Craig Wilson, Russ Morgan, Brian Damage, John Carbery and Jamie Lithgow
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Triple H as an active in-ring wrestler.
Craig: Continuing the theme of the last few weeks of giving guys on part-time schedules the Book or Cook treatment, today we turn our attention towards Triple H.
Few, in 2015, would have expected Triple H to still have another Royal Rumble win or headline slot at WrestleMania left in the tank but that’s exactly what we got this year.
But what is left? He’s equalled Hulk Hogan’s WrestleMania main event record of seven. Can he still better that? Is there another world title run there? Is his role to help elevate the stars of tomorrow or is it time he focused all of his efforts on his role as Executive Vice President of Talent?
That’s all up for discussion in this latest Book or Cook.
Russ: Triple H wants to be remembered as a record breaker. If he can find a way to put himself in the main event, he will do it, whether it’s good for business or not.
Brian: I disagree with that Russ. I do not think Triple H wants or needs the spotlight anymore. His main event spot at Wrestlemania was more out of necessity because of the countless injuries going into that show. Triple H does keep himself in tremendous shape, but as a wrestler…I just don’t see the passion or intensity like I use to and understandably so.
John: HHH is probably being used as effectively as possible at this moment. He’s probably Vince’s most dependable part timer for a number of reasons. His career is a mixed bag of quality and this year can be seen as a microcosm of it in many ways. He had a blinder with Dean Ambrose at Roadblock back in February but delivered a flat main event with Reigns at Wrestlemania so while he’s a company man through and through, he can’t be relied upon to deliver the goods in the same way Brock Lesnar can consistently in high profile matches.
I think the most important thing with Triple H is to keep him well away from most of the roster as the last thing the world needs is another burial spree. “The Game” was a toxic presence in the WWE for a long time, as a backstage influence it seems he’s going some way to rectify that and maybe its for the best he stays there.
Craig: I’m minded to agree a lot with John and Brian here. The burial bit in particular, that will do him no favours in the eyes of the WWE fans and the company no favours in the long run. I think, in terms of an in-ring presence, we should be seeing less and less of that going forward. His title run this year was very much a “needs must” due to injuries. Should that happen again, then there could be an argument for an emphasis on Triple H again. However, unless that happens, I think his role should be more and more behind the scenes.
And with the constant evolution of NXT as a brand that goes from strength to strength, surely there has to be much more satisfaction nowadays in that role than putting his ageing body through the rigours of competing in the ring.
Jamie: I’m in agreement with much of what has been said. I’m willing to give Trips the benefit of the doubt for this year’s WrestleMania, because they really did need him on that card. Right now in 2016, I view him as I viewed Mr McMahon 15 years ago; he is an authority figure on TV, with a day job in the office who can work a very occasional match should a particular feud lend itself that way
My issue going forward is that if these ‘occasional matches’ just so happened to occur at WrestleMania. The Undertaker is WrestleMania’s cornerstone special appearance guy , Triple H is not needed in that regard.
The Game is still in great shape and I can think of numerous matches I’d like to see him wrestle before he officially calls it a day (Seth Rollins immediately springs to mind), but based on his position any matches he has should really be grudge matches. Thus, his days as a championship contender should really be over.
Also, as one of the bosses it just doesn’t make sense that every wrestler he develops an issue with would lead to a WrestleMania match, like clockwork. I hope that’s not what the future holds, but I have my doubts.
Quite the wide ranging discussion today on the in-ring future of Triple H. A few limited dates here and there in addition to his behind the scenes role seems the future for Triple H rather than a more consistent in-ring run.
Got a different opinion? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.