As Adam Silverstein of CBS Sports explained, Wrestling Observer creator and editor Dave Meltzer reported in February that Triple H is already looking to the future and to a time when he will take creative control of the main roster from WWE chairman Vince McMahon. As far as those who do not work in the WWE know, there is not yet a date for when that event will occur, nor are we aware how Triple H’s rise to power will take place. For example, McMahon could decide that he wants to give control of only SmackDown to Triple H, or maybe the two could become co-bosses so that Vince can take some time off without completely stepping away from the promotion that he made the biggest and most powerful in the history of the industry.
What we do know is that Triple H is rumored to have his hands on several potential storylines that could be featured on WWE television later this year or in 2019. Writers will, obviously, give Triple H ideas, but it will be up to the man himself to decide who goes over and maybe even who holds certain championships. Which, of any of these storylines, would you like to see over the next 18 months?
15 Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya
One of the things widely reported almost as soon as former Ultimate Fighting Championship title-holder Ronda Rousey debuted at the Royal Rumble was that much of her WWE career, including storylines that would involve the mixed martial arts superstar, was being handled by Triple H. That seemed to be the case when she teamed up with Kurt Angle (more on him later) to face The Game and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34.
Unless the plan changes or we all are reading far too into events that have taken place on WWE television, it appears Rousey’s next lengthy feud with be with Natalya. Natalya, Rousey’s friend in real life and in storyline, turning on the Rowdy one and going heel could help elevate both women, and the two working together should allow Rousey to continue to improve as a worker. Per interviews that Rousey has given, she wants to be a full-time WWE wrestler and not just somebody who appears for occasional encounters. If that really is the case, she needs to be training and working with one of the best wrestlers on the roster. Natalya is the perfect next opponent for Rousey, both because of the storyline and also for Rousey’s future as a main-event wrestler.
14 Triple H vs. Kurt Angle
Triple H is no longer a weekly character, nor is he somebody who wrestles on a normal schedule. With that said, there is no indication that Triple H is ready to retire from in-ring duties, entirely, and stick to booking storylines and making other decisions behind the scenes.
One of the rumored matches Triple H was supposedly working on with writers before Rousey made her debut involved Kurt Angle, who is currently serving as the Raw General Manager.
Angle and Stephanie McMahon are clearly on different pages, in storyline, and that feud could build to the point where Triple H says that enough is enough and that he is ready to take care of business at a big show such as SummerSlam or the Survivor Series.
Besides, we still need a fulfilling conclusion to that tasty storyline involving Angle potentially stealing Stephanie from Triple H. Sure, it’s been almost 20 years since that story began to play out on TV, but these things sometimes need time to develop. The match wouldn’t be a five-star thriller, as both athletes are past their wrestling primes. That doesn’t mean fans wouldn’t pop for the encounter were it to occur in the middle of a pay-per-view card or even in a semi-main event.
13 A Revival Push
One of the reasons WWE fans were so hopeful The Revival would receive a major push once they made the jump from NXT to the Raw roster after WrestleMania 33 is because Triple H was rumored to be high on Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson. Here we are a little over a year since they first emerged as foes of the New Day, and The Revival have been relegated to midcard wrestlers and afterthoughts within the tag team division. After The Revival recently worked at an NXT house show, some saw that as a sign that they had been demoted back down to the developmental portion of the promotion. That may not necessarily be the case.
It is possible that Triple H could have been behind the decision to use Dash and Dawson on that show, and also that he wants to give them a fresh storyline that may or not take place on the main roster. Triple H could use both men back on NXT for a month or so leading up to a Takeover show, or he could remove them from TV for a period of time before re-debuting them on 205 Live. 205 Live may, if a different rumor is accurate, need some new teams later this year.
12 Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships
Earlier this year, it was rumored that the WWE was looking at introducing Tag Team Titles for the women’s division and for the Cruiserweight wrestlers who perform on 205 Live. It looks like Women’s Championships were either removed from consideration, or that those initial reports were inaccurate. There is still hope, though, that Triple H could add badly-needed Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships to 205 Live before the end of the year.
