Today we celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of one of the most influential groups in the wrestling business. On August 11th, 1997, the group we now know as DX was officially born. Shawn Michaels, Triple H along with Rick Rude and Chyna give the Attitude Era a major shot in the arm. D-Generation X was one of the starts to wrestling being cool again in the late 1990s to young adult men who may have abandoned the WWF when they grew up.
Before one fateful RAW Main Event the members of the infamous Kliq never really worked together in an on-screen capacity. Shawn Michaels was engaged in a match against Mankind when Hunter Hearst Hemsely and Chyna interfered in the match as they had an issue with the deranged one themselves. Rick Rude also made his presence felt and crew was born. Now they didn’t officially have a name until one RAW in October where the group broke into a Bret Hart interview.
Even though the group used their numbers to gain advantages which eventually lead to them capturing the European and WWE titles crew was quickly embraced by fans. In the edgy Attitude Era the crew joined the likes as more of an anti-hero giving the establishment fits. Being the foils of Owner Vince McMahon, Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter and the straight laced and sometimes way to stiff Bret Hart.
Never scared of controversy DX was at the center of the infamous Montreal Screwjob. What other group would have brought in Mike Tyson ahead of Michaels’ match against Stone Cold Steve Austin. Now of course it did not turn out the way Triple H and company. Tyson turned the HBK lost title at Wrestlemania. The group could have had a short run if it would have disbanded after Wrestlemania 14 when, Shawn Michaels retired due to a serious back injury. With Hunter at the helm the group grew bigger and stronger.
This is when most crews fall off. Nothing is usually better than the first time around. Look at the NWO, once it started adding guys it got diluted and didn’t mean as much. DX managed to evade that curse. The transition from sidekick to frontman led to Triple H establishing as a bonafide Hall of Fame level performer. We got more familiar with Chyna who went to have a groundbreaking career and do things like become the first ever woman in the Royal Rumble and only woman to ever be Intercontinental Champion. With and out and Rude in WCW the group needed some much-needed fire power to make this thing work. Enter The New Aged Outlaws and X-Pac.
When X-Pac (Sean Waltman) entered the picture he instantly became the heart and soul of what the new DX would be. Sean being a member of the Kliq gave Hunter a guy he could always count on. Coming back over from WCW and fans making that NWO connection he is the guy who tied everything together. The Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg “Jesse James”) added a more rebel personality and the tag team gold. They grew to be one of the greatest teams of all time.
The Degenerates have seen more than a few different line-up changes. We have seen them be heels and babyfaces. One thing is for sure when fans hear that music and see that black and green they still get excited 20 years later.
Keith B. Holt
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