D-Generation X a professional wrestling stable (and later tag team) best known for their appearances in the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment. The group originated in the midst of the WWF's "Attitude Era" in 1997 as a foil to another prominent faction, The Hart Foundation.
After its original run with members Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsley (later known simply as Triple H), Chyna, and Rick Rude, the group expanded to become a mainstay of the Attitude Era with new additions like X-Pac, The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) and Tori until it disbanded in August 2000. After a teased reunion in 2002, DX reformed in June 2006 as the duo of Triple H and Shawn Michaels for the remainder of the year and again in August 2009 until March 2010, shortly before Michaels' retirement. This incarnation was voted the greatest WWE Tag Team Champions of all time in a 2013 WWE viewer poll.
D-Generation X was formed during the genesis of what would become the WWF's highly successful "Attitude Era" in the later half of 1997. Real-life friends and reported Clique members Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley (who began being known simply as Triple H) were the original two members, along with Helmsley's bodyguard, Chyna and Michaels' "insurance policy," Rick Rude. Triple H and Michaels immediately united together after Michaels turned heel after hitting The Undertaker with a chair at SummerSlam (1997). On October 13, 1997, the group officially referred to themselves as Degeneration X for the first time and debuted their signature slogan, "Suck it!" They were often shown on television practicing sophomoric humor and rebelling against authority figures in the company. Their trademark "crotch chops" became one of the most popular gestures in wrestling while their "D-Generation X" T-shirts enjoyed considerable sales.
The name D-Generation X was possibly taken from an opinion column by Phil Mushnick which appeared in TV Guide, in which Mushnick lambasted wrestling's primarily Generation X fanbase as degenerates, dubbing them "Degeneration X." On the other hand, Michaels' autobiography would suggest that it was in fact then-WWF head writer Vince Russo who first conceived the moniker for the popular faction.
On-screen, however, the name was taken from Bret Hart who claimed that Shawn Michaels and Triple H were nothing more than degenerates. D-Generation X's first feud was against Bret Hart and his Hart Foundation. This feud ended at Survivor Series (1997) in the infamous Montreal Screwjob which led to Bret leaving the company along with two of the remaining three members of the Foundation. The only member that remained in the WWF, Owen Hart, continued to feud with DX, specifically Triple H.
"D-Generation X" was later used as the title for a WWF In Your House pay-per-view telecast on December 7, 1997.
On March 29, 1998, at WrestleMania XIV, Shawn Michaels was the reigning WWF Champion, and Triple H was the reigning European Champion. They recruited boxer Mike Tyson to act as the "Special Enforcer" in the main event of the night featuring Michaels against Stone Cold Steve Austin. At the end of the match, Tyson turned on D-Generation X and cost Michaels the match. Michaels, who would take a long hiatus due to a real-life injury, was now out of DX. The next night on RAW, Triple H declared himself to be the new leader, saying that Michaels had "dropped the ball." He recruited a re-debuting X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws to reform DX in an incarnation that came to be known as the "DX army." In his debut, X-Pac, who had just been released from World Championship Wrestling, cut a now-famous promo where he responded to then-WCW wrestler Hulk Hogan's live interview that alluded to X-Pac's recent release from the promotion.
DX invaded WCW This incarnation of DX became extremely popular and eventually turned face. During this time, they were involved in several storylines and skits - including a feud with rival faction Nation of Domination and The Corporation. DX parodied the Nation and The Corporation where they dressed as the members of the respective factions and impersonated their characteristic mannerisms. They also made a video package where they "raided" Atlanta, the home of WCW. At one point, they attempted to "invade" (with a tank and military dress) a live broadcast of WCW Monday Nitro in Norfolk, Virginia, across Hampton Roads from where WWF Raw is War had their live broadcast. They made it to the front gate of the Norfolk Scope arena, but were barred entry. Another incident almost caused a lawsuit when DX told people in line for Nitro tickets that the show was for free, and that they should leave. This incarnation of the faction lasted about a year.
