When The Authority officially announced that John Cena vs. Randy Orton in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the upcoming TLC pay-per-view (PPV) on Dec. 15, 2013, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, would be for both the WWE and world heavyweight championships, no mention was made of unifying the titles.
It left the door open for speculation that WWE would come up with a screwy finish allowing both men to keep their belts. Or, more likely, simply switch straps.
Now, though, WWE.com has released its weekly sit down interview with Triple H and he clarifies what the goal is for the match next month:
"The goal is one champion. In a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, we will hang both championships above the ring. The goal being one champion at the end of the night. One undisputed WWE champion. Let's face it: With the brand extension no longer in effect, we no longer need two champions; we only need one. If you represent the WWE as its champion, you represent the world. I want there to be one undisputed WWE champion. The championship that was held by all the greats, by Bruno Sammartino, Backlund, Bret, Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Rock, Austin, myself, Cena, all the greats. I want there to be one champion that represents this company going into the new year."
Once again, no mention is made of unifying the belts but the implication is clear. Still, the door is left open for a result unlike the one Triple H is claiming he desires. The goal is to have one champion by the start of the new year, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what's going to happen.
Even if it should.
That being said, for lack of a better phrase, this feels so very Triple H. As he gains more and more power, we're seeing more and more changes to the on-screen product. The brand extension is dead and there really is no longer any need for two champions. The only reason the Big Gold Belt was brought back into existence -- ironically enough with Eric Bischoff just handing it over to Triple H back in 2002 -- was because Raw and SmackDown were split and wrestlers weren't pulling double duty.
This could be a storyline tool leading to WrestleMania, a smoke screen to set up bigger things down the line. But as many have noted before, this wouldn't be the first time a storyline like this has played out. Back in 2001, Chris Jericho defeated both The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin to win the WCW and WWF titles at Vengeance in December. He carried both all the way up to the night he lost them at WrestleMania.
To Triple H.
Not long after, the undisputed championship belt was created and presented to "The Game" on Raw. Could we see something similar play out over the next couple months?