The diehard wrestling fan has more faith in Triple H leading WWE into the future than the current vision of Vince McMahon. NXT has proved that Triple H certainly has a different philosophy in how to build to a big match. Jimmy Jacobs revealed on Talk is Jericho that Triple H believes in implementing the reality aspect of storytelling rather than the larger than life characters. Considering the reception for NXT events tend to blow away the WWE PPVs, it makes sense that Triple H is viewed as an upgrade whenever he gets control of WWE.
Triple H must enjoy the positive reaction he gets from the fans and the wrestling media right now. That means he doesn’t want all the backstage stories going down in WWE to get out. There are secrets that will cause him to look bad in the public eye. The momentum working in his favor could easily turn into a negative if the wrong stories start to surface. We will look at some of the recent stories going down in WWE that he wants to keep under the radar from the fans' knowledge. These are fifteen backstage secrets that Triple H doesn’t want you to know about.
14 Ronda Rousey's Debut Didn't Provide The Buzz WWE Wanted
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon worked hard to convince Ronda Rousey to sign with WWE. Rousey developed a close relationship with them a few years ago leading to them all taking part in a segment back at WrestleMania 31. Triple H worked even harder to get Rousey under contract when she attended a few shows during the Mae Young Classic.
Royal Rumble was meant to be a huge moment Rousey came out to end the night. However, the lackluster debut saw her stand in the ring and point at the WrestleMania sign. There was no physical confrontation with anyone and she didn’t appear the next night. Media coverage of Rousey’s debut didn’t get the buzz WWE wanted. Rey Mysterio’s return garnered twice as many views as Ronda making her first appearance as a WWE star. If she doesn’t bring the attention to WWE when she wrestles, Triple H will look bad.
13 Negative Reaction to Stephanie's Commentary
Another disappointing moment for Triple H at the recent Royal Rumble event had to be listening to his wife Stephanie McMahon on commentary. Stephanie clearly has charisma and impressive microphone skills when cutting promos in the ring. It was a completely different story when she attempted to try her hand at commentary as a guest broadcaster during the women’s match.
Stephanie struggled to get her points across and seemed lost at the table. Most of her comments saw her make obvious statements. The commentary of Stephanie basically added nothing to the show and took away from many moments. Considering Stephanie and Triple H likely pushed for this, it was a swing and a miss. We likely won’t see Stephanie return to the commentary table again in the near future.
12 Wants WWE Far Removed From XFL
The shocking decision of Vince McMahon to bring back the XFL may create chaos for WWE. Early indications are that WWE will have no association with the XFL. McMahon even created the company Alpha Entertainment to link it to the XFL rather than once being a WWE product. There’s a belief that McMahon will be creating a product aimed towards Donald Trump supporters upset with the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
If McMahon tries to factor politics into the XFL, it could carry over into the WWE. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been adamant that WWE will not have any political messages in the product. The XFL coming right now is likely something Triple H doesn’t want hurting WWE. You better believe he will be doing everything in his power to separate the WWE from the XFL even if he did congratulate Vince on Twitter.
11 He's The Reason CM Punk Will Never Return
The shady sign of Triple H has been forgotten in recent years thanks to his great work helping give us new talent. Triple H’s past saw his ego clash with other big names in WWE. CM Punk was the most recent wrestler to hate working with Triple H both as a peer and as his boss. There are many reasons why Punk left WWE, but most of them go back to Triple H disrespecting him in various ways.
Many fans want to see Punk return while he is still in his prime years to compete with the top names on the roster today. Punk seems to have zero interest in ever working for WWE again if Triple H is in a position of power. As much as fans love what Triple H is doing today, the realization of him being the roadblock of a favorite returning could make many fans sour on him.
10 Lars Sullivan Removed From NXT Main Event Match
Lars Sullivan is one of the top prospects in NXT today. The big man has become a successful heel on NXT TV defeating a few relevant performers. Sullivan has randomly been removed from NXT TV after missing the TakeOver: Philadelphia show and the following week’s television tapings. Dave Meltzer reported that Sullivan was slated to be the next opponent for Andrade Almas at TakeOver: New Orleans during WrestleMania weekend.
Sullivan was removed from this match as Aleister Black is now the opponent for Almas on that show. Triple H doesn’t want fans realizing Sullivan won’t be on NXT TV for the next month. The reason could be injury, punishment or getting called up to the main roster soon. Any of these options are things he wants to keep secret about Sullivan going forward.
9 Almost Ruined The Friendship of Festival Segment
The best ideas of Triple H are currently being praised for all the success it brings to WWE. This makes it easy for fans to forget the bad ideas since there are few of those being revealed online. Chris Jericho gave us one rare glimpse of a recent horrible idea from Triple H. The Festival of Friendship segment was regarded as one of the best Raw moments when Kevin Owens turned on Jericho.
Owens giving Jericho the “list of KO” broke the hearts of the fans as Jericho slowly found out what was about to happen to him. Triple H did not want Owens to give Jericho the list due to his belief that fans would find it comical. Jericho had to call Vince McMahon on his off night away from Raw to change his mind. Triple H ended up apologizing to Jericho and saying it was the right move, but his desire to cancel it would have been a flop if he was running the show.
8 NXT Stars Not Paid Well
One secret most wrestling fans don’t realize is that the majority of wrestlers in NXT are not making great money. The developmental contracts offered to start in the Performance Center and NXT are often viewed as risks that will pay off if you make the main roster. While fans may love seeing these talented performers thrive in NXT, everyone wants to move up to Raw or SmackDown where the money is a major upgrade.
A handful of the top prospects signed by WWE will get offered more money if there’s a market for them. Shinsuke Nakamura received a great contract in NXT, but most of the roster are making low wages compared to main roster stars. New Japan, Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling stars make more than a great percentage of NXT talent. Triple H would not want the public being aware of how modest life is for the stars of NXT.
