During the latest episode of After The Bell with Corey Graves, Shawn Michaels spoke about taking over the responsibilities he has in WWE NXT.
“Well, honestly, it was stepping inside the place that I’m at now, the Performance Center. We came here on vacation to visit friends – Disney World and the whole kit and caboodle, everything that is Orlando, Florida at the vacation spot. That was an opportunity to come down, visit Hunter, visit the Performance Center, go to a few shows. That feeling that makes you want to do this stuff in the first place was there again. It was there immediately. I don’t know, the thing is, I felt it, but I begin to wonder like, it’s there, but you’re kind of always that way, even when you go back to when they ask you to be a part of WrestleMania or go into a Hall of Fame. It’s always going to be a part of you. But I guess the thing is, my family and my wife noticed it. She asked me the question. She said, ‘Look, I know you love being out here on the ranch and stuff, but are you really gonna want to be doing this and all this physical labor when you’re 60?’ I said, ‘Maybe I’ll have somebody else do it then, but right now, I like doing it.’ Then she just talked about the feeling and how much I was talking about what I experienced at NXT. The more I thought about it, they were just really supportive. They knew.
“Even when I retired, no one was more shocked than my wife when I said, ‘Done, done.’ She thought done would mean just out of the ring, still going back, working with the company, all of those things, and still wrestling a couple of times a year. I don’t think anybody realized that I was from a performance standpoint, I was complete. I felt complete and I felt at peace with it. But then when I came back here, and then you start to see the opportunity to again have an impact on the business, and again, it starts to feed that part of you that is still very much alive. It’s kind of like awakening a sleeping giant. Hunter knew and goes, ‘Just come back, try it out, stick your toe in and we’ll just go from there.’ Obviously, not until many years later when I was really engulfed in NXT did he tell me that he knew the whole time that once I experienced it, knowing me the way he does, it would be something that I would very much want to be a part of that, and all of that was true.”
On evolving with the wrestling industry:
“I was one of those people that very early on, certainly for me, the first time I heard sports entertainment, and Vince is the first in my mind that coined that, to me anyway. I was actually looking at and going, ‘You know what? That’s a perfect way to describe our business, our line of work.’ I just kind of embraced that. I always felt like, again, the evolution, everything got faster. So to me, it was kind of common sense. Just like football and baseball, they all get faster, they all get better, they all get more skilled. Sure, there’s foundational principles, but it’s got to evolve. It’s got to change. The athletes get better. I’ve always been one, certainly creatively, to want to push that envelope and to try to think outside of the box. I’m very guilty of that. But again, I just think it’s something that has to evolve and has to keep changing. I always feel like it’s a natural process too. We all kind of start out fast and it’s unfair to teach from a 30-year aspect to a guy that’s been in the business for two weeks, or two months, or even two years. I always try to put myself in the place of where I was when I was 19 or 25 talking to that person. People were telling me to slow down. I feel like a hypocrite if I’m saying the same thing.”
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