The Undertaker has had many legendary dance partners over his 30 year career, but no one tangoed with the Deadman quite like the Heartbreak Kid.
Shawn Michaels faced off against Undertaker on numerous occasions, from competing in the first-ever Hell in a Cell match in 1997 to headlining WrestleMania in 2010. While the two have always had impeccable in-ring chemistry, they did not always get along outside the squared circle. Speaking to the New York Post, Taker noted how he didn’t like Michaels when he first came on the scene.
“Early on in my career and when Shawn was there, I didn’t care for Shawn personally,” Taker said. “I thought he was an arrogant little s–t. That being said, still no one I would rather get in the ring with it and work [with]. That’s just how good he is.”
Michaels went on to become one of the best workers both in and outside the ring, but he wasn’t always that way. Everyone knows the infamous story about the Montreal Screwjob, but Michaels’s relationship with controversy did not end there. Come WrestleMania 14, Michaels was scheduled to drop the then-WWF Title to ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in the main event. Knowing how often Michaels’s ego factored into match results, Taker says he almost took matters into his own hand-taped hands.
“Shawn, everyone knows the story, is supposed to drop the belt to Steve. Shawn was being Shawn in my opinion and like I didn’t know if he was gonna do it,” Taker said. “My intention was to make sure one way or another business was done that night.”
Taker says he did not tell Michaels the truth about his intentions for many years. After their problems were resolved, Taker and Michaels became good friends, and the Deadman says he didn’t have it in him to be honest about what almost went down.
“I felt so bad because our relationship had changed so much that he goes, ‘Were you really gonna beat me up?’ I was like, ‘No man that’s just all rumor. Taping my hands up and everything, come on.’ He goes, ‘I didn’t think so. I mean that really didn’t sound like you,'” Taker said.
“The whole time in my head I’m like, ‘I was gonna smash you if you didn’t drop that belt to Steve.’ But yeah, he’s a completely different person, I love him to death now. But, yeah, that’s the story. I was sitting there hands taped ready to do whatever I needed to be done.”