Tag team wrestling went through its own revolution in NXT over the past couple of years, to the point that Triple H has shown he is willing to main-event a Takeover show with a tag bout. He has also made tag team wrestling an important aspect of 205 Live even though that show technically has no “division” for such duos.
Giving the Cruiserweights a mid-card championship to feud over would not make much sense, nor would it do anything to bolster those who are currently on that roster. Tag titles would give Triple H and the WWE an excuse to plan another tournament — something the promotion has loved in recent years — and it would pair-off wrestlers who currently aren’t doing much of note on the main roster, 205 Live or even NXT.
11 Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena
Back in January, Rey Mysterio made his much-anticipated return to the WWE when he competed in the Royal Rumble. The belief, following his appearance at the first major WWE pay-per-view of 2018, was that the former world champion would have a role at WrestleMania.
Later, we learned that Triple H was reportedly responsible for negotiating that match, and that Mysterio was scheduled to face none other than John Cena at the Showcase of the Immortals. That contest did not go down, though, likely because Mysterio suffered an injury before WrestleMania. While Mysterio is reportedly booked for other promotions up through the summer, it seems almost a given that he and the WWE will again do business with each other.
Triple H could resume working on a storyline that would lead to a match between Mysterio and Cena. That bout could co-headline the Survivor Series, or it could even be put off until next year’s Royal Rumble. Then again, Cena has hinted that he would be down for working in NXT. We’re not sure how Triple H and writers would create a scenario for why Mysterio and Cena would want to face each other at a Takeover show, but they have plenty of time to come up with something believable.
10 Ronda Rousey Squashing Others In Short Matches
Alicia Fox has been off of WWE programming throughout 2018 because of an injury, but she found herself in headlines after she reportedly got into a heated argument with Travis Browne, the husband of the previously mentioned Ronda Rousey, during WrestleMania weekend. Had that been all that serious of a matter, one has to imagine that Fox would have been shown the door. After all, the WWE certainly isn’t punishing Rousey considering how much the company is paying her to be on shows such as Raw.
According to the latest news, Rousey is set to have a short match with Nia Jax. Expect this theme to continue as she destroys opponents, in large part, getting booked as a dominant force by Triple H.
With Fox still employed and assigned to the Raw roster, as far as we know, Triple H may be working on a storyline where Fox confronts the former MMA champion regarding the alleged incident. This wouldn’t be the first time that Triple H or even Vince McMahon used a real-life situation as part of a kayfabe storyline. After all, it is now part of Brock Lesnar’s WWE character that the man himself is on a part-time schedule and has a better contract that those who wrestle on a weekly basis. Fox versus Rousey may not sound all that appealing, on paper, but remember that Rousey is going to need an opponent in the fall and ahead of a bigger feud that leads into WrestleMania season.
9 Batista return
There has to be at least some fire that is causing the smoke that is, in this instance, rumors about Batista returning to the WWE and having a final run in the promotion. Granted, he is very busy with his Hollywood career, but his good buddy Triple H could make agreeing to participating in a match or two well worth it. As big a star as Batista still is in the eyes of casual viewers, it is difficult to imagine him going after the Universal Championship during what could be his last stint as a wrestler. If he was willing to play the role of a heel, something he seemingly gets better at each time he shows up, he could have a match or two versus Seth Rollins as a continuation of the feud between Rollins and Triple H.
A babyface Batista, on the other hand, could work with somebody such as Braun Strowman, Elias, Drew McIntyre or Jinder Mahal. Whatever Triple H and Batista were to agree upon before The Animal returned, it would not be surprising to see him take part in next year’s Hall of Fame ceremony ahead of WrestleMania. This would give Batista a couple of opportunities to say farewell to the WWE Universe in different ways if he is mostly interested in having an official retirement match.
