Paul “Triple H” Levesque is known by many names – The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, The King of Kings. But what might we come to expect from him now that he is officially WWE Head of Creative.
A look back on his career to date – both inside and outside the ring – and some possible clues can be found.
Triple H has long been renowned as one of the true historians of the industry. Much of his character, his look and his in-ring style have been shaped by those who came before him, none more notably than his idol Ric Flair.
Like The Nature Boy, The Game was a major singles star (14 world titles to Naitch’s 16), but both are fondly remembered for being part of some of the best factions in wrestling history. Evolution, led by Triple H and featuring Flair, Batista and Randy Orton, was a clear play on The Four Horsemen, Flair’s original group.
Of course, Triple H was also a member of D-Generation X for large parts of his career, as well as the leader of The Authority alongside his wife and now WWE co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, and part of other groups like The Corporation and The Two Man Power Trip.
So, it’s clear he was a fan of factions during his run as an in-ring performer, and his time as an Executive has been no different. During his time in charge of NXT, The Undisputed Era group were arguably the most pushed act on the entire brand.
If his first few weeks on the main roster job are anything to go by, gang warfare might truly be back in fashion on the main roster. SummerSlam saw Bayley return after over a year out but she wasn’t alone, being accompanied by Dakota Kai and IYO SKY in an apparent new all-women faction.
Since then, the three have been heavily featured on Raw, and are scheduled for a six-woman tag match versus Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss. Expect more factions to form and current ones to improve, due to Triple H’s fondness for them, as well as it being a better way to utilise more talent and create a wider variety of storylines.
This heightened emphasis on female talent is also something fans can expect to see continue, with Stephanie crediting her husband with the rise of “The Women’s Revolution” in numerous interviews over the years. It’s clear from other comments made by female wrestlers, as well as the abundance of social media posts of talent with Triple H, that this is a near-consensus opinion.
The rumoured returns of the in-exile Sasha Banks and Naomi is a further indication that female talent is extremely happy to work for the new man in charge. The of-late unmentioned women’s tag titles are also back, and with real importance, now that both Raw and Smackdown rosters are suddenly looking stacked.
These are unlikely to be the only secondary championships to become more valued under The Game’s watch. His opening two episodes of Raw have heavily focused on the United States title, with a mini tournament determining the No.1 contender to Bobby Lashley on week 1, and a championship bout on week 2. Lashley himself stated that he wanted to bring back prestige to the belt, an opinion no doubt echoed by his now-boss.
A similar attempt at a restoration of prestige can be anticipated for the Intercontinental Championship over on SmackDown, especially as it’s a title steeped in history and one Triple H won five times during his career. Added to this, its current holder, Gunther, has a strong relationship with the new boss, having been recruited by him for NXT UK.
A large part of Triple H’s strategy for success in NXT came from recruiting global stars like Gunther and Shinsuke Nakamura, as well as those on the independent scene, namely Johnny Gargano, Ciampa, Ali and Ricochet. All these bar Gargano are talents who have been promoted to the main roster yet underutilised, most likely due to their smaller stature.
As seen with Ciampa’s booking so far in Triple H’s reign, expect to see a lot more of these wrestlers in better spots soon, as well as the probable return of Gargano to the company. Wrestlers’ ability in the ring and to tell a story to the audience is almost certain to take precedence over shape and size.
The overall storyline direction of the product should feature more edgy and modern content, with Triple H’s ascension to the top of the creative mountain coming alongside a move away from PG and a return to TV-14.
The fact that the co-founders of DX (Shawn Michaels is running things in NXT 2.0) are now mostly in charge of all WWE creative near guarantees a pushing of the envelope not seen in many years. It truly is an exciting time to be a wrestling fan again. Guess it’s time to play the game.