Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / D-Generation X

Go To
"Generation X always gets a bad rep; everybody calls us degenerates. Degeneration X... is that us? Degeneration X! HBK, Triple H, Chyna, Rick Rude, we are Degeneration X—you make the rules, and we will break them!"
Shawn Michaels, WWF Raw Is War, October 13, 1997

Are you ready?
You think you can tell us what to do?
You think you can tell us what to wear?
You think that you're better?
Well you'd better get ready
To bow to the masters
Break it down!
Opening lines from "Break it Down" by Chris Warren and the DX Band

D-Generation X was a Professional Wrestling Power Stable that began in the Attitude Era of the Monday Night Wars (roughly late 1997) and ended in March of 2010, after many incarnations, with a one-night return in 2018. It also has close ties to The Kliq (due to Real Life Writes the Plot) and the New World Order (in the sense that both stables were very similar in their Refuge in Audacity tendencies).

Now, that's the boring answer. So, are you ready for the real description?

No, TV Tropes, I said, ARE YOU READY?

D-Generation X exemplified the Vulgar Humor craziness of the late-1990s WWF. Founded by Kliq members Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the faction grew in various incarnations to include Stephanie McMahon, X-Pac, Chyna, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Rick Rude, and Tori. As you can see, not every member of DX was successful, but its legacy and the lengthy bond between all (well, most) of them changed the careers of everyone involved and in many ways wrestling forever.

In February 2019, it was announced that D-Generation X would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, with members Triple H, Gunn, Dogg, X-Pac and Chyna receiving their first inductions into the Hall of Fame, and giving Michaels his second induction in the process. Rick Rude and Tori were not named in the induction, although Rude was already inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019 as an individual.


