I spoke to a source within WWE this morning who relayed to me a very interesting story concerning a recent backstage encounter between Shawn Michaels and former WWE Champion Sheamus. According to the source, Michaels approached Sheamus and said, "in case you haven't heard, I'm not going to be around much after WrestleMania, and it's time for the guys like you to step up and main event with all the current top guys, and then bring up the next tier and make them top guys. Your time is NOW!"
Words to that effect.
We have been reporting for several weeks now that Shawn Michaels plans to take time off after WrestleMania, but this time around it might be different since there is no time table for his return. This doesn't mean that he will lose to The Undertaker at the PPV, but that his time off could be significantly longer this time around that it was last year after WrestleMania 25. I was even told that HBK could be held off until next year's 'Mania when he can do the big sendoff much like WWE did for Ric Flair.
I was also told that Sheamus is being told by guys like HBK to step up in every conceivable way, and that he needs to to be a leader to the young guys, but at the same time he needs to be very careful not to step on Randy Orton's toes. That's as big of a part of this story as anything, because a lot of the locker room really likes Randy because he has stood up when the time's right, and also because they all feel he's truly the best in the ring right now, even though his temper tantrums in and out of the ring have some people pointing fingers.