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Could Shawn Michaels Really Be Leaving WWE After Wrestlemania?

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2010

LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 24:  Wrestlers and tag team partners Shawn Michaels (L) and Triple H are introduced during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Say it ain't so, Shawn, say it ain't so.

It appears the end of an era is upon us. Shawn Michaels agreed last night on Raw that if he does not beat Undertaker at Wrestlemania in five weeks, he will retire.

This does not come as much of a surprise to anyone who has been following Shawn's career outside the ring; he has been talking about retirement for a couple years now.

He never even intended to return full-time when he made his return after a four-year sabbatical due to a back injury.

I still find myself in shock, though. Shawn has been one of my all-time favorite wrestlers for as long as I can remember.

My greatest memory of watching the Heartbreak Kid was when he won his first Royal Rumble. I was with about eight friends watching the PPV at one of their houses. Everyone had their favorites, but I was the lone supporter of the No. 1 entrant.

I cheered loud as Shawn skinned the cat and eliminated the would-be winner, the British Bulldog. I couldn't believe it—no one had ever come in at No. 1 and won the whole damn thing before. It was monumental, and it cemented Shawn's legacy forever.

He turned face shortly after and a little over a year later he would win his first world title from Bret Hart in their historic Iron Man match at Wrestlemania.

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Since then Shawn's career has defied logic. He is a multi-time world champion, the first grand slam champion in history, and he has been a part of some of the best matches the WWE has ever put on.

He was WWE's ace in the hole during the Monday Night wars, and he and the rest of DX helped the WWE win the ratings war. His unfortunate back injury kept him out of action for four years, but what would normally end anyone else's career could not stop HBK.

He returned to face former partner HHH in the summer of 2002 in what would ignite a years-long rivalry.

To this day Shawn is still one of the WWE's most capable and entertaining performers. His match last year with The Undertaker at WM made history and showed that two guys who might be considered over the hill can outshine all the younger guys in the company.

The match was deemed the match of the year by almost everybody. Now it appears that we could see a repeat, only this time Shawn won't return after the match.

I imagine that Shawn's sendoff would be saved for the next night on Raw because it would look too planned to have his big speech and fireworks display the same night as his career- ending loss. I know they did it with Flair, but everyone knew he was gone before the match started. 

I imagine they would want some people to think there is a chance he will beat Taker. I hope I am wrong and HBK breaks the streak, but it probably won't happen.

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