While Shawn Michaels is one of the greatest in-ring performers in WWE history, those days are long gone. Aside from his comeback match with Triple H against The Undertaker and Kane at Crown Jewel, 2018, Michaels has taken on more of a backstage role since his retirement as a full-time wrestler at Wrestlemania XXVI in 2010.
But that will be changing.
Michaels, now the Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, focusing specifically on NXT, has been the subject of criticism from NXT wrestler, Grayson Waller. Waller has stated on NXT TV as well as on social media that he hasn’t gotten the opportunities he’s deserved, because he’s not one of Michaels’ projects. An example of that came Tuesday on Twitter.
On Tuesday, Waller had a question-and-answer session on his Instagram stories. He was calling for questions from his followers, saying “Mr. Michaels won’t let me on TV, ask me anything.”
One question came in. “Why is Mr. Michaels such a hater.” Waller shared his answer on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, Grayson Waller isn’t a Mr. Michaels guy. You know? I’m not some former college athlete with no charisma. I’m not a flop from the UK. I’m not a microwrestler who reminds Shawn of himself and I don’t have a famous wrestling dad.”
Michaels responded. At next week’s NXT Roadblock, he and Waller will share the ring together.
“Every day I focus on the development of the young men and women of NXT. I had my time in the spotlight. Now that attention should be directed on these incredible Superstars.”
“However, knowing Grayson’s behavior will only get worse, and against my better judgment, l accept the invitation to be on the Grayson Waller Effect next week at Roadblock and promise to be as professional as I can be.”
However, knowing Grayson's behavior will only get worse, and against my better judgment, l accept the invitation to be on the Grayson Waller Effect next week at Roadblock and promise to be as professional as I can be.
— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) March 1, 2023
Fans were giddy with excitement.
Ok this about to be LITT
— Ms.Melly Swallow Kids ‼️ (@ladianamelion) March 1, 2023
One more match from HBK then, and only then… retirement https://t.co/6pHEY8jl67
— JoshChig (@JoshChig) March 1, 2023
— Carolin Aquino Lay 🇩🇴 (@Carolayaquino23) March 1, 2023
You are so amazing Shawn 💞
— QtpieJillybeans💝🗡️(#KrossCult) (@jillsteet05) March 1, 2023
Another WWE star, Santos Escobar, even volunteered to be there for Michaels if needed.
— SANTOS ESCOBAR💀🇲🇽 (@EscobarWWE) March 1, 2023
Should Michaels return to the ring? Probably not. He’s 57 and hasn’t wrestled in nearly five years. Additionally, that match didn’t go terribly well.
That said, these talking segments rarely go down without something physical happening, especially when Michaels is involved. In a Barber Shop segment, hosted by Brutus Beefcake that aired in January, 1992, Michaels famously broke up The Rockers, by kicking Marty Jannetty, his then-tag-team partner in the face and throwing him through a plate-glass window. Years later, he would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Chris Jericho on The Highlight Reel.
So, it may not turn into one final match for the Heartbreak Kid. But don’t expect this to just be a debate.