The Playgirl Interview
Credit: October 1996 Playgirl Magazine (Over 18's only)
I am talking with Shawn Michaels a.k.a. The Heartbreak Kid, reigning
champion of the World Wrestling Federation and I've lost my train of thought. The conversation has turned to matters of sex,
and he's describing something he truly enjoys: "I've always been told that I was a really good kisser; that I have really
soft lips- and that's great because I could spend a whole night just kissing," he's saying in a voice that strokes the libido
like a sweet "Good morning, darling'," after a long, hard night of love.Suddenly my mind is filled with an image from the
day before: Shawn and I are talking, his blue-green eyes locked with mine. We're seated mere inches apart on a weight bench
in the WWF's state of the art gym located in their Connecticut headquarters. His blond lion's mane, slick with perspiration,
coils down his back while beads of sweat navigate through the maze of golden bronzed curls that adorn his near perfect chest
and abs. The effect is breathtaking-and he doesn't even seem to know it. He's the fantasy object of a million women, and I
could just reach out and touch him. Believe me, the thought did cross my mind ... When he's doing his thing in the ring, Shawn
may be all macho swagger, but one on one, he's a whole different and wonderful animal. This 31 year old, 6'1", 227 pound native
of San Antonio, Texas is part of a new era of wrestling superstars who are trying to reinvent themselves and their sport with
a sexier, smarter, more upscale image. And it's working !
Playgirl: Are You Comfortable Showing Off Your Body ? (laughs)
Strangely enough I am.
Are You Happy With It ? I am, but I'm always trying to
do better. Maybe it's vanity, or ego.
Tell Us About The HeartBreak Kid. Well, I think he's an
arrogant,cocky, selfassured young man, but at the same time everyone knows that he's just a guy livingout something tha't's
really blast to him his dream from the time he was very, very young. Getting to go out and show off in front of lots and lots
of people, doing something that he was lucky enough to be blessed with being pretty good at. Very good at.
Women Love Him. How Do You React To All That Adulation
? I don't know ... If so many women loved me, I wouldn't be single and searching all the time.
Single and Searching ... Our Favourite Words ! What Are
You Searching For ? Mrs. Right I think.
You Said That You Are The First Unmarried WWF Champion
? Yes, I believe I am, I enjoy being single right now because there are a lot of demands on my time. I spend a great deal
of my life on the road and I enjoy every minute of it. Being the World Wrestling Federation Champion, traveling around the
world and performing for lots and lots of people is everything I ever wanted. But someday I would like to be married, have
kids and have somewhat of a normal life. I don't know how normal I can be, but maybe I can get pretty close.
How Far Down The Road Is This Normal Life ? Realistically,
four or five years. I've always said that as far as wrestling was concerned, I was going to get out of the ring fulltime by
the age of 35.
Were You The Proverbial "98 Pound Weakling" In High School
? How Did You End Up Doin This ? No,I wasn't. I certainly wasn't the biggest guy, but I was the biggest on our football team.
I saw wrestling for the first time when I was 12 years old the first time I was able to stay up late-and it hit me just like
that. I knew right away. From that point on, wrestling never drifted from my thoughts. I continued to play football until
I graduated, but it was always in the back of my mind that I was going to be WWF Champion-champion of the entire world.
Does The Idea Of Somebody Bitng At Your Heels, The Next
WWF Champion Wanna Be, Ever Worry You ? You know what ? I don't think so. I'm just confident in my ability. I don't sweat
anybody. Nobody can wrestle longer than I can, nobody can make people yell louder than me for more. And if they can, I just
Does That Translate Into The Bedroom As Well ? Yeah ! (laughs)
I'm an athlete, for God's sake.
Many Of Your Fans Are Female. What's The Most Outrageous
Thing One Has Ever Done To Catch Your Eye ? That would be lifting up her shirt and exposing herself to myself and the rest
of the people in the building. It was a long time ago.
Where Were You ? I can't remember the location. I just
remember those two very "subtle" things.
How Subtle Were They ? (laughs) Not very.
Were They Gifts From Mother Nature, Or Did They Have Some
Gravitational Help ? No, these were from Mother Nature, actually . But either/or Mother Nature or with help is fine with me.
I'm pretty liberal.
Do Women Approach You More These Days ? Yes, and I like
that. I like someone else breaking the ice. If I mess up from there, it's my fault. (laughs)
Tell Me The Last Pick Up Line That Worked For You ? I won't
repeat it, but it was very direct. She just out and out asked me.