The end of an era
DX began falling apart in the early part of 1999. On January 25, Chyna turned on DX by attacking Triple H and joining Vince McMahon's Corporation stable. Two months later, Triple H also joined The Corporation after turning on X-Pac at WrestleMania XV. DX, now down to The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac, fell apart two months later when Billy Gunn turned on X-Pac during a match in May, leaving DX and starting a feud with Road Dogg. In June, Triple H informed Gunn that Road Dogg and X-Pac were still getting royalties from the DX name (kayfabe), which led to a feud that culminated in a match at Fully Loaded where X-Pac and Road Dogg defeated Gunn and Chyna for the rights to the D-Generation X name.
On October 25, 1999, the group reformed as heels and included every original member, except for Shawn Michaels, Chyna, and Rick Rude (who had died that April). From then until mid-2000, DX remained a strong and united group. In early 2000, however, Billy Gunn was placed out of action for several months after suffering an injury against The Dudley Boyz. On screen, Gunn's storyline involved him getting thrown out of DX because "he lost his cool." X-Pac teamed with Road Dogg, but the two never reached the heights of the New Age Outlaws. At WrestleMania 2000, Vince McMahon turned on The Rock and aided Triple H in retaining his title. This marked the start of what many fans nicknamed "Corporate-DX" (much like the Corporate Ministry from the previous year). However the group was officially dubbed the McMahon-Helmsley Faction (it had earlier gone by the name "McMahon-Helmsley Regime").
The following month The Rock defeated Triple H at Backlash in a match which featured Steve Austin's brief return to the WWF. Though Triple H would regain the title the following month at Judgment Day, the group gradually broke apart. By late 2000, Triple H was a solo star. On the November 6, 2000 edition of RAW is WAR, the group temporarily rejoined (save for X-Pac, who was injured) to take on Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn (The Radicalz) in an 8-man tag team match, which DX won. The match included the group doing their old DX entrance as well as telling the crowd to "Suck it!" It was the symbolic end to D-Generation X. However, the members of DX (excluding Triple H) and K-Kwik, Road Dogg's then-tag team partner, feuded with the Radicalz that month, eventually leading to a match at Survivor Series 2000 involving the same 8 wrestlers, except for Triple H, who was replaced by K-Kwik. The Radicalz won the match.
After that, DX remained unseen and largely unspoken of until Shawn Michaels returned to WWE in 2002. On July 22, 2002, on the episode of RAW, a week after the breakup of the nWo, Triple H handed Shawn Michaels a DX t-shirt and stated he "had an idea," suggesting that the two reform the group. The duo later came out that night to their old music and crotch chops to the delight of the crowd. However, Triple H turned on Michaels on that same night; he had teased the reunion as a ploy to appease Michaels and lure him to the ring before giving him a Pedigree. This act led to the in-ring return of Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam 2002 and the genesis of a long feud between the two.
Reformed duo (2006–2007; 2009–2010)
In 2006, a series of events occurred which hinted at a DX reunion. At WrestleMania 22, former members Shawn Michaels and Triple H performed the crotch chop during their respective matches, which was met with loud cheering from the fans in attendance. The two continued to deliver chops in the following episodes of RAW as Michaels feuded with Vince McMahon and Triple H focused on the WWE Championship, repeatedly running into Vince McMahon in the process.
On the June 12 RAW, the events came to a head, when, during Triple H's gauntlet match against the Spirit Squad, Shawn Michaels came in to help his former companion. After the duo had defeated the Spirit Squad, the two men began to perform their crotch chops. The reunited DX continued their brash antics at the expense of the Spirit Squad, Vince and Shane McMahon and Jonathan Coachman for several weeks and repeatedly took part in blatantly camp product placement during RAW promos. Most of their antics involved practical jokes on Vince.
