Relive the brutal clash between Cesaro and Samoa Joe, punctuated by Sami Zayn's sneak attack on The Destroyer, in this slow-motion video captured during the Feb. 27, 2017, edition of Raw.02/28/2017 - 00:30
The Architect speaks on Raw for the first time since suffering an MCL injury at the hands of Samoa Joe, and ponders whether he'll be part of this year's WrestleMania.02/27/2017 - 23:30
What's Michaels' message for The Game?
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels returns to Raw SuperShow this Monday as a guest of EVP of Talent Relations and Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis, and according to Laurinaitis, HBK is coming with a message for Triple H.
Although the WWE Universe remains in the dark as far as what Michaels will tell The Game, the timing of his arrival is conspicuous, coming as Triple H wards off The Undertaker’s challenge for a WrestleMania rematch. Given the volumes of history shared by these three Superstars, it would make sense for The Showstopper’s words of advice to pertain to his friend’s involvement with The Phenom, and his legendary WrestleMania Streak.
After all, it was HBK who unwittingly became swept up in Triple H’s mission to end The Streak last year. In the build-up to The Game’s memorably intense No Holds Barred Match against The Undertaker, Michaels had fingered Triple H as the Superstar most capable of snapping The Streak.
"He can go out there and do what I’ve never been able to do: completely take emotion out of the equation,” HBK said of The King of Kings in February 2011. “He quite possibly is the only guy who can do anything and have absolutely no remorse about it, and I think that’s what it’s going to take to defeat The Undertaker." (WATCH)
Yet, when called upon by his comrade for a vote of confidence during a March 2011 edition of Raw, Michaels reluctantly told Triple H that he did not believe The Game would, in fact, defeat The Deadman. (WATCH) HBK’s prediction ultimately came to fruition; Triple H pushed The Undertaker to the limit at WrestleMania XXVII in an epic, brutal confrontation before finally succumbing to The Phenom’s Hell’s Gate submission hold.
Now, almost a year later, Triple H again finds himself on The Undertaker’s radar during The Road to WrestleMania. This time, however, the dynamic has changed radically, with The Game appearing wholly unwilling to engage The Phenom. On Monday night, Triple H made his reason known, declaring that he respects The Undertaker too much to be the Superstar who puts him down for the count. The Undertaker, hell-bent on erasing the image of him being carted away from the ring after last year’s No Holds Barred contest (PHOTOS), says he’s out for vengeance.
On which side of the fence will HBK come down this Monday?
Will The Showstopper – whose career The Undertaker brought to a close at WrestleMania XXVI – reiterate the position he took last year and tell Triple H that beating The Undertaker on The Grandest Stage of Them All is an unattainable pursuit?
Maybe HBK, having witnessed firsthand the carnage that unfolded last year, will advise his friend to avoid a rematch at all costs. That match undeniably took years off each Superstar’s career, and there is no reason to believe that the punishment inflicted in a rematch would be any less severe.
Or perhaps Michaels has had a change of heart. At WrestleMania XXVII, The Undertaker certainly won his battle against Triple H, though some have questioned if he lost the war. If HBK counts himself among that group, he may very well attempt to sway The Game toward accepting The Phenom’s challenge. An opportunity to end The Streak equates to immortality. Does HBK sense the time is now for Triple H to claim the one accolade that’s eluded him - and so many before him - for all these years?
Regardless of the specific nature of Michaels’ return to Raw, it remains to be seen whether his message will influence The Game’s line of thinking one way or another.
Of course, there’s only one way to learn the exact message that HBK has in store for longtime running mate Triple H, and that’s to tune in to Raw SuperShow this Monday night.