When Shawn Michaels lost a streak vs. career match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI, it was the perfect ending to an incredible career for The Heartbreak Kid. Despite the fact that he went out on ideal terms, rumors persist that Michaels could return for one more match. I believe that would be a big mistake.
The talk of a Michaels' return reached a fever pitch when he got involved in the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar storyline, and while it has cooled to some degree, it is still in the back of every wrestling fan's mind. It's difficult to say "no" to seeing perhaps the greatest performer of all time step back into the ring, but it wouldn't be the right decision.
Michaels left on his own terms and he did it in one of the best ways imaginable, so I'm not sure why he would want to tarnish that. Would ending The Undertaker's streak have been a better sendoff? Sure, but Michaels' WrestleMania moments have never been about wins. In fact, he has a losing record at wrestling's biggest spectacle, but he always managed to steal the show.
If Michaels does return for one more match, then the likely opponent would be Triple H. The two of them are best friends and I don't believe that HBK would want to face anyone else. I'm sure the buildup would be intriguing and the match would be a big deal, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to tear their friendship apart again after it has already been done on a few occasions.
On top of that, Michaels having another WrestleMania match would be a slap in the face to The Undertaker in some ways. I'm sure that Michaels would get clearance from Taker first, and Taker would probably grant it, but that doesn't mean that he would be happy about it.
The Undertaker doesn't really need any more accolades, but ending the career of Michaels is a pretty big one on his resume. If HBK returns, then that goes away. Something similar actually happened to Michaels as he defeated Ric Flair to end his career at WrestleMania XXIV. Flair needed money, though, so he continued to compete in TNA with Michaels' blessing.
Flair's legacy can't possibly be ruined, but his TNA run did tarnish his retirement match as it no longer has the same meaning as it did when it happened. The Undertaker and Michaels had what many consider to be two of the best matches in WrestleMania history, and that should be enough for HBK to hang his hat on.
Perhaps the biggest argument against another Michaels match, however, is the fear that he won't be able to get the job done in the ring like he did for so many years. It wouldn't be unrealistic to make a top-10 list of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time with Michaels' matches occupying almost every spot on said list.
He has been that good on the big stage and I believe wrestling fans want to remember him as Mr. WrestleMania and not a retired wrestler who wants one last moment in the spotlight. We have all seen Michaels make appearances for the company over the past couple years and he has barely been able to make it down the ramp in some instances.
Michaels' body endured years of abuse. Some of it was self-inflicted through drug and alcohol abuse, while much of it can be attributed to natural wear and tear from performing so admirably for such a long time. Regardless of his ailments, Michaels always found a way to produce, but I fear that he has passed the point of no return in that regard.
If it turns out that Michaels does have another match, then I'm obviously going to watch intently and root for him to tear the house down as he is unquestionably my all-time favorite wrestler. In my heart of hearts I would love to see him lace the boots up one more time, but my brain is telling me that there is too much to lose if HBK decides to end his retirement.