Our retro Best and Worst of Raw recaps have just gotten to that awkward transitional time in 1997 when Shawn Michaels got a knee injury, “lost his smile” and forfeited the WWF Championship shortly after being emasculated in Canada by Bret Hart, and suspiciously before having to (presumably) face him at WrestleMania 13. Shawn’s absence opened the door for Hart to face Stone Cold Steve Austin in a submission match at the show, and the rest is history.
During an appearance at the Inside The Ropes: Evening with Jim Ross and Jim Cornette event in London over the weekend, Bret himself discussed his original idea for the proposed WrestleMania 13 angle with Shawn and, spoiler alert, it involves (1) pube discussion, and (2) shootfighting leading to broken bones.
From Bret, with a transcription h/t to Wrestling Inc.:
“I remember we talked about — my understanding was when I left that meeting that day was that I was gonna come back, and I was gonna have a bit of a chip on my shoulder towards Shawn, start ragging on him for not being a good role model, and then to — cause I remember watching him on TV and he’d pull his pants down and show his pubes and all that … Being the ‘so called’ hero- baby face of the company, that’s not a good way to present yourself. I just remember sort of making note in my head, and the more I saw Shawn doing stuff like that, pulling his pants down and getting the kids dancing and all that in the ring, it’d be easy for me as a babyface to take exception to what Shawn was doing. But I thought really what it was was a chance for me to make a storyline here with Shawn where I lost the title to him at Wrestlemania 12 and I got a bit of a chip on my shoulder that I lost, the way the whole thing was set up was perfect for me to come back with a bit of an attitude about Shawn. And what I had wanted to do was work a storyline with Shawn where I’d wrestle him at Wrestlemania, we would’ve had a really good match.”
So far so good, aside from Bret’s vivid memories of Shawn’s crotch.
“Shawn was a great wrestler, one of the best I ever worked with — maybe the best I ever worked with in a lot of ways. I had an idea where I was gonna — if you could visualize like it’s like a thirty, thirty five minute match me and Shawn would’ve tore the house down with a really great match and the place is going crazy. Basically a duplicate of the ironman match all over again, but we wouldn’t go the full hour again. I wanted to do a thing where Shawn was stomping his foot, getting ready to give me the big kick, and I’m in trouble like I’m pulling myself up form the ropes on the other side of the ring and Shawn goes to give me that big kick as I stagger over to him, just like at the iron man match. Except this time I would take Shawn’s foot, catch it in the air and get him to the ground and put some kind of a shoot hold on his foot and break his foot right in the middle of the ring. I wanted Shawn to tap out like they do in UFC, where it’s like when they break somebody’s arm they tap out pretty fast and everyone jumps in and it’s a very serious kind of thing. I wanted to break Shawn’s foot and then they hand me the belt and I would’ve gone over and stand over the top of him and go ‘fuck you.'”
To recap, Bret’s idea is that he’d be Shawn’s moral superior, have the best match ever, do a callback to his most famous loss and right that wrong by not only breaking Shawn’s foot, but getting to scream “fuck you” in his face after beating him for the championship at WrestleMania. Uh, maybe Shawn deciding to bail instead of facing Bret at Mania wasn’t a bad decision?
Here’s the full clip: