Shawn Michaels is a big part of today’s product and has been an invaluable source of support at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, helping train the stars of tomorrow as well as assisting with the writing of NXT television with his good friend, Triple H. Before joining back up with the company, the notorious “bad boy” from the past had some disparaging words to share on today’s product.
Shawn Michaels on Today’s WWE: “Business suffers from wonderful, decent young men.”
Shawn Michaels has a history of being a bit of a pot-stirrer, and even by his own admission, was a bit of a prick to some of the guys in the back during the ’90s. This was the nature of the business during that time. There was a no-nonsense attitude, and every man in the back fought for their spot, even if it meant stabbing people in the back to rise in ranks.
Nowadays, there’s more of a team culture in WWE, and everyone off camera mostly seems to get along. Sure there might be some personality clashes, but gone are the days of cliques ruling the roost in the back.
Shawn, no longer the troublemaker he once was, was interviewed before joining WWE again, where he compared today’s product to the past. Here’s what HBK had to say:
“There’s a lot of good, wonderful, decent young men in the business today, and because of that, the business suffers, you know what I mean? (laughs)
“We were all a bunch of no-good young guys who were taught by an even bigger bunch of no-good old-timers. There was a rebellious, take-no-prisoners, don’t-take-any-crap-off-anybody, not-afraid-of-being-unpopular, pushing the envelope culture, and I think that helped.
“I mean, a great many of us got in trouble, and there have been some tragedies on top of that – but today, the product suffers because there isn’t that inbred attitude. I think they’re genuinely good guys – and the business is better for it from a ‘professional’ stand-point – but as a viewer, I want to see somebody with some cajones on ’em and stuff like that…
“Talent nowadays are just so happy to have the job.”
“I don’t want to be one of those bitter old-timers that continuously knocks everything.
“I think, on the one hand, it’s very tough on the younger talent nowadays. They’re not having the luxury that many of us had – which is having four years of experience [working] countless different styles before we came to the WWE. They’re getting thrown from the frying pan into the fire. They don’t have a ton of experience. And the guys they’re working with are the same guys they trained with, for heaven’s sakes.
“Not to mention, they all train in the same gyms with the same people, and as a result, they all look the same.
“In the past, that guy came out in boots and tights and oil, and now you’re coming out in boots and tights. The chords in your song sort of sound the same as the chords in that guy’s song.
“Talent nowadays are just so happy to have the job and to be going out there that they don’t really think, ‘What can I do to make myself different?'”
Shawn’s opinion here seems to mirror the thoughts on many legends of his time. The business has evolved, for better or for worse.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel today’s product has improved due to the buddy-buddy nature of the business today, or do you miss the rough-around-the-edges and take-no-nonsense-from-anybody culture where real-life grudges played out in the ring? Sound off on social media using the share links above!
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- The FORGOTTEN Shawn Michaels In-Ring Return of April 2000