I understand not everyone who reads my blog likes wrestling. I also know others have at least in the past enjoyed it as much as I have. There have been many top names in this business who made it a pleasure to enjoy being a fan. For many years, there was one I did not like or respect and his name was The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. My how the years have changed us both.
To be fair, I was a major Bret Hart fan. I liked the Rockers and my naive nature at the time made me blame Shawn for the breakup. I never liked some of what DX did during the attitude era, though the crotch chop was fun. There was never anything about what I saw of him or what I read about him that made me even want to care about him. How could anyone like what they saw? I remember hearing a story about an altercation he had in Syracuse many years ago with some Marines and my first instinct was to wonder what he did to deserve it.
Times changed though and maybe it was his overall behavior change while still keeping some of his juvenile sense of humor. Maybe it had something to do with being Born Again and accepting Jesus into his life and changing things in his life. One thing is for sure though, as time passed, he became someone you wanted to see in the ring more and more.
The Undertaker is a phenom and his 18-0 at Wrestlemania is a great record but the truth is, Shawn over the years became Mr. Wrestlemania. His Iron Man match with Bret Hart made 60 plus minutes of in ring action one of the best matches in history. His match with Stone Cold with Mike Tyson as referee was spectacular, which in of itself is a feat considering it is a known fact that at the time, Shawn's back was so bad he needed time off after to let it heal. And there are last year and this years matches with the Undertaker which, for someone as talented as Shawn, is one great way to end a career.
My point is, Shawn earned my respect and until someone from WWE blocks the access to the videos I posted below, you can see why the guy who once was rumored to have taken some time off because he did not get his way or would not lose to certain individuals, left a gentleman who wrestling fans not only should respect but appreciate as well. If you want to become a wrestler, emulate Shawn as much as possible. The guy took the concept of a ladder match and made it so legendary that it has become a part of wrestling culture, trying to see who can use it to have a great match. He is no longer just some punk kid who craved the spotlight but will go down as one of the greatest performers in the history of the business and a Michael Jordan of the WWE in that one day, you will be in awe of his work and brag to your children that you saw Shawn master "skinning the cat" in Royal Rumbles and tell great stories in the ring.
Thank you Shawn. I may not have always been your biggest fan but in time, I became one. Whether it was me who changed or you, I respect you and thank you for the great moments you gave us as fans. May you enjoy your retirement and you and your family live a great and blessed life.