HBK goes in-depth.
WWE Hall Of Famer and former World Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels has been on the outs of in-ring competition for eight years. His last match was against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI where he fell in defeat to "The Deadman" in a match that saw The Undertaker put up his WrestleMania undefeated streak against Shawn Michaels' career. After that match HBK vowed that he would not go back on his retirement and has since transitioned to a producer role working alongside Triple H in NXT.
Not until June of this year did the questions having to do with Shawn Michaels possibly returning for one more match arose once again. When Michaels was interviewed in June, he did not turn down the idea of coming back to the ring and listed off a number of opponents who he'd like to have that "dream match" with. Since those comments, Michaels has been asked more than ever when is he returning to the ring and he was asked that same question while sitting down with Triple H as the two were interviewed by 'Inside The Ropes' and Michaels went in-depth about the pros and cons of a return.
“So I always try to explain it to people so, yeah, if you could take me at the younger version and put me in the ring with one of those guys of course it would be a blast." Michaels said. "But at the same time I’d also like to be [the] younger version of me and be in the ring with Harley Race, and you know, a Buddy Rodgers and so, but none of those things can really happen in real life so… but that’s the thing I was trying to tell people. I very much enjoy doing this [producing]. I’m guilty of not really wanting to work for a living. I like doing this. I’ve never… but this doesn’t feel like work." He said. "For me, to--put me in a singles match at WrestleMania, I was always thrilled to do it but it's a very strenuous, it’s a very anxious, it’s a very… there’s a lot that goes into it--the anxiety, once you get in there and especially when you’re done, it's phenomenal but, getting ready for it is 100% work and I don’t wanna put myself or my family through that to do [that] again, and again, to try and go out there and steal the show at 53 for God’s sake. Now, its a whole different ball of wax if somebody says, ‘Do you two [Triple H & Shawn Michaels] want to go down and work with some other 40 plus year old guys or 50 or whatever and I’d mess around and be silly and we’re willing to…. That doesn’t seem like work to me, and its stuff like that-that I would consider but nobody never even talks about that. It's always me and somebody half my age and that’s just not anything that… I don’t mean that to be critical of anyone, but one, that’s a lot of work and honestly I don’t know. Its neat in theory…"
Michaels then played with the idea of a return to the ring. He stated that if he were to come back and the match was great, there would still be a certain level of expectation that he could not reach because "father time waits on no man" and Shawn also questioned if the younger talent that the fans want him to work with would truly get anything out of their match with one another.
“So lets just say I did it, and the match was phenomenal. The reality is this hairline is still what it is." Michaels jokingly said. "It's all hot and sweaty and even if the match could be phenomenal, you’re still gonna bust my chops because I’ve gotten a way not to expose to you that I’m 52. That’s the thing, you want… and I don’t mean it in a bad way but again, you want me to nip up and have everything look as if it was 1996 or 97’. That’s never going to happen because father time waits on no man. So, even if physically, everything went well… there’s a lot of stuff. Even the young guy. Does he benefit that much from it really when everything’s said and done so I don’t know. It seems like more trouble than its worth."
To read the interview Shawn Michaels did in June that kick-started the questions once again, click here. If you are going to use the quotes above, please credit 'Inside The Ropes' with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.