Shawn Michaels was on the top of his game rolling into WrestleMania 14. He was the leader of DX and WWE World Heavyweight Champion. As Mike Tyson was added into the mix and became a member of his stable, it was pretty evident that things were going pretty well for him.
HBK also had a history of not wanting to do business. He famously “lost his smile” instead of dropping a title before. As Vince McMahon and Company looked toward crowning Stone Cold Steve Austin as their new top babyface, Shawn Michaels had the task of dropping his title to Austin at the Show Of Shows in 1998.
Bruce Prichard and Condrad Thompson discussed WrestleMania 14 on the first episode of their new WWE Network show “Something Else To Wrestle With” and spent an hour and a half breaking down the event. But one legendary piece of rumor and innuendo came out which Prichard pretty much confirmed when Conrad asked him if The Undertaker was indeed sending Michaels vibes that he would be in some physical trouble if he didn’t drop the title to Austin.
“The Undertaker was seated directly in front of me [in Gorilla Postion] and he sat there and wrapped his hands while Shawn made his way to the ring,” Prichard said on Something Else To Wrestle With. “And there was a subliminal message there that, ‘I’m gonna be right here when you come back, just make sure you do business.’ That was the message, that was the message that the entire locker room took. That did happen, The Undertaker was seated right there in Gorilla. He didn’t say anything to Shawn, nothing. But Undertaker finished his match and just sat there and wrapped his hands.”
The Undertaker had just defeated his kayfabe brother Kane in their first confrontation so he would have no reason to tape his fists. This message was obviously delivered because Michaels wasn’t the only one got the point of The Dead Man’s nonverbal threat.
During that time in Shawn Michaels’ career, he was incredibly hard to deal with. Not only was he working with an excruciating back injury but he also had other personal problems as well. Michaels was the main event, the showstopper, and people called him Mr. WrestleMania for a reason. But he was supposed to drop the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Stone Cold Steve Austin and there was some doubt that he would do business.
If there was a real concern that HBK might go into business for himself in Boston at WrestleMania 14 at least The Undertaker was able to provide a little nonverbal insurance policy to make sure Shawn knew he needed to do the right thing.