As WWE closes in on Monday's 25th anniversary of Raw episode, the inevitable rankings of the show's greatest moments have begun to pop up left and right. There was one great moment, however, that pre-dates the 1993 debut episode of Raw and celebrated its own anniversary last week.
Exactly one year prior on Jan. 11, 1992, during an episode of the weekly syndicated show "WWF Wrestling Challenge," Shawn Michaels cemented his heel turn by breaking up with tag team partner Marty Jannetty of The Rockers during a segment called "The Barber Shop" with Brutus Beefcake.
Michaels, then 26 and on the verge of becoming a solo attraction, at first appeared to patch up recent issues with Jannetty by hugging him. But moments later, he superkicked him to the chin before grabbing Jannetty by the hair and throwing him through a glass window.
The gripping segment helped Michaels acquire the nickname of "The Heartbreak Kid" as fans in attendance audibly shrieked with shock and disgust. After Jannetty sold the attack with a blade job, Michaels sealed the turn by holding up a magazine photo of The Rockers and tearing it in half.
Nearly 26 years to the day, Michaels' attack retains an authentic level of intensity. The WWE Hall of Famer,to preview Raw 25 (Jan. 22, 8 ET/7 CT, USA Network), was asked how much the real-life tensions between him and Jannetty fueled the "Sweet Chin Music" he delivered.
"I had the boots on and that one was a little snug, I will say that," Michaels told CBS Sports. "Every now and then, it does get away from me. But I have to say that Marty took that like a champ for heaven's sake."
In the years that have passed, Jannetty has done nothing but confirm Michaels' comments. During a 2017 interview with "The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling," Jannetty explained what was going on in his head as Michaels tossed him through the window.
"A lot of glass," Jannetty said while laughing. "As I've told before, in all honesty, I'm pretty sure that a lot of it was on purpose because we had a little animosity at the time going on. But that superkick was in there. He laid it in and caught me right underneath the chin, and if you ever see it again, you'll watch and see me raise right up off my toes before I went down and I was pretty groggy by the time I went through the window."
Creating a crossover moment in popular culture that fans would still reference ("and make shirts about") more than a quarter century later was not something Michaels admits he had in mind when the cameras turned on, saying "you just never know" what will resonate with people.
But as a trainer with NXT these days, Michaels said he uses The Barber Shop moment and the way in which he infused real-life emotions into the segment as a teaching tool.
"That's one of those things that you try to pass on, to not to be afraid to step out of the box and give it a whirl and give it a try," Michaels said. "Even if the social media crowd is saying that it's going to be dumb, you just don't know whether it's going to connect with people. Nine times out of 10, if it is something that is real and is something that is authentic, I think fans can see that and I think fans know the difference.
"That right there is the most important thing to teach -- don't be afraid to put yourself in there and don't be afraid to let them in because that's what they want. They want to get to know you and feel what you are feeling and go through what you are going through. But it's a risk to do that and I think that's one of the things that the generation I was in sort of stumbled upon during all those nights on Monday Night Raw because it was live.
"It's impossible to get it right each and every time and I think over the years those live moments that were captured made a difference and impacted and changed the wrestling business for all times."