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  #1  
Old 01-18-2015, 09:54 AM
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Default Why Was Jose Lothario Managing Shawn Michaels?

At the beginning of 1996 Shawn Michaels was the hottest thing going in the WWF. He was young, athletic, charismatic, and very popular. He was a true representation of the WWF's New Generation. The only thing missing was a 61 year old Mexican manager that no one ever heard of.

Wait, that doesn't sound quite right does it? Well to me it didn't quite feel right either. The story was Shawn Michaels was going back to his roots as he trained for his upcoming Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII. He went back to his original trainer, Jose Lothario, to get him ready for the toughest challenge of his career. That was fine. It added another element to the HBK character as the cocky star's humble beginnings were never explored before. Lothario training Michaels and accompanying him at mania was ok. I think the relationship should have ended there.

Instead of a quick one and done Lothario took on the role as HBK's manager and stayed with him for almost a year. This just seemed like an odd pairing given HBK's young sexy boy gimmick and WWF's constant criticism of anything old as they pushed the New Generation. The popular sex symbol didn't need a senior citizen in his corner cramping his style. So why was he there?

HBK always had a reputation of being selfish and ego driven. Was Lothario added to show that the WWF's new hero was capable of caring for someone other than himself? Remember how Michaels lost the title. It was at Survivor Series where Sid attacked Lothario and Michaels sacrificed himself and his title to make sure his mentor was ok. They made a clear point of showing how Michaels cared more about Lothario than the title. It was a noble move and one that was uncharacteristic of the old HBK. Or was Lothario brought in to be a babysitter of sorts? When I said selfish and ego driven I was referring to on screen characteristics of Michaels. It was even worse off screen. HBK's behavior and reputation from that time is well documented so I don't think I need to explain his wreckless attitude at the time. Maybe WWF brought in someone Michaels respected from his youth to kind of keep an eye on him and be an adviser both in and out of the arena. I've never heard anything like that but it kind of makes sense. It wouldn't have been the first time WWF gave someone an on air role to allow them to travel with a wrestler that needed help. They did this in 1988 when they gave Jake Roberts's wife Cheryl a role on tv when Jake was having difficulties on the road.

Whatever the reason was for using Lothario for so long it just didn't seem like the right fit for the character or the time. Hogan didn't need anybody. Bret didn't need anybody. I don't think Shawn needed anybody either. Especially unknown old timer Jose Lothario.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:02 AM
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Honestly,I think it was done to subconsiously make HBK seem like Rocky. All the training montages and everything, to show that Shawn was cut from a different cloth from Bret, the defending champion. Bret had his father who trained him, he was born into the business, he was a 2 time tag champ, 2 time ic champ, and 3 time wwf champ that that time. He had a legacy, and Shawn had the boyhood dream. I remember a shoot with Jim Cornette where he said how unhappy Shawn was that Jose was out there with him. I doubt Jose was there in any kind of babysitter capacity. But everybody loves the Rocky movies, and what is one of the most important elements of the series? Mickey. I think Jose was there to be the Mickey to Shawns Rocky.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:05 PM
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Jose TRAINED HBK. he was brought in to get people behind Shawn even more, since the breakup of The Rockers HBK had been mostly a Heel, by showing what he did while getting ready to face Bret. those of us that had internet at the time(thank you to my friends parents) some of us were actually expecting Shawn to win at Wrestlemania just because Jose was brought in
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:06 PM
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Jose trained Shawn and was his first feud. A one off could have been Shawns idea but since it dragged on a long time it's possible it was a Rocky storyline from Vince and creative but HBK definitely didn't need someone like Jose to get over.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:15 PM
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I concur. It was to get Shawn over as a wholesome white-meat babyface. We all know the type of babyfaces Vince wants as the face of the WWF. All-American, family-oriented, and with that "underdog" characteristic. Shawn had spent five years cultivating that womanizing, sexy boy gimmick and I think it was to portray Shawn in a different light. We all know Shawn wasn't happy with it but Vince wanted to push the "Boyhood Dream" angle.

I do think Vince was legitimately concerned about Shawn's off-screen behavior if not out right worried. The LAST thing he needed was the WWF Champion and FACE of the WWF OD'ing or even getting jumped (like in Syracuse, NY) Vince KNEW that HHH couldn't keep Shawn on track so he brought in Lothario and even put him with Tim White.

Remember Hogan was brought in as a babyface for his second run. Few if any people remmeber his first WWWF heel run in 1980 with Vince Sr. Same with Bret. He was FAR REMOVED from his heel days with the Foundation by the time he was given the strap in 1992. He was solid babyface by the time of his first fun with the title. Shawn was still very much a heel in fans' eyes so Vince had to think of SOMETHING to make him a sympathetic character.
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:12 PM
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This was part of why Shawn failed in 1996... The whole concept of "The Boyhood Dream" meant that there had to be a mentor figure. They used Jose as he was legit Shawn's initial trainer and I am sure they felt he would be a steadying influence on Shawn outside the ring.