Did She Ask You Or Ask You For Somethin Else ? She asked
for the whole kit and caboodle.
A Basic, "I Want You". More direct."I WANT TO 'BLEEP' YOU?"
That's the one.
Was It A Kind Of Fill-In-The-Blank?" That's what made it
even funnier. It was multiple choice. Which was nice, but ....
It Sort Of Took The Mystery Out Of It ? Yeah, not a whole
lot of adventure or wondering there. I prefer as much mystery as possible. Slow is fine with me. I'm in no hurry. My life's
too much of a hurry as it is. I'm way past the romping in the sack just for the fun of it stage. Though I was fairly wild
from the time I was 19 to maybe 25 or 26.
Did You Sow A Lot Of Wild Oats ? Not a lot.
One Acre, Two Acres ? Let's just say I put enough of a
dent in it. I was never under the impression that it was a contest; that one guy was supposed to scoremore than the next.
I've just never been into that. It's not me, not my family, not the way I was raised.
So What's The First Thing That Attracts You To A Woman
? There's a bunch of things. Hair, eyes, brains. And for some reason, I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but I always
go for the smart girls. Which of course gets me in more trouble.
If Your So Attracted To It, Maybe You Like Being In Trouble.
No, I don't think so ...... I think women are just smarter than men in general-especially up here in the East Coast. But women
sem to be different all around the world. It's hard to figure it out. You get to the point where you say to yourself, I think
I've got a handle on this, and then you go somewhere else and you realize,I don't have a handle at all. I had one back there,
Back To The Physical. What Kind Of Hair & Eyes ? Brunettes
first and foremost. That seems to be the pattern. Eyes ... not really a color it's just something about them, that there's
something behind them. It's just one of those things that has to hit me immediately. That's how everything important has been
in my life. If I don't get swept off my feet right away, I figureit isn't all that real.
Being The WWF Champion Makes You The Best Known And Most
Popular Wrestler In The World, Doesn't It ? (modestly) Well, I'd like to think so.
How Do You Keep That From Messing With Your Ego ? I've
been doing this for over 11 years now, so my ego was effected more than enough in the past. (laughs) I think that I'm old
enough now that I can handle it without it consuming too much of my life ..... I hope.
But The Persona Of The HeartBreak Kid, From The Costumes
To The Sexy Stage Moves, Seems To Be An Attempt To Turn Women On. Is This Conscious On Your Part ? It really isn't, and it
certainly didn't startout that way. I'm more conscious of it now because more people have made me aware of it. It began as
just Shawn going out in front of the crowd and playing around, having fun, showing off-and having the nerve to do something
on camera, in front of lots ofpeople, that he certainly couldn't do in a more private setting.
You Don't Often See Some Regular Guy Walking Down The Street
Wearing Spandex Pants With A Heart On The Crotch And One On The Butt. We Might Think That Was A Bit Strange. (laughs) Probably,
yes. The World Wrestling Federation provides a wonderful vehicle for me to do something like that, but it's amazing that it's
the only place I can really do it. I don't go out and dance in nightclubs. I can't be that way unless I'm in front of 20,000
Ok, So Now We Know About Your Public Performances, We'll
Get To Your Private Ones In A Minute .... Do You Truly Understand The Effect You're Having On The Women In Your Audience
? I thought I did, but it seems to be getting bigger and bigger ... more overwhelming. Not just with the women, but with our
fans in general. It's getting bigger and better every day which is wonderful. You just don't realize how many people who you
appeal to, or who notice you.
It's A Given Fact That Women Everywhere Love You, But Since
Your So Much "Larger Than Life", How Do They React When They Meet You In Person ? A couple of years ago I didn't seem to be
as intimidating to peopleas I am now...that is, without trying. But I think that's just because of where my career has gone.
It just sort of comes along with the territory. I was easier to approach before when I was just Shawn out there having fun.
I'd hope that would still be the case, but it seems to happen less and less.
Are They Afraid Of The Title ? I don't know if it's that.
I mean, I welcome everything that's goingalong with this, but it does seem like it's one or the other. Either they don't care
which is fine or they're a little nervous or apprehensive about coming up to me because they're worried that I might be too
busy to speak with them.
Or Maybe That You'll Put Them In A Headlock ...... I'd
just like to make it clear that it's not fear of me physically. It's where I've been placed in the media, this business and
everything else. It's wonderful, but there is the other side to it.
