Something is happening with Triple H that could, perhaps, lead to him turning babyface as soon as Wrestlemania, and finally putting an end to the Authority storyline, which has gripped WWE for nearly two years.
Here’s some evidence:
on Monday Night Raw, Randy Orton replayed the video of Seth Rollins curb-stomping his face through the announce table at ringside. I remember noticing this at the time, and did again here, that while Stephanie McMahon was violently yelling at Rollins to “finish!” Orton, Triple H was on the side, almost with a slight look of disgust, or at least concern, about the way his wife was acting.
In most of the Authority angles shot on Raw last night Triple H sat silent, glaring at his wife.
About a month ago on Raw, I believe it was, Stephanie made a comment that Triple H “loves to spend McMahon money.” There are clearly seeds being planted for a breakup, and it could result in Triple H remaining a babyface authority figure after his match with Sting at Wrestlemania.
There’s a way for WWE to cleverly pull this off, too.
Triple H remains a heel heading into Wrestlemania. He wrestles Sting and loses, and in good sportsmanship perhaps even shakes his hand at the end of the match. Stephanie is, of course, appalled. She berates her husband for not only shaking Sting’s hand, but embarrassing her family legacy by losing to a WCW icon.
On camera, Stephanie is a lot like her father, with that narcissistic, egotistical McMahon attitude. The McMahons also love to keep themselves on television, and this could be a clever way to do so, while also freshening up their approach. The Authority is stale, and should have remain disbanded after the blowoff at Survivor Series. A feuding Stephanie and Triple H, which control of WWE at stake, is still a story we’ve seen play out before, but not with these characters. It could make for some interesting television to take WWE through the quagmire that is its product for the first few months after Wrestlemania.
1) My fears after Fastlane for Daniel Bryan appear to be coming true. WWE didn’t lead to any speculation that Bryan has plans at Wrestlemania. Nothing was set up. Instead, he was used to blow more smoke up the posterior of Roman Reigns, which isn’t going to do either character any favors. If they didn’t initiate Bryan-Ziggler this week — and they didn’t — my guess is that Bryan will wrestle a returning Sheamus at Wrestlemania. Hip hip, hooray.
2) At Fastlane on Sunday, Daniel Bryan pulled the match of his life out of Roman Reigns. The next night on Raw, Paul Heyman pulled the promo of his life out of Roman Reigns. See a trend here? Reigns’ obvious areas of improvement are his moveset in the ring and his work on the mic. In back-to-back nights, WWE aligned him with their best technical wrestler, and their best talker. That’s smart booking.
As much as Reigns as seemed like a robot in promos, he was really good opposite Heyman. When things come off as more natural, and less scripted, you can tell that Reigns feels more comfortable. WWE should stick with that approach more often. Go with bullet-point promos, and less read-and-regurgitate-these-1000-word promos.
3) Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, John Cena has officially transformed into 1980s Hulk Hogan. In his promo segment opposite Rusev — where I thought Rusev quietly shined — Cena was in full patriot mode. He told Rusev he could talk about him, but he couldn’t run down the UNITED STATES! This feud has Vince McMahon’s fingerprints all over it. He loves these over-the-top patriotic storylines. I’m not sure he loves anything else in the world more than them. I mean, what’s more 2015 pop culture than the U.S. vs. Russia? Haven’t you seen Rocky IV?!?
1) Dolph Ziggler def. Wade Barrett
2) The Ascension def. The Prime Time Players
3) The Usos def. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro via disqualification
4) Jack Swagger def. Stardust via submission
5) Bella Twins def. Paige & Emma
6) Ryback def. Curtis Axel
7) Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns def. Randy Orton & Seth Rollins
Wrestlemania is taking shape, sort of. The show did accomplish a few things, such as announcing the return of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal as well as pretty much confirming Cena-Rusev for a Wrestlemania rematch (though it isn’t announced yet). There are still some things that need to come into focus, though, such as what their plans are for Daniel Bryan.