Ok, I admit it, I watch wrestling occasionaly, and I am a huge fan. Get over it.
Its hard not to; growing up in Kuwait, it aired every friday on Sports Channel 3, and, like all guys, I had a huge affinity to Shawn Michaels, the Heart Break Kid.
Shawn epitomised the care-free man; he was confident, charismatic, funny, flamboyant. I was instantly hooked as a fan. Ever since the days of The Rockers. To this day I would only tune in to the WWE if he was show-cased. I was even there when the WWE (back then WWF) came to Kuwait, and have a candid snap of him at the airport, with title in tow (albeit being in a briefcase!).
Unlike all other wrestlers, Shawn has maintained his physique throughout his WWE career (as opposed to Hunter who buffed out after taking the Triple H gimmick), his attitude has differed, he has played both face and heel and in either role, the crowd loved him. I still remember his first farewell, they played a wonderful music video entitled "Tell me a lie", a verse:
You always were my angel,
Flying high above,
Always looking out for me,
The Angel that I love,
Hurt too much to look at now,
Reminders of our Past,
Tell me a lie, and say that you won't go,
Look in my eye, and hold me even though,
I realise, you have to walk away,
No more yesterday.
Now, I know that wrestling is just scripted drama, I can pretty much call a match play-by-play, and give an almost 90% accurate guess as to the outcome. After watching Wrestlemania however, the flagship of WWE PPV, I have to say; Wow. Shawn Michaels, hats off to you. I was skeptical if he could pull off a match as spectacular as the last Wrestlemania, but I was humbly proven wrong. When he mounted the top rope I was expecting a vintage elbow drop, that moonsault caught me completely off-guard, and left me yelling praises at the top of my lungs and doubting his sanity.
I knew in my heart of hearts however, no way was Shawn going to pull a victory over The Undertaker. A streak of 17 victories in Wrestlemania shall probably be retired as well. Both superstars represent the last of the old school wrestlers (Big Show and Chris Jericho do not count as they were WCW). It was a fitting end to Shawn's fabled, story-book career.
Granted, the ending was a little cliche, but its message was loud and clear. Mutual respect. A respect for a two decade plus career of sports entertainment.
Watching Shawn wrestle his last match was like saying goodbye to a part of my childhood. He will forever remain the Heart Break Kid, and the Wrestling World is now a little darker with the departure of Shawn's Light. He will indeed be missed.
In closing, a quote from a sticker book I filled out, back in the day (or maybe a Sega game, I'm not entirely sure):
Shawn Michaels: "I'm the greatest thing going on gods green earth."