With Shawn Michaels as special guest referee at WrestleMania 28 in the match between Undertaker and Triple H in Hell In A Cell, the question must be asked: Will HBK enhance or detract from the match that many see as the real main event for April 1st?
There is little doubt that Shawn Michaels' involvement is enhancing the buildup to the match, but what about his actual presence in the cell?
Speculation is rife that Shawn Michaels will put his mark on the encounter by getting involved physically and that he will be the deciding factor of this ‘End Of An Era’ matchup.
For Michaels to get physically involved, though, would detract from a match of great importance. Whether the streak is extended to 20-0 or the unlikely occurs and it goes to 19-1, the outcome is far too significant a moment in wrestling history to be decided by a kayfabe screw-job.
Clearly, a special guest referee has to be involved more than your average referee—otherwise it’s anti-climactic and all seems a bit pointless. This involvement, though, doesn’t need to be physical.
The recent tensions between Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Undertaker have created a keen sense of intrigue for this year’s streak match, and credit has to be given to WWE Creative for this.
The tensions being played out on screen, though, are only possible because of the history these men have, both as individuals and together.
With many angles involved here—competition amongst longtime friends, respect earned between superstars and points to prove between competitors—there is potentially something very special in the works.
On the night, will Shawn Michaels enhance or detract from Undertaker vs. Triple H?
The dynamic on show is something to savour. It is the result of 20-plus years of history, a period of time in which all three superstars have earned the label of legend. This is not something you see every day.
This one-off dynamic is perfectly geared towards a match focused on in-ring psychology and storytelling of epic proportions. The history involved in this match means it doesn’t need any physical interference from HBK.
It can be about the emotions, the threatening looks and the heated words. It can be about friendship being pushed and boundaries of respect being tested. It can be the temptation of getting involved, and the restraint not to. It can be subtler than using physical interference, and it deserves to be.
In the same way a psychological thriller keeps the audience in suspense whilst the low-grade slasher movie gives instant but short-lived gratification, to have Michaels tune up the band and make some Sweet Chin Music is the easy, but ultimately disappointing thing to do.
Whether the victim would be Triple H or Undertaker is up for debate, but either way, to go down that route would do a disservice to the match, the event and the three superstars involved.
Whether Shawn Michaels enhances or detracts from the match between Triple H and Undertaker at WrestleMania 28 depends on how they play it.
If they go about it without tact, then Michaels' presence could end up detracting from the contest.
However, if they go about it with a subtler approach, then this could be one of the most memorable matches in WrestleMania history because of its unique circumstances.
Considering the three men involved, you would suspect that how this runs will be down to them. With the talent and experience these legends have, I think we can be safe in trusting them to put on a show-stealing performance and Shawn Michaels’ involvement should only add to what promises to be a great spectacle.