New DX

1997 Formation

Off-screen, DX was the idea of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna[6] According to Levesque, WWF management wanted to keep The Kliq, of which Levesque and Michaels were members, apart, so they were hesitant to pair the duo together at first.[6] DX, however, was officially incarnated on September 20, 1997 at the WWF One Night Only pay-per-view in Birmingham, England. Along with then-heels, Michaels, Chyna, and Triple H, Michaels' "insurance policy", Rick Rude was also an original member. Triple H and Michaels united after Michaels became a villain after hitting The Undertaker with a chair at SummerSlam.[7] Initially getting together as allies aiding Michaels in his subsequent feud with the Undertaker, DX officially got together at the One Night Only pay-per-view when Helmsley, Chyna, and Rude helped Michaels win the WWF European Championship from the British Bulldog.[3][8][9] On October 13, 1997, the group officially gave themselves the name "Degeneration X" with Shawn Michaels as the leader. Michaels' autobiography suggests that it was then-WWF head writer Vince Russo who first conceived the moniker for the faction. On-screen, however, the name was taken from Bret Hart, who claimed that Shawn Michaels and Triple H were nothing more than degenerates. It was also the first time they spoke their trademark slogan, "Suck it!" They were often shown on television practicing sophomoric/crude humor and rebelling against authority figures in the company, primarily Vince McMahon (then an on-air color commentator) and then-Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter, the latter of which DX made a particular habit of humiliating with the group giving him the nickname of "Sgt. Slobber". D-Generation X's first feud was against Bret Hart and his Hart Foundation. This feud ended at Survivor Series when Shawn Michaels won his third WWF Championship in the Montreal Screwjob, which came about from Bret leaving the company along with two of the remaining three members of the Foundation.[10][11] 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. By this point, DX's capture of the World Championship and European Championship as well as their 'victory' in the feud with the Hart Foundation, solidified their status as the lead stable in the company, with this pay-per-view being representative of that fact. Michaels headlined the event as he was disqualified in a WWF Championship title defense against Ken Shamrock. Earlier that night, Triple H defeated Sgt. Slaughter with the help of Chyna in a Boot Camp match.[12] On the December 11 edition of Raw is War (aired December 22), however, the two were forced to wrestle each other for the European title. In a mock match, similar to the Fingerpoke of Doom, Michaels laid down while Triple H ran around the ring and eventually pinned him for the championship.[13]

DX army Foundation (1998–1999)

In the beginning of 1998, Triple H exchanged the WWF European Championship with Owen Hart.[14][15] At WrestleMania XIV, Shawn Michaels was the reigning WWF Champion and Triple H was the reigning WWF 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, thus starting the "Attitude Era" of WWF.[16] The following night, Michaels, putting his wrestling career on hold due to back injuries, left the group.[6] Triple H assumed full leadership of D-X and recruited X-Pac—who had recently been fired from World Championship Wrestling—and the WWF Tag Team Champions the New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) into the stable.[6] While the group were intended to remain as heels, they became hugely popular and were eventually pushed as fan favorites. During this time, they feuded with the heel gimmick of The Rock and his group the Nation of Domination and then later, Vince McMahon's Corporation.[6][17] The group remained united and hugely popular throughout all of 1998 and into early-1999. On editions of Raw is War in April and May, they went to a "war" with Nitro and "invaded" their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.[17] The group also fueded with the new "Corporate" Commissioner, and former DX member, Shawn Michaels who turned on the group after costing X-Pac a WWF Championship match against The Rock.[18] The faction would continue to feud with Michaels throughout late 1999, with Michaels reversing Billy Gunn's Intercontinental Championship victory against Ken Shamrock[19], costing The Outlaws the Tag Team Titles and even managing to lure the New Age Outlaws to The Corporation on the December 7 edition of Raw is War. However, the Outlaws quickly revealed this to have been a ruse, turning on The Corporation that same night.[20] When The Corporation turned on Michaels in January 1999, he was taken in by DX once more. This too was short lived as later that night DX were instrumental in Michaels being ambushed by The Corportation, with Triple H commenting "What goes around, comes around". Some of the groups most memorable promos were their parodies of their rivals. On July 6 1998, DX carried out the first of these segments. In this instence, they mocked The Nation of Domination, with Triple H portraying The Rock (referred to as "The Crock"); Road Dogg playing D'Lo Brown; Billy Gunn playing The Godfather; X-Pac as Mark Henry (or Mizark); and impressionist Jason Sensation as Owen Hart.[21] On December 14 1998, they would turn their attention to The Corporation with Triple H again appearing as "The Crock", Road Dogg playing Mr McMahon (with two midgets representing Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson kissing his behind throughout); Billy Gunn playing Shane McMahon in a diaper; X-Pac playing Ken Shamrock; Chyna as The Big Bossman; and Sensation returning to play Michaels.[22] These parodies would be ressurected during the fourth incarnation. Throughout 1999, the members gradually turned on one another. Initially, Chyna turned on Triple H and joined the Corporation on January 19.[6] At Wrestlemania XV Chyna turned on fellow Corporation member Kane, helping Triple H to defeat him. Later that night, Triple H and Chyna interfeared in X-Pac's European Championship match with Shane McMahon. Initially it appeared they were there to help X-Pac, but Triple H quickly turned on him, delivering a pedigree to his former stablemate, costing him the match. Chyna and Triple H would then join The Corporation, with Kane being ousted[6] As a result, X-Pac began to share a bond with Kane, holding the WWF Tag Team Championship twice, which resulted in Kane becoming associated with the faction.[23][24][25] Though the group maintained a united front against The Corporation, Billy Gunn became frustrated at Kane's presence and The New Age Outlaws' inability to win the Tag Team Championships from X-Pac and Kane. Following one such defeat on the April 29 edition of Smackdown, Gunn became angry at X-Pac.[26] The following week on Sunday Night Heat he apologised to X-Pac, but attacked him when X-Pac's back was turned, citing his frustration at being "held back" and departing from D-Generation X, therefore reducing the members to just Road Dogg and X-Pac.[17] Over the following weeks, Gunn would continue to attack X-Pac and Road Dogg, often being chased away by Kane.[27] Though not officially a member, upon winning the Tag Team Titles from The Acolytes on August 9, Kane, under encouragement from partner X-Pac, uttered his first words without help from a voice box, said words being "Suck it". The pair were joined in the ring by Road Dogg[28]