Remember this push coincided with the bombshell that Hall and Nash were leaving... Shawn's two big "party buddies" and backstage allies were going to be gone and while Hunter was part of the group he hadn't progressed past the "bag carrier" phase until he "took the fall" for their "curtain call". There was legit concern not at "what Shawn would do outside" without Nash and Hall but that the solid group dynamic that had controlled the backstage area was going to end and Shawn, being put in the "top man" position, when so few felt he deserved it, with his two biggest running buddies/bodyguards out the picture could cause chaos.

While Lothario wasn't a Hall of Famer, he was a legend to many in the business and good friends and respected by guys like Monsoon, who had ultimate stroke in the company. Guys weren't gonna mess with Shawn or disrespect Jose because it'd draw Gorilla's displeasure and thus Vince's... likewise Bret would have had a large amount of respect as he was someone Stu would have known and passed through Stampede at least once while he was growing up.

It's the classic story of taking an abrasive person and putting them with someone so benign and respected that any ill feeling towards the other guy gets neutered... they did the same the following year with Rick Rude... Bret and Shawn hated each other and it was getting to the groups, but guys like Davey, Anvil, Pillman all loved Rick Rude... so it acted as a buffer/neutraliser.

Onscreen clearly they wanted to erase Shawn and rebuild him as others have said, into that WWE cornbread hero Vince has always craved. There was an element of Shawn understanding his weaknesses and excesses and seeking out the original passion and the guy who developed that... the hope was that the "new" Shawn would be known for his passion but also dedication and loyalty, traits not seen in him prior... of course he blew it completely within a year... the writing was on the wall the moment he made his "lost smile" speech... the fans had seen through the facade, as had the boys and it meant they had to go further with the DX stuff and literally surround Shawn with people...

Rude being the one guy who was not only legit tough enough to protect him if it went south (Even Taker would never mess with Rude) but able to diffuse tension with Bret's crew long before things got to that point by taking them for beers or talking through it with a joint... When the time came to "choose a side" Rude saw for himself the levels Shawn (and Vince) had used him to and walked on his terms... knowing Bret was gonna be there in WCW, who he was always closer to and that the others would head over if they could... and whoever was left and wanted Shawn, could have it.

Jose couldn't do all that, he was an older guy out of his depth and place... it led to a business relationship at "Shawn's school" that in reality was Jose's with Regal as the main guy bringing guys on... just rebranded. If they'd have stuck with heel Shawn in 1996 and put Rude with him then... things would have been a LOT different. Or if they'd poached Harley Race over in 1993/94 to manage him...
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:16 PM
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I remember wondering why Lothario was kept around as long as he was back then.

My initial speculation is that Lothario was smart enough to get himself a longer term contract than what was needed. He found a way to make more money and keep his name out there for a longer period of time to help himself build his brand as a trainer. But again, all speculation. Maybe Michaels insisted Lothario stick around and Vince conceded to keep Shawn happy.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:18 PM
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If supersock was there for a one time appearance at WM12 then im sure no one would argue that one. It never did fit HBK's Image cocky,arrogant,and very self-centered HBK actually showing he cares for someone other than himself. I suppose Jose was well respected and while not well known,was Shawns real trainer.

It never did gel well,HBK being the sex symbol,WWE heading into a new phase in their company. Bret never needed anyone neither did Hogan. Maybe by this time,Shawn was starting to have his troubles and maybe Jose was brought in there,to sort of babysit him.

I get that Razor and Diesel leaving had some sort of impact. I had no clue until a couple of years later,they were best friends. Trips wasnt the guy,he was starting to come into it,but still the bag carrier as someone put it. I feel HBK didnt need anyone either,perhaps he would have gone over sid at Survivor Series.

The old HBK would have not given a shit,if someone drove a camera into Lothario's chest. Shawn would have laughed,and probably gone over. But the whole i care about my Trainer more than i do about my title didnt make sense.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:19 PM
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Shawn was a drug addict womanizer with Jannetty long before Hall and Nash got there so them leaving wasn't going to send him into some out of control spiral. (Jannetty though is already in that spiral big time). HBK was actually Shawn toned down. Vince knew about Shawn's drug use and partying almost ten years before this angle so all of a sudden he was gonna become a different guy is very wishful thinking. I think he was a great performer but he acts like he has amnesia when discussing the past when he was a POS to most people.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:46 PM
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I'm surprised you people don't know this but Jose Lothario was actually Shawn's uncle. Shawn's family had fallen on hard times and Shawn asked Vince if he could bring in Jose to help his family out.
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