Even though it's been some time since he's wrestled in a WWE ring, the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels continues to be one of the most popular wrestlers WWE has ever produced. It stands to reason then that he'd know a thing or two about staying relevant, and what advice he's got for the new crop of WWE superstars.
In a recent interview with Jim Ross on The Ross Report podcast (via WrestlingInc), Michaels said "What real success is, is lasting 25 to 30 years and that's going to be tough for a lot of talent to do given the style, and the speed, and all of that, that they're trying to compete at. There's a reason guys aren't lasting as long as we did and it isn't because they're doing more or working harder. I don't mean that in any way to be critical of them. That's not it. You know the schedule and things of that nature [were] a lot more intense. You worked through injuries and all that kind of stuff. You didn't take days off, so clearly that wasn't what it is. I think a lot of that has to do with the style and certainly maybe trying too hard."
One WWE prospect asked him exactly what "slowing down" consisted of. Michaels said "He said, 'well, slow down, does that mean at the beginning, or in the middle, or at the end?' And I said, 'alright, the next time I see you, I'm going to answer that.' It was just a brief meeting, but I wanted to go and see if I could find an example of what I was talking about and I did. I came back, put on the [WWE] Network, watched this match, it was a TV match, but anyways, all there is, is there are three spots. Three different spots in this match, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, where I'm going to show them. Again, if he had just done this here, sold that, and then, somewhere in the middle, come back to that, sold that, now here at the end, if he had sold that somewhere in the beginning, sold that, taken his time, not rushed on, counter, counter, counter, continue to do stuff. But sold it there, sold it there, that would've eliminated a couple of these other spots. You would've had to have slowed down there. Here at the end, how much more would that have meant when he locks on that finishing move?"
In addition to the speed of a match, Michaels also questioned what the superstars are basing success on. He said "Heck, if there isn't a chant going, they're not sure if they've got them or not. Some of this isn't even the talents' fault. It's just very hard to actually get the people emotionally involved when they're going off on their own chants. They're completely disengaged and that's not a knock to anyone. That's just sort of something that happened."
It's a very interesting take on the industry from someone who reigned atop it for so long, and that knowledge will only benefit the future stars that Michaels will be working with at the performance center.
Up next for WWE is WrestleMania, and you can find the fully announced card below.
United States Champion Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens
RAW's Women's Champion Bayley vs Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks
Universal Champion Goldberg Vs Brock Lesnar
WWE Champion Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
RAW Tag Team Champions The Club vs Enzo and Cass vs Cesaro and Sheamus
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin
Smackdown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs All Smackdown Women
2017 Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal featuring Big Show, Mojo Rawley, Apollo Crews, Dolph Ziggler
John Cena and Nikki Bella Tag Match vs The Miz and Maryse
Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles, and a rumored Triple H vs Seth Rollins confrontation.
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