More than 27 years ago, a starry-eyed boy, an excellent athlete, enrolled himself in the wrestling school of Jose Lothario. He was chasing a dream that very few dare to envision. A few days ago the boyhood dream came true, as the boy—The Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels was given his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
For two decades Shawn Michaels appeared on our television sets and became the integral part of our life for all those good moments. From the brash boy toy to the rechristened serene soul, we witnessed the journey filled with emotions.
When he climbed the ladder and performed the elbow drop, we saw that with awestruck wide eyes. When he performed the Moon-Assault, we missed one heartbeat and waited for the story to unfold. When he spoke, we listened; we smiled. His every action resonated with a part of us.
Ever wondered what made him so special? Was it his evergreen charisma? Was it his starry-eyed look that chased a dream of everlasting glory every time he stepped into the ring? Was it his passion that never diminished or was it his terrific wrestling skills that enamoured us? Or was it the simple fact that it is HBK we are talking about, whom we could never cease to love?
There are so many questions, but the fact remains that every moment HBK weaved magic, and we remain spellbound even today as I write this.
For years, HBK delivered performances mortals can only dream about. Matches of the year were his routine. He was no doubt the best in the business, but he transcended his own aura and brought out the best of his opponents. When he faced the outstanding performers like Bret Hart, Jericho or the Undertaker they did not delivered matches, They created a memory for us that we will keep close to our hearts till our last day.
HBK was a great heel and a great face. There are many who fall under this category, but something separated HBK from others at every juncture. That something was emotion. HBK told a story in his every match. He brought out every realm of a wrestling fan's heart. Those dropped jaws, a smile, a nod of disbelief and an unshed tear was something we only had for Shawn Michaels.
I will never forget the way he clutched his world title when he won it for the first time. My heart sunk when he was eliminated from the Royal Rumble last year. I, by the way, was not the only one who reacted to his every feat in such a manner. There were millions of us across the globe who loved him.
He is a legend, but he had his flaws too. In his tryst with Destiny, he tried everything to downplay her and to choose his own fashion. His backstage reputation could not have been worse for years. He made a lot of enemies. He did everything in his capacity to drive Vince McMahon insane. I need not even touch the topic of Bret Hart or Kliq, as we all know what had transpired. His antics with DX just added the last touch to make him one of the most controversial superstar in the history of pro-wrestling.
We often like to blame Vince McMahon. But here we have to thank him. For all Shawn’s faults, Vince never abandoned him. He did his best to ensure that Shawn does well. We as fans, often see what is there to see. There are a lot of things, we would never be able to know or understand. Superstar’s life on the road is one of them. Anyway, back to HBK.
A career-threatening injury forced him to take a break for four years. That break and a bliss of marriage led him to the new light. There we had a rechristened Shawn Michaels. His second coming in personal life coincided with his return to the ring, and boy we were in for a treat that lasted for eight mesmerizing years.
In 2009 and 2010, Shawn tried his hands on something that has gone on to become the most elusive achievement in the WWE. He aimed to break the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. First time he came closer than anybody would ever come. The match regarded by many as the greatest in Wrestlemania history was hardly a consolation for HBK.
Come next Wrestlemania, he challenged the streak again. This time Taker raised the stakes as he asked for Shawn’s career in return. Again those two greatest legends delivered a spectacle, as only they can do. Again Shawn fell short and millions of heart sank. A legend of HBK’s stature deserved to retire against the legend of equal magnitude. HBK retired in a way that others would be jealous of.
Shawn Michaels had indeed left the building. However, he took along with him the flare that lit up the arena every time he performed. He took along a piece of our emotions and our hearts with him.
The WWE Hall of Fame had two frames reserved right at the top of the wall. HBK belonged to one of them. WWE made the decision that had to be taken. It is an acknowledgement of HBK and our love for him.
In the end, I have two words for Shawn Michaels...“Miss you”...!
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