It all ended in 1998 when Shawns health had deteriorated to the point where his back just couldn't handle it anymore, and was forced to retire. He had just re-invented himself yet again, forming DX with Triple H and Chyna, and bringing edgy TV that was a major part of the "WWF Attitude Era." During this era, the stories of Shawns backstage antics took center stage, as he basically brought the character everyone read about backstage to live TV, and the results were must see TV! His last match at WrestleMania 14 with Stone Cold Steve Austin was a passing the torch moment, and HBK was gone for over 4 years besides a few appearances. Then in 2002, I was there live when Kevin Nash announced the returning HBK as an nWo member. I was shocked and thrilled, but even more pumped a few months later when it was announced Michaels was returning to the ring.
He had a good run with some good matches and even a short World Title reign. HBK was back full time, everything seemed good, and then.......it all came crashing down. The Shawn Michaels i knew, who went out and did and said whatever he wanted, didn't give a shit about who got pissed. The guy who would get pissed off in the middle of a match and start cussing his ass off if he felt like it, or who would go out in Madison Square Garden and do a curtain call with his buddies on their last night before leaving for rival WCW, was suddenly coming out and talking about finding God, and how the lord was on his side. Was saying he loved his wife and kid, and in more than one of his last few matches over the past few years, it seems like he went out there with the attitude of "I'll just go out and do my best, and if I lose, oh well, I still have God." This guy who's bad ass attitude made me his biggest fan, is out here being the biggest pansy asses I've ever seen. This was like a totally different guy here, he fell victim to WWE's unwritten rule that "good guys" have to be pansy ass goofy fruits. When DX returned this past summer, i figured "WOW ok NOW we get the old Shawn Michaels".....nope, we get Shawn Michaels and Triple H being goofier than ever, and Shawn Michaels leaving during any scene that would be deemed "Unholy." Then, just a month or so ago, Triple H's quad tear caused Shawn Michaels to be put in a different situation. Suddenly he was on TV saying the "Old" Shawn Michaels was back, and suddenly all he was interested in was winning the WWE title, one last time, and getting there by any means necessary! Now THIS i can relate to, THIS is the mindset of the OLD Shawn Michaels. And now, for weeks, I've seen the evidence as Shawn hasn't been John Cena's best friend, he's reluctantly teaming with him if he has to, but the bad ass attitude is creeping back in, thank.....God.
So here we are, on our way to WrestleMania, where John Cena defends the WWE Title against the REAL Shawn Michaels. Shawn has been to the big dance b4, and now he has the chance, to be the showstopper one more time, and to steal the biggest show of the year, and to be the guy to beat John Cenas ass at WrestleMania, and give the fans what they truly want. Last year we had to sit through Cena beating HHH and ruining WrestleMania along with Rey Mysterio winning the World Title. This year, hopefully the old HBK shows up, and gives us 1 more great WrestleMania Moment as should be expected from one of the greatest in ring performers of our time.