INDUCTION: Shawn Michaels on the Canadian Home Shopping Network – An Even Worse Idea Than You’d Think

32 Submitted by on Thu, 28 May 2020, 22:13

WWF – CHSC, 1995

Going to go out on a limb here and guess that a lot of you are seeing the title of this induction and thinking of skipping out without reading it.  If you fall into that camp, all I can say is your really owe it to yourself to hang out for this one.  There is a ton to unpack here and most of it doesn’t even come in a cardboard box.

Let’s set the stage a bit – it’s late 1995.  Shawn Michaels was one of the WWF’s biggest stars, getting the rocket strapped to his back and pushed to the moon.  Incredible matches were in abundance – 1995 was the year we got the the second Razor-Shawn ladder match at Summer Slam, and there were several other ****+ Michaels bouts scattered on a regular basis.  For fans in the stands, it was good times for the Heartbreak Kid.

Behind the scenes it was not quite as glorious.  Shawn had formed a group called The Kliq, wherein he supposedly allegedly almost assuredly helped push himself and his pals to the top of the card whilst freezing the progress of countless others he didn’t care for either professionally or personally.  It’s all been far better documented elsewhere than I could possibly cover here.  Rest assured, however, friction had started backstage….and elsewhere.

In came to a head in October, when Michaels was at a bar in Syracuse, New York.  Shawn was hitting on a girl and her boyfriend was having none of it, which led to a parking lot brawl.  In the melee, Michaels was pummeled by either one or several US Marines depending on who tells the story, prior to be saved from utter destruction by Davey Boy Smith and Sean Waltman.  

Michaels was in pretty bad shape, unable to compete and thus forfeited his Intercontinental title to Shane Douglas…who immediately dropped it to back to Shawn’s Kliq pal Razor.  While he was no doubt thrilled to see Razor get the strap and Douglas humiliated, Shawn was anywhere but a good place in life.

All of this leads us to our story today, which involves his appearance on the Canadian Home Shopping Club.  You’d think there would be no story here, let alone enough fodder for a WrestleCrap induction.  Again, stick with me here.  There’s lots to cover.

Now for the uninitiated, shopping clubs or channels are just that – you have a “host” that is given various gadgets and gizmos to sell, and he or she feigns utter amazement at everything in sight.  

In the right frame of mind, these people can be mildly amusing.  

In the wrong frame of mind, they can be maddeningly annoying.

Care to guess where Shawn’s head was at this night? 

Yep, kids, coming up next is SHAUN Michaels!

But hey, don’t worry – it’s going to get a whole lot worse from here!

And so we are introduced to the host, Norm.  No idea if Norm is famous or just some random clown, but I can tell you I feel pretty sorry for the guy.  Seriously, his job is to convince you, the viewer at home, that you too could look cool wearing that hat, those glasses, and that shirt.

Seriously, how could anyone other than a twelve year old girl look like anything but a total buffoon in that ensemble?

As we go through the show, it is pretty obvious that try as he might, Norm has next to no idea who Shawn is, or Bret Hart to anyone else who’s shirts he’s attempting to sell.  As Norm wonders where Shawn could be, we get a sweeping camera cut and…


…yes, Shawn Michaels is in the building!  We don’t get Sexy Boy serenading him in, but rather some random bizarre audio track that would even have the folks that have to edit out licensed music on the WWE Network saying “Wow that is all kinds of terrible.”

The best part is if you listen closely at the end, there’s literally ONE person clapping.  This despite Shawn being mobbed by “fans.”

So Shawn meets up with Norm, with the host immediately sucking up to him, going so far as to offer to shine his shoes.  Michaels declines, and explains there’s no need for that.  Instead, he notes, let’s do what we are truly here for: shamelessly promote the World Wrestling Federation and its products!

I’m not being coy – it’s an exact quote from Shawn himself.

And get this – Shawn isn’t here by his lonesome, oh no.  He’s brought a special guest as well:

Barry Didinsky!

HO.

LEE.

CRAP.

