San Antonio Living interview (2/99)
Conducted by Tanji Patton

Tanji Patton is the host of the morning show here in San Antonio.

Show starts with video clip of Shawn Michaels wrestling in WWF with voice over by Tanji Patton.

TP: Up next on Living a ring side rumble. Wrestling is big business now and one of wrestling's biggest stars ever will join us live. And yes ladies, he's single.

TP: Good Morning everyone, take a look at this. ( Holding up a WCW doll of Diamond Dallas Page, presses a button to hear him talk) Can you hear it ? Latest toy craze from toy biz, and wrestling is big right now. This is a bashing brawler. We're gonna talk wrestling a little bit this morning with one of it's biggest stars. He's just retired, Shawn Michaels the Heart Break Kid is here live. He'll talk to us and take your phone calls. And we have a surprise phone call from one of the biggest names in the entire sport of wrestling. We'll find out who that is, our mystery caller in just a few minutes.

TP: Ladies you know, they call him the Heart Break Kid, he's tall, single, and says he has a sensitive side. Very different from how the world sees him in the ring. Look at this. (video of Shawn's opening music with him wrestling Goldust, the building being demolished, posing with HHH and Chyna ... etc).

TP: Join me in welcoming Shawn Michaels to the show. He's going to take your phone calls. You may have questions about what it's really like in the ring .... When you see that of yourself prancing around and dancing in the ring, is that really you ?

HBK: I love that Steve Michaels. I mean Shawn Michaels. Here I am in my home town, we got the competition's dolls on the table, we got a guy calling me Steve (the weather man earlier had called Shawn, Steve Michaels), I gotta be the most popular guy in town.

TP: Well, I know you are, well we're giving away toys later, but I didn't know you have a toy. You have a toy too, show us yours. (Shawn reaches in his coat pocket and pulls out his HBK figure and hold it up.)

HBK: This is mine, actually, I have a wrestling buddy. We have all sorts of these toys. Mine's the one that always wins. Mine's the one that's on top.

TP: Now you recently retired. Back surgery.

HBK: Yes.

TP: And is that from all the tossing and tumbling ? It has to be.

HBK: Yes, that is from 15 years of having 300 pound guys just toss me from one side of the ring to the other. For a business that everyone is sure that they know all the answers to, (Shawn's name appeared on the screen spelled as SEAN) it is the most grueling thing that I've ever been through. So it was a wonderful, wonderful career. But, uh, 200 plus days, you know, a year, on the road at different live events all over the world, and it takes its toll on your body.

TP: Look, we've got some pictures I want to show you .... while we're talking to Shawn. Because, everyone talks about wrestling as being, and they gets onto me for bringing up this word, FAKE, call it what ever you want , you have got to be an unbelievable athlete to get in the ring and do the thing you guys do.

HBK: Yeah, it's again, we're geared towards sports entertainment. That's something now the World Wrestling Federation makes no bones about. We tell people we're sports entertainment ... but anyone who knows anything about athletics or any professional sport knows that this is not something that just any guy off the street can do. It takes, you know, specially trained athletes to do this.

TP: Well you can see why you had back problems. All the guys, I would imagine it is a fairly common affliction.

HBK: Yeah, backs, backs and knees are the first things to go. Then of course your neck is right after that. It is, I mean, you're getting tossed around, on a mat, you know, like I said, 200 plus days a year. A lot of people are under the impression that when they see us on TV or they see us at the PPV, that those are the only times that we wrestle. And that's not exactly the case. The World Wrestling Federation and its Superstars are on the road two hundred and fifty some odd days a year. Putting up live events plus personal appearances, your body gets tired, and of course it gets tossed around, and it is gonna hurt.

TP: We've already got a caller on the line. A lot of women probably calling in. Go ahead.

Caller: Hello ?, I just basically wanted to know, I know he's been out for a while, he's been injured and uh, I just really hope that sometime he will return in any way shape or form to the WWF. I do see him alot locally, on TV and we just always enjoyed his shows. He's a great entertainer, I mean everybody at the WWF. It's good entertainment. We just really enjoyed every Monday night. I don't even cook, we order a pizza or pick up burgers and basically we have a good time. And it's basically brought the family together.

TP: You know we were talking about that, Shawn, a minute ago ... and that being the core audience of this thing if you go to the wrestling matches .... there are family people there.

HBK: Yes.

TP: And yet the sport takes a little bit of criticism, the profession, because it's kind of going in the direction .... the women hardly wearing anything, the language has gotten kind of rough.... Do you think they are going to snap and say, you know, if the families are our audience we're going to tone it down or do you think it's going to go more Springerish ?

HBK: Well, they will certainly go where the fans takes them and to be perfectly honest, the direction of the World Wrestling Federation is going is where the fans HAVE taken it. And I don't know whether people want to call it raunchy or not appropriate, I mean, at this date, the family gets together, they watch, because I think the people understand we are out there having fun. I think the last thing people should do is take myself and the World Wrestling Federation too seriously. I mean, I would never tell someone, let Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin or the Undertaker raise your children. But certainly let them enjoy us for what we are doing and that is what we are doing. We're out there entertaining and having fun. You let your children watch Clint Eastwood, Clint Eastwood isn't really Dirty Harry. And I wish to God I got as many girls in real life as the Heart Break Kid does, but it doesn't happen.

TP: Do you have a girlfriend now ?

