Another important feud from 1996-1997 was between Hart and Shawn Michaels who had actual, real life issues with one another. The conflict behind the scenes spilled out into their on-scene storyline, with both men making pointed personal remarks in interviews that were often rooted in these issues.
In 1997, Michaels stuffed guaze in the crotch area of skin-tight biker shorts for an interview while making sexual gestures. McMahon legitimately fined Michaels $10,000 for the incident which led to Michaels pushing McMahon on adult humor as the direction WWF needed to go. Hart was upset with the company's direction prefering a more family-oriented product, this philosophical difference added to real-life tension. Michaels would team with Triple H and Chyna to form the edgy group D-Generation X(officially named on October 13, 1997), launching two major trademarks of the Attitude Era- crotch chops and the catchphrases, "Suck It"!
Their rivalry culminated in the Montreal Screwjob, another landmark date in launching the Attitude Era and one of the most critical points in the birth of McMahon's charcater, Mr. McMahon, a corrupt evil-owner caricature fixated on destroying the lives of disobedient employees.