Is there still one more match left in The Heartbreak Kid before he truly hangs up his boots? While Shawn Michaels proclaimed for years that is done being an in-ring performer for WWE, the former world champion and one of the most popular wrestlers to ever set foot in a ring had some interesting comments about who he might want to face if he were to lace them up again.
With rumors swirling of Michaels facing AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble, a match that never materialized, are there others who might be more appealing to the 51-year-old Michaels?
“I think everybody would like to see me against AJ Styles at WrestleMania,” said Michaels. “That’s one that people have talked about, but I also really like Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins. I saw Samoa Joe when he was down here at NXT and his stuff looked really good. It’s one of those things, from an older guy’s standpoint, you think, oh my god, it would be a piece of cake.”
Joe presents an interesting proposition – if we are talking about hypothetical matches. The size difference makes it a bit more appealing for Michaels, who told SI.com he would have an easier time with the former NXT Champion because he is good at getting beaten up in the ring.
“Samoa Joe’s stuff looks so good and crisp, and he’s a pretty tough, rugged-looking dude, so that would work to my strengths. It’s a different kind of match than an AJ-Shawn match. An AJ-Shawn match would be something that you’d expect to be like what you saw with Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle.
“That’s a lot of fun to do, but it is also a lot of work. I guess I speak more of Samoa Joe because it is one of those things that can be good, like a Shawn and ’Taker, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to do physically. Of course, when you get up there in age, those are the things you think about. It’s more about the story you’ve got to tell and it’s a little less physical. That’s when I think, ‘That would be a piece of cake and be a lot of fun.’ But there are a number of talented guys out there, and the world of the WWE is in good hands with the talent at the top.”
Of all the guys who have “retired” from the business, Michaels is the one name that keeps coming up in rumors and conversation, but never is part of a program at a WWE main event. Goldberg was teased for WrestleMania 32 in Dallas as Shane McMahon’s replacement in the Hell in a Cell Match with The Undertaker. There was talk Batista may also fill the role of McMahon’s proxy. That too never happened. The Rock could come back to the ring at a moment’s notice, as he was originally thought to be part of a match with Ronda Rousey against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Again, nothing happened. Maybe nothing comes of this most recent story on the Internet, but it sure will have fans talking about its “potential.”
Because Michaels is now working at the WWE Performance Center it’s a good bet his name will again be mentioned as a possible opponent for any host of upcoming stars or veterans who want to make it happen once again in the ring. And since WrestleMania 33 is being held in Orlando, the event where he “retired” Ric Flair from action, those rumors of “one more time” should continue to heat up.
If a match with Joe were to materialize, it might be a solid angle moving forward since he is aligned with Triple H, Michaels’ best friend and former member of The Kliq and Degeneration X.