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Shawn Michaels, Undertaker reflect on the 35th anniversary of HBK’s WWE debut

After spending the first few years of his career — and the last few years of the Territories Era — wrestling across the South and Midwest for promotions like Verne Gagne’s AWA and Jerry Jarrett’s CWA, in 1988 Shawn Michaels landed in “New York”.

Michaels first matches in the then-WWF were actually in California. He and his Rockers partner filmed their first television matches for Vince McMahon’s company in Fresno and Oakland. The first of those to hit the airwaves was a victory over Iron Mike Sharpe & The Intruder that aired on June 18 episode of WWF Superstars from Oakland Coliseum. And that was 35 years ago yesterday, which is why the now-WWE congratulated NXT’s head honcho on his anniversary.

The Hall of Famer saw that, and posted his own reflection on the milestone:

Another WWE lifer named Mark “The Undertaker” Calaway offered praised one of his most famous rivals while offering congratulations:

A heck of a run, and not one many would have predicted when Shawn was in his admittedly selfish and self-destructive 1990s prime. Personal changes made while a back injury temporarily forced him into retirement around the turn of the century ensured his second run with WWE was much smoother, and led to him being respected for more than just his in-ring and mic skills. He’s been working in the developmental system since 2018, and leading NXT as the Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative since last fall.

Congrats, HBK! Thanks for the memories, and here’s to many more.

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