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He did come back in 2002 and gave us like 25 classic matches at least for the next 8 years, but how much would you say(if at all) those 8 years helped establish Shawn as a bigger legend than when he was when he retired in 1998?
 

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Yes he was already a legend. Those extra 8 years made him a bigger legend as he proved he could still put on tremendous perfomances, winning many match of the year. He was also entertaining as a heel and face.
 

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I don't think his peers saw him as a legend at that time. Especially considering the fact that he was a coked out asshole.

He did his legacy a favor by coming back and as you said, put on amazing matches one after another.
 

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He was a legend at this time, no doubt about that but with his second run, he won something called the respect. I would say that he was a legend like Cena, he is a legend but many people don't accept it because of his push
 

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If you were a casual fan for the 90's then by 02 HBK was a legend for sure, however if you knew the circumstances surrounding hbk in the 90's and why he left or rather got fired whatever you want to call it then you might have had a different opinion, but I think what his run post 02 did for him was just massive, he proved he was clean, he didn't need his asshole heel gimmick(which is GOAT) but he could outshow anyone in the ring at a time where you thought he was past his prime and he got to show what he had to a larger younger audience and even turn a few haters back on his side, hell i'd say he could still outshow anyone on the roster today.
 
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I don't see how he wasn't a 'legend' already. His feud with Razor was an all time classic. He basically main evented WM 11 (unless you count the LT bullshit) 12 & 14. Was in the first ever HIAC match. Was on the frontline as the AE started.

He was a slam dunk HOF'r and probably top 20 guy in WWE history already at that point IMO. Don't see how anyone can say he wasn't.
 

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If you were a casual fan for the 90's then by 02 HBK was a legend for sure, however if you knew the circumstances surrounding hbk in the 90's and why he left or rather got fired whatever you want to call it then you might have had a different opinion, but I think what his run post 02 did for him was just massive, he proved he was clean, he didn't need his asshole heel gimmick(which is GOAT) but he could outshow anyone in the ring at a time where you thought he was past his prime and he got to show what he had to a larger younger audience and even turn a few haters back on his side, hell i'd say he could still outshow anyone on the roster today.
I don't see how his personal life or relationship with 'the boys' has much to do with his status as a legend in the industry.

OJ Simpson is a murderer but that doesn't mean he wasn't an amazing football player and hall of famer.
 

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3 WWE Titles, which was big deal back then
2 Five Star matches
Leader of Original DX
Curtain Call
Montreal Screw Job
A plethora of great matches

I would consider him a legend, but without his 2nd run he wouldn't be in near as many people GOAT list.
 

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Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI Feud of the Year (2008) vs. Chris Jericho
PWI Match of the Year (1993)[188] vs. Marty Jannetty on Monday Night Raw on May 17
PWI Match of the Year (1994)[189] vs. Razor Ramon in a Ladder match at WrestleMania X
PWI Match of the Year (1995)[6] vs. Diesel at WrestleMania XI
PWI Match of the Year (1996)[6] vs. Bret Hart in an Iron Man match at WrestleMania XII
PWI Match of the Year (2004)[188] vs. Chris Benoit and Triple H at WrestleMania XX
PWI Match of the Year (2005)[188] vs. Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 21
PWI Match of the Year (2006)[188] vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania 22
PWI Match of the Year (2007)[188] vs. John Cena on Raw on April 23
PWI Match of the Year (2008)[188] vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV
PWI Match of the Year (2009)[190] vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV
PWI Match of the Year (2010) vs. The Undertaker in a Career vs. Streak match at WrestleMania XXVI
PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (2010)[191]
PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (1995, 1996)[189]
PWI ranked him #1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1996[192]
PWI ranked him #10 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003[193]
 

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I don't see how his personal life or relationship with 'the boys' has much to do with his status as a legend in the industry.

OJ Simpson is a murderer but that doesn't mean he wasn't an amazing football player and hall of famer.
For me it doesn't matter, for you it doesn't matter, for the majority of others it does, tell me your a chris benoit fan?? tell me he was an amazing wrestler?? because if you do this place erupts with retards telling you your sick if you think he was a good wrestler and you like him. So that's why I said it.
 

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Three time world champion, won the Royal Rumble twice, was the only man to ever win it from the starting position, multiple 5 star matches from Dave Meltzer, popularized the ladder match as well as winning the first Hell in a Cell match, formed DX, and was instrumental in the rise of the Attitude era.

Yeah, I'd say he was a legend.
 

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By 1998, he had been there for about 10 years, one of the top guys for about 4. I wouldn't say he was a "legend", like Hulk Hogan was back then, Andre, Ric Flair, etc, but he was definitely an icon in the business. Then he came back in 2002, put on a few classics, won the world title, more classics, then we had realized that HBK really was an all time great.
 

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i think if he had retired for good in 98, we'd consider him a legend in hindsight, but there were so many great performers at the time that i don't think he would have been seen as one at the time. not many guys other than hollywood hogan and maybe a couple others could have retired in 98 AS a legend. obviously, we look back at a lot of the guys of that period and consider them legends, but everyone was so hot and so young at the time that i don't think he was considered a legend yet AT THAT TIME. he certainly cemented it with his second run, though. although, i think had he never come back people would still consider him a legend..... plus.. we wouldn't have all these new-school, hipster-esque fans that don't like him/don't consider him great just because everyone else does (tbh, those types would probably like him more had he never had his 2nd run, which was incredible).
 

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He was a pretty good one in the 90's but I don't think he was a legend when he "retired" in 1998.
 

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He was already considered a legend by the fast majority of IWC denizens when he retired. And he'd still be considered a legend by most people today even if he had never come back.
 
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