For a moment, try to imagine Eric Bischoff beating up Hulk Hogan on Nitro six days before Hulk’s title match against Sting.
Imagine Vince McMahon giving The Rock a Stunner before an upcoming title shot against Steve Austin.
It would be ridiculous; it would be bad for business. It would be flat-out idiotic.
But this is what we saw on the Dec. 9 edition of Raw when Triple H took out the WWE champion because he caused his wife to fall to the ground. With a title unification just days away, what purpose did that distraction serve? Why was that moment chosen to close a hot segment?
The final minutes on Raw were exciting. The crowd was fully behind Daniel Bryan and loudly voiced their displeasure for him not being involved in the upcoming title match. We then got a solid promo from John Cena, and he even accomplished the near impossible of bringing the rowdy crowd’s attention back to his upcoming showdown with Orton.
As the promo concluded, a series of rapid-fire finishing moves broke out. It was chaotic and a lot of fun. The final one, though, ruined the good times. Triple H laid out Randy Orton, the WWE champion, with a Pedigree. He then stood across the ring looking down at him along with Cena and his wife. The champion, two weeks in a row before a huge title match, looked incredibly weak.
The final attack just doesn't make a lot of sense from a storyline or business standpoint. Ever since Orton won the title, it's been a rough road with him and Hunter. One week they seem to love each other, the next they're at odds. This doesn't appear to be leading to a match between the two, so it's just inconsistent writing.
It looks like we're headed towards a Punk vs. HHH match (because that worked out so well last time), and Orton's next opponent isn't yet clear.
So what possessed HHH to insert himself into this angle so heavily just days before the show? He basically answered that question himself the week before when he called the upcoming TLC match “the biggest match of this generation.” No wonder he couldn’t keep himself out of it.
There are some who are speculating that HHH will somehow, someway leave TLC with the Unified title. That’s a terrible idea, but you can’t put it past him in the least. The fact that it's even in the back of the minds of fans goes to show how egotistical and out-of-touch HHH has become.
For all intents and purposes, he's retired. Competing once or twice a year isn't the life of a wrestler, that's a Vickie Guerrero in-ring schedule.
What would make Hunter capturing the gold so bad is that without two champions, there will be no one to defend a world title at house shows. He's not going to show up for them. That takes away a big drawing card for fans. What's going to be in the main event? A U.S. title defense?
Ok, so even if this doesn't lead to a Hunter as champion scenario, it's still hard to find the point of it. A COO knocked out the WWE Champion who is 10 years younger than him. That's flat-out bad.
WWE only gave fans a few weeks to let fans know that the titles would be merged. Considering the belts used to be perceived as near equals, this should have been a huge storyline. It could have been a WrestleMania main event. Instead, it's happening at a pay-per-view called Tables, Ladders and Chairs.
The company didn't even seem to be sure that the titles would be unified until a week or so ago. The best thing to do was to keep it simple: Orton and Cena talk about wanting to be the best in the business, and they talk about the proud lineage of their respective belts. Triple H unnecessarily got involved and damaged the top title in the very company he will someday run.
All Raw needed in order to have a fantastic, coherent ending that effectively built toward the pay-per-view was to leave the boss out of it. As we've seen the past few months (and quite a few times over the past 15 years), it doesn't happen as much as it should.
And just in case you didn’t think this segment was really about Triple H, take a look back and see whose music was playing at the end of the show. Rightfully it should have been one of the challengers' at the pay-per-view, right? But it wasn't. It was HHH’s, because why wouldn’t it be?