WWE has cast Triple H as a despot and the company's Superstars as his silent citizens. The King of Kings can expect an irate Bryan charging at him, but also a coup led by the men he is pushing around.
After hitting Bryan with a pedigree at SummerSlam to allow Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, Triple H has slipped back into his snake skin. He instantly became WWE's top heel and has since tightened his grip on the company.
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. –Aristotle— Triple H (@TripleH) August 25, 2013
He has been infuriatingly smug in his dismissal of Bryan.
On Monday, Triple H mocked Bryan for saying he'd win back the WWE title. He began to sing "When You Wish Upon a Star" with a grin smeared across his face.
As personal as this scene got, this is no Steve Austin versus Mr. McMahon feud. Triple H's hunger for power has him upsetting everyone on the roster not named Orton or The Shield.
When Bryan spray-painted the Escalade that The Game gave Orton, Triple H's wickedness intensified.
He growled at Brad Maddox, telling him he was going to punish Bryan and have all of his employees watch. This was certainly partially about Bryan, but it was more so about proving his dominance, making sure he was feared and obeyed.
He forced every Superstar to stand on the entrance ramp as Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins thrashed Bryan in the ring. Triple H threatened that if anybody wanted to play hero and stop Bryan's punishment, they'd be fired.
This moment felt like a dictator having an insurgent stoned in a public square.
Renee Young tried to ask Big Show, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz about the situation, but each refused to speak. Even a man as loose-lipped as Miz had nothing to say, shackled by fear. Triple H walked near these men, glared at them, seemingly daring them to challenge him.
Meanwhile, injustice played out in the ring.
The Shield played the part of pit bulls, ripping Bryan apart at Triple H’s command. Orton stepped in and took his shots as well. No one stopped this from happening, not Big Show, not Ziggler, not Miz.
Don't expect this to stay true forever.
WWE Superstars are too much like superheroes to play the passive bystanders for long. WWE has to first let the anger build inside those men and inside those watching at home. Later, a flame will set off this powder-keg-like situation.
Here is an opportunity for a large-scale feud, for a revolution to explode on WWE TV.
Revolution against an evil empire is a captivating story. The success of the Hunger Games series is a result of the audience's empathy for the rebels resisting tyranny, the peasants crushed by the king.
Be it Star Wars or V for Vendetta, we love to watch the dissenters battle back against the empire.
Eventually the sting of watching injustice unfold will propel a group of Superstars to resist Triple H. Eventually we'll see the story of revolution play out on Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-views.
Big Show seemed to squirm with indecision and uncertainty as Triple H challenged him on Monday. Even with the threat of unemployment hanging over his head, you can't keep a giant contained forever.
The same goes for men like Ziggler and Miz.
Eventually right will overcome wrong, the villain will fall and the heroes will rise. It doesn't happen enough in the real world, but in WWE's reality it will.
Triple H's grip will loosen, his victims will become his rivals and his crown will be knocked to the ground.