All the credit in the world should go to Triple H.
At WrestleMania XXX, he put Daniel Bryan over strongly in their No. 1 contender match.
Not only that, but the bout was absolutely fantastic and a highlight of the undercard.
Triple H has been justifiably criticized over the past year for hindering Bryan with his constant barrage of on-screen remarks: running down his appearance, perceived weaknesses and inability to be a top star.
But when it came down to it, on the biggest stage of them all, he helped Bryan hugely. (Bryan, of course, went on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later on in the evening.)
Triple H has been an asset on-screen. Ideally, though, WrestleMania XXX should mark the point where he steps back as an on-screen performer and lets the full-time wrestlers grab the spotlight.
Of course, many fans will point to the ending of Raw as evidence why Triple H still has potential as a television character.
The climax of WWE’s flagship show focused on a collision between the newly formed Evolution (Randy Orton, Batista and Triple H) and Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
Surely it’s worth keeping Triple H around just so we can see this feud playing out, right?
While there is undoubtedly interest in The Shield vs. Evolution, once again focusing things on Triple H—which would surely be the consequence of such a program—would be a mistake on WWE’s part.
As an aging part-timer who barely wrestles anymore, he’s the last person to be the company’s top heel.
Playing second-fiddle to Triple H for the last year has done nothing but damage Randy Orton’s once-promising heel run, too.
As for Batista, while it may already be too late for his WWE return to be anything but a colossal flop, it’s hard to see how the company will be able to salvage anything from his return if he’s relegated to the role of sidekick.
As great as the ending of Raw was, the message was abundantly clear: Triple H is in charge and calling the shots. Orton and Batista are merely his henchmen. How is that a good development?
Besides, doesn’t it make Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns—one of the most promising WWE acts to emerge in recent times—appear bad if they’re constantly losing or looking weak against a 44-year-old corporate executive? They’re supposed to be the top butt-kicking babyfaces that fans can believe in.
The Shield vs. Evolution clash may be good for one pay-per-view, sure, but beyond that? It would just amount to further exposure of a man who doesn’t need any more exposure.
Of course, whether or not Triple H realizes that centering the company thing on himself is a bad idea is another issue entirely. He’s been on top for almost 15 years now; being all over the flagship show probably comes naturally to him.
Can he step away from his on-screen duties before he becomes a real hindrance?