Posts Tagged ‘Shawn Michaels’

The Undertaker will make his first appearance since WrestleMania on Raw’s 25th anniversary special in January, WWE has confirmed.

The longest-tenured wrestler in the company – who is thought to have retired from in-ring competition after defeat to Roman Reigns in Orlando – is one of a number of WWE legends on the show.

Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash are also set to appear on a broadcast that will emanate live from two separate arenas in New York.

As well as the Barclays Center, part of the Raw action will also come from the famous Manhattan Center, where the company hosted its first ever Raw broadcast in January 1993.

As well as a smattering of ex-stars, wrestlers from both brands are expected to be in attendance on what will be the go-home show ahead of the 2018 Royal Rumble.

With WrestleMania season on the horizon, speculation that ‘Taker could be about to step back into the squared circle is inevitable, but a word of caution: he has made appearances at special shows like these in the past – SmackDown’s 900th episode last year included – before disappearing again.

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Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast

Pro-wrestling legend and WWE Hall Of Famer Bret Hart recently appeared on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast for a wide-ranging conversation about his career, whether he wants to work with WWE again and much more. Below are some highlights:

The most successful era of his career:

“I think in 1997 I was in my absolute prime. I was never bitter; I was uninjured. I was ready to go and ready to make some serious changes to make a difference to have my all-time favorite matches that I would have loved to have. It’s a shame that the Montreal Screwjob happened, especially from the fact that there wasn’t anymore matches with Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin. Can you imagine the matches I could have had The Rock when he was finally over, and some of the other guys. I wish, even when I went to WCW I could have had classic matches with Chris Benoit, and it’s a shame that things happened the way they happened, but in 1997, there was so many great matches. It was such a strong year for me.

“I love when I think about the SummerSlam match against The Undertaker. What a great match, wonderful story. Two wrestlers that had such great respect for one another. I look back on 1997, with my match against Steve Austin; heck, even the Screw Job itself was a really great match. That was all planned, the way the match was built, and then the bell started, but we had another 25 minutes planned that the Screwjob hadn’t allowed us to continue with it. When the bell rang, that was when the whole wrestling match was going to start because we were brawling all over the floor. All I cared about was having this beautiful match, and telling a story. Had the Screwjob not been written into the story, it would have been a classic—perhaps the greatest Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart match that we would have talked about today, not because of what happened. That spot with the Sharpshooter with Shawn reversing it was planned, it was just a spot; and a pretty good spot; a big momentum changer. That was the first five minutes of the match, but the real spots were coming, but unfortunately we never got to do them.”

How he regained his enthusiasm for professional wrestling:

“I think WCW will kill any kind of joy in your life. I think I started hating money; The money they paid me was insane; but I would be off and fly first-class airplane, luxury cars and hotels, and then arrive at the arena and have Eric Bischoff tell you 5-10 minutes after 6pm that you are off tonight. I would then ask why I flew all the way down [to the arena] and then he would tell me not to worry about it and enjoy the day off [at the arena]. I didn’t go there to dog it, I wanted to work and tear that place down. I wanted to wrestle, and to have something. They were so bad, they would kill any hope in anybody.”

His hatred for Eric Bischoff:

“I don’t have a good thing to say about Eric Bischoff or anything he ever did. Talk about the Midas touch, he was the opposite. He would kill your career; he was too stupid to know what a career was. It’s like, if you had passion for your matches and a genius for wrestling talent, it didn’t mean anything to Eric Bischoff, he was the worst loser, maggot – he was a nice enough guy, but he was just the worst. I felt so bad, because I went to WCW because I really wanted to make a difference. If you look at WCW and all the names that they had, and all the wrestlers, they had everything, all they needed was to have someone who knew what they were doing; someone with half a brain.

“I heard his quote, which is why I get hostile towards Eric Bischoff talking about how when i came to WCW I was like a broken toy, or that I didn’t have the fire. I could strangle him when I hear him say that because that is so not true. I was on fire; I wanted to take the world on; I wanted to take that whole company and kick Vince McMahon in the teeth. I wanted to put on the best matches. Give me Chris Benoit, give me Booker T, give me Sting, Hogan, and we can really get this thing rocking here, but he was such an idiot – I would tell him that if he was sitting right next to me; you are an idiot and you cost everybody. You look at wrestling today it’s like a monopoly, so the wrestlers themselves have no leverage of any kind. Before, if they weren’t going to be paid, you could have told them that you were going to go to WCW like the old days, that was so much better for the wrestlers because we had a bargaining table, but today? No, and that is all Eric Bischoff’s fault; he killed the wrestling business, he was the worse.

“I like Eric. He was always nice to me. He had done some nice things for me like the night Owen [Hart] died, he flew me home in a learjet; paid me the whole summer with a ridiculous wage, so he did some nice things there, but at the same time, he lied to me and killed my career. It’s kind of like; come to WCW and sign this contract so that we can kill your career. That is what we are going to do.”

Getting closure with Shawn Michaels:

“When I came back and did that storyline with Shawn, it was something I always remember. I remember telling Vince McMahon that I wanted to have peace in the ring, and Vince was surprised, but I told him that I would be happy to shake his hand, make peace with him and that caught Vince by surprise. I always thought that when I would go back, and even met Shawn, I thought to myself that in about 3-4 months from now I would be really sorry that I ever did any of this with him; that he is not going to change, that it wouldn’t mean anything to him, but I was wrong, and I am glad I was wrong. He appreciated that gesture so much; I think he was under so much guilt and shame because what he did was something to feel ashamed because Pro Wrestling is all about respect, and he didn’t have the trust and respect from me in the first place back then, which is how that storyline originally happened. The whole Screwjob is based on a single conversation between me and Shawn, maybe a month before the Screwjob, where I stopped him and said that we are going to wrestle each other at Survivor Series in 3 weeks, and he said, yeah, I just found out today. I told him that I wanted him to know that I had no problem doing anything that he wanted, and said that I know we had our issues, but if I had to drop the belt to him, it’s not a problem. I also said that if you are in the ring with me you are always going to be safe, and said that I was a total professional, if I had any issues with him I would talk to him about it in the locker room, never in the ring, and I remember saying that to him, and Shawn looked at me, which is where everything started, he looked at me and said that he appreciates that, but he wanted me to know that he would not do the same thing for me. When he said that, it was like, I just promised that I would lose the belt to you and now you are telling me to stick it up my a**? That was where all the problems started;

“Shawn and I made a peace that was very real. I am proud that I dug deep into my soul and made peace with the guy, which I wasn’t sure at the time whether it was the right thing to do. I just want to say with people, anyone in their own life, if you have something eating away from you, and kind of destroying you, make peace with it and get it out of the way. Don’t keep dragging down all this pain, which is a lesson that I learned.”

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Source: Channel Guide Mag

When Bobby Roode made his debut in NXT, an argument could’ve been made that the veteran superstar had enough experience to jump straight to the main roster. But Roode valued his time at the Performance Center and recently revealed to Channel Guide Magazine that he received personal mentorship from one of the greatest to ever step inside the squared circle.

“I had the opportunity over the last several months to sit down and be mentored by Shawn Michaels himself,” Roode said. “So, it has been a really cool experience. Even though I’ve been in this business for almost two decades, this last year has been really gratifying. I’ve got to learn a lot and continue to learn. That’s one of the best things about being in this business is you never stop learning.”

Roode made his debut on SmackDown Live this week after headlining his fourth straight NXT Takeover this past weekend. He mentioned how much he appreciated how hands-on Triple H and Matt Bloom were with the NXT superstars.

Roode is currently one of the most popular superstars in the WWE. His “Glorious” theme song has been used at sporting events and even weddings. Even though he’s ready to make a huge splash on the main roster, Roode looks back on his time in NXT as one of the greatest runs of his career.

“It is probably the most special thing to happen to me,” he said. “Being able to headline TakeOver events, especially during WrestleMania weekend with [Shinsuke] Nakamura into SummerSlam weekend. It has become a huge time for NXT.”

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Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast

Recently on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, current WWE United States Champion AJ Styles talked about the rumored Royal Rumble match against Shawn Michaels, learning from John Cena and whether Cena “buries” talent, and when Vince McMahon got behind Styles.

On the subject of the Shawn Michaels Royal Rumble match rumors, Styles admitted that he asked WWE to at least ask him if he is okay. Styles suggested that HBK cannot be bought. In ‘The Phenomenal One”s view, Michaels made the right decision for himself.

