During the months before the WWE Royal Rumble PPV and WrestleMania 33, there was some speculation about Shawn Michaels potentially coming out of retirement for one more match against AJ Styles, but now The Heartbreak Kid has revealed why he turned the match down with The Phenomenal One. A lot of people were disappointed when the match did not happen because Michaels vs. Styles could be something special.
Shawn Michaels is considered by many people to be the greatest in-ring performer in WWE history. In the present day, AJ Styles is now considered the best in-ring performer in the world. That is such a natural story to tell between Michaels and Styles, especially since The Heartbreak Kid would come out of retirement after seven years. The WWE Universe has always hoped to see another match from Shawn Michaels someday.
Apparently, it was also the first time since his retirement that Vince McMahon asked Shawn Michaels if he’d be interested in returning for a match with AJ Styles. Unfortunately, HBK wasn’t willing to do the match. It is understandable after learning his reasons and realizing there are too many complications for the dream match to happen in the present day.
During the latest edition of Table for 3 on the WWE Network, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, and AJ Styles spoke about the possibility for the dream match to happen. One of the biggest problems was HBK being able to compete to the level the fans remember after roughly seven years away from the ring. However, Michaels revealed the logic behind the match would also be difficult to book and had the following to say about it.
“Let me ask you this: who wins? From a business standpoint, what do you do? Old sentimentality. Do you do that and kill [Styles]. It doesn’t do anything for [Styles] and it hurts [Styles] bad.” Michaels continued, “so fine, then you do it to me, and it doesn’t do anything [to hurt Styles] and it’s spectacular. But it’s like if you’re going to come back and do something, why would I do that and lose, whatever, three, four, five in a row or whatever it was? I mean, creatively, that’s kind of anticlimactic as well.”
In a nutshell, Shawn Michaels versus AJ Styles looks fantastic on paper, and would likely be a great technical wrestling match. However, HBK believes that neither man would really benefit from the match. By the logic that match would have, Michaels could wrestle another match with almost anyone for the situation and the money. It doesn’t change the fact that the fans will always have more dream matches that could have been.
Shawn Michaels admitted that he appreciated The Phenomenal One hyping the bout and keeping his name in the minds of the WWE Universe. However, HBK’s wrestling career is truly over, and a comeback at his age after a seven-year absence just isn’t likely. Michaels also made a point to acknowledge that just because you can physically do a match, the risk could ruin what was nearly a perfect ending for The Heartbreak Kid.
“It’s such a perfect story, so to do a sequel… if it were even creatively in the context of the character arc for me, creatively, it would be something interesting, but, like, it would be this whole thing, and this would sit here independently and it feels like a part deux, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the [rest of the overarching story].”
The WWE Universe will always have dream matches that could have been, but some of them aren’t meant to be because of timing or something else. Unfortunately, it seems that Shawn Michaels vs. AJ Styles will stay on the list of matches that never were, but that doesn’t mean the two men can’t work together on WWE TV someday. It just won’t be in the ring.
[Featured Image by WWE]