At this point, there are only a very select number of WWE dream matches that could actually still occur. For years, fans were hanging on to Sting and the Undertaker crossing paths, but a career-ending injury to Sting against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions, along with a farewell from Undertaker after his bout with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, put to rest those hopes of it ever happening. Other matches, such as Hulk Hogan vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, has no chance of occurring. Not only due to both being retired, but also the fact that neither are in the physical condition to present a match at the biggest event of the year to their personal standards.
One match that has quickly been inserted into the dream match list is Shawn Michaels vs. AJ Styles. Since the beginning of 2016, Styles has used his over 15-year career outside of the WWE and jelled right with the flow of the company. So much so, that Styles became one of the fastest competitors of all time to win the WWE Championship after his debut, capturing the title just a little less than eight months from stepping foot in a WWE ring for the first time. His in-ring work is so infectious, even fans could not help but to cheer for him, which is why WWE is slowly turning him to be a babyface again.
The small amount of jeers he received became even less after his match against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 33. The match exceeded the expectations of many, and Styles shaking Shane’s hand on the following SmackDown Live nearly solidified a turn to the bright side once again.
AJ Styles joined WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash on the latest episode of Table for 3 on the WWE Network. Styles asked Michaels what many were wondering, regarding if he would consider a match between himself and Styles to force him out of retirement. Michaels stated that although he would love the idea to work with Styles, it does not make any sense from a narrative standpoint competing again since he “went out on top” before he was asked to wrap it up.
“Who wins? From a business standpoint, what do you do? Old [mentality] doesn’t do anything but hurt [AJ]… Clearly if you [beat] me, it doesn’t do anything spectacular, and all of that. Then it’s like, if you’re gonna come back and do something, why would I do that and lose the last 3 or 4 or 5 [matches] in a row, or whatever it was. So, I’m just saying, creatively, that’s sort of anticlimactic as well.”
Styles agreed with Michaels, and added that it would not make sense that he would risk leaving on top, being in one of the best and most memorable matches in WrestleMania history with a retirement storyline. Moreover, Michaels is on a very small list of WWE talent who actually stayed retired, and it was not for the sake of forced retirement due to injury.
Michaels also added that he looks at the entire thing when it comes to storyline and narrative, but more importantly, “the way the Heartbreak Kid’s career ended, and the way it started with the broken glass.” It went from a young, rebellious person who did not care who he stepped on to get to the top, to a humble veteran who crawled his way up to Undertaker, just to slap him on his way to falling victim to The Deadman in his final match ever. Since there is not another match that can top that, it is best that he leaves with that moment still being his last. According to Michaels, nothing else right now makes sense, because a sequel cannot even be attempted.
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