“I’m just glad someone asked him because I actually pitched it, ‘can we… has anyone asked Shawn? No? Can we? Can someone just ask him? All he can say is ‘no’.’ And truthfully, I respect him so much as a man because when he said he retired he actually did it. He didn’t come back. And even I said, ‘well, money talks, doesn’t it?’ Not to Shawn Michaels. He’s a man of his word and at the end of the day all you have is your word.”

Styles added, “it really doesn’t do anything for anybody, so he was absolutely 100% correct and made the right decision.”

According to Styles, he learned 90% of things about WWE from Cena.

“I learned a lot from him. It’s just the little things that he does.” Styles continued, “people aren’t going to like this, but I’m telling you, I’d say 90% of the things I’ve learned that I felt helped me tremendously is John Cena. The guy… there’s a reason he was able to stay on for more than 10 years and done what he has done in his career.”

In Styles’ opinion, Cena does not bury talents, but rather the onus is on guys coming out of a feud with Cena to keep the momentum going.

“I don’t think that’s true. It’s up to you, if you leave after your storyline with John Cena to carry on what you’ve been called. Exactly, exactly. That’s all it is and if you continue to do that, you’ll find a way to get to whatever spot it is.”

Finally, when asked at what point did McMahon buy into Styles, ‘The Champ That Runs The Camp’ posited it was a when beat up The Miz on MizTV.

“Well, I think it was the MizTV where I beat him up. I think that’s when he goes, ‘whoa, okay…’ It’s one of those things where you’ve just got to… I don’t know… I think Vince kind of likes a tough guy to some degree. And I’m not saying I’m Brock Lesnar, but I fought all my life.”

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Source: Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard

On episode 51 of Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, current Impact Wrestling on-air authority figure and pro wrestling podcaster Bruce Prichard talked about WINC alum Vince Russo’s WWE run. Notably, Prichard talked about Russo advocating for Triple H, the Madison Square Garden Curtain Call, Triple H and Chyna being a “package deal” behind-the-scenes, who wanted The New Age Outlaws in D-Generation X, and who came up with WWE “attitude”.

According to Prichard, Russo was the biggest advocate for Triple H early on while Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette used to say that ‘The Game’ was a midcarder at best.

“I do remember Corny and Vince McMahon saying that Triple H would be a midcard guy at best early on in his [pro wrestling] career and Russo was a huge proponent of Triple H. And I dare say that without Russo at the helm at the time, Hunter probably would not have gotten the breaks that he got at the time.”

Prichard continued, “yeah, [Russo was Triple H’s biggest advocate at the time] and then Vince McMahon became, but Hunter was one of those guys who was always around, always asking questions, and wanting to be a part of whatever he could do to learn. I liked Hunter because I always liked his attitude, just willing to do whatever it took to learn the [pro wrestling] business, but Russo was definitely pushing Hunter and had an awful lot of ideas for him.”

On the subject of the MSG Curtain Call, Prichard claimed that everyone was offended, not just him and Cornette, as was suggested by podcast co-host Conrad Thompson from reading excerpts of Russo’s own writings.

“It was simply a feeling of what they did being disrespectful to Vince [McMahon], being disrespectful to the memory of Vince’s dad doing it in the Garden, our home. It was something that hadn’t been done before and something everybody was upset about, not just me, not just Cornette, but Vince McMahon, pretty much every one of the boys who wasn’t involved in the Curtain Call.”

Moreover, Prichard stated that Triple H was punished in an upfront way for the Curtain Call and explained that McMahon decided not to go with Triple H for King Of The Ring because The Chairman did not feel like he could trust ‘The King Of Kings’.

“Hunter was punished and he was considered for King Of The Ring, but Vince didn’t feel like he could trust him at that point in time and he wanted Hunter to prove himself and Hunter did.”

During the podcast, Prichard confirmed Russo’s assertion that dealing with either Triple H or Chyna meant dealing with both of them, calling the pair a “package deal”.

“Probably so [Triple H had to be present for Chyna’s creative meetings with Russo] from his vantage point pitching stuff. Whatever Joanie was doing, she was with Hunter, so I’m sure Hunter wanted to be there. But they were also an item at the time, so they did everything together. Whenever I’d call either one of them, the other was usually there. It was kind of a team decision because they were a package deal.”

Another rumor Prichard attempted to dispel involved D-Generation X. Pro wrestling rumor and innuendo purports that ‘The Road Dogg’ Jesse James and ‘The Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn were not picked by Triple H and Shawn Michaels to join the group. Prichard recalled that Michaels wanted The New Age Outlaws for the stable.

