(Photo Credits: WWE Superstars)
The world of professional wrestling has had its fair share of legends, icons and trendsetters, all of whom have cemented their names in the books of history forever.
Amidst this list of characters larger than life, one man stands out in a league of his own. Not only for what he accomplished, but how he did it.
Shawn Michaels’ entire career was a deconstruction of the stereotypical wrestling persona that the WWE has tried so hard to maintain. He had innate charisma, jaw-dropping wrestling ability and a boyish charm quite like no one before him possessed. Apart from that, there was little about Shawn Michaels’ to check off Vince McMahon’s checklist of what made the perfect pro wrestler.
He was a David in an industry of Goliaths but one by one, he struck down every last one of them and made his way to the top.
Every time Michaels walked down the aisle and into the squared circle, his performance was of the highest caliber. His mastery over the art of wrestling was so profound that many of his fellow wrestlers called it a “special privilege” to have had an opportunity to work with him.
He destroyed all the misconceptions about the prototypical WWE main eventer and sent them to sleep – quite literally – with a kick to the face. But it wasn’t just about Michaels’ in ring ability. Some of the rivalries he was a part of during his run are all time classics. All his stellar ability inside the ring did was to underrate his ability to enact a persona. And boy, did he do that well.
He was the Lex Luthor to Bret Hart’s Superman; hated, reviled and yet, so formidable. Together, the two combined for an unparalleled rivalry, both on and off the screen. They were two men who loathed each others’ guts and would stop at nothing to surpass one another – even in real life. And it showed.
But it was not all antagonistic.
His friendship with Triple H is one of the most cherished and beloved friendships in the business’ history. Michaels catapulted a less popular and under-booked Triple H into fame, glory and success and stood by his side while the latter surpassed him and became a 13-time Champion before eventually working himself up the totem pole as Vince McMahon’s heir apparent.
His stories with the Undertaker are tales that send chills down everyone’s spines. The two WrestleMania matches he put on with the Deadman are easily the highlights of the hallowed undefeated streak. However, the importance of these tales goes far beyond Michaels’ career as they’re not just his personal feats but some of the biggest moments in the history of the sport in general.
This is a testament to what Michaels as an entity meant to this business. He was the Showstopper for a reason and proved it repeatedly over his career. Which is why, when he bid adieu to the squared circle eight years ago, he left most of us in tears.
His absence left an unimaginable void – not just for the fans, but to his co-workers and superiors as well. And for eight years, Michaels was stern in his decision of staying retired. He was offered several lucrative offers to make a return to the ring during this period of time, but he turned them all down.
However, it seems like Vince McMahon and gang have finally managed to pursue their favorite legend out of retirement. And so it seems that the day has finally arrived. It seems like we are in for a return of a lifetime.
Reports are running rampant on Internet dirt sheets stating that the Heart Break Kid is indeed coming out from retirement to face the Undertaker and Kane alongside Triple H at WWE’s Crown Jewel mega event.
There have been some confirmations from some of the most trusted sources and the official announcement is but a matter of when at this point.
It is safe to assume that the return of this larger than life icon will not only get fan-boys brimming with excitement but will also kick-start speculation about potential dream-matches involving him and some of the top dogs in the WWE today.
The Hall of Famer has said in the recent past that if he returns, he would love to face the current stalwarts of the WWE, namely, Daniel Bryan, Johhny Gargano and above all – WWE Champion AJ Styles
The Heart Break Kid’s return will be a top story for several months to come and will therefore benefit the WWE in ways more than one.
The Showstopper brings with him good fortune and happy times – or at least, the remembrance of such in a time where it is direly needed.
Hence, it is time for us to sit back and witness a legend in action once again. Oh, how we’ve missed him all this while.