The Stomping Ground: Two Head-Scratching Decisions (Triple H, Curtis Axel)

First off, let me thank you guys for your comments on last week’s edition of The Stomping Ground. Personally I didn’t think it was all that enthralling, but I’ll take the praise when I can get it.

I’ve been keeping track of two developing angles over the course of the past few weeks and holding my tongue on them because I wanted to obtain more of a grasp of the company’s intentions before passing judgment. I think it’s safe to say that I can make a few observations on these topics of discussion without sounding like a complete dingus.

Triple H
This whole thing started as some sort of concussion angle to build sympathy for what I assume is a Triple H retirement storyline, but seems to have completely lost its focus in favor of involving Vince and Stephanie McMahon in a vain attempt to boost ratings. I get it; the guy is a legend in the company’s eyes and deserves some sort of befitting send-off.

The problem is that Triple H’s character has never been all that likable.

When he wasn’t portraying a rich Connecticut Blueblood, he was running around both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes as a renegade who could get away with almost anything. When he was done with that, Triple H went solo and dominated Raw in such a nauseating fashion that I took a sabbatical from watching the show entirely. He spent the next few years as the de facto villain during the McMahon-Helmsley Era and as the leader of Evolution. One could definitely make a case for Triple H’s excellent performance as a heel, but his greatest weakness has been in acting as a face.

And that’s where the problem lies. How can an audience build sympathy for a character who spent the better part of his career showing no remorse for his actions? On top of that, the McMahons awkwardly tried to make the fans out to be heels two weeks ago when they demanded Triple H’s match against Curtis Axel. Regardless of where this angle is headed, it’s safe to say that we here in the IWC don’t rightly give a shit; that’s almost entirely due to Triple H’s role as an irredeemable asshole.

Curtis Axel
Let’s quickly segue into the next item on my list: Joe Hennig. As far as I can tell, the kid’s got two things going for him: his father’s pedigree (two segues!) and Paul Heyman. Unfortunately, that’s all we’ve been allowed to see these days. There’s no logic to this push; the WWE seems intent on labeling Axel as the next big deal by having him defeat names like John Cena and Triple H. However, they also seem to be intent on giving him fluke victories as well. I don’t get it. How can you promote a guy as an amazing performer and in the same breath readily admit that his wins have involved count outs and disqualifications? I understand the belief in “protecting” top stars (which, in this day and age, manages to hinder up-and-coming talent more than it protects made guys) but at what point do you decide to put such an antiquated rule aside so that you can build upon new blood? Michael Cole himself keeps mentioning that Axel has big wins over guys like Triple H and Cena and yet never fails to remind us that they were tainted victories. What’s the point? He can still be an arrogant prick…but that only works if he’s allowed to prove his worth. If this “push” continues in this fashion, I’m not sure if it’s really going to be all that effective.

But who cares about all this, really? CM Punk is back on Sunday!

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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