D-Generation X has been seen in various forms over those 21 years - the edgy punk form (1997-98), the irreverent tweener form (1998-99), the Triple H and his lackeys form (1999-2000), the mission to sell glowsticks form (2006-07), and the hell, we got more glowsticks to sell form (2009-10). They say you can use the DX incarnations to chart the progress of your life, assuming that you were blackout drunk for six years at the start of the millennium.
But now we have the latest DX form - the shredded Bushwhackers form. With all due respect to Triple H and Shawn Michaels (who are both in supremely better shape than I'll probably ever be), they looked like Silverchair in 1997, and now...well, we all get older. In honour of this latest DX reunion, let's take a gander back at the group in their most outrageous WWE moments.
10. A Real Pisser
I'm not sure I could ever make it through an entire list like "10 times bodily excretions were story fodder in WWE" without swearing off food for a while (how would I narrow it down?), but this earns points just for fitting the DX motif. With X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn as Triple H's bad lieutenants, there was more opportunity for the group to bring disgusting whimsy to weekly Raw airings.
And they did just that shortly after WrestleMania XIV, when the group ventured out into the parking garage, collectively draining their lizards onto the motorcycles of the Disciples of the Apocalypse. Sadly, it didn't turn into the Seinfeld episode where Jerry was caught doing a similar act, because it'd have been pretty funny to hear X-Pac say "uromysitisis" to a rent-a-cop.
9. Jokers Wild
The early days of DX was an exercise in seeing what they could do on WWE television that 1) hadn't been done before and 2) would shock people, in the same way that people listen to Howard Stern just to see what in the hell he'd say next. When you have Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna setting up a card table mid-ring for the purposes of engaging in naughty card play, you're challenging some standards for sure.
Sure enough, Michaels ended up getting down to his undies, while Chyna didn't even remove so much as a contact lens (savvy card shark, that Chyna). The Headbangers endure a beating at the end of the segment, and the table gets broken, which is weird, because usually the APA is involved when that happens.
8. Handle Without Care
A little spoiler - this is the only entry from the "New and Improved" DX of 2006, as Michaels' put-on innocence and Triple H's penchant for forced 'cock' puns paled to the group's original bawdiness. All this version of DX had was callous burial of others, which at times could be downright hilarious (if not purely evil). Like the time they decided that The Spirit Squad was no longer ready for prime time.
After depositing Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Dolph Ziggler, and Mikey like sardines into a shipping crate on wheels, the DX duo slapped some "DESTINATION: OVW, LOUISVILLE, KY" (the company's developmental territory) stickers on the sides, and presumably waited for FedEx Ground to come collect it. All that was missing was a muffled voice inside the crate saying: "Shawn, can I do your finish?"
7. Maple Leaf Lewdness
WWE's ruffled a few feathers over the years in the field of flag desecration (Chris Jericho can tell you all about it), so it seemed par for the course that the disrespectful DX would hit at the pride of the Canada-loving Hart Foundation, especially as the group was apt to tote Canadian flags to the ring with them.
It began on an episode of Raw shortly before *that* Survivor Series, when Michaels took the corner of Bret Hart's flag, skinnied it up, and stuck it in his nostril, whilst making comical faces and gestures. Then at Survivor Series itself, Michaels snatched a fan's flag on the way to the ring, laid it on the mat, and proceeded to hump it in unambiguous fashion. According to Michaels, Hart himself suggested a stunt like this, as the nose-picker bit drew major heat from Canadian fans.
6. Nation Of Impersonation
Parodies of wrestlers can be pretty brutal at times, be they an octogenarian version of the New Day, or Dolph Ziggler co-opting entrances as part of a go-nowhere gimmick. Other times, they can be pretty funny, such was the case of DX's group imitation of the Nation of Domination, with guest star Jason Sensation sending up Owen Hart in the absolute highlight of the bit.
