Do Triple H And Stephanie McMahon As Heels Make Sense?

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I love a good old heel dictatorship being in charge. It gives the heroes an authority to rebel against. For every ying, there’s a yang. For every hero, there’s a villain. Stacking the deck against the good guys is supposed to help the careers of those put against the bad guys. Every win for the good guy is meaningful and every win is a win for the fans. However, does the Authority truly make sense as a heel faction and have they actually hindered the rise of babyfaces more than it’s helped?

The whole dynamic of Triple H and Stephanie as heels is very confusing in itself. Sometimes, this leads to the Authority being more balanced in it’s decisions therefore damaging the image of them as a evil dictatorship. When Randy Orton and Seth Rollins were both the hand-picked champions of the Authority, little was done to actually help them remain champion. The only time Triple H ever got physically involved to try and help Randy was at Wrestlemania 30 and he failed. Triple H and Stephanie never did anything to help Seth Rollins, even when he was against Sting who they clearly didn’t want as champion… or did they?

That’s the whole issue. On the night after Summerslam when Sting returned to WWE to challenge Rollins, Triple H was very angry over it. He was so mad that he gave Sting a WWE World title shot. As amazing as it sounds, that’s not the big thing as this could be passed off as Triple H making the decision in the heat of the moment. However, Hunter and Steph don’t seem to lift a finger to help Seth in his fight against Sting. In fact, they actually helped the good guy Sting at Night of Champions by putting their chosen champion Seth in a second match that night with somebody else!

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The Seth Rollins stuff is sort of passable if you want to go with the storyline that Triple H was just testing Seth the whole time. However, look at Seth’s opponents when he was champion. Randy Orton betrayed the Authority’s trust and attacked their golden child Seth several times. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns have been constant enemies of the Authority since they attacked Triple H on the night after Wrestlemania 30. Brock Lesnar defied the Authority several times and violated Stephanie’s orders when he attacked EVERYONE on the night after Wrestlemania 31. John Cena helped to get the Authority out of power! Sting played a pivotal role in getting the Authority out of power as well and has feuded with Triple H. Kane was trying to work the Authority and Seth Rollins with the split personality deal. Everyone of these men would give the Authority reasons to help Seth, but neither Triple H or Stephanie made any effort to do so. It just creates a lot of plot-holes as the Authority shouldn’t want any of these men to be champion.

The reason for that is Triple H and Stephanie are trying to portray a two-faced authority figure that plays a corporate good guy but are heels deep down. That balancing act is detrimental to their character and the product itself. For example, on RAW the Authority teased a WWE World title match. They swerved the paying crowd by saying they’re going to get that match, but not that night. Lance Storm made a great point on Wrestling Observer when he pointed out that when the Authority teases the crowd for not getting more than they paid for, they go home disappointed. It’s almost like a giant middle finger to the paying audience that made the effort to come to your television show and it’s telling them to save up their money and go to bigger shows in the future where they might get more then they paid for. That’s detrimental to your live television show ticket sales as it turns a live audience off from ever coming back.

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A lot of you might be thinking “But Tom, they only say that to get some heat from the audience.” However, Triple H and Stephanie are both very active in making public appearances. They have to go to schools, conferences and sporting events and these promotional events are important in keeping up the image of the company. They are on the RAW segments talking about Susan G. Komen and talking about inspirational fans which is also confusing. Alright, I understand that there are certain times when the fans are supposed to tell the difference between kayfabe and reality. However, if these fans that you’ve told no to in kayfabe are the same people you have to encourage to donate to charity, it’s just going to send off the wrong message.

In the public eye, Triple H and Stephanie are well received and have a good reputation. On RAW, they are both going out of their way in segments to convince wrestling fans that they are assholes. However, in order to portray the two-faced gimmick mentioned earlier they still stack the deck against the heels. All of this makes their characters very difficult to understand. One week, they are mocking the fans and their favourites like Daniel Bryan. The next week, they are putting heels like Seth Rollins in tough situations. It’s almost like a guessing game every week over whether they’re faces or heels, which is not what they should be doing.

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That’s not even the worst part of Triple H and Stephanie acting as “heel” authority figures. The reason Vince McMahon worked so well as the foil for Stone Cold Steve Austin is because in the end, you knew Stone Cold was going to win. He was the ultimate hero that rebelled against the tyrant Vince McMahon and Austin would always win. The fans knew that either Austin was going to get his hands on or outsmart the evil boss that everyone hates.

