Source: The Ric Flair Show
On episode 3 of The Ric Flair Show, the two-time WWE Hall Of Famer, Ric Flair, interviewed fellow Hall Of Famer, Shawn Michaels. Michaels addressed a number of topics including how the two professional wrestling legends met, their little known match from 1991, and their WrestleMania 24 retirement match.
"I want to say it was like Julie's or something like that. It was just a small little nightclub. It wasn't even a nightclub - it was just some place where there were some pool tables and a little bar. The guys used to go there and hang out and that was actually back, I was 19 [years old] at the time and that was back when the [legal] drinking age was 18. And I was going up to the bar to order a beer and 'Naitch' came up and he said, 'what are you having, kid?' I said, 'just a beer' and he goes, 'I got it'. And so he bought me a beer, then, of course, I thought, 'okay, here's my opportunity - I've watched him for years and of course I just had to take that moment to let him know what he had meant to me as a [professional] wrestler'. It's just one of those things, you've got your one chance to give your five inch spiel about how he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and yada yada. And all I know is that, thank you very much, I didn't buy a drink the rest of that night."
Michaels claimed that facing off against Flair in December of 1991 was the biggest match of his career at that point.
"I think everybody knew that I just was such a huge fan of Ric's, so just to give me the opportunity to be in there with him, I think, is probably somebody, a booker, or a producer, or somebody, an agent, that knew that and said, 'Shawn would get a kick out of that opportunity, so let him do it'. Yeah, we had six minutes. There was very little time. You just do the best you can." Michaels recalled his mindset at the time, "heck, I don't know the future, so for me, this is a huge opportunity. You're in there with the guy that you always dreamed about being in there with. It's a huge opportunity and then, gosh, it was the fastest six minutes you ever have."
On the subject of the retirement match between Michaels and Flair at WrestleMania 24, Flair said it was the most fun he ever had working on an angle even though Michaels repeatedly called 'The Nature Boy', Old Yeller. Michaels described the motivation for his character as being akin to the story of the classic film, as he had to put an end to something he did not want to end.
"To me, this speaks to the simplistic psychology as opposed to what I think is good psychology, which is what I always felt like I had. It wasn't about being old. It was about the fact that somebody that loved that dog loved him so much he had to take him behind the shed and kill him. And that's what it was. It was a mercy killing. That was the difference. For me, all the Old Yeller stuff was more about love." Michaels added, "it was about someone being put into a position that they did not envy and they were going to have to do something and put an end to something that they didn't want to put an end to. And the reason they didn't want to put an end to it was because that person, that everything about that meant so much. And again, that's the conflict that 'HBK' and the character were going through in the whole storyline with Ric. And that's what made it so, for me, enjoyable to do."
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