All the Ways WWE Has Already Changed in the Brand-New Triple H Era

Erik BeastonAugust 3, 2022

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There was considerable excitement among fans when Triple H was announced as the new head of creative at WWE.

The company's efforts on that front had been severely lacking over the last decade or so, with repetition and laziness taking precedence over innovation and forethought.

The first major event under the direction of The Game, SummerSlam, was met with critical praise for its booking decisions, which included surprise returns, solid pacing, loose commentary and the most chaotic main event in recent memory.

Fiending For Followers ‼️ @Fiend4FolIows

Michael Cole on commentary last night was wild, made this match even better imo. <a href="https://t.co/8vjE4eE9EN">pic.twitter.com/8vjE4eE9EN</a>

Two days later, WWE Raw gave fans even more reason to be excited about the future under Triple H, thanks to several changes that became apparent early and often:

  • A second chance for Ciampa on the main roster
  • There were matches with actual stakes, such as the two Triple Threat bouts that gave way to a No. 1 contender's contest between Ciampa and AJ Styles.
  • The elevation of the United States Championship by way of those bouts. That title felt infinitely more important than it has in a long time as a result of the focus on crowning a new No. 1 contender.
  • The tease of future character development and matches suggests there is a direction the creative team is headed rather than making things up as it goes.
  • Theory was nowhere to be seen after being overexposed for the last two months.
  • More organic promos, thanks to the loosening of scripted material.

Those weren't the biggest changes, though.

In his first chance to leave an impression as the head booker of WWE, Triple H made changes that were felt immediately in the women's division and at the commentary table.

The Revolution Will Be Prominent Again

It has been over three years since the women's revolution that engulfed WWE culminated in the main event of WrestleMania 35.

While there have been instances in which the division has been featured significantly, it fell into a pattern of sameness, thanks to the company's reliance on the same three or four names.

Staleness became a major point of contention among fans, and Triple H immediately set out to alter that at Saturday's SummerSlam by reintroducing Bayley, rehiring Dakota Kai and promoting Iyo Sky to the main roster.

If that wasn't enough, he ensured they would not be relegated to a single segment on Monday and instead featured them across three. They interacted with the injured Becky Lynch, Raw women's champion Bianca Belair, and then Alexa Bliss and Asuka.

In short, they instigated battles with several top names and ignited a rivalry that suddenly feels like a top-tier story on Monday nights.

In fact, other than the focus on crowning a new No. 1 contender to the U.S. title, it can be argued it was the main storyline on this week's broadcast.

When you factor in how dominant Rhea Ripley has looked while backing up Finn Balor and Damian Priest in The Judgment Day, it becomes apparent that Triple H understands the value of women's wrestling having brought it to the forefront in NXT.

He now seems prepared to return it to a place of importance on the main roster.

Again, that is not to say Lynch, Belair, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey have not been promoted and heavily featured on shows before. Instead of focusing just on the champion and her top challenger, though, he instantly gave six or seven different women something to do in angles that mattered, rather than throwing them into meaningless tag matches.

Also of note was the absence of Lacey Evans from Friday's SmackDown after commentator Michael Cole announced she "was not cleared to compete." In her place was Shotzi, who scored a television win over Aliyah and had some mic time before being cut off by Rousey.

Might that be a statement about the current state of Evans' character and the creative mastermind's opinion of Shotzi? It certainly bears watching as The King of Kings continues to mold the women's roster.

Given his track record in NXT, where many of the previously mentioned performers rose to stardom in the first place, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about that.

'A lot has changed'

Cole said the above line to Corey Graves Saturday night when his color commentator mentioned he liked the play-by-play guy better when he did not have an opinion.

While he said it in an off-hand matter, that one sentence served as the perfect representation of the tone and content the commentary team has taken since Triple H took over following Vince McMahon's retirement on July 22.

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Michael Cole commentating WWE without Vince yelling in his ear for the first time in 25 years: <a href="https://t.co/jja2d2BmON">pic.twitter.com/jja2d2BmON</a>

Saturday night, Cole showed more personality, energy and excitement for the product than we have seen in years.

Anyone who mistook him for a lifeless shill learned quickly that, without the boss shouting in his ear, he can be an engaging play-by-play commentator and the true voice of WWE.

Like Jim Ross, he was invested in a way that he had not been allowed to be in some time. Like the wrestlers who are no longer held to the demands of a poorly written script, he was allowed the opportunity to let himself shine through. The result was the best commentary performance in recent years.

Cole recalled past elements of the performers' careers, past character details that McMahon wanted no focus on. After all, fans do not have short attention spans.

They are passionate and can recall the history of certain wrestlers, their past incarnations and the titles they have or haven't won so covering up the past was doing nobody any good.

Saturday, the fans were fans, not a collective universe or whatever buzzy term the boss was trying to pass off as the new norm.

While small changes, how the product is presented to the viewing audience will be a hugely significant part of Triple H changing the perception of it.

Jeremy 'Da Dermy' Lambert @jeremylambert88

We all guessed who would benefit most under Triple H. <br><br>Turns out it was Michael Cole.

During the Attitude Era, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler were integral in putting over the most important moments of that time.

Their voices are attached to some of the most iconic moments in wrestling history because they were allowed to call it as they saw it, without having to mention 16 different corporate sponsorships, sticking to an arduously written script or dodging pronouns.

When the wrestlers and people calling the action care about what they are doing, the audience does, too, and that is as important a change as Triple H can make right now.


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