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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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on 2 August 2017
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on 17 August 2016
I finally got around to reading the first book of my idol Shawn Michaels (Shawn Hickenbottom) and it did not disappoint. I had already read the second book which I thought was amazing and was mainly his personal life this book was about his wrestling career which is something I definitely recommend if that is what you are looking to read about Shawn rather than his personal life.

Shawn went through a lot with his injuries and what he put this body through because when he first started his career he thought he was invisable but as his career progressed and he become older he realised that he wasn't invisible and that what he loved so much was actually hurting him. If anyone believed that wrestling was fake then this book will throw away any doubt that you might have.Shawn doesn't hide that he was a pain to work with when he was addicted to painkillers.

I loved being able to read about the Montreal screw job from shawn's pov which was a great also reading about the amazing 'Curtain Call'. Shawn doesn't hide how sensitive he is and the hurt he felt when he hurt people when he was addicted to pain pills people may see that sensitivity as a weakness but I don't believe that the sensitivity is a weakness at all.
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on 8 November 2017
I've read several wrestling autobiographies and have to admit this was one of the most "readable", even if a little trashy (the best being Bret Hart's). However, I must point out that it becomes clear as you progress through that Shawn Michaels is overly anxious to convince the reader (and maybe himself?) that nothing bad he has ever done, or been accused of doing, was ever his fault - always someone else's, or a misunderstanding, or a lie; every single time. Hence, none of what Shawn writes comes across as truthful whatsoever (not surprising, really, considering he's now a born-again Christian, hence is in complete denial of his former self). And another thing that becomes apparent is Shawn Michaels' jealousy and hatred of Bret Hart (at the time of writing), which for most parts is completely unnecessary - any chance of throwing in an insult, Shawn never fails. It all comes across as child-like and amateurish. Overall, worth a read, but other than that, something to send to a charity-shop.
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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 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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on 28 February 2011
Typical wwe written book, don't really open up and even the screwjob, he just blames bret and quickly gets of the subject. Don't tell hardly any stories of the rockers mad nights out and acts like he wasn't a spoil brat backstage but someone who was trying to make wrestling better (which he wasn't) A crappy book, with a few cheap shots ( bret hart wasn't a great wrestler .... oooooook shawn ) If you want a book written by someone who don't just blame everyone but himself get Bret Harts book because yeah shawn micheal is a great wrestler but its still a rubbish book.
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on 6 September 2006
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 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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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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