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Since the announcement that HBK is going to be in the HoF a lot of people (bar Helms), have said he is the greatest in ring performer/best ever. I just wondered if he had ever been the face of wwf/e like Cena, SCSA and Brock have been previously. I'm not saying that HBK isn't a talent because he obviously is but has he been the main guy and how do you think he ranked in that role?

I only started watching in 2000 and from what i have read there was a passing of the torch at 'Mania when SCSA beat HBK, so i assume that Michaels had been thee guy. However, I have also read that Wrestling in WWF picked up when HBK had left, with people like Austin, DX, The Rock and Undertaker carrying the wwf battle against wcw.

So did HBK have enough 'IT' to be considered up there with the likes of Hogan, SCSA (and i assume Cena is on his way to that list)or does he just fall short of being remembered as a superstar who had their own era?
 

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He was basically the face of the company in 1996 I thought...he was the main guy in that year anyways. He never has been for a prolonged period of time though.
 
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When everyone left for WCW, Shawn put the WWF/E on his shoulders and carried it. He was the top superstar of the company for a good 2 years. Now bar, that generation where he was on top wasn't so good, but it was the catalyst to what would eventually become the Attitude Era.
 

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1996. And if anyone says that Shawn sucked as a draw, well, he outdrew WCW pretty well until the FUCKING NWO showed up. I mean Jesus Christ could have come back on RAW and they would still have been beaten by WCW at the time. I mean atleast he drew solid house show and could get the fans to pay for a solid wrestling show.
 

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Shawn Michaels was the top guy in 96 and large parts of 97 though he was out with injury for a chunk of that.
Here's my list of top guys in the WWE.
1963-1971 Bruno Sammartino
1971-1973 Pedro Morales
1974-1978 Bruno Sammartino (again)
1978-1983 Bob Backlund
1984-1989 Hulk Hogan
1990 Ultimate Warrior
1991 Hulk Hogan
1992 (Multiple: Hogan, Flair, Savage, difficult to declare just one the "top guy" I think)
1993 Yokozuna (Bret Hart the top face, but Yoko was dominant in 93)
1994 Bret Hart
1995 Diesel (Bret once again became the "top guy" at the end of the year)
1996-1997 Shawn Michaels (Bret, Sid, Taker, Austin, Foley also contributed greatly. The mid-90s marks the end of the era when you could easily name just a single top guy who carried the company for a period, I think.)
1998 Steve Austin
1999 Austin/Rock
2000 The Rock
2001 Austin/Angle/Rock (Really difficult year to pick one person)
2002 Triple H/Undertaker/Rock/Angle (Brand split now makes picking one person even more difficult)
2003 Triple H/Brock Lesnar
2004 Triple H
2005 John Cena, maybe Batista
2006-2009 John Cena
2010 John Cena/Randy Orton
 

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He was "THEE" guy for awhile. Unfortunately for him, when he became "THEE" guy, that's when WCW started kicked WWE's ass.
 

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I wouldn`t say he was ever really `the guy` since he was never really completely on top for that long, perhaps if he didnt lose his smile and didnt take time off in 97 it would be a lot easier to say he had an era.
 

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He was in 96. I just hate when people say he sucked as the top guy, because who could've competed with nWo?
 
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Shawn was never the guy only worried out his own spotlight never willing drop the belt to anyone and he unable to draw unlike Bret was the guy during 95-97 period put guys over that Shawn refuse to drop the belt to @ WM14 Steve Austin and The Rock who got buried. Shawn and The Clique have power and in control not until Austin took over Shawn spotlight and everything changes lockerroom alive again. if Bret still with WWF Bret/Austin vs Mcmahon fued could be Epic and Bret could be measuring stick put young stars over...
 

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"The Ringmaster" became Stone Cold Steve Austin before the the NWO formed in July 1996....Stone Cold had a monster year in 1997 rising up the ranks...By spring 1998 on April 13th, after the hype of Austin vs Mcmahon the WWE, with the overall help of the main storyline, a combined effort of DX/Taker/Kane/The Rock/The Nation, the Tyson factor at WM 14, and great product stemming from 1997 they FINALLY beat WCW on a Monday Night...

What was going on those 80 plus weeks of WWF getting owned...

The biggest storyline in the history of Wrestling at the time in NWO vs Sting. NO ONE was beating that. WCW screwed themselves with the finish and aftermath of Starcade 97 and WWF was fortunately able to push through and gain momentum.

