The reputation of Triple H has improved dramatically over the past few years. Triple H was once known as the shadiest person backstage that would use his power as Stephanie McMahon’s husband to hold down other wrestlers. The fact that Triple H had the top spot with consistent world title reigns didn’t help when you look at all the wrestlers that were held down at his expense. However, the move from a wrestler to an important person behind the scenes has done nothing but help him become more likeable to wrestlers and fans alike.
Triple H is now appreciated for many of the things he contributes to the company. The success of NXT has given the fan base an alternative to the WWE product while still having the WWE production value. Many of the top wrestlers from all over the world have signed with WWE thanks to Triple H’s influence. We must credit him for Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and many others making it in WWE. The women’s division becoming credible is another huge accomplishment from Triple H. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect for him these days. We’ll take a look at fifteen rumors currently going around that Triple H doesn’t want fans to know about.
15. Ronda Rousey No Longer Wrestling at WrestleMania
Ronda Rousey developing a relationship with WWE is a product of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon reaching out to her. As a super fan, Rousey attended many WWE shows and they always treated her like gold due to seeing the potential of a business relationship down the road. The MMA career of Rousey going downhill and essentially ending, meaning she is now free for other projects.
It was rumored that Rousey would be making her debut at Royal Rumble winning the match and challenging one of the champions at WrestleMania. However, the acting career of Rousey will have her filming a movie to start the year. Charlotte Flair went from trying to tease a match with Rousey on social media to now wanting to face her friend Becky Lynch. Many signs are pointing to Rousey no longer being confirmed for WWE in 2018.
14. Turning Down Chris Jericho’s Cruise Opened NJPW Opportunity
Chris Jericho appearing at Wrestle Kingdom 12 allowed New Japan to have a huge opportunity at growth in North America. The dream match between Jericho and Kenny Omega gave NJPW a spike in terms of ticket sales and NJPW World subscriptions. Many North American fans stayed up to watch the event. Jericho appears to be working with them more going forward.
One of Triple H’s decisions may have helped convince Jericho to wrestle outside of WWE. Jericho wanted NXT to take part in his 2018 cruise, but Triple H said WWE wouldn’t approve the idea. Ring of Honor took the spot and Jericho started collaborating with wrestlers like the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes. The relationship with NJPW and ROH could have played a role in Jericho making the jump shortly after the cruise announcement.
13. Velveteen Dream Suspension
The popularity of Velveteen Dream gives him a chance to be one of the next breakout stars in NXT. At just 22 years old, Velveteen Dream has shown great potential. A star-making performance against Aleister Black at NXT TakeOver: War Games helped get him to the next level. However, it was shocking to see Velveteen Dream kept off NXT television for over a month following the classic match.
There have been rumors that he violated the WWE Wellness Policy. WWE doesn’t have to announce their suspensions publicly, especially with wrestlers down in NXT. It would make a lot of sense that Velveteen Dream was suspended since he didn’t appear on any WWE events in over a month. Triple H wouldn’t want fans knowing his next big star was suspended which gives the rumor more credence.
12. Canceled Match With Braun Strowman
WWE teased a big match between Triple H and Braun Strowman at the end of Survivor Series. Triple H tried to manipulate Strowman in the match leading to Strowman decimating him after the match to end the show. A segment between the two on Raw seemed to imply they would have more action down the road. However, Triple H also had a showdown with Kurt Angle.
It appears Triple H won’t have a match at the Royal Rumble meaning he will only work WrestleMania 34. The match with Angle has been in the plans for months. Strowman and Triple H didn’t leave the fans talking the way an attraction match should have after their interactions. Most pundits believe WWE will be pushing on the idea of Strowman facing Triple H in early 2018.
11. Vince Intentionally Kept Mandy Rose Off NXT TV
Triple H has shown pride in helping the NXT stars progress as performers before moving on to the main roster. The women to thrive in NXT have especially been great success stories that moved on to WWE’s main roster. Sasha Banks, Paige and Asuka all became stars long before moving to Raw and SmackDown. There was one woman viewed as too important to work in NXT.
Mandy Rose reportedly only worked a handful of matches on NXT with no storylines at the request of Vince McMahon. The Tough Enough show in 2015 saw Rose finish second and land a contract. McMahon was very much running the competition and loved her potential. Triple H was apparently instructed to not use Rose on NXT television because they wanted her to be a new face when getting called up with bigger long-term plans than the average woman.
10. Shane McMahon Getting More Backstage Power in WWE
The backstage beef between Shane McMahon and Triple H is one of the more fascinating stories in wrestling. Shane allegedly left the WWE when he realized that Vince McMahon was going to have Triple H and Stephanie McMahon succeed him as the ones running the company. A return has seen Shane come back longer than anyone expected.
It was originally supposed to be a short run with Shane replacing an injured John Cena to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32. Shane has been a consistent character on-screen for the past two years with no end in sight. Not even Shane realized how much he missed the business and wants to be back for the long term future. We’ll see if this means he will once again try to challenge Triple H when it comes to planning the future of WWE.
9. He Made The Call To Beat Jinder Mahal in India
Triple H has seen his reputation change in recent years from the wrestler that hogged the spotlight to a beloved decision maker that does what is best for business. One peculiar booking decision came about a month ago during WWE’s tour in India. Jinder Mahal faced Triple H in the main event of the show after many months of being build as India’s wrestling hero on WWE television.
The shocking finish saw Triple H defeat Mahal in India to end the show. When asked about it in a conference call, Triple H stated that he was the bigger star in India according to their business metrics and it was what the fans wanted to see. If Triple H did in fact make the decision to defeat Mahal, it shows that the old glory hog wanting to have the spotlight at the expense of others is still there.
