19 Things WWE Wants You To Forget About Shawn Michaels
10. He Was Not A Draw As WWE Champion
The mid 1990s in WWE weren't the greatest of times for the company. They really had a tough time replacing Hulk Hogan as a top draw. Top talent was leaving to WCW like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to name a few. Not only that, but WCW was also red hot after starting Nitro in September 1995 and then doing the New World Order angle in the summer of 1996. Who was the top guy in WWE in 1996? Shawn Michaels. He was the WWE Champion for most of the year, but he wasn't a very good draw. The company lost a reported $6 million from May 1996 to April 1997, which was the time when Michaels was clearly on top. It wasn't all his fault because Bret Hart was on a break for six months and they really had no other top stars other than Undertaker. However, as the champion a lot of the blame went on Michaels. The champion should get the credit when things go well and with that comes the blame when things go badly. When WWE really started to grow as a company it was in early 1998 while Michaels was the heel champion facing off with Steve Austin. WrestleMania 14 was a huge success with Michaels dropping the WWE Title to Austin and it was boosted by the inclusion of Mike Tyson. The thing is, WWE grew even bigger after WrestleMania in 1998 with Austin as the clear top guy and they even surpassed WCW in the ratings after losing to them for nearly two full years. There's a lot of evidence against Michaels as a top draw the way that guys like Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and The Rock, but he should still be remembered as arguably the best in-ring performer ever.
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