It has been the longest-running saga of the summer, with the foundations of the rivalry being laid on the April 30 th edition of Raw.
However, this drawn-out build has at times raised as many questions as it has answers.
A combination of scarce appearances and a flood of legal nonsense have marred the storyline, greatly disrupting the rivalry’s momentum.
So where did it all go wrong?
Let’s start from the beginning.
The feud seemed to get off to a convincing start. Brock Lesnar’s outrageous contractual demands were an effective way of drawing Triple H into the equation, and in this case the legal spin actually worked for the WWE.
Having Lesnar attack Triple H, supposedly breaking The Game’s arm with the Kimura Lock, not only intensified the situation but also made Lesnar look like a threat again after his damaging loss to John Cena at Extreme Rules.
It was explosive and exciting; a great start to the rivalry. The WWE struck the perfect balance between drama and physicality, and it was shaping up to be the story of the summer.
But then the problems began to emerge.
Firstly, Paul Heyman announced the following week that Lesnar had “quit” the WWE. Seven days later he confronted Triple H, informing him of Lesnar’s “lawsuit” against the company, before filing one of his own for good measure after the Cerebral Assassin had struck him down.
You remember that legal nonsense I mentioned?
But the worst was yet to come; Lesnar’s alleged resignation resulted in a ridiculously long 10-week hiatus from the company. And while I understand the contractual reasons for this, I can’t help but think that the WWE have been using Lesnar’s limited appearances too sparingly.
Surely, having him feature a few more times wouldn’t have been the end of the world?
Though the return of Heyman was a positive, without the physical presence of Lesnar, even his expert mic skills could not save the feud from slipping toward irrelevance.
The same can be said for Triple H’s appearance at No Way Out; it was a gentle reminder that the feud was ongoing, but sparked little interest due to the lack of a certain 290-pound Minnesotan wrecking machine.
It wasn’t until Raw 1000 that things really picked up again.
With the sudden disappearance of lawsuits a welcoming, though slightly puzzling development, it was Triple H’s faceoff with Heyman that really gave the feud new life.
It made things personal.
The surprise involvement of Stephanie McMahon was testament to this, and I personally felt the segment was great. Lesnar's return only fortified my opinion, and his fracas with The Game was enough to reignite the excitement surrounding their scheduled match at SummerSlam.
Fast forward two weeks, and the WWE added yet another dimension to the rivalry in the form of Shawn Michaels.
I remain somewhat divided on this issue.
Though I thought Lesnar’s attack on HBK this week on Raw was another entertaining segment, I worry that Michaels’ may only have been dragged in to this feud to set up a potential match with Triple H somewhere down the line.
While I would love to see that match one more time, having it overshadow the final build for the Triple H/Lesnar feud is a poor decision by the WWE.
Granted, Lesnar’s heinous behaviour certainly garnered heat from the fans and increased tensions heading into SummerSlam, but surely this could have been achieved without the need for HBK to get involved?
It’s as though the WWE have no faith in Lesnar’s ability to shine without the help of others.
Of course, the HHH/HBK match may never come to fruition, and Michaels could show up on Sunday (I for one don’t believe his twitter speculation for a second) and add something brilliant to the match.
But the fact remains that the rivalry between Triple H and Brock Lesnar seems to have been tainted by inconsistent and disjointed storylines.
It is only when the two behemoths exchange blows in the ring that we see what this feud should really be about; a brutal display of power and physicality between two titans of the industry.
Perhaps the company should have gone back to basics with this one; two men who need to go one-on-one in order to settle their personal differences. No frills attached.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Shawn Michaels, just not a great fan of unnecessarily elaborate storylines that threaten to get in the way of potentially classic matches.
What do you think?
Have the WWE dropped the ball with this one? Or does the inclusion of guys like Shawn Michaels give the feud an extra buzz?
Comment below and let me know what you think.
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