Michael Shawn Hickenbottom (born July 22, 1965), better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is an American retired professional wrestler, actor, and television presenter. Regarded as one of the most significant professional wrestlers in history, he is often referred to as the "Heartbreak Kid" or "Mr. WrestleMania".
Michaels was born in Chandler, Arizona, but was raised in San Antonio, Texas, where he began his professional wrestling career in 1984, as a member of the regional territory owned by the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Michaels then wrestled for several other promotions across the United States, often with tag-team partner Marty Jannetty as The Midnight Rockers, until 1986, when the pair signed to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE).
In WWF, Michaels enjoyed moderate success with the Rockers, before splitting from Jannetty and adopting a persona of a sleazy, vain villian in 1992, where he won his first singles title, the WWF Intercontinental Championship. He would win the title again and the Royal Rumble match by 1995, and in 1996, he won his first WWF Championship, heralding his arrival as one of the industry's premier singles stars. Michaels entered wrestling infamy a year later after being involved in the "Montreal Screwjob", as well as for his legit feud with fellow wrestler Bret Hart, before he suffered a back injury in a match which forced him into premature retirement in 1998.
In 2002, after making sporadic non-wrestling appearances, Michaels returned to WWE, for whom he wrestled for consistently until retiring ceremoniously in 2010. His return was characterized by many successful rivalries and exceptional individual performances, which made him enormously popular, and was highlighted by his return to the stable D-Generation X, a reign as World Heavyweight Champion, rivalries with Chris Jericho, Triple H, and The Undertaker, and runs as a World Tag Team Champion. He retired for a second time after losing to The Undertaker in a retirement match at Wrestlemania XXVI. Following his retirement, Michaels was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, but returned for a single match in 2018.
Michaels is one of the most celebrated professional wrestlers of all-time. He headlined several major WWE pay-per-view events, closing the company's flagship annual event, WrestleMania, five times, each with standout performances. Overall, he is a four-time world champion, a five-time tag-team champion, a four-time Intercontinental champion, and a one-time European champion. Michaels' championship victories made him a Grand Slam Champion and a Triple Crown Champion. Additionally, he has won the Royal Rumble match two times, and holds several "Match of the Year" distinctions from various wrestling media outlets. Despite his achievements, Michaels was also a controversial figure in the wrestling landscape, due to his affiliation with The Kliq, and subsequent allegations surrounding his backstage behavior.