Following his back surgery and time off, Shawn returned to WWE in 2002. That return would last until 2010 when he retired. When asked whether or not Shawn had imagined he'd stick around for that long, he said his original intention was to have just that one match with Triple H at Summerslam, then seeing how that went, perhaps doing more. Shawn had an excellent match at Summerslam, and as a result was then booked to win the World title for a brief reign. He dropped the title at 3 Stages of Hell, and then intended on taking a break. Before he got chance to go, Shawn had some promo time with Chris Jericho. When he went to speak to Vince about taking a break, Vince said there was noticeable chemistry between HBK & Y2J. Apparently Jericho followed them into the room and said the exact same thing. Shawn couldn't deny it, and so he and Jericho embarked on a successful rivalry, which culminated in their match at Wrestlemania 19. The success of his match and feud with Jericho reinstated Shawn's confidence, and confirmed that he still had the ability to perform to the level that he wanted to. By that point, Shawn was happy to tell Vince, 'I think I'm back'.