Top Fifteen Stables in Wrestling- Number Two
As we head to the end of our top fifteen stables of all-time, we come upon the stable that helped the World Wrestling Federation enter their Attitude era and eventually win the Monday Night Wars over World Championship Wrestling. The group was born out of the remaining members of the Kliq and catapulted Triple H to one of the top superstars in WWF/E.
After months of both Shawn Michaels and Triple H lobbying Vince McMahon to allow to form a stable, D-Generation X was finally unofficially born on August 11, 1997. McMahon had hesitated because he still felt burned by the “MSG Incident” that took place with members of the Kliq breaking kayfabe to embrace the departing Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at the end of a house show in 1996. With Hall and Nash part of the successful nWo stable helping WCW constantly win in the ratings war over WWF, McMahon finally relented.
It began during a match between Shawn Michaels and Mankind. Triple H and his bodyguard Chyna interfered in the match on behalf of Michaels. Later in the match, a returning “Ravishing” Rick Rude also interfered in the match and was revealed as Michaels’ bodyguard. They would begin to practice crude humor on WWF television programming and rebel against authority figures like McMahon, who was primarily a commentator at the time. They mainly focused on WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter, whom they referred to as Sgt. Slobber.
DX’s first feud came against the Hart Foundation, led by Michaels’ nemesis Bret Hart. It began at One Night Only when the stable helped Michaels defeat Foundation member British Bulldog for the WWF European Championship– allowing Michaels to become the first WWF Grand Slam Champion. On October 13, they officially became D-Generation X with Michaels firmly placed as the leader. On screen, the name was decided because Hart had referred to the group as a bunch of “degenerates.” It was also the first time that D-X used their trademark slogan: “Suck It” which is accompanied by a crotch chop. The feud came to a sudden end at Survivor Series that November. During the WWF Championship match between Michaels and Hart, Michaels placed Hart in the Sharpshooter hold; McMahon then ordered referee Earl Hebner to end the match in Michael’s favor. Because Hart– who was close to departing to WCW– was lied to about the outcome this led to himself, British Bulldog, and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart leaving WWF in protest. This event is known as the “Montreal Screwjob.”
By 1998, DX had their sights solely on Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin had won the Royal Rumble match to become the Number One contender for Michaels’ WWF title. DX recruited Mike Tyson as the Special Enforcer for the main event at Wrestlemania XIV. After Tyson counted the 1-2-3 to give Austin the title, he turned on DX and knocked Michaels out. The night after Wrestlemania, Triple H proclaimed he had dropped Michaels because Michaels dropped the ball in the main event– the truth was Michaels was forced out of wrestling for almost four years due to a debilitating back injury he had suffered a few months back in a Casket match with Undertaker. Triple H introduced X-Pac (Kliq member Sean Waltman) as the newest member of the stable, and, by the end of the night, added the New Age Outlaws to DX.
While the intent was for DX to be a heel stable, their antics quickly made them hugely popular and they turned face soon after this incarnation was formed. On episodes of Raw in April and May, DX went to war with WCW, with whom WWF was competing against in the Monday Night Wars. On April 27, 1998, both Raw and WCW Monday Nitro were live in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. WWF was live in Hampton and WCW was at The Scope in Norfolk, a mere 19 miles apart. D-X made their way in a makeshift “tank” jeep to the Scope to invade WCW, wearing armbands that read POWCW (Prisoner of WCW)– referring to Kliq members Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. They shouted insults at WCW through a bullhorn and even announced that WCW had given away free tickets in order to fill up arenas for television. DX then attempted to enter the arena before being stopped by the loading dock door being shut closed. In another segment, DX invaded WCW headquarters in Atlanta, GA and tried to secure meetings with both Nitro’s Executive Producer Eric Bischoff and WCW Owner Ted Turner. A final segment had computer graphics make it seem as if Triple H was flying over the arena hosting that week’s Nitro and spelled the messages “WCW Sucks” and “DX Says Suck It” in the sky.
Through most of 1998 and early 1999, DX feuded with the Nation of Domination. Both groups’ leaders, Triple H and The Rock, were on the cusp of being given pushes to the top of WWF which gave the feud a natural rivalry. The feud allowed DX the opportunity to show Triple H’s comedic prowess by parodying the Nation. Triple H came out as “The Crock”, Road Dogg Jesse James was “B’Lo Brown”, Bad Ass Billy Gunn was “The Gunnfather”, X-Pac was “Mizark Henry”, and they hired impressionist Jason Sensation to be a parody of Owen Hart.
After this feud ended, DX would also feud with The Corporation. At first, that was primarily against Corporate Commissioner Shawn Michaels, but it would extend to the rest of the Corporation as time went by. Against the Corporation, DX again parodied their rivals. Triple H returned as “the Crock”, this Road Dogg was Mr. McMahon with two midgets (representing Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson) following him around and kissing his butt, Gunn was Shane McMahon wearing an adult diaper, X-Pac was Ken Shamrock, Chyna was Big Boss Man,and Sensation returned to portray Michaels.
