WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels’ legacy at SummerSlam is nearly as great as his history at WrestleMania. Making his SummerSlam debut in 1989 as one half of The Rockers, HBK and Marty Jannetty teamed with Tito Santana in a losing effort against Rick Martel and The Fabulous Rougeaus. Though his first two SummerSlam appearances ended in defeat, HBK’s record at WWE’s annual summer extravaganza would ultimately include matches against a veritable “who’s who” of WWE Legends. Michaels successfully defended the Intercontinental Title against Mr. Perfect in 1993, and in 1995, he defeated Razor Ramon in a rematch of their legendary WrestleMania X Ladder Match.
HBK headlined SummerSlam 1996, defending the WWE Championship against Vader, but the true testament to The Showstopper’s storied SummerSlam career came in 2002. After four years away from active competition due to a debilitating back injury, Michaels made a triumphant return, battling Triple H in a Street Fight. The brutal contest between the two competitors proved to the WWE Universe and to himself, that Shawn Michaels was ready to once again compete full-time.
In 2005, Michaels stared down the legend known as Hulk Hogan and the two WWE Hall of Famers collided for the first time ever. Though Michaels came up short, he held his own against The Hulkster, earning respect from the very Superstar that headlined the same event early in Michaels’ career.
HBK’s final SummerSlam appearances as an active competitor came in 2006 and 2009. Both instances saw Michaels and Triple H together as D-Generation X. In 2006, they successfully defeated Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon, and in 2009, they defeated The Legacy. Even though his SummerSlam career started out slow, Shawn Michaels has stared down some of the most daunting odds at The Biggest Party of the Summer. - Kevin Powers