Posted in: LOP Hall Of Fame
2017 LOP Hall of Fame Inductee: D-Generation X
By Maverick
Mar 31, 2017 - 7:49:17 AM

D-Generation X
Class of 2017

There are few professional wrestling stables that had the long lasting impact and influence that D Generation X had. Playing off the heel version of Bret Hart’s favourite insult for Shawn Michaels and the sociologist’s term for the generation born between the late 60s and late 70s (supposedly a dissatisfied and disgruntled generation of slackers and attitudinal characters, in sharp contrast to the privileged Baby Boomers that came before them), the group first came together in September 97 in the aftermath of Michaels’ heel turn on The Undertaker, where he was heavily supported by Hunter Hearst Helmsley (soon to officially become Triple H) and his hulking valet Chyna. By the time Ravishing Rick Rude was revealed as the trio’s “insurance policy” at One Night Stand in the UK, their methodology was clear. Mixing a disdain for authority (Commissioner Slaughter and Vince McMahon, who was increasingly being “outed” as the boss) with sophomoric toilet humour, the group’s antics were a reflection of HBK’s long held desire to make wrestling more edgy and adult, taking it away from the family friendly feel it had largely had since the mid 1980s, and his good real life Kliq buddy Triple H was the ideal running mate. At first, crowds were a little confused by some of the shtick, but the catchphrases “you make the rules and we’ll break em” and “suck it” caught on with the target audience and the rest, as they say, is history.

Most controversially, the Michaels led DX played a leading role in The Montreal Screwjob, with the feud before the event being some of the most anarchically “real” hatred ever seen in a WWF/E ring, with Shawn and Hunter disrespecting the Canadian flag. And of course, it is now well known that the Screwjob was championed by Triple H, who supposedly told a Michaels who was having doubts that he had to go through with it. Following the exit of the Hart Foundation, DX were positioned as the company top dogs, and Raw Is War largely danced to their tune. A loose alliance with the ascending New Age Outlaws proved fruitful, and when Shawn Michaels was injured at Royal Rumble 98, they joined Triple H and Chyna for a crazy no holds barred multi man tag at No Way Out Of Texas. At Wrestlemania XIV, Michaels dropped the belt to the new top guy, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and was forced to retire prematurely. Ironically, for me, this is where DX really took off.

Taking his chance to become the king of the midcard, Triple H cut a career making promo the night after Mania where he stated that Shawn had dropped the ball and that it was down to him to pick it up. He immediately officially added The Outlaws to the group and, in a stunning coup, Sean Waltman, once the 123 Kid, but now called X Pac, who had been cut by WCW and had a massive axe to grind. This new (and over like gangbusters) midcard babyface version of DX went right into a feud against the Rock led Nation of Domination. These two rising midcard stars and their stables pushed each other to better and better levels (including the fondly remembered parody skit with X Pac stealing the show as “Mizark Henry”), and their feud basically WAS the midcard through the summer of 1998, culminating in the stunning ladder match at Summerslam 98. However, it was Rock that was pushed into the main event first, and it would take Triple H turning heel on his DX buddies in a fantastic one night story at Wrestlemania XV to get him there.

After the splintering of DX, both Billy Gunn and Triple H got a singles spotlight, but ultimately, only Hunter made it stick, and once he was in the main event permanently, he would reform the group as his henchmen, but it was never quite the same. After being put over the top by Mick Foley, he had no need for the DX crutch, and although he kept the slime green as his signature colour, that was kind of it. There would be one more reunion, without Trips, in the midcard of late 2000, as Billy fought for Chyna’s honour and brought Road Dogg and (gulp) Ron “K Kwikk” Killings along for the ride, but they were destroyed by The Radicalz and it was clear that they no longer had any kind of relevance. The product had moved on.

However, as we know, in wrestling, nostalgia is king, and in the spring of 2006, Triple H brought back the crotch chop in his feud with John Cena, whilst Shawn Michaels, having come back in 2002 a new man, also teased fans with DX phraseology. The two officially reunited during Triple H’s gauntlet match against Spirit Squad, after which they ran riot over Raw with pranks and skits. It was far more gentle humour than the 97 incarnation, bit it went over well with fans who hadn't seen it in almost a decade, and feuds with the McMahons and Rated RKO proved productive and entertaining, until a catastrophic second quad injury took Triple H out of the equation in January 2007. The two men would reunite two years later as Randy Orton’s Legacy made Hunter’s life miserable, until he recalled that he “used to be pretty good at this gang warfare thing” and called Michaels back (supposedly from working as a fry cook). The matches between DX and Legacy were fantastic, and should have resulted in Rhodes and DiBiase JR being made men for life, and after that they won the tag titles together for the first time against Jeri Show, but Shawn would retire soon afterwards, putting an end to the group altogether bar a skit with Rhodes Scholars in 2012 which involved everyone from the old group bar Chyna.

DX had a lasting influence on the product - just look at New Day - and produced some incredibly memorable moments and entertaining matches. It is my pleasure to induct them into the LOP Hall of Fame.