Exclusive interview: Enzo Amore talks about working with boyhood idol Shawn Michaels
Enzo Amore had found his muse. As a scrappy kid from New Jersey, Amore was glued to the TV one day when he fell under the spell of another spitfire with the gift of gab, Shawn Michaels. Amore easily related to The Heartbreak Kid; what Michaels lacked in size, he more than made up for in confidence and skill. The WWE hopeful's admiration for HBK ran so deep that he would eventually get a tattoo of Michaels' signature broken heart symbol on his right arm.
So imagine Amore's excitement when he actually got to share a ring with the WWE Hall of Famer on the Jan. 9 episode of Raw. To gauge his level of astonishment, WWE.com sat down with The Certified G and asked him about his experience with the man who inspired him to follow his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar.
WWE.COM: You’ve expressed your admiration for Shawn Michaels in the past. Can you tell us what he meant to you growing up?
ENZO AMORE: Monday nights, it wasn’t like, "Mom, I want to watch Monday Night Raw." It was like, "Mom, put on Shawn Michaels." For me as a kid, it went back to when he won the  Royal Rumble [Match]. Little dude entered No. 1 then he wins and gets Pamela Anderson and an opportunity at the title. That just set it in stone for me. I knew he was the man, and I was like, "I got to be like that guy one day." Since I was five or six, I chased the boyhood dream as he would say.
WWE.COM: What did it mean to you to finally be able to perform in the ring alongside HBK?
ENZO: To be in the ring with him was probably the most surreal thing for my family, because they took me to shows as a kid and knew how obsessed I was as a child with Shawn Michaels. So to see that brought tears to my family’s eyes. For them, that was full circle.
WWE.COM: What was your reaction when you realized you’d be working with your boyhood hero?
ENZO: Believe it or not, that was actually the second segment I’ve ever been in with Shawn Michaels, because when I was in NXT, I was one of the guys in the Terminator masks for Triple H’s entrance [at WrestleMania 31]. Shawn Michaels interfered in the match, so I was right behind the curtain with him, but I was under a Terminator mask. He had no idea who the hell I was!
WWE.COM: The second time around was much different.
ENZO: This time around, being able to work with him and speak with him and conduct business with him, goes above and beyond any aspirations that I had when I got into WWE. You can fantasize about those moments, but when they become a reality it's surreal. But then the next thing happens, you’re hopping in an airplane and going to the next city, and sometimes you don’t get the opportunity to sit back and look at some of the things you’ve accomplished. That will always be a milestone memory and I tried, in that moment with Shawn, to be able to realize how surreal it was and just have a greater understanding of what that moment meant for me.
WWE.COM: Did he share any advice or encouragement with you in the locker room?
ENZO: Oh yeah, all day. They tell you that you never want to meet your heroes. Well, I’m so glad I got an opportunity to meet Shawn Michaels, because he didn’t let any of my expectations down. He’s the coolest guy ever. He’s the G.O.A.T. in the ring and being able to speak with him for hours about the business, about times he had, about in-ring work, about the match that Big Cass had, being able to crotch chop in the ring with him, it was just so surreal. Crazy!
WWE.COM: What would you say to kids reading this who are chasing the same impossible dream that you did?
ENZO: When I was a kid, I got to meet Shawn Michaels at the Continental Airlines Arena, and I showed Shawn that picture. To know that a kid could come up to me in 20 or 30 years and say, "Hey, here's a picture of us. I met you at a meet-and-greet, and I idolized you as a child. I’m a WWE Superstar, too, because you inspired me." That’s crazy to think, but it could happen. I made it, so if I can make it, anybody can.