Shawn Michaels is one of the greatest wrestlers of all times and has rightfully picked up a host of iconic nicknames over his career. During his time in the ring he performed at every big WWE show you can imagine, main eventing Wrestlemanias, winning Royal Rumbles and performing in a number of dream matches that broke box office records.
He has been called by many, including “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the greatest wrestler to every live and the best in-ring performer the United States has ever seen. His WWE career saw multiple world championships and five star bouts that earned him two inductions into the WWE Hall of Fame.
While he was famous for his horrendous attitude backstage and persistent drug use, he has mellowed in his later years and now heads NXT, after his friend Triple H took over the running of the WWE from former Chairman Vince McMahon. Younger fans may not appreciate the genius of Shawn Michaels in the ring, and may not be aware of the origin of his most famous nicknames.
Why is Shawn Michael’s Called The Heartbreak Kid?
Shawn Michael’s most commonly used nickname was The Heartbreak Kid. He was called it for the majority of his career, even as he wrestled into his 40s. He gained the name during his heel run in the 1990s where he became a top star in the company during his legendary feud with Bret “The Hitman” Hart.
The idea was that he was good-looking lothario, sleeping with many women on the road and breaking their hearts as he left in the morning, without a word. This was no unlike real life, as before he found god Michaels was known as a womanizer on the road as he travelled with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Triple H and X-Pac.
The name came to be in 1992, when he turned on his manager, the Sensational Sherri. He left her to go out on his own as a singles wrestler, breaking the heart of the woman who sang his theme song and earning himself the nickname of The Heartbreak Kid. He was originally just known as “Sexy Boy” Shawn Michaels, as his themes song would imply, but those in WWE thought that the name did not quite do enough for the young star.
The name seemed too generic, so WWE legend Mr Perfect thought up the name The Heartbreak Kid for Shawn Michaels. It was said he heard the name while listening to a country song and proffered it to Michaels, who accepted it gladly and made it a huge part of his career.
While his nicknames may have seemed silly at first and not becoming of a WWE Champion, Shawn Michaels was so good could have made anything work. He kept the Heartbreak Kid moniker up until his retirement in 2011, and during his brief return in 2018 for the Worst Match Ever which we don’t want to talk about because of how sad it is.
Shawn Michaels was given many nicknames over his 26 year career. He was widely referred to as Mr Wrestlemania, owing to his fantastic performances at the event, up until his final bouts vs The Undertaker. The name The Showstopper was also due to his incredible in-ring talent and brilliant matches he would put on nightly.
WWE also referred to him as Sexy boy, Rocker, The Headliner and The Main Event, although not all those names lasted into his return in the early 2000s