Shawn Michaels’s Performance Center Syllabus

As most of you have heard, Shawn Michaels will be starting shortly at WWE’s Performance Center as an instructor working with new talent. Until now, exact details of what Shawn would be teaching were unknown. However, Shawn’s Assistant Professor Marty Jannetty leaked a copy of his course syllabus exclusively to The Armpit, and it reveals the exact details of which topics Shawn plans on covering in his “Mr. WrestleMania” (MWM 101) course this Fall.

This is an unauthorized copy of what Performance Center students will receive when they enroll in the course next month. Shawn is truly one of the all-time greats in the pro wrestling business, and people like Jim Ross and even Ric Flair have called him the greatest in-ring performer in U.S. wrestling history. Shawn’s students will be learning from the best, and this syllabus contains much of the vital information that led to Shawn becoming a WWE legend.

WWE Performance Center
Fall 2016

Course Syllabus

MWM 101 – Mr. WrestleMania
3 Semester Credit Hours

Instructor: Professor Michael Hickenbottom (May also be referred to as: Mr. WrestleMania, Mr. Shawn Michaels, Mr. HBK, Mr. Rocker, Mr. Midnight Rocker)

Office: McMahon-Levesque Room 232

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM (during Monday Night Raw)
Tue: 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (during SmackDown Live)
Wed: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (during NXT)
Thurs: 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (during TNA Impact)


Required Textbooks:

Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Reality, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar, 1st Edition; Michaels, Shawn: Zondervan, 2015

Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story, 1st Edition; Michaels, Shawn: World Wrestling Entertainment, 2006


Students must achieve a maturity level of no older than 10 years old prior to taking this course.

Course Objectives

The course is intended to instruct students on how to achieve a Hall of Fame career on their own terms, while pissing off as many people and destroying as many lives as possible.

Course Description

This course will cover the major aspects of superior match quality, above average promo ability, backstage politicking, manipulation, match loss avoidance, gang protection, immaturity, fake injuries, deceit, immoral values, early retirement, religion, and forgiveness. Course highlights include celebrity guest lectures and private tutoring from those affected by Michaels’ actions in the past. A final project will be assigned with the intention of mimicking the Montreal screwjob to the best of the student’s abilities. Please refer to the course schedule for specific assignment dates and rules.

Lesson #1: Screwing Up at the Very Start

In this lesson, you’ll learn how Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty (as the Rockers) were hired in 1987, a full year before most people realize, and screwed up their chances by being young and immature. Hear the full story that got them canned before they ever made their television debut, and earned them real-life heat with Andre the Giant that scared them half to death. Mr. Michaels will explain what it was like to blow the opportunity of a lifetime and being forced to go to the dying AWA and working for peanuts for Verne Gagne.

Lesson #2: Paying Your Dues

In this lesson, you’ll learn how Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty almost always had the best match on the card, but still couldn’t get a big push. This frustration will lead to fistfights with your travel partners, and you’ll often quit because of it. You’ll watch men with less talent move up the cards as you do clean jobs for them, simply because Vince McMahon doesn’t think you have enough size no matter how many steroids you take. Michaels and Jannetty will give their thoughts on the time they won the WWF tag team titles in 1990, only to have Vince change his mind and decide never to air the match.

GUEST LECTURE: Marty Jannetty

Jannetty will tell road stories of how difficult Shawn was to travel with. Michaels will counter this with road stories of how Jannetty partied like crazy every night, slept with tons of women, and didn’t take his career as seriously as Michaels did. Each man will then give his own versions of the multiple fistfights they had with each other during the Rockers’ initial WWF run from 1988 to 1991.

Lesson #3: Your First Big Break

In this lesson, Shawn Michaels will describe how if you work hard enough and have enough great matches for years, you will eventually get your big break if you steal the show with a 5-star match at WrestleMania. But ONLY when other stars that Vince McMahon prefers either quit, get injured, fail drug tests, or leave for another wrestling promotion. You’ll be seen as the last hope, a fallback plan, and the best of available options before you’re finally given the chance to run with the ball.


Hall will tell students what it was like to be involved in the greatest match in WWF history up until that time, yet got no credit for it because Michaels took so many spectacular bumps with a ladder.

Lesson #4: Throwing Hissyfits

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to avoid losing matches at all costs by throwing temper tantrums, hissyfits, and acting like a crybaby backstage. Michaels will show you how to get your way by whining, complaining, and berating others on live television. Clips will be shown of Michaels losing his smile and forfeiting and vacating his titles without ever having to lose them in the ring. Students will be encouraged to role-play to act out in the manner Michaels did in the mid 1990s. A strong emphasis will be placed on how to get away with these actions by having great matches, friends with political power, and holding back other wrestlers to the point Vince McMahon will have no other options than to keep you as a main eventer.

