On a recent episode of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels spoke about the Royal Rumble, reminisced about being able to call his own shots, and discussed the importance of staying in good enough shape to remain "TV ready."
During WrestleMania 32 last year, Michaels came to the ring in his ring gear, shirtless. You can watch the segment in the above video. According to the Heartbreak Kid, this was all WWE's idea, and at first, he wasn't too happy about it.
"I've got to be honest, what kept me accountable, again, last year, six months out of WrestleMania, them calling and going, 'we'd like you to come down with you shirt off and your gear,' and I was like, 'you've got to be kidding me!' Yes [the shirt off was WWE's idea], and I'm like, 'oh my goodness, you've got to be kidding me!' So, from that point on, I kind of just decided that I think it's probably better if I just stay relatively TV ready just in case."
Michaels said that no one approached him from the WWE to be in the Royal Rumble match this year, and truth be told, Michaels wouldn't want to. He remembers being a younger talent watching older guys come in and take a spot, and he doesn't want to do that to the new generation.
"The thing is, I can remember, and again, I know I still come back and do stuff, but I can still remember as a talent, sort of somewhat being offended [when the older guys would come in]. Yeah, and take a big payoff or whatever. And so, and the thing is, I at least can say without a shadow of a doubt, I've never booked myself. I've never called them and said, 'hey, I'd like to do something.' Everything is a call, is [an] offer, to me. ... Literally, no one has talked to me about it. I recognize, again, you guys have a field day with it, and you guys talk about it, and you say that they've talked about it, and talked to me, but no one has. And I don't say that because, and again, I'm also past that."
Michaels said the only reason he'd come back and do a match is for the money, and he knows that's not a good enough reason.
"If I'm doing something, I want to put 100% of my time into it and make it good." Michaels added, "I know the reasons why I wrestled [and] why I don't. And, look, I would be doing it just for the money now and I don't want to do that!"
When Michaels was wrestling full time for the company, he was known to have a good relationship with the Chairman, Vince McMahon. This led to him being able to do something many talents never get to do--call his own shots. Of course, Vince is still the boss, and whatever he says, goes.
"I think that is our individual, one-on-one basis. I don't think it has a lot to do with time or accomplishments or this or that. I honestly think that is taken on a case-by-case [basis]. I think so. Yeah, [relationship with McMahon and skill level] and I think that is [true for] all guys. And whether he agrees… Clearly, you can push any sort of idea that you want. Right, but he has always been the boss. He has always… 'no' is still always 'no'."
You can listen to the entire podcast at this link.