Shawn Michaels reflects on never having a match with The Rock.
Over the years, Michaels and The Rock were two of the WWE’s top stars, albeit at slightly different points. “The Great One” rose to the main event scene during the Attitude Era, especially after Michaels was temporarily retire due to a back injury. “The Heartbreak Kid” returned to the ring in 2002, and The Rock had already started transitioning to his career in Hollywood. As a result, the timing for a singles match between the two greats never lined up.
Speaking with Alex McCarthy of Sportsmail, Michaels shared his thoughts as to why the two legends never faced off against each other.
“Everyone knows the story of me being difficult, having a huge change of heart and coming back in 2002,’ Michaels said. “I was always open to it but it didn’t work out. He became an incredibly busy man and famous guy and everything else and I would imagine his priorities changed quite a bit, and the things he wanted to do I think he did and I respect that.”
Michaels subsequently noted that everyone changes and grows. He stated that he and The Rock made peace at a Hall of Fame Ceremony.
“We all change and we grow,” Michaels said. “I for one always go back to the Hall of Fame when we did get to see each other and talk with each other and make peace. But that’s the thing I’ve had the opportunity to do with everyone that I’ve worked with and that’s what’s most important to me.”
The WWE Hall of Famer also pointed out that he works with The Rock’s daughter, Simone Johnson, who competes as Ava Raine in NXT. As for the missed opportunity for a match with The Rock, he stated that it was one of a number of bouts that could have happened if things went differently.
“It’s one those ones: the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve,” Michaels said. “I wish that happened, but you go down that line and there’s so many. If I stayed around 10 years longer, me and AJ (Styles), me and this guy. There are always ones you can dream about! I can’t speak for him but I like the fact that as a performer you should always leave them wanting more and I think we did that.”
Brian Gewirtz recently debunked a rumor about why The Rock isn’t working WrestleMania 39. More information is available here.