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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Triple-H As New WWE Head? More Like Triple-F

Just around the same time Internet chatter took off about the 2011 “PWI 500,” Triple-H assumed leadership of WWE’s day-to-day operations.

We can tell you that “Trips” didn’t rank in this year’s “500,” due mainly to the amount of time he spent on the injured reserve list during the evaluation period. However, if we were to analyze and rank Triple-H for his early performance as a wrestling executive, he’d appear much closer to the bottom of the list than the top.

Triple-H’s first few weeks in charge have been unimpressive to say the least. And we dare say that if the past 14 days are any indication of how Triple-H intends to run the company, WWE is in for a very chaotic future.

It’s a good thing Triple-H isn’t a baseball player, because after whiffing on his first three front-office challenges, we’d have already benched him in favor of a more reliable batter:

Strike One: Triple-H’s first blunder actually occurred months ago when he made his first WWE talent acquisition by signing Mexican sensation Sin Cara. Sure, the lucha libre star is a scintillating wrestler capable of whipping out highlight-reel maneuvers on a whim. And, yes, he appeals directly to the Hispanic and children markets WWE so covets. Unfortunately though, Sin Cara is currently on the sidelines, waiting out a 30-day suspension for a violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. Making matters worse, Sin Cara discussed the suspension in the press, which the gang in Stamford, Connecticut, couldn't have appreciated.

Of course, Triple-H didn’t cause Sin Cara’s violation, but he reportedly lobbied very strongly for WWE to do the deal. And now, there’s no way around the fact that Cara’s sins reflect poorly on Triple-H’s judgment.

Strike Two: More recently, Triple-H orchestrated the distasteful spectacle of publicly firing WWE Chairman—and his father-in-law—Vince McMahon on Raw.

Triple-H may have been acting at the behest of the WWE Board of Directors when he “future endeavored” Vince, but it takes some pretty big grapefruits to humiliate somebody who not only gives you a job, and a wife, but also the proverbial keys to the family business.

The incident not only calls Triple-H’s judgment into question yet again, but this time WWE employees are left to wonder if values such as loyalty and gratitude mean anything to “The Game.”

Strike Three: Triple-H squandered an opportunity to demonstrate his leadership ability when he completely mismanaged the WWE heavyweight championship situation on Raw.

In a scenario where then-champion CM Punk and former champion John Cena were expected to be gone from the Raw brand after July 17, WWE enters SummerSlam with both men holding claim to the same title, but no unification or elimination match announced for the PPV as yet.

Triple-H had an opportunity to restore clarity to the heavyweight title scene by making some bold and decisive decisions regarding Punk and Cena. Instead, he ordered a championship tourney on Raw that only muddied the waters further by getting Rey Mysterio involved. Triple-H has only himself to blame for the bungled mess the heavyweight title picture has become.

In fairness to Triple-H, nobody expected the transition from active wrestler to very visible front-office executive to be seamless. But while some mistakes are acceptable, Triple-H would’ve been better served by staying off of Raw and Smackdown until he saw a viable way through all the confusion.

Luckily for him (and us), however, there are some ways Triple-H can fix some of his mistakes. Senior Writer Dave Lenker expounds on them in an upcoming feature article in the November 2011 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (on sale September 27). Let us know what you think!

Frank Krewda


Anonymous said...

You're not too good at the concept of "storyline" are you?

Deary me....

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

Easy, Anon, we're just having a little fun.

Mad Conservative said...

Plus a title for title match was announced prior to you writing this article..

Elliot L. said...

Sorry when Miz tops the 500 list I'm more inclined to question PWI over Triple H any day. I'm not saying Miz isn't entertaining, and he has gotten much better over the years...but his words...Really?!?

I do agree putting Cena vs Rey right off the bat was Russo-worthy.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

Mad Conservative,
I consulted the SummerSlam page on when writing this blog. At the time, and even now, under the Matches banner it says TBA. At Smackdown tapings on Tuesday, Triple-H mentioned Punk vs. Cena but didn't announce a match. When was this announcement made?
Frank Krewda

Mad Conservative said...


Adam Davis said...

I don't understand "title v. title". Now that Punk is back, isn't he the one legit champ?

Awesome said...

Well i like that chairman of wwe(i know all this is scripted and vince is still chairman)but the desicion Cena stays sucks!

Marko50 said...

Triple H didn't order the tourney. That was done on Vince's watch, before he was "replaced". As a matter of fact, it was completed except for the final match before HHH took over.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

Fair point, Marko. However, since Triple-H was so quick to act on the Board's behalf and assume Vince's day-to-day oversight, his first act should have been to cancel the tournament. Clearly is was this type of mismanagement that prompted the Board to remove Vince in the first place.
Frank Krewda

Anonymous said...

A good article, Frank, but I do have to beg the question: you stated earlier in your comments that you were just having a bit of fun by treating the storylines as genuine (as related to HHH firing Vince) but then simultaneously you included the backstage events of Sin Cara's suspension and speaking out on it. A good article, like I said, but a little contradictory. - Sasha

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how PWI is handling the WWE Title situation. Does PWI recognize both CM Punk and John Cena as WWE Champions, or do you only recognize CM Punk, since he is listed as champions in the ratings section of the website? How about Rey Mysterio's title win? Do you recognize those reigns as interim reigns and therefore not actual world title wins? Thanks for your help.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

You make an excellent point, Anon. We do not recognize CM Punk's claim to the WWE title, and our ratings have been adjusted accordingly.

The way we see it, while Punk beat John Cena for the title at MITB, he made good of his threat to quit, albeit for a brief period of time. At the moment he left, the title became vacant. Rey Mysterio Jr. won the tournament and is part of the title lineage.

We strongly objected to Triple-H's decision to force Mysterio to defend the title against Cena without the opportunity to get some rest and prepare for the match. However, that is irrelevant to the subject of who we recognize as champion.

Fortunately, this whole mess will be cleared up on Sunday!

Stu Saks

Anonymous said...

After seeing the end to SummerSlam, does PWI recognize CM Punk as a two time WWE Champion or do you not recognize his few minute title win before losing to Alberto Del Rio? WWE does not count it as a separate reign, as they previously recognized two champions (Punk and Cena).
Will his brief second reign be erased like Kurt Angle's initial NWA/TNA title win in May 2007 or Antonio Inoki's WWF Title win since the promoter refused to recognize it?