Legendary trainer Rudy Boy Gonzalez spoke to the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast recently about his time working with Shawn Michaels in the TWA, training Daniel Bryan, and much more. You can see highlights below, and the full podcast at this link.
"The time period you are talking about was that he had "the attitude" and "was hard to work with" and he didn't want to drop the belt and he had the fight with Bret Hart. But at the wrestling school, he was just another guy. All the stuff that I had heard about him, we weren't actually buddies although we lived in the same town. Whenever I did stuff with WWF we would see each other in the hall and just say whats up. The first day of training we just talked and it was me, Ken Johnson and Jose Lothario and we just talked about what we wanted and our ideas were all pretty much the same. Not that there is anything wrong with what Jose or Ken wanted but Jose wanted more of the old school style of beating guys up and making them earn it. But we taught guys and treated them as young men."
Shawn Michaels perceived attitude in the late 90s and how he carried himself at the school:
"Shawn never or not once did he ever come in there as the Heartbreak Kid, he came in there as just Coach Shawn. All the stuff you saw on TV never came in there. He never had an attitude and just trained with everyone with what he could do because his back was still injured from his surgery. He was just one of the guys and it was just great. I wish he still had the school so I could work with him and so we could just talk. That Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid guy never existed at the school."
Training Bryan and his superstardom:
"You knew he was going to have a spot because Bryan was just "that guy" and just a nice guy. He did everything that was asked of him and was always on time, trained hard and did things without an excuse. He was always asking questions. He and Brian Kendrick became very good friends and were also very competitive so if by chance I would say to Spanky that was pretty good, then Bryan Danielson would work twice as hard to out due Brian Kendrick. But both of those guys you knew would be able to compete but to be very honest I never knew he (Danielson) would become THE guy in WWE and at that time it was Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Kane, The Godfather I never thought I could see RAW and say I can see Bryan Danielson doing anything like that. But watching him rise the way he has, I see him and I am proud of him, wish him the best with his health issues and I hope he gets over it. Everything he was getting, he deserves."
Working with Bryan Danielson:
"Bryan Danielson's first match was against me. Shawn had asked to put him in a show and see how he does. He didn't have any gear and had wrestling shoes a pair of shorts and a muscle shirt. Shawn wanted us to go like ten minuets, so I told him to do what ever he wanted to do. I wanted him to call the match and lets see what he can do. I'm not ashamed to say this but two minuets into the match I was blown sky-high. He just took off and I didn't want to stop him. When we went home, I beat him and I have an undefeated record against Bryan Danielson. When I came through the curtain and I guess my eyes were blood shot and Shawn asked me if I was okay and I said; Jesus Christ that kid is good."