Shawn Michaels w/ David Thomas
Shawn Michaels’s second memoir is a wonderful study in diminishing returns – apart from the sub-title there’s little here to tell you about his “Legend” status. Instead this runs like a lazy afternoon or two (certainly no more than two) talking to the tape-recorder to justify his faith and spirituality – a chance to excuse years of drug and booze-fuelled shitty behaviour. When it’s not an ad for the church it is an ad for his Reality TV show. And sometimes – somehow – it’s both.
Sure, sure, we don’t want a complete repeat of the first book. That’s where the good stories are, though from memory they weren’t often that great either, prosaic writing kills any momentum or thrill, the tale clipped.
Here we’ve got back-to-back Wrestlemania farewell fight stories, Undertaker and Ric Flair. And though there’s something quite nice in the revisiting it’s too fresh for a start, and the book is too slight for the real weight of it to be carried in those recent stories.
As any sort of window into his soul this book suggests a vacuous, nearly soulless life. The spirituality – the born-again/newfound faith some sort of must, for giving him something/anything…
This embarrassingly thin book reads far too easily and is both an attempt to sweep everything bad under the rug labelled “Before I Was Christian” and then runs as an advert for that spirituality in the most pious and pompous way, suggesting it was some hard-fought battle. It’s also clear that in semi-retirement Michaels wants to send out a missive – remind people he used to be something or someone; he’s fine with retirement, no really, just fine. Not really.