In the weird and wonderful world of professional wrestling, the majority of promotions have a tendency to rely on nostalgia. That’s not exactly a bad thing most of the time, because it’d be disingenuous to suggest that the 90s wasn’t one of the most notable eras in the history of the business. Still, there are times when it can go a step too far, and for some fans, the impending in-ring return of Shawn Michaels meets that criteria.
For what it’s worth, nobody is saying that HBK isn’t still one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. The man has been involved in some of the most iconic matches from throughout the last few decades in WWE, and you won’t find all too many people who will debate that. Still, one of the most important things a promotion can do in wrestling is build a relationship of trust between themselves and their audience, which is why some members of the WWE Universe are struggling with this.
We can completely understand that many of you have been invested in this story and are interested in seeing how it unfolds in Saudi Arabia and beyond, but the same thing can be said of HBK’s retirement storyline with The Undertaker back in 2010.
The build was perfect, the match was perfect and Shawn’s retirement speech was as emotional as it was heartfelt. In the last eight years fans have used the whole story as an example of how great it is when wrestlers stick to their word, and now, that word is being broken.
If this rivalry was happening at any other time during the WWE calendar then it probably wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but the fact that it’s taking place in correlation with the second Saudi Arabia show makes it a hard pill to swallow. That deal has always struck a nerve with a lot of fans who aren’t particularly fond of the arrangement for a variety of reasons, and while we’re happy to see Michaels getting the kind of payday he deserves, it doesn’t feel like a worthy enough reason to sour his retirement.
Perhaps we aren’t the ones who should indicate what would make his return ‘worthy’ one way or another, but it’s clear to see that there’s something of a split down the middle in terms of how most fans feel about this. If this winds up leading to HBK facing off against a young star at WM35 in one last match then that might win some people over, but given how unbelievably underrated WrestleMania 26 already is as a pay per view, this is going to really alter how fans view that iconic main event.
How do you feel about Shawn’s return?