Without Michaels in 96 and his brilliant heel run and match quality as the main dude for parts of 97 along with the attitude era forming throughout the year, the WWF would have been done. In what was IMO (other than 2000) the WWF's best year (The rise of Austin before he got stale later on, Pillman, Canada vs USA, Nation of DOmination, DX/HBK's heel turn, Taker vs HBK, Bret turns heel curses on TV, a classic Austin vs Bret submission match, A 5 star Canadian Stampede PPV,and just an AWESOME product and effort overall) the WWF STILL got their butts whooped in the ratings...

Trust me, NOTHING was going to stop the NWO during that time. If anything HBK's ability to perform and barely hold the wwf together after a CRAPPY 1995 and a dormant 1996 should be praised cause WCW was on their A game and it took an utter beating from them to wake Vince up.

But of course, everyone must blame Shawn, it's all his fault for being the number one guy during perhaps the biggest, game changing storyline in Pro Wrestling history......

Plain and simple no NWO = No Attitude Era. It's as factual and simple as that and I'm saying this as a WWF fan at that time. The "Shawn couldn't draw in 1996-98" thing is a broken record.
 

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nWo had already peaked by that time. Austin was just key in fighting back.
1+!!! shawn was on top of the world appeared on main event 96-97 but WWF business still going down hill doesn't do any damn good for the company. Shawn did put alot of great matches but he wans't the guy. Bret did put Austin over who have saved WWF from WCW.
 

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HBK was the guy when the WWE was at it's most vulnerable. Without him the company could have crumbled.

This. Numbers-wise it doesn't look great, but if you were paying attention to wrestling at that time, it was just bad news all around for WWE. Shawn was the diamond amongst a pile of shit, and really carried the company. Wrestling was just not 'in'. the steroid trial tanked them, and nailed vince to where all of his creative juice was gone. The 'New generation' had so many terrible guys and half-ass angles, but at least Shawn was putting on a show. Thats why they gave him (and later w/ HHH in DX) a million hours of mic time back then, because he was all they had. It was either that or the Sultan.

Then The NWO came around, and shawn got hurt before he could reach super-mainstream star status. The original DX definitely got the ball rolling, and then everything exploded once austin and rock had time to shine. But shawn would have been right there with them if he hadn't retired. As it is he ended up pretty damn good, considering he missed what probably would have been the prime 5 years of his career.
 

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Anything else then 96 is wrong. Hogan was the Guy between 84 and 92, with Warrior in between for a while and also Savage but he never got the full spotlight. 92 to 94 was Bret, then the Reign of horror with Diesel started in 95, Shawn had a Wrestling wise great Year...and he carried the Company with a lot of help from others, but the Fans turned on him eventually, in 97 it was weird, the 2 top Guys were Heels. Bret who bashed America and stayed face everywhere else, i believe this is one of the reasons he is a God in Germany, still, he chose Germany over USA. And Shawn was something weird in between, Girls loved him, Men hated him, and it didn't matter if he was Heel or Face. Austin came along and he saved the WWE, i know People will say Austin didn't do it on his own, but Mania 13 with Austin not in the Main Event 308'000 Buys, and then a Year later with Austin in the Main Event, the Buyrate did more then Triple. Rumble 98 a normal Rumble did 388'000 Buyrates and a Year later when the Spotlight was all on Austin and if he could win even with the Bountie and the whole no chance in hell thing he did 752'000 Buys. SummerSlam 97 with Bret vs Undertaker did 320'000 Buys, 98 on the other hand did 600'000 Buys with The Undertaker vs SCSA. Austin is really the guy who did it. If it weren't for him, Rocky could have never skyrocket to the top if there was no Austin.
 

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I'd say so. He might not be an era guy i.e Hogan, Austin and Cena, but he did keep the WWE entertaining to 2 years on his own. Like JR once said, had HBK not been so good during 96-98, the WWE might not be around, or something along those lines.
 

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Shawn was "thee" guy the same way The Ultimate Warrior and The Rock were "thee" guy. They were 1b. Hogan, Hart, and Austin - respectively - were 1a.
 

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1996. And if anyone says that Shawn sucked as a draw, well, he outdrew WCW pretty well until the FUCKING NWO showed up. I mean Jesus Christ could have come back on RAW and they would still have been beaten by WCW at the time. I mean atleast he drew solid house show and could get the fans to pay for a solid wrestling show.
people left wm 12 early during shawn michaels match (were there to see ultimate warrior)
 
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