Are You Ever Worried That People Are Going To Start Liking
You For What You Are Rather Than Who You Are ? I figure a certain amount of that happens in this or any other line of work.
You have to just be careful.
Do You Have Good Radar ? I like to think that I'm pretty
intelligent,or at least when it's happening I know that it's happening, and if I let it, it's because I choose to do so.
Let's Talk Some More About Your Infamous Costumes. Whose
Idea Where Those Strategically Placed Hearts ? There's a young lady in Chicago, whose name is Julie Youngberg. She and her
sisters make all my costumes, but I do have to admit that the heart on the front was my idea ... as was the heart on theback.
I just thought it would be funny.
There's That Double Entendre ....You mean I have a heart
on the front ?
A Heart on Front and Back. I won't lie to you, that was
exactly my thinking .... but it was just for fun !
We've Found That's What Hearts Are Usually For ... Ok,
What's Up With All The Gyrating On Stage ? That came from the music. The song came first, and it's just kind of [evolved.]
The more you do it, the more comfortable you become with it, and hopefully, it gets better. I've never planned a whole lot.
I don't really "get in character". I go out there, walk through the curtain and all of a sudden it just turns on.
There's An Internal Switch Somewhere ? Yes. I think it's
the electricity from the people. As soon as I come out, it's there.
Is The Give And Take From The Crowd Almost Like A Sexual
Energy ? Do You Derive Physical Pleasure From It ? There's definitely some form of erotic feeling. Again, just out of instinct
no reason I've nearly disrobed on national TV.
How Far Did You Go ? At the last pay-per-view event, I
pulled everything down and just draped the belt across me ... My mom didn't appreciate that too much. I think everyone at
WWF sweats a little when I do stuff like that, but they know that it's hard to control me when I'm in that environment and
everything is going so well.
I'm Sure There's Nothing You Could Show Us That You Wouldn't
Be Proud Of. I hope not.
Your Nickname Is "The Boy Toy." Care To Comment ? That
was given to me by an older woman I was hanging out with when I first started wrestling on my own. I guess I had what everybody
thought was a bad attitude- and it probably was.
Why Do You Think She Called You That ? I guess I was some
form of object to her at the time.
Does That Bother You To Be Objectified ? It Is Part Of
Being Famous. Well, it is part of it. Looking back, it was more bothersome from a one-on-one standpoint, if someone is using
you from a greedy or selfish motive, but on the flip side, you say to yourself, if this is as bad as it gets, this doesn't
suck. I mean, c'mon ... When you're younger, you wait your whole life for people to ask for your autograph. I don't think
that it's too fair to get uptight when it happens. You can't put your face on TV every week and not expect people to recognize
you or want to be next to you, or talk to you.
Are You Ever Worried That The Recognition Factor's Going
To Become Too Invasive ? Again, that is starting to happen. I try to keep everything in perspective. I have bad moods, just
like everybody else, but I do my best to behave appropriately. I don't like to claim perfection because I 've made way too
many mistakes-and will probably make many, many more. So to say that I don't have bad days would be a huge lie. I just do
what I can to make sure that I dot my "i"s and cross my "t"s, but I can be a little grouchy, a little edgy ..... depending
on how hard I've been working.
You Do Have A Killer Schedule. I thing that probably effects
me and my mood more than anything else.
I'm Not Sure That People Even Have A Concept Of How Much
Time And Hard Work You Have To Put In To Get Where You Are. They See Only What's On TV, The End Result. Aside from the couple
of hours a week that people might see on TV, they think that when we're in their town, that's the only show we have. They
don't realize that I've been in two weeks worth of towns prior to that and might possibly be in 12 cities afterward. I've
always told everyone that I would put my schedule up against any athlete in the world, or any entertainer .... whatever anyone
wants to label what I do for the WWF. I think I'm an athletic performer.
All Of That Flying And Leaping That You Do ..... Did You
Watch A Lot Of Errol Flynn Movies When You Were A Kid ? (laughs) No, that's all a mixture of different profesional wrestling
techniques. It's a whole lot of everything.
Your Work Is Very Physically Demanding. Does That Spill
Over Into Your Personal Life ? It does for a lot of people, but not for me. I get the rush and the testosterone high from
the ring. Outside of the ring, I can be aggressive, but you gear up so much more for a performance-or I do, anyway that you
don't want to be aggressive any other time. The last thing I want to do is be physical with another man. Once a day is enough!