8 Triple H vs. Shane McMahon
The storyline of Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon being at odds with each other is one that has been presented on WWE television for years. For many reasons, the WWE is not going to have them settle their business in the ring against each other.
There were rumors going as far back as 2017 that involved Triple H potentially working on a match with Shane for a show such as WrestleMania or SummerSlam. That one-on-one encounter still hasn’t taken place even though the two have interacted in the ring, and both Triple H and Shane could resume that storyline either later this summer or during the fall months.
Knowing Shane’s history, he probably would be willing to take all kinds of crazy bumps and risks working alongside The Game. Triple H, meanwhile, could do the job without losing anything as a character. Such a bout would not be a wrestling clinic, but it could make for an excellent street fight. The two could also end the feud inside of Hell in a Cell. Hopefully, both men will have better things to do than wrestle each other at next year’s WrestleMania, meaning this match will have to occur at either SummerSlam, Survivor Series or the 2019 Royal Rumble if it is on the schedule.
7 Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa on main roster
The feud between Johnny Gargano, the ultimate babyface and maybe the best wrestler working underneath the WWE umbrella in 2018, and Tommaso Ciampa, Gargano’s former tag team partner, is the best thing going in NXT and, probably, the entire company this year. Gargano earned a victory over Ciampa in a five-star thriller at the NXT Takeover: New Orleans event, and it could be time for Ciampa to even the score in their upcoming bout.
Leading up to this year’s WrestleMania, there were rumors and speculation that Triple H wanted to showcase the NXT Championship on a main roster show rather than at a Takeover.
That has not yet happened, but having Gargano and Ciampa finish their feud in one final epic match at a pay-per-view rather than a Takeover could make sense, and it may even be more popular than putting an NXT Championship match on a show such as SummerSlam. Imagine, if you will, Gargano and Ciampa battling inside Hell in a Cell in a “Loser Leaves Town” match, or a ladder match with the NXT Title on the line. These two already produced arguably the top NXT/WWE match of 2018, and the best from them could be to come depending on how long Triple H will keep them intertwined
6 Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen
Back at the first ever NXT Takeover: Brooklyn show, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch posed inside of the ring as the Four Horsewomen. That was a nice moment for those in attendance and those watching on the WWE Network, but there is already a stable of athletes who use that gimmick. Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir hav referred to themselves as the Four Horsewomen for years, and both Rousey and Baszler are active members of the WWE (Baszler is currently the NXT Women’s Champion).
It was reported in May that Duke and Shafir had agreed to terms with the WWE, and that story almost immediately ignited rumors that it will only be a matter of time before the WWE Four Horsewomen and MMA Four Horsewomen do battle. This may have to be a long storyline, as Rousey is the only one of her group that is on the main roster as of the typing of this sentence. We would not be surprised if Triple H has already worked on how he will present this feud when the right time comes. Fans should not expect to see this contest in 2018, but it could take place at the Survivor Series if it is determined that Baszler, Duke and Shafir are ready for the bright lights.
5 Lio Rush Gets Major Push
When the WWE first signed Lio Rush in 2017, it seemed that the sky was the limit for the young performer who turned 23 years old last November. Then, Rush went and made a silly tweet after the company parted ways with Emma, and that one social media miscue reportedly landed him in hot water and off of NXT television. It’s now June 2018, and Rush has reappeared in the company as part of the 205 Live show.
Triple H has been keen on showing forgiveness and letting such things go, and Rush being given a formal introduction in vignettes ahead of his first televised match in the Cruiserweight division seems to indicate the wrestler is receiving a fresh start.
Expect a big push for the talent in the upcoming months.
Talent isn’t a problem regarding Rush, who could get over as one of the top heels on 205 Live in a brief amount of time. Triple H made Cedric Alexander the face of his new 205 Live earlier this year, but Alexander cannot hold onto the purple belt forever. Looking at the overall Cruiserweight roster and eyeing potential feuds for that championship, Triple H could select Rush as the right man to remove the belt from Alexander in a match that could steal any pay-per-view.
