Source: Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast
On episode 117 of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, quite possibly the greatest professional wrestler of all time, Shawn Michaels talked about staying in TV shape just in case WWE calls on him to make an appearance on short notice, whether WWE has contacted him about being in this year's Royal Rumble match and how he had a spot in WWE where he could call his own shots.
"I've got to be honest, what kept me accountable, again, last year, six months out of WrestleMania, them calling and going, 'we'd like you to come down with you shirt off and your gear,' and I was like, 'you've got to be kidding me!' Yes [the shirt off was WWE's idea], and I'm like, 'oh my goodness, you've got to be kidding me!' So, from that point on, I kind of just decided that I think it's probably better if I just stay relatively TV ready just in case."
Michaels said that nobody from WWE has talked to him about being in the Royal Rumble this year from his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Also, the WWE Hall Of Famer insinuated that he does not want to take spots from the younger performers.
"The thing is, I can remember, and again, I know I still come back and do stuff, but I can still remember as a talent, sort of somewhat being offended [when the older guys would come in]. Yeah, and take a big payoff or whatever. And so, and the thing is, I at least can say without a shadow of a doubt, I've never booked myself. I've never called them and said, 'hey, I'd like to do something.' Everything is a call, is [an] offer, to me."
Michaels continued, "literally, no one has talked to me about it. I recognize, again, you guys have a field day with it, and you guys talk about it, and you say that they've talked about it, and talked to me, but no one has. And I don't say that because, and again, I'm also passed that."
Michaels said that his wife did not understand why 'HBK' would not return for even a one-off until she saw the preparation he undertook for a small cameo at WrestleMania 32.
"My wife doesn't understand either. She's like, 'why don't you just go back and ba-bang, make the payoff?' and, honestly, the greatest thing about those matches is the after. Okay? It's the doing it, it's the doing it in the ring, and then, it's the after when it's phenomenal to go, 'that was awesome,' sitting there with Taker and Michael Hayes and just basking in that moment for whatever. But the whole process up to it is just… it's and I wasn't even aware, even just last year, I sat there and all I did is walk out there for five minutes and my wife sat there and looked at me and she goes, 'oh my goodness,' for the first time the light went off. And she goes, 'I understand it.' She goes, 'it's the whole process going up that you don't want to go through.' She said, she goes, 'I've seen you do it. All you do is walk out for five minutes last year and kick somebody, you can do that with your eyes closed and you still went into that place where you're focused, you get quiet, and there's the six weeks of training.'"
In Michaels' view, if he returned to the squared circle, he would only be wrestling for the money at this point in his life and he does not want to be doing that.
"If I'm doing something, I want to put 100% of my time into it and make it good." Michaels added, "I know the reasons why I wrestled [and] why I don't. And, look, I would be doing it just for the money now and I don't want to do that!"
When asked how he got to be in a position to have McMahon's ear, Michaels confirmed that it takes having talent and an individual relationship with 'The Chairman'.
"I think that is our individual, one-on-one basis. I don't think it has a lot to do with time or accomplishments or this or that. I honestly think that is taken on a case-by-case [basis]. I think so. Yeah, [relationship with McMahon and skill level] and I think that is [true for] all guys. And whether he agrees… Clearly, you can push any sort of idea that you want. Right, but he has always been the boss. He has always… 'no' is still always 'no'.
Listen to the interview here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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