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Should HBK hang it up?
The severity of Shawn Michaels' concussion from Randy Orton's disgusting punt to the face has many of our fans debating whether an in-ring return is even a reality for HBK. Although doctors have said Michaels' condition has neither improved nor worsened, there is still no official word if he'll ever perform again.
Yet, given all the unknowns, what should HBK do? Is sacrificing his health something the four-time World Champion should even contemplate? Triple H isn't so sure.
The Game is as competition-driven as anyone in sports-entertainment, but believes his best friend's fate should lie in the diagnosis of the medical professionals.
"Shawn needs to listen to his doctor's orders," said Triple H. "If it means the difference between holding his kids in five years, Shawn should definitely stay home. If his doctors say that's it, it's over, then it will be a sad day," he continued. "But, it will also be the best thing for the long-term happiness of Shawn Michaels."
That advice should hold some weight considering the long, storied history Triple H and HBK share with one another. As the original members of D-Generation X -- a faction from the Attitude Era that helped changed the landscape of sports-entertainment -- the duo became synonymous with sophomoric humor, elaborate pranks and, of course, success. DX wreaked havoc on other Superstars, the Chairman and even their sports-entertainment competition, World Championship Wrestling.
But not only is the advice coming from Michaels' former partner, it also comes from someone who has come dangerously close to being forced to hang up his boots on numerous occasions. Having been through the feeling that his days of competition in WWE could very well be over, The Game said the difference between his condition and HBK's is that he was never told to quit competing from his doctors. If he had been given that order, he would have listened.
"My doctors never said to me that I needed to quit, so I did what it took to battle back," said the 10-time World Champion. "Shawn has already come back from injuries that he should have never come back from, this time, though, it's more difficult because you can't train to come back from a concussion. Once you get them, it doesn't take much to keep getting them."
If HBK's last match was at Judgment Day against Randy Orton, he'll leave behind a legacy that will be revered forever. It will also give Orton notoriety as the man who forced one of WWE's most celebrated Superstars into retirement. One can suspect that holding the title of killing the legend of Shawn Michaels would garner a huge target on the Legend Killer's back, but for now, the focus remains on recovery.
"Shawn has done it all in this business; he has nothing left to prove. But if doctors tell him to call it a day, that should be enough for him," reiterated Triple H. "If your brain is scrambled, then you're no good for anything."
And if a return isn't possible, The Game says he will look back on the trail that Michaels blazed en route to becoming one of WWE's most dynamic Superstars as a pedestal that few others will ever reach.
"No matter what happens, Shawn will forever be one of the biggest stars that there's ever been in the history of sports-entertainment; unfortunately the only thing we can do now is wait to see if we'll get to see him in the ring again."