Induction: Shawn Michaels in Playgirl – The One Time We Were Glad HBK Refused to Drop the Belt

37 Submitted by on Thu, 05 June 2014, 20:00

WWF, 1996

Quick, name the first WWF personality to pose for a porno mag.

You’re thinking of Sable, right?

Women Celebities on Adult Magazine Covers

Nope! It was Shawn Michaels, who posed for Playgirl magazine in 1996, three years before Rena Mero. And unfortunately for him, he ended up getting a lot of crap for it backstage (just not in his bag).

The New Generation era was an odd one in terms of the use of sex appeal in wrestling. By early 1995, the WWF was the proverbial sausage fest, with a sparse women’s division and one female on-screen personality in the form of Stephanie Wiand. And none of them were exactly sex symbols.

Although the placement of that In Your House logo is suggestive as hell.

Although the placement of that In Your House logo is suggestive as hell.

But what the Federation lacked in cheesecake, it made up for in beefcake.

hbkp03 hbkp04

(And what it lacked in Brutus Beefcake, it made up for in actual bare male ass)

And so Shawn Michaels, WWF’s resident Sexy Boy, gradually evolved from a narcissistic pretty boy to a stripper.

 hbkp05 Don’t think I’m exaggerating here, either. Not only did he prance around the ring, shimmying out of his studded leather chaps, but he ended up actually pulling down his trunks on a regular basis.
Everyone from Vince McMahon to Todd Pettengill delighted in telling the audience how sexy Shawn was, but a large segment of adult male fans had turned against HBK, despite his being a face. hbkp06
hbkp07 And no amount of ab-displaying could sway them. Apparently, the Boy Toy routine that enraged men during his heel run did not appeal to them in his babyface run, either.
Now (ahem) firmly established as the champion of women (and also kids — just ignore the innuendo for that part), Shawn decided to give a sizable portion of his fan base what they wanted, agreeing to a magazine spread in 1996. And no, it wasn’t Highlights for Children; it was Playgirl: Entertainment for Women. hbkp08
hbkp99 (Playgirl, by the way, is not affiliated with Playboy. And you thought it was unrealistic that Playboy and Playdude co-exist in the Simpsons universe)
The idea was that women the world over who wanted HBK to deliver his “sweet chin music” to them could now have their fill. hbkp09
hbkp10 And so, Shawn’s female interviewer figuratively gushed over the Sexy Boy as they chatted about his turn-ons.
It turned out, Michaels was a shy guy who liked being pursued rather than doing the pursuing himself and thought girls were “just the neatest thing in the world.” Shawn called himself, and I quote, a “kissy-kissy, touchy- touchy, feely-feely” kind of guy who, more than anything, was looking for “Mrs. Right.” hbkp11
hbkp12 Shouldn’t that be “Miss Right”? Apparently there was more truth to that Diana Smith home-wrecker angle than we figured!
Shawn said he liked smart women who are in shape, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knew his history with former Raw Girl Themis Klarides, who, as a current State Representative from Connecticut, puts the “congress” back in “sexual congress.” hbkp13
hbkp14 It wouldn’t be a Superstar sex talk without a comparison of wrestling on the mat to wrestling in the sack, and this interview was no exception, with Shawn boasting that “nobody can make people yell louder than me for more. And if they can, I just work harder.” And yes, this did translate into the bedroom. “I am an athlete, for God’s sake.”
And as for his interactions with the crowd being like sexual energy, Shawn agreed that “there’s definitely some form of erotic feeling” out there. So I guess that “Kliq Kam” footage he used to take was his version of a sex tape. hbkp15
hbkp16 He and his interviewer traded jokes about being “larger than life” and having “heart-ons”…
…before she asked what he would do in a bar if he saw a woman he liked who didn’t know he was HBK. Sadly, the answer was not, “hit on her, then get my head slammed against the side of a car by Marines.” hbkp17
hbkp18 But it wasn’t just an interview that women (more on that later) were paying good money to see. No, Shawn got the towel treatment…
…before performing this, uh, unique pose with the world title. Some guys wear the belt around their waists, others on their shoulders, and a select few even wear the championship around their necks. Still, I don’t recall the WWF title ever being used as a jock strap. hbkp19
hbkp20  (And the Federation had long been an innovator in jock strap fashion)
If I were Vince McMahon, and I’d seen Michaels disrespecting the belt like that, I would have forced Shawn to relinquish it… after cleaning it thoroughly and putting on some pants.  At least Jerry Lawler used his own crown to cover himself. hbkp21
hbkp22 I can’t imagine Sid was too pleased to take that belt at Survivor Series, either.
But a photo shoot during the Monday Night War wouldn’t have been complete without Shawn paying tribute to his opponent on the first-ever Monday Night Raw… hbkp23
hbkp24 …Max Moon!
But the punchline to all of this silliness was that, after this issue hit news stands, Shawn found out that many, perhaps most, of Playgirl’s “readers” were not the smart, fit, possibly married women he pined for in his interview. hbkp25
hbkp26 No, Michaels had cast himself as a big, wet, hairy, lovable teddy bear for a largely gay male audience.

Now you can look back at this old magazine spread in a whole new light!

hbkp27

Just make sure it’s not a black light.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
37 Responses to "Induction: Shawn Michaels in Playgirl – The One Time We Were Glad HBK Refused to Drop the Belt"
  1. Doc 902714 says:

    Guess I’ll be the first one to comment. YAY. Ummmmm………………………………….Oh did we ever find out who the female in the dark silhouette was. She appeared on an episode of Monday Night RAW during Shawn – Bulldog / Diana angle and claimed that Shawn Michaels ruined her marriage. If you watch the video judging by her bushy hair and squeaky voice alone, she sounds a lot like Mike McGuirk

    • Scrooge McSuck says:

      Thankfully they dropped that angle faster than Pat Patterson would drop the soap in the shower.

