MR. TITO: Triple H is Failing the WWE – Lower Viewership, Bad Talent Re-Signings, Austin Theory, and More

Are you mad at Austin Theory attempting to cash-in his Money in the Bank briefcase for a United States Title shot during a random episode of WWE Monday Night RAW? Even worse, have you enjoyed Austin Theory’s tenure on WWE and have soured on the way he has been used since Vince McMahon resigned retired? At least now, he’s called “Austin Theory” instead of just “Theory”.

Well, join the club… I’ve been saying this since Triple H took over: I don’t trust with Creative or Talent Relations.

A few months later, I’m proving to be correct.

I know how the Internet Wrestling Community will respond… “You’re too impatient!”. No, I just witnessed Triple H’s attempts before at Creative (late 2013 through mid-2019) and Talent Relations (mid-2012 through early 2020). His “great” NXT was heavily exposed once it began airing weekly LIVE 2 hour programs during 2019, as it’s much easier to make 3-4 Pay Per View spectaculars than to captivate fans with a 2 hour live weekly show especially with a green roster or guys who are spot heavy.

Viewership for both RAW and Smackdown initially increased, and was increasing during the last few months as Vince McMahon stories came out, but have since been declining for the past Fall months into November. RAW is back to its 1.5 million viewership and Smackdown is just above 2 million on a Network TV channel available to 115 million households. NXT still sucks on Tuesday Nights.

But the bigger bone of contention are all of the Triple H re-signings that he’s made. Triple H was EVP of Talent Relations through early 2020 and then John Laurinaitis took over and then by 2021, NXT 2.0 was unleashed. Following the Wrestlemanias of 2020 and 2021, the WWE made some extremely sharp cuts to their roster and were primarily releasing Triple H signed wrestlers who were call-ups from the NXT promotion or WWE Talent Developmental Center. Several of them joined AEW, but many just found indy work as if they were purposely waiting for something. Vince McMahon resigned retired and we’ve had many wrestlers rejoin the WWE since.

Braun Strowman
Karrion Cross
Scarlett Bordeaux
Dakota Kai
Bray Wyatt
Mia Yim
Johnny Gargano
Candice LeRae
Dexter Lumis
3 members of Hit Row
Luke Gallows
Karl Anderson

I’m going to ask this very honest question… Have any of those released wrestlers made any sort of impact on the WWE roster upon their signing?

Yes, it was nice to see Braun get a second chance and maybe Bray Wyatt… But the rest? I don’t know…

And Braun Strowman just doesn’t feel special any longer, based on how midcarders have their way with him in matches or segments. He’s not the beast that we expected him to be upon his return.

For Bray Wyatt, he’s not a Triple H original signed guy. He signed during 2009 when Florida Championship Wrestling still existed and Triple H had yet to assume a backstage role. While Triple H repackaged him in NXT as “Bray Wyatt”, kudos to him for that, he still wasn’t trained under Triple H. Same thing with Emma. She was a 2011 signing under John Laurinaitis.

I know that many of you grew up with Triple H in the main event during the 2000s and you adore him for that… But you need to have a special creative mind to be a booker in Pro Wrestling, and that “booker” comment was meant to be said about assembling talent and then using them creatively.

Triple H’s developmental system used to sign former TNA/Impact stars past their prime, undersized workers, or are wrestlers suffering under the weak training of Matt Bloom (or Prince Albert, A-Train, or Lord Tensai, take your pick on the bad wrestling gimmick. Having a great trainer matters, as proven by Triple H actually signing a great female one in Sara Del Rey… Matt Bloom didn’t have charisma, psychology, personality, or mic skills as a performer let alone wrestling like a hoss back in his day… So how can he relate to any trainee? If you notice, almost every NXT call-up struggles selling, speaking on the microphone, or showing any personality. Gee, I wonder why?

Adding Shawn Michaels to developmental has not helped… While he probably provides great advice, the problem with HBK is that he was just naturally good at everything and just cannot explain or teach others what he knows. Think of it like Michael Jordan owning his own NBA team. Jordan was great because he was a naturally gifted athlete with a drive and determination that you cannot teach… So how can he teach that to others, especially younger generations who don’t want it as bad as him? Michaels was born to be a pro wrestler, but he cannot explain it.

Look at all of Triple H’s talents, particularly the ones everybody calls to be “Main Event caliber”. They are all dark and brooding, as if they are walking off a movie set about a mystical land with dragons or vikings to fight. There is nothing flashy or charismatic about ANY of his signings. Everybody that comes up from Triple H’s system are one-dimensional as characters or in other words, Triple H clones. If any of his wreslters started saying “I am the game”, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Compare that to what Ohio Valley Wrestling fed the WWE during the early 2000s. Batista and Brock Lesnar were “larger than life” and still are to this day. John Cena saved the WWE from spiraling downward after the Austin/Rock era peaked. While I’m not the biggest Randy Orton fan, he stands taller above most WWE wrestlers.

