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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2012
This book for me was bittersweet, I did the right thing in reading it straight after I read Bret Harts and to be honest Harts book is the much better of the two. I don't feel that Shawn went into enough detail and it seems as if he released the book much too early, having a behind the scenes insight to the Flair and Taker Mania matches would have been golden.

It felt as if Vince may have had a lot of control in what was said in this book also.

All in all its a decent read although he does paint a spoilt brat image of himself in the book and any serious HBK fans may have slightly altered opinions of their hero after reading as I was.

It doesnt take away from the legend of the character of the ring preformer in Shawn Michaels though and I would recommend any wrestling fan to give this a go.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2008
Heartbreak and Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story (WWE)
I am not a great HBK fan and that is still the case after reading his book, the start about his family and school years give the book a solid base but once he starts to talk about his wrestling the book becomes very linear and self indulgent. The main problem I had is that he did`nt go into much depth about the wrestling, inside and outside the ring, and you could just feel that he could have told us alot more with a greater detail had it not been published by WWE. His hatred for Bret Hart is also too obvious and reflects in some of his comments and gives the book no real sense of truth. He sums up survivor series 1997 until present day in about 50 pages which just seems lazy . I still enjoyed it but if you are wanting a great book on wrestling see Bret Harts book or Pure Dynamite by Tom Billington they are both less censored the latter especially.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't resist reading this in much the same way that a devout Christian wouldn't be able to resist reading the Satanist's Bible if he happened to come across a copy.

Shawn Michaels comes across as contradictory, dishonest, self-obsessed and with a severely selective memory. This shows up nowhere clearer than when he talks about Bret Hart, whom he never fails to slander, poke and snipe at whenever he gets a chance and quite frequently, even when he doesn't.

I'm quite frankly not surprised that Michaels has such a reputation for being a pain in the backside and a selfish little scrote: he very obviously is all of that and more! The degree to which he contradicts himself throughout the book raised many laughs. Only someone as truly self-deluded as he could believe that the world is set so unfairly against him. Personally I think the top billing in the world would be him against a fit Bret, in a UFC ring, because he'd last about sixty seconds.

Buy this book if you're a wrestling fan, or an HBK fan particularly. You will find it insightful, mainly into the almost schizophrenic/narcissistic state of mind of the author, but to other things as well. Shawn's finding of religion, reading between the lines, comes across as someone finding just yet another crutch to lean on to recover from his drug and mental problems, rather than a true spiritual awakening.

If he truly has "found God", let's hope he does some serious self-asessment and realises just what a selfish SOB he can sometimes be (although I have to give him points for selflessness as well - the above cited case of the WM 14 main event for one) and what he owes some people he's been truly cruel and ignorant to.
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on 7 September 2012
Shawn shows a lot of honesty in this book, stating that he could be a nightmare to work with, and that he would have dealt with certain regrettable situations differently if he was given the opportunity again. He gives an insight into the workings of the wrestling industry and how he has learnt what is accepted, and not accepted by old-timers, referring to his own personal experiences of carrying a reputation for over-partying, rebelling against wrestling authorities and making a mockery of wrestling titles.
Three-quarters of the book sums up his career up until the infamous 'Montreal Screw-job', and only about 50 pages are written about his career after this point. I can't nudge the feeling that in some ways, the book could more accurately have been titled 'My Side of The Montreal Screw-Job'. I also can't nudge the feeling that this book came a bit early. A significant proportion of his career was to come after it was published, Including the DX Reunion(s), The two Wrestlemania matches against Undertaker, Ric Flair's retirement match and the classic against Shelton Benjamin on RAW in which he concussed Shelton with the Sweet Chin Music.
It's also worth noting that for the most part, (about 50-60%) of the book, it is his tag-team career with Marty Jannetty that is spoken about. Sure, it's important to acknowledge his early days and the routes to what would become Michaels in his prime, but writing so little about his singles career somehow takes away from the importance and significance of the Shawn Michaels wrestling fans learned to love. Although those early years may have been as important to Michaels as the later ones, by prioritising the days in which he was no big deal, it makes his career sound somewhat disproportional.
Overall, it's a very interesting read and definitely a must-have for any wrestling fan, but don't expect it to be the best thing you have read for a while.
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on 8 July 2011
I have been a wrestling fan for a few years and have enjoyed many of Shawn Michaels' matches.

HBK, the showstopper, the headliner, the main event was at first one of my least favourite wrestlers but as I started watching more old DX matches and seeing how the headliner has gone from strength to strength over the years has made me think he's the coolest guy on the planet.

I read the Unauthorised history of DX by HBK and Triple H and loved it and gave this a go which I thought was much more personal, open and intuitive that makes a great entertaining read.

