When it became clear Shawn Michaels was lacing up the boots for a return to the ring at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, rumors started to fly around that it would be the beginning of a comeback run for the Heartbreak Kid. There were whispers of the Riyadh DX vs. Brothers of Destruction tag match leading to an Undertaker vs. Michaels singles match at Survivor Series. The possibility of dream matches with names like AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan we said to be on the table for 2019 and WrestleMania 35.
Not so fast, says Shawn, who was pretty clear during his interview on Edge & Christian’s podcast when asked about more matches after Crown Jewel:
Edge: So now here’s the million dollar question. All of that being said, coming back, doing it, feeling the way you felt, you know - do you do it again?
Yeah, so look, the one upside is, um... it’s one of those things, you’re just curious about, ‘can I do my stuff?’ So technically, yeah, I could go in there and do my stuff and have a young guy to work around me and all that. But the 100% only reason I said yes to this one was, one, it was a special request by other people and, again, it was a chance - I looked at it as somebody’s asking the [Rolling] Stones and Kiss to come over and just play their greatest hits. And unfortunately, it’s sort of sad because everybody feels like, ‘oh it was the money’ and this, that and the other. And I mean it respectully of course, but technically, I’d make more money doing a singles match at WrestleMania, you know what I mean. Cause that brand is bigger, you know, I’m charging more for a singles match - I got news for you [laughs].
But I didn’t feel like I was put in the position in this particular match to be “that guy,” you know what I mean? And everything else about working with a young guy and it being WrestleMania puts me in a much tougher, more difficult situation performance-wise and that’s something I’ve had - that’s been consistent over the last eight years, I have not wanted to be put in that position, because I’m good with the performances that I had at WrestleMania and I wanted to end those the way that I ended them. This just happened to be a special thing that again I didn’t think in a million years would come up, but it did and that’s honestly the only reason I said yes.
It’s clear in his chat with E & C that Michaels holds himself to a pretty high standard (he calls the Nov. 2 match “passable”), and that he’s very aware the G.O.A.T. status many have assigned him means others do, too. HBK thinks he can get away with “passable” working with his contemporaries at a glorified house show, but doesn’t want to deal with the pressure that would come - from himself and others - to do another match. Even though it sounds like he could make more money from some of those dream matches.
This is wrestling, though. So every part of that answer will be looked at with some degree of skepticism.
Do you buy it? Which parts? Let us know, and listen to the entire return episode of E & C’s Pod of Awesomeness - now on Westwood One (or Dub-Dub-Uno, the “cool” way of saying it Christian tries and fails to get over) - here.