What if Shawn Michaels wins the Royal Rumble?
This fall saw the unlikely materialize as Shawn Michaels abandoned an eight and a half year retirement to return to the ring and team up with Triple H under the banner of DX to face off against The Undertaker and Kane at Crown Jewel.
This was a case of the stars aligning to facilitate his return. He was working alongside his real-life best friend and the guy he had trusted to come back against the first time he returned to the ring back in 2002. Moreover, he was working opposite two trusted veterans, and he had a history and trust in particular with The Undertaker. It was a first-time tag team match that made sense and would protect Michaels with Triple H being able to carry more of the load if needed. On top of all that, there was the matter of a Saudi funded payday ensuring HBK a good chunk of change for the night.
Rumors have swirled about Michaels working a handful of other matches on this comeback tour. His official word thus far is that he was only coming back for that match. However, as WWE finds it in a rough spot with Roman Reigns out to battle leukemia, Triple H injured in the tag match at Crown Jewel, and Braun Strowman reportedly working hurt, it seems like an ideal time to break the glass on Michaels as an emergency option on the road to WrestleMania.
So what if Michaels was not only the mix but actually won the Royal Rumble? This article looks at five prospective implications.
5. Shawn Michaels vs. Brock Lesnar
Roman Reigns is out of action. The rumor mill suggests that Braun Strowman is working through knee issues but may not be entrusted with a world title at this point. WWE has chosen to put the Universal Championship on Brock Lesnar, and so the question has quickly become who could possibly be built as a credible challenger to him, especially for a show like WrestleMania?
AJ Styles would be a possibility, particularly if he were pull off the upset against Lesnar in their champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series. Batista is rumored to be lined up for WrestleMania, too, and could offer an intriguing matchup, especially with his presumptive dance partner Triple H out of action. John Cena will always have the cred for this kind of spot, but pairing him against Lesnar hardly feels fresh at this point.
Shawn Michaels offers up a totally different kind of matchup for the Beast Incarnate, though. Physically speaking, he’s a bit laughable as a serious opponent for Lesnar, but in the context of WWE lore and being acknowledged as one of, if not the single greatest Superstar of all time, WWE could tell the tale of him going toe to toe with the Beast Incarnate. A Royal Rumble win, in particular, could position Michaels as a legend back to stand tall for one last showdown.