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Intro

Shawn Michaels has made a Hall of Fame career out of overcoming adversity – every time you think HBK is down and out, he keeps coming back. In 1998, he thought his career was over after a debilitating back injury. However, four years later, he not only returned to the ring, but won the World Heavyweight Championship.

At Judgment Day in May, HBK’s career was once again in jeopardy when Randy Orton he gave him a severe concussion. But The Showstopper surprised everyone – especially Orton – when he returned to Raw on Oct. 8 and targeted the new WWE Champion. Here is a look back at some of the classic instances of HBK overcoming the odds:

WrestleMania VII - The Rockers vs. Haku & The Barbarian

In 1991, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty made their final WrestleMania appearance as The Rockers, teaming up to defeat Heenan Family members Haku & The Barbarian at WrestleMania VII.

Recap: Rockers vs. Haku & Barbarian

Photos from the match

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Saturday Night's Main Event - HBK vs. British Bulldog

On November 8, 1992, Fox broadcast the last edition of Saturday Night's Main Event before a near 14-year hiatus. That night, Shawn Michaels captured his first WWE singles gold, defeating the British Bulldog for the Intercontinental Championship.

Match recap: Bulldog's show stopped

Photos from the match

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The 1995 Royal Rumble Match

In 1995, Shawn Michaels was the No. 1 entrant in the Royal Rumble Match. Lasting almost 40 minutes, HBK became the first man to enter at No. 1 and go on to win the match, last eliminating British Bulldog to do so. The win earned Michaels a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XI.

Match recap: HBK rumbles with the best

Photos from the match

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WrestleMania XII - HBK vs. Bret Hart

In 1996, Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble to earn the right to face Bret Hart for the WWE Championship in the first-ever 60-Minute WWE Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII. HBK was able to claim the victory in overtime to capture his first WWE Championship.

Match recap: The Iron Man determined

Photos from the match

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SummerSlam 1996 - HBK vs. Vader

At SummerSlam 1996, Shawn Michaels defended the WWE Championship against the 400-pound Vader. While Vader's manager, Jim Cornette, had the match ended up being re-started multiple times after unfavorable outcomes, HBK was still able to walk out with the gold that night.

Match recap: Not Vader's time

Photos from the match

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RAW - HBK vs. Yokozuna

On the August 19, 1996 edition of Monday Night RAW, Shawn Michaels faced the biggest challenge of his career...literally. Just one night after defeating Vader at SummerSlam, HBK successfully defended the WWE Championship against the nearly 700-pound Yokozuna. 

Match recap: Sweet Chin Music vs. Banzai Drop

Photos from the match

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Royal Rumble 1997 - HBK vs. Sid

At the 1996 Survivor Series, Sid defeated Shawn Michaels to win the WWE Championship. Two months later, Shawn got a rematch at the 1997 Royal Rumble. In his hometown of San Antonio, HBK was able to overcome his former bodyguard to claim his second WWE Championship: 

Match recap: HBK tangles with the Sycho one

Photos from the match

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Badd Blood 1997 - Hell in a Cell

On October 5, 1997, Shawn Michaels faced Undertaker in the first-ever Hell in a Cell Match. Thanks to interference from the debuting Kane, HBK was able to get the victory over the Deadman.  

Match recap: Michaels and Undertaker go to Hell

Photos from the match

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SummerSlam 2002 - HBK vs. Triple H

After WrestleMania XIV in 1998, Shawn Michaels was forced into retirement due to a back injury. Four years later, an attack by former best friend Triple H would bring HBK back to the ring. In his first match back, HBK defeated Triple H in a non-sanctioned match at SummerSlam 2002. 

Match recap: The Comeback Kid

Photos from the match

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Survivor Series 2002 - Elimination Chamber Match

At 2002 Survivor Series, Shawn Michaels took part in the first-ever Elimination Chamber Match. HBK was fortunate enough to be the last man to enter the Chamber, and in the end, he nailed Sweet Chin Music on The Game to win the match and the World Heavyweight Championship. 

Match recap: HBK wins the gold

Photos from the match

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WrestleMania 22 - Mr. McMahon

After months of being tormented by Shane & Mr. McMahon, Shawn Michaels finally got some retribution at WrestleMania 22. After forcing Shane to kiss his own father's ass, HBK nailed the WWE Chairman with some Sweet Chin Music to pick up the satisfying pinfall victory.

Match recap: HBK crosses The Boss

Photos from the match

WATCH: Michaels vs. McMahon history video

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Raw - Randy Orton's Appreciation Ceremony

October 8, 2007 was supposed to be a night of celebration for Randy Orton. He was the new WWE Champion, and Mr. McMahon ordered all the Superstars to personally shake his hand in an appreciation ceremony. The celebration turned grim for the Legend Killer when HBK, whom he had put out of action, appeared out of nowhere to show his "appreciation."

Recap: HBK "appreciates" Orton

Video: HBK's shocking return

WWE.com Exclusive: HBK celebrates