Will The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, make an inevitable return to wrestling for the WWE?
No, he will not. It is impossible to make a comeback when...you are already back.
For the last few weeks, or ever since Michaels was confirmed to be a special guest referee at Wrestlemania, we have all been pondering one question: Will HBK become "physically" involved in the match between Triple H and The Undertaker?
After all, the retired superstar has all but put the kibosh on any future in-ring action. But while we all speculate on the inevitable return of one of the greatest superstars in WWE history, something astonishing has happened.
Shawn Michaels has already began the road to his wrestling comeback.
Last year right around this time, the WWE was preparing to roll out the red carpet for Shawn Michaels at the annual Hall Of Fame induction in Atlanta. Shawn had been retired for a year and was enjoying all of the non-wrestling related fruits of life. There was no way Shawn Michaels would step one foot into the ring at last year's Wrestlemania. He was done with it for good.
Fast forward to one year later. Not only is Shawn Michaels going to be appearing at Wrestlemania, he will be involved in what will most likely turn out to be the match of the year. As a loyal WWE fan of the last twenty-some odd years, I can easily detect all the warning signs that a full-fledged comeback is happening.
The first sign that Shawn Michaels is coming back would be the obvious one. He is refereeing a huge match between two gigantic superstars of the business at the biggest event of the year. That one was easy.
The second sign is that Shawn Michaels is not even fifty years old. If he wanted to push his body to the limit, he could wrestle for another ten years. If you follow his Twitter account, you know that he still maintains a physically demanding workout schedule and has kept in peak shape, even though he is retired. This is not a common practice of most retired athletes.
The third sign is something that I have touched on in past articles. The WWE is in dire need of superstar talent. A big-name comeback is the one thing that can give a wrestling company an instant boost in popularity. We have seen it dozens of times. Be it Hogan, Flair, Austin or Rock, the familiar entrance music of a returning star generates buzz like nothing else in the wrestling business.
Of course, the doubters will say that HBK being at this year's Wrestlemania is just a special appearance, and more of a treat for the fans because Shawn Michaels is retired.
There is one problem here. Athletes retire, and entertainers don't. And when it comes to athletic-entertainers...they especially don't retire.
There is a reason that The Rolling Stones still tour and Clint Eastwood still acts. It's in their blood. That is what they know. If Michael Jordan could physically still play basketball at a high level, he would come back tomorrow.
Walking away from the one thing you love the most is almost impossible for actors and musicians. The same rule of course applies to wrestlers.
No matter what, Shawn Michaels will have his Wrestlemania moment this year. And when he does, it just might send him over the edge and back into the ring for years to comes. I could see him facing Triple H—or, better yet, Steve Austin—at next year's Wrestlemania.
Shawn Michaels recently stated that of all the matches that he has wrestled, he wanted retribution for his Wrestlemania 14 match with Austin. Austin himself said he has a few more matches left in him, but the timing has to be perfect.
A Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin rematch would be the perfect storyline going into next year's Wrestlemania.
I would not be surprised to see Michaels back in the ring before 2013, and as a die-hard fan, I wouldn't be upset either.