    • Doc 902714 says:

      Yeah she sounds a lot like Mike McGuirk but she sounds more like Stephanie Wiand. I believe she was the co-host of WWF Mania at the time with Todd Pettengill. She would later be replaced by Sunny on LiveWire, which incidentally would also replace Mania. The frizzy hair thing was a dig at Miss Elizabeth who had been caught between Ric Flair and Randy Savage on Nitro. For shame Vince, for Shame.

  2. Peter says:

    I hope that was a new and not an um, ahem, used copy you had to use for this induction Art.

    But in all seriousness (which isn’t much) I don’t think this did much for the WWF or HBK. It wasn’t like this was the Attitude Era yet, they were still being portrayed as family friendly. It just reeks of desperation, but then again when haven’t they been desperate for any type of media attention?

  3. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    Great induction Art! And you inspired me. Next time I get a chance to mess with somebody’s Facebook account, I’m going to replace their cover photo with that one of Shawn with the belt covering his naughty region.

  4. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    I’m surprised you managed to get an entire induction out of this. Nicely done!

  5. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Gay Popeye approves of this induction.

    • Down With OPC says:

      Well blow me……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..down!

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL

  6. E-Squared says:

    Nice induction. I have to say that this was kind of weird when I heard about this. I wasn’t a fan during the time Shawn Michaels was champion for the first time but I really wonder what Shawn was thinking when he agreed to do this. I guess Vince wanted to see Shawn naked so badly. After all, his comments were a little bizarre.

  7. John C says:

    Just think of other World Champions posing with their belt like, ladies get ready to drool at this list. Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Giant Baba, Stan Hansen, The Crusher or Mad Dog Vachon.
    You’re welcome.

    • Cameron A. says:

      WWE missed a trick by not rebooting Playboy Buddy Rose as Playgirl Buddy Rose, with his all-new, all-different Blow Away Diet.

      Shut up, he was a World Tag Team Champion. If we don’t specify World HEAVYWEIGHT Champion, he counts.

    • Bert says:

      If Great Khali ever got a second world title reign (most forget he even had a first) they’d surely have him do something similar given his comedic Casanova gimmick.

  8. Boz says:

    Agree the placement of the logo in the Stephanie Wiand photo is good but the photo of Shawn’s arse does look a little like he’s taking a WWF themed poop ;)

  9. Boz says:

    Also, looking at Shawn draping the belt about his nether regions (but not for too long!), it occurred to me that Sid probably demanded that thing be steam cleaned before he touched it at Survivor Series.

  10. Mr. Glen says:

    You see? There are good induction beyond 50/50 hindsight smarky whining. This truly was crap!

  11. Mr. Stank says:

    Aww… Shawn Michaels poses for Playgirl. Wait, that’s no good!

  12. Jay says:

    Dude…….I totally shouldn’t have been reading this at work. The junior Marines that work for me probably think I have issues now.

    • Bert says:

      Either that, or they’re thinking “that’s the guy our dads beat up at a bar all those years back.”

  13. WrestleTrekker says:

    I just want that belt removed…
    RIP Playgirl magazine.

  14. Alexandru says:

    As a bisexual man this induction was pretty funny as I find it humorous that Shawn posed for something that he clearly knew nothing about, though Vince’s insistence in Shawns’ participation is downright bizarre.

  15. Nic says:

    “I was young… I needed the money… you told me GIRLS read that magazine!”

  16. Anonymous says:

    Has the “Diana Smith home-wrecker angle” been covered?

  17. Mister Forth says:

    This was due for induction.

  18. Stephen says:

    No disrespect to the wonderful Art0Donnell but … a part of me wishes that Triple Kelly was still on the site to write this induction.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      I miss her inductions, too. :)

    • Bert says:

      Not me. People complain enough about Art’s “whining” when usually that’s not the case. Kelly, on the other hand, was just a miserable cynic who bashed WWE for everything, even ignoring how lazy and out of shape Chris Harris was during his brief run there.

  19. Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

    If only Shawn had known of Brooklyn goth metal combo Type O Negative at the time. Their late frontman Pete Steele posed nude in Playgirl a year or so before this, and had his bandmates promptly erupt into pant-pissing seizures when they discovered the magazine’s largely male readership.

    Nowadays it seems that women are more into reading their pornography (viz. that 50 Shades of Grey nonsense), which I guess leaves the fertile pen of Mick Foley as a horny female wrestling fan’s last hope.

    Now there’s a scary thought.

  20. Adam Coleman says:

    Of course Sid wasn’t happy to win the belt at Survivor Series. If it was draped over HB’s Ks, it would be ‘taint’ed at the very least.

  21. MrMaddog says:

    I visted my old friend from high school and we watch Raw at this one girl’s house, and she was a major Shawn Micheals fan. And yes she had on her wall that picture with the WWF belt covering up little HBK… One more repressed memory drugged up.

  22. Ollie by Golly says:

    I will never be able to un-see that pic of Lawler.

  23. Bert says:

    I like the idea that when HBK found out what the magazine’s target audience was, he just shrugged and said “it’s a living.”

  24. Formerly From Tokyo says:

    I’m sure Shawn prayed on it first.

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