Shawn Michaels was interviewed in the April issue of Muscle and Fitness to promote his “Wrestling For My Life” book. Below are a few highlights:
Later in your career you were ripped, but you were bigger in your early years. Was there ever any pressure to get big?
No, there wasn’t any pressure in that respect from anyone. I was training with guys like Kevin Nash and Triple H, guys who like to get in the gym and train hard to this day. When I came back in 2002, after the back injury- for four years I had been out- I found that a lot of those heavier weights were going to be a thing of the past. It was easier on my body, and I stayed healthier carrying less weight.”
Did you feel like a trailblazer as a smaller guy who was huge with the fans?
“When you’re not 6’6″ and you’re not going to be 250 pounds, you have no choice but to make it work however you can. You’re thankful that you’re athletic, and you do your best to use that athletic ability. Bret [Hart] and I both tried to focus on that.”
You sang your own theme song, with lyrics like: “I’m just a sexy boy. I’m not your boy toy.” Did you ever think you’d be still coming out to it decades later?
“No, I never thought that. Jimmy Hart is the guy who wrote the song. He first recorded it, and then he came up with the idea for me to do it, and I can remember not being thrilled with it. I said, “Oh, my goodness I can’t sing.” But I tell ya, it’s grown a life of its own. It’s funny because it’s obviously so not me, but it’s a toe tapper and people get a kick out of it. When I look back on all of it- the song, the career- I look back on it with the most pleasant smile a guy could ever have because I’m extremely fortunate. I got to live my dream, and that’s pretty rare.”
What are your thoughts about the PG nature of WWE now versus the Attitude Era?
“Don’t get me wrong, the Attitude Era was fantastic, but it was four years, and I guess that’s something people don’t think about. We started doing it back in ’97, and by the time I came back in 2002 it was done. I guess there was a little bit of it, but it wasn’t much. It was four years. It’s been built into mythical proportions. You do the best job you can whether it’s the Attitude Era or the PG Era. Successful people succeed in all situations. Smart people, people of wisdom, will succeed in all situations.”