7 Adam Cole Was Supposed to Lose to Bobby Roode on Royal Rumble pre-show
The signing of Adam Cole was one of the biggest moves to add a new main event star to NXT. Cole leads the Undisputed Era faction and has been a consistent main eventer in upper level matches since signing. Fans were ecstatic when Cole made a surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble match. Cole is staying in NXT but showed a glimpse of how he would work with the main roster guys.
There were other plans for Cole on the night of the Rumble. Dave Meltzer reported that Cole was the original mystery opponent for Bobby Roode in a United States Championship match. This would have been a good match, but it clearly was the wrong way to go with Cole. It makes no sense to have a top NXT name debut by losing his first match on the pre-show. Triple H likely was the one to cancel these plans and find a better role for Cole on the show.
6 Finn Balor Not Viewed as Main Event Talent by Vince
Finn Balor was the person Triple H selected to be the face of NXT during it’s important transition period. The role of Balor as NXT Champion saw him main event most shows as NXT became a touring brand. Triple H even requested Finn spend extra time in NXT to help build the brand since other stars like Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair were getting called up.
Balor was rewarded for his long stint in NXT by being the first ever Universal Champion. Knowing both of their opinions on wrestlers, Triple H likely had to sell Vince McMahon on this. Unfortunately, Balor suffered a serious injury forcing him to give up the title one night later. McMahon soured on him following his return in 2017. Balor never received his Universal Championship rematch and is booked like a mid-carder thanks to Vince not believing he’s a main event star.
5 Athletes From Other Sports Failing at Performance Center
Triple H’s original intent for the Performance Center and NXT was to hire athletes from other sports and build them into WWE stars. It created a place where wrestlers with no background could come in and learn from the best much like a college experience. However, things have gone the opposite direction with Triple H changing game plans.
Most of the stars to thrive in NXT and get signed to developmental contracts have been top independent wrestlers in recent years. Almost every wrestler to compete in the NXT TakeOver main events are guys that were big stars for other promotions. Former NFL stars and athletes from other sports have failed to find success in the Performance Center. Baron Corbin is the one noteworthy success story with the others failing to even get NXT TV time.
5. Ditched Braun Strowman Match For Better Opponents
The end of Survivor Series teased a future match between Triple H and Braun Strowman. Many fans speculated this would be one of the attraction matches at WrestleMania 34. Legends facing young talent is a way to help get the new guys over to a bigger level. Strowman even confronted Triple H on the Raw after Survivor Series to add interest.
The plans changed quickly as Triple H is now rumored to be involved in a mixed tag match teaming with Stephanie McMahon to face Ronda Rousey and either The Rock or Kurt Angle. Strowman is now slated in a lower card match against The Miz if rumors are true. Triple H is very giving to the young talent today after years of burying them, but this proves he will choose to be in a high-profile match rather than help the same new talent.
4 WWE Upset With Mixed Match Challenge
WWE had high hopes for the project of a new show streaming on Facebook Live. Mixed Match Challenge became the new show of choice by WWE pitting male and female partners on teams competing against each other in a tournament. WWE believed having a show on Facebook would open a new platform to present content aside from WWE Network and the television shows.
Reports have suggested that WWE management is unhappy with the numbers they are getting on the Facebook stream. Each show thus far has hit one million or more views, but WWE wanted to have a larger number watching the live broadcast. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter claims WWE is already giving up on it and may ditch Facebook once the tournament ends. Triple H is one of the biggest supporters of online content and these reports about the Mixed Match Challenge isn’t helpful for his vision.
3 Awkward Relationship with Shane
The McMahon family loves to present a united front when it comes to public perception about their relationships. Everything isn’t what it seems if you take a deeper look at a rivalry between two members of the family. Triple H has reportedly clashed with his brother-in-law Shane McMahon when it comes to their beliefs of how the future of the wrestling business should be presented.
Vince ended up choosing Triple H and Stephanie as being more prepared to run WWE over Shane. It led to Shane leaving for many years until a return in 2016 as an on-air talent. Shane has remained in WWE as the Commissioner of SmackDown wrestling in a handful of matches. Triple H and Shane reportedly have tension whenever they interact backstage. Time will tell if Shane will have a role in WWE when Triple H takes over. Fans may miss out on a favorite due to the petty drama between family members.
2 He Turned Down Chris Jericho’s Idea for NXT
Chris Jericho is planning to have his first ever cruise at the end of this year. A combination of wrestling, rock music and comedy will all merge together for a slew of events to bring fans in. Ring of Honor is having a tournament on the cruise to determine a future number one contender for the ROH World Championship.
Jericho revealed he offered this to Triple H first with the idea of NXT being the wrestling promotion on the cruise. Triple H turned it down saying WWE wouldn’t have interest in such an idea. Jericho refused to give up on his concept and reached out to do business with ROH. This likely all helped play a role in Jericho having the dream match with Kenny Omega in New Japan. It would have been easier for Triple H to just say yes and add NXT wrestlers on the cruise.
1 Vince McMahon Harassment Claims Resurfacing
Triple H has been trying hard to clean up the image of WWE and make it a globally respected brand for when he takes over. A major accusation resurfacing could put the company in a bad place if the media picks up on it. Vince McMahon has been accused of harassing a female employee at a tanning salon many years ago.
This story never picked up steam when first revealed quite some time ago, but it is back out there again. Victims are speaking up and sharing their stories about powerful men harassing them or worse. McMahon’s story is once again in small news circles. Triple H’s hard work in adding more respect to WWE on the business side could go up in smoke thanks to his father-in-law being an abhorrent human.