Shawn Michaels Recalls Vince McMahon's Response When He Asked For WWE Release

One of the biggest moments in the history of the wrestling business was the inception of the New World Order (nWo)in World Championship Wrestling. The nWo immediately impacted the landscape of wrestling culture when Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan started running wild and caused the Monday Night Wars to begin.

Given Hogan's seismic shift to his character transitioning from the world's most beloved baby face to a hated, dastardly heel, WCW President Eric Bischoff has been asked over the years who might have led the nWo if Hogan had never agreed to turn — and specifically whether Shawn Michaels would have fit, given his well-documented friendship with Hall and Nash. Bischoff has said he never wanted to bring "The Heartbreak Kid" into his locker room, but Michaels recently spoke with the New York Post and provided his take on the matter.

"I can't say that I was ever offered a job by Eric Bischoff," Michaels said. "Obviously, Scott and Kevin would say, 'Hey buddy, you get out of your contract, you could come here.' There were never any real serious offers or plans for me to go there. I remember asking Vince [McMahon] once to let me go. He said, 'No,' and that was the end of it."

Adding more credence to the story, former WWE Head of Talent Relations Jim Ross has said that when Michaels left the company in 1998 and took four years off, McMahon made sure Ross continued to pay HBK to avoid him popping up in WCW.  Michaels would return to WWE in 2001, making the four years of pay worthwhile as he went on to cement his status as a WWE legend.