry with Bret Hart moving into something of a mythology.
He is considered by many, including Ric Flair, to the greatest of all time. His canon of work is one very few people can even come close to and he is known to have more fantastic matches than anybody else in the history of the WWE.
However, he suffered an eye injury late in his career that could have changed everything. His back injury in the 1990s forced him to retire, before his eventually comeback, although is eye injury did not force him to miss any ring time. But what happened to Shawn Michaels’ eye? Who caused him to detach his retina and what did WWE do about it?
Chris Jericho Attack Shawn Michaels With A TV
The 2008 feud between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels was one that captured the minds of the WWE Universe. The two legends of the wrestling business were at their peak as they did battle over the year of 2008 in a number of matches, with increasing stakes and increasingly dangerous match types.
The rivalry saw Chris Jericho become his best character in years. He wore dark suits, ignored the fans and lambasted them using the longest words he could find in the thesaurus, just so they wouldn’t understand him. He went so far as to be mean to fans outside the ring, taking the character truly seriously into his personal life.
During a “Highlight Reel” on Monday Night Raw, Chris Jericho turned heel by throwing Shawn Michaels head first into the “Jeritron 3000”, a large TV monitor that was in the ring. He then began to punch him in the face, around the eye region, leaving the Heart Break Kid a crumpled up mess in the middle of the ring.
The attack was claimed to have injured the eye of Michaels. WWE called it “career threatening” and claimed he needed to have surgery to repair his detached retinas. He even came out to the ring with his family for a faux-retirement speech, before calling out Jericho for the attack and challenging him to a match.
During the segment, Chris Jericho actually punched Michaels wife in the face. In character he meant to do it as he was such a dastardly heel, but he failed to pull his punch before he hit her in real life. Michaels was incredibly angry with him but soon calmed down when he realised the mistake, but it added so much to an already heated feud that it became the most anticipated match of the year, when the two finally set foot in a ring together.
Despite WWE claiming Chris Jericho caused Shawn Michaels’ eye injury, it in fact happened years before. However it helped elevate the feud and make it one of the most personal rivalries of all time.
His Lazy Eye Injury Occurred Years Before
Shawn Michaels’ eye injury actually occurred years prior, at Unforgiven 2004. During a match with WWE Hall of Famer Kane, he suffered a nasty bump and suffered a retina injury. The match was a no-disqualification match, so big bumps and nasty attacks with weapons were expected, but nobody ever wants to see a real-life injury in a match, especially nothing to do with something as precious as an eye.
Being a true professional, he still finished the match. He didn’t miss any ring time for the injury and it was fixed soon after, but the former WWE Champion began to suffer from a lazy eye not too long afterwards.
The eye wasn’t even noticeable for many, but it was smart making it part of the storyline to explain what happened to Shawn Michaels’ eye.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.