Credit: Ken McAndrew &: Pwinsider.com
I was at the Shawn Michaels Q&A event hosted by Top Rope Pro Wrestling in Waynesboro, VA. This was just an autograph signing and Q&A (as opposed to being attached to an indy card), but it was much better organized than the Mick Foley experience they had promoted in the past.
For one, they had VIPs and assigned seating (I was the first seat). Secondly, Shawn had flown in the night before, so everything was on time (whereas Foley's flights were delayed over an hour).
Finally, they kept the line for the meet and greet well contained. Some people didn't get the word that they'd moved up the start time to 10:30 and were doing the meet and greet first, but they took care of everyone, to the point that if you weren't happy with your photo, they let you get another at the end of the line.
Shawn was very nice to everyone, very quiet and humble, and he tweeted his thanks to the fans after...and he tweeted a response to my posting of my photo, so yes, he's a good guy! :) And back to his "Shawn Michaels" face too, as the Duck Dynasty beard was gone.
The Q&A started about 12:10 and went an hour or so. There was a good mix of questions, not all wrestling-related. People had traveled from pretty far away from this...I drove in from Northern Virginia, but some fans had driven from Ohio, Missouri, Connecticut, and Florida for the event...helps that it's Labor Day weekend! I took some notes on the Q&A, hopefully my recollection is good enough.
The first question was asking Shawn what his favorite Bible verse is, which he replied was Philippians 4:13: " I can do all this through him who gives me strength." He spoke some about his spiritual journey, noting that his salvation inspired hope inside him. He also talked about when he got frustrated with the business back in 1992, and the advice he got from Randy Savage (while doing a good Savage impression) to not take himself out of the game.
The second question was from an older fan who had met Shawn over 20 years ago with Marty Jannetty, and she was supposed to get an autograph from both Rockers but Shawn snubbed her. So she asked when he had changed and what made him change. He noted that he was definitely more of a jerk back then, and that he doesn't make a good famous guy.
He said he's normally a quiet guy that goes back into daddy mode pretty quick. He said he actually likes to be unnoticed, and that his family was surprised when they saw him on TV being so brash. Regarding the question, he said he likes to think some of his attitude problems were related to his issues back then, and that changing took time, from getting married in 1999 to his salvation in 2002. He also noted that he doesn't worry or concern himself with the various rumors that he's fallen off the wagon, and says some people are still waiting for him to be like "I worked you all" after ten years.
At this point, Shawn said he was a little surprised, because the tone of the Q&A was very much like one of his ministerial talks. He'd said that this was maybe the second Q&A he'd done in a wrestling capacity.
The theme continued with a fan asking if there were any wrestlers he was able to touch with his faith, and a side question on how the Cowboys would do this season. He said he's not a fair-weather fan and that the Cowboys will do well. Regarding his faith, he said when he came back in 2002, he didn't realize he should be circumspect in talking about it, and was loudly proclaiming how his life had changed. He noted that people were still waiting for a fall after all these years, but that he's been clean ever since.
He also noted that no one would talk about their faith in the locker room before his return, but now it's a more openly-discussed topic and that some guys would come up to him to talk to him, especially after tragedies in the business. But he wouldn't name any names of anyone who's a Christian in WWE.
A fan asked Shawn what he was doing post-retirement. He plugged his MacMillan River Adventures show, saying they'd just finished filming for the 2014 season. He also discussed doing some image licensing of himself for projects, and his callbacks to WWE on occasion, but said mostly he spends his time with his family.
Shawn was asked what made him cut the beard off, as well as what he misses about wrestling. To the beard question, he noted that he loves Duck Dynasty and made if a summer project to grow the beard. He said his wife had actually trimmed it a half-inch prior to his Summerslam appearance. He said the beard is soft, whereas his scruff is rougher.
On what he misses, he said mostly the guys in the locker room, but said he doesn't get the itch to come back for matches. He's more interested at this point at being a good husband and father.
Shawn was asked what his favorite car was, to which he responded it was a truck (a 2004 F250 with 100,000+ miles on it). He said he's not a car guy, but he does like to watch NASCAR. His wife drives a Hummer.
A fan asked if Shawn would be back for the Royal Rumble (I think he was asking if Shawn would be in the Rumble). Shawn said contrary to popular belief, he's not in the loop with what's going on, and that he usually finds out if WWE needs him a few days before they do.
He said he's still pretty good about being able to come in and be told what he needs to do. He was also asked about his opinion on HHH's treatment of Daniel Bryan (I think the fan was trying to get a storyline insight, like would Shawn appear to defend his student from his best friend). Shawn said he gets questions like that a lot on Twitter, but that he treats Raw like he does NCIS...he watches to see what happens next.
A fan said Shawn was a big inspiration to them, and asked what his favorite match was. Shawn said he's pleased he can be an inspiration for others. He also said he couldn't pick a favorite match, though obviously the two with Undertaker were good. He made it clear that... (Continues on next page)