– Brian Fritz has conducted a new interview with Shawn Michaels at OrlandoSentinel.com. You can read the full interview at this link but here are the highlights:
You’ve been one of the main stars at WrestleMania for so many years – you’re Mr. WrestleMania. Does it ever get old for you or is it special every year?
You know – it does. It gets more special every year especially since my comeback. Every year I get out there and think it can’t get any better than this and then the next year it seems to. Again, this is another situation after doing this for so many years, you often think that – not that you’ve done it all but how is it going to be more special or more exciting the next time? It somehow happens. The Undertaker and myself have never faced each other at WrestleMania. We’ve two guys that have been a part of this organization for twenty years and we’ve somehow managed to stay separated. I think that’s an amazing thing. Again, at the 25th anniversary, these two guys that have been the cornerstone of the company for so long are going to meet up and I think it will be something that not only our company will enjoy but obviously the WWE fans will enjoy.
I find it amazing that the two of you (Undertaker) have not crossed paths since then because in this day and age with special attraction matches when it comes to a show like WrestleMania or Summerslam or even just something big for TV with a brand versus brand match but somehow you guys have been able to stay separated. How exactly does that happen?
I honestly can’t tell you because I feel the same way you do which is – like you said in this day and age. That’s very difficult to do and somehow we have managed to do that. I think a couple of years ago when it came down to The Undertaker and myself at the Royal Rumble, when he and I stood up and got – the feeling that was in that arena and coming across on that pay-per-view, I think that’s when a number of people said “hey”! (laughs) I think it’s one of those things where you’re going about your business and he’s going about his business and I think people forgot about it. That’s playing to our favor now. I certainly can tell you I don’t it was something that was purposely done because as you know, in our business whatever I think we can do to create interest and to create, I don’t know – at one point I used the word profit – just try to create excitement and create something positive for our line of work. We would have gone there if it was something we thought of. Again, I don’t think it crossed people’s minds.
Since this is wrestling and we kind of know how retirements go on most occasions, did you ever think Ric was going to come back and have another match?
I don’t know. That was something – put it this way. We all know, if you’re a friend of Ric Flair which I am, you know him and you know how he is about this line of work. So, I know that might be a struggle for him. And that’s OK. You can’t be somebody’s friend and put requirements on it and I don’t do that to him and I wouldn’t do it to him. My job was to go out there and, in my mind, believe that it was going to be his last and do the absolute best job I could to pay tribute to that and honor that and that’s what I did. Ric Flair is a grown man and he can make his decisions and I would still be his friend no matter what decision he made.
I read that in the current edition of the WWE Magazine that you had been asked about whenever the time comes and you go into the Hall of Fame on who would give the induction speech. You mentioned several guys and even threw out the name Bret Hart. Can you discuss that and why you think that might be an idea of something you would like to have if it could happen when that time comes?
Sure. I was saying that from the perspective of I so much enjoy the Hall of Fame but it can be – and I want this to come out right – it’s a time of tribute and a time of honoring but often we get focuses all on the good and it tends to be, I don’t know, a little fluffy. I would like mine to be, I don’t know, maybe be honest. I’m one with who I was and I’m one with who I am. I felt that Bret Hart could bring a real perspective to that. He’s always been a guy even know that despite all of our differences, he’s still always been objective about my ability. They didn’t put this in there I don’t think – the only thing that he wouldn’t have any knowledge of is the person I am now and I understand that. It was from the idea of wanting someone that could give a real honest perspective of my career because it hasn’t all been fluff and it hasn’t all been fantastic and I think that’s OK. I just felt that I can be a pretty strange guy. (laughs) I supposed that it was just something that I thought, gosh, my Hall of Fame induction to be more about truth more than anything else. It’s sort of a fantasy, sort of, dream job and it’s a great line of work so we can create anything we want and it can be very fairytale-ish and I think that’s great on one hand. I just figured maybe it would be, I don’t know, neat or nice to have somebody that can give a real perspective on the journey because it hasn’t been a fairytale. It’s turned out awesome but it was a tough, rugged road. I just thought that maybe he could give a fresh perspective to it. It’s one of those things that you go I know this sounds crazy but…