I knew a little bit about HBK before reading this, about Survivor Series, about his pill problems and his Christian beliefs but reading this really opens the door into the man's world, and thankfully he doesn't hold anything back. Hardcore wrestling fans, get ready for the door to be kicked off its hinges!

Michaels, or Hickenbottom, takes us back to his roots growing up with his family, his father the colonel and a few personal stories in how he discovered wrestling and occasional trouble he was in at school.

The book kicks up a notch as he starts on the journey into the wrestling world and particularly with the WWE. Of course the Bret Hart story takes up many chapters and we hear Shawn's side. Having not been around when this actually happened, I personally did not feel the impact but nevertheless it is clear that this "Montreal Screwjob" was a huge deal. Having seen Bret Hart's odd appearance in the past year its clear he is not as fun or interesting as HBK and personally, the author has convinced me that he was the better man and certainly did the right thing for the business.

The book is filled with wrestling terminology and how procedures work as well and how certain people get along and some don't. If you like the magic of the programme this book maybe worth passing on, but myself and others have found it fascinating.
On a personal note I have felt this book has a self help motive to me. I have suffered from a severe depression and was an angry young man and to see how Michaels handled it was remarkable and is such a positive read.

He found salvation in religion and the last few chapters are very strong in these values.
This is a cracking book with sharp insights, detailed recollections of past conversations and a deep look inside one of the great wrestlers of all time.
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on 7 December 2009
I am a huge Shawn Michaels fan. I watched him for the time I was very young in the very early days of the Rockers when I would have said that Marty Janetty was the better of the two but maybe that was because Shawn used to take most of the beatings and Marty came in the "save" Shawn at the end of the match. However you can't deny that Shawn had a wonderful singles career and did really well.

I was never a huge fan of the clothes, the music or the dancing and in that sense I preferred Bret Hart (who just came to the ring and "got on with it"). Shawn won me over with his ability. When you look back on his matches, there is no denying that he was a fantastic athlete and wrestler and totally sold for anyone he worked with. I know lots of people didn't like the gimmick or the whatever backstage politics was supposed to have gone on but the man could wrestle and put on a show at the end of the day and there is simply no denying that. Even Bret Hart had to admit that he was the best he had ever seen. Everytime I watch his matches I am amazed at what he could do especially in the earlier part of his singles career and the matches he had with Jeff Jarrett. Dr. Tom Pritchard and Diesel. To see him tumble over ropes and go into the turnbuckle and turn himself upside down with such speed is incredible.

As regards the book, it's a good read but you won't learn anything major about the industry. There some nice pictures. He is a sensitive enough guy which some people may see as weakness but it made him so relatable to. He clearly never stopped being a fan and wanting to give a good show to those people who paid their hard earned money to see him. Shawn's passion for what he did and the people is his life is there on every page. By all means read this book. But go back and watch the matches as they are all excellent. His desire to be good at his job and put on the best show possible is clear in his match with Steve Austin when he went into the match with a back that needed surgery and he gave us all a really good show and "put over" Steve Austin in an amazing way. He wasn't selling anymore. The pain was real and he didn't have to do that match but I think he felt that to take the company in the direction it need to go, Austin needed a big push and he gave it to him.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2006
I decided to give this book a shot because I used to love the WWE whilst growing up. Shawn Michaels was my favourite character and a hero to me for many years. To be honest I didn't know what to expect. I was amazed to find that it was simply brilliant!
There are many matches that are covered that I remember seeing, which Shawn covers in great detail. The book also presents the reality of the wrestling industry, leading me to develop a massive new found respect for some of its elements. There are so many things that I would have never even considered.
All the ups and downs of his career and life are highlighted here and one thing I was very pleased to see was how Shawn was not afraid to admit the truth about himself. He acknowledges and makes clear that he was at times, especially in his early career, a spoilt-brat and very hard to work with.
If you have any interest, whether it be nostalgia or contemporary, just buy this book. I really can't praise it enough!!! A lovely surprise.
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on 17 August 2011
This is the fourth WWE book that I've read, after Stone Cold's, The Rock's and the Hardy Boyz. I think I found this more interesting than the others, but that may be because I wasn't as big a fan of Shawn Michaels so this gave me more information than the others did. I'm still not a fan of Shawn Michaels, but I did find this an entertaining read. As many have pointed out, his rivalry with Bret Hart causes some controversy, but because I haven't read Bret's book I don't really have another angle to come at the Montreal Screwjob from. Whether or not all he states in this book is true I don't know, but I found myself convinced as I was reading it! One thing I found a little odd was his acceptance of Christianity, but I guess if that hasn't happened personally to you then it would be hard to understand. Overall an interesting read, a good insight to the business and Shawn's career, but possibly worth checking out other versions of certain events to make sure you get the full picture. I did find the ending rather rushed, as his comeback is given a very brief treatment, with lots of time and presumably matches skipped over. Still, a decent WWE book, and better than I would imagine some of the stuff they're putting out currently, as the subject is a genuine wrestling legend.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2006
I bought this book on the notion that it would be an entertaining read and a great look at a mans career, of which Shawn has had a great one. In all honesty I thought he realised it a little early, especially since he has fought Hogan and Vince since, and I would have loved to have heard his thoughts on this, especially on the backstage issues involving the Hogan work. Since Have a Nice Day is my favourite autobiography, Ive pretty much set it as the template of which a wrestling bio should be set so I'll probably be refering to it a few times in the review.

