Shawn Michaels knew when it was time to retire; Discusses WrestleMania matches

Shawn Michaels is “Mr. WrestleMania”, but would it surprise you to know that his WrestleMania record is 6-11? He entered the ring at wrestling’s biggest event seventeen times, and walked out 11 times without raising his hand.

We recently caught up with Michaels via video to get his thoughts on 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 of it (the 400-pound+ splash by Akeem). And again, it was that first WrestleMania moment and I was so excited to be on that show. I think even then Marty and I felt like we were a team before our time. . I think we’d probably be more appreciated in this environment. But I thought we did some special things that fly under the radar. But I think there’s a lot of people who see it as a really good job.”

Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as The Rockers


WrestleMania 6 (Toronto), Pat Tanaka and Sato d. Rockers

“We had great chemistry with them. We all worked together, you know, many times in many places. Heck, I think we were all almost tagged at different times. They crossed paths a lot early in our careers. We could all be in that ring blindfolded.’

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

“We really found our groove in that. I think the guys being in LA (the event was at the LA Sports Arena) made WrestleMania feel big again. WrestleMania definitely started to feel larger than life at that point.”

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

“That was the thing I took away from it, my first stadium (the event was held at the Hoosier Dome). Now I am a singles competitor and I remember that day I had no idea what the future would hold. And to be there with a professional like Tito, that’s reassuring. The enormity of that event was the biggest challenge for me. And I had Sherri Martel in the corner. He made me stand out, he gave me credibility because he was himself from the beginning. He was the one with Randy Savage. She’s the one with Ted DiBiase. Sherry was a higher player than me. So, placing with him kind of leveled me up, which allowed me to skip a few levels that I would normally have to pass to get on that card. So he was huge in my career, and he was very professional and he was wonderful to work with because he was very open and willing to do anything.”

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

“I think that was the beginning of getting comfortable. And seeing that there are bigger options. Like WrestleMania is part of who I am.”

WrestleMania 10 (New York City), Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) d. Shawn Michaels, ladder match for the Intercontinental title

You can watch the game here

“That’s where the seeds of Mr. Wrestlemania really started. A ladder match never took place. And to have the chance to do it with one of my best friends, Scott Hall. We were in the ring with each other so many times, I closed my eyes and knew where he would be. That’s how much we knew each other, and how comfortable we were with each other. There was kind of a joke about it, I was Scott fighting, and there was a ladder with us.’

Wrestlemania 11 (Hartford), Diesel (Kevin Nash) d. Shawn Michaels will retain the WWE title.

“That was the start of me realizing that, oh my, I could be someone who would look to main event WrestleManias and carry this company. Every WrestleMania led to that, from someone who was in a tag team, then building my singles career, to knowing that I could headline a WrestleMania. The journey when I started I just wanted to add to the show.

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

You can watch Michaels’ entry here

“Very proud in many ways. And people either love it, or malign it, I think unfairly. It was such a risk to have that type of match on a pay-per-view. And I’m very proud of what Bret and I did. Ironman matches have become fashionable, so to speak. That match is special for me personally.”

Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14

Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14


WrestleMania 14 (Boston), Stone Cold Steve Austin d. Shawn Michaels to win the WWE title.

You can see the end of the match here

“I had a lot of back pain in that match (Michaels retired from wrestling for several years after this match). I always think to myself, ‘Oh, I wish I was in a better place to do a better job for Steve.’ But then I also look at that game and everything in my life changed from that moment. Without that valley, without that despair, well, the sadness was really a turning point. It has a meaning that I think is much more positive than many people would imagine.

Wrestlemania 24 (Orlando) Shawn Michaels d. Ric Flair, Flair had to retire because he lost

Watch the full match here

“I’m watching the guy I grew up with, his last match in WWE. Much of what we do has real emotion 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 that game represents for me.

WrestleMania 25 (Houston) The Undertaker d. Shawn Michaels

Watch the full match here

“It’s kind of a fairy tale here again from the point of view of two guys who’ve shared that locker room for over 20 years. We had a lot of real disagreements at the beginning, but then we got real close. And then we’re able to get out there, even though our styles are so different, and almost It worked perfectly. And the general respect we have for each other, and how proud we are of this match and next year, and what we’ve created in that story.

Shawn Michaels vs.  The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26


WrestleMania 26 (Glendale, Ariz.) The Undertaker d. Shawn Michaels, Michaels had to retire because he lost

Watch the full match here

“It goes back to the romance of the wrestling business. Two grown men honoring each other. And Taker was doing everything he could to get out on the best platform possible. I always want to honor his effort and be able to give myself peace by doing so.

When did Michaels know it was time to retire?

“I think after the first one against Taker. My wife and I were driving back to the family from Houston and I said, “You know, I think that might be it.” And he says, ‘What do you mean?’ And I said, “I don’t know if it gets any better than that.” “Like done, done?” And I answered: “Yes.” I felt that if I left at that point, I would have complete peace with what I had done in WWE and the business as a whole. Then, the more we talked about it, the more it became: ‘Let’s go out like this.’ When I came back in 2002, I didn’t want to miss all of our children’s lives. And half of it was gone. And if I didn’t stop, then I probably wouldn’t go and I’d miss the other half. And I didn’t want to do that. So after the first one, I started thinking about retirement.”

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