Reformation in 1999

Triple H displaying the DX "X" On October 25, the group reformed as villains when Triple H and X-Pac helped the New Age Outlaws - who had reunited a month previously[29] - defeat Stone Cold Steve Austin and the face gimmick of The Rock.[17][30] On that weeks Smackdown, X-Pac suggested that DX would get "bigger", hinting that Kane would finally become an official member. However, later that night, he turned on Kane following a match with the Dudley Boyz, stating there would be no additional member.[31] That same night, DX were "hunted" by Austin, with Stone Cold catching Road Dogg in a bear trap, Billy Gunn in a noose, having a portion of the backstage ceiling fall on X-Pac and finally catching the whole group in a net.[32] From then on, Kane and X-Pac would feud, with X-Pac eventually stealing Kane's storyline "girlfriend" Tori, on January 27 2000, with Tori becoming an member of DX.[33] Triple H would also "marry" Stephanie McMahon, who would also join the group.[34] Throughout this period, the heel DX would feud with the likes of Austin, The Rock, Shane McMahon, Mankind/Cactus Jack, Chris Jericho and Kane,[35] primeraly with the aim of securing and protecting Triple H's World Championship, which he won on January 3 2000.[36] They would arrive at arenas in a tour bus called "The DX Express"[37] 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".[17] X-Pac teamed with Road Dogg, but the two never reached the heights of the New Age Outlaws. At WrestleMania 2000, then-babyface, Vince McMahon turned on The Rock and aided Triple H in retaining his title.[38] The group was officially dubbed the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. On March 30, X-Pac and Tori assisted Stephanie McMahon in winning the Womens Championship from Jacquelyn.[39] On April 12, Steve Austin used a crane to drop a steel beam on the DX Express tour bus, crushing the bus in the parking lot.[40] The Rock defeated Triple H at Backlash in a match which featured Steve Austin's brief return to the WWF.[41] Though Triple H regained the title the following month at Judgment Day,[42] 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 (except for X-Pac, who was injured) to take on The Radicalz (Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn) in an eight-person tag team match, which DX won.[43] 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. The members of DX (excluding Triple H, who was a villain again) and K-Kwik, Road Dogg's new tag team partner, however, feuded with the Radicalz that month, eventually leading to a match at Survivor Series involving the same eight wrestlers. The Radicalz won the match.[44] After that, DX remained unseen and largely unspoken of until Shawn Michaels returned to WWE in 2002. On the July 22 edition of Raw, a week after the breakup of the nWo, Triple H handed 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. Triple H, however, 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.[45] This act led to the in-ring return of Michaels at SummerSlam and was the genesis of a long feud between the two.[46]

Shawn Michaels and Triple H (2006–2007)

Michaels displaying the DX "X" 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.[47] 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 McMahon in the process. On the June 12 edition of 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 laid out the entire Spirit Squad, the two men began to perform their crotch chops. 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.[48][49] Most of their antics involved practical jokes on Vince. On the June 26 edition of Raw, they added to the list of parodies with Triple H impersonating Vince McMahon, talking about his love of "Dicks" (a double entrende referring to Dick Ebersol, Dick Clark, and Dick Cheney, as well as the male member), while Michaels impersonated Shane McMahon.[50] During their feud, DX defeated the Spirit Squad at Vengeance and on the July 15 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event,[51][52] as well as The McMahons (Vince and Shane) at SummerSlam.[53] At Unforgiven in a handicap Hell in a Cell match that featured The Big Show on The McMahons' side, DX again came out victorious.[54] DX's next feud was with Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton). At Cyber Sunday, the fans selected Eric Bischoff over Vince McMahon and Jonathan Coachman to be the special guest referee for the match. Bischoff allowed the illegal use of a steel chair to give Rated-RKO the win. With this win, Rated-RKO became the first team to "defeat" DX in a tag team match since their reunion in June 2006.[48][55] At Survivor Series, Michaels and Triple H got back at Edge and Orton by leading Team DX (Triple H, Michaels, Matt and Jeff Hardy, and CM Punk) to a 5–0 sweep over Team Rated-RKO (Edge, Orton, Gregory Helms, Johnny Nitro, and Mike Knox).[48][56] In 2007, DX challenged for the World Tag Team Championship against Edge and Orton at New Year's Revolution. The fight ended in a no contest after Michaels hit the referee. During the match, Triple H suffered a legitimate torn quadriceps. After the match, DX beat down Rated-RKO with steel chairs and on the announce tables.

2009 Reunion

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, The Legacy surprise attacked them. At WWE SummerSlam 2009 Shawn Michaes & Triple once again reformed "DX" to face Legacy "Cody Rhodes & Ted Diebiase jr."