Shawn Michaels knew when to retire; discusses WrestleMania matches

Shawn Michaels is known as “Mr. WrestleMania”, but would it surprise you to learn that his WrestleMania record is 6-11? He stepped into the ring seventeen times and left the ring eleven times without raising a hand in wrestling’s greatest event.

We recently video chatted with Michaels to get his comments on some of his most memorable WrestleMania matches.

WrestleMania 5 (Atlantic City), The Twin Towers (Big Bossman and Akeem) d. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)

“I remember the end (the 400+ pound Akeem splashed him). And again it was the first WrestleMania moment and I was overjoyed just to be on this show. I think Marty and I already felt like a group before our time back then. I think we would probably be more appreciated now in this environment. But I thought we did some really special stuff that went under the radar. But I think there are a lot of people who see that as a really good job.”

Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as The Rockers


WrestleMania 6 (Toronto), Pat Tanaka and Sato D. The rockers

“We had phenomenal chemistry with them. We’ve all worked together, you know, many times in many different places. Hell, I think we all almost tagged each other at different times. Many paths crossed at the beginning of our career. We could have all been blindfolded in that ring.”

WrestleMania 7 (Los Angeles), The Rockers d. The Barbarian and Haku

“We really found our groove there. I think the guys would say that WrestleMania felt big again because they were in LA (the event was held at the LA Sports Arena). WrestleMania was really starting to feel larger than life, at least to me back then.”

WrestleMania 8 (Indianapolis), Shawn Michaels d. Tito Santana

“What I take away from it was my first stadium (the event was in the Hoosier Dome). I’m an individual competitor now and I remember that day I had no idea what the future might hold. And being in there with a consummate professional like Tito is reassuring. The enormity of this event was the most challenging part for me. And I had Sherri Martel in my corner. She made me noticed, gave me credibility right away because she was who she was. She was the one who had been with Randy Savage. She was the one who dated Ted DiBiase. Sherry was a better player than me. Placing myself with her leveled me in a way that allowed me to skip a number of levels that I would normally have to go through to climb this map. So she was very important to my career and she was so professional and an absolute blast to work with because she was just so open and willing to do anything.

WrestleMania 9 (Las Vegas), Shawn Michaels d. Tatanka

“I think that was the beginning where I felt comfortable. And to see that there are greater possibilities. Like WrestleMania is a part of me.”

WrestleMania 10 (New York City), Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) d. Shawn Michaels, Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

You can see the game here

“This is where the seeds of Mr. Wrestlemania really began. A ladder match had never been conducted. And having the opportunity to do it with one of my best buddies, Scott Hall. We had been in the ring together so many times that I could close my eyes and know where he would be. We knew each other so well and we felt so comfortable together. It was kind of a joke about it, I was wrestling with Scott and we had a ladder with us.

Wrestlemania 11 (Hartford), Diesel (Kevin Nash) d. Shawn Michaels retains the WWE Title.

“That was the start for me to understand that, oh my god, I could actually be the main event of Wrestlemanias and be someone they would look at to carry that company. All of the WrestleManias led to this, starting with someone who was on a tag team and then building my career in singles until I found out I could officiate a WrestleMania. When I started the journey, I just wanted to be included in the show.

WrestleMania 12 (Anaheim), Shawn Michaels d. Bret Hart in an Ironman match to win the WWE Championship.

You can see Michael moving in here

“Just very proud of it in many ways. And people either love it or they slander it, I think unfairly. It was such a risk to do this type of match at a pay-per-view. And I’m so proud of what Bret and I have accomplished. Ironman matches are back in fashion, so to speak. This match is something special for me personally.”

Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14

Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14


WrestleMania 14 (Boston), Stone Cold Steve Austin d. Shawn Michaels wins the WWE Championship.

You can watch the end of the game here

“I was in a lot of pain in that match because of my back (Michaels left wrestling for a few years after that match). I’m always like, ‘Oh, I wish I was in a better place to do a better job for Steve.’ But then I also watch this match and everything in my life changed from that point. Without that valley, without that despair, well, the sadness was really a turning point. It has meaning, it’s a lot more positive than a lot of people would imagine in my opinion.”

Wrestlemania 24 (Orlando) Shawn Michaels d. Ric Flair, with Flair having to retire after losing

Watch the entire game here

“I’m out there with the guy I grew up with who has his last match in WWE. A lot of what we do has real emotions on both sides. I tell people it’s my love story for the wrestling business and my love story for Ric Flair. And that’s what this match embodies for me.

WrestleMania 25 (Houston) The Undertaker d. Shawn Michaels

Watch the entire game here

“Here’s another kind of fairytale story from the perspective of two boys who have shared this dressing room for over 20 years. We had a lot of real disagreements in the beginning, but then we had a lot of real closeness. And then we can go out there, even though our styles are so different, and it worked almost perfectly. And the general respect that we have for each other and how proud we are of this game and the years to come and what we’ve created throughout this whole story.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26


WrestleMania 26 (Glendale, Arizona) The Undertaker d. Shawn Michaels, with Michaels having to resign after losing

Watch the entire game here

“It goes back to the romance of the wrestling business. Two grown men honoring each other. And Taker does everything to make sure I come out on the best possible platform. I always want to honor these efforts of his and be able to give myself peace by doing so.

When did Michaels know it was time to retire?

“I think after the first against Taker. My wife and I drove back from Houston to the family and I said to her, ‘You know, I think this could be it.’ And she says, “What do you mean?” And I said, ‘I don’t know if it gets any better than this.’ She said ‘How ready, ready?’ And I said, “Yes.” I just felt that if I walked away at that point, I would have complete peace with what I’ve done in WWE and in the business as a whole. And the more you talk about it, the more it just became, ‘Let’s go out like this.’ When I came back in 2002, I didn’t want to miss the lives of our children. And half of that was gone. And if I didn’t quit, then I probably wouldn’t and I’d miss the other half. And I didn’t want that. So after the first one, I started looking at retirement.”

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