When it first became apparent that Triple H and Brock Lesnar would face off at WrestleMania XXIX, there was no doubt that the WWE needed to put forth some intriguing stipulations to keep the fans interested. That is now certainly the case, and it should lead to a highly entertaining encounter.
Triple H and Lesnar have plenty of history, as they wrestled at SummerSlam in a match won by Lesnar via his patented Kimura Lock. As far as the storyline goes, Triple H considered retirement after the loss and was seen quite infrequently thereafter. He made his return to television a few weeks ago, however, when he saved Vince McMahon from an attack at the hands of Lesnar.
Triple H then issued a WrestleMania challenge the following week on Raw. Lesnar and Paul Heyman accepted last week under the condition that they be allowed to set the stipulations without Triple H knowing them ahead of time. Triple H proved his desire to face Lesnar as he signed the contract blindly on the most recent edition of Raw.
Despite the fact that Triple H battered Heyman due to inflammatory comments that he made about Stephanie McMahon, Heyman was giddy after Triple H signed on the dotted line. To close Raw he revealed that the Triple H vs. Lesnar match at WrestleMania would be No Holds Barred. In addition to that, Triple H's career is on the line, and he will be forced to retire if he loses.
The WWE obviously had a ton of options when it came to this match, but the creative team ultimately made the right decision. Perhaps a No Holds Barred match is viewed as boring by some fans when you consider the multitude of choices the writers had at their disposal, but there is no doubt that Triple H and Lesnar will use that stipulation to their advantage.
They are two of the toughest Superstars the business has ever seen, and they obviously aren't strangers to the hardcore environment. We already got a taste of what they're capable of a few weeks back when Triple H busted Lesnar wide open during their brawl. As great as that was, their encounter at WrestleMania will be kicked up several notches due to the magnitude of the big stage.
In addition to that, the retirement stipulation adds plenty to their feud as well. Most fans seem to believe that Triple H winning is a sure thing, and perhaps his career being on the line reaffirms that, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Triple H feels like he is ready to hang up the boots. If that is the case, then he can use this match as a vehicle for calling it quits.
The fact of the matter is that a retirement match could actually spell the end of Triple H's career, or it could just serve as a way to get him off television until next year's WrestleMania. Many stars have lost retirement matches in the past only to resurface down the line, and that could be true of Triple H if the WWE decides to swerve the audience by having Lesnar win.
Stipulations aside, I still anticipate Triple H winning this match and getting his revenge on Lesnar after losing at SummerSlam. With that said, the possibility that WrestleMania XXIX could be the platform for Triple H's final match may draw in some fringe fans and compel them to buy the pay-per-view. Those fans aren't necessarily privy to the current storyline, so they may actually believe that Triple H's match against Lesnar will be the final one in his storied career.
While Triple H vs. Lesnar may technically be a rematch from SummerSlam, the WWE has done a fantastic job in terms of keeping the feud interesting and developing it to the point where the majority of fans are legitimately excited to see them fight again. It is pretty much guaranteed that the No Holds Barred stipulation will make their WrestleMania match a great one that fans will be talking about for years to come.
I would have been excited about Triple H vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania regardless of the stipulations, because their feud has been both personal and entertaining. Also, Triple H and Lesnar tend to rise to the occasion when called upon, and I'm sure they realize how good they have to be in order for WrestleMania XXIX to be considered a success.
The WWE has reached a point where it needs at least three great matches to constitute a great WrestleMania. The Undertaker vs. CM Punk is pretty much a sure thing in that regard, while The Rock vs. John Cena can go either way. Triple H and Lesnar need to be at their absolute best, and the stipulations attached to the match will absolutely allow that to happen.