  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Animal Motif: The Road Dogg even had an anthropomorphic representation of himself on some of his merch in the form of a green bulldog.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The entire damn stable. From where Triple H stands in relation to Shawn Michaels when they hit the ring, to the setup to Road Dogg's Pumphandle Powerslam, to the random lips painted all over Billy Gunn's trunks along with his moniker of "Mr. Ass", all the way to X-Pac's Bronco Buster. DX reeks of this trope. When your catchphrase is "Let's get ready to suck it!", this trope is pretty much inevitable.
    Bret Hart: You know and I know, that Shawn Michaels and his boy-toy Hunter Helmsley are the one responsible for all the problems right now.
  • Appropriated Appellation/Insult Backfire: Bret Hart called them a pack of degenerates, so they took on that name for themselves.
  • The Artifact:
    • HHH's "ARE YOU READY"/"Let's get ready to SUCK ITTTT!" intro started as a mockery of Michael Buffer's melodramatic intros for WCW Monday Nitro main events. He brought it back as part of the DX reunion in 2006, even though WCW had been dead since 2001.
    • The New Age Outlaws continue to wear D-Generation X shirts to the ring in their occasional in-ring reunions to this day, despite the stable having dissolved for good in 2010.
  • Butt-Monkey: Shawn was often the victim of (comical) physical abuse during the later DX runs, but especially during the "one night only" reunion in 2007.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Obviously, "Suck it!" — often preceded by "(If you're not down with that,) we got two words for ya..."
    • The New Age Outlaws had (and still have) a Catch Paragraph. Road Dogg recites it more or less word-for-word every time - and NAO's more dedicated fans repeat it with him verbatim.
      "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, D-Generation X is proud to present the current/future and (previous reigns)-time TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD... THE ROAD DOGG JESSE JAMMES, THE BAD ASS BILLY GUNN, THE NEW! AGE! OUTLAWS!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Kliq and its various offshoots have a long history of this:
    • The New Age Outlaws formed when the Road Dogg (formerly the Roadie/"The Real "Double-J" Jesse Jammes) convinced Rockabilly, who he'd been teaming with occasionally in recent weeks at the time, to leave the Honky Tonk Man and join forces with him. Rockabilly agreed, smashing Honky over the head with his own guitar for emphasis. This came after Flash Funk had defeated Rockabilly on the October 11 (taped October 6), 1997 Shotgun Saturday Night due to Honky tripping up Gunn, and, once Road Dogg walked out, Flash's win was immediately forgotten.
    • DX set up Shawn to be beaten up by The Corporation on the January 4, 1999 Raw. This was in retaliation to Shawn turning on DX on his first night as Commissioner.
    • WWE Champion The Rock defeated Triple H in an "I Quit" match on the January 25, 1999 Raw after The Corporation ran in and Kane had Chyna up for a chokeslam. The Big Bossman told HHH to give up or Chyna's neck would be broken. HHH agreed, and said "I quit." Chyna thanked him by...low-blowing him and joining the Corporation.
    • HHH turned on X-Pac during his match with WWE European Heavyweight Champion Shane McMahon at WrestleMania XV, costing X-Pac the match and joining the Corporation, which occurred moments after Chyna turned on Kane during his match against HHH and rejoined DX.
    • X-Pac turned on Kane to reform the late 1999-2000 heel version of DX with HHH and the NAO.
  • Cool Old Guy: Shawn and Hunter in the final incarnation of DX firmly hit this trope.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Their antics during their feud with the McMahons and The Spirit Squad involved them taking the control of the show's production truck. This little joke affected a match between Edge and Randy Orton, and led to the formation of Rated-RKO.
  • Crowd Song:
    • "We got two words for ya: SUCK IT!"
    • The New Age Outlaws have two:
      • "Oh you didn't know?! Yo' ass better caaaaaall somebodyyyyyy!" (Even when it was removed from Road Dogg's entrance theme, the crowd would still do it.)
      • "Llllladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, tonight, D-Generation X proudly brings to you its six-time WWE Tag Team Champions of the Wooooorld... The Road Dogg Jesse James! The Bad Ass Billy Gunn! THE NEW! AGE! OUTLAWS!" (Yes, the crowd would join in this chant as well.)
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During Survivor Series 2006, they won 5-0 (with Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk) against Team RKO (Edge, Orton, Gregory Helms, Johnny Nitro, and Mike Knox), making their lineup the only team in Survivor Series history to earn a clean sweep.
