Heading for a heartbreak?
Shawn Michaels stole the show when he crashed WWE Champion Randy Orton's appreciation ceremony last Monday night on Raw. But was the Showstopper's shocking return just a brief interlude before the Legend Killer brings the curtain down on him for the last time?
After all, Orton gave HBK a severe concussion that put him on the shelf for five months. Before this past Monday's Raw, our fans' last image of Michaels was at Judgment Day in May, when he was taken away on a stretcher following a skull-jarring punt to the head by Orton. He was unconscious, and his wife was weeping as paramedics gave him oxygen and rushed him to the nearest medical facility. In the months that followed, Orton bragged to anyone within earshot that he had ended HBK's career. Shawn Michaels was just another notch in his Legend-Killing belt, a victim en route to the WWE Championship. (WATCH: HBK After Judgment Day)
Thanks to Sweet Chin Music on Monday, Orton found out that rumors of HBK's retirement were greatly exaggerated, and now the new WWE Champion could very well see more of Michaels if fans elect to have them square off for the title at Cyber Sunday on Oct. 28. If you expect Orton to crumble under this pressure, you better not hold your breath. HBK's return just may give the Legend Killer more ammunition to finish the job. (WATCH: HBK's Return to Raw)
Ask former WWE Champion John Cena and his father how relentless and vicious Orton can be. Or Cody Rhodes and his Hall of Famer father, Dusty, who was also sidelined by Orton. Attacking an opponent's family is considered taboo in the world of sports-entertainment, but Orton, a third-generation Superstar, has never had a problem crossing that sacred line. His list of victims shows that he will do anything to prove a point -- and that's why HBK could be in real danger.
As great as it was to see Michaels walk down to the ring on Monday, white cowboy hat and all, and confront Orton, he could be jeopardizing his health in the long-run. HBK has a history of concussions, which Orton has already exploited and could attempt to do again. Look at all the football players who have had to retire because of repeated concussions. More than 20 years of ring wars have taken their toll on Michaels -- does he really want to risk possible permanent damage? Does he want to be wheeled out of the ring on a stretcher again and risk having that be the last image fans see in his illustrious career?
Maybe that is what drove HBK to return and target Orton. Or maybe he just wanted to prove that he could once again overcome the odds. In 1998, Michaels -- and doctors and WWE observers alike -- thought his career was over after a debilitating back injury. However, four years later, HBK not only returned to the ring, but won the World Heavyweight Championship. His in-ring career in WWE had a second life. (Read more about HBK's overcoming the odds ...)
And to Randy Orton's chagrin, it appears his rivalry with HBK now has a second life as well. It's clear the Showstopper has started writing the second act in their play. The only question is: Who will be taking a bow after the final curtain?