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
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
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
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 FAVORITE WORDS! WHAT ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR? Mrs. Right I
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
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
DOING 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 BITING 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 work harder.
DOES THAT TRANSLATE INTO THE BEDROOM AS WELL? Yeah! (laughs) I'm an athlete, for God's
MANY OF YOUR FANS ARE FEMALE. WHAT'S THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS THING ONE OF 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
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 OUT OR ASK YOU FOR SOMETHING ELSE? She asked for the whole kit and
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 YOU'RE 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, anyway.
BACK TO THE PHYSICAL. WHAT KIND OF HAIR AND 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 people.
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
IT'S A GIVEN THAT WOMEN EVERYWHERE LOVE YOU, BUT SINCE YOU'RE 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 WERE THOSE STRATEGICALLY
PLACED HEARTS? There's a young lady in Chicago, whose name is JulieYoungberg. 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 HEARTONS ARE USUALLY FOR...OK, WHAT'S UP WITH ALL THE GYRATING ON
STAGE? That came from the music. The songcame 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
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
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 ONLY SEE 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 thatI 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
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! (laughs)
YOU SAID WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN, YOU PREFER BEING THE "PURSUEE" RATHER THAN THE
PURSUER. 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 BIZZARE 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 YOU'RE 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
AND ONCE YOU'RE 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 smarts.
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
FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING 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 PEOPLE 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 me.....
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 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