In the early 1990s Davey Boy Smith and Shawn Michaels were being presented as future stars for the World Wrestling Federation. For Smith, his rise would come at the biggest event of the summer, SummerSlam in 1992. Smith wrestled Bret Hart in the main event at Wembley Stadium in London. Smith would win his first and only WWF Intercontinental Championship in a classic match that went over twenty-five minutes.
1992 was a breakout year for Shawn Michaels, as well. Michaels split from Marty Jannetty to venture off on his own. Michaels won his first singles match at WrestleMania defeating Tito Santana at WrestleMania VIII. For most of the year, Michaels would regularly compete against Bret Hart on house shows, but was unable to win the title. That was until he got a shot against Davey Boy Smith on November 14th on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Smith would leave the company following a steroid controversy, but this wouldn’t be the last time the two men would meet.
Michaels continued to be a top act in the WWF in 1993 and 1994 while Davey Boy Smith had a successful run with World Championship Wrestling throughout 1993 before leaving due to a contract dispute. Smith returned to the WWF in the summer of ’94 and would soon be seen as a top contender to win the Royal Rumble match. Michaels was a favorite, as well.
At the Royal Rumble, Michaels drew number one and Smith drew number two. They both would last the whole match, which lasted over thirty-eight minutes. Smith appeared to have had won the match when he sent Michaels over the top to the floor and the bell even sounded awarding Smith the match. However, Shawn was able to keep his feet from hitting the floor and eliminated Smith from behind to win the match and earn a WWF World Championship match.
They would cross paths again in the spring and summer of 1996. At that point, Shawn Michaels became the WWF World Champion having pinned Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII. Smith would quickly become a top contender and their first and only lengthy feud would begin.
On the April 29th edition of RAW, the British Bulldog, Jim Cornette and Diane Smith had a confrontation with WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels. Cornette claimed that Michaels tried to sleep with Diane as he sent a note to her to meet him backstage. Apparently, she went backstage and was cornered by Michaels who made advances towards her. Diane told Shawn she knew he wanted her, but he responded by saying “With all due respect, please do not flatter yourself.” That led to a brawl between Michaels and Bulldog.
The following week an unidentified ex-wife of a WWF superstar stated that Michaels ruined her marriage because she slept with him because he smelled good and was gorgeous. She claimed that Michaels was the best she had ever had. Yeah, that seriously happened.
Cornette revealed on the May 20th edition of RAW that a restraining order had been issued against Shawn Michaels. Michaels wouldn’t be allowed near Diane. At the end of the show, Diane tossed water at Shawn and that led to Bulldog attacking Michaels on the floor.
They squared off at In Your House #8 for the WWF World Championship. Their match went over sixteen minutes but ended in a no contest. The finish of the match was a double pin spot to continue the feud. On the June 10th edition of RAW, Jim Cornette announced that there would be a special referee for their rematch at King of the Ring. Smith and Michaels had a brawl on the June 17th RAW after Smith called Michaels out to the ring and was confident that he would be the new champion.
At King of the Ring, Mr. Perfect returned to television as the outside enforcer for the contest with Earl Hebner being the main referee. The blowoff to the feud was done very well as they went over twenty-six minutes with Michaels pinning Smith following a super kick.
They wouldn’t have another major singles match until September 1997 in London at WWF One Night Only special event. It was a great match with an incredible atmosphere as Smith tried to finally beat Michaels in front of his home crowd. That wouldn’t happen as Michaels managed to yet again by knockout after Smith was attacked numerous times by Rick Rude, Chyna and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Smith had dedicated the match to his sister who had been ill with cancer. Smith would leave the WWF in November and wouldn’t wrestle Michaels ever again.
While Smith was unable to ever pin Michaels in singles action, their matches were very entertaining despite a lame angle in 1996. The King of the Ring match is a match that doesn’t get nearly the amount of credit that it should get and is hidden gem for WWF 1996, in my opinion.
What are your opinions on this feud? Leave your thoughts below.
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31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.