Triple H Will Thrive in New Evil Authority Figure Role
Personally, I've been waiting years for the return of evil Triple H. The man is a heat magnet that's been masquerading as a jokester that likes to kick ass sometimes.
He tried to be funny, then he'd get serious. One week he'd be in a suit, then he's in a weird leather-denim biker get-up. He tried to mix his funny rebel DX character with his role as Chief Operating Officer, and nobody knew quite how to handle it.
Monday night on Raw during the "coronation" of Randy Orton as the new WWE champion, Triple H was back in his wheelhouse. He was a brooding, cocky, power-hungry and condescending brute. And the crowd ate it up.
The heat was volcanic coming from the fans at Raw on Monday. Triple H's natural heel charisma, his legit power-hungry reputation and the untouchable fan support of Daniel Bryan made it a fantastic piece of business for WWE.
Triple H has a great opportunity to evolve his character to new places it's never been before. The Cerebral Assassin takes on an entirely new meaning wearing a pinstripe suit and calling the shots from the board room.
While Mr. McMahon was a tyrannical boss that the everyman "Stone Cold" Steve Austin warred against, Triple H has the potential to take his character beyond the bounds of his father-in-law.
Triple H isn't just a suit. He's not just a guy with deep pockets. He's not just a corporate stooge. He's a legend in the industry between the ropes who sold out. He turned in his boots for a pair of loafers. He cut his hair short to look more presentable at meetings. The three letters he prefers people know aren't the H's, but rather COO.
He's a turncoat. He doesn't care about who wins, but rather who makes more money. He's about sponsorships, marketing and corporate partnerships. He's not about the gold, but rather the green.
WWE has a great opportunity to tap into a common nerve among older wrestling fans. They long for the days of gritty characters, great wrestlers and related storylines. Today, WWE is more commonly focused on high production value, glitz and glamor.
WWE could tap into this anger among older fans, while simultaneously indoctrinating younger fans into the importance of winning matches, working hard, pulling yourself up by your boot straps and succeeding despite the odds. These are all blue-collar beliefs that remain within the bounds of WWE's PG product, yet hit all demographics.
Much in the way Mr. McMahon embodied the corporate, national takeover of the mainstream professional wrestling industry, Triple H can also stand for all that is wrong with the industry today.
He doesn't care about the hard work and dedication of guys like Bryan and CM Punk. If it's not in a filled arena or on weekly television, it doesn't count. International and independent wrestling are the minor leagues. At best, they are a "Solid B+."
Triple H fits the role because it's authentic. The best wrestling characters are performers amplifying their true personalities. Paul Levesque loves wrestling. But he also loves power. He is concerned about his legacy and his future. He entered the industry as a bodybuilder type, not a world-traveling grappler.
He also really is one of the WWE bosses. He's the head of talent. He legitimately does have the ability to make or break someone's career. He has a reputation for burying talents he didn't like and throwing his weight around backstage. The Internet Wrestling Community has hated this part of his personality and to this day loathe him for decisions made a decade ago.
Now, we get to see it play out on screen. Daniel Bryan is the epitome of what the IWC loves. The one-time "King of the Indies" has reached the WWE and scrapped his way to the top, even toppling the golden calf that mainstream fans recognize as the face of the industry.
Then Triple H squashed him. He knocked him down a peg. Now Bryan has to dust himself off and find a way to overcome the odds again.
It wasn't Vickie Guerrero. It wasn't John Laurinaitis. And though I'm a bigger fan than most, it's certainly not Brad Maddox.
Triple H is the evil authority figure we've all been waiting for. Now, we get to see how it all plays out.
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