One of professional wrestling's most prominent tropes is the return of an old hero. But, unlike many of his peers, Shawn Michaels has remained adamant about honoring his 2010 retirement.
However, The Heartbreak Kid just relaxed his stance.
"I've been retired for eight years now and when it got to the five-year mark I thought people would start asking me but they just kind of stopped. I think it's one of those that you would never say never about and if it was just for a one-off then it's something that I would take a look at," he said.
Since hanging up his boots, Michaels never once hinted at making a return. Instead, HBK has defended his absence by reasoning that this version of him would pale in comparison to what fans are used to. However, Michaels says that if we can temper our expectations, he'd be more willing to come back.
"It would have to be done the right way and just for one match rather than something that ran for longer," he said. "It could be possible but people would have to accept they wouldn't be getting the Showstopper, Mr. WrestleMania, and that I'm 52 years old now."
With HBK potentially tossing his name back into WWE's hat, the next question has to be this: who would he face?
"If it was the Shawn Michaels of 10 years ago I would love to have gotten in the ring with so many of the guys that are competing today," he said. "AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan would be good, and then there's the guys in NXT too. Someone like a Johnny Gargano would be fantastic. But for a one-off match now, I'd need it to be a tag-team match where Hunter (Triple H) and I can just do a few crotch chops and have some fun."
Considering Triple H just tagged with his wife and semi-wrestler, Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34, conventional wisdom says Shawn Michaels would be a better tag team partner in a one-off match. In short, this seems entirely possible.
While every all-time great has to field questions about a comeback, speculation on Michael's return has reached new heights in recent years. Theories ran wild when HBK showed to WrestleMania 32 in peak physical condition. Rumors of a Royal Rumble match with AJ Styles would soon follow, and considering Michaels actually works in NXT, his jump into WWE's ring seemed all too easy.
But until now, it seemed impossible.
We'll see how this develops, but it's reasonable to at least get excited about seeing the Sweet Chin Music landing on a WrestleMania stage.