Shawn Michaels continues to make the media rounds promoting his upcoming outdoor show. One recent interview was particularly interesting due to the selection of topics which included Scott Hall, John Morrison, and returning to the WWE.
Maybe it is the Shawn Michaels fan in me but I can’t get enough of these interviews. What I really like most about these interviews is that Michaels appears to be answering questions as candidly as possible. Some people may not agree with some of what he has had to say lately but you have to respect him for saying it.
While I completely disagree, there are a lot of WWE fans who compare John Morrison to Shawn Michaels. Other than their athleticism, I don’t get it one bit but it is out there. The interviewers asked HBK about comparisons and while he had nice things to say, also said something pretty interesting.
“His name comes up a lot, and a lot of people say ‘I like him but…’ and he’s a young guy and it’s my understanding that he just got injured and as much as you hate hearing about a guy getting injured, it’s never good but at the same time, I remember telling John Cena when he got hurt, ‘Dude they need to see you come back.’ It’s part of the ‘warrior making’ stage and so I think John (Morrison) some time but as the kids like to say, ‘He has to get some street cred,’ he’s got to take some lumps, gotta take on a couple of scars, get beaten up a little but I certainly think there is potential there. He certainly has all the physical attributes that he needs. He is a sweetheart of a guy and I think that is what hurts him, I just don’t think he has a bad bone in his body.”
One of the constant raps I hear on Morrison is that Vince McMahon is down on him because he doesn’t think he’s tough nor comes across tough on television. This all goes back to the love triangle between Morrison, Batista, and Melina. Without outright saying it, Michaels sounds like he is saying that Morrison needs to toughen up. I also love his quote about the warrior making stage. He is dead on and I think that is what really helped get Michaels over to the male audience. The girls loved him for onbvious reasons and the kids loved his acrobatics, but he was the kind of wrestler that guys hated. However, watching the guy come back from so many injuries in front of their eyes is what I think turned the page on Michaels and took him beyond just being a pretty boy.
Michaels also talks about not having that last run with the WWE championship. Michaels only had a real brief run with the belt when he came back from his back injury and it was at the very beginning of his comeback. I found it odd that he didn’t get that “one final run” on the way out or even when he was feuding with John Cena a few years back. As much as the fans wanted it, Michaels felt differently.
“No, No I didn’t. That’s(holding the belt) is a full time commitment and the guy that does that needs to make every show, doing absolutely everything and that just wasn’t for me. The deal with me coming back was still worth quite a bit but I didn’t do all the live events and I was taking darn near every Wrestlemania off. That was just something, it was more important to me just to come back and I’m gonna be honest, I like it more than the way I did. I know there are some people like ‘You only held the world title this many times’ I just didn’t think it (was fair), I think the guy who does that needs to be the work horse and I no way wanted to be that.”
That makes a lot of sense as well. Michaels worked a reduced schedule during his final years with the WWE and for most of his second go-around when he returned in 2002. My guess is that Michaels could have had the belt if he wanted it, but he didn’t want the schedule. It would have been a really nice story but you really got to respect the guy for looking past the whole myth of the pro wrestling world title and staying true to his priorities, his family.
Finally, the interviewers asked Michaels about today’s WWE style. Obviously the whole machine is just very different. Michaels said what a lot of us older fans have been thinking for awhile now.
“I don’t wanna be one of those old timers that continually knock everything because on one hand it’s very tough on the younger talent these days as they are not having the luxury of what we had which is years of experience and countless matches with countless different styles before we came to the WWE. They are getting thrown from the frying pan into the fire.”
Michaels also talked with the guys about Scott Hall and returning to the WWE. He isn’t interested in coming back in any capacity right now and hopes that Scott Hall can make it to a future WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. All in all a great interview by one of the greatest showmen of all time.
Thanks to Prowrestling.net for the quotes.
Read the book Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story