Appearing in the new A&E Biography special on Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon has said that HBK owes his life to Triple H.
Speaking in the documentary, McMahon also addressed rumours that as members of ‘The Kliq,’ Michaels and Triple H were calling the shots backstage. During the mid-1990’s it has been suggested by some that Michaels, Triple H, Sean Waltman, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall held significant power backstage.
McMahon said that while he listened to the Superstars, they weren’t calling any shots.
“They couldn’t call any of the shots, but I listened. They had some really good ideas,” said Vince McMahon. “Really smart, individually, and Shawn, very smart when he was sober. Shawn had an attitude. When he drank, even more so, on top of pills… Shawn would say the wrong thing at the wrong time and he was protected in the WWE environment, but outside of that environment…” [Sakes head]
By his own admission, Shawn Michaels dealt with numerous substance issues throughout the mid-to-late 1990’s. While still able to perform in the ring, his use of these substances heavily influenced his life outside of it. Recalling Michaels’ issues with substance abuse, Triple H described how HBK used various substances as a way to numb whatever pain he was feeling.
“His moment of existence was the 20 minutes in the ring every night,” said Triple H. “He wouldn’t be messed up. He would go in there and kill it every night. Then, the minute he was done [mimics taking a pill]
‘I’m in pain and I took some stuff so I wouldn’t be in pain this morning but I’m not messed up,’” Triple H recalled. “‘Why would you hang out with this misery 24/?’ No, it’s not. Again, it’s like your brother. It’s like a family member,”
Recalling this period, Vince McMahon said that Michaels “owes his life to ‘Triple H’ Paul Levesque. Owes his life to him.”
After leaving WWE in 1998, Shawn Michaels returned to the company in 2002 after overcoming his issues. HBK currently works aside long-time friend Triple H running NXT where he passes on his experience to the next generation of WWE Superstars.
While the A&E biography series has mostly been well received, the episode featuring the career of Randy Savage drew criticism from fans and former Superstars alike. Eric Bischoff said that he was ’embarrassed’ to be a part of the production, while Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo, said the Macho Man had been “vilified”
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.