D-Generation X is hailed as one of WWE’s most popular stables, but according to Billy Gunn, the group didn’t hit its stride until he and Road Dogg were a part of it.
DX found its beginnings in August of 1997, when Triple H and Shawn Michaels brought their real-life friendship on screen. Triple H, still known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley at the time, interfered in a match between Shawn Michaels and Mankind alongside his then-partner Chyna. Rick Rude would also return to television at the end of the match, calling himself the group’s “insurance policy.”
Triple H and Shawn Michaels participated in a number of skits together during the early days of the group, calling out would-be censors and even playing a round of strip poker in the middle of the wrestling ring. The group officially declared their name to be D-Generation X in October of 1997, a fact that was celebrated on the October 10th season premiere of the red brand in 2022.
Billy Gunn Thinks DX Got Better When He And Road Dogg Were Added To It
After Shawn Michaels left in-ring competition after WrestleMania in 1998 due to a severe back injury, D-Generation X was forced to evolve as a group. On-screen, Triple H ejected Michaels from the group for losing the WWE Championship to Steve Austin at WrestleMania, and he recruited Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and X-Pac to form a new version of the faction.
Speaking to Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards on the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted, Billy Gunn opened up about the group’s evolution and declared that while the skits with Triple H and Michaels were fun, the group really came into its own when it became a five person unit.
“When the first two — I hate saying their names. I just hate saying their names. When Hunter and Shawn [Michaels] did it, it was something different,” Billy Gunn said. “It was something new. It was something not wrestling, but it’s on a wrestling show, but it caught on because of the personalities that those two had. Those two did the same thing.
“They fed off each other did some silly stuff. And were — oh, this is gonna hurt, but they were pretty good. I know, that hurts so bad. I’m gonna need a lot of counseling after this show. But I think when Shawn went away, and I’m gonna hold to this to this day, DX did not get good until me and Brian got on there till we were in it.
“Because now you have five people, and it’s a whole different dynamic. Now you have everybody and anybody that could do everything and anything. And everybody played their parts so good. And as a unit, we were just unstoppable and still doing the entertaining stuff. And just doing more wrestling stuff.”