RF Video Shoot Interview with Shawn Michaels

This was filmed in 2000

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs at one hour and forty-eight minutes long

 

 

Shawn is asked about how he first got into wrestling. He talks about seeing Southwest Championship Wrestling as a kid and knew then he wanted to be a wrestler. He started to watch it more attentively and even put on a wrestling match for his high school talent show as he wanted to become a wrestler after graduation.

 

He talks about a guy named Fred Barrett, who is currently in jail according to Shawn as he was a bondsman who got someone killed, and that he had a wrestling school. Shawn went down to see him with his dad but found out the commission in Texas had a rule you had to be 19 years old. So, Shawn went to college for a semester where he said he drank and got a 1.4 GPA then came home to tell his dad he just wanted to wrestle and they again saw Barrett, who introduced him to Jose Lothario. Shawn said that he trained with Jose for two months and learned the basics before he got into Mid South.

 

Shawn talks about being fined because he had no idea that he saw supposed to be at TV because he was not on the booking sheet and got fined $50 by Bill Watts, who Shawn called “tough but fair.” After Mid South, he worked for Bob Geigel in Central States, where he met Marty Jannetty before coming back to Southwest for eight months until he went to the AWA.

 

When asked about Verne Gagne, Shawn said that he was behind the times and tells the story of how he thought fans might confuse the “Rockers” name with rocking chairs.

 

Shawn puts over Buddy Rose as being a great teacher. He talks about the New Years Eve match against Rose & Doug Somers and how it put them on the map.

 

On his initial WWF run that lasted for a day, Shawn said the first night in Buffalo they were not booked but met the locker room. He talks about their reputation as wild party guys then tells the story of how Davey Boy Smith and Jim Powers were with them at the bar when a hammered Jimmy Jack Funk came up to them and egged them on for being party guys then began to bite his glass. He kept on egging them on then Shawn finally broke a glass over his head and left. Shawn also mentions that Jimmy was going after some girl, who ended up going home with Marty. The next day in catering, Jimmy came over and made a huge deal about how they tore up the bar. Vince McMahon even made a comment about them doing this too and Shawn said they were supposed to wrestle against Funk & Estrada. Two weeks later, Shawn said they got a call and they flew up to Connecticut where he made a comment about his boots were made for walking then invited them into his office and they got fired.

 

After the WWF, Shawn & Marty went down to Continental to work for the Fullers. Shawn then talks about being able to work with just about every team they faced.

 

They fast-forward back to his WWF Tag Team Title win against the Hart Foundation when the top rope broke. A few days later, Vince told them to give back the belts as they could not show that match on TV and they would win the belts again at a later time.

 

Regarding Hulk Hogan, Shawn said that he had his own locker room and could tell right away that he was a “worker” and had his own agenda.

 

On his relationship with Marty, Shawn said they teamed for about seven years and met him when he was just 19 years old. They only got into one fight, according to Shawn, because they were both hammered while in Denver. He said they always traveled together and lived in the same apartment complexes.

 

When asked about the breakup of the Rockers, Shawn said they were at a cereal box commercial shoot and how everyone got $5,000 a piece but they had to split that among themselves. Shawn said that they found out the Road Warriors got $5,000 each and said Marty got pissed and threatened to leave for WCW as Shawn claims he was speaking to them. Shawn then said Vince called him up and asked if he was leaving but Shawn said he was not as Vince told Shawn that he could leave if he wanted to but would always have a singles career here. Shawn said he hung up with Vince and called Marty, telling him how could he tell Vince they were quitting. Marty told Shawn they could make more in WCW but Shawn found out from Marty that he was not speaking to them at all. Shawn then said Marty asked him to call and he got Magnum TA’s number from one of the Nasty Boys and got low-balled and relayed that to Marty. Shawn then told Marty is ultimate goal was to be a singles wrestler and wanted to handle his own career and work a breakup angle, which Shawn said they talked about. Shawn then talks about how he was the “prick” in this conversation as he told Marty about how they could be singles wrestlers. Shawn said he had the Barber Shop angle planned with a feud against the Nasty Boys but got the okay from Vince to do it with Marty. Here is Marty’s recollection of this:

“Marty then tells a story that Shawn did in his shoot interview and mentions that he left out some parts on purpose. While doing a commercial shoot for “Superstars Cereal,” they found out that they only got $5,000 each while the other tag-teams got $10,000 each. Shawn told Marty that they should quit and then Marty said that if Shawn really is Christian, he would have told the whole story he is about to tell. Marty ends up calling Vince at Shawn’s request and tells him that they are quitting. Vince tells them to come to TV and talk about it but he said that they already talked to him a few months prior about how they could become bigger stars. Vince said they could leave after the Survivor Series, which was just three weeks away and that made him happy because usually you had to give three months notice and they would job you the entire time. He told Shawn the news and Marty said his jaw dropped and he seemed shocked that Vince would let them quit and this confused Marty at the time. Marty then flies home and gets a message from Vince to call the office. He does and Vince told him that if he wants to wrestle as a single, he doesn’t have to quit. Marty said they both made the decision then Vince informs Marty that Shawn called him and said that it wasn’t his decision to quit and that he was coming back. Marty said he called Shawn, who said that he was married with house payments and could not afford to quit. At the next TV taping, the guys got word about what happened and Wayne Bloom told Marty that he would kick Shawn’s ass for him. Shortly after that, Vince sat them down and said it was time for a split and Vince told Marty that they were going to turn Shawn into a superstar but that he did not see that in him. Marty told him he wanted a chance to prove him wrong and Vince told him he liked that attitude.  Later that night, Marty got depressed and drank a lot. Shortly after that, they ran the “Barber Shop” angle, which Marty said Shawn took credit for but only remembers the window part being his idea.”