4 Triple H vs. The Rock
Much like with the storyline between Triple H and Kurt Angle, there has not been a definitive conclusion for the feud between Triple H and The Rock. It was back in 2014 when the WWE teased that these two stars from the Attitude Era still had unfinished business, and maybe it was not just a coincidence that Triple H recently spoke about texting The Great One during this year’s WrestleMania. Those who follow The Rock on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter know that the actor’s schedule is packed these days, so it’s possible that he would not be able to do anything of note with the WWE.
With enough time and for the right opportunity — maybe a match versus Triple H that takes place at WrestleMania — Rock could be willing to negotiate what could be his final ever match with the promotion.
Both Triple H and Rock would have to be careful to ensure that the Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment did not suffer an injury that could affect a movie role. Fortunately, they are talented enough to tell a good story without either many doing anything too risky or dangerous during a match. Make this one a reality, Triple H, and give us this one last dream bout.
3 Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte
When it was announced that Charlotte was going to defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Asuka at WrestleMania, most probably assumed that The Empress of Tomorrow would win that belt and remain undefeated in WWE storyline. That was not the case, however, as Charlotte retained and, in the process, handed the former NXT Champion her first loss. The result of that match brought along rumors that Triple H and Vince McMahon may not, in fact, be planning for a future match between Ronda Rousey and Asuka, and that the plan was for Rousey to eventually face Charlotte for a championship at a pay-per-view.
As of June 2018, it is believed that the company would even be willing to have Rousey and Charlotte headline a WrestleMania.
Charlotte is talented enough to have a five-star match under the right circumstances. Rousey impressed observers and fans with her debut performance at this year’s WrestleMania, but she still needs seasoning as a wrestler before she is able to work in the main event of the biggest show of the year in front of tens of thousands of fans. Fortunately for Triple H, Rousey, Charlotte and the WWE, the next WrestleMania is still over half of a year away.
2 Conor McGregor appearance
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon can brag and boast about the WWE landing Ronda Rousey in 2018, but both may be working on bringing somebody else to the company later this year. McGregor, an obvious fan of the industry who has taken parts of Ric Flair’s “Nature Boy” gimmick for his own, has teased doing something with the promotion in the past, and Triple H has publicly said that he, understandably, would be open to doing business with the outspoken UFC superstar.
The WWE and UFC seem to have some sort of working relationship, one that could lead to Brock Lesnar returning to the MMA promotion for one more heavyweight bout either later this year or in 2019. McGregor may not be able to take part in a match or even take a bump inside of the ring, but Triple H could use his services for a segment that took place at next year’s WrestleMania. Rousey and McGregor cutting promos, as either heels or babyfaces, could make for TV we won’t soon forget, and those few minutes would get the WWE recognition and publicity from outlets such as ESPN and CNN. Triple H and Dana White could work something out assuming that McGregor would not have any scheduling conflicts and the WWE would not block Lesnar’s UFC return.
1 D-Generation X reunion
Out of nowhere, Shawn Michaels admitted in June 2018 that he could be willing to make a return to the WWE for a one-off match. AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Johnny Gargano were mentioned as potential opponents for this bout, but Michaels also said that he could reunite with Triple H to bring D-Generation X back. That, of all of the potential matches, seems to be the most reasonable for the WWE. Michaels, one of the greatest in-ring workers in the history of the industry, turns 53 years old this summer, and there is only so much he should be willing to do at this point of his life.
Michaels and Triple H working together would be what is best for business in that the WWE could sell a ton of DX merchandise, and a tag match would also protect HBK.
You may groan at the thought of Triple H and Michaels going back to the DX gimmick, but fans in that arena or stadium would pop huge as soon as that memorable theme began playing. Michaels is Mr. WrestleMania, so it only makes sense that DX would have one last match at the biggest showcase of them all next year at MetLife Stadium. Triple H and HBK have one question for all of you out there: Are you ready?