"And, the other one was ugly as sin. I wanted it so bad and with Shawn Michaels being my hero growing up, I know he got pissed that I used the white one. But, I did it as more of a homage than anything."
On having to wear his protective mask and the benefits it provided: "Honestly, I learned the commitment from masked Cody Rhodes. The commitment I had to that mask was probably where I learned more about myself than anywhere else in my career. I felt more like myself under that mask.
"I was telling someone else this the other day. When the mask was removed, I felt like Master Chief. I felt like something was wrong with my face. This was real. My face was all un-tanned because I'd been wearing the mask so long. It was such an edge to me to have that mask and it saved my life, actually, to have that mask.
"The very last night I had it, Randy Orton kicked me so hard in what was supposed to be an unbreakable, Dr. Murray designed -- the same doctor that made Kobe (Bryant) and Rip Hamilton's mask -- it was supposed to be unbreakable but it had a huge beak on it because it was for a broken nose.
"He cracked it straight down the middle. Had I not been wearing that mask, I might be dead. I mean it -- he kicked me so hard and that was the last night I had it.
On the best advice he ever got in the business: "Shawn Michaels once told me that getting over is a full time job. That was around the time in my life that I realized that you can ride the middle and have a fun life. Meet chicks, make a little money and think you're a celebrity. Or, you can put in seven days a week. There are little moments here and there for yourself, but -- seven days a week.
"I love this job. I guarantee you that I'm going to make it to the top of this job because I don't think many people here do that anymore. There's actually very few. So, that was the best advice I ever got."
To check out the entire interview, click here.
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