Show Stopper Revives MRA
Mark, Michaels parlayed chance meeting at 2010 SHOT into show
Keith Mark and Shawn Michaels, hosts of "Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures"
LAS VEGAS – Keith Mark just wanted to meet WWE wrestling star Shawn Michaels. He had no idea The Show Stopper would end up being his show reviver.
The connection made at the 2010 show brought Keith Mark together with WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels, and ultimately led to the popular and award-winning “Shawn Michaels' MRA.”
Mark, who had been pondering whether he would bring back the original MRA or quit outdoor television altogether, was walking the SHOT Show aisles when his wife, Jeanne, spotted Michaels.
“I’m a huge wrestling fan. My kids are huge wrestling fans. My wife is a huge Shawn Michaels fan,” Mark said. “She actually said, ‘That’s Shawn Michaels!’
The Marks walked over to the Mossy Oak booth and waited for The Heartbreak Kid to finish his conversation before introducing themselves.
“Hey Shawn, my name is Keith Mark and this is my wife, Jeanne, and I just wanted you to know we’re huge fans,” Mark recalls saying.
Michaels was with his wife, Rebecca, and told Mark right back at you.
“I told him I just watched him shoot a charging moose at 2 yards just two weeks ago,” Michaels said.
Mark said that comment took him aback.
“What was crazy to me, here’s this guy who’s bigger than the Outdoor Channel. He’s a worldwide celebrity. Everyone knows Shawn Michaels, but the fact that he knew and had seen MRA just blew me away,” Mark said.
Michaels had been living vicariously through Outdoor Channel shows like Mark’s because his schedule didn’t afford him much time to hunt.
“With the WWE, you’re running all the time,” Michaels said. “It was getting to the point where my seasons were a couple of days. I might be able to get out a few times in the fall, that was it. My wife and I would sit there watching outdoor television together.”
The two exchanged phone numbers and Mark left a standing offer to take Michaels hunting.
“He said don’t offer if you’re not serious, because I’ll do it,” Mark said.
About two months after their first meeting, Michaels was facing the Undertaker in the biggest match of his career, and the Mark family watched the pay-per-view from home.
“Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been screaming at the TV, “Kick out, kick out,’ because we didn’t want Shawn’s career to end,” Mark said.
“I knew that I was going to be retiring,” Michael jumped in, “that it was my last year.”
“Had I known that ultimately we would go on a hunt and progress to be best friends and do a television show together,” Mark said, “I would have been rooting for the Undertaker – pin the Sonofabitch.”
Their hunt and connection might have started sooner. Before they met, Michaels said figuring out what he would do after wrestling weighed on him, but he got some sage words from WWE’s top man to follow his dream of getting into outdoors television.
“Vince McMahon would always say to me, ‘If you could wave a magic wand and do what you wanted to do, what would it be?’ You’ve been doing television for 25 years, you’re passionate about hunting, go for it.’
“I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn’t know how to get started.”
Enter Mark and their chance meeting. They went on a hunt, hit it off and the rest is history. Both note their similar core values of God and family for a basis of their friendship, which later received a blessing from McMahon.
“He’s taken me behind the scenes at WWE events,” Mark said. “Vince sat and talked to us, kind of vetting Shawn’s new family, and he told Shawn -- it was a great compliment to us -- it was good to see you’re associated with such good people.”
Mark feels the same way about Michaels.
"Shawn Michaels' MRA" Show Page
Go to SHOT Show 2014