On a recent edition of Cornette’s Drive-Thru, Jim Cornette discussed Shawn Michaels starting a riot at a WWE live event in Little Rock in 1997 when he refused to wrestle his scheduled match (Michaels & Triple H vs. Steve Austin & Dude Love) because fans were throwing garbage in the ring and he felt unsafe. According to Cornette, fans started lighting seats on fire. Cornette’s comments are below.
On how Michaels was upset about fans throwing garbage in the ring at a show in Memphis prior to the Little Rock show: “It was DX, him and Triple H, against, I can’t remember who the babyfaces were and it doesn’t really matter, but he pitched some kind of fit, I don’t remember exactly in Memphis, about security and this, because this is at the time where they were all so, encouraging it on WCW’s television, where people were throwing the garbage in the ring at the nWo and blah, blah, blah, and that wasn’t real heat. A couple of times they got some real heat on WCW television, but it became like the ECW chair throwing thing where it happened once and then because they actually showed it in a favorable way, it was referred to or talked about, ‘Oh, that cool happening,’ OK, then every time you went, WWF had a problem with it during the Attitude Era, WCW even worse, with people throwing shit, filling the ring up with garbage, whatever. But since it had been so long since wrestling got any fucking response, they were going with it, especially in WCW.”
“There was some kind of beef with him and his match with fans throwing shit and him doing something and I can’t remember what it was because Little Rock overshadowed it. I remember at the time being told the whole situation, or at least the situation we were told. Nobody was in danger, nobody got physically attacked. They were throwing shit which, welcome to Mid-South Wrestling, right? It was not a good situation and people shouldn’t have been throwing shit but he made a big fucking stink out of it and made the whole issue worse than it was by his behavior as usual.”
On Michaels refusing to work his scheduled match on the Little Rock show: “And before the match starts, people are throwing shit and fucking Michaels gets in a fucking hissy fit and decides to announce that he isn’t going to have the match and he leaves and takes Helmsley with him. And the people, they had a riot and not only that, they started setting the seats on fire and shit.”
“Michaels would not go back out and do anything to help the situation.”
On the fallout from the riot: “And then I was there on Tuesday that week when Vince was taking the phone calls from everybody, pissed off building, shit got set on fire. JR came over and talked about it because it was a talent relations issue, because he said, ‘Well, Shawn said he was unsafe,’ and blah blah blah, turned down all opportunities and efforts to be given extra security to go back out and do what they were supposed to do. So they didn’t go back to Little Rock for quite awhile.”
On what the other talent thought of Shawn Michaels when he did things like this: “They respected the guy because he was a great performer even under those conditions when he wanted to be, but he was a fucking asshole, and the people who were in his group, The Kliq, put up with it, and everybody else who wasn’t thought he was a piece of shit.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Cornette’s Drive-Thru with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.