WWE Legend Shawn Michaels has long been regarded one of, if not the, greatest of all time. He wowed audiences in the 1980s and 1990s with incredible in-ring performances as a solo act, and as part of the incredible tag team “The Rockers” with Marty Jannetty.
Despite being a multi-time world champion and main eventing multiple Wrestlemania’s, Michael’s was forced into retirement in 1998, aged just 33. Back injuries took it’s toll on the Heart Break Kid, and he instead turned to training the next generation of wrestlers, including Paul London and Bryan Danielson.
While many people thought his last match was Shawn Michaels vs Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14, it would not be the end of the Showstoppers career. While he took a four year break from WWE, he wrestled one match in his own training school promotion, known as Texas Wrestling Alliance.
The former WWE Champion wrestled his student Venom at TWA Total Impact, on the 4th of April 2000. The match was two years after his WWE retirement, and Shawn Michaels defeated Venom in a Bunkhouse Brawl match to win the TWA Heavyweight Championship.
However, that would not be the end of Shawn Michaels’ career. He returned to WWE in 2002, taking on former team mate Triple H at Summerslam 2002. The pair had an epic rivalry which would span years, which included the Heart Break Kid winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H, and the pair losing in a triple threat match in the main event of Wrestlemania 22, to Chris Benoit.
After his 2002 return, Shawn Michaels became a regular wrestler in WWE again. His second run was better than his first, with him putting on some of the best matches of all time. He had classic bouts against the likes of Triple H, John Cena and The Undertaker, and they were some of the best WWE matches ever.
Most people would like to believe that Shawn Michaels last match was against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Their second Wrestlemania bout in a row had a “career vs streak” stipulation, with Michaels being forced to retire if he lost the match.
While their Wrestlemania 25 match is considered by many as the greatest Wrestlemania match of all time, their Wrestlemania 26 match was not quite as good but still was an incredible spectacle. It was one of the few times fans actually believed that the Streak could come to an end, and Shawn Michaels was defeated by the Undertaker in the best retirement match of all time.
Or, it would have been. If not for a disastrous match in 2018 that threatened to tarnish the incredible legacy of The Showstopper.
Shawn Michaels’ Last Match
Shawn Michael’s last match took place on WWE Crown Jewel 2018, in Saudi Arabia on 2nd November 2018. Shawn Michaels teamed with Triple H, as D-Generation X to take on The Undertaker and Kane, as The Brothers of Destruction.
The match was a dream match for money, with DX and Brothers of Destruction being two of WWE’s most legendary tag teams. All four men are hall of fame worthy superstars and are four of the greatest WWE wrestlers ever.
However, it was a disaster. The match didn’t show much promise before the bell rang, with all four men being over 50 and well past their primes. Neither man was a full-time wrestler and everyone was just hoping that all four men got out of the match without hurting each other (like Undertaker vs Goldberg).
That did not happen. Early in the match, Triple H suffered a torn pectoral muscle. This left Michaels, in his first match in 8 years, to take control of the match. Kane and Undertaker suffered greatly with their mobility late in their career, and this were not the most explosive duo during this match.
To make matters worse, Kane lost his mask and wig at one point in the match, a hilarious image that just summed up Shawn Michaels’ disastrous last match. Triple H pinned Kane for the win, despite his injury, and DX won this first time match-up against Kane and The Undertaker.
Despite teasing matches against Bryan Danielson and AJ Styles, Shawn Michaels hasn’t wrestled again since. He is likely to stay retired, as he is 56 years old and currently the head booker in WWE, in the absence of Triple H due to a cardiac event.
Shawn Michaels’ last match was labelled “The Worst Match Ever” by former WWE and AEW Champion Chris Jericho. It was truly terrible and significantly affected Shawn Michaels legacy in WWE. Had he stayed retired he would have had the greatest final match in the history of the World Wrestling Entertainment and gone out as one of the biggest and respected legends of all time.
However, he instead went for the money. According to Conrad Thompson, the former WWE Champion took an eye-watering $3 million payday to ruin his perfect ending and wrestling one last time in Saudi Arabia. The podcast host and son-in-law of Ric Flair said about the Heart Break Kid’s last match;
“I do think it’s interesting that this is Shawn Michaels’ last match. He got paid a fu*k ton of money here, millions of dollars. I don’t know if it’s true, but I heard he got like $3 million for this match. Like if that’s real, of course he had to wrestle again. Are you kidding?'”
WWE has reportedly offered huge money for legends to come out of retirement for a big Saudi Arabia match. The Royal Family reportedly asked WWE to book The Ultimate Warrior and Yokozuna for their first show, despite the pair having been dead for a number of years. They also reportedly offered The Rock $20 million for one last match, which the Hollywood star turned down.
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