GUEST LECTURE: Jim Cornette and Pat Patterson

Former WWF bookers Cornette and Patterson will explain how difficult Michaels was to deal with, offering advice on how to rub as many people the wrong way as possible while maintaining a top position.

Lesson #5: Form a Tough Gang to Protect Your Ass

In this lesson, Shawn Michaels will discuss how to befriend large, powerful men to protect you from physical harm on the road and in the locker room. Michaels will detail the formation of the Kliq, and how they saved his butt from numerous other wrestlers who wanted to beat the sh*t out of him backstage. Learn all the things you can get away with, how many people you can piss off, and how many jobs you can avoid doing by having tough men who had your back and made sure you maintained political power. Handheld camera footage will be shown of the Kliq’s “Curtain Call” at Madison Square Garden in 1996, and how nobody was punished for it except HHH.

GUEST LECTURE: Kevin Nash and Scott Hall

Nash and Hall will tell stories of how many times they got Shawn Michaels out of dangerous situations. They will also confirm stories that after they left for WCW, Michaels had no one left to protect him and thus Bret Hart gave him a beating backstage.

Lesson #6: Stirring the Pot

In this lesson, Shawn Michaels will give numerous examples of how he started trouble with arch nemesis Bret Hart by insinuating he had an affair with Sunny. Clips will be shown of all the immature, imbecilic antics he and HHH got away with on camera during their DX run. Watch Michaels hump the Canadian flag, pick his nose with it, and make lewd references to this crotch while making sausage jokes.


HHH will offer his perspective on how he and Chyna helped Michaels push the envelope and act like asinine teenagers despite being in their early 30s.

Lesson #7: Screwing Bret

In this very important lesson, Shawn Michaels will teach students how to effectively perform a screwjob ending against a top babyface. Michaels will work with students individually on how to act like you know nothing about what’s planned, act completely upset and surprised in the ring, and then lie through your teeth about it when confronted backstage by the babyface. You will also be instructed on how to keep lying about it for five consecutive years.


WWE legend Bret Hart will describe to students how difficult it was to keep from killing Michaels, and how good he was at acting and lying about something that affected him so deeply. The Wrestling with Shadows movie will be played for the class, with periodic breaks allowing Hart and Michaels to tell their sides of the story.

Lesson #8: Early Retirement

In this lesson, Shawn Michaels will demonstrate how he badly injured his back, and parlayed it into early retirement. He’ll talk about how he put over rising star “Stone Cold” Steve Austin only because the Undertaker threatened him physical harm if he pulled any of his usual funny business.

GUEST LECTURE: The Undertaker

The Undertaker will describe, in detail, what he would’ve done to Michaels had he not put over Austin as planned at WrestleMania 14. Undertaker will perform these tactics on a mannequin dummy, tearing it to bits and pieces to remind Michaels what would’ve happened to him if things had gone another way.

Lesson #9: Finding Religion

In this lesson, Shawn Michaels will instruct students on how to find religion in order to justify all your previous sins. By asking God for forgiveness, you can apologize to everyone you pissed off in your younger years, and they’ll have no choice but to believe you because Michaels will work with you to act as convincingly as possible that you’re a changed man. These feigned apologies will save you from further physical harm and revenge, and also grant you a second chance when you return to the ring from your over exaggerated injuries taught in lesson #8.


Several members of the WWE locker room in 2002 will give first-hand examples of how they wanted to kill Michaels, but took him at his word regarding his newfound religion.

Lesson #10: Ending on a Positive Note

In this final lesson, Shawn Michaels will show students how to erase all the negativity of your past by having one last amazing run and continuing to have great matches. What about the career-ending injury from lesson #8? Michaels will show you that, poof, it can be gone magically and you can continue having 5-star matches at WrestleMania. Michaels will re-live WrestleMania 2008, where he was chosen to retire his childhood hero and greatest wrestler of all-time, Ric Flair. He’ll then instruct students how to get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and get everyone to think you’re this amazing person who never did anything wrong.


Ric Flair will talk about his final WWE match that he lost to Michaels, and how Michaels is the all-time greatest performer. Flair will finally dismiss all the criticisms Michaels ever received for being childish, telling students he never witnessed any of it because he was working for WCW during that time.


For your final project, you must pick one other student in class to screw over, and plan an elaborate screwjob to do so. You’ll then have a match and receive a grade on how well you are able to pull off the screwjob convincingly without getting beaten up. You must then pick a religion to find (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc) to allow forgiveness of your past sins, and you’ll also be graded on a mock Hall of Fame induction speech in which you’ll denounce your past sins and convince everyone in the room you’re really a great guy after all.

Final Grade Breakdown:

Tantrums and hissyfits – 20%
Match quality – 20%
Political savvy – 10%
Clique formation – 10%
Quality of women you sleep with – 15%
Final screwjob project: 35%