1) It was the main event at Wrestlemania. For the first time ever in Wrestlemania or any other pay-per-view in recent time has there been a retirement match that headlined a PPV. Shawn Michaels is the first recipient of such an honour. Had it been a ‘fake’ retirement, it would probably have been the third to last match of Wrestlemania. Even if the WWE thought that this would have been the biggest match of the night, we have come accustomed to the best matches never ever main-eventing the night. HBK v Angle, HBK v Flair or even HBK v Taker I last year were the best matches of the night but not the main events.
2) Time-off for Shawn Michaels could have been scripted into the storyline, there was no need for a retirement angle. We have seen so many wrestlers given time-off in recent years, none of those angles ever involved retirement. Sackings, banishment from a brand, injuries or whatever, if they wanted to give HBK rest, they did not have to have him play into a retirement angle with The Undertaker. We have seen a million and one scripts to put HBK on the sidelines in the past, none included a retirement angle.
3) Shawn Michaels has made it public that it has been his intention to retire from professional wrestling to spend time with his family quite some while ago but has always delayed it whenever Vince McMahon has asked him to put it on hold. A retirement match at Wrestlemania – does not get any bigger than that!
4) Wrestling Tweeto. Wrestlers like Ted DiBiase Jr. and color commentator Jim Ross tweeted on their profiles honouring Shawn Michaels’ career. Now, nay-sayers could say it’s scripted but from what I have observed, DiBiase and Ross are tweeting as human beings and not WWE Universe puppets. I doubt the WWE would have wanted Jim Ross to leak out news that HBK v Taker would finish Wrestlemania last this year five or six hours before the event started.
5) Shawn Michaels is not scheduled to feature in any WWE event in the next two months nor is his face on any PPV posters. WWE have leaked news on returns via posters in the past with the feature of Undertaker at the Survivor Series poster ahead of his return a few years back so it would not surprise me if WWE would have placed Shawn Michaels’ face on a poster to sell tickets.
6) Like it or not, Shawn is only human and one day he will retire. As I have eluded earlier, there is no bigger or grander stage to take your final bow other than Wrestlemania and Michaels strikes me as the kind of wrestler who would want to retire at the top of his game and not go down the Ric Flair route, wrestling dark matches at Wrestlemania in his fifties and sitting out multiple PPVs before his swansong.
7) No more stories, no more wrestlers. I do not believe that Shawn Michaels has anyone else to face in the WWE (that he has not faced before in recent time) that could bring one great match out of him anymore. HHH is the only one I can think off. HHH and Michaels have a solid friendship off-screen but I think building a rivalry between HHH and Michaels will leave the WWE Universe with a sour taste in our mouths (since HHH and HBK feuding will mean one of them turning on the other) after all the good times with them in DX.
8) Taker v Michaels II could not have been delayed. Let us face it, Taker’s time is coming to an end as well and I am not sure if either Taker or Michaels’ bodies could hold for such a gruelling encounter one year from now. And as I mentioned, there does not seem to be anyone else for HBK to face at Wrestlemania, so it had to be this year.
9) The Undertaker shaking HBK’s hand. That seemed to me like a genuine gesture. These two had a great match last year but you did not see Taker offering his hand to Michaels last year. Taker broke his ‘act’ to honour Shawn one last time.
10) I needed one more to make it to 10 and if I could think of nine good reasons, surely that is enough!
Anyway what are your thoughts? Anyone thinks that HBK will return a few months from now or has he permanently retired?