HBK: NO, no, I actually, I can't seem to keep em.

TP: Well, I'm sure we have some volunteers ... Rebecca's on the phone right now and I think she has a question.

Caller: First of all, I think you're such a Babe.

HBK: Oh, well, thank you.

Caller: And second, are you really commissioner from the WWF ?

HBK: Yes, yes I am the commissioner. I'm still the commissioner. I went out with back surgery, but I believe that Sunday or Monday I will be coming back. I'm the commissioner, I'm the only guy in the World Wrestling Federation that Vince McMahon, my boss, has no control over.

TP: Ahhhh !!!! Wait a minute Shawn.

HBK: That is like a dream come true ... I don't have to listen to my boss .... And of course Steve Austin, now Steve is supposed to, but, you can't tell Steve what to do. So ....

TP: Hey, we've got someone that's gonna differ with you right now. I think Vince McMahon is on the phone with us live.

HBK: Who ??? Who ?

TP: Your boss !

Vince: You remember Mr. McMahon don't you Shawn ?

HBK: Does not ring a bell ..... Now I got "Vin-Man", yeah, I got "Vin-Man" ...

Vince: Yeah, we'll go by that name.


Vince: I'll accept "Vin-Man", if you'll accept "Steve" (reference to the weather man calling Shawn by the wrong name earlier).

HBK: If I'll accept "Steve". (laughing) All right McMahon, that's it !

Vince: Who was that yo-yo restaurant reviewer anyhow ?

HBK: That's Mike Hernandez (the weatherman), Vince, and here I am, I'm from this town, and whats he do ? He calls me Steve.

Vince: Oh my God.

TP: Hey Vince, you've got something, your differences with Shawn aside, you've got a big thing, is it coming up this weekend Shawn ?

HBK: This Sunday, St.Valentines Day Massacre. And I don't want to say anything, but, I think my boss is gonna get massacred.

Vince: You know, you had a hand in this.

HBK: A little.

Vince: Yeah, a little, yeah, alot. But I think even you are gonna be surprised, Mr.Michaels, as to the outcome of this event. Because there are gonna be alot of surprises.

HBK: Well, the thing is, what's gonna happen is, Stone Cold Steve Austin is gonna have my boss, all the Superstars' boss, inside a steel cage, and Steve is gonna do what every employee in the world wants to do. And that is take their boss and thrash him from one side of the ring to the other and I .......

TP: An employees' dream.

HBK: An employees' dream, and poor Vin-Man is gonna be left there in a lump on PPV this weekend.

TP: Vince, before you respond, I think that weather guy you were talking about wants to say something to Shawn, and I would bet it's an apology. Mike .....

MH: Let me tell you what happened Shawn. I went to, I was passing by Tanji's desk, and I saw Stone Cold Steve Austin, the name, written on there, and we said at the beginning of the show that we were gonna have a mystery caller, so that name stuck in my head when I started talking. You know how live television is.

HBK: Exactly ....

MH: But in any case, I'm a big fan and I've watched the WWF for years and I am disturbed about some of the changes like we were just talking about earlier. Kinda going away from the family fun. But I watched during the Hulk Hogan years, my kids grew up watching, I've watched you through the years, so I really appreciate all you've done for the sport. I've seen it since I was a kid. We used to have what we call the wrestlethon in San Antonio, and my uncle was a referee there, so the time I was 5 or 6 we would go and watch the wrestlers, we got to meet them all, Bearcat Wright, Toru Tanaka, all those guys.

TP: OK, you've made up Mike ..... I want to thank Vince McMahon and remind everyone, the wrestling fans .... but before we let you go, I did want to talk about, you've got a new project.

HBK: Yes

TP: You want kids who want to do wrestling to have a place to learn how to do it.

HBK: Well, when I was 18, after I graduated high school, this was my dream. My aspiration to become a professional wrestler, and there was no one that I could go to, no place that I could go to learn how to do this. So, the man that took the time to train me was Jose Lothario, he is a legend here in south Texas. And he took the time to train me and get me started in professional wrestling. And now Jose and myself wanna do the same for other people that have the same dreams and aspirations that I had. So Jose and I are gonna be starting the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy here in San Antonio Texas. Hopefully on April 1st we'll have everything under way, and maybe we can come back here and give you the 900 number and the p.o. box and all that kind of stuff so that we can give people the chance that I didn't have when I was wanting to learn.

TP: And on the video we were just looking at , you and Randy Beamer spent some time together yesterday, and we are going to see more about your gym on "Beamers World" tomorrow night on News 4 San Antonio at 10pm.

HBK: Yes.

TP: And I want you to come back. And we're gonna put an address up for you, if anyone is interested in the Wrestling Academy. Shawn Michaels's Wrestling Academy P.O.Box 461348 San Antonio, Tx 78249. Now Shawn, can wanna be girlfriends drop you at line to that number as well ?

HBK: Well, I mean, who would I be to say no ?

TP: Well, we've all seen the video of you gyrating across the ring .....

HBK: Oh yeah, my mom loves that. (Shawn rolls his eyes and grins).

TP: I'm sure she does .. Thank you so much, best of luck to you, and I hope you'll come back when the gym is futher along.

HBK: I certainly will.

TP: We'll follow the progress of that. Now the WWF is the big wrestling match on Sunday.

(During the whole interview Shawn was playing with a rubber band)

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