 

Shawn puts over Sherri Martel for protecting him as the veterans would not sell for him or on occasion stiff him in the ring. Shawn said that Sherri would tell him to throw his opponent outside to her where she would rough them up. Shawn then said they he never forgot how the vets treated him and said he became a prick towards them once he became successful.

 

He talks about how after getting the Intercontinental Title, Vince called him up and said he failed a drug test due to testing positive for steroids. Shawn said he was out of shape and not on them and kept asking Vince for what he tested positive for and was told it was a trace of elevated testosterone and hinted that someone might have messed with his drug test and gave him an ultimatum and as a result, Shawn took the six week suspension instead of admitting he was abusing steroids. Shawn believes that Vince was testing him here as he never gave him an ultimatum again.

 

When asked, Shawn said that you have a better chance of not getting wet while pissing against the wind instead of ridding steroids and drugs from wrestling.

 

Shawn talks about how his priorities changed after his suspension from wanting to smoke “doobies” to focusing on his career.

 

He laughs when mentioning how the “dirt sheets” thought the Kliq and himself had power in the WWF, saying that they just gave ideas to Vince that he liked. Shawn said that they would make suggestions for other guys too and chalks up the issues Chris Candido, Shane Douglas, and even Bret Hart had with him were all due to paranoia as all the decisions were made by Vince. Shawn said the Kliq ate, drank, and breathed wrestling 24/7 and would constantly think of things and “took the initiative” to get them done.

 

Shawn elaborates further on Shane Douglas and said he stunk in the WWF and talks about how Shane said he was hurt and unable to work at Madison Square Garden as Shawn said that was what separated the men from the boys. He even talks about Triple H trying to help Shane with ideas to change his ring attire. Shawn said that Chris Candido could work but needed to stop focusing on what his girlfriend was doing.

 

On the rumor of the Kliq almost going on strike in Indianapolis, Shawn laughs it off and said that they told Vince the company had to go into a different direction and went through a list of talent to see who could work and who could not. Shawn goes back to the days of Hogan and Beefcake and called them lazy and how they still made a lot of money as Shawn talks about how Vince now had passionate guys who worked hard, wanting to change things. Shawn even said that Vince liked the fact that he had guys on the roster with this much passion.

 

He is asked about several other talents. He said that Sid was not a great worker but could talk and draw money. Shawn likes him for being an honest guy and could work around his style. Shawn said that the Undertaker was not his best friend or anything but was the best and most professional wrestler he worked a program against.

 

On his “lost my smile” promo, Shawn said that Vince never told him to job to Bret. He also said that his knee was hurting and they built up things to the point that he felt Bret would legitimately try to hurt him in the ring so he decided to finish rehabbing his knee instead.

 

Shawn is asked about his backstage fight with Bret. He claimed at WrestleMania 12, Bret came up to him and said he wanted the feud to get to the point where they “worked the sheets” and to ignore anything negative he heard. After the match, Shawn said that Bret did not return his call and after that, Bret made comments to the “Calgary Sun” and started calling him a “faggot” among other things. Shawn said he was ignoring things then when hearing about Bret going to WCW, Shawn wanted to know why he was still working the angle. Shawn claims he never badmouthed Bret once to the “sheets” and even apologized for what he said about his parents on TV. Bret came back to the WWF months later and in the locker room, Shawn said Bret was irking him and told him to start working with him before he unloads on him. The next week, Shawn came up with the “Sunny Days” comment as he notes he did it to be funny but it pissed Bret off and that in wrestling, no one likes to hear the truth. Three months later, Bret approached Shawn, who told him to fuck off for not talking to him for three months, and walked away. Bret then pushed Shawn from behind as Shawn said he laughed when Bret swung and they ended up fighting until it got broken up. Bret then yelled at Shawn for “fucking with his family” as Shawn asked him how he did that, knowing it was the Sunny Days comment as he told Bret it was not his fault that he fucked Sunny. After that, Shawn said he went to Vince and said Bret was a lunatic and would come back once they got him under control. Shawn said he was supposed to work against Brian Pillman on that show. The next day, Shawn said he came back and Vince told them to pretend to like each other and make things work.

 

On Pillman’s death, Shawn said the day before he looked horrible and after his match, reached into his bag and chased down some pills with a beer. Shawn hinted that was not uncommon for him but who would know that time would be the one that killed him.