Now, everyone is supposedly excited about “War Games” being added to WWE Survivor Series 2022. Did any of you actually watch the War Games matches from the NXT Takeover Pay Per Views Premium Live Events? They were complete spotfests where wrestlers did dangerous stunts that could only be performed once a year. Problem is that without a cage, the WWE is doing dangerous matches all year long. Whether you are jumping off a ladder or off the top of a cage, it’s the same damn thing.

It’s a FACT that we’re 1 Roman Reigns injury or retirement to Hollywood away from complete disaster. Roman has a bunch of stale opponents, thanks again to Triple H failing to develop anyone, and we’re putting too many chips on Cody Rhodes to be the guy who defeats Roman to end this long title reign. While I have enjoyed Cody’s return, I still can’t get out of my mind how uneventful his prior WWE run was and his AEW run was actually subpar after 2019. Cody is getting cheered now because he bucked the AEW system as an EVP to rejoin the WWE, but how long before that wears out? And this injury will limit his momentum. Don’t forget that Cody took shots at Triple H by smashing a thrown with a sledgehammer at an AEW Pay Per View. Triple H never forgets stuff like that. Cody left when Vince was in charge, but that world has now changed with HHH now in charge.

Even if Cody defeats Roman, who is Cody going to feud with? Again, that gets into my longtime argument that Triple H FAILED to develop new Main Event stars for the WWE as Talent Relations EVP from mid-2012 through early 2020. When Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, and Kevin Owens are your “success stories”, Jim Ross and John Laurinaitis will laugh at you. Look at the WWE, as they cannot stop using Brock Lesnar who was a Jim Ross signing. John Cena is rumored to return for the next Wrestlemania. Roman Reigns is their main guy as a heel and he was a John Laurinaitis signing.

What has Triple H done to improve the WWE roster? NXT’s roster is still weak and the re-signings have not made an impact. It is appearing like Vince McMahon was RIGHT with all of the NXT call-up to WWE talent that was released. Go ask AEW if any of the 2020-2021 releases are helping their roster.

You can say “it’s too early”, but Triple H is the one rushing those top stars to the top upon their re-entrants into the WWE.

And Triple H is the one who signed off on having Austin Theory cash in his Money in the Bank contract for the US Title.

Triple H needs help running this company and hiring yes-men like Road Dogg won’t cut it (he destroyed Smackdown’s chemistry when he took over that brand during early 2017). When you have Paul Heyman RIGHT THERE on your WWE roster and you’re not involving him to help write storylines, you are a completely ineffective manager.

HHH is not all he is cracked up to be and overrated by many online wrestling fans who THOUGHT that Vince McMahon was the problem. No, the problem was the people whom Vince McMahon surrounded himself with for the past 10 years, Triple H included. Vince went from having Jim Ross, Jim Cornette, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Vince Russo, Chris Kreski, and others who were either wrestling veterans or good with creative or talent to surrounding himself with Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, relying on Kevin Dunn more, a bunch of failed Hollywood or Comedy writers, and a bunch of corporate types. Fact is that Triple H has actually maintained MOST of this surrounding group, except for adding Road Dogg and Michael P.S. Hayes has always been a big suck-up to Stephanie and HHH.

Go ahead and cheer Triple H on for trashing the 24/7 Title… For those who forgot, he was EVP of the Creative Team during May 2019 when that title was introduced. Oh yeah, that was Triple H who either came up with the idea or certainly did not veto it.

How do you like them apples?

And don’t give me that I’m pro-AEW. Go READ MY COLUMNS, as I’ve been hammering All Elite “Wrestling” for years and in fact desired to retire last year because AEW was so disappointing. Tony Khan SUCKS as his job and that roster has been either poorly used or poorly constructed.

Pro Wrestling, right now, is just lame… Triple H struggles to mold and find talent, while his creative is completely boring and dull. Tony Khan, meanwhile, lacks an iron fist to keep his talent in line and has too many guys with bad habits that remain from other promotions.

I believe that both WWE and AEW will be able to muster 1 good TV deal each, and then Cable TV/Satellite will evolve as technology evolves. 10 years from now, those desperate television channels won’t be paying for live content as much as they are now. When WWE’s financials are 3/4 reliant on television money, that will screw them in the long-run especially if they cannot increase their viewership. AEW will likely lose their TV deal when the Comcast corporation inhales the Warner channels and properties in a few years. Then, AEW will become TNA by airing on Cable channels that nobody watches.

You know that I’m right, which is why you claim to hate my columns.

So just chill ’til the next episode…

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