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Shawn Michaels Reveals Pick For WWE's MVP of 2023
You'll never guess who Shawn Michaels believes is the top WWE Superstar of the year!
Sometimes, a WWE Superstar has such a trailblazing and successful year that even someone many fans consider the greatest of all time stands up and takes notice.
Shawn Michaels, the WWE Hall of Famer and the man who memorably retired Ric Flair before ultimately being retired by The Undertaker, has revealed his pick for WWE's MVP of 2023 – and it's someone you won't believe:
"Dirty" Dominik Mysterio!
During a recent appearance on The Ringer Wrestling Show podcast, Shawn Michaels discussed all things WWE and NXT, explicitly calling out the reigning NXT North American Champion as his choice as the most impactful WWE Superstar of the year. While Dominik and the rest of The Judgment Day primarily call the shots on Monday Night Raw, Dominik is actually a two-time North American Champion and still performs on Tuesday nights whenever Shawn Michaels comes calling. The Heartbreak Kid admitted to former WWE 24/7 Champion Peter Rosenberg on the podcast that Dominik never fails to impress him whenever he competes in NXT.
Why Does Shawn Michaels Consider Dominik Mysterio the WWE MVP?
"Every time he comes here, I look at him as the hardest-working man in the business," Micheals revealed. "He has just been an iron man for us. I can't speak to what he does on the main roster, but he has done just everything we have asked of him. He's done it professionally, he's done it admirably, done it to the best of his ability."
Dominik, the real-life son of WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio, has followed in his father's footsteps to become one of the most impactful Superstars in the WWE locker room. At only 26 years old, Dominik's best days are ahead of him – and of course, as Shawn Michaels pointed out, it always helps when you are taller than your old man.
"Well, of course, I can remember the first time and just so early on, thinking to myself like, 'Rey, he's already taller than you are!'" Michaels continued. "But Dom has, to me, been the MVP of WWE this year."
Long-time members of the WWE Universe know that Dominik didn't have the privilege of beginning his WWE career with extensive training in NXT and other developmental territories. Instead, Dom was thrown into the fire, immediately thrust into a high-profile storyline alongside his father. For goodness sake, Dom's first WWE match was against Seth Rollins in a Street Fight at SummerSlam 2020 – he was baptized by fire and then some. Then, before he knew it, he became a tag team with his father before ultimately betraying him, leading to an epic WrestleMania showdown. That kind of experience makes Dominik's ascent in WWE all the more impressive in Shawn Michaels' eyes.
"A lot was put on him early, and he probably didn't get the opportunity to develop behind the scenes as much as other people have, and he had to do it out there in front of the world and probably got judged harshly for it – but I'm telling you, I have nothing but admiration for that man," Michaels confessed. "He has been a stud for us. I think from a company standpoint, everybody would agree with me. He got a lot put on him early, and I think he has grown a lot in this last year. I think he's become a hell of a performer as well, when everything is said and done. But it's hard for me not to admire the young man who's worked so hard for us."
Shawn Michaels isn't someone who throws around compliments with reckless abandon. It's clear that Dominik has exceeded all expectations and has been one of the pleasant WWE surprises of 2023.
Say what you will about "Dirty" Dom – he's reached heights in NXT (and WWE in general) that none of us expected. It'll be interesting to see where Dominik goes next; will he use the NXT North American Title to catapult himself to even greater success? Will Dominik and Rhea Ripley remain the most hated couple in WWE? Will The Judgment Day continue to wreak havoc across Raw and SmackDown?
Shawn Michaels may believe 2023 was the year of Dominik Mysterio – but if you ask us, Dom holds the future in his own hands, and he can top this year with an even more impressive 2024.
What is Shawn Michaels' Current Role in WWE?
Although he's been retired from in-ring competition since WrestleMania 26 (save for a one-off match at Crown Jewel 2018), Shawn Michaels has been very involved in the current WWE product, specifically being in charge of all things NXT since 2021.
As NXT's Head of Creative, Shawn Michaels is responsible for all storylines and matches the WWE Universe sees every Tuesday night on USA Network. So, although he's not competing inside the ring, the Heartbreak Kid's fingerprints are still all over NXT – a fact that many critics and fans alike point to as the reason why the brand has been on fire for the past year. Not many people can compare to Shawn Michaels in terms of knowledge of the pro wrestling business, and the men and women in the locker room are learning from the best of the best as they continue to fight tooth and nail to be the next call-ups to Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
(Of course, those in the WWE Universe who despise Dominik Mysterio and everything The Judgment Day stands for have only Shawn Michaels to blame for bringing him and his buddies down to NXT!)
So there you have it, WWE Universe: One of the most respected and inspirational WWE Superstars of all time believes Dominik Mysterio is WWE's MVP of 2023 – just another example that hell has indeed frozen over lately.
Catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.