The WrestleMania 29 card features plenty of predictable matches—none more so than Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H.
Even before the match was made official, we knew that Triple H was going to return to avenge Lesnar’s attacks on his family and friends by beating him on the grand stage of WrestleMania.
A couple of weeks ago, however, WWE decided to try to throw us a curveball with Paul Heyman announcing on Raw that the only way Lesnar would face Triple H at WrestleMania was if “The Game” would agree to the stipulations that he and Lesnar decided upon without seeing them beforehand.
On last week’s Raw, we found out what those stipulations would be: Triple H would have to face Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Match, and if Triple H loses, then he must retire.
The added stipulation wasn’t very surprising both because we knew it was coming (the stipulations, not the specifics) and because it’s common for WWE to up the ante for major rematches. The creative team did this at WrestleMania 26 by putting Shawn Michaels’ career on the line in his rematch against The Undertaker and will do so once again this year when The Rock vs. John Cena: Part Two will be for the WWE Championship.
With the added stipulation to Triple H vs. Lesnar: The Rematch, WWE clearly wanted to increase the stakes and try to make the outcome of the match a little less predictable. In reality, though, creative accomplished exactly the opposite.
All the retirement stipulation has really done is confirm what we’ve long known: Triple H is winning at WrestleMania 29.
After all, this notion that Triple H could be retiring in just a couple of weeks is absolutely ridiculous. Why? It’s impossible to retire from something if you’re already basically retired from it anyway.
Though “The Game” is technically not retired yet, we all know that he essentially is. Triple H hasn’t been a full-time performer over the last couple of years, instead being used as a part-time “special attraction” performer much like The Undertaker, The Rock and Lesnar.
Triple H has only showed up two or three times per year and only to compete in major matches. We saw this in 2011 when he faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania 27 and CM Punk at Night of Champions, and we saw it once again in 2012 when he faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania 28 and Lesnar at SummerSlam.
If you compete in two matches a year, you’re, for all intents and purposes, retired. Call it “semi-retirement” if you will, but as everyone who’s reading this knows, Triple H’s days as a full-time in-ring performer are long gone.
So why would he officially retire at WrestleMania 29?
Especially when you consider that, according to PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com), Triple H signed a performer’s contract last year that runs through 2016, this idea that his days in the ring will come to an end next month is one that is, quite frankly, rather stupid.
Triple H putting his career on the line is just another case of WWE attempting to up the ante to make a predictable match seem more important and less predictable—just like the creative team is even doing with The Rock vs. Cena this year by throwing the WWE Championship to the mix.
The bottom line is that WWE knows that most of its fans are younger or casual ones who don’t read wrestling sites like this one. Therefore, the company feels like it can get away with what are obviously predictable storylines and matches because the average fan doesn’t view them as such.
Any fan who’s above 12 years old or who isn’t just a casual one, however, knows that the retirement stipulation that’s been added to Triple H vs. Lesnar is just a way to make it seem like a bigger deal when the lovable babyface inevitably overcomes the odds to beat the big bad heel.
I cannot say I blame WWE for doing this. WrestleMania 29 is shaping up to be awfully predictable and doesn’t have anywhere near the buzz that it should, so creating that buzz in any way possible is a logical move.
The problem? The smart fan isn’t hearing that buzz.
The wheels have been in motion for Triple H to avenge his SummerSlam defeat from the moment that he lost that match. It’s a predictable storyline that we’ve seen coming from miles and miles away, and no stipulation—no matter how big or important it may seem—is going to change that.
Triple H was always going to beat Lesnar in their rematch, no matter when, where or under what circumstances that match would take place—just like Cena was always going to beat The Rock at WrestleMania 29.
It’s been a nice attempt on WWE’s part to make this a retirement match in order to try to throw us off. But we see right through it, WWE.
Triple H is already retired. When he beats Lesnar at WrestleMania 29, nothing is going to change.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!