“The guy that brought Billy [Gunn] and Road Dogg to Vince [McMahon]’s attention was Shawn Michaels who saw those two guys. They were singles. One was a Rockabilly and then Jesse James… It was Shawn Michaels who brought them to Vince and wanted them to be a part of DX and felt that they would be a great team together.”

Finally, Prichard credited McMahon with conceiving of the ‘attitude’ concept after fining Shawn Michaels for his vulgar and explicit antics.

“That’s where Vince McMahon coined the phrase ‘attitude’ because Shawn, in his defense, was like, ‘because I’ve got attitude, you’re going to fine me, blah, blah, blah?’ And that’s where Vince, I’ll never forget, Vince came back to us and said, ‘that’s attitude! That’s what we need. We need more attitude!'”

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Source: Channel Guide Magazine

Cody Rhodes spoke with Channel Guide Magazine on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

The success of Bullet Club:

“Bullet Club has become even more worldwide. It was already worldwide with Finn [Bálor] and AJ Styles, Bullet Club OG’s Karl Anderson and Gallows. They set the playing field. Now to walk out on it and it really is worldwide. The addition of Marty Scurll is very significant. I don’t know if people are giving him the credit they should. He represents an entirely different demographic.”

No plans to come back to WWE:

“I don’t want to sound negative but being part of history right now and this new era and new boom. I didn’t get that while in WWE. So currently there is no incentive for me to return to WWE. I’m making more money than I was with WWE. I’ve been in some unbelievable matchups. Two are coming up. I love WWE. Just currently there is no incentive. There are some things I would love to be a part of. I would love to be part of the Dusty tag team tournament. At the same time I don’t think I’m playing a revenge song here. I don’t think I’m ready to move out of the spot of where I’m at.”

Shawn Michaels’ advice:

“Shawn Michaels told me once that when someone asked, ‘Hey, how was my match?’ He answered them, but then said to me, ‘You know how your match was when you walk through the curtain. You know if it was awesome or if it wasn’t. You know because of how the audience reacted.’ It’s more about asking what you could have done differently. It’s made me really happy to play my music, my way.”

Cody Rhodes also discussed New Japan Pro Wrestling. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: Talk Is Jericho

Recently on Talk Is Jericho, professional wrestling great Chris Jericho spoke with WWE Hall Of Famer and WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager Kurt Angle. Among other things, Angle discussed some of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Shawn Michaels. Among other things, Angle shared his thoughts on Benoit’s matches going unseen, getting into a shoot fight with Guerrero, and his favorite WrestleMania bout.

According to Angle, he would actually have to raise his intensity level to compete with Benoit and said wrestling ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ was like looking at a mirror. The man who ‘Y2J’ used to call Kirk Angel claimed that he learned a lot from his Royal Rumble match with Benoit and that it is a shame that their matches will never been seen again.

“He was, he was. I never had anyone match my intensity the way he did. He was always there, blow for blow, it was just like a mirror. I was wrestling me. Actually, I picked up my intensity when I was working with Chris. But it does kind of suck that a lot of those matches are kind of forgotten, especially Royal Rumble (2003).” Angle continued, “it just had everything. It had submission trade-offs and this was, I mean, I would see Dean Malenko and [Jericho] do it, trade-off, here and there, in WCW, but this was really the first time and the whole match was based on it.”

Angle included Benoit on his personal list of top three professional wrestlers of all time, saying Benoit “could do it all” and that “he was incredible.”

“I’m sorry, but he has got to be in the top three of all time. I mean, you can’t deny that. I mean, even Bret Hart will tell you that.” Angle added, “I’m not going to excuse any of the things Chris did outside of wrestling, but when he was in that ring, he was possibly the greatest of all time.”

With respect to Guerrero, Angle said ‘Latino Heat’ may have been the best pro wrestler when he was healthy and that he was in his prime in WCW before being in a car accident.

“When Eddie was healthy, he could have been #1. I think Eddie was in his prime in WCW and the reason I say that is because he got in a car accident. That car accident did two things for him. It really inhibited what he could do after that. In other words, he had limits. He could still do a lot, but not like he used to. I used to watch him in WCW and be like, ‘wow, this kid’s incredible.’ But he almost couldn’t walk again after that accident, so yeah, yeah. Eddie was banged up when I wrestled him.” Angle recalled, “as good as he was in 2004, 2005, he had to be 10-times better back then. That’s mind-blowing. I mean, he could have been the absolute greatest of all time because when I wrestled him, he was still in that top three we were talking about, so Eddie had it all. He was so entertaining, but he also had all the technique. He was such a great wrestler and he got it. He got finishes. He knew how to structure them.”

