The Steve Austin Show
Guest: Shawn Michaels (from WWE Network special)
Release Date: December 22, 2015
Recap by Corey Freedman
Top Newsworthy Items
– Steve’s guest today is Shawn Michaels. This is the interview that aired on the WWE Network.
– Michaels says that Triple H was the first to actually voice the notion of taking the belt off Bret Hart in Montreal if he didn’t agree to “do business.”
– It was Michaels’s idea to have the bell rung while Bret was in the Sharpshooter. He said that was the only spot in the match where it could have happened.
– Austin and Michaels praise Hunter’s knowledge for the business and the amount he has learned since being in more of a business role.
– Shawn names Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and Bray Wyatt as talent that stands out on the current roster.
Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)
0:00 – Welcome/Sponsor Ads
1:55 – Show begins/Intro with Shawn
4:40 – Shawn’s TV show/post-wrestling life
10:20 – Ric Flair/WM match
15:50 – Montreal Screwjob
23:35 – Sponsor Ads
25:45 – The Kliq
33:15 – Triple H
39:15 – Vince McMahon
41:25 – Michaels’s influence on young WWE talent
47:20 – Moments Shawn regrets/wishes he could change?
53:05 – Interview ends
53:20 – Austin plugs and sponsor ads
Intro: This interview is being conducted at the Broken Skull Ranch.
Shawn’s TV show: Shawn talks about how enjoyable filming this show has been as a new career after his wrestling career. He also talks about his return in 2002 not comparing to the time he had been spending with his family. Shawn talks about his son wanting to enlist in the Army after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. He and Austin talk about being overprotective of children and always worrying about their future.
Ric Flair: Shawn and Austin agree that Flair is the greatest wrestler of all time. Austin talks about how Flair would go to various territories and “shine up” the regional talents. They move onto talking about Michaels-Flair at WM24 in Ric’s final match. Michaels says that he told Flair he loved him after pinning him for the victory in that match. Shawn talks about growing up being the biggest fan of Ric Flair and how surreal it was thinking about fighting him at WM. He talks about discussing the match with a childhood friend who had watched Flair with him growing up. Shawn talks about having some watches made to commemorate the match just for him and Ric. He says he talked to Ric about being his peer/colleague before the match, but he also wanted to mention that he had also been an influence/idol to him.
Montreal Screwjob: Austin talks about Bret Hart being one of the best workers of all time. Shawn says he was happy for Bret when he won the WWF Title and that Bret said he saw him being the next guy. Shawn thinks that happened sooner than Bret would have liked. Shawn says the feeling going into the night of the screwjob was “uncomfortable.” He says that Triple H was the one to finally suggest taking the belt from Bret if Bret didn’t want to “do business.” Michaels says that even with all of their differences, it was not an enviable situation to be in. He didn’t want things to go down that way, especially on a live TV PPV. Michaels continues that Vince said he would talk to Bret the day of the show, but that if that didn’t work they would have to think of an alternative as Bret could not leave the building with the Title.
Michaels, Vince, Hunter, and Jerry Briscoe talked about how the match could play out and ways to fix the match. Shawn says he is the one who saw the spot with Bret in the Sharpshooter as the only opportunity to ring the bell. He had to be holding Bret down in order for this to work. Michaels describes the feeling as it happened as “uneasy.” He compares it to a Mafia movie where someone has to kill their buddy. What bothered him more than anything, was that Vince demanded Shawn deny his involvement. Shawn knew that everyone would blame him anyway so he didn’t see the point. Shawn says Bret knew that he had carried the burden of this situation for a long time and that couldn’t have been easy for him either. Michaels talks about having to reconcile this with himself.
The Kilq: Austin starts by talking about his Ringmaster gimmick and that it was a terrible idea. Michaels’s says the Kilq’s roots were found in his working with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (as his bodyguard on TV) and their traveling up and down the road together. He knew Hall from Kansas City. He says after three months in K.C., Hall sent Michaels a postcard just to say hello and that started a real friendship. He praises Scott Hall being able to work with anyone. Michaels says X-Pac got into the fold from his working with Scott Hall on Raw. He says they invited Hunter to ride with them when he arrived and he agreed which cemented the group. They talk about Hunter not ever really being into the extra-curricular activities like the rest of the group, but he still enjoyed hanging out with the everyone.
