The professional wrestling industry has no shortage on the embittered and rant-happy. Sure, it can be an ugly business with unhappy endings, and those who choose to sound off about its pitfalls have every right to be heard. But there eventually comes a time when it becomes necessary to move on.
Shawn Michaels has been one of the rare cases of wrestlers able to separate himself from WWE's dangerously addictive limelight.
In an interview last year leading up to RAW 1000, Michaels told me the following about life after wrestling:
I'm not a very good famous person (laughs). I enjoyed the theatrics and the physical demands of everything that went on in the ring. But I was, initially, a relatively shy kid. I think that's probably what attracted me to hunting is that it was such a polar opposite of the other, and it was that opportunity for peace and quiet and to decompress.
When he retired in 2010 following WrestleMania 26, he actually retired. Aside from the occasional non-wrestling appearances to further storylines, Michaels hosts a hunting show, released a signature watch and goes to church.
He has a life.
So it was easy to understand Michaels' frustration with the very brand of hardcore wrestling fans who have a propensity to let WWE's worked sport take over their lives.
During an interview with the Ministry of Slam podcast, Michaels had the following to say about a certain individual whom Vince McMahon lacked faith in (via PWTorch):
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with the man in charge and we were talking about a certain individual and he goes, "I just don't see money in him." And I said, "You said the same thing about me." He said, "I did not." I said, "Yes you did!" (laughs) I said, "And it's okay. It's just one of those things."
With that, the pro wrestling piranhas attacked. Never were the adverse effects of today's drive-by media more apparent than the desperate, often pathetic quest for answers derived from a matter-of-fact comment.
After Michaels made the mistake of giving clues as to who the certain individual was or was not (according to Michaels he was 6'3", 250 lbs), the social media pestering only intensified.
Surely it wasn't Dean Ambrose; he's 6'4". Could it be Wade Barrett? As hot as Daniel Bryan is, Vince couldn't have possibly lost faith in him; could he have? So was it Wade Barrett? Antonio Cesaro may be boring, but is Vince going to bury him this soon? It's definitely not Hornswoggle. Is it? Or is it Wade Barrett?
And on and on that went until Michaels threw up his hands and washed them of professional wrestling banter like only he could. Any further harassment could have cost Michaels another smile, but thankfully he was able to exit a sudden social-media shark tank gracefully.
Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) June 28, 2013
Before too many folks make this whole twitter thing absolutely no fun, I hope y'all have a wonderful evening!! Night all!! :-)— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) June 28, 2013
The juxtaposition between a man so at peace with his non-wrestling life and the incensed fans who take professional wrestling too seriously is striking. Michaels' grounded view on the trade he once lived for acts as the perfect foil for how obsessive and overly analytical some fans can be.
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