The Icon That Can Still Go
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern New Jersey
Re: Shawn Michaels back injury saved his life?
The injury was legit. He had 2 completley herniated discs in his back, and another disc that was completely smashed in there. He took the first 10 months or so to try to rehab it without surgery. In early 1999, his doctor, Dr. Vasquez in San Antonio told Shawn he had to have the surgery and that the rehab wasn't working. He had surgery in January 1999, nearly a full year after his match at Wrestlemania 14.
I read on Shawn's twitter a month or two ago, a fan said to him "You wouldn't be where you are today without that back injury in 1998." Shawn retweeted that and added "You're absolutely right. Best thing that ever happened to me!"
So, obviously, he feels that it saved his life, as well, and he was headed down a bad path. Now, he had the surgery in January 1999, so I'd say by mid 2000, he might have been able to wrestle again. But even after the back surgery, he was still hooked to drugs and wouldn't stop taking them, even though the back injury had healed.
So, as a longtime HBK fan, who has thought and searched about this situation for many years, the first half of his hiatus (1998-2000) he was dealing with his back: rehabbing it, it not working, surgery in January 1999, it healing for a year or so. Then, the 2nd half of his hiatus after the surgery (2000-2002) he dealt more with his drug addiction and had his fight with Triple H and didn't talk to him for a year. It wasn't until April 2002 he became "saved" and "born again." And just 4 short months after that, he was in the ring again.
That's my summary of that situation. I've been a longtime fan of the guy since the early 90s and grew up during the mid 90s/Attitude Era and have always been very interested in this time in Shawn's life and have very carefully searched for info about what happened during these years in his life. To my knowledge, this is the most accurate account.