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Shawn Michaels talks Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, and Kyle O'Reilly leaving WWE NXT



There has been a lot of changes to the WWE NXT brand as the company is focusing on using younger and taller athletes instead of older and experienced wrestlers.

WWE has let a lot of wrestlers go over the last two years and cited due to budget cuts, but there have also been wrestlers who have decided on their own to leave the promotion such as Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, and Kyle O'Reilly.

In the cases of Cole and O’Reilly, they left to join AEW while Gargano is on the free agent market while focusing on his family life as his wife, Candice LeRae, is expecting their first child in February.

Shawn Michaels appeared on Instinct Culture by Denise Salcedo to discuss a wide range of topics including these wrestlers leaving as he is close with them.

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“We still keep in contact, but yeah it is bittersweet, those young men were a big part of my life, they were a lot of the reason that I sort of got back into this line of work. I was happily retired. When it came to Johnny, Tommaso, Adam, those guys, even way back, the Revival Boys, Shawn Spears who was Tye Dellinger at the time, all those young men sitting in a room with them; their passion, their excitement, their desire to be better was just hard not to love.They are the reason that I came back, and fell back in love with Sports Entertainment, with this line of work. As you've heard and everyone has numerous times, in NXT at the Performance Center, is where it's still pure, it's still all the reasons we get into it before it becomes business, and money and negotiations and things of that nature. To fast forward your question, I miss them. One of the things I always try to instill on all of them is 'Your happiness, your contempt, your peace, is the most important thing to me.'

Because I learned that, yes mine all happened in the WWE but when everything was set and done that's why I think that leaving and walking away was so much easier for me than it was for everybody else. I got all the answers to the questions that I had coming into this line of work and as long as they are at peace with that, that's cool. At the very least, I tell them 'if you're not gonna be at peace with it at least have a big bank account." {laughs} at least it makes you feel better a little bit {laughs}. I do, I miss them, but I am very happy for them. Somethings gotta be real life, Hunter and I, we love this stuff, the same thing our real lives take precedence over everything else and it's the same whether its Johnny, Adam, Kyle and whoever else, he's now Malakai but Aleister, all of those guys I want them to be happy. Do I miss them? Yes. Would I prefer they be with us? Absolutely. But again you're getting the opportunity to establish new relationships with Bron and Tony, The Creed Brothers, Carmello and Trick; have just been a joy to work with. Gigi and Jacy, I absolutely adore. It's an ever-evolving thing and that's what this job is but it doesn't mean that you can't still have good relationships in the meantime.”

Michaels also talked about how Triple H is doing, who he has been impressed by in NXT, and more. Check out the full interview here: