Chris Jericho is using his time back in the WWE fold to land some big kahunas out of the company pond.
Last week's sit down with Dave Bautista provided all kinds of insight in The Animal's thoughts on his last run and hints as to when we might see him back. This week, Y2J reeled in the biggest player without the surname McMahon in the business, kayfabe Chief Operating Officer (and real world Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative), Triple H.
Both parts of this interview are fantastic. I've been listening in chunks when I get time, and when Geno sent me the below quote and told me to make a post of it, he said "I wanted to transcribe it all, but that's insane". So, check it out with the highest Cageside recommendation.
Back to the headline, though, it's become a common internet wrestling community (IWC) refrain that we can't wait for Hunter to take over.
Setting aside for a moment how ironic that is for anyone who was online from basically 2002 - 2005, when hatred of The Game ran at levels currently reserved only for John Cena and Kevin Dunn, his stewardship of the Developmental program and willingness to put over Daniel Bryan in his feud with Hunter's Authority faction has changed a lot of minds about Triple H being best for business.
This might come as bad news, then, because when Jericho asked Trips if he thought Vince McMahon would ever retire, he didn't miss a beat:
You know what? It's almost like the... when he's tired, he wants to go to the gym. It's almost like tired is the enemy and it makes him want to do more. He works more now. He works longer hours, he sleeps less. I'm telling you, I'll leave the office at night time and there's nobody there but he's still in his office working, and then he goes downstairs. He'll text me at 1 in the morning and I'm just finishing training too but he's texting me at my house he's finishing training. You know, he doesn't sleep a lot. It is what he is.
People say it all the time, 'oh, he's being groomed to take over.' No, I'm not. That's only if he dies (laughs). The day he dies, apparently, I take over unless I'm the one that killed him, then I go to jail.
Doesn't sound like there's a succession plan.
Vince McMahon is a 69 year old workaholic. A recent Business Insider profile on the man backs up Triple H's claims about his work hours and sleep habits. Considering the shape he's in (and a lot of current research points to muscle mass as a key factor in health and longevity), there's no reason to think that he won't remain at the helm of WWE for another 15 - 20 years.
The Cerebral Assassin clearly has increased influence on the WWE and its on-screen product. But short of becoming an actual assassin, we might have to wait a long time before he's given full control of what comes our way on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights.