Shawn Michaels will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest professional wrestlers the sport has ever known, and in his new book, Wrestling for My Life, he let’s you know he’s flattered by the adoration, but he’s after something bigger now than a shiny gold belt. He’s after salvation.
Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Reality, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar is not your normal WWE tell-all. Shawn does talk about his life in the ring, before each of his two retirements, but this story is closer to a much older tale, one stretching back to what some believe is the beginning of time. You see, Shawn Michaels is a born-again Christian, and he’s really excited to let you know how that happened.
Michaels has already written one book about his wrestling career, so he didn’t feel overwhelming pressure to rehash that part of his life with too much detail. This time around it’s the tale of his second life, the one that began after he gave himself to Jesus. Michaels had traveled long and hard down roads that were taking him farther from his family and the person he wanted to be. Things began to turn around for him when he met his second wife, Rebecca, who opened a door to faith he closed a long time ago.
Admittedly, I read this book through the eyes and lens of someone who is not a believer in any sense, but I can appreciate what his faith has done for him and the efforts put up by those who love and supported him through his darkest days. One of the moments that stuck out to me was Michaels describing how Rebecca led him back to the good Book:
Instead, she showed me love, she let the transformation in her life serve as an example for me…
I personally believe that is the best Mentorship anyone can offer. Don’t just tell them what to do, show them the positive results of doing it. Then the lesson is not just done by rote memorization, which disappears immediately after you finish the test, but instead it becomes a part of who you are.
While the book is heavily devoted to his Christianity and how he lives his life now, there are still plenty of tidbits from behind the curtains for the die-hard wrestling fans out there. Michaels talks about Kevin Nash giving him a verbal beat down over the phone for not getting his act together once he had a family to think about. There is also a good deal about the “Montreal Screwjob,” an infamous moment in wrestling history between Michaels and superstar Bret Hart.
Another interesting bit was the reaction from people once he decided to return to the ring after his rebirth in Christianity. He felt God was leading him there in order to use the massive stage and audience penetration to help spread the Gospel through his talents as a performer. Not everyone else saw it that way. Some of the former fans of his couldn’t reattach to the new godly version of “The Heartbreak Kid,” but Michaels admits the most flak he got was actually from other Christians. Many looked at an industry rife with sin and bad role models, but Michaels saw an opportunity to reach an even bigger audience with his story of change and rebirth.
Instead of being a book of bumps and bruises, Wrestling for My Life is an earnest account of how Michaels heals himself, both physically and spiritually.