Looking back at DX's greatest rivalries
Over the years, D-Generation X has done whatever they want, whenever they want. That attitude, however, also gave them several enemies during their existence. But DX didn't care who they bothered. Whether it was Stone Cold, Undertaker or The Rock, DX was going to get their way. Take a look back at some of the rebel group's greatest rivalries throughout the years.
DX vs. Undertaker
D-Generation X’s first big rivalry was with another one of WWE’s biggest legends, the Undertaker; but truly, the rivalry began before DX was even together.
At SummerSlam 1997, Shawn Michaels was the guest referee when Bret Hart challenged Undertaker for the WWE Championship Match. Late in the match, Hart spat in Michaels face; an infuriated HBK grabbed a chair, but when he swung at Hart, the challenger ducked and Michaels wound up drilling Undertaker in the head instead. Hart took advantage of this mishap and pinned the Deadman, forcing Michaels to count the pinfall that gave Hart his fifth WWE Championship.
The incident obviously enraged Undertaker, who turned his attention towards Michaels in the weeks following SummerSlam. As a result, the Deadman inadvertently became partially responsible for DX’s formation. Two weeks after SummerSlam, Undertaker & Mankind were the opponents when Commissioner Slaughter forced Michaels and Triple H to team up for the first time. Michaels and Triple H were successful that night, and continued to be a thorn in the Deadman’s side for months.
At Ground Zero in September, HBK and Undertaker fought to a no contest after Rick Rude, Chyna and Triple H all interfered. The hatred became so intense that there was only one way to settle the issue: Hell in a Cell. The structure made its first appearance in October at Bad Blood, with its intent to be keeping DX outside and only HBK and Undertaker inside. The Deadman battered HBK from pillar to post, with the action even spilling outside the cage. In a frightening moment for HBK, the Deadman knocked him off of the cage wall, sending him crashing down through the announcers’ table. Michaels was bloodied and battered, but in the end, it was interference from a debuting Kane that allowed Michaels to get the win.
The rivalry simmered down as Michaels moved on to challenge Bret Hart for the WWE Championship, but it would be renewed at the 1998 Royal Rumble. Still out for both revenge and the WWE Championship, Undertaker challenged new champion HBK in a Casket Match that night. While Hell in a Cell nearly cost Michaels his life, it was the Casket Match that almost cost HBK his career.
During the match, Michaels was thrown over the top rope and landed hard on the casket. The impact injured HBK’s back, and the damage was later found to be so severe it kept Michaels out of the ring for more than four years. HBK fought through the injury, but needed a lot of help from the rest of DX, Kane, Paul Bearer and the New Age Outlaws to win the match.
In the end, Undertaker had given Michaels a Tombstone into the casket and
was about to shut the lid when DX made the save. While Chyna attacked the
referee, the New Age Outlaws attacked the Deadman. Kane then came out to
apparently help his brother, but instead chokeslammed Undertaker into the
then-empty casket. After Michaels won the match, Kane and Bearer then
wheeled the casket into the entranceway and lit it on fire.
When Undertaker returned he shifted his focus toward getting revenge on Kane, pretty much ending the Deadman/DX rivalry. However, a new challenger to DX immediately stepped up to the plate: Stone Cold Steve Austin.
DX vs. Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin won the 1998 Royal Rumble Match, earning him an opportunity to face Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XIV. Immediately, the anti-authority Austin clashed with the similarly behaved DX, creating an intense hatred between them.
As WrestleMania neared, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon announced that he had signed a special guest enforcer for the Championship Match: former boxing champion “Iron” Mike Tyson. Austin and Tyson immediately got into a huge confrontation, with both men shoving each other as Mr. McMahon looked on in horror.
Never ones to stay away from stirring the pot, DX campaigned for a match between Tyson and Austin. Instead, on March 2, 1998, it was Michaels who found himself face to face with the “Baddest Man on the Planet.” It was all a ruse, however, as HBK ripped off Tyson’s shirt to reveal a DX shirt and proclaimed that the former boxer had cast his lot with DX.
In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, Austin and DX took turns attacking each other to try and gain an advantage. It came to a head at a pre-WrestleMania public workout, where DX and Tyson assaulted Stone Cold and humiliated him in front of a massive crowd.
When WrestleMania finally came around, Triple H and Chyna were banned from ringside, leaving only Tyson by Michaels’ side. When the referee was knocked unconscious towards the end, special enforcer Tyson entered the ring. Austin nailed Michaels with a Stone Cold Stunner, and Tyson counted the pinfall to give Stone Cold the WWE Championship. After Michaels recovered from the Stunner, he confronted Tyson about double-crossing him. When HBK shoved Tyson, the former boxing champion floored HBK with a right hand. With HBK out cold, Stone Cold and Tyson celebrated their huge WrestleMania victory.
