WWE legend Shawn Michaels reveals all over relationship with rival The Undertaker and 'upset' over Mania streak ending

WWE legend Shawn Michaels has opened up about his real-life relationship with longtime rival The Undertaker – and what it’s like to face ‘The Deadman’ in the ring.

The pair clashed in the original Hell in a Cell match and two WrestleMania classics.


In their second Mania match – which took place in 2010 – Michaels put his own career on the line against Taker's undefeated streak.

But Undertaker nailed 'The Heartbreak Kid' with his patented Tombstone and ended Michaels' 20 year-plus career.

Michaels admits that he was ‘upset’ when Undertaker’s streak was finally broken at the hands of Brock Lesnar.

The end of the streak came after a run of matches with Michaels and Triple H – which made the streak a bigger WrestleMania attraction than the WWE Championship itself.

Speaking to Sun Sport about the end of the streak, Michaels said: “I will confess I was a little bit upset. I sort of thought that we would not ever break it.

“I understand that’s a controversial subject. I was shocked like everybody else, I think.”

Undertaker retired himself this year, following his Boneyard Match with AJ Styles at WrestleMania.

WWE will say its ‘Final Farewell’ to The Deadman this Sunday at Survivor Series – 30 years to the day since Undertaker made his debut in WWE.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary, an acclaimed five-part documentary series – Undertaker: The Last Ride – is released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday November 23.

The documentary gives an unprecedented and candid look at the life and career of Mark Calaway – the man who has portrayed the Undertaker since 1990.

Debuting a time when the WWE roster was packed with colourful gimmicks, the Undertaker could have easily become just another cartoon character.

Looking back to the Deadman’s debut, Michaels gives Calaway full credit for turning the character into an icon and WWE legend.

Michaels said: “It’s crazy because later on he got so much cooler. You look back at the beginning and think it could have been seen much differently – a little more cartoonish.

“In somebody else’s hands it could have been short lived. But put in the hands of Mark Calaway it’s what turned out to be what it is. That’s on the guy performing it.”

Michaels and Undertaker shared a locker room for seven years before they had a high profile singles match together.

Their 1997 feud built to the first ever Hell in a Cell match – still the best match to ever take place inside the structure – which also saw the debut of Taker’s storyline brother Kane.

But Michaels and the Undertaker were never supposed to wrestle. WWE officials didn’t think it would work.

HBK said: “There were rumblings that Shawn and the Undertaker would never be in the ring with each other.

“They felt creatively that wouldn’t work well – it just didn’t seem like it would mesh. But circumstances had it that we were in the ring with each other and it was amazing.

“There are some guys that you step into the ring with where everything works. You can try your best to mess it up and it still won’t go wrong. It was so meant to be.

“The timing and everything was just so flawless. You think, my goodness, this is way too perfect."

They renewed their rivalry in the late 2000s. The pair wrestled in 2009 at WrestleMania 25 – which many fans call the best Mania match of all time – and again at WrestleMania 26.

Michaels said: “Fast forward to years later, and he and I had both grown. We were at a different place in our careers.

“It was great on a professional level but it was so awesome on a personal level. We’ve all sort of grown up with one another in that locker room.

“It’s very hard not to have an overwhelming appreciation of that journey as you look back on it.”

Though the Undertaker has played up to the supernatural theatrics, Michaels believes the power of their final WrestleMania match was a sense of reality.

HBK said: “We had a way of meshing the theatrical storyline moments of WWE television with our real lives.

“People could see through these characters and see our personal relationship – this personal respect that these two men had for one another throughout the years.

“That’s what made the Undertaker-HBK storyline so phenomenal – people subliminally understood. They could look beyond the characters and see the people behind it.

“I think that added an element. You can’t manufacture that realism.”

Michaels also think they also kept fans guessing about whether he would really retire.

Speaking about that Mania 26 match, Michaels said: "At the time, he and I were closer to the end of our careers than the beginning – but no one was looking at us as if we needed to be sent out to pasture. We both could perform.

“There was that little bit of doubt in people’s mind about what was going to happen. That’s all you need to have a phenomenal match. Just a little but of doubt. We capitalised on that.”

Michaels returned to WrestleMania in 2012, to referee the "end of an era" Hell in a Cell match between Taker and Triple H.

He also came out of retirement in 2018 to team up with Triple H against Undertaker and Kane.

This time Michaels got the win – and avoided the dreaded Tombstone. But Michaels explained what it's like taking the dreaded move – in real life, totally safe in Undertaker's hands.

Michaels said: “If Taker is the one giving it to you, not a care in the world. You won’t find a guy who’s more safe and more careful with your body.

“That can be a very dangerous move. But there's absolute 100 per cent trust – he is a pro through and through.”

Survivor Series takes place this Sunday. Undertaker: The Last Ride is out on DVD & Blu-ray November 23. Available to pre-order at Amazon.co.uk .

Source: Read Full Article