“I was sitting on the bed in my hotel room getting ready for a show in Birmingham, Alabama, when I got the call from Kevin Nash asking if I would speak to Shawn Michaels. I didn’t know how I felt about it… Of course I would talk to him, but Shawn and I hadn’t spoken in a long time.
For six years we had been best friends, almost like family. We were together more than we were apart, riding up and down the road more than 300 days a year. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for each other. But ultimately, Shawn’s addictions and self-destruction had pushed me away.
”Hunter, it’s Shawn.” It was so good to hear his voice, because it sounded different. He wasn’t slurring his words. He didn’t sound bitter and angry like the Shawn who would say things he knew would hurt you the worst, just to make you feel as bad as he did. There was a clarity and sincerity to his voice… and I hadn’t heard that Shawn in a very long time.
He asked me for my forgiveness. I was blown away. “Forgiveness” struck me, because it wasn’t something the Shawn I knew would say. In the past, Shawn was always defensive, almost unapologetic for his actions. I wasn’t sure if I should believe Shawn at first, but I was elated at the thought of having my best friend back. Even more than that, I was relieved to unload the burden that on any given day, Shawn might die. He had found the path back to his life, and I couldn’t be happier.
Then he hit me with another request. After four years of retirement, Shawn asked if he could come back to WWE for one more match, and he said he wanted that match to be with me. Shawn said he wanted his son to watch him wrestle, but I knew the reason ran much deeper than that. Shawn wanted to go out on his terms; he wanted to end his career his way, with one more moment in the spotlight. This match represented closure. The “”Heartbreak Kid,” Shawn Michaels, is one of the greatest performers in the history of our industry, and I was honored he wanted to dance his last dance with me.
At SummerSlam 2002, one of WWE’s biggest pay-per-view events, I wrestled Shawn in front of a sold-out crowd in the Nassau Military Veterans Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, not knowing whether or not he could still physically perform. Truthfully, I don’t know if Shawn knew for sure either. Thirty seconds in, I knew Shawn was still the best I had ever stepped in the ring with. For forty minutes we blew the roof off the building and had what for me, for many reasons, would be one of my most memorable matches. In my mind, that match closed the door on the past and opened the door to Shawn reviving his career and getting his life on track. Most importantly to me, I had my “brother” back.
I watched Shawn continue down his path and ultimately become the best husband, best father, and quite possibly the best man I know. This book will take you on Shawn’s journey and show you how his faith helped him find himself again.
Shawn, I love you, my brother.
The foreword that Triple H wrote for Shawn Michael’s “Wrestling for My Life” book.