WWE World Heavyweight Championship - Shawn Michaels

March 31, 1996 - November 17, 1996

This match pitted two of the greatest all-around Superstars in WWE history against each other in an epic 60-minute WWE Iron Man Match. At the end of the full hour, the winner would be the Superstar who garnered the most decisions. But, at the end of the 60 minutes, neither Shawn Michaels nor Bret Hart was able to get a pinfall or submission. Hart slapped on the Sharpshooter in the final minute, but Michaels was able to gut it out until the time ran out. President Gorilla Monsoon came down to ringside and said that a winner must be crowned, so the match went into a sudden death overtime. Hart went right back to work on Michaels' back, but the Heartbreak Kid hit his Sweet Chin Music from out of nowhere. He was too tired to make the cover, but when both men got to their feet, The Showstopper hit his deadly move again for the pin and his first WWE Championship, achieving his "boyhood dream."

Of Shawn Michaels' three WWE Championship reigns, his first one proved to be his most successful, as it lasted almost eight months. During those eight months, HBK turned back many top names, including Diesel, the British Bulldog, Vader and Mankind.


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