Shawn Michaels Biography

Michael Shawn Hickenbottom, better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is a former professional wrestler, actor, and television presenter from America. With his unmatched charisma and in-ring abilities, Michaels is widely regarded as the greatest all-around wrestler of all time. Starting his athletic journey at the age of six, he made the decision to pursue professional wrestling at the age of 12. After dropping out of college, Michaels trained under Mexican professional wrestler Jose Lothario in the National Wrestling Alliance. After honing his skills in the independent circuit, he caught the attention of the World Wrestling Federation. Throughout his 21-year career with the promotion, Michaels headlined numerous pay-per-views, closed the flagship program ‘WrestleMania’ five times, and participated in some of the most iconic matches in wrestling history. Known by various nicknames such as ‘The Heartbreak Kid’, ‘The Boy Toy’, and ‘The Showstopper’, Michaels retired in 2010 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame a year later. Since then, he has served as an ambassador for the promotion and currently works as a trainer at the WWE performance center.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Michael Shawn Hickenbottom
  • Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Rebecca Curci Hickenbottom (m. 1999), Theresa Lynn Wood (m. 1988–1994)
    • Father: Richard Hickenbottom
    • Mother: Carol Hickenbottom
    • Siblings: Randy Hickenbottom, Scott Hickenbottom, Shari Hickenbottom
    • Children: Cameron Kade Hickenbottom, Cheyenne Michelle Hickenbottom
  • Born Country: United States
  • Quotes By Shawn Michaels
  • WWE Wrestlers
  • Height: 6’1″ (185 cm), 6’1″ Males
  • Ancestry: British American
  • Notable Alumni: Southwest Texas State University, Texas State University
  • U.S. State: Arizona
  • More Facts
  • Education: Texas State University, Southwest Texas State University

Childhood & Early Life

Born on July 22, 1965, in Chandler, Arizona, Michael Shawn Hickenbottom is the youngest child of Richard and Carol Hickenbottom. He has two older brothers, Randy and Scott, and an older sister, Shari. Richard was an officer with the US Air Force, so Hickenbottom and his siblings grew up moving from one base to another. In the early years of his life, his family stayed in Reading, Berkshire, England before moving to San Antonio, Texas, where he spent his formative years.

As a child, he wasn’t particularly fond of his first name, Michael, and preferred to be called just ‘Shawn’. His athletic talents began to manifest when he joined his school’s football team at six years of age. Starting out as a gifted linebacker at the Randolph High School on Randolph Air Force Base, he eventually captained the team.

At the age of 12, he realized that he wanted to become a professional wrestler. He would often perform wrestling routines at the high school’s talent shows. Following his graduation, he enrolled at the Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. However, he came to realize that college life wasn’t for him and left it to pursue a career in wrestling entertainment.


With Jose Lothario as his trainer, Hickenbottom adopted “Shawn Michaels” as his ring name and made his debut as a professional wrestler with the National Wrestling Alliance’s (NWA) on October 16, 1984. He also worked for the Texas All-Star Wrestling (TASW) (1985–1986) and the American Wrestling Association (AWA) (1986–1987).

In 1987, he was briefly signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as a member of The Rockers (with Marty Jannetty) but was fired after two weeks due to what he later described as a “misunderstanding”. Because of this, he and Jannetty had to return to AWA. A year later, WWE rehired them and they appeared at a WWF live event on July 7, 1988. The group soon became extremely popular among women and children. In the 1989 Survivors Series, Michaels headlined his first WWE pay-per-view event in a four-on-four match. The Rockers eventually split on December 2, 1991, with Michaels first superkicking Jannetty and then throwing him through a glass window, effectively turning heel.

The WWE management then put him together with Sensational Sherri, who sang the first version of his new theme, ‘Sexy Boy’. In his first pay-per-view singles match at WrestleMania VIII, he was put over in a match against Tito Santana. In June 1993, he formed a coalition with Diesel, who is also his off-air friend. Michaels was suspended for two months following his testing positive for steroid in September. His match with Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X was awarded a five-star rating by Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer.

By early 1995, Michaels had emerged as the most popular wrestler signed with WWE. Back then, professional wrestling was a heavily competitive industry, with two companies, WWE and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), rising to heights never seen before. Michaels had a good relationship with WWE chairman Vince McMahon, who allegedly allowed him and his friends, Diesel, Ramon, and newcomer Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H), known together as The Kliq, to become dominant wrestling figures in the promotion.

In May 1996, Diesel and Ramon were leaving WWE for WCW. On May 19, after a match between Michaels and Diesel, which Michaels won, they were joined in the ring by Ramon and Helmsley for a group-hug. As Diesel and Helmsley were heels at the time and Ramon and Michaels the faces, it was considered a serious violation of “kayfabe”. The incident has come to be known as the ‘Curtain Call’. There are only a few instances of in-ring feuds with as much significance as the one between Michaels and Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. It all culminated in the incident infamously known as the ‘Montreal Screwjob’.

Personal Life

Shawn Michaels married his first wife Theresa Lynn Wood in 1988. They divorced amicably in 1994. He then met Rebecca Curci, a member of WCW’s The Nitro Girls in the 1990s through a common friend named Rich Minzer. They married on March 31, 1999, at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple has two children together, a son, Cameron Cade (born January 15, 2000) and a daughter, Cheyenne (August 19, 2004).

In the 1990s he had taken to drugs and alcohol to deal with his anger and depression. His marriage to Curci and the subsequent birth of their son finally convinced him to clean up his act. Raised as a Catholic, he later became a born-again Christian due to his wife’s influence. After Michaels retired in 2010, he and his wife sold their San Antonio home and moved to their ranch in Texas.

Awards & Achievements

Shawn Michaels won the WWF Championship three times (March 31, 1996; January 19, 1997; and November 9, 1997) and the World Heavyweight Championship one time (November 17, 2002). He is a twice Royal Rumble winner (1995, 1996). He has received 15 Slammy Awards in his career, including five Match of the Year Awards (1994, 1996, 1997, 2008, and 2009).

In 2011, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame along with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, Sunny, and Abdullah the Butcher. He was also inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.


Michaels is ambidextrous.

Leave a Comment