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Ah, Shawn Michaels. I think I stated some time ago that no list on a wrestling topic is complete without him—of any sort. He will end up there or people will complain that he should have been.
When we speak about him refereeing at WrestleMania, what do people talk about? Do people discuss that he seems happy in his retirement? Do people discuss what, from a business standpoint, his role at WrestleMania is? This is where I believe discourse should be directed—topics such as "It makes no sense for HBK to intervene and end the streak, because he is no longer an active wrestler; it doesn't set up any storylines for Triple H or The Undertaker."
No, instead we get discussions about the personal importance of the match to HBK.
Likewise, when folks talk of Ric Flair's retirement, and subsequent return to the business, fans state that wrestling after allowing HBK to retire him is offensive to Shawn Michaels, that it shows disrespect of the kind farewell to the business Shawn Michaels did. Never mind the fact that the two men are, from what one can tell, still friends, having been seen embracing backstage at the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
I find it strange that if Shawn does not find it disrespectful, and is not offended, WWE fans are offended on his behalf. Are the feelings of superstars our property at this point? Are we that used to WWE doing what we want them to with their characters?