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Triple H: finally doing what's best for WWE business?

Is it time to reassess Triple H's selfish reputation after he's lost clean on three straight pay-per-views to rising stars, successfully created the WWE Performance Center and turned NXT into a highly acclaimed WWE Network brand?

So far, 2014 has been a very good year for Triple H's reputation.
So far, 2014 has been a very good year for Triple H's reputation.
Michael N. Todaro

For over a decade, Triple H has regularly come under criticism for putting his ego ahead of what's best for WWE business, using his power as the partner of Vince McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, to protect his spot on top and cement his legacy, whilst holding others down.

It dates all the way back to the early days of their relationship together when he was sitting on creative meetings arguing that Kurt Angle was too small to be a credible world champion. At the time, Gerald Brisco pointed out how ludicrous such a statement about an Olympic gold medalist in heavyweight freestyle wrestling was, but the voices of dissent grew softer and less frequent as Hunter's position in the McMahon family became more entrenched.

That's when the horror stories from former WWE scriptwriters begun of Triple H intimidating them whenever he was given a script where he wasn't going over and ensuring that the match ending was changed to the result he most wanted.

Sure, he'd sometimes lose to his buddies like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker or his handpicked understudies like Batista and Randy Orton, but if you weren't one of those select few, good luck on getting put over properly by The Game.

Perhaps the most egregious example of putting himself first instead of the company was how he capitalized on hardcore fan resentment to John Cena's push to the top in the run up to WrestleMania 22 by voicing the opinion of many that he wasn't a good wrestler whose best move was pumping his Reeboks, which he craftily spun into a nostalgic babyface run with the reformation of D-Generation X. Yes, he tapped out on the big show to the STFU, but only after WWE's lead protagonist got booed out of the building. Ever since then, WWE has had to constantly swim against the tide that Hunter helped turned into a tidal wave of adult male fans rebelling against Cena's rightful treatment as the promotion's franchise star, chosen because he sold merchandise and drew kids and women to the arenas like no-one else could or can to this very day.

Such was Triple H's reverse Midas touch that some have even gone so far as to argue that anyone who entered a feud with him left it in worse shape than they started, as win, lose or draw, he'd still be positioned as the leading figure in WWE.

Cleverly, WWE tapped into these very real emotions by having Triple H turn heel on Daniel Bryan at last year's SummerSlam by gifting Randy Orton the WWE Championship and immediately forming The Authority with his wife Stephanie to rule onscreen with an iron fist. It was a compelling storyline move, but there was still the fear that nothing had really changed and at the end of the day he wouldn't get his comeuppance. Indeed, just a couple of years earlier Hunter had helped torpedo CM Punk's momentum by pinning him for no good reason at Night Of Champions.

Thankfully, we can now conclude that those fears were unfounded, after Triple H has lost cleanly on three straight pay-per-views, first to Daniel Bryan and twice to The Shield as part of Evolution with Batista and Orton. Maybe it's now time to reassess his reputation, as finally he's giving back to the industry more than he takes. He also deserves a ton of credit for creating the WWE Performance Center and his development of the NXT brand to the point where its live specials can rival the quality of WWE's best events. If the past three months is anything to go by, then WWE should be in very safe hands when the time comes for him to take over running the company from the hands of Vince McMahon. Praise be to wrestling's future King Of Kings then!

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