You Said When It Comes To Women, You Prefer Being The "Pursuee"
Rather Than The Pursurer. I don't mind pursuing. It's just when I actually do pursue someone it always helps if she says hello
first. I'm just not nearly as chic and as cool, calm and collected as I am on TV. In the real atmosphere of dealing with the
opposite sex, Shawn Michaels The Heartbreak Kid is much cooler than Shawn.
What's The Most Bizarre Or Extreme Thing You've Ever Done
To Get A Woman's Attention ? I think what I do on TV's pretty bizarre stripping ... taking my clothes off. It goes into a
lot of homes and video stores on top of that. So I'd have to say disrobing for a worldwide viewership is pretty high up there.
But Say Your In A Bar And You See A Woman Who You Like,
And Perhaps She Isn't Aware Of "Shawn The HeartBreak Kid." What Do You Do Then ? That's when the pursuit thing really slows
down. It takes just about everything I have and most of the night just to get over there.
And Once Your Over There ? Then I'm just sort of me, and
either it works or it doesn't. I run into a lot of , "You're not what I expected,"
Say Things Are Going Well. What's A Big Turn On For
You ? I like women who are in shape, women who are smart. I knock myself about my intelligence sometimes. I'm a fairly smart
boy, but I'd like the person I'm with to be smarter, because it makes me think even more.
How Do You Make The Judgement That Someone's Smarter Than
You ? I say smarter, but I really mean educated . I'm plenty street smart. I've been out on my own since I was 19 pursuing
this life and I've learned a lot. And that's what I try to bring to a relationship, and I would hope that they bring the book
On Top Of Everything Else, You've Got A Remarkably Sexy
Voice. Have You Been Told That Often ? I have been told that, yes .... But I've had this voice for awhile, and people have
made fun of me because of it. They ask me if it's my wrestler's voice. Maybe I've been punched in the throat too many times.
(laughs) Back home , they notice that I didn't have the traditional Texas twang, but they never mentioned anything else. It
wasn't really until I came up here to the East Coast that someone told me my voice was sexy.
Does A Woman's Voice Make A Difference In Her Overall Sexiness
Quotient ? Oh, yes. That's why it's hard for me to answer specific questions about women because I and I know it sounds cliche'but
I like all of them for a number of different reasons. Not just from an objectifying point of view, but to me, girls are just
the neatest thing in the world. I think it's because of having been around guys and athletes for so long. Plus, being a momma's
boy, you have a real appreciation and respect for women that I've had from the get-go. I didn't have to form that over the
years. I had it right away. All shapes, all sizes, everybody brings something different to the table.
Does This Attitude Make You A More Giving Person On A Sexual
Level ? Oh, yeah. I've been told that for a man, I'm overly affectionate. I'm kissy kissy, touchy touchy, feely-feely. So
it's especially great if someone else can break the ice, 'cause I can take it from there. It's just that first part that I'm
still a little nervous, a little apprehensive about.
From The Outside Lookin In, Most People Would Think, Why
Would He Be Nervous About Approaching Any Woman He Was Interested In ? Again, that's one of those misconceptions about some
of us guys. A lot of people have told me that the guys who shouldn't be confident are, and the one's who should be sometimes
aren't. So maybe I fall into that category. Maybe I should be a little more confident, but if this is a bad as it gets, I'm
What's The One Sexual Thing About You That Most Peple Would
Find Surprising ? That I'm shy in the beginning, which seems strange for a guy who's taken off most of his clothes on TV.
But once I'm comfortable, I can be comfortable in any given situation, anyplace, anywhere, there's not a whole lot that scares
Have You Ever Been Anywhere Unusual When You Found Yourself
Feeling "Comfortable ?" (Laughs) Trying to ride a motorcycle down the road with somebody wrapped around you is difficult ....
but fun at the same time; broad daylight on a dock with water skiers going by ... It was just one of those things.
If A Woman You Were Seeing Had A Role Playing Wrestling
Fantasy, Would You Let Her "Pin You" Between The Sheets ? Ummmm, yeah, But I do worry about hurting girls. I might resist
for a little bit (pauses thoughtfully), but I wouldn't do anything offensive.
Do You Ever Wear The Belt To Bed ? (Laughs) I haven't had
the opportunity, but I am willing to learn !