There are many fans, myself included, who are irate at the way WWE’s utilized Brock Lesnar up to this point, especially on last week’s Raw. Many people are blaming HHH’s ego to why Lesnar didn’t get the upper hand in their battle, but I just believe it’s the nature of the beast. To clarify, WWE’s been known, especially lately, to treat their heels inferior. These days, the only heels they use are the cowardly ones that must cheat to win. There’s nothing wrong with cowardly heels, but it becomes one-dimensional. After all, the purpose of pro-wrestling is the illusion of it being real, but there are many different types of antagonists in the real world. The last monster heel that was a big hit was Brock Lesnar, though even he wasn’t able to triumph over top-level babyfaces without shenanigans. In fact, WWE’s fear to put heels over their top faces without a cop-out reason has always been their Achilles heel. Therefore, it had nothing to do with Triple H’s ego.
Actually, a lot of things have nothing to do with Triple H’s ego. There are many things we can say about Vince McMahon, but we can’t say he isn’t all about business. At least in his point of view, he always does what’s best for business. In fact, he’s about it so much that he doesn’t even have shame in embarrassing himself or his family, which makes the Triple H married himself to the top statements more asinine.
Don’t get me wrong: Triple H did marry into some benefits. Although it’s an unsolved mystery to how many championships he would’ve won, but he wouldn’t have this kind of power backstage if it wasn’t for his wife. However, the primary reason to why Triple H remains on TV isn’t because who he married. It’s because Vince McMahon realizes that Triple H’s a cash-crop, as his merchandise sales and reactions are still on par with any other superstar today.
There are plenty of funny criticisms that Triple H receives, but none’s more absurd than this one. The one I am talking about is, of course, the “Triple H would’ve never been champion if it wasn’t for Stephanie McMahon” one. In 1996, there was something that happened called the Certain Call. I’m not going to go much into detail about it, but Triple, HBK, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall “exposed” the business (even though it was exposed a looonnngggggg time ago before that). Since Nash and Hall were leaving for WCW and HBK was the figurehead, the only one who suffered was this inexperienced, not-so good midcarder named Triple H. Luckily for his sake, he wasn’t fired for it, but he was buried for it. Instead of quitting, HHH sucked it up and then improved immensely in every shape and form.
In 1997, HBK, Rick Rude and Chyna created one of the most controversial but influential stables ever, DX. A year after HBK took time off for an injury, Triple H was given the ball as the champion WITHOUT BEING WITH STEPHANIE MCMAHON and ran with it by solidifying him as a top-star. Oh and by the way, before that he was only in DX, a 1997 King of the Ring winner, European and Intercontinental Champion, and made guest appearances on the Drew Carey Show and Pacific Blue. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.
Another funny thing people say about HHH is he was never on the level of The Rock or Stone Cold….as if it’s the most terrible thing in the world. Frankly, it’s like saying the Rolling Stones were never the Beatles or Led Zeppelin. Just because he wasn’t the biggest star of the late 90s/early 2000s doesn’t mean his contributions weren’t instrumental. Furthermore, saying he never drew in 2000 as a champion is like saying heels don’t draw period. The average fan does indeed pay to see a heel; they pay to see the him lose and plenty paid to see him do just that. Besides, the “he never drew as champion” argument is flawed, especially when talking about WWE. Ever since McMahon Jr. took over, there have been only two years the company’s lost money 1995 and 2002-2003 (XFL debts), which means everyone who was a long-term champion generated a profit aside from 1995. Plus, it’s not really about whose the champion anyway. It’s more so about the direction of the company and how hold/cold it is.
The last counter argument I’d like to make is HHH doesn’t put people over. It’s funny people can say that in spite of him having a losing record at Wrestlemania. Even counting when he started dating Stephanie, his record is still 5-7, with his most notable losses being to John Cena and Chris Benoit because he tapped out for both. Just like every other main eventer, HHH jobs accordingly. If he jobbed to every rising star, he would be a midcarder. Triple H has put over his fair share of wrestlers in the past. In fact, out of WWE’s top-tier talent they’ve had, he’s been one of the most willing to put over young wrestlers. Even in his over-the-hill days, Hulk Hogan would’ve never put over Shelton Benjamin. And, unlike some, Triple H wouldn’t quit the company if he had to put over a rising wrestler if McMahon asked him to :cough: Stone Cold :cough:.
There’s no denying that Triple H has an ego or that his marriage has helped his career. Every wrestler has an ego, though. There aren’t many wrestlers who believe they’re not that good and thus doesn’t deserve a push. Every wrestler wants to be on top. Not many wrestlers come into the business with their main priority being to put others over. They want to be the guy, have all the money and the glory. Without question, he earned his top spot through dedication and hard work, not just because he married the boss’ daughter. Additionally, something I believe many fans don’t realize is trust’s more important than talent. It doesn’t matter how great a wrestler is at his craft if he’s untrustworthy. And not only does Triple H excel at his craft, he’s a part of the McMahon family, making him more trustworthy than anyone else on the roster. *That* has more to do with his handful of title runs than him fulfilling his ego. The game has a cerebral mind for this business and understands how it works, so if you’re someone who believes Triple H tries to bury a rising star that could help the family’s business just to satisfy his massive ego you’re truly living in a fantasy world.
Tags: attitude era, Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, cm punk, hbk, HHH, john cena, kevin nash, Raw 1000, scott hall, The Rock, Wrestling Backfire, WWE