The king of coming out of retirement shares his thoughts on Shawn Michaels coming out of retirement.
Shawn Michaels has retired twice. The first was in 1998, when a back injury looked to be bad enough for him to never wrestle again. He would return to the ring in 2002. He retired again in 2010 after losing a Streak vs. Career bout against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26. In the last eight years, Michaels has had offers to come out of retirement, but seemed content with how his final story played out.
Until last Monday on Raw, when it was announced that Michaels would return to the ring at Crown Jewel on Nov. 2.
Terry Funk first retired on August 31, 1983. His retirement last just over a year as he returned to the ring in October 1984. Since then, Funk has retired, by his estimation, at least 22 times. Every time he announces his latest retirement, fans expect to see him wrestling a month later. Speaking to Kenny Herzog of The Ringer, Funk gave his expert opinion on Michaels leaving retirement to return to the ring.
"He’s not doing it because he loves the chance to get in the ring. He’s doing it because the money has enticed him," said Funk. "It’s not only the money. It’s the aura around the sport itself. he wouldn’t talk to anybody about it. The only thing that would entice him to it is himself. I’m sure he has plenty of money, but money changes constantly. You love the business, but you love it a whole bunch more if you’re getting more money. I’m the same way. I think we all are. I don’t think I’m talking about some guy that’s just money-hungry. It’s his love for the business and the money."
Michaels will team with Triple H against the Undertaker and Kane at Crown Jewel. The event may now headline WWE's return to Saudi Arabia, but it will be one of the bigger matches on the night. Funk believes that Michaels isn't hurting his legacy as long as he stays near the top of the card.
"Truthfully, it’s really not a risk at all. Of course, that depends on what level you come back at," he said. "Are you going to come back at a high position of a main-eventer? If Shawn Michaels came to the ring and was in the opening match and lost, I don’t think he’d have much longevity. It’s [dependent on] the manipulation of his character after he is there. Shawn will definitely do business. Shawn is controlling his destiny and can control it at any time."
Funk finished the interview by stating that Michaels is "going to do the best to entertain people better than he ever did before."
Funk's last retirement was on September 17, 2016 at House of Hardcore 17. He returned to the ring a year later at Big Time Wrestling.
Fightful will have live coverage and a post-show podcast of Michaels' return bout on Nov. 2 at Crown Jewel.