Shawn Michaels talks about how he has matured through the years and discusses how he would handle his younger self today.
Shawn Michaels today is much different from the man that defined the WWF in the mid-90s. Older and wiser, Shawn Michaels is able to look back on the moment in his younger years and understand the troubles he was facing that ultimately led to him being a handful behind the scenes.
Seeing how much the industry has changed, Shawn Michaels now tells Inside The Ropes that had he been in the position he is now dealing with a talent like himself back in those days, he likely would have just suggested that such a troubled talent would be released or at the very least, offer to have WWE help the talent find help for their inner demons.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I’d deal with them and I’d probably suggest that we let him go, he’s going to be nothing but trouble, no matter how talented he is. Either that or get him help. Honestly, that would be the biggest thing. Especially, as I look at it, I think to myself, ‘Well, I… I was good at my job.’
So when you see that kind of ability and they’re young, and they are just angry at everything, and obviously have a problem – as opposed to getting rid of them, the first thing you probably should be doing is helping them. So, the more that I think about it, I think to myself that, again, ‘ We should try to at least help him because the young man is going to end up hurting himself someday,’ or he’s going to be one of those wrestling tragedies that we hear about. So I think if he had all the drug issues and things like that, that I had, that’d be the first step. If it was just an attitude thing and there were no other circumstances, that’s when sometimes it may not matter how good he is, he’s probably more trouble than he’s worth.”
One of the moments that caused quite a stir back in 1996 was the “Curtain Call” where Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash all broke character in Madison Square Garden and bid farewell to one another as Scott and Kevin were heading to WCW.
Now, Shawn Michaels says that looking back on it, that moment would not be seen as blasphemous if done in today's environment because everybody understands the inner workings of the wrestling business.
“I mean, clearly at different points in my career, but again, the one was just saying goodbye to your buddies and certainly, for me, at that time, we had also spent so much time together and it was them leaving. Back then, we were on the road with each other 250-275 days a year. They’re family at that point. That was emotion. The one with Undertaker [and Triple H at WrestleMania 28], same thing. Now we’re talking about all of us – older, mellowed out, grown, changed with each other but still intertwined in a very unique business and very unique situation. There are some times in this line of work where it gets to be real. I guess as you put it, the “breaking of the kayfabe,” that realness also works for the job. It also works for the fanbase, the entertainment, whatever you want to call it, the enjoyment of the viewer as well. I think those are times when those aren’t things that hurt the business. Certainly not with The Undertaker. I know that the curtain call and all that, years earlier, was seen differently by a lot of people and I do, I understand that, but I think now we’ve come all these years later, I don’t think that would be looked upon the same way now, because it’s not as if a lot of people don’t understand how the business works.”
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