During his week’s episode of Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross discussed the rumors of Shawn Michaels returning to WWE in 2001 and why it didn't happen until 2002.
“I’ve made several trips to San Antonio to talk to Shawn and his then manager and lawyer, Skip. I can’t remember Skip’s last name but he was a nice man and a really good guy. My pitch to Shawn was always that you can’t allow your legacy to end this way. You have put a bad taste in people’s mouth, either inadvertently or premeditatively. I don’t know and I don’t really care. But right now, the perception of you is not so positive. For a guy that’s considered to be, along with Ric Flair, the two greatest in ring performers of all time, that’s just not right. It’s not right for you. It’s not right for your fans. It’s not right for anything. So I said the bottom line for me is I just want to get you back in the fold. If you maintain the attitude that I’m seeing now, you can be a great help. You can be an influence. He is an influencer.
He is a boyhood hero for a lot of these cats, these kids. I said you can be a big benefit without ever taking a bump. But you can tell by the twinkle in his eye that he loved that challenge so to speak. He wanted to give back and he wanted to change his image and the perception he had acquired. But, there is no doubt that he wanted to be back in the ring. He had the ego, which is great. Ego is not a bad thing. He had the confidence and the ego that he wanted to go back and prove that he could still do this. I said this when he came back a year later that he didn’t miss a step. He was the best guy we had on the roster as far as working bell to bell. He was as good as anybody we had after being dormant for all those months and years. It took a while to get past the physical obstacles, the medical issues, the psychological issues and all those things. But I thought let’s not talk about this. We just need to remain diligent and give him time and have the patience for this to become his idea.”
Thanks to WrestlingNews.co for transcription.