WWE: Grayson Waller tried to get Shawn Michaels out of retirement
Grayson Waller has claimed he was ‘this close’ to getting WWE legend Shawn Michaels out of retirement.
The Heartbreak Kid, who is now the company’s Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative and runs all things NXT, hasn’t had a one-on-one match since losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26 in 2010, although he did come back for the disastrous D-Generation X and Brothers of Destruction tag match at Crown Jewel 2018.
Many stars have tried to goad him into one more bout, and Grayson exclusively told Metro.co.uk: ‘I tried my best. I’ve said, the wildest things I could possibly think of because I think that was the way to get Shawn out.
‘You bring out that old Shawn – and I saw in his eyes, I could see the old Shawn in there. I could feel the vibe. I was that close, I was that close.’
The Australian star shared the ring with HBK for a verbal sparring on NXT recently, and he saw the segment as a way to ‘compete’ with his real life boss.
‘I think anyone else in this industry, that would be the biggest night of their life, for me it was just another Tuesday. I should be in there with those kind of guys,’ he said with obvious bravado.
‘I’m not gonna hold back, I’m not gonna show them respect. If you give me a microphone, I’m gonna tell you what I really think,’ he explained. ‘Everyone says about competition in the ring, I think on the microphone you’re competing too, you’re going against each other.
‘You saw recently with Theory and Cena, you could see the competition. Cena and Rock did it back in the day. I think that was something that happened, Shawn wanted to see where I was at. And I think I showed him.’
Grayson admitted he ‘looked up to Shawn because he never took no for an answer’, drawing comparisons with his own approach and admitting he wants to emulate that vibe.
‘Obviously he looked like a star, but early on he wasn’t seen as that guy. He was too small, this and this. He knew his worth. He went out there, every single night, no matter the town, he put on the best performance,’ he said.
‘I think me and Melo have that energy. There was a situation where last year, Spring Break, Melo had the opener for the North American Championship, he walked back through the curtain and he said to me, “Follow that”. And I said, “I can’t wait to.” ‘
As a performer, he admitted ‘there’s always pressure’ – especially heading into his Unsanctioned Match against Johnny Gargano in front of a packed Crypto.com Arena for NXT Stand and Deliver.
However, he added: ‘This is really the time for NXT to establish themselves and show the world what we are. I think the card tomorrow, I think it rivals any card this weekend.
‘From top to bottom, there’s gonna be some great talent. Even just following other things on the card is pressure. But I love pressure, I thrive on that. I want it. I feel like if there’s no pressure, I don’t wanna do it.’
Despite that, he feels ready to go against Johnny Wrestling, and he’s up for any challenge WWE management put in front of him.
‘Right now I’m focused on Johnny and the Unsactioned Match. But I just make sure I’m as prepared as possible for whatever they need. At the end of the day, I’m a company guy,’ he said of his current goals.
‘Whatever you need, I’m gonna go out there and make it the best thing that you’ve got. Mentally I’m ready, physically I’m ready, I’m in the best shape of my life. Whatever they need I’m gonna make it happen.’
NXT Stand & Deliver airs Saturday at 6pm on the WWE Network.
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