The backstage hierarchy sees Triple H right behind Vince McMahon when it comes to the top of WWE. McMahon is still running the show as the man with the final decision regarding anything that goes down on WWE television. Triple H is currently the head of NXT making his impact known in that way. The main roster work of Triple H sees him add input and help the talent, but he still below Vince by a wide margin. Triple H however is setting up the future of WWE with the stars being signed for NXT and helping them get over on the main roster.
We'll see a different WWE when Triple H is finally in charge after replacing McMahon. There are a few wrestlers that will see things go differently for them when Triple H is running the company. Both Vince and Triple H each have different perspectives as to what works in the wrestling business today. This has led to varying opinions regarding certain talents on the roster right now. Triple H likes some wrestlers that McMahon dislikes and vice versa. This list will break down fifteen active WWE stars that Triple H and Vince McMahon don’t agree on.
The rumors surrounding Paige have been all over the place in recent months. It seemed apparent that WWE was going to run out her contract until it expired without negotiating a new deal. Now, the belief is that Paige will return any day now and once again become a fixture on WWE television.
Vince McMahon was livid at Paige violating the Wellness Policy, having her tape leak and being in the news for domestic abuse towards her controversial boyfriend Alberto Del Rio. Triple H was the one to sign Paige at the age of 19 due to seeing her potential to be a huge star for many years. This is likely the reason WWE is giving Paige another chance. Between her upside and established popularity, Paige is someone that Triple H seems to have protected from being blacklisted.
14 Bray Wyatt
One name that Triple H always brings up when talking about the success of NXT is Bray Wyatt. Other success stories like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura were already success stories before signing. Wyatt is the example of someone that failed on the main roster, went back down to NXT and found success using his own creativity.
The combination of Bray’s vision and Triple H’s team putting the finishing touches on it made The Wyatt Family highly compelling. However, the main roster tenure of Bray has been quite disappointing often being used as a stepping stone. Vince McMahon doesn’t seem to understand Wyatt’s character as he now says nothing with meaning and loses every feud to popular faces. Triple H taking over would benefit Bray as much as anyone else at this point.
Cesaro is an interesting case of someone that has never been able to win over Vince McMahon. The use of Cesaro has shown that McMahon does value Cesaro as a good worker but nothing more. Cesaro has peaked in the mid-card and Tag Title pictures over the years. While that is still successful, Cesaro is considered one of the best wrestlers in the world without being able to truly show it in WWE.
McMahon has confirmed that he doesn’t believe in Cesaro being able to grab the brass ring when asked about it in a podcast interview with Steve Austin. Sami Zayn shared a story about Triple H embracing Cesaro after the classic Zayn versus Cesaro NXT TakeOver match. It shows how much Triple H believes in Cesaro that he allowed the wrestler to work without restraints in NXT.
Vince McMahon and Triple H have completely different visions of women’s wrestling. Triple H stated he always felt the female wrestlers would not get the opportunities they deserved long before he was in a position to encourage change. Gail Kim despises McMahon for her WWE run but claimed Triple H always offered her words of wisdom. This shows Triple H respects women’s wrestling and McMahon clearly never has.
Lana comes into play due to her strengths being her incredible good looks and her weakness being equally horrible in the ring. Vince reportedly has wanted to push her multiple times as a singles star but the in-ring work always holds her back. Triple H’s success of giving the women credibility in NXT would be damaged if Lana ever gets a top spot as a wrestler. He likely wants her to remain a manager as Vince wouldn’t mind her having another push in the ring.
The husband of Lana finds his way here with her but with the opposite outcome. Vince McMahon seems to have a dislike for Rusev that has held him back from moving up the card. Various stories through the years have created the belief that McMahon hates it when an attractive woman on the roster is dating someone less attractive in his ways.
That has put Rusev on the hate list of Vince. The decision to break up Rusev and Lana in 2015 was a decision of McMahon hoping to keep them apart. Lana announcing their real life engagement on TMZ changed that. Triple H is a big supporter of Rusev as one of the first NXT stars to get called up to the main roster with a major push.
10 Brock Lesnar
The highest paid wrestler in WWE right now is Brock Lesnar thanks to Vince McMahon wanting him as a top draw. Lesnar made $12 million which is significantly more than the rest of the roster despite working less dates. The issue here is that Brock doesn’t appear to bring much more success to WWE. All of the numbers from WWE Network, live attendance and television ratings would indicate that there’s no huge rise if Lesnar is around.
Triple H has worked hard to build many new stars in NXT. Top names like Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are being held in a lower spot than they should be on Raw due to Brock’s Universal Championship reign making it impossible to put them in the main event unless it is a one shot loss. We may very well see Triple H get rid of Lesnar when he gets power despite McMahon’s belief in him.
9 Tyler Breeze
One NXT call-up that was welcomed to the main roster with a harsh greeting was Tyler Breeze. The talented NXT performer was one of the top heels there for multiple years until finally getting his shot in the big league. Breeze had a very short push before Vince McMahon completely gave up on him. Rumors of Breeze leaving a show early after getting the okay from another boss made him an enemy of McMahon.
Triple H always utilized Breeze well on NXT and showed his appreciation for Tyler helping others at the Performance Center on the Breaking Ground special. Breeze is currently in a better role working in the entertaining comedic tag team Breezango with Fandango. However, the potential of being a singles star for Breeze is where McMahon and Triple H disagree.
