If you’ve watched professional wrestling any time in the last quarter-century, you don’t need me to explain Shawn Michaels to you. He’s one of the most beloved, influential, and respected wrestlers of the modern era, and his impact on the sport — both behind the scenes on on-camera — can never be overstated.
With WrestleMania 33 weekend approaching in Orlando, the Heartbreak Kid is gearing up for lots of WWE festivities, but he’s also taking part in a special event at Wrestlecon. He, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman — four-fifths of the legendary and at times infamous “Kliq” that spawned both the nWo and D-Generation X — will hold a special “One Night Only with the Kliq” fan Q&A.
Michaels was nice enough to give us a phone career to talk about the event, his historic career, the Kliq and both his future at the WWE Performance Center, and his opinion on the next generation of transcendent superstars.
With Spandex: Thanks so much for giving me a call, thanks for taking the time.
Shawn Michaels: You bet man, thank y’all for helping us out.
Obviously it’s WrestleMania season, and when we’re talking about WrestleMania, you are Mr. WrestleMania. And everyone talks about you matches at WrestleMania X, XII, XIV, 24, 25, 26 … You’ve made so many memories. But do you personally have any WrestleMania moments that stand out to you as special, that maybe fans don’t talk about quite so much?
You know what, honestly all of those that you mentioned, and a number of others. You know, they’re all sort of special in different ways. Honestly, one of the hardest questions to answer is, what is my favorite match, or my favorite WrestleMania. I consider myself very, very fortunate to have been part of so many awesome events in WWE history. And obviously, you remember your first WrestleMania. I think that’s one that probably, you know, clearly nobody talks about. It was Marty and I against Akeem and Boss Man. At the old Trump Plaza I guess, and I think because it’s your first one and you know at that time — gosh, I don’t even think I had the ability to dream of one day even being in the main events or anything like that.
So, I guess that’s the thing: to me, at this point in my life, I look at the entire scope. Starting from that one and then where it ended up. And honestly, I’m pretty humbled. You know, by the entire thing. And on one end, you dream. Then reality sets in, and you wonder if that so-called dream — does it really ever have the real possibility of coming true. Then of course, for for it to have gotten so much larger than I ever possibly imagined it being … And so, at my age now, I really [am] — I only have the ability to look at it in retrospect — unbelievably humbled and again I’m obviously thankful, but it sounds silly and it sounds sort of, I don’t know … namby-pamby. So goody two-shoes. But it really is [humbling].
Because again, I took the luxury of seeing the whole thing, the entire journey. And so now that it’s over, all of them are pretty cool, and all of them — like I said, X is sort of the one that put me on the map and really had people notice me, so to speak, and consider me somebody that might be a main eventer and then of course, you go to 12 and I win the championship, and again, I’ve come back and had a successful career that most people thought wasn’t going to be possible. They’re all sort of special in their own way.
I gotta say though … I guess the one that gets sort of overlooked — strangely enough, it’s only a little bit — the one with Angle. You know everybody is thrilled that he’s getting inducted this year, and that one was just so fun and again, one that that you really have to work for and of course all of the expectations are really high with he and I, so I’m really glad that he and I delivered on the level that we did, and you’d expect nothing less from Kurt Angle but you always run that chance that maybe you’re not living up to the hype, and thankfully we did.