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 favorite 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) the 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 convinced him to change 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.
One thing you do not mess with in wrestling is people with illnesses. The Make-A-Wish foundation is a key partner of the company, with John Cena having the most wishes granted out of any person on earth. With Bulldog’s sister dying, they usually would not have the match dedicated to her if Davey Boy Smith was not going to win.
Shawn Michaels made The British Bulldog tap out to the Figure Four Leg Lock in front of his home country.As soon as his hand slapped the mat in defeat, all the air left the arena. 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 schemed 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
WWE fired British Bulldog soon after, owing to his involvement in the Steroid Scandal that nearly saw Vince McMahon spend years in a federal prison.
The Englishman would move to WCW soon after. This is where his career would sadly end, after taking a bad bump on a trap door The Ultimate Warrior would use later that night.
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.
Bulldog would make a short-term return to the WWE in 1999, spending a year in the company before being fired (for turning up to a WWE show high on drugs, attempting to wrestle and putting his opponents’ life in danger).
He attempted to get clean and make a comeback to the WWE in 2002. After teaming with his son Harry Smith (who now competes as Davey Boy Smith, taking his father’s name) on an indie show in Canada, he died before re-joining the WWE at the age of just 39-years-old.
British Bulldog vs Bret Hart Was The Best Match Ever
Summerslam 1992 saw Bret Hart vs British Bulldog wrestle in what Vince McMahon called “the greatest match in the history of wrestling”.
Clash at the Castle made history as the first WWE stadium show in the United Kingdom in 30 years, but that event has put the spotlight on the Bret Hart vs British Bulldog match from the last big event to take place in Great Britain.
In an incredible main event that is considered one of the best matches in wrestling history, The Bulldog pinned Hart with sit-down pin to win the title and become the hero of the day in front of his home country crowd.
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.