Published: March 30, 2020 8:35:44 pm
The Attitude Era truly began at WrestleMania XIV (1998) as Stone Cold defeated Shawn Michaels with Mike Tyson as the special guest enforcer referee.
It was exactly on this day, 22 years ago that Tyson swung a punch at Michaels after Austin won the World Heavyweight Championship at the grandest stage of them all.
In the lead up to the event, Michaels was not in good shape as he had suffered a massive injury to his back at the Royal Rumble. Behind-the-scenes, Shawn was not an easy person to get along with and was doing everything in his power to politic against dropping the belt to Steve Austin.
“It was a real pain even getting to the match, and Shawn will tell you this, he wasn’t in a good place, physically or mentally,” said Austin on a January 2015 episode of The Steve Austin Show.
“He had a real bad attitude on him and didn’t feel like dropping the strap.” Austin would, of course, go on to win the WWF Title at the event.
Responding to it, Michaels said,”To be perfectly honest, I’m sure I can remember being a little jealous. ‘Mike Tyson is going to be here and I’m in the main event with Steve and I don’t even get to do anything with him?”
For me – and again, just being 100% totally honest – it’s one of those things where, like, you know it’s cool…all of the stuff that’s happening is big but you’re not a part of it and that was admittedly a tough pill to swallow…and obviously not being the great guy that I am now…”
“The thing is, the animosity was never you…it was at the situation, it was at Vince; the career is over, I’m dropping the title, it was palpable that this was going to be big…there was absolutely nothing good going on with me, so I was a **** to everybody,” Michaels concluded.
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