On the June 26 RAW, they added to the list of parodies with Triple H impersonating Vince McMahon, talking about his love of "Dicks" (referring to Dick Ebersol, Dick Clark, and Dick Cheney), while Shawn impersonated Shane McMahon (this episode is also famous for being the "Holy Shit" episode due to excrement being dumped on Vince and Shane McMahon and the entire Spirit Squad). During their feud, DX defeated the Spirit Squad at Vengeance and Saturday Night's Main Event, as well as The McMahons at SummerSlam. At Unforgiven in a handicap Hell in a Cell match that featured The Big Show on The McMahons' side, DX again came out victorious.
DX's next feud was with Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton). At Cyber Sunday, the fans selected Eric Bischoff to be the special guest referee for the match. Bischoff allowed the illegal use of a chair to give Rated-RKO the win. With this, Rated-RKO became the first team to defeat DX in a tag team match since their reunion in June 2006. At Survivor Series 2006 Team DX (DX, The Hardys, and CM Punk) defeated Team Rated-RKO (Rated-RKO, Gregory Helms, Johnny Nitro, and Mike Knox), in a clean sweep.
At New Year's Revolution, during their match with Rated-RKO, Triple H suffered a (legit) torn right quadriceps muscle. This prompted Rated-RKO to claim victory not only of the match (which was ruled a no-contest) but over DX as a whole. Michaels, however, vowed to support Triple H through his injury and to get revenge on Rated-RKO. The next week, he "took out" Randy Orton with a one man con-chair-to.
After Triple H's knee injury, Michaels was involved in feuds with Randy Orton, Edge, and John Cena. Despite performing solo, Michaels still used the DX gimmick and theme music, but this was eventually phased out, leading to the end of the latest incarnation of DX. However, Michaels was eventually taken off TV due to a (kayfabe) concussion (he actually needed knee surgery since the previous summer). Michaels had successful knee surgery on May 23.
Despite the end of DX, Triple H continues to use the crotch chop before executing his finishing move, the Pedigree.
Michaels and Triple H teamed up again under the D-Generation X gimmick on the January 28, 2008 episode of Raw defeating Umaga and Snitsky. Despite DX reforming for one night only occasions, both Triple H and Shawn Michaels have used the "crotch chop" since the one night only returns. On the September 29, 2008 edition of Raw, Triple H and Shawn Michaels reunited as DX to take on Chris Jericho and Lance Cade. They won by disqualification, due to Cade and Jericho attacking Michaels with a ladder. After being mocked by John Morrison and The Miz for two weeks, on the 800th episode of Raw, DX defeated the duo. During the Christmas season, DX appeared in numerous vignettes to promote DX clothing and other WWE merchandise; one commercial even featured Kelly Kelly.
In April 2009, Michaels took time off from WWE after losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV. Meanwhile, Triple H was embroiled in a rivalry with Randy Orton and The Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase). The feud continued from the spring through the summer with Triple H mainly combating with Orton over the WWE Championship. Eventually, Triple H would begin to target The Legacy because they were responsible for his losses against Orton during matches.
After losing a handicap match to The Legacy, Triple H stated that he would search for Michaels in order to reunite DX. On the August 10, 2009 episode of Raw, video segments aired in which Triple H met with Michaels at an office cafeteria in Texas where he was working as a chef; throughout the segments, Triple H would try to convince Michaels to return to WWE. After several incidents during the segments (including a grease fire and Shawn shouting at a little girl), Michaels agreed to team with Triple H to face The Legacy at SummerSlam, quitting from his chef job in the process.
On the August 17 episode of Raw, Michaels and Triple H officially reunited as DX, but as they were in the process of their in-ring promo, Legacy surprise attacked them both. Their first match after reuniting was against Legacy at SummerSlam, which they won. At Breaking Point, however, they lost to Legacy in the first ever Submissions Count Anywhere match in WWE history. At the October pay-per-view Hell in Cell, DX defeated Legacy in a Hell in a Cell match. They began a feud with Chris Jericho and Big Show. It was quickly ended at Bragging Rights where team Smackdown defeated team Raw lead by DX. DX was scheduled to face John Cena for The WWE Championship in a Triple Threat Match but failed to do so.
