Shawn Michaels: Okada Would Adjust Fantastically To WWE
HBK reckons The Rainmaker would have no problems if he ever jumped ship from NJPW
Sports Illustrated recently ran a story asking various pro wrestlers about the wrestling matches that inspired them when they were younger.
One wrestler interviewed was NJPW’s Kazuchika Okada, who cited Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 19 as one of the matches he studied when starting out.
“The first match that made me realise how great wrestling is was Keiji Mutoh and Hiroshi Hase vs. Yuji Nagata and Jun Akiyama. This was before NJPW World was around, so maybe non-Japanese fans aren’t so familiar with it, but it was a dream match and was fun to watch.
There was one other match I used to watch a lot. It was on a DVD at my mentor Ultimo Dragon’s house, and that was Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 19. I learned so much from that match.”
Okada’s comments reached Shawn Michaels, who was also interviewed for the piece. HBK was full-of praise for The Rainmaker:
“I’m so incredibly appreciative of that,” Michaels said “I’ve always admired the style in Japan, and here’s a guy that admires my style.
“Someone once asked me how Okada would adjust if he were ever in the WWE, and I know the answer to that—he’d adjust fantastically, because he’s a fantastic talent. It’s like me. People would say, ‘Well, you only wrestled in the WWE,’ but I could have wrestled anywhere. When a guy is talented, he’s talented. So I’m thankful that Okada, this unbelievably talented young man, gained one or two things from my match.”