Shawn Michaels has been known throughout his career as the showstopper.
This moniker can be found on the new Heartbreak Kid Deuce Brand signature series watch.
The WWE legend joins other elite athletes such as Buffalo Bills’ receiver Stevie Johnson and Portland Trailblazers’ Nolan Smith who have their own customized timepiece from the San Diego-based company for sale. The opportunity was brought to Michaels’ attention by his management team at Encore Sports & Entertainment, out of the same city.
“I wear a lot of wrist wear,” Michaels said. “I wear a lot of bracelets and collect a lot of watches, so when they came to me with the idea, it seemed like a neat idea and something I wanted to try. As you go out there and experiment with different things, certainly for me, I want to do it in areas that interest me. It was something that Encore brought to me, and it seemed like a good fit. It seemed like a step out from anything that I had done before. So for those reasons it intrigued me to see how it would do.”
The watch, currently available for presale on the Deuce website, is designed in HBK’s trademark colors: red, white and black. Michaels had a hand in the creative process.
“In the past when it came to DVDs, shirts and stuff like that, I didn’t take that big a part in it,” Michaels said. “Then with my shirts toward the end of my WWE career, I had a little more input there. Being independent of all of that now, you get to have a little more say-so. In some respects that’s great because when it goes well and it works, everybody likes it, or they go, ‘Boy, you have horrible taste.’ Then you deny [it was your idea] to the bitter end…
“The biggest rib on me through all of this is my Deuce watch tells better time than my Rolex for heaven’s sake. I bought them for Ric [Flair], and I. I love the sentiment, but my $30 watch tells better time than the one I spent thousands on.”
Five percent of the proceeds from the sales of the “Showstopper” watch go to the Children’s Hunger Fund. Giving back is an important to HBK.
“One of their main offices is in San Antonio,” Michaels said. “Starting last year, I started working with them as I started to know a little bit more about them. Everything for the most part that I’m doing, I always want to be involved a charity in some respects. They do amazing work. It’s just one of those things that you are sort of blown away. Every time you think you do something special you run across people like the Children’s Hunger Fund that totally put your efforts to shame, and I can’t help but want to help out in any way that I can.”
More than two years after his last match, the iconic performer remains busy. He has family life, his endorsements and his work on the MacMillan River Adventures, now in its second season on the Outdoor Channel. Although he makes some wrestling-related appearances, don’t look for the Hall of Famer to renege on his retirement from in-ring competition.
“I certainly don’t get the itch,” Michaels said. “That is something that does not happen to me. I think I do get satisfied when I get to go back to do an appearance and get to be a special referee or just an autograph session. Things like that, which is something I really enjoy. Certainly, I don’t stay on the sidelines longing to be in the spotlight, but the time that I am, it’s always a great deal of fun.
“I still try to do a good job and try not to phone it in. It’s almost like two different parts of your life. The first part of your life is geared toward one direction, and the second part of your life is more geared toward another. I’m guessing that is sort of where I’m at, but not forsaking or forgetting the first part by any stretch. I’m appreciative for it and thankful for it.”
Since his absence, superstars such as the WWE champion CM Punk have been given the ball. On the Raw leading into the 1,000th episode on July 23, Punk said a guy who looked like him would have never been on that first episode of Raw. For HBK, who wrestled on the debut Raw show, that may not have been the case.
“I certainly understand the point he was trying to make,” Michaels said. “It was a different time, and there was a different attitude toward us guys, but because he is a fighter and doesn’t take a lot of guff from folks — for the same reasons that he is on now and the same reason he accomplished what he has in his career now, which is a testament to him — for all of those reasons, all the good reasons and positives because he is a fighter, I think he would have been on the first show.
“I think I understand the point he was trying to make. It was a different time. There were stereotypes that needed to be broken back then, and thankfully, it was done. Hopefully, it has made a difference for Punk and the others. I think because of the type of dude he is, I don’t think he would have had anything to worry about.”
On the first Raw show, Michaels successfully defend the Intercontinental championship against Max Moon. At the time the emerging superstar wasn’t sure the now longest running weekly episodic television show would last.
“The thing I remember was how strange it was to be on Monday night and thinking it would never work,” Michaels said. “I was brought up in an era where it was Saturday night that was your good night for wrestling. Then the biggest change was going to Saturday mornings, where it was a little more presentable and palatable to be on Saturday mornings. The idea of being on Monday nights just seemed like something short-lived because it was on primetime. Obviously, as I have been many times, I was dead wrong.”
HBK was a part of many memorable moments and matches on Raw over its near 20 years on the air. However, a favorite of his didn’t even involve him.
