HomeNewsArticle Display

Professional wrestler visits former base school, home

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- Capt. Matt Gehrke shows professional wrestler Shawn Michaels the cockpit of a T-37 Tweet.  The wrestler, who spent a portion of his childhood here, toured the base Aug. 4.  Captain Gehrke is assigned to the 559th Flying Training Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lee Roberts)

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- Capt. Matt Gehrke shows professional wrestler Shawn Michaels the cockpit of a T-37 Tweet. The wrestler, who spent a portion of his childhood here, toured the base Aug. 4. Captain Gehrke is assigned to the 559th Flying Training Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lee Roberts)

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- Walking into the center of the high school gymnasium, the illuminated stage grabs the professional wrestler's attention. "This is the very spot (my friend) Kenny and I did that skit -- my first wrestling match!" he says, pointing to the stage.

It was during this performance for the 1982 Randolph High School Talent Show when Shawn Hickenbottom, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment celebrity Shawn Michaels, showcased the talent that would carry him through a 20-year career in professional wrestling.

"I remember during the match, Kenny hit me with a chair, and I fell down under the table and poured food coloring on myself (as blood)," Mr. Michaels said. "It was a lot of fun. He and I even got second or third place for it."

But Mr. Michaels' performance that night was not his only glory moment at Randolph High School. As the 6-foot-1-inch wrestler toured his former school and other familiar places here Aug. 4, including his old house, he said two of the most memorable places were the school's football field and locker room.

"I spent a lot of time on that field and in that locker room (which was also a weight room back then)," said the former linebacker and base football team captain. "Those were some intense times."

Mr. Michaels played football from the time he was 6 years old. When his father got orders to report here and the family moved on base, playing for Randolph just seemed like the natural thing to do, plus it was a way for him to fit in and make some friends, he said.

As much as he enjoyed football, Mr. Michaels said he knew at age 12 he was destined to be a professional wrestler.

"I remember seeing my first wrestling match here on TV," he said. "I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do."

After graduating from Randolph High School in 1983, Mr. Michaels attended Southwest Texas State University. But after two semesters, his calling to become a wrestler intensified, so he left college and met with a Southwest Championship Wrestling promoter.

From there, his wrestling career slowly took off and eventually exploded on the World Wrestling Federation scene, becoming the legend fans today refer to as the "Heart Break Kid" or the "Showstopper."

"I've had a great career in wrestling," he said. "But it isn't always easy. I've traveled all over the world, but haven't seen any of it -- just scenery out of windows, hotel rooms and restaurants."

The wrestler reflected on how great life was as a child, growing up on military bases, particularly Randolph.

"Things were so simple then -- hanging out at the youth center, going swimming in the base pool, playing on the ball fields -- not a care in the world," he said. "Being inside these gates I knew I was safe."

During Mr. Michaels' youth, he and his family were stationed in Arizona, England, Texas and Washington, D.C. He also lived in Iowa with his mother, brothers and sister while his dad served in the Vietnam War.

The wrestler's father retired from the Air Force at Randolph as a colonel with 25 years of service.

"I have a lot of great memories of my time at Randolph," Mr. Michaels said. "I'll never forget this place and the people I knew here." (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

Engage

Twitter
.@LRAFB recently received a brand new C-130J Super Hercules, marking the last C-130J delivery for the 19th Airlift… https://t.co/aebjDLaLiT
Twitter
An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies above the Gulf of Mexico en route to South Carolina. The jet is a compact, highly man… https://t.co/YZhs930LMG
Twitter
.@HiAirGuard Amn & Soldiers were airlifted from neighboring islands & back to Oahu, after assisting state authoriti… https://t.co/kuHakmkG4e
Twitter
Airmen from the 26th Operational Weather Squadron @TeamBarksdale complete their mission of developing and communica… https://t.co/3YTE1qItnE
Twitter
Staff Sgt. Gentry Shelby, @127Wing, provides aircraft maintenance to the A-10 Thunderbolt II amid the #COVID19 pand… https://t.co/TpmjrW356G
Twitter
An F-16 Fighting Falcon an F-35A Lightning II from @EielsonAirForce & an F-35A from @HAFB, fly over Fairbanks, Alas… https://t.co/YjbJd55EhV
Twitter
RT @USAFHealth: WELCOME HOME HEROES! Medical personnel from the 315th Aerospace Medicine Squadron return home after a month supporting the…
Twitter
Twitter
Twitter
The 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team trained using an F6 Alpha EOD robot to disarm a… https://t.co/6zwlp7MQOD
Twitter
In this episode of Inside AFIMSC, - Maj Gen Wilcox holds the center’s first virtual Commander’s Call, - Alpha Warr… https://t.co/BAmtJQX9Ua
Twitter
RT @HQAirUniversity: In our forth video of a 5-part series, AU's Director of Strategic Leadership Communication, discusses his 4 C’s of lea…
Twitter
RT @NASA: Docking confirmed! @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug officially docked to the @Space_Station at 10:16am ET: https://t.co/hCM4UvbwjR
Twitter
RT @NASA_TDRS: Dragon has docked! Crewed Dragon, with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug on board, are connected to @Space_Station, with @NASA’s…
Twitter
Rise and shine! A KC-46 Pegasus at Altus AFB as the 97th Air Mobility Wing prepares to conduct a severe weather e… https://t.co/QBT5nuXMqx
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: An amazing story of resilience & grit sure to inspire you! Airman Shannon Busch triumphed over incredible odds to graduate…
Twitter
.@HQAirUniversity's Holm Center Chaplain's thoughts on distance. #ReadyAF #COVID19 #Resilient https://t.co/svDFNqIqNX
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,231,188
Follow Us