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Jim Ross Recalls Shawn Michaels’ WWE Return In 2002, His SummerSlam Match With Triple H

August 27, 2022 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Triple H Shawn Michaels SummerSlam 2002 Image Credit: WWE/Peacock

In a recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed Shawn Michaels’ WWE return in 2002, the build to Michaels’ match with Triple H at SummerSlam 2002, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Jim Ross on Shawn Michaels’ WWE return in 2002: “I had kind of helped babysit that deal for three or four years – he was on my budget and still somebody that I had dealt with as head of talent relations. You don’t lose touch with your talent, and silence is not golden in wrestling. You have to communicate. Little things that may seem insignificant are not to a talent. I was looking forward to that so much. I told him, ‘I just want to get you back.’ He had become very religious and had a whole new awakening. He had a different outlook. He spoke differently, he acted differently. I said, ‘I could use you in the locker room. Young guys are gonna listen to you because they will readily admit that you are the best or 1A at worst next to Naitch.'”

On the build to Michaels’ match with Triple H at SummerSlam 2002: “[Triple H] loved being a heel, and he was really good at it. Talents usually love to do things they perceive they’re really good at, and I don’t blame them. I think Hunter became a great heel, really a great heel. I also believe Shawn is an amazing babyface. Here’s the thing, no matter how we dissect the build, we kind of knew or felt that a Shawn and Hunter match was gonna be spectacular, and they delivered in a major way.”

On his reaction to the match: “I loved that match. I was lucky to be able to call it. I was in my wheelhouse on that deal because the emotion of the match embraced me. I got into the deal. I bought all-in, and I think it showed in our work that night that Lawler and I were on our game. Those guys gave you the great music, and we were just fortunate enough to be sitting in the lyrics chair and providing those words. It worked out really, really well. It was hard to believe Shawn could be that good after being off that long. I’m not aware of Shawn and Hunter going to a secret warehouse and working that match out. I never heard of that happening, so they basically went cold turkey on muscle memory. To me, it was astonishing. It was pretty spectacular.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling JR with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.