If it was up to Shawn Michaels, he wouldn’t return to WWE, not because of any conflict with the company, but rather because he chooses to honor his retirement from wrestling and focus on his duties as a family man. But in a new interview, the “Heartbreak Kid” admitted that there may be some circumstances that may convince him to return to the ring.
Michaels was only 32-years-old in 1998 when he had first took an extended break away from wrestling, though this marked the second time he would retire, counting his controversial “lost my smile” retirement announcement from February 1997. That 1997 retirement lasted only a few months, but it would be four years before Shawn Michaels made a return to WWE as an active wrestler after he had hung up his boots a second time in 1998. Despite his previous history of injuries, Shawn was a regular part of WWE television and a top-tier performer until 2010, when he retired after losing a career-ending match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI.
Since WrestleMania XXVI, Michaels has been a man of his words, making occasional appearances in WWE angles, but not competing in any actual matches. Late last year, rumors had swirled regarding a potential Shawn Michaels vs. AJ Styles match at Royal Rumble 2017, an event scheduled for January 29 at the Alamodome, in Shawn’s hometown of San Antonio.
Interesting photo….. is it not? pic.twitter.com/MKgF4XoAF1
— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) October 20, 2016
Speaking to Dallas radio station 103.5 The Fan and quoted by ComicBook.com, Shawn Michaels poured cold water on a rumored return to WWE at Royal Rumble 2017. In that December interview, HBK suggested that WWE has “happily moved on” from him, and while he did put over Styles as a “phenomenal” competitor and admitted he’d be thrilled to receive a hero’s welcome in his hometown, he added that he hasn’t been asked by WWE about a potential appearance at Royal Rumble.
“No one has even contacted me about that show. I don’t know if anyone cares that I’m from there.”
Now that he’s promoting his new film The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, which premieres today, Shawn Michaels is very much in the public eye once again, and was just recently on Monday Night RAW to hype up the film and find himself in the middle of the Rusev and Lana vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass feud. But as he told Fox News in an interview this week, he’s “learned to ignore the pressure” he gets when people ask him if he wants to return to in-ring action for WWE.
Michaels also reiterated the reasons why he had retired as a wrestler in 2010, at a time when his son was 10 and his daughter was 5 – he wanted to spend time with his family as his kids grow up, and could never bring back the time he missed with his children because of his duties as an active WWE Superstar.
“I learned very early that you don’t get time back. I’d miss my children growing up so that’s the reason I retired.”
But as the expression goes in WWE, anything can happen. Last year, fans got to see Bill Goldberg return to the company after an acrimonious split and 12 years away from the WWE ring, and there are many other examples of surprising and/or remarkable returns to the ring, including Shawn Michaels’ own return to WWE in 2002 after he was sidelined for years with injuries. And if there’s something that would push Shawn to “tune up the band” for his Sweet Chin Music finisher once again, it may be something extreme that would force him to earn a living in the one thing he proved to be truly gifted at.
“No, I don’t want to go back and wrestle again…But some big bubble could break and I might need money like everybody else. It’s wrestle or bag groceries – (that’s) all I’m qualified to do.”
Nonetheless, Shawn Michaels isn’t thinking of returning to the WWE at the moment. And with The Resurrection of Gavin Stone now out, he would prefer it that fans focus on his role in the film, where born-again Christian Michaels plays a character he relates to due to its real-life parallels — a tough ex-con whose life is “dramatically changed” by his faith.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]