On the other hand, the Authority doesn’t work as strongly as Vince did because they rarely actually lose. When the Authority has been in a feud, how many times have they won the war? Who has actually flat out won a feud with the Authority? Daniel Bryan? Sure, he beat the Authority at Wrestlemania 30 to win the WWE World title. However at the end of the day, Daniel got hurt and the Authority got what they wanted. Dolph Ziggler and the rest of Team Cena at Survivor Series? Nope. A month later, the Authority was brought back into power making those victories seem meaningless. He who laughs last laugh the loudest.

It’s detrimental as you’ll struggle to make stars out of these babyfaces because you’re sending the message out to the fans that these good guys will never beat the Authority. You wonder why the WWE’s top three babyfaces right now are Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Kane? You wonder why the top three babyfaces are two men that have never won a world championship and a 20 year veteran? You wonder why it’s three babyfaces that have already lost feuds with the Authority? Because the good guys hardly ever win against the bad guys. Good promoters shouldn’t be beating the good guys that are making money for them through merchandise.

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What’s weird about all of this is that this whole issue could be easily dealt with if they were babyfaces. That way, Triple H and Stephanie can be promoted as strong as they are and it wouldn’t hurt the product as they are making the popular decisions for the fans. It’d make it easier for Triple H and Stephanie to cut these promos on how great Be A Star and Susan G. Koeman are as they’re the good guys. They can give fans more than they bargained for and it’d make sense. They can stack the deck against the heel champions and it’d make sense. I’d prefer Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as heels I believe they are better in that role, but it’d make a lot more sense if they are babyfaces considering how obsessive WWE are at maintaining their image. It’s just interesting when you look at it.

Roman Reigns To Surpass CM Punk’s WWE Title Reign?

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One of the biggest things to take away from RAW was the fact that Nikki Bella surpassed AJ Lee’s record for the longest ever Divas Championship reign. Many people weren’t happy with this decision and many felt that Nikki didn’t deserve. I personally don’t agree with the notion that Nikki didn’t deserve it, because she’s had to work really hard to get to where she is right now. She has certainly improved a lot from when she first started out in WWE and has been able to withstand the test of time. However, I really just had an issue with the way her Divas title match with Charlotte ended. You can read all about that on my RAW review at this link.

However, rumours are going around that WWE are planning to break another championship record. It’s not really a record, but Bryan Alvarez believes that CM Punk’s 434 day title reign as WWE Champion could possibly be surpassed very soon. Bryan believes that with WWE and CM Punk currently at odds (the latest development being a WWE doctor suing CM Punk), the WWE doesn’t want to recognize him as the longest reigning WWE Champion of the “modern era”. Bryan believes that WWE is planning on having Roman Reigns’ future WWE Championship win be the start of an even longer run as champion.

Now it’s important to remember everybody that this is merely just speculation. It’s coming from a well-respected wrestling journalist in Bryan Alvarez, but it’s just speculation on what could happen. However, it’s no secret that WWE have been working their ass of push Roman Reigns as the next top guy in WWE. From pushing him as the standout of the Shield to having him win the Royal Rumble, the WWE want Roman Reigns as their next top guy. Considering the physical appearance of Roman Reigns and his portrayal as this legitimate badass, why wouldn’t you want to push him?

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With how CM Punk left the company and the current legal issues with Punk and the WWE doctor, WWE are not that obligated to maintain his title record. If Punk’s not going to be a part of your company for the foreseeable future, then there’s no need to really protect him when you can spend your efforts on building your future talent. This is part of the reason why I sort of agree with WWE having Nikki Bella break AJ Lee’s Divas Championship record. AJ, for whatever reason, is retired as an in-ring performer. AJ’s probably not going to have any working relationship with WWE in the next few years. That’s not to say that AJ has a bad relationship with WWE herself. However, there’s no need to protect AJ when they might as well promote Nikki Bella as the face of the Divas Division. As I mentioned in my piece on Charlotte from a few weeks ago, this will help the other divas going up against Nikki too. The longer that Nikki is champion, the more it well help top faces in the Divas Divison get over as they’re going up against someone with as much heat as Nikki.

