For months, Shawn Michaels has acted as JBL’s employee, doing his boss’ bidding in the self-made millionaire’s failed attempts to become World Heavyweight Champion. Facing the self-proclaimed “wrestling god” at No Way Out in an "All or Nothing" Match, HBK has an opportunity to free himself from Layfield’s thrall, though he’ll also have to place the rights to his name and likeness on the line.
These unique stipulations grew out of Shawn Michaels’ performance review, which was given to him by his employer live on Raw. JBL was incensed that in spite of the money he had paid to Michaels, he still does not possess the World Heavyweight Title, and what’s worse, has little opportunity to obtain it between now and WrestleMania XXV. After publicly upbraiding his employee, Layfield gave HBK an opportunity to not only escape their arrangement but to be paid in full for the length of the odious, one-year contract. But in order to be free to once again be The Showstopper, Michaels had to place his name and likeness in the balance, which if JBL tastes victory, would give Layfield the right to increase his wealth on HBK’s back in perpetuity.
Michaels’ deal with the devil began months ago at Armageddon, when in the wake of personal financial disaster, HBK agreed to work for JBL. Since then, Michaels has made clear his distaste for his deplorable employer, but in the interest of providing for his family, he did what was asked of him. At the self-made millionaire’s urging, The Showstopper attacked World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, disqualified one of JBL’s opponents, and even laid down in a match against his employer, but throughout, HBK has struggled to maintain his integrity.
That struggle almost became too heavy a burden when, after pitting Michaels in a match against Mark Henry, JBL ordered his employee to bring his wife Rebecca to watch the match in hopes of humiliating HBK in front of his family.
At No Way Out, if Michaels wins, he can have his cake and eat it too: Simultaneously safeguard his integrity and provide for his family. However, if he loses, he will be forever in service to JBL, his name and likeness rented out to the highest bidder as part of Layfield’s business empire. Will Shawn Michaels earn his release from his contract, or will he find that there’s No Way Out?
To find out the winner of the match and the fate of Shawn Michaels’ proud name, make sure to watch No Way Out, live on pay-per-view.
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