Nostalgia can be a double-edged sword.

There's a time and a place for the past in professional wrestling. The "nostalgia pop" garnered by superstars like "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and "Road Dogg" Jesse James during the Royal Rumble are one example.

The return of Shawn Michaels to Raw this Monday is another. Michaels and Triple H had the crowd eating out of their hands during a segment on the show, in which Michaels pleaded with Triple H to accept the Undertaker's challenge for a rematch at WrestleMania.

These two are veterans who know each other well. I've gone on record saying that while I don't expect the imminent rematch to be appealing, the build should be fantastic. The former DX brethren proved that again Monday night.

Michaels called "The Game" a coward for backing down, while Triple H cited business reasons for his decision. The Undertaker's streak is a brand, he said, and ending it would hurt the WWE overall, which, as he pointed out, is his to inherit.

Through it all, the crowd clamored for "one more match" and chanted "H-B-K." When Michaels left the ring, the Deadman's gong elicited yet another pop from the crowd, and the viewers were treated to another excellent video package.

These three men know how to tell a story, and they're knocking it out of the park with this effort. I know somewhere backstage, this blog's patriarch Kevin Eck was trying his best not to "mark out" in front of his colleagues.

But therein lies the problem. Triple H and Undertaker are both working very reduced schedules, in the twilight of their careers. Michaels is retired, only making a series of special appearances to promote and advance this story.

Add to that the prominence of The Rock's role in WrestleMania, and the issues of that nostalgia presence becomes obvious. The "old guard" can help tell stories now and advance toward WrestleMania, but what happens in May?

When the smoke of WrestleMania has cleared, and the WWE landscape looks to a new horizon, these legends will return to their off-screen roles, but where does that leave the WWE?

One can't deny the benefits of these nostalgic presences, but we must also hope that the company will continue to simultaneously build new stars for the future. A series of matches between the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match for Sunday's pay per view showed promise in that regard, but the necessary building of stars will take much more time than just a few shows.

In the meantime, though, it's best to just enjoy the ride and take in the nostalgia while we can. Eventually these guys will be gone for good, so it's best to cherish the memories while we can.

 

Quick Hits

 

  • The show opened with a debate featuring the six Elimination Chamber WWE Championship match participants. Yes, a debate. No, this wasn't NXT. R-Truth's promo had some humorous lines, but it quickly ran its course. Chris Jericho and Kofi Kingston actually took advantage of the opportunity to cut a short-but-solid promo. Dolph Ziggler stole CM Punk's "voice of the people" gimmick when he confidently declared, "This debate is a joke." Can't say I disagree.

 

The real winner of the debate was Kingston, who not only cut a decent little promo about being overlooked, but also jumped Jericho, his opponent for the night, from behind. Kingston showed more fire in this segment than he has in a while. He then put on a solid little match with Jericho that made him look good, as he managed to get in more offense than most viewers likely expected. Kingston has no chance of winning Sunday's Elimination Chamber match, but maybe there is life after Air Boom.