Jose [Lothario] speaks about the differences today and how MMA is taking fans of pure wrestling from the industry, the style of training he used for stars like Shawn Michaels and the success it helped them achieve. James asks him specifically about training young stars like HBK and whether they know what they’re getting into. Jose explains to ClubWWI.com listeners that it takes more than a few days to get a grip on what a student is capable of and how the route he took with a young Michaels proves that it’s important to have proper training. It’s all about impressing the right people and making a name.
“I’m glad you mentioned it because that’s the reason I sent Shawn Michaels to New York (WWF) when he first started. I sent him to Louisiana first. I went to Bill Watts. I said, ‘Bill, I’ve got a good kid and all this and that.’ He was very pleased. Bill was very pleased. He said, ‘You did a good job with this kid.’ Next thing I know, I got a call from Verne Gagne up in Minneapolis. I said, ‘Well, I can send him there. Let me talk to Shawn.’ So I sent Shawn to Minneapolis.
“At that time, Pat Patterson was trying to help in New York and do the office work. So I got a call from Pat Patterson who says, ‘Hey. I understand you know Shawn Michaels.’ I said, ‘I know the guy? I trained the guy! What do you want?’ He says, ‘Can you send him to New York?’ I said, ‘Let me get in touch with him.’ So I got in touch with him and said, ‘OK. I’m putting you in New York. You’ll be fine.’ He says, ‘You kidding me?’ I said, ‘No. I’m not. You have to go there and do what you’re doing right now.'”
Although fans remember Lothario for his WrestleMania XII appearance in Shawn’s corner for his epic Iron Man Match with Bret Hart, that was just the start of the climb up the mountain for The Heartbreak Kid. Guttman brings up the talk of Michaels being considered the greatest of all time and asks Jose if he had any clue that the Rocker would go on to be as legendary as he ended up being…
“Yes I did! Yes I sure did! Because he listened to me. He listened so good to me and just followed what I told him. Take your time. Don’t rush in. I really did. I could have seen it with all my three guys too (Kevin Von Erich, Tully Blanchard, Gino Hernandez), but the one who was more advanced was Shawn.”
When it came to Shawn’s historic retirement match against The Undertaker, fans were left amazed. The two put on a great show and it further solidifies Jose’s point about what fans miss today. As the ClubWWI.com interview continues, he explains why the match was one that fans remember…and one he wouldn’t switch off of television.
“Yeah, because both of them can wrestle. Both of them can wrestle. Like I told you, a few minutes ago, people don’t see wrestling anymore. Like if I turn on the TV and the first thing I see a guy is hitting and kicking, I turn it off.”