With an illustrious career spanning nearly a quarter of a century, Brian Kendrick stands tall in the wrestling world, both as a former WWE star and an independent wrestling icon. Breaking onto the scene in 1999, Kendrick squared off against Bryan Danielson for his debut match, showcasing talent that caught the attention of many.
What makes his early journey even more compelling is the mentorship he received from none other than WWE Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels. Both Kendrick and Danielson were fortunate to train under the masterful eye of Michaels, absorbing invaluable lessons along the way.
In a candid conversation on the VOC Nation Wrestling Network, Kendrick reflected on his time training at Michaels' revered school. The admiration in his voice was unmistakable as he declared, "He's the best." Kendrick continued, "When considering the modern American style of pro wrestling, Shawn Michaels is undoubtedly the gold standard.
Training under him wasn't just an enriching experience from a professional standpoint. As a fervent fan of his artistry, it was a dream come true for me. If given a choice of any mentor, it would undeniably be Shawn Michaels, and I consider myself blessed to have had that opportunity."
Kendrick's Rise: From Spanky to WWE
This mentorship played a pivotal role in shaping Kendrick's early storylines in Ring of Honor.
Back in the day, fans knew him by the moniker "Spanky." It wasn't long before he climbed the ranks and shared the WWE spotlight with his mentor, Michaels. Though his initial stint with WWE was brief, lasting just two years, it paved the way for a memorable partnership with Paul London.
Over time, Kendrick re-entered the WWE realm, marking several triumphant comebacks. Speaking of Shawn Michaels, his legacy is undisputed. Recognized as one of the most transformative figures in pro wrestling, Michaels has left an indelible mark on numerous budding wrestlers, inspiring a generation with his prowess.
Achieving unparalleled feats in the WWE ring, Michaels decided to hang up his boots in 2010. By the time he retired, he was celebrated as a four-time world champion, not to mention being crowned WWE's first-ever Grand Slam Champion.
The reverence for Michaels is universal, and for young talents like Kendrick, his teachings are nothing short of gospel.