Triple H’s feud with Brock Lesnar came to a boiling point on the May 13 edition of Monday Night Raw when the two men faced off inside a steel cage at the end of the program. Hunter and Lesnar waged a short battle inside the unforgiving structure, all in anticipation of their match that will take place at WWE’s upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view on May 19.
While some have voiced their dissatisfaction over this rivalry and the match itself, I for one believe that this particular moment went a long way to increasing fan interest. At this point, there is likely no one who does not want to see this bout take place.
Okay, maybe that was a stretch. But it sounded good, right?
The truth is that the segment between Brock and Triple H may not have fully swayed popular opinion in their favor. A good number of the WWE faithful may still be of the mindset that three matches is just too much, that perhaps these two men have no story left to tell.
It’s over and WWE doesn’t even realize it.
But I happen to disagree with that notion. The reason for that is because there was an element introduced into this feud on Monday that could very well breathe new life into the entire angle.
The moment came when Triple gave the man WWE has called “The Anomaly” a typical babyface invitation to fight. Lesnar, as the heel of this scenario, was backing down from The Game as we all knew he probably would.
After all, Brock is a heel and heels are usually the most cunning men in the company.
Why do it? Why play into Triple H’s hands and meet him on his own turf? Brock may have had a career in the Octagon, but to meet a pro wrestler inside a steel cage is like challenging Superman to a test of strength. This was Hunter’s territory and he is at his most dangerous when he feels right at home and has freedom to do what he wants.
And when Triple H realized that Lesnar, along with Paul Heyman, had made the decision to not charge the ring, he decided to bait the trap with some rather colorful language.
Or as my four-year-old would say, “that’s a bad word, Daddy.”
There’s nothing like getting all adolescent on a guy to get him to jump, is there? The fact is, Hunter’s ploy worked. It received the desired response. Brock indeed did walk that aisle and he played right into Triple H’s hands.
They don’t call him the Cerebral Assassin for nothing.
But more importantly than the word that prompted Lesnar to enter the ring was the point that Triple H made on Raw to Paul Heyman before that:
See, I can look at Brock Lesnar and I can tell Brock Lesnar still believes inside him, that he is the baddest man standing in this room. The problem is Paul; you don’t think that’s true anymore, do you?
To me, this is a hook to sell this match like none that WWE has used thus far. For the first time, Lesnar’s prowess in the ring is being called into question. Despite the losses he has suffered since returning to WWE last year, Brock’s ferocity in the ring has never been up for debate.
Win or lose, he has consistently been referred to as “The Beast,” a killing machine who cannot be stopped. He is a wild animal who mercilessly devours any prey that is unfortunate enough to be in his path. Lesnar has always been respected for what he’s done in the past, not just in WWE but in UFC as well. But more than that, he has always been feared.
Now, however? Not so much.
For fans who have often criticized Triple H for being a superstar who will not budge an inch to put over anyone else, this is just more evidence of that happening right in front of our eyes. After all, Brock’s reputation of being the destroyer was well constructed from day one and was perpetuated by one vignette after another produced by WWE.
Leave it to Triple H to ruin all of that because at the end of the day he doesn’t want to lose a feud, right?
But this is not the case in my opinion. For me, admitting that Brock’s teeth have dulled somewhat is the right move on WWE’s part. Because at some point, Vince McMahon has to either stick to booking Brock as a monster and see it through all the way, or he has to let it go and admit that Lesnar is truly only there for a payday.
That is not to suggest however that Brock is to be hated, if indeed money is his true motivation as many fans believe. If WWE did not want him in the company, he certainly would not be there. Lesnar’s reasons for doing business have little to do with why WWE is doing business with him.
But Brock is 1-2 since he came back to WWE. This is no secret. And even for the most casual fan that enjoys Brock’s work in the ring, there has to be a point when eventually the question of believability comes into play. How can anyone buy him as a wrecking machine when he cannot even piece together two wins?
WWE’s roundabout admission that Brock Lesnar is only human after all should factor in heavily this Sunday when he faces Triple H in the cage at Extreme Rules. I believe that Brock will not only find his killer instinct again, but that he will go over on The Game. This is not a must win for Triple H like their match was at WrestleMania 29.
This is a must win for Brock Lesnar. And I think he will do just that.
Brock Lesnar and Triple H’s match at WWE’s upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view was hyped up one last time on the May 13 edition of Raw. The spot looked good, the fans responded well and everything just worked. This match needed one last impact, one last big moment, to sell it to fans. That is what happened on Raw and now all that’s left is to ring the bell and go to work.
That sounds good to me.