Angle described an altercation he had backstage with Guerrero. Guerrero attempted a double-leg takedown on Angle, and ‘The Olympic Hero’ proceeded to choke out Guerrero.

“We had to jump Eddie out in the ring and I didn’t touch him, but we had these two big goon guys, Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns! Horshu. They’re beating the hell out of Eddie, so we get heat on him at the end of the show. I’m in the back. I’m waiting for Eddie because I wanted to thank him, but I didn’t touch him. He comes straight up to me and blames me for it.” Angle said, “so this is like the fifth time he confronted me about it in about a month, so I shoved him. I just wanted to see what he would do. And he didn’t do anything, so I shoved him again and he double-legs me. I mean, you could’ve sucker punched me, but he double-legs me. And I’m like, ‘he did not just try to double-leg an Olympic gold medalist, so I laid the hips into him and then I started choking him out nice and slow.”

Angle said Guerrero was not ready to accept Angle’s apology right away and that the two were like brothers.

“Now, Eddie and I got in a fight and I wanted to make amends with him and you know Eddie has a temper, so five minutes after that fight, I walk in, I said, ‘I’m sorry, Eddie.’ I say, ‘I’m sorry about what happened.’ He goes, ‘I’m not ready yet.’ Oh, God! So I go, ‘you what?’ He goes, ‘I’m not ready to be sorry,’ so I push him again! I want to fight this poor kid. He doesn’t want to double-leg me again, so he’s just standing there and JBL got in between us. So I tried to call him that night and he wasn’t ready again, but the next week, he came to me and apologized and we both made up. And Eddie and I were brothers. My brother Eric and I, we fought all the time, so I didn’t mind. I mean, I knew Eddie was very much like my brother, Eric, had a temper, and was going to let it fly ever once in a while and we would get over it and we did. Eddie got mad at me a million times, but knowing he was exactly like my brother, Eric, okay, we can forgive each other the next day and move on. But the whole, ‘I’m not ready yet,’ I wanted to kick his butt.”

Angle shared that his WrestleMania 21 match with Michaels was his favorite WrestleMania match he had been in.

“I always wanted to wrestle him after I saw the match [Jericho] and Shawn Michaels had at WrestleMania. Like, I literally, I was pissed off because I didn’t watch [Jericho’s] match against Shawn at WrestleMania 19 and I was like, ‘me and Brock stole the show’ and then, the next day I’m watching it, I’m like, ‘son of a b—h, those guys had a better match than us. Damn it!’ I was like, ‘son of a b—h!’ I said, ‘well, it was Jericho and Shawn.’ I was like, ‘I already wrestled Jericho. I got to wrestle Shawn’ and I did at WrestleMania 21.”

The man who professed to being ‘just a sexy Kurt’, stated that he and ‘Mr. WrestleMania’ did not touch before their match.

“Usually you wrestle guys several times to get to know each other and the thing is, Shawn didn’t want to do anything that week. He just wanted to sit down to get to know me. We went over one spot where I had to lift him up over my head. He had an armbar on me and I had to, yeah, sunset flip. Other than that, we didn’t do anything and it was like, ‘does he really think he’s that good?’ Well, yeah, he is that good. We talked about the comeback and finish, which we always do, but other than that, the thing is, I never locked up with him. Like, you don’t get a feel. You want to get a feel for him, maybe do a couple of spots. He didn’t want to do anything. So it was like I got to know his family really well, he got to know mine, but Pat [Patterson] was there and he just let us B.S. and we did come up with some good false finishes like everybody does at WrestleMania. I just didn’t think I’d have that type of chemistry with someone that quickly.”

Angle had high praise for Michaels, calling ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ the best pro wrestler he has ever worked, though he wished he had the opportunity to wrestle WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair and Bret Hart in their primes.

“When you talk about that top three, yeah, it’s close. [Michaels is number one] for me too, me too. Well, I’m not going to lie to you, I wish I would have wrestled Ric Flair in his prime and Bret Hart in his prime. I did, so I have to say Shawn Michaels is the best.”