"There were times when people would be like 'You're Shawn Michaels, why are you asking someone who was in the first match for their opinion'," Michaels recalled. "I was just curious about his perspective of what it was I was doing. I always tell them (NXT performers) that I was never shy to steal from anybody, a good idea is a good idea, it doesn't really matter where it comes from. As long as you make it yours and make it your own."
It is inevitable that over time, attitudes change in a profession. Michaels knows pro wrestling is no exception, and he wishes for his students go beyond the wrestling world.
"Yes, it's true (attitudes have changed)," exclaimed Michaels. "I want them to do well, but I want them to be happy, I want them to chase their dreams and goals, but I do not want them to do it at the risk of their health or their lives. I've gotten old soft and mushy in that respect. Because it makes all the difference in the world in my life. There are guys I see, not just from my generation but the previous generation that is old, bitter and unhappy. That seems like it's not a great way to live."
Michaels' contributions to the wrestling business are unheralded. But recently the superkick has become commonplace in matches and even apart of some wrestlers' gimmicks. Many have cried foul over that. But, Michaels is not one of them.
"It's all over the place, I think that's sweet," Michaels gushed. "They can deny all my contributions to the wrestling business, say nobody cares about Shawn Michaels. But that thing is all over the place and it makes me smile. I think it's kind of endearing. It seems to bother everyone, except me."
As a coach at NXT, Michaels gets a firsthand look at the new talents and sees what they bring to the table. He was quick to point out people wrestling fans should keep their eyes on.
"They were formerly ACH and Trevor Lee, they look to be extremely talented young men," Michaels said. "Also, Shane Strickland keep an eye on him."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Challenge Mania with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.