For those of you unfamiliar, Barry was the WWF’s MAYOR OF MERCHANDISE (and inducted here).  Much like Norm, Barry would go on TV and cram whatever junk the WWF had too much stock of down viewers’ throats in an attempt to clear out the stock room.  Why Vince felt the need to pick up the tab to send Barry north of the border is honestly in question here – I mean really, we’re on a SHOPPING NETWORK.  

Do we really need a harder sell than that?

Actually, it turns out we do, as Barry immediately notes the hat on top of Norm’s head.  The following exchange occurs:

Barry: “Shawn, does he have the right to wear this hat?”

Shawn: “Sure, why not.  I mean, I wouldn’t walk around with it on but whatever.”

Thus begins a very uneasy hour.  Almost immediately, we learn two things:

1) Shawn does not like Norm.  

2) Norm is kinda scared of Shawn.  

Attempting, I guess, to defuse what he is sensing to be a bad situation, Norm tries to start a conversation with Barry regarding just how well Shawn has done in the WWF.  “Barry, what belts does Shawn currently have?  What is he up to?” asks Norm.

Shawn stares a hole in the guy and asks, “Umm, I am standing right here…why would you ask Barry how I am doing?”

Anyone remember that episode of The Office where Michael and Jan host the world’s most uncomfortable dinner party?  This is just like that, except it may be even more awkward.

Next Norm talks about the amazing sunglasses we have for sale tonight for our viewers.  Displaying them as best he can, he asks Shawn, “Do you these meet with your approval?”

Barely able to contain his laughter, Shawn says, “Oh yeah, I wear those all the time” before giggling and shaking his head.

This leads to a completely insane cockamamie story where Barry explains that Shawn actually invented these heart-shaped sunglasses while touring Europe.  “That was the only place you could get them, they were nearly impossible to get even in the US.  And Canada?  FUHGEDDABOUTIT!”

Norm transitions to showcasing the shirt (Shawn: “Did I invent that too?”), and notes you can get both the shirt and the sunglasses for the low low price of $39.99.  I was about to write “What a ripoff” but a quick eBay search shows someone selling the hat and those exact same sunglasses for nearly $500.

Yep, I’ll save “What a ripoff!” for that guy instead.

Just when it looks like this may possibly get back into line, Norm asks Shawn the following question: “So you say you are feeling under the weather or whatever…what’s the story there?”

Shawn: “I’m not feeling well.  It happens.”

Apparently feeling that Norm wasn’t buying what he was selling (oh the irony!), Shawn continues on, giving his version of the Syracuse bar fight wherein he was beaten up by not one, not two, but NINE GUYS.  Sensing Shawn is starting to get a bit worked up, Barry jumps in and tells him, “Let’s not talk about that, let’s let someone else tell that story.”

Shawn: “Someone else?  You’re the only other guy here!”

Thankfully about this time a blonde named Diane shows up…

…and yeah, that’s a good blonde is ample distraction for Shawn.

Now we go to CALLERS!

The first woman calls in and Norm asks her to say hi to Shawn.  “I’m calling in for my kids, I’m not saying hi to him.”

No, really, that’s what she said.

Norm gets her off the phone as fast as humanly possible, then notes Shawn has nice earrings.  “Almost as nice as Diane’s!”

Shawn: “Are you making fun of me for wearing earrings?  Is that a shot at me?”

Barry immediately chimes in: “So this shirt, this shirt is 100% cotton, right?”

Norm quickly attempts to change the subject himself, asking Barry if these are 100% officially licensed products.  Barry of course notes that they are absolutely legitimate, which we are told is one of the reasons why Barry is there.  Before you can even ask “how does that make any sense at all?”, Shawn quips, “Yep, that’s the only reason…he’s not here to babysit me or make sure I’m not doing anything wrong!”

Did I mention this show was uncomfortable?

Shawn notices that Norm has a magazine underneath his notes, so he grabs it away to look at it.  For the record, Norm notes it is the January 1996 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated.  “We don’t want to show that cover!” Barry notes of the non-WWF published product.

Picking up on this, Norm switches the subject to one he thinks may be better: “Shawn, we’re going to be talking about one of your friends a bit later on, Bret Hart.”

Shawn: “Oh, he’s no friend of mine.”

With that we immediately cut to a highlight reel of Shawn in action.

When we come back, things aren’t quite as bad as we now just get hard sells on various shirts as well as the stand ups featured in the background.  

And POGS!

What a deal – for $34.99, you get ONE THOUSAND WWF POGS!!!  “That’s less than three and a half cents each!” gleams Norm.  (And seriously, I KNOW one of you reading this is hoarding stacks and stacks of those in the back of your closet.)

So that lasts for a couple minutes until we’re hopping right back off the rails as we get another phone call!  This time it is from what sounds to be the world’s most frail little girl:

Norm: “Say hi to Shawn Michaels!”

Little girl: “Umm, hi.”

Shawn: “Hi.  How ya doing?”

Little girl: “Not too great, I am in the hospital.”

Shawn: “Sorry to hear that.”

Two seconds of silence follows.

Shawn (said in a way you’d end a call): “Well, thanks for calling in!”

Thankfully, the little girl barrels through and explains that while she never gets to leave the hospital, she’s never going to give up because Shawn never gives up.  

Shawn notes how touching it is, as does Norm.  Barry, for his part, follows up with “I bet she’d look good in one of these t-shirts!”

I guess they don’t call him the Mayor of Merchandise for nothing!

Norm then mentions Shawn’s earrings again, with Shawn growing increasingly irritated.  Our home shopping host then goes off on some ridiculous story about, and I am not making this up, how he recently saw a man wearing a wig and earrings, and he was doing an impersonation of Joan Rivers and…well…Barry jumps in to separate the two noting, “Umm, you didn’t need to go there.”

Norm goes back to the Bret shirt, talking nonstop about how The Hitman just won the title a couple weeks ago, which in fact does truly make him the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.

Again, none of this was done in jest or attempting to play act – it was simply done to sell a shirt by a guy who didn’t even know who Diesel was prior to the show.

But Shawn?  He grabs a chair and looks like he’s seriously thinking about going Mike Awesome-Masato Tanaka on him.

Thankfully, the show comes to an end before that happens with Norm looking for a handshake…

…and Shawn yanking him down to the floor then carrying him offstage as he mutters “ok, ok, everybody wants me to grab him, whatever.”

Well, that couldn’t have ended soon enough.  

On the plus side, though, we all discovered that WWF Pogs once existed.

Remember Mantaur?  He’s back…in pog form!


Thanks for reading another WrestleCrap induction (and thank you Ken O’Neill for the idea)! We hope your enjoyed our trip to the Canadian Home Shopping Club.  Wow that’s weird to type.  Anyway, if you did might you consider joining our Patreon?  For just $2 a month not only do you help support the site, but you also get the exclusive RD & Blade Show.  This week, we did a deep dive discussing all the WWF play sets that SHOULD have been made but never were.  Check it out here!

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
32 Responses to "INDUCTION: Shawn Michaels on the Canadian Home Shopping Network – An Even Worse Idea Than You’d Think"
  1. TheGreat31 says:

    Razor and Shawn had their first ladder match at WrestleMania X in 1994! Their second ladder match classic was SummerSlam 1995!

  2. PlasticDiverGuy says:

    Holy crap, I never expected Norm to end up on Wrestlecrap! In the 2000s, I tuned in to THe Shopping Channel for the same reason you’d watch 2000 WCW. Unless he was selling ladies undergarments, Norm was usually one of the best hosts.

    My favourite lowlights were the host (not Norm) selling a plug N play 31 in 1 and talking about how It’s full of “non-violent” games while the kids on set were playing an aerial shooter. Another one featured a makeup set and the host was talking it up, saying one of the things in it came in a fancy bag. She then pulls a cheap ziplock out of the kit and quips, “well, it comes in A bag!”.

    If RD ever retires from Wrestlecrap, I’m sure “HomeShoppingCrap” can be a thing.

    • Ripplin says:

      Have you ever looked up the Mike Rowe (host of Dirty Jobs) clips from QVC on YouTube? Hilarious stuff! 🙂

  3. Cristian says:

    Wow, that was great and awkward

  4. #OPC says:

    Can we get some WrestleCrap pogs?

  5. zee deevel says:

    I love the milhouse reference at the end

  6. Mav says:

    Great induction, RD. I can’t believe the inside waters this delved into. Uncomfortable is right. Nice find.

  7. Mr Nawa says:

    Shawn was so whacked out of his mind in the 90s, I’m sure he remembers none of this happening.

  8. Enhancement Talent 3 Mark II says:

    How did you even get this footage RD? CHSC?? I’m Canadian and I wasn’t even aware of this ever happening.
    Also, why do I get the feeling that Shawn had a handler/babysitter at all his appearances around this time?
    Great stuff as always.

  9. Hulk6785 says:

    Shawn Michaels could be a dickead, but at least he was an entertaining dickhead.

  10. Jay says:

    That was all sorts of awkward to read. I can’t imagine how awkward it was to WATCH.

  11. Mr. Boing says:

    SHAUN Michaels? Wasn’t he a pornstar that Shawn Michaels would later sue???

    • Eviltwin says:

      I think that’s SEAN Michaels.
      Funnily enough, that’s how Shawn’s name is spelled all through Chyna’s autobiography, which I’m sure has lead to at least one really awkward Googling incident.

  12. The Doctor of Style says:

    Wasn’t there a home shopping channel sequence with Don West from Impact Wrestling where he was hawking vintage baseball cards, but he dropped them on the floor?

  13. CF says:

    “The Mayor of Merchandise” — yeah, if your idea of a Mayor is “Larry Vaughn, Mayor of Amity”….

  14. Jeff says:

    Kevin Nash has said in one of those shoot interviews “Shawn was a different kind of cat back then, I kind of miss the old Shawn.” I miss that version of HBK, especially mid-late ’97 til WM 14 HBK. Hell of a promo, but like Hulk 6785 said Shawn could be a dickhead, but at least he was an entertaining one. Great induction, crazy to find out about Wrestlecrap I never even knew existed!

  15. Matthew says:

    STOP MAKING FUN OF MY POGS!!! You just watch, one day they’re gonna hit big and I’m gonna run to Malibu!

    Well, not Malibu, I hate the beach.

    Uhm….I’M GONNA RUN TO CLEVELAND!!! WHERE THE BIG BOYS PLAY!!!

  16. John Marston says:

    Ok, does anybody remember a presentation of WWF merchandise on HSN the night of King of the Ring 1999? I recall a man and a woman presenting.

    Hilariously, I recall the male presenter referring to Mr. Ass as “Mr. Posterior”. They went to great lengths to avoid swearing on their channel; even when he clicked on some talking Stone Cold Steve Austin merchandise (t-shirt maybe) the presenter repeated the phrase as “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your…”

    Looking deeper, there must have been more of these specials. I also remember one with Michael Cole interviewing D’Lo Brown about being European Champion with Maggle asking D’Lo how he did his signature move the “Head Shake”.

    QVC was probably too high-class for this kind of content.

    • Rose Harmon says:

      I absolutely remember WWF on HSN and the host saying “Mr. Posterior.” LOL!

    • KatieVictoriasSecret says:

      Yes, and it was hilarious!

      There was also definitely a WCW one featuring the NWO dudes “taking it over” at some point.

  17. Doc 902714 says:

    Next induct the New Age Outlaws appearance on the American Home Shopping Network following Survivor Series 98

  18. John C says:

    Look it’s difficult to be happy on a home shopping program after you were beaten by approximately 972 Marines all while you’re trying to find your smile.

  19. Chuck says:

    How can we watch this? What’s the point of this article if we can’t also watch it and enjoy it as well?

  20. Ze Frenchie says:

    Does anyone else think “Norm” looks like Brian Zane?

  21. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    This is the most uncomfortable thing I’ve seen involving Michaels since he tried to act in Pacific Blue.

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