Shawn Michaels Discusses NXT Halloween Havoc, Differences Between Vince & HHH and more

WWE Executive and Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels held a media conference call today ahead of tomorrow's WWE NXT Halloween Havoc show. In it, he was asked questions on a number of topics including Halloween Havoc, differences between Vince & HHH, working with Logan Paul and more. Below is a recap, via Mike Johnson (

Shawn Michaels is taking part in a media conference call this morning to promote tomorrow's WWE NXT Halloween Havoc event on Peacock, the WWE Network and PPV.

Adam Hopkins welcomed everyone to the call and passed it on to Shawn Michaels. Michaels thanked everyone for being a part of the call and said he wanted to get back to these. He said that he feels like he has to step into the shoes for Hunter in the calls and he doesn't know he can do that but he is going to give it a whirl. He wanted to get back to having an open line of communication and give everyone a little bit more of an idea of what they are doing in NXT. Halloween Havoc seemed like the right time to do it. He compared it to being their Summerslam, being behind only Stand and Deliver. He thinks in time Havoc will be more identified with NXT than anything else.

Michaels said everyone is really "jacked and excited" about the show. He praised the UK talents who have come over and been successful for them. He said the main event is going to tear down the house. He ran down the lineup for the Halloween Havoc show. He put over the young ages of Roxanne Perez vs. Cora Jade, joking they are "ripe old" 21 and 22. He said the Ladder Match is going to be incredible and feels Creed vs. Kemp is going to be the sleeper of the show, praising them as two college athletes who have grown into special performers in different ways.

Michaels said he feels the show epitomizes the original vision of what NXT was supposed to be, preparing athletes for Raw and Smackdown and will still be one of the best premium live events for the company this year.

He announced the next NXT event will be Saturday 12/10 - WWE NXT Deadline. That is the same date as ROH Final Battle in Texas.

Shawn sent his condolences to Kevin Nash on the passing of his son Tristen. I think he echoes the words of everyone in the pro wrestling world and beyond.

He was asked about the experiences running NXT with all the changes over the last year-plus with regime changes, NXT 2.0 and Paul Levesque's health issues. He said he never thought when he was a performer he would be doing this. He started as a Coach for two hours a day and then he took over when Paul needed time away. He said that everyone watched them in real-time figure it out and what was happening on TV mirrored what was going on behind the scenes and it's created a deeper bond among talents in NXT. He said it was incredibly challenges but one of the greatest learning experiences of his life.

Michaels was asked about his own personal issues in the past and how they can help prevent talents from the same pitfalls. He said that the current generation doesn't have to deal with things as harshly as his generation. He said he's happy to be a cautionary tale and to be there to help the younger talents. He said he screwed up at times in his run and doesn't want that for the next generation. He said that they get to be part parent and part psychiatrist in their role here.

He was asked about the differences in sensibilities between Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque's visions. Shawn said there was some micro-managing when 2.0 was launched. Around Stand and Deliver, there was a conversation where he said I'm a good soldier and I'll do what you want, but can I go about it my way and still get the talents ready for the system. He wanted to put the talents in the best situation for their limitations. He asked management to trust him to do that right before Stand and Deliver and that's where he feels they as a brand turned the corner. He said there were different tastes, but they were also dealing with Michaels having never been in the role before and he had to earn his stripes. Hunter trusts him a great deal and it's different and there's a different feel and synergy. We are all under one big umbrella. Before, NXT was a separate entity unto itself. Michaels can say now that if someone doesn't like NXT now, that's on him and he's OK with that. He said he was told to build a car but he was told to use these pieces and these tools before. Now, he can build a car using whatever he wants, so he can build a heck of a better car.

Michaels was asked about working with Logan Paul. He said that he saw what he did at Mania and when Paul jumps into something, he works really hard. He was impressed by how much time and effort Paul has put in. He requested to work with Michaels, so Michaels wanted to see what this was all about. Paul has a platform that allows him to come in at a level that none of their other talents would have so you have to put the cart before the horse. He said that he told Paul that they have to go back and teach him some principals to help him connect things together. He's still technically in the first six months, training wise, so Michaels felt that if they could teach him some more of the fundamentals, he could link things together better. He found him to be a nice kid. It was fun to be the "cool kid" in class yesterday.

