Back in the "Attitude Era," I often wondered what would happen to WWE -- and professional wrestling overall -- when Vince McMahon called it quits (or dropped dead at Titan Towers). He's the evil genius who started this empire and while I don't always agree with his tactics, it's hard to argue with his results.
I can think of at least a billion reasons why he's successful.
Companies fuck it up all the time. My father-in-law had a great job in Manhattan, complete with company car, expense account, and the kind of retirement plan that most folks only dream of. Then the big boss died of a heart attack, his dipshit son took over the business, and the doors were closed just three years later.
It can happen anywhere.
(tap tap tap) But ahm afraid I've got some baad nooze for those folks who are watching the clock and waiting for Vince to step down, so they can hurry up and secure a few million bucks and start up a new wrestling promotion. Losing "Pop" no longer means losing your shirt.
The company will continue on just fine.
That's because Triple H has taken over in a leadership role after more than a decade as one of the organization's leading men. And for good reason. Even before he kicked Chyna to the curb to woo Stephanie McMahon he was (and is) a terrific performer, good in the ring and great on the stick (proof).
And he understands the psychology of the business, evidenced by his ability to hijack the #HijackRAW movement.
Naturally, everything he has comes from his marriage to the billion-dollar princess, but that doesn't make him any less deserving. Did he step on a few people to get to the top? Bury a handful of folks during his ascension? Use politics and nepotism as a means to an end?
Welcome to business 101, folks.
People who think backstage politics are dirty in pro wrestling have never worked in Corporate America. This isn't like slinging syrup at the local IHOP, where the most stress you'll ever have is trying to convince "Dewey" to switch Sundays with you, so you can get drunk and watch the Super Bowl with your broskis.
And if they shit-can you at IHOP, you can drive three-tenths of a mile and start working at Denny's.
My point is, Triple H saw an opportunity and he took it. But what separates him from the rest of the backstage players is what he did with it. The Authority vs. Daniel Bryan is this generation's Austin vs. McMahon. And for those folks complaining that Trips keeps booking himself into all the big matches, just remember that Vince won the 1999 Royal Rumble by eliminating Stone Cold.
Had there been a Twitter, we would have likely showered ourselves in, OMFG THEY JUST BURIED AUSTIN #bullshit #creativesux #nwo4life.
But 'Aitch is more than just a behind-the-scenes blowhard who makes a great on-demand foil. He's invested in key areas of the business, including the WWE Performance Center. Not only has it become a centralized hub for the current roster, but a place to cultivate the increasingly-awesome NXT and the up-and-coming stars who populate it.
Like The Shield and The Wyatt Family.
They're two of the hottest things going in WWE and a direct result of Triple H creating a pipeline from NXT to WWE. Big E. and Cesaro, too. And because the facility is an independent, fully-operating ecosystem, performers can get practical experience and be groomed for the big leagues without wrestling in bingo halls or high school gymnasiums.
Triple H is also the diplomat McMahon could never be.
That's how he was able to land the organization's white whale, Bruno Sammartino, for the WWE Hall of Fame. Likewise, Hulk Hogan is now back inside the squared circle thanks to Trips. And not just to stick another feather in his cap -- he's a student of the game and like most fans, has a fondness for the historical side of the business.
"The Game" is even pushing for a physical Hall of Fame to make use of all those collected artifacts.
Is he perfect? Is everything in WWE hunky dory?
Of course not. And I'm sure he's standing on Stephanie's shoulders to reach some of these new heights. But even if WWE stayed the same after Vince left, I would consider it a monumental achievement, taking into account everything Vinny Mac has done to get the organization where it is today.
I don't know if it will or it won't, but at least they found the right man for the job.