Throughout 1999, the members began to turn on one another. Chyna first turned on Triple H and joined the Corporation. At Wrestlemania XV, however, Chyna turned on Corporation member Kane, allowing Triple H to defeat him. Later in the night, Chyna and Triple H came to the ring during X-Pac’s match with Shane McMahon for X-Pac’s European title. Triple H would hit X-Pac with a Pedigree to leave DX and join the Corporation. Kane was ousted in the process. This led X-Pac and Kane to form an alliance and Kane was loosely connected with D-Generation X.
Billy Gunn grew unhappy with Kane’s involvement in the group and the New Age Outlaws’ inability to take the Tag Team titles from Kane and X-Pac. Gunn then turned on X-Pac and departed from the faction, leaving only James and X-Pac as the remaining members. When X-Pac and Kane won the tag titles from the Acolytes on August 9, Kane uttered his first words with his voice box, “Suck It!!”
By late ’99, DX reunited as heels when Triple H and X-Pac helped the New Age Outlaws to defeat Stone Cold and the Rock. X-Pac hinted at adding another member before turning on Kane and stating D-X would remain the same. Stone Cold would “hunt” DX catching James in a bear trap, Gunn in a noose, having part of the backstage ceiling fall on X-Pac, and finally catching all the members in a net.
X-Pac began a feud with Kane and stole his “girlfriend” Tori in the process. Triple H also “married” Stephanie McMahon. Both women would join the stable. During this period they feuded with the likes of Stone Cold, the Rock, Kane, Shane McMahon, Mankind/Cactus Jack, and Chris Jericho. They began arriving to arenas in a tour bus called the “DX Express.” They made it a point to help Triple H retain his WWF Championship.
Billy Gunn was injured in early 2000 and was written out of DX by stating he was kicked out for “losing his cool.” X-Pac began teaming up with Road Dogg but they never reached the heights that New Age Outlaws reached in their time together. At Wrestlemania 2000, Vince McMahon turned on the Rock to help Triple H retain his title. On March 30, X-Pac and Torri helped Stephanie McMahon beat Jacqueline for WWF Women’s title.
Slowly after Triple H lost to the Rock at Backlash, the faction began to slowly break apart. X-Pac and James grew frustrated with their lack of success and turned on each other. This led to a match at SummerSlam, which X-Pac won. By the end of the year Triple H was a solo star. DX temporarily reunited to defeat the Radicalz in an Eight-Man tag match– X-Pac missed the match due to an injury.
After the nWo was disbanded in 2002, Triple H would toss a DX shirt at Shawn Michaels, saying he “had an idea.” The pair would enter to the DX theme music and do the crotch chops before Triple H turned on Michaels and hit him with a Pedigree. This led to a long feud that brought Michaels back into active wrestling.
In 2006, both Michaels (who was facing Mr. McMahon) and Triple H (facing John Cena for the WWE title) delivered crotch chops at Wrestlemania 22 to loud cheers from the crowd and hinted at a possible reunion. After Michaels came out to help Triple H during his Gauntlet match versus the Spirit Squad to officially reunite as D-Generation X. They returned to their sophomoric antics and parodies toward their feud with the Spirit Squad, the McMahons, and Jonathan Coachman. The run ended when Triple H legitimately injured his quadriceps muscle for a second time in his career– leading to another surgery and extended time away from wrestling.
They reunited again in 2009, as Michaels was getting to his retirement. It began after Michaels took a hiatus after losing to Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXV. Triple H started a feud with Randy Orton and Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr). After losing a handicap match to Legacy, Triple H we would search out Michaels for help with Legacy. Video segments were shot with Michaels working as a chef at a cafeteria in Texas and Triple H attempting to convince him to reunite DX with several incidents taking place– including a grease fire and a little girl yelling at Michaels. Michaels would finally agree to reunite and quit his chef job by Superkicking the little girl.
This reunion would last until Wrestlemania XXVI, when Michaels was forced to retire after losing to Undertaker a second year in a row. They would reunite in non-wrestling capacities at Tribute to the Troops in 2010 and at Smackdown events in 2011 and 2012. Michaels and Triple H would induct Mike Tyson into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. On July 23, 2012, at the 1,000th episode of Raw, Michaels, Triple H, Sean Waltman, Road Dogg Jesse James, and Bad Ass Billy Gunn would reunite for one night. Their reunion would be interrupted by Damien Sandow, who would then be attacked by all five members of D-Generation X. In 2013, Triple H, Michaels, Waltman, and Gunn would again reunite with Kevin Nash– who was made an honorary member.
When Triple H began his Authority storyline, several members of DX returned as faces only to turn heel in providing Triple H assistance. First was Michaels who would Superkick Daniel Bryan when he was the Special Guest referee in the WWE World Heavyweight title match between Orton and Bryan. The New Age Outlaws would return to assist CM Punk before turning on him. As heels they would eventually defeat the Rhodes Brothers for WWE tag titles.