It may have looked like Triple H did what was right for business at SummerSlam.
But he didn't.
He did what was right for Triple H.
WWE got lucky. Brock Lesnar returned to their company. He's one of the biggest sport celebrities in the world, a former UFC world champion.
Besides Steve Austin and The Rock, Lesnar was the last guy that could be brought back for some true dream matches.
At SummerSlam, WWE seemed to have finally got Lesnar back on track. He defeated HHH.
Hunter didn't go down easy though. He even got in more offense than John Cena did at Extreme Rules. Still, he laid down for Lesnar—after a low blow.
It should have been Brock's moment. He just defeated The Game, one of WWE's most celebrated superstars ever. It was now time to highlight this unstoppable monster in WWE. Who was he going to take down next?
But it wasn't about Brock. It was about Hunter.
Hunter is the guy who the announcers gave a standing ovation to when he returned at SummerSlam 2007, he's the guy who Ric Flair had to fawn over every single week calling him "the greatest of all time."
He's the guy who isn't content with being just The Game, he's also the Cerebral Assassin and The King of Kings.
Do you think HHH actually retired?
At SummerSlam, after his loss HHH stayed in the ring and didn't go anywhere. He waited, and waited. Finally the pity applause came. He almost had to beg for it. A vocal part of the crowd even chanted "You tapped out!" at him when it was supposed to be an emotional moment.
The next night on Raw, it was still about Hunter.
Lesnar on the other hand, Touted his way out of WWE in 15 seconds.
Meanwhile, the announcers couldn't stop talking about Hunter. Would he retire? Was this the end of the road?
First of all, no, it isn't.
Second of all, why would it matter that much if it was?
Yes, he's a huge star, but he's basically been heavily semi-retired the past couple years. When he does come back it's only at WrestleMania, SummerSlam, or to take on whoever happens to be the hottest act in the company at the time.
When Shawn Michaels retired, he'd been wrestling far more often than Hunter has been. He had his big moment when he actually sailed into the sunset.
But Michaels actually retired. He deserved it. Hunter's not going anywhere.
During this Monday's Raw, we watched more highlights of his career. The question all night was would he retire?
What is your favorite Hunter persona?
Michael Cole and Josh Matthews stood for him when he came out.
The thing is, Hunter is almost their boss. He will be some day. He currently has more power in WWE than nearly anyone else. So it's sickening to see wrestlers and announcers suck up to him like that.
How can Hunter not realize this? Why does he need such a ridiculous amount of admiration from every one? Can't he tell them to stop laying it on so thick?
Hunter was a big part of the Attitude era. But he was no Austin. He was no Rock. He wasn't an Undertaker or a Hulk Hogan. He never even reached the peak that Goldberg did for a short while. He didn't lead the revolution like his buddies Hall and Nash.
He just didn't have the intangible "it" factor at the level that some of his contemporaries did. Somehow he seems to have never got over it.
Unlike the others who knew how great they were, Hunter needs to be told.
He has a lot to be proud of, and easily deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. But his on-air character is just too over-bearing.
In a story line sense, why exactly is Hunter so unsure of himself?
It would have made more sense had he lost to Brock in two minutes. That way it would seem more real for Hunter to question if he still had it. Instead it took almost 19 minutes and a low blow from Brock to put him away.
Of course, on Raw, in classic Hunter form he had to stay in the ring again until a polite "thank you Hunter" chant started up.
At the end of the 10 minute segment Hunter, we didn't get our answer. We still don't know if he's going to retire.
That would be too simple. We need to wonder for weeks or months whether he's coming back. We can forget about that Brock Lesnar guy. We need to focus on Hunter now.
Hunter wanted to thank us for letting him play the game. It's too bad his games are hurting the company.