During a recent interview on the Getting Over: Wrestling Podcast, Shawn Michaels discussed the backstage atmosphere for the Royal Rumble, winning the 1995 Royal Rumble, and what makes the Rumble match special.
Check out the highlights below, transcribed courtesy of 411Mania.
“The excitement starts. You know what’s coming down the road. This is obviously the show that points us in that direction to our Super Bowl. Just from an overall morale standpoint, you get excited. It starts with the Rumble in the respect that it’s one of those ones where you realize all the hard work and pressure and anxiety and all those things are gonna mount up soon after this. But this match in and of itself, it’s actually sort of a blast to be in and be a part of. So, this to me in a lot of ways is the last show where you can just go out there and really have a lot of fun and enjoy the entire aspect of it because I don’t think the Rumble is where you feel a great deal of pressure and anxiety. There’s just so much to it and so many different aspects to where you don’t feel like you’re carrying the weight of absolutely everything, as opposed to being in there one on one with somebody and absolutely every eye 100 percent of the time is on you and your opponent.”
“I think that would certainly one of the bigger building blocks. I always sort of go back to that WrestleMania 10 ladder match, which is where it sort of put me on the map from a performance standpoint. People thought I may be able to be a main event performer at that point. The Rumble and those appearances then starting setting you up for a very tip-top, main event, carrying the company type of aspect. They are both building blocks, but two very different building blocks. When you get to the Rumble and you’re winning and stuff like that, pressure mounts a little bit more and a lot of eyes are on you on whether you can or can’t deliver. I always look at my career, and as I look back, I can see different aspects of it to where none of it was really done on purpose but the constant little build to get there. When you look back on it, it looks a little genius, but honestly, it was a happenstance in how everything worked out when all was said and done.”
“On one hand, you can go in there and there’s a lot more improvisation that can go on, which we always find fun and enjoyable. But at the same time, you have to balance that with a lot of other things going on in there that you may or may not know about. It might just be doing something else that doesn’t really have anything to do with you and making sure all that comes across. There’s a lot of things going on at the same time there that may or may not concern you, but you still have to be wary of it. There is a lot of possibility for injury and things of that nature in those matches because there are so many bodies. There’s certainly an aspect of awareness and being careful and being in the right place or staying out of the way. There’s also the possibility of a lot of stuff going wrong and maybe something happening you didn’t expect to happen. It is coupled with concern and anxiety, but it’s so big and so long that you feel less pressure to have to make up for any of those things that may happen.”