WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels recently spoke with ESPN and discussed his past issues with The Undertaker.
It was noted tat while Michaels and Taker would work together to create some of WWE’s greatest matches over the years, their relationship outside of the ring was nonexistent for the most part. Michaels said they were frustrated because they had great natural chemistry in the ring, but none outside of the ring.
“I think in some ways, when we were younger, we were frustrated because we had so much unbelievable natural chemistry in the ring with each other, and had zero of it outside the ring,” Michaels said. “At the time, I was an extremely difficult person. He was less so. There was clearly never any real trouble between the two of us. We just did not care for one another because we were so different. He clearly didn’t like me based on who I was and my reputation. And I didn’t like him based on who he was.”
A lot of the issues had to do with their respective roles behind-the-scenes as Michaels was a self-acknowledged “difficult” talent and Taker was a locker room leader who kept people like Shawn in line. Michaels said Taker never raised his voice or hit anyone, and always showed respect, which “bugged” Shawn the wrong way.
“He never once raised his voice or hit somebody. It bugged me the wrong way. Because he didn’t go and tape his fists. But he didn’t go and make theatrics out of anything. Any time he’d do anything it was very calm, and actually a pleasant conversation. Which was diametrically opposed to the gimmick, so to speak, behind the scenes,” Michaels said. “My immaturity at the time didn’t allow me to grasp that he had it from a respect standpoint. He did it by example. That’s the way it’s supposed to be done. But as I’ve been apologizing for damn near 30 years for everything, I didn’t have the ability to appreciate that when I was younger.”
Michaels looked back to 2002 when he returned to WWE after becoming a born-again Christian, which was also a turning point in his life and in his personal relationships, including the one he had with Taker. Michaels said Taker was one of the first guys he went and apologized to for the past.
“When I came back in 2002, he was one of the first guys I went to just to apologize for all of my actions in the past. And he was good with it, but at the same time he made it pretty clear: ‘We’ll see.’ I had a reputation. A lot of people weren’t sure that [my change] was real. Then of course he recognized how [sorry] I very much was,” Michaels said. “When we got to do the WrestleMania stuff, the bond just got thicker and much deeper. We had both changed and grown in a lot of ways. And when we got in the ring, that chemistry was just so dynamic.”