Rene Dupree has claimed that Shawn Michaels attempted to ban Tajiri from performing his signature kicks due to the similarity to his Sweet Chin Music finishing move.
Over the course of his career, Shawn Michaels’ finishing move Sweet Chin Music became iconic. The move won him championship’s and saw off some of the most famous names in WWE history.
Although the Superkick has become often nothing more than a transitional move in modern wrestling, during Michaels’ WWE tenure, the move was rarely used by anyone except the Hall of Famer.
In the summer of 2002, Michaels ended his injury-induced retirement and returned to the ring. However, despite being out of the ring for only four-years, WWE’s in-ring product had shifted dramatically. This included other stars such as Rob Van Dam and Tajiri using kicks as a regular part of their matches.
Speaking on a recent episode of his Cafe de Rene podcast, former WWE Superstar Rene Dupree claimed that Michaels attempted to stop Tajiri using his signature kicks as they were too similar to his Sweet Chin Music.
“Somebody told me that he had pulled Tajiri aside and told him to stop doing his kicks,” Dupree said. “Tajiri had some of the best f***ing kicks in the business, period. But because they looked so good and that’s Shawn’s finish, he wanted him to stop doing it.”
During the episode, Dupree also said that the former World Champion took exception to a to a taunt performed by Ricky Banderas, better known as Mil Muertes. During a try-out match with Dupree, the star performed something resembling the D-X crotch chop.
After the match, Michaels apparently took the issue up with John Laurinaitis who was Head of Talent Relations at the time.
“As soon as he got to the back, John lectured him and said, ‘Did you do the DX crotch gimmick?’” Dupree said. “The guy’s like, ‘What the f*ck you talking about? I just fired up.’ He watched the tape back and then John pointed out that he did it, told him to get his bags, and get the f*ck out of the building.”
Banderas never did sign with WWE, although he has enjoyed a successful career with the likes of Lucha Underground, CMLL and MLW.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.