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  #1  
Old 08-22-2017, 05:22 PM
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Default Wrestling Urban Myths: Did Shawn Michaels Inherit Millions From A Fan?

I came across this again recently and think it's one of the more fascinating tales of wrestling lore.

There are no hard facts out there seemingly, but it was initially reported around 1996 by Meltzer that Shawn Michaels had inherited around 2.5m dollars from a fan of his that he'd never met. Meltzer didn't have specifics and it's one of those tales that "disappeared" from the radar over time.

Interestingly though, I just hear Bruce Prichard talking about it on one of his podcasts... again no actual specifics but there was a definite sense from his answer that it DID happen, just much earlier than Meltzer claimed.... around the time he "quit" the WWF with the Intercontinental title in 1993.

It would explain a lot about how Shawn operated in those days, how Vince tolerated his behaviour and how The Kliq came to be... after all if a guy is independently wealthy by more than what you'd pay him in probably 10 years (no way was he on more than 200k a year at the time) then sitting at home is an option.

For someone like Nash, who came in and started working and travelling with Shawn at the same sort of time, it would make road life easy and generate a loyalty. Not to say they weren't genuine friends off the bat, but if one guy has a lot of cash and all you have to do is get him out of the odd scrape/look intimidating around him or do the driving in return for a party lifestyle or him picking up the check most of the time then that's not a bad deal. Likewise for Razor, Kid and Hunter...

The other thing that makes me think this is true in at least some form is put delicately, the life Shawn has now. Like DiBiase before him, Shawn has spoken at length about how he had "everything", lost it and found it again in religion. Shawn was known to have a lot of demons during his 90's run, and sudden wealth can trigger such demons.

How would it affect his relationship with Vince? Imagine winning or inheriting suddenly the equivalent amount today (probably about 5m) and staying in your job, rather than retiring on the spot. Instead of taking it easy, you actually become BETTER at your job, to the point you actually start talking back to the boss... You don't try and take over the company, but you make clear what you'll do and what you won't...and that your buddies get taken care of. Something happens you don't like, you can always "just go home" but by then you're essential to the team... From Vince's side it'd be a pain in the ass, especially as Shawn was a partier BEFORE that happened and this would arguably have made it easier, and more likely for him to go to excess (as is widely reported he did) but, when you have a staff member who genuinely ISN'T motivated by money and is starting to make you more of it... you'd probably tolerate him.

On some level it may be that Shawn got away with so much because this money put him on a level he couldn't be "punished" with fines etc. in the way others could.... Remember how Dennis Rodman would simply write the NBA a cheque each season in advance for the dress code fines? He got away with it by being the best of the time (or one of them) and Shawn did too...

Think about it... Shawn vacated more titles than anyone... was suspended/quit 2 or 3 times and could retire immediately when he "needed to"... You couldn't do that on WWF money of his first run, he'd have not even been on a guarantee until 1996/97.

More interestingly, perhaps this is why there was never any serious attempt to go to WCW on Shawn's part or perhaps interest. WCW was very money focused... they wanted to pay guys more than they'd ever had and work them less. Shawn had done it in reverse, gotten the money and worked (and partied) arguably harder, so another 2.5m a year probably wouldn't have made as much difference it it meant not being as fulfilled in the ring.

Like I said it's a fascinating tale that seemingly has at least some basis that we'll never know about. The most Shawn has ever done is angrily bat away questions about it... but if it wasn't true, surely you'd just laugh it off right?

So do you believe that particular story? or is it an old Ring Rat's tale that got blown out of proportion?
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Last edited by THTRobtaylor : 08-22-2017 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:50 PM
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Vince threatened Shawn with a fine and rather than pay the fine Shawn chose to sit at home for several months before returning to work. I would assume Shawn (as an upper mid card and I-C itleholder for about year or so) would've made at least $250,000 a year. That's a pretty good chunk of change in the early 1990's certainly enough to take a few months off.

I tend not to believe it simply because Shawn was one of the hardest workers in the business and was compensated as such. He had no life outside of wrestling so obviously he saved a good portion of his earnings so yes he was independently wealthy on his own merit. He didn't have a family to support. If worst came to worst he could always fall back on his own family so that could be a reason why he felt he could "walk away" at anytime if he so chose too but I don't think he ever really considered it.

