HBK hopes to leave the fans happy after Elimination Chamber
Shawn Michaels won the first-ever Elimination Chamber Match and became World Heavyweight Champion. Now, just more than three years later, HBK will climb into the Chamber again, but this time it's the WWE Championship that is on the line. But the gold isn't all that matters to the Showstopper. WWE.com caught up with Shawn Michaels and talked to him about who has the upper hand in the match, how much experience will be a factor, if he thinks Mr. McMahon will get involved and much more.
WWE.com: You've been involved in all of the Elimination Chamber matches, how do you think this one will compare?
Shawn Michaels: I'm sure it will be altogether different because, other than Kane, none of the other individuals have been in a Chamber Match before. None of them know what to expect. They don't know how unforgiving the structure is and what it can do to you physically. This one might be slower because I think they're in for a rude awakening when they get tossed into the structure for the first time.
WWE.com: Injury is always a risk in a match like this, but given your history with your back, are you afraid of any permanent damage?
Shawn Michaels: No, every match you have is one step closer to the end. I've been in just about every kind of match imaginable. I'm already well aware each match will take a little more off your career. You don't get stronger the more you do in this business. I think I've proven I'm pretty durable, so I don't foresee anything other than another day at the office.
WWE.com: You won the first-ever Elimination Chamber Match -- does that give you a big advantage heading into this?
Shawn Michaels: I don't know if that's advantageous to me or not. It's hard to put into words. I want it to go well and I feel that the longest I'm in there, the better chance I have about making that happen. Maybe that's a little egotistical. I trust my ability. I think when you haven't been in one, you're not really sure about what works and what doesn't work. So, for me, I just want to try and stay in there as long as I can and make sure the match goes well.
WWE.com: Knowing what it takes to win a match of this caliber, do you think any one else involved has what it takes to win?
Shawn Michaels: Yeah. I know Kurt does and I know John does. Kurt rises to every occasion. What I respect about John is that he doesn't have any anxiety over much of anything, and I think that works to his advantage. Kane's been in one before, and he now has the advantage of coming in last. That's something we'll all have to remember. The biggest and toughest guy is going to have the most amount of rest and come in the freshest. (Chris) Masters and Carlito haven't been in one and have less experience, but they both have stepped up really well. That's why I think this will be exciting and different. We have a lot of different personalities in this one. I guess we've had that before but not quite like this. Kurt will be taken quite a bit out of his comfort zone. He relies on wrestling, but this match doesn't necessarily do that. I guess it leans in Kane's favor, but I think it will be interesting.
WWE.com: Will your past with Kurt Angle get in the way of your mission to win the WWE Championship?
Shawn Michaels: No, I don't think so. I've got a history with just about every guy in there -- some more than others. I think that when Kurt and I hook up it will be like it always -- it will be exciting. That will be something the fans enjoy. That's what makes this match interesting, other than this huge metal structure. You have a lot of different combinations that can happen in one match. That's an interesting dynamic. I think the chances of Kurt and I being one on one in there for any amount of time is probably not high. Unless it comes down to Kurt and I in the end, there should always be someone in the mix, and that's what makes it interesting.
WWE.com: After RAW are you afraid that Vince McMahon might pull a Montreal and screw you out of the WWE Championship?
Shawn Michaels: You never know. That wasn't anything I thought of prior to Monday, but I do have to give thought to Vince a little bit now. But who knows. Maybe nothing will come out of Monday. It may just rest between him and me. He and I have had plenty of these confrontations before and nothing has come of it, so I'm guessing this will be the same.