Talkin' bout D-Generation
Ten years ago, the hit television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered to rave reviews, the band Aqua shot to No. 1 on the pop charts with the tune "Barbie Girl" and the popular WWE stable D-Generation X was born.
But while Buffy has since been canceled and Aqua disbanded years ago, the legend of DX in WWE continues. While Triple H and Shawn Michaels have been focused on individual personal battles since returning from the disabled list, the two will reunite for one night only, Monday on Raw, against Umaga and WWE Champion Randy Orton.
Though noted for their fun-loving pranks, especially on Mr. McMahon, The Game and HBK have had to show their more serious, intense sides in their respective rivalries with the Samoan Bulldozer and the Legend Killer. Both have had to fight for their careers in individual wars with Umaga and Orton.
But when asked about DX's enduring appeal, Michaels and Triple H reverted to their merry prankster ways.
"It's Shawn's bow-legged sexiness and my rugged good looks," joked Triple H.
Striking an only slightly more serious tone, The Game's partner took a crack at the question.
"I think it all comes down to fun," Michaels explained. "Triple H and I don't take things too seriously, certainly not ourselves."
HBK also ascribes a need for escapism to help explain the ongoing recognition DX receives from our fans.
"One of the greatest things that DX did was to help people laugh at themselves and others," said Michaels with a chuckle. "There's enough happening out there to bring us all down."
That perspective was sorely missed when DX went on hiatus earlier this year after Triple H blew out his quadriceps at New Year's Revolution. While The Game rehabbed his injury, HBK focused on winning the WWE Title and was then sidelined by Orton for five months.
Now, Triple H and Michaels are back and healthy, and reunited -- at least for one night -- against two common enemies. And the WWE Fan Nation is overjoyed. DX is as popular as ever, continuing to lift fans who not only love to watch their exploits, but who live vicariously through the duo to a certain extent. After all, who hasn't wanted to tell off a hardhearted boss or thumb their nose at a ruthless authority figure?
"We always say the things going on in people's heads that they usually don't say," confirmed Michaels.
Another aspect of DX's ongoing appeal involves the chemistry between the two longtime friends and jokesters at the core of the equation.
"We're two guys that fans know are real," said Triple H. "They know we're friends, that we're tight."
That resilient bond formed prior to the inception of DX itself appears evident from the easy interaction that continues to flow between the two men to this day.
"Triple H and I have laughed together for a lot of years," said Michaels, a knowing grin poking out from behind his brush of whiskers. "That's what DX was, two guys sitting around watching other matches, cracking jokes, poking fun and having a good time. We brought that to the people."
And for that, the people continue to be grateful.