WWE Extreme Rules: The Evolution Of Triple H
When you think of Triple H, what is the first thing that comes to mind? In today’s Internet Wrestling Community, many feel that Triple H is out to bury young talent, and really rubs fans the wrong way. I think this is so far from the truth, as Triple H just put over Daniel Bryan cleanly at WrestleMania 30, and Bryan went on to become WWE Champion. He was also the one to cement Batista and John Cena’s championship runs (but this is an argument to deal with another time). Regardless what you think of Triple H, there is no denying that he was a 13 time World Champion, and a key player in wrestling’s biggest boom period, WWE’s Attitude Era. He was also the leader of 2 of the biggest factions in wrestling’s history, Degeneration X and Evolution. There is no doubt that Hunter is going into WWE’s Hall Of Fame when the time is right.
With all this said, over the last few years we have seen Triple H’s full time wrestling career come to an end. We now only see him competing in big events like WrestleMania or this Sunday’s much hyped Extreme Rules match between Evolution and The Shield. But to see the transition, or evolution (pun intended), Triple H has made from WWE wrestler to executive is amazing. Prior to WrestleMania 30, news broke that Triple H was taking on more responsibilities as an executive. It was reported that WrestleMania 30 was produced by Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon, and not Vince McMahon. This is a big deal considering it is the biggest event of the year for the WWE. While Vince still has the final say in any WWE matter, Triple H is being groomed to take his place when the chairman decides to step down.
Below are some of the major accomplishments that Triple H has made since becoming an executive for the WWE.
If it weren’t for Triple H, we probably wouldn’t have seen the returns of Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, RVD, The Rock or Batista back to the WWE. The WWE schedule is grueling on the wrestlers, between the TV tapings for RAW and SmackDown on back-to-back days, and the weekend live events, the talent is on the road for 300 plus days a year. Vince McMahon will make you a star in the WWE, but he will grind you with that schedule.
Triple H is the one who convinced Vince McMahon to bring back some of these big names on part time deals, with limited dates and travel. He saw the importance in having the star drawing power for pay-per-views or a live RAW. The stars would agree and were happy to come back knowing they didn’t have to do all the live events and get burned out with the schedule.
As hard as Vince McMahon tried to get Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall Of Fame, it looked like he was never going to accept his rightful induction. Sammartino did not like the direction the WWE went during the Attitude Era, and thought that the product became too vulgar. Being the strong family man that he is, he did not want any association with the WWE. Triple H is the one credited for bringing in Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall Of Fame. He was the man who was able to have dialogue with Bruno, and communicate all the changes that have occurred in the WWE. He stressed to him that they are a PG company now, and that the television product has changed. He told him to watch the product and he will see the changes, and ultimately Bruno Sammartino finally accepted his invitation last year.
It’s no secret that The Ultimate Warrior was not an easy person to work with backstage during his time in the WWE. He and Vince McMahon had their feuds, and had a falling out, especially after the release of the Ultimate Warrior self destruction DVD by the WWE. Warrior even mentioned in his Hall Of Fame speech how hurt he was by that DVD. Triple H again was key in these negotiations, and smoothing over all the differences between Warrior and the WWE.
It’s been reported that Triple H does follow the online rumors, and is open to incorporating them into the creative booking of the shows. This of course is a concept that Vince McMahon would never do, as he always ignored the Internet Wrestling Community.
Knowing this, it’s clear to see how Triple H has incorporated online rumors straight to the television booking. For instance, the entire Occupy RAW segment by Daniel Bryan where he hijacked the show until Triple H agreed to his terms, came from the Hijack RAW rumors a week prior. That RAW was from Chicago, and there were major rumors online that the Chicago crowd would hijack the show with their CM Punk chants, and would even turn their backs whenever The Authority came down to the ring.
The other hot topic in the IWC is that Triple H never puts anyone over, and he’s constantly burying the talent. Do we remember the video package that was released a couple of weeks prior to WrestleMania 30? It was a video that hyped past WWE Superstars who became fan favorites like Daniel Bryan, and included names like Goldberg, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner, RVD and Chris Jericho. It then went on to bury them, and claim that the only one who still remains in the WWE is The Game Triple H. It was a great way to get heat from the crowd, and play off of the internet rumors.
Who knows how much influence we as fans have, but it’s nice to know that someone like Triple H does pay attention to online fans. Daniel Bryan may not be the WWE Champion right now if he wasn’t the internet darling that he is.
WWE Performance Center & NXT
Triple H’s greatest impact on the wrestling industry will be the creation and opening of the WWE Performance Center in Florida. The Shield, The Wyatt Family, Big E, Cesaro, Paige, Emma, Alexander Rusev, Bo Dallas and Adam Rose all trained at the Performance Center and the NXT developmental league. It is a breeding grounds for the future stars of the WWE, and we are already seeing the talents of NXT becoming the superstars of the WWE.
This focus on young talent was made very apparent on the big post WrestleMania RAW. We saw the in ring debut of Alexander Rusev with Lana, the NXT Divas Champion Paige defeat AJ Lee and become WWE Divas Champion, as well as vignettes for Bo Dallas and Adam Rose who will be debuting next Monday on RAW. It is also rumored that once Dallas and Rose debut, they will be ready to hype the next call ups, including Sami Zayn, who John Cena already referenced this past Monday on RAW.
The Performance Center is still in its first year, but to see Triple H invest so much of the WWE’s resources into this system is a great sign going forward. He understands the need to develop and bring up new talent to the main roster, and by adding these young stars the product becomes fresh.
Triple H has had a Hall Of Fame wrestling career in the WWE. What’s crazy to think about is that Triple H may impact the wrestling industry more as an executive going forward, and not as the 13-time WWE/World Champion that he was. Do you guys like the job he’s been doing behind the scenes? Please share your thoughts and views below in the Comments Section. Don’t forget to follow PWMania and me on Twitter @PWMania and @Enzo_Marino, and tweet me with any feedback, thoughts or anything else wrestling related. Lets keep the wrestling talk going!