Shawn Michaels is one of the veterans of professional wrestling no longer associated with WWE, having left the organization in March 2010. He started his career way back in 1988 as part of “The Rockers” and gradually became one of the true superstars of the professional game.
Though his wrestling accomplishments are many, Michaels is often remembered for the battle with Randy Orton (Unforgiven 2003). At the time, Michaels was billed as the Heartbreak Kid, but Orton was considered the up-and-coming young lion in the field. Many commentators at the time considered this the true beginning of Orton’s reputation as a Legend Killer.
Shawn Michaels is the ring name of the man born Michael Shawn Hickenbottom in 1965. He worked under the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) banner from his debut in 1988 until he retired from competition in 2010. Before wrestling with WWE he worked with Mid-South Wrestling and the American Wrestling Association (AWA). He and partner Marty Jannetty won the AWA tag team title twice. They moved to the WWF, returned to the AWA and then ultimately signed on with WWF in 1988. Michaels remained for more than 20 years.
Michaels was associated with the D-Generation X group for a time, a group of wrestlers that included Triple H and Chyna. He opened a wrestling school following a back injury but returned to the ring in 2002. One of the highlights of this second part of his career was the Unified WWE Tag Team title (with Triple H). Michaels has won the world-champion title four times and the WWF title three times. He won the Royal Rumble twice (1995 and 1996). He also holds the distinction of being the first wrestler to be named WWF Grand Slam Champion.
Shawn Michaels was born to the Hickenbottom family in Arizona. He also spent a short period of his youth in England due to the fact that his father was in the military. Biographical material for Hickenbottom notes that he grew up in Texas, where he began to be called by his middle name rather than his given first name.
Michaels played football in high school and attended college in Texas for a short time. But he knew from a young age that he wanted to be a wrestler, especially in the professional world that combined wrestling with entertainment. According to WWF/WWE history The Rockers (Jannetty and Michaels) were especially popular with women and children in the audience. They were often featured on pay-per-view and regular television shows.
Michaels wrestled as The Heartbreak Kid for several years in the early 1990s. He changed his ring personality slightly, becoming cockier and adopting the tag of “villain” in many of his matches. He was often referred to having “left the building,” an obvious association with the late, great Elvis Presley. He was WWF Commissioner for a time in the late 1990s but continued to wrestle actively for several more years. He returned to WWE action and was a popular attraction in events until his eventual retirement at the age of 45.
Biographies, Shawn Michaels
There have been rumors about the death of the professional wrestler known as Edge. But more reliable reports indicate that Adam Joseph Copeland is alive and well. It seems he just wanted some time away from the wrestling spotlight. As Mark Twain once wrote, “New of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Copeland, now 36, was born in Canada in 1973. He wrestled under the World Wrestling Federation’s Raw brand and is a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler now. Edge was first an independent wrestler and grew in popularity during the mid-1990s. He was active in both individual and tag-team matches, eventually signing with WWF in 1997.
Getting an Edge
It was at this time that Copeland began using the ring name Edge. He won the Intercontinental title quickly, taking that championship in 1999. His tag-team success with Christian led to seven WWF Tag Team championships. While they become well-known and popular in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches, the partnership broke up in 2001. Copeland, as Edge, has been a world champion nine times. He was also King of the Ring in 2001 and has been successful in getting a few film and television appearances.
Edge was born in Ontario to a single mother. He showed an early interest in wrestling and counted Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and others among his favorites in the ring. He trained with Ron Hutchinson and Sweet Daddy Siki and also attended college. Copeland holds a college degree in the field of broadcasting. But his main interest remains with professional wrestling. He has been part of The Suicide Blondes with Cage and received some assistance from pro Bret Hart.
Edge made his first television appearance in the late 1990s and appeared in pay-per-view action in August of that year. A staged feud with Gangrel ultimately led to an alliance called The Brood. That group became part of the Ministry of Darkness with The Undertaker in the lead. Edge battled his way to the top to take his first WWF Intercontinental championship in 1999.
Copeland, as Edge, became a popular wrestler with the fans and was very successful during the period from 2001 to 2004. This period involved some controversy with Christian, a match with Test in which Edge lost the Intercontinental title and a feud with Williams Regal. This period also included two key accomplishments in Edge’s career – tag team titles with Hulk Hogan and with Rey Mysterio.
Edge was a serious contender in the heavyweight division in 2005. He went on to take the WWE championship in 2006 and also fought a memorable match with John Cena. Edge and Randy Orton put together Rated-RKO, a tag team that soon held the team championship. Injury slowed Copeland’s activity for a short period but in January 2010 he was in the Royal Rumble match. Edge, who has been married and divorced twice, has been connected with steroid controversy within professional wrestling ranks. He remains a recognized superstar of professional wrestling in spite of the stories and rumors surrounding his personal life.
Matt Hardy Biography
For some fans of professional wrestling, Matt Hardy’s career is difficult to separate from the career of his brother, Jeff. The brothers worked together early in their careers to form the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (OMEGA) but like Jeff, Matt eventually signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Matt Hardy has established himself as a great wrestler apart from his brother, with individual championships early in his career. He won the ECW individual championship in 2008 and also took several other division titles. But most of the fame for the Hardy family comes from the brothers’ success as a tag team. On the list of accomplishments are six World Tag Team Championships, one WWE Tag Team title and one WCW Tag Team title.
During the time the brothers were working on their own they formed the Trampoline Wrestling Federation (TWF) and then started OMEGA. Matt Hardy used the ring name High Voltage but had to change that to Surge. The brothers are probably best known for their time as the Hardy Boyz, a huge step up from the “jobber” status the younger brother once held. In 1998 the brothers first received full-time work with WWF.