“I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some really cool stuff,” Michaels said. “One thing that always sticks out to me that I wasn’t even involved in was when DX took the tank to a WCW event. Hunter [Triple H], Road Dogg, Billy [Gunn], [X-Pac] and Joanie [Chyna] going there, I can remember sitting at home watching that and just thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, that is brilliant.’ That for me is one of the bigger moments. Thinking how big everything was then and the focus on the Monday night stuff, I just remember how funny I thought that was. For me, that is a moment that sticks out in my mind.”
Raw and the company as a whole have evolved significantly in the time Michaels has left WWE full time. There are new superstars in the spotlight, a strong focus on social media and the further shift to a wider demographic. Another decision was to extend the program to three hours each Monday night starting with the 1,000th episode.
“When there are big changes, big adjustments have to be made,” Michaels said. “It’s like the rocking of the boat. It takes a little time to get your balance, and then you begin to manage the waves, and things settle in. I’m not surprised, understanding now, the force of the trees and the visionary Vince [McMahon] is. They are going to continue to strive and look for new horizons. That’s what he does. That’s what they do. That is what they are good at. Sure, to a lot of folks, it seems like a lot. It is a lot, but that’s how the guy rolls.
“He is a fighter and continues to move forward. On one hand people can say it’s not the same, but on the other it is a 450-million dollar company. So they can’t be all that bad. I think they will do what they always do, and they will manage. They will adjust and make changes. It’s an ongoing process. They will continue to move things around and settle into something that works. There are always the growing pains and things of that nature. It sort of always mirrors our society, which in general, is a little unsettled at this point. I have a great deal of confidence in the people who are there and in the talent.
“It takes time. I’m not going to be one of the guys who said the talent is different or this or that. They said the same thing about us, too. Eventually, we settled in and became the guys. I think this new crop of talent will do the same thing. They have to go through the rollover of fans comparing them to other people. Then they will make their own fans and win those other people over. They will be the guys who will take it into the future.”
HBK is excited about returning to Raw for the 1,000th episode milestone and working with his best friend Triple H again. The D-Generation X reunion is advertised to kick off the show at 8 p.m. [EST]. Will other DX members join the duo for the festivities?
“Personally I would [like to see it], but I have no idea what is going to happen,” Michaels said. “They ask me if I’ll be there, and I tell them ok. I’d like to think that it’s because their confident that when I get there that day they will tell me what is going down, and I’ll be able to do it. Other than that, it’s all I know. I’m supposed to be there Monday. For what it’s worth, nobody has told me the things we are doing. I don’t know if the other guys will be there.
“I would like that because more people would consider that a reunion. I don’t know if that is going to happen because I don’t know everybody else’s situation. I don’t know where they are at with the company and the things of that nature. Those things play into who they can bring back or not. I don’t know, and I like it that way. That way I don’t have to tell someone I know something I don’t.
“I’m an entertainer. I’m better for you if you don’t give me too much of a structured outline. If you tell me 10 days in advance, I’m not going to pay attention to it until that day anyway. These are all people I’ve worked with for years and years, and they know that. When it comes to DX, Hunter and I write our own jokes. It’s not someone else writing the hair jokes or chaps jokes or something like that. Those are our lines because it’s funny stuff about us. We are the ones who write that stuff, so there is no sense in doing anything other than telling DX how much time they have. Then we are going out there to do the rest.”
• One thing for sure, with his new Deuce watch, HBK can’t use the excuse that he had the wrong time if he’s late for the show.
Pre-order your Shawn Michaels Deuce Brand signature series watch at http://www.deucebrand.com/products/501/signature
• Look for Part 2 with HBK as he discusses social networking, whether his son wants to follow in his footsteps and hunting with Stone Cold Steve Austin for MacMillan River Adventures on the Outdoor Channel.
• Catch HBK and fellow host Keith Mark on MacMillan River Adventures at 11:30 p.m. [EST] Tuesdays on the Outdoor Channel. For additional airings or MRA merchandise, visit http://www.mrahunting.com/
• Follow HBK on Twitter @ShawnMichaels.
• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN, http://twitter.com/#!/smFISHMAN
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• WWE Raw welcomes D-Generation X, The Rock, Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Brock Lesnar and a host of other big names for its three-hour Raw 1,000th episode spectacular at 8 p.m. [EST] Monday, July 23 on the USA Network.
John Cena cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase against WWE champion CM Punk. Christian defends the Intercontinental championship. Daniel Bryan and AJ are also scheduled to get married, but we know how WWE weddings go. Look for some surprises. Visit www.wwe.com