This would be HBK’s last match before taking four years off due to the back injury he suffered earlier in 1998. With Austin now the champion, and new DX leader Triple H changing the group’s focus, WrestleMania ended up as the climax of the rivalry.
DX vs. The Nation of Domination
Following WrestleMania XIV, Triple H took over as leader of DX and added X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws to the group. Triple H was European Champion at the time, but his immediate goal was to become Intercontinental Champion. The champion at the time was The Rock, who was the leader of the Nation of Domination. Triple H began his quest, and what started as one man’s quest for another’s championship turned into all-out warfare between two groups.
In July 1998, DX came up with a clever way to anger their enemies. The group came to the ring with each member dressed as a member of The Nation. Triple H led the group portraying “The Crock,” with his European Championship modified with tape to look like The Rock’s Intercontinental Championship. With the New Age Outlaws playing The Godfather and D-Lo Brown and X-Pac as “Mizark” Henry, DX completely ripped on the Nation before telling them they had two words for them.
While insanely popular with the fans, the skit embarrassed and infuriated The Nation. That led to The Rock finally giving Triple H his opportunity at the Intercontinental gold at Fully Loaded later that month. It looked like the match would be champion vs. champion, but The Nation struck a blow just six days before the event. The Rock interfered in a match on RAW and delivered a Rock Bottom to Triple H, helping D-Lo Brown defeat The Game for the European Championship. Triple H swore revenge that weekend, but their 2-out-of-3 Falls Match at Fully Loaded later that month ended in a time-limit draw.
Finally, their war came to a head at SummerSlam. In a thrilling Ladder Match, Triple H finally defeated The Rock (with a little help from Chyna, of course) to claim the Intercontinental Championship. Unfortunately, The Game suffered a major knee injury that would force him to miss three months and forfeit the gold; despite that, the war between DX and The Nation still continued.
With Triple H’s sights on The Rock, X-Pac had stepped in to take up his issue with D-Lo Brown. That September, X-Pac won the European Championship from Brown on an edition of RAW. Brown would regain the gold just two weeks later, but X-Pac would get the last laugh and win back the championship soon after.
By that point, the Nation was beginning to crumble and the rivalry was coming to a close. In one last blow, the New Age Outlaws defeated Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown at Survivor Series to retain the World Tag Team Championship. That night, The Rock joined the Corporation and the rivalry between DX and The Nation came to a close.
DX vs. The Corporation
At Survivor Series 1998, old DX foe The Rock won the WWE Championship and joined the Corporation. When Triple H recovered late that year from his knee injury, he made his return by helping X-Pac defeat Corporation member Ken Shamrock in a European Championship match. With that single shot, the war between Triple H and The Rock escalated into a battle between DX and The Corporation.
However, another familiar face would soon surface in the Corporation; Shawn Michaels, the former leader of DX, had joined the group as the corporate Commissioner. He tried to play psychological warfare with DX, recruiting the New Age Outlaws to join the group. It appeared as if they would jump ship, but the Outlaws double-crossed the Corporation and remained loyal to DX.
To further infuriate the Corporation, DX went back to an old trick: imitation. Triple H reprised his role as “The Crock,” and with the rest of DX dressed as various corporation members (most notably Road Dogg as Mr. McMahon with two midgets named Paterson and Brisco following him around), the group lampooned their rivals on the Dec. 14, 1998 edition of RAW. It would come back to haunt them later in the night, however, as Michaels helped Ken Shamrock & Big Boss Man defeat the Outlaws for the World Tag Team Championship.
The war escalated from there, and both sides were able to claim victory at various points. While the Outlaws lost their World Tag Team Championship to Shamrock and Boss Man, Road Dogg was able to defeat Boss Man for his Hardcore Championship. Billy Gunn almost won Shamrock’s Intercontinental Championship, but after Gunn won, Michaels belatedly declared it a non-title match. In an odd twist, Michaels also later turned his back on the Corporation and re-aligned with DX; but in the end, the heart and soul of DX would do just the opposite a few weeks later.
In a DX vs. Corporation Royal Rumble style match, Chyna surprised everyone by emerging victorious. Unfortunately, her victory was only a springboard to her forsaking DX and joining the Corporation. Chyna’s position was solidified when she helped Shane McMahon defeat X-Pac for the European Championship.
At WrestleMania XV, X-Pac got his rematch and Triple H took on Corporation member Kane. During the Triple H vs. Kane match, Chyna appeared to turn on Kane and rejoin DX, helping The Game to victory. Later that night, it became clear that Triple H had really joined the Corporation. During X-Pac vs. Shane, Triple H and Chyna came to the ring and attacked their partner, with The Game laying X-Pac out with a Pedigree to give Shane the victory.
With The Game now against the very group he founded, the rivalry ended and things degenerated within DX. X-Pac and The Outlaws tried to keep the gang together, but Gunn would soon turn on Road Dogg and X-Pac to split the group even further.