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Shawn Michaels Reflects On The Royal Rumble’s Lasting Legacy, The Impact It Had On His Career

Shawn Michaels understands the importance that the Royal Rumble has had not only in WWE as a whole but also in his own Hall of Fame career.

Two-time Royal Rumble winner Shawn Michaels was a guest on WWE’s The Bump to discuss a variety of subjects. When asked if he believed the Royal Rumble match would have a lasting legacy in WWE as it has, Michaels said no because when you first hear about it, it’s basically just a form of a Battle Royale:

“No. So gosh, the first time you hear about it like you said, it’s a Battle Royale essentially,” Michaels said. “But no, I had no idea that it would become — as everybody knows now the Royal Rumble comes, and it has so many implications now towards Wrestlemania. And that’s where you start thinking about, so no, I gotta be honest, I didn’t know that the event would be such the landmark that it is now, this unbelievable concept.

“But at the same time, I don’t know. I guess you always feel that to have, I don’t know, almost 30 plus years of longevity in this line of work is pretty tough to do. But again, it’s something that to me, I feel like once the Rumble comes, that’s when everybody gets excited. And the roll to WrestleMania is right around the corner. And as I say, I don’t know that does justice to just how big that events become.”

When asked if the Royal Rumble match affected his career as a whole, Michaels believed that it did. HBK went out of his way to credit Mr. Perfect’s performances in that match as something that changed his mindset when it came to competing in that matchup.

“Yeah. Oh, for sure,” Michaels confirmed. “And again, look, it’s especially when we started talking about again that having a real attachment to WrestleMania. But look, I can say this, the first time that I really — it was watching Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig out there in the Rumble, and everything he did and how he made everything look so spectacular. He didn’t win; he never won a Royal Rumble. But he was the first guy that I watched to where I realized, oh my goodness, even in this event with 30 other people, you can become the focal point.

“And that’s what I sort of saw him do that. That’s what I looked at it from the standpoint of the Rumble can now be a performance engineering-type event where you can really get yourself over in a way that I just thought was pretty challenging with 30 other people and so much else going on, on the show. But after watching Curt that night, it was stuck in my brain forever. It wasn’t so much about winning, and it was about everything that you did in the duration of the time that you are out there.”

Shawn Michaels also spoke about his 1997 Royal Rumble match against Sycho Sid and how he had the flu during the event; read more about his new appreciation for the match at this link.

READ MORE: Shawn Michaels: NXT 2.0 Transition Would’ve Been A Lot Easier With Triple H, It’s A ‘Nervous Excitement’

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a link back to this article for the transcription.