In his post-wrestling career, Shawn Michaels has found a home as a lead producer for NXT and NXT UK. Michaels has been prominent off-screen, and sometimes on-screen, alongside Triple H as the D-Generation X duo steer the gold brand.
Speaking to Jon Snowden of Bleacher Report, Michaels discussed how he's helped out NXT talent beyond putting matches together.
"I always connected with Pat Patterson because it was real to him," Michaels said. "He could sit there and cry in front of you trying to tell you about how much he loved the wrestling business or what he wanted for somebody. He did it with Bret (Hart). He did it with me. He did it with guys that he didn't know, didn't have any relationship with, but he saw talent and ability. He developed a relationship with us and pulled for us in every aspect. No matter how much trouble, no matter how much hassle we might've been, he brushed all of that aside because he appreciated the person and the passion and the desire that they had. And I guess that's what I do with all my guys. I don't lie. I don't B.S. them. You know?"
Michaels continued, "It's OK to take this stuff too seriously sometimes, to sometimes not be able to blur those lines between real and what isn't real," he said. "Everybody talks about how 'It's just business, brother' and you know, that's a bunch of hogwash. Some guys in a lot of this generation, they're like me. I think that's why so many of them have connected with me is because I think they saw through the character and saw that, 'I think that guy really, really loves this. And he loves us. He absolutely is thrilled being out here doing this.' I care about them and their success and their success in the ring and their creative fulfillment in it. Creatively there are some things that they want as a human being, as a performer. And sometimes in wrestling, you have to forego that for money or for a spot, or for this story or for that story. I understand both sides. I understand the business side, but I understand the performer side, too. I try to connect the creative and the office standpoints in a way that doesn't cause any dissension. I work pretty hard to weave those two worlds together. And I tirelessly do it on their behalf, no matter how much it gets on people's nerves."
Michaels ended by saying he's good at pulling emotion, vulnerability, and weakness out of the NXT guys while Triple H is better at knowing what's cool and badass. Michaels believes the two balance each other and is a reason why he loves working with NXT.
If you missed anything from Wednesday's NXT, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.