Shawn Michaels vs British Bulldog was one of the most disgusting moments in HBKs’ career
In 1997, WWE returned to the UK for a blockbuster pay per view set to rival Summerslam 1992 in Wembley Stadium. The One Night Only PPV emanating from Birmingham, England was set to once again crown the fan favourite British Bulldog as champion in his come country, in front of thousands of screaming English fans.
5 years prior he had locked horns with Bret Hart in one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time. The two had filled Wembley Stadium with the most ardent wrestling fans in the UK as they battled over the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Despite Bulldog being off his head on drugs (saying “Bret, I’m F*****” in the ring before the bout) they duo managed to put on one of the top WWE matches of all time. Even Vince McMahon called it “the greatest match in the history of wrestling“
Shawn Michaels vs British Bulldog
While the wrestling landscape had changed in 1997 with the birth of the NWO in WCW and the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin in “The Attitude Era”, British Bulldog vs Shawn Michaels was still a huge match. Bulldog was set to battle the D-Generation X member at One Night Only 1997 for the European Championship and he seemed a certain to win.
However, Shawn Michaels had other ideas. He and fellow DX partner Triple H got into Vince McMahon’s ear and politicked their way into changing the finish of their match. Rather than sending the fans home happy with the hometown hero standing victorious, it would be the Heart Break Kid who walked out of Birmingham with the European Championship.
What made this change so bad was the build up. The British Bulldog made several comments and interviews on the lead up to the event, most notably speaking about his sister. He dedicated the match, and his impending victory, to his sister who was sadly dying of cancer at the time.
Shawn Michaels made The British Bulldog tap out to the Figure Four Leg Lock in front of his home country, as all the air left the room. The crowd were instantly deflated but that wasn’t the worst part.
Sitting in the front row was Davey Boy Smith’s (The British Bulldog’s real name) family. This included his wife and most notably his sister, who was suffering with cancer and who the match was dedicated to.
This was during peak “not going to lose” Shawn Michaels. He politicked his way into the main event and to win the match, keeping a championship he had no business being involved with. That was the last big moment Bulldog would have had in the WWE and would move to WCW soon after, which is where his career would sadly be ended by a bump on a trap door.
To make things go from bad to worse, HBK did absolutely nothing with the title. He would hold the belt until December, where he would lose it (on purpose, mind you) in a match against teammate Triple H in one of the most iconic Raw moments in the companies history.