They trained with legendary wrestler Dory Funk, Jr. and worked their way to an association with The New Brood (Gangrel). This was followed by time with manager Terri Runnels, who managed the two until Lita took over as the Hardy manager. This was known as Team Xtreme. During this period the brothers “feuded” with Christian and Edge, taking two tag-team championships along the way.
Matt Hardy pursued a successful singles career from 2001 to about 2005. He won the European title during that time and held the title longer than any other American-born wrestler. The brothers won the tag-team title again during this period. Matt also became associated with SmackDown! He trimmed down to fight in the cruiserweight division and won the title in 2003.
Matt was released from his WWE contract in 2005, a move that prompted fans to call for his re-instatement. He returned in short order and faced former manager and friend, Lita. The confrontation ended with Lita walking off the set of that show. Matt officially returned to perform under the WWE banner in August 2005.
Jeff and Matt joined forces in 2006 and 2007 to rekindle their tag-team success. They defeated MNM in 2007 at the Royal Rumble. After some serious health problems, Matt Hardy returned to action in 2008. He took the United States title at Backlash in 2008. But things seemed to be changing for Matt Hardy.
He surprised a lot of fans when he hit brother Jeff with a chair at the 2009 Royal Rumble. He left ECW and signed with SmackDown again. His mixed career continued through 2009, fighting in tag teams with brother Jeff and with The Great Khali.
Matt Hardy attended the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and Sandhills Community College. He lived with Lita for some time and dated Ashley Massaro.
Biographies, Matt Hardy
Beth Phoenix Biography
Born Elizabeth Kocanksi in 1980 (Elmira, New York) this wrestling celebrity has used a number of ring names, including Beth Phoenix, Phoenix, Firebird and Fabulous Firebird. She may also be found on the Internet under the name Glamazon or Glamarella. But no matter which name you use, this woman is a WWE diva who is associated with the Smackdown brand.
Phoenix actually started her wrestling career in high school as the only female competitor on the varsity squad. She was invited to the WWE training grounds in 2004. By 2006 she was part of the RAW roster. A broken jaw kept her out of action for more than a year but she did return to the ring in 2007. She has captured the WWE Women’s Champion title three times.
Phoenix uses a number of finishing moves and has adopted several signature moves. She won her first WWE title during the No Mercy pay-per-view event and took the title again in 2008. The third women’s championship came in April 2010. Just a few months earlier she took part in the Royal Rumble, only the second woman to do so.
Many fans don’t know that she won a coloring contest at the age of 11 and the prize was a ticket to a WWF television taping session. That started Phoenix on the road to her amateur and professional careers.
Beth Phoenix, Biographies
Kelly Kelly Biography
Before we start looking at the details of the Kelly Kelly wrestling story, it might be good to know that her first name is not Kelly. Her last name isn’t Kelly either. She was born Barbara Jean Blank in 1987 and at an early age became a recognized name in professional wrestling. She now works for the SmackDown brand under the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) banner.
Kelly Kelly’s career began in the “minor leagues” of the WWE, in Ohio Valley Wrestling. She received a contract from that organization in 2006, at the age of 19. Her early work was as a referee and announcer, but she participated in her first match shortly after signing the contract. Kelly was introduced as a WWE Diva in June 2006. She has been associated with CM Punk and wrestled in the December to Dismember mixed tag-team match. In the period from 2008 to 2010 Kelly Kelly has been part of the SmackDown brand.
Biographies, Kelly Kelly
Bobby Lashley Biography
This college graduate holds a degree from Missouri Valley College and has taken his career in new directions. He established a retail store selling health drinks and also set up the Lashley Network in 2009. With a strong Web presence, Lashley promotes his Bobby Lashley gym, his nutrition store and a social-networking site. The Denver, Colorado gym carries the title American Top Team Altitude.
Lashely’s full name is Franklin Roberto Matthew Lashley. He was born in 1976 and established himself as a mixed-martial artist and professional wrestler. He has been associated with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Most recently he opened a new company in the mixed-martial arts field – Lashley Management. He and Judith Sussman work as representatives for MMA fighters.
Lashley has held the U.S. Champion title and two ECW titles. His career started in the amateur ranks. He won three national college titles while at Missouri Valley College. He wrestled during his time in the U.S. Army. A knee injury kept him from performing in the Olympics so he turned his attention to professional wrestling. Lashley’s long career continued when he signed with Titan Fighting Championship. Current information shows a scheduled match on March 25 against James Jack.
Biographies, Bobby Lashley
CM Punk Biography
With a reputation as an Extremist (Extreme Championship Wrestling) and a body covered with tattoos, CM Punk doesn’t rely on luck to make his way in the challenging world of wrestling. He is a native of Chicago who quickly realized that he would be part of the wrestling/entertainment industry. He is closely associated with the so-called “straightedge” movement that stays away from drugs and alcohol.
CM Punk is also known for bringing various styles to professional wrestling, including kickboxing and Jujitsu. He won the Money in the Bank ladder match, moved to Raw in 2008 and quickly took the World Heavyweight title. Shortly after that he grabbed the World Tag Team title with Kofi Kingston. He is now known among wrestling fans as the Straightedge Superstar, openly stating that he is the best because of discipline and dedication.
For those who don’t know the wrestler’s background, he was born Phillip Jack Brooks in 1978. He has extended his career with color commentary, after a career that included five world titles. CM Punk is the only person to take the Money in the Bank ladder matches in successive years (2008 and 2009). He is loved by many and is seen as a villain by others. But he is for real.