Shawn Michaels has discussed how he encourages modern-day wrestlers to take a more tactful approach than he did in getting what they want in the business. The WWE Hall of Famer was notorious in the nineties for being outspoken and difficult to work with. Part of The Kliq, Michaels used his influence to politic and push for what he wanted to progress his career.
These days, Shawn Michaels is one of the brains in charge of the NXT brand. In this role, he works with NXT Superstars of today and tomorrow, coaching them and offering advice. Speaking to the Getting Over: Wrestling Podcast, Michaels explains why they have to approach things differently from how he did:
“I still encourage participation, let’s say. Again, I always try to make it very clear, please try to understand it’s not the same world, it’s not the same business. It’s so much bigger. Nobody should handle it the way that I handled it. But, I have to balance that with honesty and that is letting them know that I can’t say for sure that if I didn’t at least push myself and push the system a little bit, I don’t know if I would have gotten where I got.
“It’s always important creatively to be finding the next big thing, the next movement. If you’re standing still, plateauing, that’s okay, but I would always encourage our guys and gals to push for more. I always use the line that Vince gave me years ago, which is, ‘Look, Shawn, I want you to just go out there and go for it, and I’ll reel you in.’”
The 2-time Royal Rumble winner continued:
“This generation does it with a lot more sense and sensibility, certainly, than I did. Again, I think they’ve got a nice balance. To answer your question, I do encourage them to push themselves and to continue to evolve and try to grow as performers because I feel like they would get stagnant and, as you say, complacent. That’s a delicate balance for them to have to adjust to and they’ve got to do it on their time. I always make sure to tell them, don’t do it if it’s out of your nature. But if it’s something you passionately feel and think you’re going to feel better, at least expressing it. As long as it’s expressed professionally and well-mannered– Certainly, and in NXT everybody’s allowed to have a voice. You just can’t have the voice that I had 25 years ago.”
Credit: Getting Over: Wrestling
h/t Fightful for the transcription