Back in October, current WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles tweeted out a photo that turned the wrestling world upside down. The photo showed The Phenomenal One standing face to face with WWE legend Shawn Michaels, and the photo had the Royal Rumble logo on it. The tweet came shortly after WWE announced that the Royal Rumble show will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, which is Michaels’ hometown.
It’s been 20 years since WWE has held an event at the Alamodome, and the last time they did, Michaels was involved in the show’s main event against Sid Viscous. Of course, Michaels’ in-ring return would help WWE break the attendance record that they set for the event back in 1997, but will the Heartbreak Kid be willing to put the tights on one more time and help set a new attendance record in his hometown? As of this writing, we don’t know the answer to that question, but if he’s willing to come back, AJ Styles is willing to get in the ring with him on January 29.
Styles recently appeared on Booker T’s Heated Conversations show, and he was asked about a possible match with Shawn Michaels at WWE’s annual January event. The Phenomenal One said that, if the WWE fans want to see it, then they should give it to them. He also said the ball is in Michaels’ court.
“It’s not up to me to have those dream matches, it’s up to the WWE Universe to have those dream matches. Whatever they want, I want to deliver; and whether or not Shawn wants to do something like that, that’s up to him. I totally respect who he is and what he has done for this business, so that is totally in his court.”
Shawn Michaels retired back in 2011 following a fantastic match with The Undertaker, and since then, he’s been firmly against returning to the ring.
In an interview that was posted on WWE’s official YouTube page, Michaels explained why he’s chosen to stay retired. Essentially, Michaels has chosen to stay retired because he feels like he can’t top what turned out to be his retirement match. Also, he doesn’t want to risk ruining his legacy by coming back for one more match.
If there’s anyone that Michaels can have a phenomenal match with — pardon the pun — it’s AJ Styles. Since coming to WWE, Styles has cemented his status as the best in-ring performer in the world, which is a title that Michaels once held during both his first and second run with WWE.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, those close to Michaels have said that the Heartbreak Kid is still not interested in returning to the ring. So, sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll get a Michaels vs. Styles match this coming January.
However, it does look like we will get a dream match on January 29, as there is a rumor going around which suggests that AJ Styles will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble show. Of course, the rumor could turn out to be false, but all signs do seem to be pointing to The Phenom returning to take on The Phenomenal One at WWE’s second biggest show of the year.
As of this writing, Styles is recovering from an ankle injury that he suffered at the TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs show. On last week’s SmackDown, Styles came to the ring in a protective boot, and his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with James Ellsworth was called off as a result. We haven’t received an update on Styles’ condition, but WWE is hoping that he’ll be able to return sooner rather than later.