A few days ago my colleague Geno Mrosko reported that Vince McMahon wasn't high on the recent NXT call ups of Adam Rose, Paige and Bo Dallas, but perhaps the more interesting part of the story is the current jockeying for power between Triple H and Kevin Dunn.
For those that aren't familiar with him, Dunn is WWE's highly paid Executive Vice President of Television Production and has been one of the company's top producers since 1984, but he's been much criticized by wrestling traditionalists like Jim Cornette and the late Paul Bearer for his lack of appreciation of the art form's history and being obsessed with aesthetics over substance. He's been a confidante of Vince McMahon's for well over 15 years and has seen his influence grow, as one by one, the men Vince surrounded himself with in the 80s and the 90s all either left of their own accord or were forced out after falling out with him.
However, after surviving for so long, being someone who Vince clearly trusts the opinion of and there being no sign that he wants to downsize his duties, it seems clear that his job is safe while the old man stays in charge. Conversely, it's clear that his days would be numbered as soon as the WWE leadership baton is passed on to Vince's handpicked successor Triple H. When Paul Levesque became EVP of Talent, Live Events and Creative, he immediately got rid of the executive old guard like John Laurinaitis (whose abilities he didn't rate) and replaced them with his own hires like Jane Geddes and Canyon Ceyman. Everyone predicts that trend will continue as Levesque get more control of the company. Indeed, NXT is the training ground for the next generation of WWE technicians, script writers and TV producers, which shows that The Cerebral Assassin is already preparing for the day he gets complete command.
Thus, Dunn's position depends on trying to ensure that Vince hangs around for as long as possible, which would require him to plant seeds of doubt in Vince's head that Hunter is ready for the responsibility of being in charge of the day to day running of his company. Given his reputation of being insecure and petty, he's not above playing dirty if he has to. Clearly he wouldn't have lasted to this very day, if he wasn't a master of the dark arts of wrestling politics.
There's been online rumors that resentment between Triple H and Kevin Dunn has reached an all time high of late. Apparently, Hunter was outraged that Dunn and his crew somehow missed the shot of The Shield standing tall over his fallen body at the end of the Payback pay-per-view earlier this month. Then came the word that Dunn had successfully buried Adam Rose to Vince and the implication was that he was trying to do the same with Paige and Bo Dallas, but hadn't been quite as convincing in that regard. The obvious conclusion to come to is that Dunn is intentionally trying to sabotage Hunter's NXT brand and is also trying to call into question his talent grooming and judging skills for the main WWE roster, so that he can curry greater favor with the boss.
Kevin Dunn may have won this battle, but this will be a war that only The Game can win.
At a time when the WWE Network needs all the help it can get, this infighting is the last thing the company needs, especially as NXT should be promoted on WWE programming as something worth subscribing to the channel for, a unique opportunity to see tomorrow's WWE Superstars today. Lets hope the heat dies down and they can start working together more harmoniously. That's what's would really be Best For Business!