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October 26, 2021

Shawn Michaels Steps Up for Best Friend Triple H After Health Scare

Forever one of pro wrestling’s all-time greats, Shawn Michaels showcased a rare blend of charisma, athleticism and in-ring precision during his iconic career. He delivered an unmatchable slate of matches, particularly at WrestleMania, creating a timeless body of work in the ring. For the past five years, Michaels has worked as a coach at the WWE Performance Center, where he has also become an integral part of NXT.

Since its inception, Paul “Triple H” Levesque has been NXT’s driving force. But a health scare last month temporarily removed Levesque from his post, and it has been Michaels helping to carry NXT while his friend takes every step needed in his recovery.

“Trying to step in and fill his role is impossible to do,” says Michaels, whose official title is vice president of talent development. “Everybody here misses him unbelievably, especially me. But I always go back to this—everything in real life takes precedence over everything else. This was a situation where my best friend needed my help and needed me to step in, so I look at this as an opportunity, in a small way, to thank him for everything he did for me earlier in my career.

“Taking over the responsibilities here is a drop in the bucket compared to what he did for me all those years back. I’m honored to at least have the opportunity to pay him back a little bit and be there for him. That’s what this whole company does—this whole relaunch has been everyone pulling together, and I’m energized and inspired to keep this NXT territory going strong during his absence.”

NXT just rebranded from its trademark black-and-gold look to a colorful “2.0” version. Michaels noted that change is an inevitable, unstoppable force in the business of professional wrestling.

“Doing this now for 35 years, I’ve seen constant change,” Michaels says. “And change is certainly not new to us in WWE. It’s constantly evolving and changing. I’ve heard people call this a refresh, but it’s still the same crew, which is great because they’re so damn talented. It reminds me of he Attitude Era. We had the same roster the day before he Attitude Era started, and I still remember Vince coming into the locker room and making that speech, inspiring us and making us hungry for the future. That’s what this is—turning over a new leaf, restructuring a few things and putting a brand-new coat of paint on a dominant and incredible brand. It’s chummed the waters, so to speak, and that’s fun to be around.”

source:  si.com


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