Recognized as one of WWE's greatest talents, Shawn Michaels has had a storied career filled with awe-inspiring matches against Razor Ramon, Bret Hart, and The Undertaker. Yet, the Hall of Famer has also garnered a less-than-stellar reputation backstage.
One of the wrestling industry's most prominent managers, Jim Cornette, known best for managing the iconic tag team The Midnight Express, has frequently voiced criticisms of Michaels' behind-the-scenes demeanour. A key WWE executive, Bruce Prichard, recently illuminated the longstanding animosity between Michaels and Cornette during an episode of his podcast, "Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard." According to Prichard, a heated exchange erupted backstage between the two following a botched move during a live match.
Michaels placed the blame squarely on Cornette, infuriating the seasoned manager and sparking a verbal altercation.
Prichard elucidated, “The tension between Michaels and Cornette has always been palpable.
Shawn had garnered a reputation as a challenging individual to collaborate with. Cornette, a staunch traditionalist, wasn’t fond of Shawn or his influential group, The Kliq. In Vince McMahon's eyes, Shawn was his golden boy, putting Cornette in a precarious position”.
Meanwhile, rising AEW star Brock Anderson, son of WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson, recently revealed on the ARN Podcast that Shawn Michaels was his childhood hero. Anderson expressed his admiration for the match between Michaels and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25, claiming that the bout was pivotal in his decision to pursue wrestling professionally.
"My favorite wrestler growing up was 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels. The match that cemented my desire to be a wrestler was his bout with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25,” Anderson shared. Though the second-generation athlete is currently a part of the AEW lineup, he's still awaiting his big break.
While Michaels' in-ring prowess continues to influence a new generation of wrestlers like Brock Anderson, his complex legacy is a tapestry of spectacular performances and backstage confrontations. Time will tell if Anderson can successfully navigate the wrestling world while avoiding the pitfalls that have ensnared even the most legendary of performers.