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My eyes! Sorry, I had to look away before the new, colorful, and bright NXT logo burned a hole in my corneas.
How mad do we think Triple H is about that fine piece of obnoxious art that’s invading the vision for his baby, NXT? Are we dealing with the shaking, frothing at the mouth Triple H that we saw after Randy Orton kissed his wife or the smug Triple H during the depths of a promo battle with C.M. Punk?
Look, it’s tough to say, but someone has to say something, so I say get Triple H and Vince McMahon in a room together to hash this “future of NXT” business out. Just a chat. No holds barred, no words barred, no Nick Khan allowed, and everything on the line.
The first words out of Triple H’s mouth would probably be something to the effect of, “The skulls! Where are all the skulls?!” in discussing the new logo, but that topic is only the tip of the iceberg. Triple H is losing his grasp on the wheel of the world’s biggest wrestling promotion. The WWE kingdom was his to conquer, skulls and all, but the new Khan prince has stepped over Triple H and the bones of his indie NXT stars that Vince McMahon destroyed to assume position as the new number one.
A chat between McMahon and Triple H is important. A family affair, maybe over a couple protein shakes at brunch. What really went wrong? Maybe Triple H could get some insight as to how all of the countless over and developed acts that were delivered to McMahon on a silver platter were neutered upon arrival in almost every instance? Not a bad place to start.
Really though, Triple H needs to make his pitch again. Triple H, the salesman, needs to make an appearance in front of his Father in-law to try and win the war of perception over Khan. Ultimately with NXT, Triple H started to realize a vision of corporate wrestling that realistically needs to exist within WWE, while still balancing the raw, organic nature that a wrestling product needs to survive. That was NXT and it was easy to see that formula transitioning to the likes of Raw and Smackdown when the Triple H led regime stormed the gates of the castle to gain control.
That future hangs in the balance. The new logo, news breaking regarding who and where WWE will scout potential talent, and Nick Khan’s own words tell a story of an entirely new direction for the future of WWE. Plus, Triple H appears to be the steward of the new direction, but not it’s creator. “In terms of an NXT rebrand, look for it in the next couple of weeks,” Khan said in an interview with Ariel Helwani. “It’s going to have a whole new look. It’s going to have a whole new feel, and we believe because a lot of the ‘Indie wrestlers’ if you will, have come through our system and are in our system with SmackDown and Raw now, we don’t want to just keep doing that same thing, we want to look elsewhere for great young talent.”
If that doesn’t sound the warning bells for Triple H, I’m not sure what will. It’s a 180 degree pivot from Triple H’s strategy and into a cookie cutter approach that is in danger of only effectively churning out sports entertainment robots to wrestle on the USA Network and Fox for the next 20 years.
C’mon though, it’s nothing that a simple chat can’t fix. History is on Triple H’s side when it comes to sit-downs with Vince McMahon. Does the Montreal screw job ring a bell? By almost every account, it was Triple H who made the suggestion to McMahon out loud that the company needed to do business for Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997, thus unceremoniously, but famously screwing him out of the WWF Championship. Boom. Triple H and Vince McMahon in a room together. Business handled. Who’s up next? There are countless other stories out there of Triple H throwing his weight around, playing politics, but successfully positioning himself to get what he wants.
What will the colorful version of NXT entail? Who knows? Nick Khan’s moves in WWE have been corporately successful and serviced those in boardrooms around the world. WWE fans, though? Questionable results at best.
Yes, Triple H has been the father of NXT and seemingly gushes over being a talent coach to his NXT children. If there was ever a time to get the shark teeth filed up and ready to bite, it’s now. The ‘ol chomp and crotch chop to the dastardly Nick Khan. Triple H isn’t a perfect human. Not by a long shot. Throughout NXT’s hot run of the last seven years, though, he’s earned the trust of the audience. Through him, fans saw the future path of their WWE wrestling product and welcomed it with open arms.
Yeah, if I’m Triple H, I’m chatting with Vince McMahon and reminding him of that.