Shawn was asked about Carmelo Hayes and how long he may be from contributing to the main roster. Michaels said he got Carmelo on TV as quickly as he could as he took an immediate interest in him. Michaels wanted to get him in front of the people and HHH. Carmela didn't want to be limited to 205 but Michaels felt it was important to get him out there so people can see he can go. He felt the sky was the limit for him. He told him to go and push the envelope. Shawn has to pull him back at times. Shawn praised his charisma and attitude but said he's a respectful young man. They have a lot of good young men and women of character in the PC and Carmelo is ready for the main roster whenever they want to take him. Hayes is going to go up there and improve working with people better than him, because that's how you get better in this line of work.

Michaels was asked about someone taking talents and snatching them out from under their feet. Shawn said means they are doing their job. It could cause some hiccups creatively, but he can't imagine that would happen given the communication from Hunter. They would figure it out creatively if needed, but the goal is to get the talents to the main roster. The gig here is to adjust to everything and if getting talents to the main roster is the biggest hassle, that means they are doing their job well.

Michaels was asked if there was a match that could beat Rey Mysterio vs. Eddy Guerrero at Halloween Havoc. Michaels said that it would be hard to top that match but the inspiration that they bring- even Rey Mysterio would probably be surprised at the level of inspiration he's brought to others and Michaels feels Guerrero would feel the same way. They lost Legado del Fantasma and what they did a few Havoc ago was their way to call back to Rey and Eddy. He said who will be the next Hispanic star to come through NXT and forge their own legacy as impactful as they did remains to be seen but they are looking forward to watching that happen. They are looking to see who can follow Santos Escobar and Legado del Fantasma.

He was asked who would have won if he wrestled Eddy Guerrero. He said that match was never brought up to him but apparently it was pitched at some point. He said he imagined they would have argued over who would have put the other over and it would have been his honor to put Eddy Guerrero over.

Michaels was asked by someone from India about the return of Veer Mahan to NXT and reuniting with Sanga. Michaels said the main roster had plans for Veer at one point. Sanga is an intelligent, bright young man. What they had him doing on TV was who he is. He's a huge man and it was captivating because he's so charming. How long have we done the "he's angry so he beats everyone up" stuff and that's what they were doing with Veer. They didn't want to just do that and didn't want to do the "wrestling tropes." If you aren't changing or evolving, you are doing backwards. They are both clean, classy, really nice guys and they wanted to present them that way. They are just really classy, so they thought why not present them the way they are. He's not going to divulge what they are doing but they really think they have an idea that will be cool and fun. He wanted them to be in the package they they are cool, smart, classy men.

He was asked about the young ages of some of the female talents and whether we could see them working house shows and being brought up in 2022 or 2023. Shawn said that he thinks they are getting super close.

A caller from Italy asked about NXT Europe and whether it will scout talents in Italy. Michaels said they are very excited about NXT Europe. One of the things they've talked about is having to go to Italy. Shawn joked he's said that selfishly. They are getting their ducks in a row and there are some talks going in advance of 2023. He hopes they have some big announcements coming in the future as well as some other big surprises. When they say Europe, they mean it that they want it to be all-encompassing. Coming out of the pandemic, they want to rectify not getting out more and that's an NXT thing in general. They know their role here but they have a passionate fan base domestically and in Europe and it's time for NXT to get back out there on the road a little bit. It's something coming in 2023 and they have momentum towards that for Halloween Havoc and Deadline in December. They want it to be a rebirth of sorts for NXT as they head towards everything in 2023.

Shawn closed out by saying this was the first time he's done this and he's welcome to feedback on how he did. He wants to be good at this job and cultivate the relationship. Sometimes, he doesn't really have some of the inside information because it's a hassle and that's why he stays in Florida. He appreciates the time and help and says it's not about him, but NXT and the young men and women who comes through those doors. He asks everyone to help them if they can. He hopes he can continue to do the calls.