Michaels not interested in movies
No trading canvas for celluloid
SCOTT ZERR - Edmonton Sun
|The old Heartbreak Kid
LOS ANGELES -- Shawn Michaels has all the characteristics that are required of a good leading man in Hollywood. He's flamboyant for sure, ruggedly handsome and with an impeccable delivery of his lines. So with Michaels, or the Heartbreak Kid as he's known around the world, preparing to do battle with Kurt Angle tomorrow night at Wrestlemania XXI just down the street from studio lots, would he ever be interested in a movie career?
"I never thought I'd be a guy who would use wrestling as a springboard to anything else," said Michaels (Shawn Michael Hickenbottom to his mom) prior to the big dance at the Staples Center. "I've been world champion and I'm content with that. I've got no aspirations of being bigger than (Robert) De Niro or (Sylvester) Stallone."
Hollywood and wrestling have worked well in the past -- save for a few dreadful performances by Hulk Hogan in painfully un-comedic roles. The Rock has found so much success on the silver screen that wrestling is a backburner concern. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has a three-picture deal in the works. The two professions can go hand in hand, but Michaels would rather watch the movies than take part.
"Acting is one thing where the more time you spend at it the better you can get. With wrestling, you either have it or you don't," said Michaels.
"For actors, if it's not in front of them, they're lost. Our guys, they learn their lines but they also have to adjust and improvise and feel an audience.
"When I was asked to do something for Baywatch and Pacific Blue, you do your thing and then they yell, 'Next' and you wonder if you were any good. With our crowd, you know instantaneously if something works.
"I go to the movies for enjoyment. The actors I enjoy have an amazing gift that I don't have."
But Michaels is gifted in his own right. He isn't referred to as the "Showstopper" for nothing. The matchup with Angle, who made a recent pit stop in Edmonton to promote the May 31 Smackdown! card at Rexall Place, should be another in the long line of memorable moments in Michaels's storied career.
"I don't know if it'll be a showstealer or a classic. Only the fans and history will determine how high it will go," said Michaels. "The Ladder Match (at Wrestlemania X versus Razor Ramon) did reach that mark. We knew it was special but it was hard to grasp what we'd done and what impact it would have on the business.
"Kurt and I have a chance to be awesome, but you always worry that it's being built up into something that's unattainable. So I think there's a little bit of pressure, but we're going to go out and do our best to tear one down."
Just how many more of those types of matches Michaels will have is up in the air. A devout born-again Christian, he was forced into a brief retirement due to severe back injuries but his return to the ring has been nearly worry-free.
Fans of HBK then can expect to hear a few more renditions of "Sweet Chin Music."
"I don't ever see my relationship with the WWE ending. I'll always do something with them," said Michaels. "My role will just diminish, but like Ric Flair said, wrestlers never really retire.
"I don't think my performance has suffered from the injuries I've had and I'm always conscious that when my performance starts to suffer, I'll be the first one to see it.
"The fans have forgiven me for the physical things that I'm not able to do anymore but I still have that passion, that fire, and they know that I still have that."
More on Shawn Michaels
More on WrestleMania 21
Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!
Pre-order your copy of WWE WrestleMania 21 Double DVD Set