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Jim Ross Discusses Shawn Michaels’ Personal Issues in the 1990s, HBK Trying to Get Out of His Contract

June 9, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

– Jim Ross looked back on Shawn Michaels’ personal issues in the late 1990s during his latest episode of Grilling JR. Ross discussed reports at the time of Michaels making demands for a new contract to make as much as Bret Hart in 1997 and, when turned down, demanding his release from the company and threatening to go to WCW. Highlights and the podcast are below:

On Michaels trying to get out of his contract to go to WCW: “You can’t let guys go and just walk on their contract when they feel like they want to leave … At that time he was [ill-equipped to handle his position in the company]. At that time he was, because again, you make a lot of decisions under stress. Depression sets in on a lot of things, these performers. And you add either drugs and/or alcohol abuse, you know, self-medicating, prescription meds, all this other crap.”

On Michaels changing his life around after he met his wife: “Now eventually that would be cleared up, and he would be fine. He’s very valuable to WWE now, Shawn is, in the Performance Center. But yeah, he wasn’t ready. He lost his buddies — just was a whole slew of things. And again, I don’t know how his home life was, I don’t think it was great. He had not married his current wife at that time, I don’t believe. Which, she made a big, big difference in his life, luckily for him. Because he wouldn’t be — we’d be talking about him posthumously if he hadn’t met her in my opinion. And she helped change his life. He had major issues. Now all that said, he still along with the Naitch, was the two best in-ring workers I ever saw. So he stayed, and even when we brought him back after a four-year hiatus, he comes back his first night in, he’s good as anybody we’ve got, if not better. So he was special in a lot of ways, but he was not nearly able to handle his issues outside the ring as he was to be able to go bell-to-bell with anybody.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.