"The Heartbreak Kid" is back. Shawn Michaels is set to wrestle inside a WWE ring for the first time since 2010, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer [subscription required and recommended], who reports Michaels will compete in a tag team match at the upcoming WWE Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia on Friday, Nov. 2.
Michaels, who has made myriad appearances for WWE over the years including serving as a special guest referee in matches and occasionally getting physically involved in a situation with a superkick, was famously retired by The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI in a "streak vs. career" match back in 2010. While he was adamant for the better part of a decade that he would differ from most professional wrestlers who often return to competition after retirement matches by staying permanently retired -- and Michaels turning down prior opportunities to wrestle again made it clear he planned to stay true to that edict -- this scenario appears to be different.
Meltzer believes that Michaels, 53, was simply offered too much money to pass up in this scenario, though he previously refused a similar offer to compete at WWE's first foray into Saudi Arabia back in April, the Greatest Royal Rumble, as part of the company's new agreement with the nation.
As it is presently scheduled, per Meltzer, Michaels will team with Triple H to take on The Undertaker and Kane in a tag team match that will likely serve as the second main event of the show. This seems to be a likely storyline development considering Michaels and Kane will be in the respective corners of Triple H and The Undertaker for their rivalry match at WWE Super Show-Down, a special event being held in Australia on Saturday, Oct. 6. Michaels has already made an appearance on Raw helping sell the singles match. It is unlikely for this match to be officially announced until after Super Show-Down.
The only other matches announced at this time for Crown Jewel are a universal title triple threat match between champion Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman, and a WWE World Cup single-elimination tournament to crown the best superstar in the world. It is similarly believed that Lesnar was unable to turn down a big-money offer to appear on the show despite previously planning to dedicate himself solely to training for an expected UFC heavyweight championship fight against Daniel Cormier in early 2019.
One of the greatest and most famous superstars in WWE history, Michaels has fought 118 pay-per-view matches in his career. His last victory on a PPV was in a tag team title match with Triple H back on Dec. 13, 2009, at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs.
Michaels, 53, a WWE grand slam and triple crown winner who captured four heavyweight championships with WWE, explained back in 2017 that he was propositioned by WWE to end his retirement for a dream match at WrestleMania 33 with AJ Styles. Ultimately, though, Michaels decided it would not be a good idea and turned down the opportunity again noting his desire to remain retired and uphold the unwritten contract he made with fans.
"I wouldn't have retired unless I was ready to walk away," he told The Daily Mirror when asked about the Styles dream match. "I'm flattered that every year when WrestleMania comes up people talk to me about coming back, but I enjoy my time with my family, I enjoy watching WrestleMania, and I also enjoy watching WWE move into the future."
Though he has not been performing in front of live audiences, Michaels has been working at the WWE Performance Center as a trainer, which includes him being inside the ring and working with young talent both on the roster and hoping to one day become WWE superstars. He remains in great shape and should be capable of performing at a high level, though certainly not like that at the time he retired at age 45.