While Shawn Michaels is retired from in-ring competition, he will work with the future generation of superstars as the “Showstopper” recently relocated to Orlando, Florida, to work at the Performance Center, according to Ringside News.
Michaels will replace Terry Taylor as the “finishing” coach, helping up-and-coming talents by polishing their acts. The 51-year-old will teach a class at the Performance Center during his time at the facility.
Since retiring from professional wrestling after Wrestlemania 25, Michaels has kept his promise by not wrestling in another match. While he has made several appearances as a special guest referee and been physically involved with the likes of Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar, the Heartbreak Kid is a wrestler no more.
— WWE SummerSlam (@SummerSlam) August 12, 2016
Michaels’ last WWE appearance came at Wrestlemania 32 when he, Mick Foley, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin sent AT&T Stadium into a frenzy, making dramatic entrances and taking on the now-defunct League of Nations stable. The appearance was a slight tease by Michaels as he made his way to the ring in his wrestling gear, giving some hope that he was back in a wrestling capacity.
Leading up to Wrestlemania 32, there were rumors that WWE wanted Michaels back in a high-profile capacity, possibly as a wrestler. Ric Flair, the man who Michaels retired from WWE in-ring competition at Wrestlemania 24, said on his WOOOOO! Nation podcast that WWE was trying to lure Michaels back into in-ring competition.
“They [WWE] want him so bad for Royal Rumble, but he ain’t budging from that ranch down there in Texas,” Flair said via Wrestling Inc.
— IWNerd.com (@InnerN3rd) August 1, 2016
Speaking to Jim Ross on his Ross Report podcast, Michaels was asked if he would entertain the idea of wrestling again but turned that notion down, saying, “I’ve already had an offer. I’ve enjoyed being retired.
He added that WWE came to him with another proposition to be involved with the company’s creative team. Michaels said the job would be cool in a part-time sense but would likely cause more headaches than anything else.
“It wouldn’t be a great fit for me,” Michaels said. “There’d be a lot of stifling going on. I’ve been able to sway them on things other people couldn’t. I’d be open to the Pat Patterson gig, where you have a couple of projects and you could write in from home about it. If you’re going to be there every week, you might as well go back and be an on-air character and make more money.”
Even if Michaels had wanted to come out of retirement for another match, he revealed that he was nowhere near ring shape when Vince McMahon called him with the idea of making a Wrestlemania 32 appearance. Speaking to Vince Russo on his podcast, Michaels said he started training six weeks in advance to be at his peak physical condition for the big event.
The Performance Center staff gets a coup by adding a performer who many consider the greatest in WWE history. In addition to trainers such as Matt Bloom, Norman Smiley, and William Regal, Michaels will add a celebrity to the heralded WWE breeding ground.
With Michaels’ well-known best friend and WWE executive Triple H the brains behind the Performance Center and NXT, this has likely been in the works for a while.
[Photo by WWE]