After failing to get the WWE Championship from John Cena, due to conflict between each other, they continued on to go for the Unified Tag Team Championships from Jerishow. They defeated Jerishow at TLC:Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2009 to become the new Unified Tag Team Champions. DX defended the titles against Jerishow the next day at The Slammy Awards but only to get them selves disqualified by pushing over the referee moments after the match started. They went on to send the DX army superstars to personally escort Jericho out of the RAW arena, as he is now trespassing.
As of 11:05 PM on the December 21st episode of RAW Hornswoggle is the honorary mascot for Degeneration X
- Finishing and signature moves
- Sweet Chin Music and Pedigree
- Shawn Michaels finishing and signature moves
- Sweet Chin Music
- Triple H finishing and signature moves
- Theme music
- Break It Down by The Chris Warren Band
- The Kings" by Run DMC
Note: The Last DX theme (used from their reunion until NYR) was actually a Remix of the Original Theme, Break It Down. This version has a little more rock and less percussion. It hasn't yet still released on any WWE CD and it's considered a WWE Production. It can be only heard on the video game WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 and WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 as their entrance Theme.
- Triple H - Co Founder
- Shawn Michaels -Co Founder
- Chyna - September 20, 1997-January 25, 1999
- Rick Rude - September 20, 1997-November 17, 1997
- Billy Gunn - March 30, 1998-May 2, 1999; September 23, 1999-February 28, [2000
- Road Dogg - March 30, 1998-August 24, 2000
- X-Pac - March 30, 1998-August 24, 2000
- Tori - January 27, 2000-June 25, 2000
- Stephanie McMahon - December 1999-March 2000
- Mike Tyson - WrestleMania XIV
- Hornswoggle - December 21, 2009
When DX formed they began doing a gesture where they would put one arm on each side of their crotch and point down. This was known as the "crotch chop". There is an alternate version of the "crotch chop" where instead of pointing down on each side of their sides, they point down and make their arms in an "X" formation, over their stomach/crotch. However, when DX reformed in 2006, Michaels said he felt uncomfortable doing the real "crotch chop" so he would do the alternate version, as he had become a born again Christian since the last D-Generation X incarnation.
When DX enters the ring they do a pyro routine. Green X pyrotechnics go off three times, with DX crotch-chopping at each firing. They then pause for a second, then chop once more as the pyrotechnics fire again.
"Suck it!" is DX's signature slogan. This is also used in their popular "Let's get ready to suck it!" routine, originally a parody of Michael Buffer's "Let's get ready to rumble!"
The routine starts when Triple H asks the audience "Are you ready?" He then shouts "No, (city name), I said ARE YOU READY?!" to get a louder reaction from the crowd. He continues and says "Then, for the thousands in attendance, and the millions watching at home. Let's get ready to suck it!" Billy Gunn (1998-2002) or Shawn Michaels (2006-Present) then ends the routine by saying "And if you aren't down with that, then we got two words for ya." before sticking up the microphone up in the air for the crowd to scream "Suck it!" As well, Triple H will often say the match is for someone else, varying on their recent exploits and who they're about to wrestle (e.g., "and for Vince McMahon, who is home right now choking his chicken" when they had previously sent Vince home injured.)
Another taunt DX performs, is crossing their forearms above their head, making an "X" formation, which looks identical to the referee's X symbol that means "This wrestler is legitimately injured!"
nWo influence and DX inspiration
DX is believed to have been heavily influenced by World Championship Wrestling's New World Order (although WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has denied this on many occasions). It also was one of the two main contributing factors to the World Wrestling Federation's Attitude Era (along with Steve Austin). Incidentally, DX and the nWo included members of professional wrestling's The Kliq (with Shawn Michaels and Sean Waltman as the only two Kliq alumni as members of both stables).