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HBK comes full circle
Tonight Raw is in Shreveport, La., the city where Shawn Michaels had his first televised match. While HBK is visibly focused on preparing for his 2-on-1 Handicap Match against Rated-RKO tonight, he took a few moments to reminisce on that night so many years ago.
"I was obviously very nervous and excited," said Michaels. His match was at a local Boys Club against Jake "The Snake" Roberts. "He just ended up beating me up and giving me the DDT, and I thought it was wonderful."
It was only his second week in the business. He was actually supposed to be on TV the week before, but he didn't go because he didn't see his name on the TV list. Michaels was unaware that once he was hired, he was supposed to show up to the TV tapings regardless of the list. HBK was fined $50 for missing the show. Despite receiving a fine his very first week, his enthusiasm was not diminished.
"It was very exciting and at that time I was just thrilled to be wrestling and doing something that I had seen for so many years," said Michaels. "It was very surreal. I was just baby-stepping my way, trying to figure out what I was doing in this job."
Michaels is no longer the rookie nobody knows, wrestling in front of 100 people in a Boy's Club. Tonight he will face Edge & Randy Orton in front of 11,000 screaming WWE fans, many of which have followed his career for years. HBK describes the experience as humbling.
"Back then I was scared, my family was scared for me. The business at that time wasn't really known by anyone," he said. "But now it's a huge, thriving industry. Also, to become somebody in the industry, somebody that people would consider of marquee value, it's a very neat feeling."
With Triple H out of the picture due to the quadriceps injury he suffered in their match last week, Rated-RKO will attempt to finish the job on D-Generation X tonight. Edge & Orton will attempt to end Michaels' career in the city where it all began.
"I've had a lot of people make the same claims about me and I'm still here," said a confident Michaels. "I find it an even bigger obstacle that you're talking about a place where I started."
Michaels plans on using his history in Shreveport to his advantage in what may be the most difficult match of his life.
"There's way too much emotion in this for me with everything that happened with Triple H, with where I'm at," he said. "I'm an emotional person anyway. With all that fueling me, Edge and Orton are going to be lucky to get out of here alive."