Shawn Michaels has discussed his Royal Rumble exploits in 1997 when he won the WWE Title and revealed he was badly suffering from the flu on the night.
Few WWE Superstars have had the run of success at WWE’s January staple, the Royal Rumble, as Shawn Michaels had between 1995 and 1998. In 1995 and 1996 The Heartbreak Kid went all the way in the 30 man bout becoming the second man to win back-to-back Royal Rumble matches.
In 1997, however, Shawn Michaels had gold on his mind come January after previously losing the WWE Championship to Sycho Sid at Survivor Series 1996. When the Royal Rumble came to San Antonio at the beginning of 1997, Michaels had the hometown crowd behind him as he bested Sid to regain the title.
Now speaking on WWE’s The Bump, Michaels discussed his victory on that night and revealed he was under the weather at the Rumble:
“Honestly, the thing that I remember most about that is having the flu and being up all night and being incredibly sick going out there for that event [Royal Rumble 1997]. Worst I’ve ever felt before any show. Of course, it happens in your hometown, ironically.”
“But honestly, everything with Sid was fun. Unbelievable character. The thing is, everyone wants to go out there in front of their hometown at a huge event and have a great showing, so for me, that was honestly the biggest thing about it. It sounds cliche, I worked and wrestled San Antonio many times, but to have a big huge event and win the Championship, it’s one of those all-around, feel-good, real-life stories that you carry with you for a long time.”
“Again, something that you can’t always make sure is going to happen in your career, but all these aspects, everything lined up together and it turned out to be a pretty cool thing. Especially looking back all these years later, I have a much better appreciation of those things now than when I was going through them in real-time.”
This was the title run that famously ended with Shawn Michaels “losing his smile” and forfeiting the WWE Title, only winning it once more in his career as a result of the infamous Montreal Screwjob.