It is, perhaps, not a surprise that the only story WWE is telling that’s worth paying any real attention to on Monday Night Raw right now is the one involving Triple H. Against some odds, considering the collective age of those involved, it is a compelling story nonetheless.
When they originally announced Undertaker vs. Triple H at WWE Super Show-Down, it seemed clear it was simply a way to get two big name stars on a card for an event in Australia where they would need to sell a lot of tickets at a big arena. Sure enough, they billed it as the last ever match between the two, and that seemed to be that.
Then, Shawn Michaels showed up and delivered one hell of a promo pushing the match and Triple H’s chances in it. That’s when Undertaker, looking as good as he has in a while, dragged his ass back to the ring to really make things interesting:
I’ll be damned if that isn’t one of the better WWE segments of this year. Michaels is still an incredibly talented performer when it’s called for, and they laid this out perfectly. Michaels and Triple H were long terrors for the rest of the WWE roster but Undertaker can be credited as the guy to put them both down, quite literally in HBK’s case. That’s what makes that segment so compelling -- “The Phenom” vocalizing his belief that Michaels hasn’t stayed away from wrestling again out of respect but out of fear of failing if he comes for revenge.
I thought they would have a tough time building on that, especially considering it did so well to set up another Michaels-Taker match, one that looks far more interesting than the Trips-Taker match we’re getting. Then, this happened on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw:
Another really strong promo, this time from “The Game,” who is also still very good at this when it’s called for. The message there is strong -- Undertaker’s mythical stature is no more. He has been battered and he has been beaten, by multiple men who are clearly superior, at least now, and Triple H and Michaels can claim responsibility for his demise by taking everything he had at WrestleMania 25, 26, 27, and 28. What does he really have left? As much as Triple H? Not in “The Game’s” eyes, and not in HBK’s eyes, and that’s the selling point of the match.
The rest of the roster is doing its thing apart from all this and that’s how it should be. These two were always destined to come back here, to fight again, because they are still fighting and it only makes sense that they be fighting each other.
The combatants have been diminished by their many battles against each other but they’ve still got some fight in them. This long war is not yet over.