10 Most Unlikely First WWE World Championship Defenses

9. Shawn Michaels Vs. Jerry Lawler (WWF Championship) - 08/04/96

Hulk Hogan Yoshiaki Yatsu

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels wrote a new chapter in their history together with the legendary 60-minute Iron Man match at WrestleMania XII. Assessment of the quality of the match differs between fans, but it will nonetheless remain a cornerstone of WWE's flagship championship, owing to the spectacle of Michaels' entrance, the endurance of both competitors, the sudden-death overtime, the commentary calls of Vince McMahon, and the ensuing stories from the bout's aftermath.

From the glitz and glamour of Michaels' first World Title, came a fall back down to humble royalty.

The night after WrestleMania, the Heartbreak Kid defended his newly-won championship against Jerry "The King" Lawler on an episode of RAW. There were multiple moving parts surrounding the match; Hart was taking some time away, which necessitated a new opponent that came in the form of WCW-bound Diesel, who was on guest commentary for the encounter, alongside McMahon and Mr. Perfect.

The match itself was fairly drab, with Michaels and Diesel trading verbal jibes throughout as Lawler ran out of underhanded tactics fast and inevitably lost. Post-match, Perfect passed Diesel the WWF Championship belt, who proceeded to deck Michaels with it, setting up a title match for that month's In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies.

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Wish.com Jules Gill. Pretty fond of heavy music, Arsenal, video games and wrestling.