Obviously the most controversial aspect of the shows WWE is putting on in Saudi Arabia is their connection to the autocratic regime of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, but easily the second most controversial aspect is the trend of once-great WWE stars coming out of retirement to put on lackluster and regrettable matches. Before the disastrous Undertaker versus Goldberg match at Super ShowDown, there was the merely unfortunate DX versus Brothers of Destruction match at last Fall’s Crown Jewel. That one featured Shawn Michaels, who hadn’t wrestled in years prior, and has shown no further interest in wrestling since.
In an appearance on the ChallengeMania podcast, HBK offered his perspective, which seems to be basically that he doesn’t regret coming back for that show, because that show didn’t really count anyway:
No, there are no regrets, but … so again, honestly, and no one will ever believe me but I’ll tell you anyway [laughs], but honestly, again it was — it’s not a WrestleMania, it’s not a this, it’s not a … to me it wasn’t coming back as the Heartbreak Kid. It was a tag [match]. I know that’s not the same, and I know nobody will understand it, but in my mind, it was like a glorified house show, a live event … I don’t mean that to be intellectually insulting to the wrestling fan, but in my mind, it was just so not the same.
He continued to be easygoing about the whole thing when asked why he decided to participate in that show. In short: They asked him.
I got asked. It was almost like, as a favor [laughs]. And it was totally just, Hunter and I [did] the DX thing, a tag match. None of that felt like — it felt like a totally separate entity to me than the other. And that’s why I felt okay doing it. And the thing is, it was done with the intent of again, being a nice little fun thing to do. And I can’t say that it turned out to be all that fun. It was okay, and it was great being out there with those guys. But again, it was just one of those things that you sorta do because you’re a company dude and you go, “Oh alright, you know, I’ll do this” and it’s separate and all that. To me it just sort of lives out there on its own.
The obvious thing that goes unmentioned in these quotes (helpfully transcribed by 411Mania) is the amount of money he was paid. At the end of the day, though, he’s not exactly wrong. His argument is that is that nobody should worry to much about what happened at Crown Jewel, and we’re certainly doing our best to ignore it.