I think Shawn got away with his antics because he was talented and he didn't push the envelope. He knew where the line was and didn't cross it. He went right up to it and might have put a toe over it but he didn't cross it like Warrior did, or Bret did, or even Hall and Nash did. Vince knew where Shawn's loyalty was and it was with the WWF.

As far as WCW goes, I think Shawn knew deep down he would be miserable there despite his buddies being there. He was getting paid handsomely in the WWF for a single guy. Hall and Nash both had families to support. Shawn had no family at the time so the "less dates" probably didn't matter. The only time Shawn had a real issue with his pay was when Bret signed his deal with Vince.

I think when he says he had "everything" he means his seemingly had everything someone would want. Money, fame, looks etc....and almost threw it all away with the partying. I don't think he literally meant he lost millions.

So, no I don't believe it.

Last edited by Makaveli31 : 08-22-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:13 PM
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What kind of person would leave everything they have to an aready wealthy celebrity, If no family or friends at least leave it to a charity or someone more needy.
Its difficult to believe anything you hear in wrestling but I did believe this story as nobody has any reason to lie and in all those years HBK could have put the story straight by now but hasn't so I would bet on it being true.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromGlasgow View Post
What kind of person would leave everything they have to an aready wealthy celebrity, If no family or friends at least leave it to a charity or someone more needy.
Its difficult to believe anything you hear in wrestling but I did believe this story as nobody has any reason to lie and in all those years HBK could have put the story straight by now but hasn't so I would bet on it being true.
Kind of my point... it was bizarre even then, but it rang true and his behaviour seemed to bear it out. I knew all the "Vince wanted to fine him stuff" as Bruce mentioned all that, but to take that stance means either got something on the boss (another urban myth) or you genuinely can afford to say "fuck you" to him.

I always figured there was more to it than "just a fan leaving him the cash" tho... perhaps some cougar he'd hooked up with in his early days or even a chap with a crush on his chaps... either way a story Shawn probably didn't want getting out, but the way he always acted was that he was never about money. To be honest, if ANYONE left me that level of money I'd not be telling many people...whatever their reason for it.

I disagree on numbers, 250k would be high for then, for what in effect was still an unproven singles talent. In Mabel/Viscera's wife's lawsuit it mentioned he was on about 130k at that time and that was when MOM were starting to be pushed towards the titles, so between 150 and 180 would be likely for Shawn as IC champ, with potentially a bonus from the glasses they sold etc topping it up to just short of 200k. If the amount he got was about 2.5m, then that's 10 years worth right there.
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
I always figured there was more to it than "just a fan leaving him the cash" tho... perhaps some cougar he'd hooked up with in his early days or even a chap with a crush on his chaps... either way a story Shawn probably didn't want getting out, but the way he always acted was that he was never about money. To be honest, if ANYONE left me that level of money I'd not be telling many people...whatever their reason for it.
It would pretty tough to keep such a bizarre story under wraps. Inheritances are public record when they go through probate court so anyone could find out if he did or not and considering 1) The bizarre nature of the story 2) Shawn Michaels being a mini-celebrity at the time I would think someone in the dirt sheet business would've dug up something factual on this if it were true.

Also, if the lady or gentleman had any family whatsoever (brother, sister, aunt, uncle even any kids) there would no doubt be a fight in court. We all remember what happened when that oil billionaire tried to leave his fortune to Anna Nicole Smith. The family wasn't having it and he was married to her. Imagine some obscure pro wrestler. I would think a sizeable fortune like that would generate some interest from family members.

In Shawn's book he says he was making $180,000 as a tag team wrestler when they tried to go to WCW in 1991 so I would think he would've gotten a sizeable pay raise even as a mid singles. WWF was still doing decent business in 1992-93 when Shawn had his first run as singles then as IC Champ. Remember he was on the Mania 8 card at the Hoosier Dome, Summer Slam 92 at Wembley (two huge houses) and he headlined Series '92 with Bret so that right there would've put him way past $200,000 for the year. He was also on all the major PPV's in 1993 up to his suspension.

Last edited by Makaveli31 : 08-23-2017 at 06:23 PM.
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