Shawn Michaels, whose main event career was synonymous with controversy, still can get people talking to this very day with his outspoken nature. The latest example was him talking out of school to the Ministry Of Slam podcast about a recent disagreement he had with WWE owner Vince McMahon about the marketability of one of his stars:
"I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with the man in charge and we were talking about a certain individual and he goes, 'I just don't see money in him.' And I said, 'You said the same thing about me.' He said, 'I did not.' I said, 'Yes you did!' (laughs) I said, 'And it's okay. It's just one of those things.'"
Of course, with the very nature of the Internet, everyone rushed to speculate on the identity of this mystery wrestler and people quickly came to the conclusion that it had to be Daniel Bryan that HBK was talking about, given that both were undersized super workers that didn't fit the mammoth muscular mould of what Vince usually looks for in his headliners and Shawn was one of the American Dragon's original trainers.
The wrestling media also reported this to probably be the case. Dave Meltzer on his subscriber only June 27th Observer Radio show said he had asked his sources and that's the name they came up with. Bryan Alvarez reiterated this belief in his Figure Four Weekly newsletter too:
"It is said that McMahon was talking about Daniel Bryan, which does make sense given that was pretty much written into storyline on Raw Monday. Bryan was scheduled to get a WWE Title match against John Cena at SummerSlam. I think he'll still get it, largely because the big drawing match at SummerSlam is probably going to be Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk, and if Undertaker agrees to return and team with Kane against the Shield that's another really big match, so Cena doesn't have to have a Randy Orton-level opponent on top. Someone else in WWE also noted that with Total Divas debuting at the end of July (latest we heard was the 21st), and Bryan having a major role on it as the boyfriend of one of the Bellas, he's probably pretty safe for the time being."
For those that didn't watch Raw, in a backstage segment Vince offhandedly told Vickie Guerrero that some people thought that Daniel Bryan was not worthy of being a WWE Superstar due to his diminutive size and his psychological complexities, and was a downright embarrassment to the company. It was pretty clear that's what the Mr. McMahon heel character thought, but does he harbour similar feelings in real life too?
At one point, he clearly did, as the dirtsheet gossip was that the man in charge thought that Bryan was far too boring and geeky as a persona to ever amount to much, even after winning the Smackdown Money In The Bank briefcase. Since then, Bryan has garnered a cult following thanks to his "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and "No! No! No!" chants and his argumentative tag team with Kane, which obviously has helped his stature with Vince McMahon, but it doesn't seem like the WWE Chairman is fully behind him yet, given the self-deprecating scripting of his character that still make fun of his beard, looking like a Hobbit and being a weak link. If he wasn't second guessing his decision to give Bryan such a big push by having him defeat The Shield and Randy Orton in high profile TV matches, then Vince may be doing so now, after building the June 24th edition of Raw around him resulted in a poor rating and the main event segment he was featured in bombing badly.
However, once it was brought to Shawn Michaels's attention that everybody thought he was referring to Daniel Bryan, he issued a robust denial via Twitter according to PWTorch.com's James Caldwell:
"We weren't speaking of DB, that was the assumption of net folks," Michaels tweeted. When asked if he would reveal who he was talking about, Michaels replied, "No, but remarkably, he's 6'3" 250, I made my point. Please be careful, what you read/assume is likely inaccurate."
Asked again who was referring to, Michaels replied, "I would have said if I thought relevant. Not DB tho." Michaels then noted the context of his comment during the interview and offered his perspective on what McMahon thinks about Bryan.
"That isn't even who we were talking about. He's (Vince) big on DB," Michaels told a Twitter follower. "Shame y'all let those folks work you like that... The guy is actually 6'3" 250, ironically, y'all miss the same point he did. Amusing since everyone's knocking him."
In his final tweet on the subject, Michaels replied to a follower who asked if the person is Wade Barrett: "UGH!! Respectfully, this is why I rarely talk wrestling, no one takes the fun out of it faster. #letitgo."
The current best guess of who on earth Michaels was talking about is Curtis Axel, who was recently pulled from a high profile feud with Triple H, matches the size of the person in question and is the son of Curt Hennig, someone HBK was very good friends with in the past. But he could have been talking about any of the dozen under utilised guys on the WWE roster who have those proportions.