tv: 1990s

Wrestling Champ Shawn Michaels KO’d in Local Bar
by Mike McAndrew
[October 21st, 1995]

Shawn Michaels is the World Wrestling Federation’s intercontinental champion.

But he recently took a beating in North Syracuse.

A gang of four of five men attacked the WWF champion seven days ago outside Club 37 on Brewerton Road and knocking him cold as two other WWF wrestlers watched helplessly.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Michaels didn’t even get a chance to use his famous Super Kick- a move that never fails to knock the WWF bad guys on their cans.

“I have two hot lines. They’ve never been buzzing like this past week. It’s just unbelievable,” said Georgiann Makropoulos, editor of The Wrestling Chatterbox, a monthly magazine based in Astoria, Queens.

Michaels, 30, whose real name is Michael Hickenbottom, suffered cuts above and below his right eye and bruises to his face in the 2 a.m. Oct. 14 assault. He was stitched up at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The WWF had to cancel Michaels’ scheduled match in Syracuse the next day.

A witness to the attack provided Onodaga County sheriff’s deputies with the license plate of a pickup truck that Michaels’ assailant fled in. Deputies traced the truck to a Canastota man. But a woman at the Canastota address said the truck’s owner no longer lives there.

Detectives closed the case without an arrest because Michaels checked out of the hospital and flew to his Texas home before giving them a statement about the incident, according to a deputy’s report.

The brawl occurred after Michaels and two other wrestlers- the 1-2-3 Kid and the British Bulldog - made an unscheduled appearance at Club 37, where they signed autographs for fans like Donna Jones, 21, a day-care worker from East Syracuse.

The three wrestlers were in Jones’ car in the parking lot when a group of nine or 10 men approached, Jones said.

“They were calling (the wrestlers) losers…” Jones said. “One reached in to hit either the 1-2-3 Kid or the British Bulldog.”

When Michaels got out of the car, a handful of men jumped him, slammed his head against the side of Jones’ car and knocked him out,“ she said.

It was worse than the poundings the WWF bad guys usually get.

It was real.

Several other men prevented the 1-2-3 Kid and British Bulldog from coming to Michaels’ rescue.

Jones and her brother drove the three wrestlers to a hotel, where an ambulance met them.

"He’s recovering,” Michaels’ mother, who identified herself only as Mrs. Hickenbottom, said Friday night. “It was pretty bad.”

She said Michaels was sleeping and could not be interviewed.

“He’s really their No. 1 baby face. Diesel is their world champion. But Shawn Michaels is the most popular,” Makropoulos said. “He’s the Heartbreak Kid.”

“He’s a pretty boy. I would imagine he must look like Frankenstein now,” she said.