The video above was released by WWE as an extra for its WrestleMania Rewind series on the WWE Network that looked back on John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels main event match at WrestleMania 23. It's titled "Shawn Michaels' true thoughts about John Cena", but who knows if that's actually the case, though you wouldn't think Michaels has any reason to hold back anymore.
Here's what he says:
"It was a building block. I personally feel the foundation had been set at that point. Yeah, there's some sort of right of passage with my match and John but that has more to do with I'm a guy that's been here, in the eyes of the people, forever. But it's still, again, as much as you want to put yourself over as some big deal, you're still a building block.
"We were, as a company, making a decision to make the guy the face, and everybody knew that, everybody that watched, everybody... Sometimes when that happens, especially in our line of work, it leads people to naturally rebel against you. And then they chant things like 'You can't wrestle' and John obviously can. We've had guys in the past who couldn't and they never chanted that. So that's just something the folks do. John's wise to not let that bother him.
"I've been fortunate in that whatever approach it is I take, and I've never really been able to clearly define that other than saying I'm just trying to have the best match possible, I have somehow been able to accomplish the desired things for both myself and my opponent. Nine times out of 10, and I'd like to say 10 times out of 10 but I'm just a... better safe to hedge your bets... Nine times out of 10, everybody does come out of it better and I think that's what happened in this match.
"I've always not had a problem giving John a ton of credit. He's a smart kid, he's a hard worker. That's always going to be his greatest quality to me, is that he's an incredibly hard worker. We have a lot in common in that there are a lot of things both of us can't do, I've just done a much better job covering it up over the last whatever it's been now, 30 years. I am one of those guys that thinks John gets a raw deal, obviously. He's earned whatever he's got. Yeah, somebody has to, whatever, make the decision to pick you but I've seen a lot of guys get picked over the years, myself included, and not everybody's done as well as John, so you've gotta be able to give him some credit for that."
There you have it.