8. ROH Had Best Financial Year in Company History
Ring of Honor had a successful 2017 with many surprises along the way. Matt and Jeff Hardy had a feud with the Young Bucks before heading back to WWE. Various new stars like Dalton Castle, Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay started to become fixtures on the card. Cody Rhodes had a strong title run bringing mainstream coverage to the company at times.
All of this led to the most financially successful year in ROH history. The attendance, merchandise sales and PPV buy rates all skyrocketed to new heights. Triple H’s NXT is trying to run as a glorified independent promotion with the same markets and style of wrestling. Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, Lio Rush and Donovan Dijak all moved from ROH to NXT, yet ROH continues to thrive.
7. Vince McMahon Thinks Finn Balor is Overrated
The NXT run of Finn Balor saw Triple H treat him as the golden boy of the developmental brand. Balor spent extra time in NXT at the request of Triple H due to wanting to have a draw at the top of the card for the growth of the brand. It all evened out when Balor won the Universal Championship just a month into his debut before unfortunately suffering an injury at the worst time.
Things have gone poorly for Balor since returning from injury. WWE has yet to give him a rematch for the title he never lost. Most of the year was spent in a horrible feud with Bray Wyatt and lower card work with the likes of Elias, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Vince McMahon is rumored to be very down on Balor and will not be pushing him as a top star any time soon. Triple H is likely frustrated seeing his biggest NXT star get cut down on Raw.
6. Ricochet Potentially Skipping NXT for 205 Live
Triple H’s ideal path for top independent wrestlers signing with WWE would have them debut in NXT. Following a run in NXT establishing them there and learning the WWE way, they will move up to either Raw or SmackDown with momentum. Ricochet is arguably the hottest free agent on the market right now after his Lucha Underground contract expired at the end of 2017.
However, some reports have claimed that he may not be a part of the NXT brand like others of his caliber. WWE badly wants to get some buzz for 205 Live and the cruiserweight division after failing just about every stretch of the way since debuting. Ricochet joining them could improve the product, but the NXT run is clearly the best option. Triple H losing out on Ricochet would be a huge disappointment since he is the one making the call to sign these talents.
5. Kenny Omega Turned Down WWE
As mentioned earlier, Triple H loves to make the big signings of international talents from all over the world. Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura were all treated as huge signings that WWE made like a sports team bringing in big names. Between the announcements and the surprise NXT debuts, Triple H clearly loves going after the top names on the market.
One wrestler that has been outspoken against signing with WWE is Kenny Omega. As the consensus choice for the best wrestler in the world, fans have been wondering if he will sign with WWE. Omega has claimed in recent interviews that he had offers on the table from all promotions in 2017, but he chose to re-sign with NJPW due to wanting them to grow with them. Triple H may have been snubbed by the best wrestler in the world.
4. Neville Desperately Wants to Leave WWE
The absence of Neville has seen him sitting home since requesting his release from WWE. Vince McMahon wants to freeze Neville out by having him do nothing until his contract ends. This is bad news because he is the person that saw the potential of Neville. It is no coincidence that Neville was the NXT Champion of Triple H’s choice as the promotion started to gain more exposure.
Neville being this upset to request a release shows just how frustrating life can be in WWE. Triple H likely would have wanted to work with him when eventually gaining power. Neville has helped Triple H’s vision grow in the past and the two had a great working relationship. Regardless of if he gets granted his release or not, Neville wanting to leave hurts the narrative Triple H wants to create about the transition from NXT to the main roster being all positive.
3. Gail Kim Turned Down WWE Return
Gail Kim is one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time and she is currently on her retirement tour. Two stints with WWE saw Kim used poorly with very little opportunity despite her talent. Vince McMahon viewed Gail negatively due to sexist beliefs. According to Jim Ross, McMahon believed that no one would think Kim was attractive and that fans wouldn’t want to see an Asian woman.
Kim has been adamant in interviews that she doesn’t want to return to WWE after the sexism she dealt with him. She did reveal that Triple H always treated her with respect and gave her positive encouragement at negative times. Triple H reached out to Mickie James first for NXT before WWE signed her to a main roster run. There is fan speculation that he offered a similar contract to Kim, but she turned it down due to viewing McMahon as sexist.
2. Daniel Bryan Going Back to ROH
ROH may only get stronger if the rumored future of Daniel Bryan comes true. Bryan is still trying to convince WWE to clear him to compete in the ring before his contract expires in September of 2018. Various health reports from doctors outside of WWE have cleared Bryan stating his head is safe enough to wrestle a full-time schedule.
WWE’s doctors still don’t buy it and Bryan is expected to leave the company when his contract expires. Bryan has made it clear that he would rather wrestle for other promotions than have a non-wrestling role in WWE. NXT’s biggest competitor could land one of the biggest wrestling stars in recent memory. Bryan has led ROH in the past and now will have more support from the company to grow even larger.
1. CM Punk Considering Return for Cody Rhodes and Young Bucks Show
One of the most interesting stories for wrestling in 2018 will feature a project by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. The highly successful New Japan/Ring of Honor stars believe they can run a show in 10,000+ seat venue like the arenas WWE television takes place at. Rhodes and the Bucks claim to have a venue already confirmed to run the major show.
Chicago is one of the locations that was reported to be in the running for the show. Matt Jackson has joked about consistently trying to talk CM Punk into coming back to the ring in their real-life conversations. Punk’s MMA career doesn’t seem to be going anywhere as he grows older. This special attraction show would be the perfect way for Punk to return outside of WWE. Triple H’s biggest enemy snubbing WWE because of him to work for a rival show would be a horrible look.
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