It was pretty hard to top Sensation's dead-on mimic of the Nation's Blackhart, though Road Dogg might take second place for his exaggerated take on D-Lo Brown's energetic head-bobbing and enthusiastic sucking up.
5. The March Through Atlanta
For some reason, watching these segments back this year in sync with Figure 4 Weekly's classic Raw and Nitro lookbacks, they weren't quite as humorous as I remembered them being. But it was still pretty riveting stuff to see wrestlers from one organization stage a mock "hostile takeover" of the offices and events of another company, all with cameras rolling. If nothing else, it was a head-turner.
The highlights included DX getting WCW customers to either admit that the company sucked, that they were given freebie tickets, or both. Additionally, demanding the release of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall (the world's highest-paid hostages?) did an effective job of painting WCW as the less-fun, grossly-inferior company, while DX (in a jeep, not a tank) wisecracked their way into being full-fledged babyfaces.
4. Trashing The Place
You can certainly put this on the list of "Segments that would never, ever, ever, ever, ever happen in 2018". Some of the items already listed are quintessential DX, and they make the various highlight packages of DX's screwball edginess that have been produced over the years. But you never see this one, and probably for good reason.
In the fall of 1997, DX found themselves in conflict with the Hart Foundation, as well as the Nation of Domination (Faarooq version), so DX decided to stir up a real hornet's nest one night. Covertly, Michaels and Helmsley trashed the Nation's locker room, tagging the walls with some rather hateful messages, while making it seem as though The Harts were the culprits. Check out that 20 October 1997 Raw sometime, and see if you can imagine this happening today.
3. The Forbidden Footage
WWE's tonal shift in 1997 was made crystal clear in those early weeks and months of the DX strain. Bloody matches, the ECW influence, and an uptick in foul language signalled an obvious change in what the WWE experience would include, but DX would take it a hair further with the sort of work/shoot boundary-blurring that made fans wonder if the script was being trampled upon.
Case in point, the night that Michaels and Helmsley broadcast fancam footage of the infamous 1996 Curtain Call at Madison Square Garden, when those two, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash all broke character at the end of the night in a Kliq farewell. A number of kayfabe-adherent agents were angered by the act, and Vince had to punish Triple H for his role in the moment. DX broadcasted the footage while mock-crying: "But wait, you were a bad guy! I was a good guy!", while basically daring a befuddled Vince to do something about it.
2. Visions Of Sugarplums
The best performers are the ones not afraid to "show ass", but this was taking things literally. On the last Raw to air before Christmas in 1997, both Michaels and Helmsley took to the ring in skimpy robes, which was the first clue that what was underneath might be a bit of an eyesore. At first, the two revealed boxer shorts. But that wasn't all that were revealed.
Off came the undies next, which revealed that the two were sporting thongs that barely covered up their yulelogs. "Santa never looked so good," was the arrogant boast, though that could certainly be up for debate. The act was censored on the taped airing of Raw, but the fans in Lowell, MA weren't benefited by such creative visual blockage at the hands of the USA Network.
1. A Profound Message
We conclude this list with a pretty humorous opening from a February 1998 Raw, in which Michaels, Helmsley, and Chyna appeared behind a Presidential podium, while Hacksaw Jim Duggan's WCW theme (yes, I know it's a stock theme) played as a music bed. The topic was DX's on-screen tawdriness, and because of network standards and practices, DX made a pledge to only use certain swear words on WWE broadcasts.
This entailed Triple H reading off a list of words they would use (ass, damn, hell, and also b*tch, but only during the second hour), while also listing off the words that they'd never use, which prompted a flurry of bleeps. There's an uncensored version of the bit out there, and sure enough, Hunter indeed drops a couple Fs, an S, and a blasphemous JC. Helmsley and Michaels also engaged in a swear-filled argument about penile references being curtailed, while Chyna stoically rolled her eyes. The best part is Shawn's amused grin while Hunter reads off the truly naughty words.