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Shawn Michaels On NXT Stars Departing For AEW – “It’s Bittersweet”

Kyle O'Reilly Shawn Michaels Johnny Gargano

WWE Hall Of Famer Shawn Michaels has commented on the mass migration that has taken place recently from NXT to AEW, calling it “bittersweet.”

Shawn Michaels has been one of the driving forces behind NXT in recent years and has recently had to step into the breach after his close friend Triple H had to take some time away from the business following heart surgery.

In recent months NXT has seen a complete revamp to NXT 2.0 with many of the old guard of the black and gold brand heading for pastures new with many winding up in AEW.

Speaking to Denise Salcedo Shawn Michaels discussed losing some of the talent in NXT and says those are the people that brought him back to wrestling:

“We still keep in contact, but yeah it is bittersweet, those young men were a big part of my life, they were a lot of the reason that I sort of got back into this line of work. I was happily retired. When it came to Johnny, Tommaso, Adam, those guys, even way back, the Revival Boys, Shawn Spears who was Tye Dellinger at the time, all those young men sitting in a room with them; their passion, their excitement, their desire to be better was just hard not to love.”

“They are the reason that I came back, and fell back in love with Sports Entertainment, with this line of work. As you’ve heard and everyone has numerous times, in NXT at the Performance Center, is where it’s still pure, it’s still all the reasons we get into it before it becomes business, and money and negotiations and things of that nature.”

Michaels went on to add that despite missing them, he tried to instill in them that their individual happiness was what mattered most:

“To fast forward your question, I miss them. One of the things I always try to instill on all of them is ‘your happiness, your content, your peace, is the most important thing to me.’ Because I learned that, yes mine all happened in the WWE but when everything was set and done that’s why I think that leaving and walking away was so much easier for me than it was for everybody else.”

“I got all the answers to the questions that I had coming into this line of work and as long as they are at peace with that, that’s cool. At the very least, I tell them ‘if you’re not gonna be at peace with it at least have a big bank account.’ At least it makes you feel better a little bit.’”

“I miss them, but I am very happy for them. Some things gotta be real life, Hunter and I, we love this stuff, same thing our real lives take precedence over everything else and it’s the same whether its Johnny, Adam, Kyle and whoever else, he’s now Malakai but Aleister, all of those guys I want them to be happy. Do I miss them? Yes. Would I prefer they be with us? Absolutely.”

Shawn Michaels then touched on the new generation of NXT 2.0 stars that have stepped up on the developmental brand and says the evolution of wrestling is a constant:

“But again you’re getting the opportunity to establish new relationships with Bron and Tony, The Creed Brothers, Carmello and Trick; they have just been a joy to work with. Gigi and Jacy, I absolutely adore. It’s an ever-evolving thing and that’s what this job is but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still have good relationships in the meantime.”

h/t Wrestling Inc.