WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and named several Superstars he would like to work with in the ring if he were 20 years younger and an active talent - Matt Riddle, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish, WWE NXT North American Champion The Velveteen Dream, and NXT Champion Adam Cole.
"Riddle, McIntyre, Rollins, Owens, all of those guys," said Michaels. "And, of course, the guys I work with: Cole, Gargano, Ciampa, Dream, Strong, O'Reilly, Fish. Any of those matches would be phenomenal."
Regarding his own WWE career, Michaels said he was a lucky fan who made it.
"Guys like Bret and Randy, they were bigger than me, and they had lineage, name value, and a heck of a better understanding than I did of the wrestling business," Michaels said. "I was a fan that got into the wrestling business and finally made it. I can take some credit for working hard, but I was very fortunate that the company took a shot on me. Part of it was my belief in my own ability, but the company also took a risk and a chance to believe in me."
SI noted how Michaels' approach was not always celebrated by his co-workers in the business. Michaels had his vices, but his desire to succeed was pushed by a "militaristic work ethic" that made him a wrestling legend. Michaels said he surpassed anything he ever thought he could do, and he wouldn't have had it any other way.
"It's a delicate balance," Michaels explained. "You've got to challenge yourself, and if you don't believe in yourself, how can you expect someone else to? It's hard not to be a little abrasive when you keep pushing and pushing, and that's certainly what I tried to do. I very much enjoyed it, I'm thrilled the way it turned out, and I certainly surpassed anything I thought I could do. It's been a sheer joy, and I know I wasn't always perfect, but I wouldn't have had it any other way."