During a live appearance on a sell-out UK tour with Inside The Ropes, Shawn Michaels broke down the aftermath of that famous night in Montreal.
Shawn Michaels famously walked out of Survivor Series 1997 with the World Wrestling Federation Championship. The move left Bret Hart incredulous, and in turn, made HBK public enemy number one not only in the eyes of wrestling fans across the world but also with some inside the WWF. It is a moment that will forever live in wrestling infamy, but it did also have an upside according to HBK.
“From a professional standpoint to get that kind of heat, is awesome. Especially at that time, you know, it was hard to… to get real authentic heat is a pretty, even at that time was a tough thing to do. From a professional standpoint you’re thrilled about it, you’re there to work and it’s cool and all that.”
With Hart out of the picture, the WWF roadshow continued, but fans weren’t just about to let Bret getting screwed get brushed under the carpet. Michaels came under fire from not only verbal insults but objects including batteries being thrown from the crowd at live events. Something HBK admits affected him when it started impacting on people around him.
“Let’s talk about Joanie [Chyna] for a second. She’s having to sit there all stoically and she gets pelted with stuff. And that was the thing, that would always bring everything down. Didn’t matter to Hunter and I being in the ring, but she had to stand there in character, and she was at risk. Her safety was at risk all of the time. And that’s usually got guys like ‘right, we’re out. Let’s go.’ Because we weren’t going to put her through that or anybody through that.”
Reflecting further, he went on to say:
“When I was sitting at home after those types of nights, I would sit there and say to myself “Did you ever really think as a 15/16 year old kid that you would end up as the most hated star in professional wrestling in real life” because it sucked. There’s a whole real thing that goes on in our real lives away from this stuff. It wasn’t the cool kind of hate – people I worked with didn’t feel like they could trust me again.”