Shawn Michaels recently spoke with The Los Angeles Times to promote WWE’s SummerSlam panels this week. Below are some highlights:
When DX started, when did you first realize that you and Triple H had something special?
Actually, never. I’m still waiting for him to come around. He’s been hanging on my coattails for 20 years! Just kidding, obviously. It’s one of those things where the Hunter Hearst Helmsley character that he was portraying at the time, a rich, snobbish character, was totally opposite of the way he is. We would ride in the car together and say “My goodness if we could just bring who we are in the car out on TV.” We finally convinced the powers that be to give us a chance. We just went out there and hammed it up, because we naturally bring that out of each other. The humor was sophomoric, but that’s who we were back then. We were bad guys, but after a while it got to a point where people started enjoying it. The great thing about live events is you get an instant reaction, and that was very encouraging for us. People in the back wanted to reel us in, and we wanted to keep going.
A lot of people consider DX and the Four Horsemen to be the two greatest groups in wrestling history. How would you compare the two?
They are different in the respect that the Horsemen were classier, more high-brow. The Four Horsemen were limousines and Lear Jets, while DX was trailer parks and outhouses. One was white trash, one was upper crust. I always saw DX and the NWO as the natural rivals at the time.
If you could go back in time to your prime and wrestle any other past or present wrestler in their prime, who would you pick?
Ricky Steamboat. I would love to have gotten into it with Harley Race. He was such a good wrestler and rough and tough. We wrestled at the same time but never each other. And wrestling Sting would have been something I would have enjoyed. That would have been great at the box office. But if I had to pick, it would be Steamboat or Race.
If the Shawn Michaels of today could go back in time and give Shawn Michaels, first-year pro wrestler, some advice, what would you tell him?
Don’t be afraid to be who you really are. Enjoy it and don’t take it and yourself so seriously. I probably wouldn’t have listened, but if I did, I would have saved myself some heartache along the way.