Michaels says there were two qualifications to fit in (1) could you sit around and talk about the business of pro wrestling all day and (2) were you funny. Austin and Michaels talk about Hunter’s sarcastic/dry sense of humor. They set up the scene for the MSG curtain call. Austin talks about being absolutely shocked they were doing that. They talk about Hunter taking the blame for the decision. Austin says Hunter was slotted to win KOTR 1996 until the incident which allowed Austin to be put in the spot. Austin tells the story of creating the Austin 3:16 promo based off of what Michael P.S. Hayes told him Jake the Snake said about him in his promo. Austin credits the Kliq’s curtain call with giving him a career altering opportunity.
Triple H: Austin talks about Hunter being the only member still involved with the WWE in a permanent capacity. Michaels is not surprised at all that Hunter is succeeding in his roles. Austin says he was always a student of the game. Michaels continues that Hunter has more patience than him and Austin in relation to certain elements of the industry. Austin talks about noticing Hunter seeing the business from a much bigger level now that he has been under Vince’s wing for so long. Shawn says Hunter always had the ability to play these roles it just needed to be fleshed out. He continues that no matter what anyone says about Vince, he knows the business like nobody else and can obviously teach Hunter plenty. It doesn’t surprise him that NXT is in the shape it’s in. Michaels says that Vince could never fully understand the wrestler side of the business and that was the one thing he could never fully grasp. He says that Hunter does see the business from that perspective and is only going to continue growing in learning the business side.
Vince McMahon: Austin asks if Vince knew Shawn needed guidance when he was at the height of his partying days. Shawn says that Vince always told him he saw greatness in him but that he needed to find a way to show it to the world. He talks about all the money in the world not being the most fulfilling goal. Vince told him that he would never be satisfied in life just making a bunch of money especially in regards to Shawn leaving for WCW. Vince told him that he could give him creative opportunities in the WWF and that would end up meaning more to him than anything else. He and Austin talk about getting into the business for wrestling not necessarily the extra stuff.
Shawn as an inspiration: Shawn says it’s nice to hear so many people say he was an influence on people. He says that’s one example of things turning out way bigger than he ever dreamed (i.e. he never thought he’d influence people or be referred to as the greatest of all time). Michaels names Rollins, Ziggler, Ambrose, and Bray Wyatt as young talents he really likes and sees great potential in. He sees Wyatt as the potential Undertaker of this generation. He says Ziggler goes “a little too much” in his pattern. He says as soon anyone said he was acting like Flair too much he made an effort to set himself apart. He says this generation continues to go down the path of their influences too much without branching out on their own. He says he thanked Dolph Ziggler for raising his Twitter mentions with everyone comparing the two or saying Dolph is mimicking Michaels.
Superkick: He talks about getting the superkick from Chris Adams. Pat Patterson told him that the teardrop suplex wasn’t working as the finish and suggested he just use the superkick as his finisher. Michaels says that he recently saw Patterson and his passion for the business is still extremely high. He and Austin talk about how strongly Patterson feels when he is booking finishes. He really feels the moment he is building.
Regrets/changes: Michaels talks about seeing pictures of his younger self and being able to tell he wasn’t healthy. He says there are certainly some DX moments that make him cringe now given that he is a parent himself. Austin talks about how great the DX music and entrance video were. Michaels talks about Vince Russo allowing him to really do whatever he wanted and take whatever risk he could think of. Michaels thinks it saved him to have an outlet like that. Austin says going to Raw was like going to therapy given that he got to do all that crazy stuff each night. Michaels says he is very proud of the bulk of his work. Obviously there might be things he would change but overall he is very happy about everything and how things worked out. He says his ride in the business was “phenomenal.” He doesn’t know or care where he ranks, but he enjoys always being apart of the conversation in terms of greatest of all time. Shawn says he is cool just being Shawn Michaels and he can be HBK every now and again. Michaels is looking forward to filming his hunting show and trying new ventures.
Score and Review
Score (9.5): This was the podcast that aired on the WWE Network. This was an excellent episode of the SAS. I think anyone will wish they had more time to talk and that they could have expanded on some things, but for an hour of wrestling conversation, this is about as entertaining as it gets.