 

He claimed that Triple H and himself came up with the idea for the Hell in a Cell gimmick.

 

Shawn is asked if he had offers to join WCW at this point. He said yes but always wanted to stay with the WWF.

 

On his match against Bret at the 1997 Survivor Series, Shawn said you could tell something was going to happen. He said the boys in the locker room acted different and Bret did not arrive until 5pm. Shawn says the dirtsheets created a lot of drama building up to the match as well then went into how certain parts that were filmed for “Wrestling With Shadows,” including a conversation with Bret that would prove his innocence regarding the Montreal Screwjob, ended up getting omitted from the film because they needed a bad guy for that movie as Shawn also talks about how things were taken out of context. Shawn is then asked about refusing to job to Bret and said while he never had a problem, he told Vince it was stupid to job for a guy who was leaving for WCW.  He even talks about how Bret called the spot where Shawn put him in the sharpshooter and they went over it with Pat Patterson but never knew that would be the finish. Bret would grab the rope then reverse the hold and after that, Triple H and Chyna would run down and interfere. Shawn talks about knowing he would be the scapegoat for the incident and then talks about how he didnt care if he got the belt or not because he just wanted the whole ordeal with Bret to end.

 

On Vince Russo, Shawn thought he was talented but got a big head with more power and “forgot where he came from” as he said Russo would bitch and moan if you did not like one of his ideas.

 

Shawn said he could see Steve Austin become as popular as he did and saw he could take wrestling as far as it was going to show and likes him as a person. On the Rock, Shawn seemed shocked when mentioned that there was a rumor he had heat with the Rock. He thinks the Rock was  nice kid and did a great job on “Saturday Night Live.” He loved working with Owen Hart but did not think he was a main-event talent and was someone who did not love wrestling as much and not as forceful with his ideas. On Owen’s death, Shawn said he was in Hawaii taping “Pacific Blue” when a crew member told him he died. The next night, he watched RAW and cried and missed the fact he was not there to be able to do something.

 

He talks about Jim Cornette and said they did not get along and said that Cornette was a prick to him because he was unable to change with the times.

 

Shawn talks about watching guys like Benoit, Jericho, Hardy Boyz, Christian & Edge and said that wrestling is going back to when he was a Rocker in the WWF with the undercard busting their ass while the main-eventers just kicked and punched in the main event and made more money. Shawn said that he even sold out a bit to the main event style as his entrance became a bigger part of his match and talks about always having to change with the times.

 

He talks about getting injured in his casket match against the Undertaker and was told by a doctor that his career was over. Shawn told the doctor he had one more match and told Vince that what the doctor said and he wanted to skip the February PPV then lose the belt to Austin at WrestleMania. He talks about working slow in the Austin match and how his timing was off as he did not have much feeling in his back. He talks about rehabbing for 6-8 months but it did not get better as Shawn said that was it for him, despite Vince’s request.

 

Shawn talks about Texas Wrestling Academy (TWA) and how it keeps him involved in wrestling. He had no intention of getting TV to start as he just wanted to get guys tryouts and work on shows. He is asked about four guys that got WWF Developmental Deals through him (Spanky, American Dragon, Lance Cade, and Shooter Schultz) and that Bruce Prichard told him that he expects Spanky & American Dragon to only be in Memphis for a few months before they are brought up to the main roster as they want to revamp the Junior Heavyweight Division. Shawn then plugs his

 

He is asked about ECW and likes Rob Van Dam’s work but that he needs to make what he does mean more and to slow down as its starting to look choreographed. He said you do not have to show everything you can do in one match and that he is extremely talented.

 

He closes by saying he wants to train guys and be the “farm league” to the major promotions. Shawn also wants to be a spokesman for the WWF as well and as big as the company is, they will be getting into other aspects of entertainment like movies and television

 

 

Final Thoughts: This interview was something else. In his “YouShoot,” Rob Van Dam said that while he never had a problem with Shawn, he always thought Shawn was dripping with insincerity. I felt the same after watching this interview. Shawn also owned up to some of the things he lied about here years later, especially his knowledge of the 199 Survivor Series finish. Shawn really wanted to make sure to tell us “Wrestling With Shadows” unfairly portrayed him.

Another thing was the interview itself was terribly structured. It glossed over most of his career and focused on his dealings with Bret. The were no follow up questions and this was really Shawn just talking about things. There was a lot of rambling here. A really bad job by Feinstein in putting this together.

Overall, I’d consider watching this for comedy purposes but if that is not your thing, I would pass. It did a terrible job focusing on his career and did not let Shawn so much of his instincts, which he does has and did peek through at times.

 

You can purchase the DVD for $15 by clicking here or the digital download for $7.99 by clicking here

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

 

Friday: WWF Madison Square Garden 6/25/88

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling TV 12/3/81

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/26/88

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/2/88

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/3/88

Wednesday: RoH Supercard of Honor X, Night Two 4/2/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD