In July, when Vince McMahon abruptly retired from WWE to try and hide from sexual misconduct allegations and hush money payments, the company was headed into much-needed winds of change.
The days that followed saw several office talents receive promotions, and several receive demotions. The biggest change was Triple H taking over the head of creative, a job McMahon held since he bought the then-WWWF from his father back in the 80s. A change had officially come to WWE. However, we would soon find out that the “WWE way” of writing your history, no matter what, wasn’t going to change, and neither was incompetent booking.
Triple H, by his friends in interviews, had always been described as a “student of the game.” A pro wrestling history buff, who studied the business, respected the history.
In August, Triple H made an appearance on the Logan Paul podcast, Impaulsive, and when the topic of McMahon came up, with his WWE blinders on, Triple H said that McMahon took “this tiny little thing” out of bars and made it a global sensation.
I highly recommend the book Death of the Territories if you believe that McMahon took wrestling out of smoke-filled bars. If you don’t believe that, I still recommend the book. McMahon bought an established company that ran Madison Square Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena, monthly! His own company was ALREADY out of bars before Vince had anything to do with the business! Once you read (or listen to) Death of the Territories, you’ll understand that someone could make an argument that the pro wrestling business as a whole was better off BEFORE the McMahon expansion in the 80s.
Triple H is not only the ultimate company guy, but he can also contradict his own words.
Let’s rewind the clock to 2019, a triumphant Triple H says, “NXT is NOT developmental, it’s a third brand.”
In September of that same year, NXT moved its flagship show from WWE Network to USA Network on Wednesday nights. A couple of weeks before a new company, AEW is set to debut also on the same night of the week for the TNT Network.
All coincidence, of course.
After the first night of head-to-head, WWE tells us, “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Fast forward to 2021, NXT has been moved to Tuesday and is now a multi-colored shit show, and AEW has won the war. Within the last month or so, Triple H sat down with MMA reporter Ariel Helwani for BT Sports. The topic of the “Wednesday Night War” comes up, Triple H proceeds to say that “AEW beat our developmental, good for them.”
One of my hopes for WWE when Triple H took over, besides bringing a competent TV product back to WWE, was there would be no more ignorance towards the actual booking of the TV shows and PLEs. Throughout the entire history of professional wrestling, yes, it did exist before 1982, there was a proven, yet simple way to book shows. You take a good guy and a bad guy, give them a reason to have a match, build to the blowoff, which is usually a couple of matches down the road, maybe in a cage match or something in that regard, and repeat. Believe it or not, companies worldwide would fill arenas, not smoky bars, using this proven method. You could add and tweak but the overall arching concept was the same because it worked.
However, recently, Triple H decided that incompetent booking would be here to stay in WWE when he announced months in advance that Survivor Series would be rebranded Survivor Series WarGames. The “evolution” of Survivor Series by introducing a match from 1984. In a time when the big four WWE shows sell the most tickets and no longer sell PPVs, WWE announcing like this, months in advance makes little to no sense.
Pro wrestling is built around stories building to a crescendo. A reason to have a WarGames match. “It will be storyline driven” as stated in the press release, means we should have the storyline play out on TV before we know the ending! It would only make sense to announce this early if it was RAW vs. SmackDown, which it is not. I understand that this is probably small on the scale of incompetence, but the small things matter.
Has there been any real change in WWE with the New Head of Incompetence & Revisionist History, Triple H?
Bringing back all the talent McMahon fired doesn’t count as a change. Seems to me he is just following in the old man’s footsteps, staying the course, doing it the WWE way.
Tell Ford what you think on Twitter @fordcomplains. Ford hosts a true crime podcast called “Ford & Vegas” as well as a pro-wrestling podcast called “Mark Side of the Ring.”
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