In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated Shawn Michaels discussed his negative backstage attitude during his first run on top and the heat he had with The Undertaker. The story is that HBK didn’t want to drop the title to Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14, so Undertaker put his foot down:
Back then, Mark didn’t like me. But at no time has he ever claimed that he said anything to the face of Shawn Michaels, and that’s because he didn’t. Mark went to everybody and told them, ‘If this doesn’t go down the way it should, I’m going to have a big problem and Shawn is going to have a big problem. I’ll go over there and beat the heck out of him.’ But he never had to say anything to me. My whole intention at WrestleMania XIV was to drop the belt to Steve, but I was going to make everybody sweat it out and make them think I wasn’t. Obviously, I got that accomplished. That’s extremely unprofessional, but that’s exactly who I was and what I was doing.
Michaels also discussed whether the “Montreal Screwjob” would have been different if Nash and Hall stuck around:
I don’t think anyone would have swayed Bret’s decision-making. But if Kevin and Scott were still there, and I still had my friends, it would have prevented the entire thing from getting as out of hand as it did. Bret and I were friends, but we were young and we made bad decisions. We couldn’t see outside the wrestling business. It was the end-all, be-all. You were in that box constantly, so that’s all you thought about. It affects your decision-making.
Why Fans Like Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan told Digital Spy that he believes a portion of the fan base like him over John Cena and Roman Reigns because he’s an underdog in real life and on the show:
They are more of the prototypical WWE Superstars than I am, so when I came in I don’t think any of the top WWE people looked at me as, ‘Oh this is somebody who we look at as being a future main eventer for WrestleMania’ or even a future WWE Champion, or even a future Intercontinental Champion!
They looked at me like ‘Oh, this guy is good at what he does, he’s a good little wrestler, he can go out there and he can perform – he might get a little bit popular, but he’s never going to be The Guy’. Whereas somebody like Roman Reigns or John Cena – people look at them and they think, ‘Oh, this guy could be The Guy, let’s see what happens’, and that was never me.
He also said the YES! chant is an important factor in his popularity:
Part of the secret is people love saying ‘Yes!’. Even if people don’t like me, they have fun throwing their fingers in the air saying ‘Yes!’ So that is part of the secret, but another thing about John Cena and Roman Reigns – not that they’ve had an easy road to the top in WWE, John Cena was nearly fired before he became WWE Champion for the first time – but they probably had a much easier path than I did.
In other Bryan news, according to the Wrestling Observer the main agents behind the booking of the Royal Rumble match were Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. While they didn’t determine the winner, they essentially scripted most of the internal action of the match. Pat Patterson who has laid out the Rumble for years took more of an advisory role this year.
Reigns winning and Bryan’s early elimination was still most likely a Vince move.
Chael Sonnen Meeting With WWE
MMA star Chael Sonnen told Off The Record that he and Wanderlei Silva may be doing something with WWE at Wrestlemania week in California.
I got a call from WWE, they said, ‘Look, we have a Hall of Fame show in March. If you want to come out, we want to talk to you about some stuff.’ They laid out at that. If they are buying me a plane ticket and they’re giving me a ticket to the show, I do enjoy that product. I don’t know what we are talking about, but I’ll give you a little bit of a scoop: Wanderlei Silva was also invited. I don’t know if he’s accepted and I don’t know if the two are related, but there you go.