Time to Play The Game…
Indeed it is. Triple H’s entrance music has been in my head—particularly “Line in the Sand” by Motörhead…Evolution’s entrance music—ever since the announcement was made that he would be taking over creative from the retiring Vince McMahon. A great song to have in your head by the epic Motörhead, and really useful when on the treadmill or under the bar at the gym; trust me. But really we’re talking about a man that played the game well—perhaps better than anyone else.
Who else could have helmed the ship after McMahon’s retirement? Triple H lived, breathed and ate the business his entire time on that WWE roster. Even back when he was in WCW he was analytical about how he approached it. Shrewd? Yes, as shrewd as a master of the universe stock broker.
Calculated? Definitely. But what about kind and giving? Yes, that too. He’s made so many stars. If you look at the Black and Gold Era of NXT, you cannot negate that he created and helped form some of this generation’s greatest main roster talents.
And the relationship he had with so many of these youngsters is evident in their testimonials. Even after many of them left that WWE platform, they spoke highly of him, all the while not necessarily speaking well of Vince McMahon; the praise for HHH remained constant. The term ‘the proof is in the pudding’ certainly comes to mind.
And about his pro wrestling career we can go on and on, but do we need to? I don’t really think so. His accolades speak for themselves.
Anyways, by now we all know the deal and why Vince McMahon stepped away, or at least I hope you do. But in addition to his role as Executive VP of Talent Relations, a role he took back after a lengthy period of time away; he needed to rest up and heal from a pulmonary/heart scare and a pretty bad one; he almost died, but thankfully he recovered. Of that time, it was during an appearance on First Take that he said: “I was nose-diving and sort of at the one-yard line of where you don’t want to be really, for your family and your future…I will never wrestle again. First of all, I have a defibrillator in my chest, which, you know, probably not a good idea for me to get zapped on live TV.”
Well, he looks roaring and ready to go as ever and he has attacked his new job (a job he was in line for and destined for) just as he attacked his successful in-ring career.
In the end it’s about evolution…he’s always understood this. Just look at the careers of Randy Orton and Batista. He helped those men reach the stars they reached. Heck Triple H even helped Ric Flair gain back his momentum when it was in peril of leaving him back in the early 2000s. And look at the work he’s done for the women’s division and for the younger generation or ‘generation next’ I should perhaps say.
There have always been holes in the performance center mentality but he’s tried to fill those holes by filling the NXT roster with indie legends, which he has over the years, and that has paid off. Yes there are still homegrown people on that roster, but the balance is certainly there, and a necessary one.
But all this work was starting to go for naught. In essence WWE Creative was slipping and slipping bad. The product had begun to pale in comparison to where it had been in previous eras and the main roster was boring, lacking story development and the burial of epic talents like Mustafa Ali and so many other NXT imports was blatant.
Well the turn of the tide is an interesting thing. Because the tide is turning, and finally dear readers….
It has been a mere two weeks or so that Triple H has been in power in that creative position specifically, and the product is night and day folks. The word ‘Drastic’ certainly comes to mind. And it proves that the wrong man was leading the ship.
Not to say that Vince McMahon hadn’t done great things, because he had, and that is obvious, but sometimes it’s just time to step away and Vince perhaps should have stepped away a decade earlier. He did a lot of damage to what people thought of WWE, and all because of his archaic ideals and methods in creating a program or rather overall product.
Episodes of Raw and SmackDown have improved incredibly. Raw this past week was AMAZING, folks. Mustafa Ali shined finally in a ‘pro wrestling’ match, and there weren’t just a few incredible ‘professional wrestling’ matches that entertained regardless, but many of them; both triple threats were epic matches and of course Ciampa was given a believable platform on the show. Something that should have been expected considering the trust he and Triple H have for one another.
And perhaps the biggest difference was in SummerSlam. The entre event was incredible, but OMG that main event! Man alive! Yes the outcome was the same, they keeping Reigns as champion, but man did they make Brock Lesnar look like a million bucks, as they should.
The last few matches he and Roman had were boring, quick and uncreative. In this year’s SummerSlam match Brock Lesnar lifted up the ring with a tractor for crying out loud! Tumbling Roman out of it in the process. A symbol of what’s to come at Clash at the Castle only Drew McIntyre in Brock’s place? Perhaps. I hope.
Now talk about a statement about the change at the top.
In terms of competition with AEW, I’d say the game is on. Triple H watches their product. That is evident now. He’s raised his own sword in return and the battle is on…a battle that perhaps won’t go the way promotional battles went in the past with the likes of Khan and Triple H at the helm. This battle was one-sided before now, the AEW product much better in terms of story development and type or rather caliber of matches. But that has now changed it seems.
We’re in for some good years here folks, and on all fronts.
“Evolution is a mystery
Full of change that no one sees
Clock makes a fool of history
Yesterday’s too long ago
Don’t agree with what I know
Tomorrow is the place to be
I see the line in the sand
Time to find out who I am
Looking back to see where I stand
See my reflection change
Nothing ever stays the same
But you know the names The Game
We all know what it means
Nothings ever what it seems
“We meet again, at the turn of the tide. A great storm is coming, but the tide has turned.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
-Harriet Beecher Stowe