Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was very common to see some no name wrestler go up against a proven star of a promotion. Whether that be from the WWF, NWA/WCW, AWA or elsewhere, these nomads of professional wrestling were there to make the stars look great. They were known as enhancement talent, preliminary wrestlers or as many fans have come to know them…”jobbers.” While fans were clamoring to see big time match ups, these “squash matches” served a very important purpose. While perhaps not appreciated at the time, they were just as important as the stars themselves.
Before he was a Midnight Rocker and way before he became the “Heartbreak Kid’…Shawn Michaels was a young, skinny, pale jabroni to the stars of promotions like Mid South Wrestling and World Class Championship Wrestling. Michaels helped elevate stars like Steve ‘Dr. Death’ Williams, Billy Jack Haynes and the One Man Gang. He never gave much offense, but didn’t need to. Michaels could always bump with the best of them and did so quite often in the early 1980’s.
While he always used the name of Shawn Michaels during his career and still does to this day…not all promoters spelled it the same way. For instance, while a jobber in Fritz Von Erich’s WCCW, his name was spelled SEAN Michaels and instead of being hailed from his home state of Texas…WCCW said he was from Georgia. It would take Michaels a couple of years as enhancement talent when he got a big break in the AWA teaming with Marty Jannetty to form the tag team known as the Midnight Rockers.
Of course, we all know how Shawn’s career grew and developed from there. He would transform into ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ win multiple championships in the WWF/WWE and become that promotion’s top star for a few years with legendary feuds against te likes of Bret Hart and The Undertaker. A star who would later become a two time WWE Hall of Famer.