Working behind the scenes in NXT 2.0 has changed the way Shawn Michaels views pro wrestling, accepting this new style over a more traditional style.
Although Shawn Michaels enjoyed a career that lasted a couple of decades, his style didn’t change to adapt to the evolution of wrestling. Instead, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ wrestled the same in 2010 when he retired as he did throughout the ’90s at the height of his career.
Now, the multi-time World Champion works backstage, officially under the title of Vice President of Talent Development for NXT 2.0 and NXT UK. This role has seen Shawn have a helping hand in the progression of WWE’s style of wrestling, which has changed drastically from when Michaels was first introduced during the Golden Era.
The latest Kliq This podcast saw Kevin Nash discuss watching a recent NXT taping, during which Shawn Michaels told him how the changing times have caused the favoured style of wrestling in WWE to conform with today’s rising quality:
“So anyway, I went down and I watched the NXT taping. And I said to him [Shawn Michaels], I said, ‘F*ck. Slow the fuck down.’ Right? And he just looks at me and this is exactly how he [said it], just looks at me goes, ‘It’s not the style anymore, you just have to accept that. The style is the style.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow.’
Like he goes, ‘If you go out there and do f*cking do tests of strength, people will walk the f*ck out of the arena.’ He says that they are awkwardly conditioned now to do this. The fans want to see this, they want to see a spot fest. That’s great, I mean, if that’s what the fans want, I particularly don’t.”
Shawn Michaels has been a WWE Performance Center trainer since 2016, with a Pro Wrestling Torch report the following year stating that, alongside Terry Taylor, he was responsible for teaching the finishing class.
Kevin Nash continued, explaining how he thought a recent Raw encounter between Bobby Lashley and Riddle, and Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins and Theory reminded him of the older wrestling style with psychology:
“I thought that the tag match that ended Raw had psychology. Yes, there was spots, but the first time Theory gets brought in, it’s f*cking, a stiff f*cking punch, good facials, goes to the body and digs a couple of f*cking shots. They f*cking keep cutting the ring off, cutting the ring off, not letting Lashley get the tag. And I’m just seeing like they’re working in and out.
And Seth’s coming in and doing one, two things boom, tagging it back out. Like the old Anderson brothers that work in the corner. And it’s just like, there we go, that’s tag psychology. F*cking finally, you know, Lashley gets the hot tag and they stop him and no one can stop him. And you know, it’s just like, I don’t know.”
Shawn Michaels retired from the ring following a loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI, coming out of retirement just once at the 2018 Crown Jewel pay-per-view, tagging with Triple H as they defeated ‘Taker and Kane in a poorly-received encounter.
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