It's a 51-mile drive from Chandler, Arizona to Glendale. The former is the birthplace of one Michael Shawn Hickenbotton, aka Shawn Michaels, while the latter is the site of his final wrestling match at the age of 44. "The Heartbreak Kid" decreed one year earlier in a radio interview that WrestleMania 26 would be the probable end of his long, controversial, and memorable career, and it just so happened to be taking place in Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium, moderate driving distance from where he was born in 1965.
At the time of Michaels' departure, WWE had since fulfilled McMahon's long-standing desire to embrace celebrity hobnobbing with a full-on leg hump, turning Monday Night Raw into an irksome variety show with guest hosts and "comedy" writing that was generally less funny than your average head-of-state funeral.
Across his two-plus decades as a member of the WWE family in one form or another, Michaels witnessed many changes to the aesthetic and tone of his employer. The WWE he was leaving behind stank of desperation and hollow jubilation. As Max Landis would say, "wrestling isn't wrestling", but WWE in 2010 was becoming something altogether unfamiliar and offbeat.
At least Michaels got to leave in a way that wrestling fans would best recognize him: as the undoubted "Showstopper".