The heated exchange between Dolph Ziggler and Shawn Michaels on this week’s SmackDown Live — which ended with Ziggler superkicking the legend — teased a match between the pair at SummerSlam. As noted by WrestlingInc., however, the Wrestling Observer‘s Dave Meltzer reports there are no plans for a bout between the cocky upstart and the WWE Hall of Famer at the pay-per-view.
In the segment, Ziggler told Michaels that he idolized him growing up as a fan, but these days he’s ashamed of the legend because of his less-than-impressive performance in his recent comeback match. Michael agreed with Ziggler that the match wasn’t the Heartbreak Kid’s finest hour, but he also accused Ziggler of being a Michaels wannabe who will never reach the same heights as him.
In the world of professional wrestling, the old saying of “never say never” carries some weight. Whenever a performer announces their retirement from in-ring competition, it’s usually taken with a pinch of salt. Nine times out of 10, the retired performer returns for at least one more match down the line. The fans love the legends, and most legends love a big payday.
That said, for years, Michaels seemed intent on bucking the trend. After losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26, the WWE Hall of Famer vowed never to return to action out of respect for the Deadman. But at last year’s Super ShowDown event in Saudi Arabia, Michaels paired up with his D-Generation X cohort Triple H to face his old nemesis and Kane. The match was critically lambasted and seemed to mark the actual end of Michaels’ in-ring career.
Shawn Michaels sold this like a pro. What's next for the Showstopper?https://t.co/7TZDbnARyJ
— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) July 24, 2019
If that match proved anything, though, it’s that Michaels can be coaxed into wrestling. That’s why his segment on this week’s SmackDown Live was particularly interesting. The promo hinted towards a redemption angle for Michaels, who might want to end his in-ring career on a high following the negative reception to the ill-fated tag team match. While another comeback can’t ever be ruled out, it doesn’t appear to be on his agenda for the time being.
Like Michaels during his prime, Ziggler is known for putting on great matches with almost every opponent he faces. That, coupled with the storyline hinted at on this week’s SmackDown Live, makes a potential match between the pair an exciting prospect.
Furthermore, a match with Michaels would give Ziggler a main event program to sink his teeth into after spending recent months failing to win the WWE Championship from Kofi Kingston.