Firstly, I want to point out. Am I a Shawn Michaels fan? No! Do I respect his work? Yes, very much. Its impossible not too. The man goes out and puts on a show every times hes in the ring, heck, the guy wrestled with a broken back just to get Steve Austin over. That demands respect. The book itself, begins telling tales of Shawns youth, and provide some very funny and humours tales, about his mother, his brother, school friends and his temper. While he doesnt go into huge detail like Mick Foley did, he paints a very interesting picture and its enjoyable to read about how he got into wrestling and his training. Again though, he doesnt go into as deep as Mick did in his book which hurts a little because you dont learn about the emotional and physical pain he goes through. More like 'he was great and gifted and he would do well'.

Once he gets through his early years and into his times with Marty and being the Rockers, the book goes down hill a little for me. Instead of offering funny stories, of which there could be many, he spends to much time in the book making himself look like the innocent victum, how he was always in the wrong place at the wrong time, how everyone hated him and no one understood him. Shawn was a piece of work, he admits it, but to many people have said to much of the same thing over the years to allow him a get out of jail free card. He lied his face off for nearly 7 years about the screwing of Bret Hart, even lying to his face and 'swearing to God' that he knew nothing about it, so to read about how he was innocent in so many of the dealings of what went on stretches the imagination a bit.

Especially that when you consider, Shawn was the top dog, the champion and always seemed to be in the main event shuffle, despite all these things happening to poor HBK. He always takes pot shot after pot shot against Bret and buries him on more than one occasion, claming he was the carrier and Bret was just the load. If you've watched Brets DVD, and heard Bret put Shawn over, despite how he feels about him, it just makes Shawn like incredibly petty. A great instance of his disliking for Bret is when he calls Bret 'not a great wrestler'. Now, Bret is a man who made any man he worked with look like a killer. Bret and Shawn hate eachother, theres no doubting this, but its Shawns argument that makes the statement laughable. He claims Bret only wrestled his way and that caused problems for Kevin (Diesel) in their matches. For the record, Kevin Nash has had 5 good matches in his whole career and 3 of those matches were with Bret. Now, this should easily point out that Bret made these matches work, but Shawn refuses to acknowledge this and buries Bret further.

If you can look past the sob stories, of which there are many and the knocks at Bret, at which there are many more, you'll enjoy the book. He does get mixed up and contradicts himself on a few occasions, claming how he didnt mind loseing to Bret, only then saying he DID mind loseing to him. Another funny point is when he says two good wrestlers (himself and Mr Perfect "Curt Hening") just couldnt have a classic match, conveniently forgetting that two good wrestlers (Bret Hart and Mr Perfect "Curt Hening") had two classic wrestling matches. He also conveniently forgets how he 'well knowingly' tried to hold down The Rock (which has lead to heat that exsists to this day between them.)

Its like I said, I am not a Shawn Michaels fan and knowing how he has had drug problems and having watched his shoot interview where he looks out of his mind and completely contradicts everything he says, it makes his sob stories in this book a LOT harder to believe, and will to anyone who has actually seen the shoot interview. However, despites Shawns constant Bret bashing and sob stories, the book is a great read and any HBK fan should not go without it. It is really interesting to see how he met Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H and how he howned his character and adjusted it with the times. It also helps to provide an interesting look on his character and how he has changed since finding God.
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I don't actually own this book, but I borrowed it from my local library and read it over two days of the weekend: definitely an easy read.

To truly enjoy this book, though, and not want to skip through pages and chapters, you have to have a genuine interest in the person that is Shawn Michael Hickenbottom, rather than the character that is Shawn Michaels.

Sure, there is indepth discussion about his character and its development (including title reigns, injury and the infamous 'Montreal Screwjob'), but there is also an intense focus upon his home-life and the Hickenbottom household in the early days.

This book is most definitely a heart-tugging read though: you hear about agonies through injury, agonies through prescription pill abuse and the strain it put on his family. You also read about his redemption through becoming a born-again Christian: a fact that could be a shock to those who know Shawn Michaels only through his D-Generation-X hellraising.

It is a good read, not a great read; but if you want a personal story inter-laced with industry secrets and anecdotes then this autobiography is one that you should definitely pick up a copy of.
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