The main roster run of Bayley on Raw has been one of the most disappointing call-ups. Despite the fact that Bayley has won the Raw Women’s Championship and received consistent television time, her character’s charm has fallen significantly. Bayley was arguably the best female character in NXT history making fans legitimately care about her.
This has been different on the main roster with Vince McMahon not knowing how to book her. Triple H made sure Bayley was presented as an underdog that fought her way to the top. Bayley however won the Raw Women’s Championship right away with minimal adversity and is now a forgotten woman on Raw. McMahon just doesn’t get how to use Bayley and her career is hurting. We can only hope Triple H saves the day sooner than later.
7 Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews is another talented wrestler to come out of NXT to a less celebrated role on the main roster. The reality series Breaking Ground revealed Crews was the first star to get a bonus within his first month on NXT television since Kevin Owens. Crews never received a major push in terms of winning gold in NXT due to Triple H seeing him as main roster bound right away.
WWE called up Crews less than a year into his NXT career right before the brand split. Crews had a feud with Sheamus before slipping lower and lower in the pecking order of WWE. Rumors started circulating that Vince McMahon didn’t like his work. Crews is now with the Titus Brand faction with Titus O’Neil as his manager. It is not the way he envisioned his WWE career going.
6 Nia Jax
Vince McMahon and Triple H both seem to agree about the potential of Nia Jax being to become a huge star in the Women’s Division. However, they disagreed about her time in NXT. Triple H wanted to keep her in NXT for a long time period as she had zero experience in wrestling before making a call to The Rock to get her a job.
McMahon would make the decision to call Jax up way faster than anyone could have expected. To put it in perspective, Nia was called up before Bayley. Jax is now struggling to find any momentum on Raw due to still being quite green in the ring. Former wrestlers like Tazz have expressed their opinion that she needed more time in NXT. It seems like Triple H is viewed as the one in the right here.
5 Finn Balor
The main roster tenure of Finn Balor so far has seen him have some unfortunate luck and poor timing. Balor received the push of a lifetime last year becoming the first ever Universal Champion at SummerSlam 2016 during a time period when Roman Reigns was punished for violating the Wellness Policy. An injury would force him to relinquish the title on the next night.
Balor has not been met with the same booking when returning this year. Vince McMahon has portrayed him as an underdog character struggling to defeat the likes of Elias and getting destroyed by big men like Kane. Triple H built NXT around Finn when the promotion started to grow in a major way. Balor could be “the guy” in Triple H’s WWE but will just be another underdog face character for McMahon.
4 Sami Zayn
Triple H booked Sami Zayn as the ultimate babyface in NXT. The success of Zayn along with his superb matches made NXT start to get the momentum rolling. You have to wonder if NXT would have ever picked up steam around the time of the WWE Network launching if Zayn wasn’t having such performances.
The main roster run of Zayn has been less impressive. Aside from a feud with Kevin Owens, it feels like Sami has been treading water until recently turning heel. Triple H wanted Zayn to be his version of Ricky Steamboat always staying heel. However, he likely didn’t fight against the heel turn since Zayn needed something new after reaching a low of failing to make most PPVs and television shows. McMahon’s vision for Sami is clearly different from what Triple H wanted.
3 Jinder Mahal
The rise of Jinder Mahal saw him become the WWE Champion for the most of 2017 with a push that started out of nowhere. Mahal returned to WWE last year and spent his time as an enhancement talent working for the Raw brand. WWE moved him to the SmackDown brand and instantly made him the number one contender to Randy Orton’s title.
Vince McMahon was impressed with the physique and work ethic of Mahal enough to put the title on him right away. Jinder had a length reign end at the hands of A.J. Styles. No one could have predicted McMahon would push him this hard. Triple H has expressed respect towards Mahal but you just know he isn’t pleased his NXT guys have been overlooked for someone with less credibility.
2 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks was viewed as the most talented of all the women in NXT. However, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and Bayley all have passed her since the main roster call-ups. Banks has played the face role after being a heel in NXT due to her popularity making her a top merchandise seller. Vince McMahon however refuses to push her as a true top star.
All four of Sasha’s Raw Women’s Championship reigns saw her lose it on the first defense. Banks is now treading water waiting for a meaningful program. Triple H clearly had more faith in her as he basically built the women’s division around her in NXT at its peak. Various reports have indicated that McMahon is not a fan of Sasha and that’s the reason she is being underutilized. This is bad news for Banks unless Triple H gets power soon.
1 Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura signing with WWE was one of the biggest transactions in recent memory. Following a legendary run with New Japan, Nakamura brought his unique style of sport and entertainment to NXT. Triple H instantly made him the face of the NXT brand to replace Finn Balor. Nakamura’s classic match with Sami Zayn on his first night made him a Superstar for NXT.
The main roster debut this year saw Nakamura become a popular star on the biggest stage. However, his momentum was deflated when Jinder Mahal defeated him cleanly in a short match at SummerSlam. Nakamura has fallen into a funk as just another upper-card act. Vince McMahon doesn’t seem to believe in him as a top draw causing him to become one of many rather than the unique star he was in NXT.