    • More evident during the closing stages of their match, when only Edge and Orton were left and tried to leave but were dragged back and get beaten up by them. Moreso for Orton upon realizing he's the only one left in his team after Edge got eliminated.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Triple H, hell, the main reason he got pushed was because Shawn Michaels thought Trips was hilarious; the audience certainly agreed.
  • Delinquents: Their major gimmick, due to Shawn Michaels and Triple H's Real Life backstage hijinks.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Initially, Michaels and Hunter were reluctant tag partners. Michaels just started his heel turn and Helmsley was just starting to evolve his pompous blueblood gimmick but still frowned upon teaming with Michaels. It wasn't till a few weeks later that their real life Heterosexual Life-Partners relationship was shown on camera. Even then it took a while for them to adopt things most fans are familiar with; after their real-life friendship was acknowledged, they initially refered to themselves as "The Kliq" before Michaels coined the term "D-Generation X" (from Bret Hart calling them "degenerates" and Michaels making an off-the-cuff remark about "Generation X getting a bad rep"), and their iconic theme song didn't debut until the Raw after the infamous Survivor Series '97.
    • Their second incarnation as the DX Army began as a traditional heel stable. This was quickly abandoned, and they became faces/tweeners.
  • Fingerpoke Of Doom: Preceding the actual Trope Namer in fact! When Sgt. Slaughter in his role as Commissioner tried to break Shawn and Hunter up by pitting them against each other for the European Title, the pair worked out what he was doing and made a complete farce of the affair. They cut incredibly hammy and over-the-top promos before the match and then, after more than a minute of stalling, Hunter gently pushed Shawn over, ran the ropes back and forth across the ring for an absurdly long time, then dropped the weakest splash in wrestling history on an unmoving Shawn and covered him for the 3 count.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Have done this at least twice, especially during their later feud with the McMahons: the first involved messing with Vince's microphone; the latter had then-RAW GM Jonathan Coachman scared out of the arena.
  • Ho Yay: Just look at the page. Though it doesn't get more blatant than Shawn and Hunter kissing in the middle of the ring and Hunter's response to the question of whether or not he was bilingual:
    I'm bi- a lot of things. Lingual ain't one of them.
  • Hypocrite: Quite a few examples.
    • HHH taking part in something (the Nation parody) that involved mocking the size of someone's (Owen Hart) nose.
    • HHH and Chyna taking part in the parody of The Corporation, a Heel faction they would both later join. Of course, HHH would later join the ACTUAL Corporation a few years later.
    • HHH and HBK, during their 2006 reunion, making countless gay jokes at the expense of the Spirit Squad, Vince McMahon, and to an extent Randy Orton, despite the historically massive Ho Yay between the two of them.
    • HHH leading The Authority with Stephanie McMahon and every former member of DX that's still connected to WWE supporting their tyrannical regime. Of course, this is predated by the McMahon-Helmsley Faction as well as Hunter and Steph's real-life marriage.
  • Kick the Dog: One of the most cruel acts committed by DX was during the Thanksgiving '99 episode of SmackDown when they invited a group of homeless into the arena for a Thanksgiving feast. Instead of offering them the food, DX tortured the homeless people by waving food in front of their faces. Of course, the whole segment was played for laughs.
  • Merchandise-Driven: DX circa 2010 ran off of this trope, at least they made it funny.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Shawn, and to a lesser but still significant extent, Triple H.
  • No Fourth Wall: All the damn time. They murdered the fourth wall with great abandon and impunity.
    • On a segment posted on
      Hunter: For the thousands in attendance, for the millions who, five minutes ago, were watching at home- *crowd boos* Guys, it's like, 11:08, we're off the air!
    • The constant references to Triple H's real-life wife and him being the father of her children.
      Shawn: Man, that baby looks familiar, but I just can't put my finger on it. *taps Triple H on the shoulder*
  • Non-Answer: Triple H pulls one of these on Shawn Michaels during D-X's feud with Rated-RKO.
    Shawn: Now, before we get started, (to Hunter) you gotta tell me. Do I really look that much of an idiot when we come out together?
    Hunter: Shawn... (pats his shoulder) I'm not gonna lie to you. (immediately dodges the question and turns to Orton and Edge) Honestly, what's with all the hostility?