However, there’s a big difference between Nikki beating AJ’s record than Roman Reigns breaking CM Punk’s WWE Championship record. There’s a HUGE difference in terms of the prestige of these two belts. I mean we’re talking about Roman Reigns holding the WWE Championship. It’s a risky endevour to take considering that Roman Reigns has never held the WWE Championship before. The original plans for him to win the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 31 was changed due to fan reactions and how WWE had booked Roman previously. If the whole idea is to have Roman stay out of the title picture for a year and then have him win it at next year’s Wrestlemania, then it will not work nearly as well as WWE thinks it will. In my opinion, this won’t work because Roman won’t be nearly in as good a position to be considered a true title contender.

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In my opinion, Roman’s storylines since Wrestlemania 31 have been very lackluster. For someone that WWE wants to push as their next top star, Roman’s not been helped with the storylines he’s been given. He feuded with the Big Show in a feud that few people cared about. The feud was so badly received that Big Show got a chant of “Please Retire”. He was briefly in the title picture for Payback, but was one of a number of wrestlers going after the gold. He was then reduced to being Dean Ambrose’s sidekick as Dean went for the title at Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank. He’s then feuded with Bray Wyatt in a feud which has been above average at best. Really, WWE’s not had the best storylines to get him over as a singles star. In fact, most of his feuds have featured him teaming with his buddy Dean Ambrose. Unless either Dean or Roman was to turn heel to set up a program between those two, I don’t see Roman getting a storyline which will get him ready for that push to the WWE World title once more.

If WWE continue to push him like they are, Reigns is not going to get anywhere near that title in 2016. If you’re not a fan of Roman Reigns, then that’s good news for you. Roman’s got all of the credentials needed to ACTUALLY be their next top star. However, WWE’s booking of Reigns in 2015 has been so poor that I don’t think it’s possible that Reigns could get anywhere near to the level where WWE want him to be at.

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After Wrestlemania 31, I posted an article talking about why Wrestlemania 31 could have been the beginning of the end for Roman Reigns. You can find it at this link. A lot of times I will write up an article and when reading it back a few months later or so, I would realise that I was talking all sorts of rubbish. In one of my recent Wrestling Flashbacks, I was very critical of MY OWN review of Hell in a Cell 2012! However, I think I might have been right on this one. The reason I think this is because since then, Roman Reigns has not been booked in such a way that could possibly convince me that he could possibly be WWE World Champion. He’s not had any major storylines which has really made Roman main event material. His feud with Big Show was lame. He did not come off well from the Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose storyline. His feud with Bray Wyatt has been… passable. However, none of these feuds are going to get Roman ready for that big title push.

What’s funny about all of this is that there is somebody that is actually in a great position to surpass CM Punk’s WWE Championship record. What’s funny is that I wrote an article for SLTD Wrestling about this person potentially holding this title until Wrestlemania 32. It’s the person that has all the tools to be a main-eventer for years to come and has been booked really well by WWE in order to do that. His name…. is Seth Rollins.

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I really do encourage everyone reading this to check out my latest article for SLTD Wrestling at this link. In that article, I responded to Jim Ross’ comments from a few months ago about how Seth should be champion until Wrestlemania 32. In most of my article, I agreed with him. If you’re going to have CM Punk’s WWE title reign be beaten by anyone, why not have it be beaten by Seth Rollins? He’s an incredible worker and is incredibly over as the top heel in the company. His mic skills are improving but he’s already got people to help him out if needed. He’s already got the credentials to be the one that surpasses CM Punk and he’s ALREADY champion! Seth’s been champion for six months or so, has been in great programs with Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Sting, and is still rolling on nicely as champion. His reign has been great so far. Look at the people he’s beaten and now he can help elevate others… INCLUDING ROMAN REIGNS!

If WWE truly want to have CM Punk’s title reign surpassed and if they want Roman Reigns to be pushed as their next top guy, they don’t need to have Reigns be the one that surpasses Punk. If they took the time to re-evaluate Roman’s character and figure out what he needs to be pushed that next level, then maybe there’s hope for him. However, WWE have a golden opportunity to help everyone out by simply keeping the belt on one man. By keeping the title on Seth Rollins and by taking considerable care of Roman Reigns’ character, you’ve got a great main event title scene for years to come.