Shawn Michaels feels Kazuchika Okada would fit in well with WWE.
Shawn Michaels and Kazuchika Okada are two definitive performers of their generations, and as often is the case, Okada has revealed that Shawn Michaels’ work inspired him.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Okada revealed that the match between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XIX taught him a lot when he was formulating his style.
“The first match that made me realize how great wrestling is was Keiji Mutoh and Hiroshi Hase vs. Yuji Nagata and Jun Akiyama,” Okada says through a translator. “This was before NJPW World was around, so maybe non-Japanese fans aren’t so familiar with it, but it was a dream match and was fun to watch. There was one other match I used to watch a lot. It was on a DVD at my mentor Ultimo Dragon’s house, and that was Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 19. I learned so much from that match.”
Shawn Michaels, in response to this, revealed that he is a fan of okada and is honored to have inspired him.
“I’m so incredibly appreciative of that,” Michaels says. “I’ve always admired the style in Japan, and here’s a guy that admires my style. Someone once asked me how Okada would adjust if he were ever in the WWE, and I know the answer to that—he’d adjust fantastically, because he’s a fantastic talent. It’s like me. People would say, ‘Well, you only wrestled in the WWE,’ but I could have wrestled anywhere. When a guy is talented, he’s talented. So I’m thankful that Okada, this unbelievably talented young man, gained one or two things from my match.”
Even though Shawn Michaels is long since retired, a match between these two is a dream match for many.