  • Only Sane Man: Chyna would rarely engage in the wacky antics the rest of the boys did, and basically came off as The Comically Serious who kept a straight face no matter what the rest of DX were doing.
  • Ordered Apology: After they took over RAW one night from Jonathan Coachman when Vince was out, due to the fact that they didn't have the legal authority to do that. Shawn was willing but Hunter saw no point, and the attempts to apologize were constantly shot down to the point that they hadn't apologized to anyone at all. Shawn even attempted to apologize for something that hadn't even happened yet.
    • Shawn and Hunter had a Real Life one in May 1996 after the famous "MSG Incident", where they and fellow Kliq members Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were all in the ring together at a house show acting chummy even though HBK and Hall were faces, while HHH and Nash were heels. For this, HBK and HHH had to go around to the entire locker room and apologize for breaking kayfabe. The incident is generally regarded as "the moment kayfabe died".
    • Because Shawn was the WWF Champion at the time and Hall and Nash had already confirmed they were on their way to WCW, only Hunter was punished for it. Part of the punishment was losing a King of the Ring win, which was given to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin triggering his rise to superstardom.
  • Popularity Power: DX is as Critic-Proof as WrestleMania. Whenever the stable is shown in any form, expect cheers to follow, whether in reunionsnote  or random appearances. As for particulars, HHH's face status is tied to the stable (whenever it isn't tied to his acclaimed run as the head of NXT) Shawn Michaels can get cheered in Montreal, Sean Waltman (the Trope Namer of the negative-connotation ridden X-Pac Heat) makes the crowd forget about the questionable booking decisions that led him to such negative reception, and even Billy Gunn and Road Dogg as the New Age Outlaws and Chyna, despite the questionable booking and angles they were involved in, get cheered just by showing with the stable. invoked
  • Power Stable:
    • Early days DX had Shawn as the leader, HHH as the centerpiece, Rick Rude as the Enforcer and Chyna as the Muscle.
    • DX Army era had HHH as the leader, X-Pac as the centerpiece, Chyna as the Enforcer and the New Age Outlaws as Muscle.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: As part of their Catchphrase, HHH would proclaim first if the crowd was ready, and then repeat the question as "ARE? YOU?? REEEAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDYYYYYY???????"
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Shawn and Hunter, post-2000. They teased a DX reunion during Shawn's original 2002 comeback, but that led to a heel turn for Hunter and a three-year rivalry. They finally pulled the trigger in mid-2006 (as a title-chasing Triple H kept butting heads with Vince and Shane McMahon, whom Shawn was feuding with at the time), and ran with it until Shawn's retirement in 2010.
    • For the 1000th episode of Raw, Shawn and Hunter came to the ring in their gear and were about to do the intro when Shawn said they were missing someone. Cue Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac entering the arena. This was actually the first time that DX had appeared in that particular configuration.
    • The same configuration would appear again in 2018 for the 25th anniversary of Raw, with Kliq member Scott Hall as a special guest. They notably exchanged a Too Sweet with former Bullet Club members Finn Bálor, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson, then supported Bálor Club in a beatdown of The Revival after the latter reacted poorly to Gallows and Anderson defeating them.
    • At the Raw Reunion show, however, Shawn and Hunter saved Seth Rollins from being assaulted by Gallows and Anderson during his match with AJ Styles. When Anderson, Gallows, and Styles' offer of a Too Sweet was rejected, Road Dogg and X-Pac soon came out for additional support, with both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as special guests this time to run off The OC.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Hot-Blooded, egomaniac Shawn, and the laid back, snide Hunter fit this trope perfectly.
    • Inverted in the reunion with Triple H making all the bawdy jokes and a mellowed-out Shawn cringing off to the side.
  • Refuge in Audacity: DX was this trope personified.
    • The time they hijacked a tank and invaded a WCW live show. Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and X-Pac would re-enact this at Raw 1000.
    • Any of their excellent parodies (the Nation, The Corporation, the McMahon family).
    • Takeovers of shows (which was also a staple of rival group the nWo) and messing with the production truck, pyrotechnics, microphones, etc.
    • The time they played strip poker in the middle of the ring.
    • DX's "Christmas Present to the World" - let's say it involved Shawn and Hunter dressed only in thongs.
    • Raining crap on Vince, Shane, and the Spirit Squad.
    • Shawn sticking the Canadian flag up his nose . . . in Calgary.
  • Ricky Morton: Shawn. Hunter rarely, if ever, played the role; in this case, however, due to Shawn's own legend status in the WWE and his status as Hunter's best friend, it probably has less to do with favoritism and more with the fact that Shawn is the better performer and one of the best at selling in general.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Played with during Shawn and Hunter's run from 2006-2010. The DX: Last Stand DVD has a segment where Hunter somewhat calls this out.
    HHH: [to Shawn] I'm the macho guy of the team. You've always been the chick in this relationship.
  • Shameless Self-Promotion: One of DX's trademarks (especially during the later reunion runs) is their inability to resist a cheap plug for their merchandise, whether it be their action figures, T-shirts, DVDs, or even their new book, in the most blatant, forced, and incongruous way possible, with Cheshire Cat grins on their faces the whole time.
    Shawn Michaels: Now available on! Buy! Buy! Buy!
  • Sickly Green Glow: Part of the DX aesthetic was bright neon green letters, arena lighting, merchandise and glowsticks.
  • Sixth Ranger: In late 1998 to 1999, Mankind was an unofficial member of the group during their war with the Corporation and, in fact, DX was watching Mankind's back during his famous first world title win. After the match, DX hoisted him on their shoulders with smiles too big not to be real.
    • This despite how these same guys had beaten the crap out of Cactus Jack and Terry Funk nine months earlier in the cage match on the March 30, 1998 Raw when the New Age Outlaws officially joined the group and regained the WWE World Tag Team Titles.note 
    • Kane could have been considered one during DX's run in 1999.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: First against The Hart Foundation, then later against The Corporation and eventually the McMahons themselves.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: All the damn time.
  • Stripperiffic: Any time Shawn Michaels was in the ring, but for maximum tropage:
    • The time Shawn, Hunter, and Chyna played strip poker in the middle of the ring.
    • The time Shawn and Hunter stripped down to mistletoe-covered thongs for Christmas. (complete with "Merry DXMas" written on their asses).
  • Too Dumb to Live: During their late 1999 heel run, the group had the opportunity to bring Kane into the fold who was tagging with X-Pac at the time. For whatever reason, DX decided it'd be great if instead they'd turn on the hulking yet loyal monster and make an enemy out of him. It should be no surprise, then, that Kane, reuniting with his father Paul Bearer, proceeded to destroy DX almost every opportunity he could.
  • The Trickster: Both Shawn and Hunter, especially during their first run.
  • True Companions: DX was born out of a Real Life group of these in The Kliq.
  • Unperson: Chyna, with her absence in the Raw 1000 reunion episode solidifying this. Subverted during the induction of the faction as a whole in the 2019 Hall of Fame, about three years after her passing.
    • Tori got fired for legitimately refusing to return to the developmental league, and hasn't been mentioned on WWF/E television since then. Since she was never a very important part of DX, people mostly didn't even notice.note 
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: Probably the poster children for this trope. If we tried to list all of DX's juvenile pranks, promos, and segments, we'd be here all year decade.
  • X-Pac Heat: Well, it did contain the Trope Namer. However, X-Pac didn't get unpopular while he was still in DX - that wouldn't happen until a year and a half later when DX was over, but X-Pac was still chopping his crotch and playing the exact same character.

And if you're not down with that, WE GOT TWO! WORDS! FOR YA!!!


Video Example(s):


Shawn Michaels' Playgirl Shoot

During an argument with the rest of DX, Triple H brings up that when Shawn Michaels loses his smile, he does weird things like pose for Playgirl. He excuses it by saying that he was young, stupid and needed the money.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney

Media sources: