X-Pac opens this week’s podcast by welcoming Rory Karpf to the show. Karpf directed the recent Ric Flair 30 for 30 documentary.
Karpf says he had a terrific time working on that documentary, and X-Pac informs that he absolutely loved the movie, even though some of the content was difficult to watch. The portion that focused on Ric’s late son, Reid was particularly difficult for X-Pac and he admits to shedding a few tears during that portion of the film.
X-Pac points out that wrestlers lead a strange life in the sense that they’re away from their families most of the year, and while they’re out living it up on the road, their families are living life day-to-day without them. He admits that he can identify with Ric in the sense that he wanted to be there more for his children, and that’s why this portion of the film really touched him.
Karpf thinks the most surprising thing that was said in the movie was Flair’s claim that he slept with 10,000 women. He informs that Flair called him a few days later, claiming that he did the math and admitting that he may have exaggerated that number. Flair said that 8,000 women was probably a more accurate number. Karpf laughed and told Flair that it was no big deal.
Karpf informs that his relationship with Flair grew even stronger after Flair’s recent health scare. He visited Flair in the hospital during that time and held his hand, and he felt real love for Flair in the moment. He’s still grateful that Flair even wanted him there at that time when he was clearly in a very vulnerable position.
Karpf informs that it was very cool for him to step in the ring with Flair during the making of the film. He says that Flair became a different person when he stepped in the ring, and getting chopped by Flair was an “orgasmic” experience for him. He knows that Flair would probably still love to wrestle but after his recent health scare, he’s sure Flair is just happy to be alive so he can make appearances and socialize with his fans.
X-Pac welcomes Shawn Michaels to the show.
X-Pac mentions that it’s nice to have Michaels back amongst the rest of civilization, after Michaels spent years living on a secluded ranch away from the public’s eye. Michaels laughs and notes that he does miss the ranch and the secluded lifestyle from time to time, but his kids were at an age where it was time for them to start living their own dreams. He and his family made the decision to move to Florida and they’ve enjoyed themselves there thus far.
Michaels notes that he had visited WWE’s Performance Centre a couple of times during vacations to Florida, and he admits that it’s an infectious environment. He was asked by Triple H to be involved there as a trainer, and he’s loved his experience there thus far. He truly feels that he needed some time away from wrestling after nearly 3 decades in the business, but he’s really loving being back in the mix of things now.
He thinks he’s been able to help some talents through studying tape and providing them with some details of his experiences in the business. He truly feels that it’s tough to know how to react to certain things in the business unless you’ve been through those things before. He loves the inclusiveness of the Performance Centre, and it’s very convenient for him since most NXT tapings are based right there in Florida.
Michaels talks about working house shows throughout his career. He notes that a lot of people credit his WrestleMania 10 Ladder Match against Razor Ramon, but him and Ramon had been doing all of those spots night after night at house shows for weeks leading up to WrestleMania. He never wanted to take a night off. X-Pac mentions that Michaels and Flair had amazing matches at house shows leading up to Flair’s retirement match at WrestleMania 24 as well.
Michaels talks about how he was able to have great matches with big men such as Psycho Sid and Kevin Nash. Michaels is always thankful when people praise his work in those matches, but he always enjoyed working with big guys. He thought it was easy to tell a compelling story when he worked with big men.
X-Pac’s co-host asks Michaels if he preferred working as a heel or a babyface. Michaels thinks most performers would prefer to be a heel. He thinks performers feel more at ease being a heel because they feel as if they can almost do anything and get away with it. As a babyface, you have to walk a very fine line now, a much finer line than babyfaces had to walk when he was in his prime.
X-Pac notes that he’s beginning to think that WWE should refrain from introducing new talents as babyfaces altogether, because it takes a while for fans to get behind talents to a point where they really want to cheer them as babyfaces. Michaels agrees, but points out that someone like Johnny Gargano is an example of how a new talent can get over effectively as a babyface.
Michaels notes that when Daniel Bryan walked into his training school many years ago he was blown away by Bryan’s drive and work ethic. He was completely honest with Bryan at that time, telling him that if there was anything that was going to hold him back, it’d be his size. Luckily, Bryan’s work ethic and talent proved valuable enough to outshine his size limitations.
X-Pac asks Michaels if he had any involvement in Johnny Gargano’s recent Takeover match against Almas. Michaels informs that he did have some involvement there, but he won’t take credit for being a Producer on any one match. He notes that he has a Pat Patterson-type role where he floats from match to match. He adds that this generation of performers do spectacular things with regularity, and it’s incredible to watch.
Michaels mentions that after he split with Marty Jannetty, being paired with Sensational Sherri was a huge deal for him. Sherri had only been paired with legitimized main-event acts prior to Michaels, so she played a huge role in adding legitimacy to his act early in his singles run. He admits that he wasn’t really confident in the “Heart Break Kid” moniker early on, feeling that it might be too “pretty boy”. Luckily WWE allowed him to grow into that role and he became more comfortable with it as time went on.
Michaels informs that he doesn’t really know the Young Bucks, but he’s very impressed by their work. He notes that those guys are probably making great money right now on the indies, but he truly hopes we get to see them in WWE before their career is done. He notes that by working and becoming stars in WWE you set yourself up for financial freedom even after your in-ring career ends, and he thinks that’s very important for workers today.
That sums up today’s episode of X-Pac 1, 2, 360. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!