Kevin Owens made his WWE main roster debut in May of 2015 and made an immediate impact by answering John Cena’s open challenge leading to a memorable feud that spanned the course of three pay-per-views. Samoa Joe finally received his WWE promotion three weeks ago and made his presence felt by attacking Seth Rollins in the final segment of Monday Night RAW.
Joe followed-up on his debut with a contract signing and a singles victory over Roman Reigns. And then this Monday night, he sat down for an interview with Michael Cole and then took out Sami Zayn following Zayn’s win over Rusev. Owens, of course, parlayed his instant success into significant feuds and his current run as WWE Universal Champion. And both superstars owe a lot of their on and off-screen success to Triple H.
When Finn Balor was forced to relinquish the WWE Universal Title after becoming the inaugural winner at SummerSlam, Triple H returned to television after a four-month absence to help Owens become the new champion. He disappeared again until last month, finally agreeing to show up after Seth Rollins spent weeks calling him out. Their impending confrontation, of course, was interrupted by Samoa Joe, who Hunter recruited to do his dirty work.
During the attack, as we would find out the following day, Rollins was legitimately hurt, putting his proposed WrestleMania match with Triple H in jeopardy for a second straight year. WWE officials are operating as if Rollins will make it back in time, but plans were altered slightly for RAW‘s last pit stop before ‘Mania, WWE Fastlane. Samoa Joe was originally scheduled to face Rollins on March 5, but Seth is now being replaced by Sami Zayn.
Zayn was slotted to face Chris Jericho for the United States Championship, but the Rollins injury changed those plans, not to mention the major angle that went down during Monday’s Festival of Friendship segment. All the way up through Monday, Milwaukee’s Bradley Center (the venue for WWE Fastlane) had been advertising Zayn vs. Jericho for the pay-per-view, and the WWE didn’t have them change it so Owens’ turn on Jericho could be kept as big a secret as possible.
Owens is still set to take on Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship at Fastlane, but his attack on Jericho all but guarantees a showdown between the former best friends at WrestleMania. It’s just not clear what role Jericho will play at Fastlane as of yet.
Last week, Triple H did not appear on camera during RAW, but he did return this week in two brief backstage segments. First, he arrived at the arena in a limousine with Samoa Joe as the two walked into the building together. Later, he requested a meeting with Owens as KO and Jericho were discussing the night’s festivities, and the audience was only privy to Hunter and Kevin talking, but no audio was provided.
The last three weeks worth of storylines led Dave Meltzer to speculate that Triple H is forming a new heel stable on WWE’s flagship show on the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio. Earlier on Tuesday, the Inquisitr also wrote that The Game was plotting an NXT invasion angle, led by Samoa Joe, but Meltzer believes that Hunter is forming a group that will consist of himself, Joe and Kevin Owens.
Nothing further was discussed in terms of whether or not additional superstars would join the proposed faction, but the idea is certainly an interesting one as we embark on the road to WrestleMania. Joe and Owens did do battle in NXT during Owens’ brief stay with WWE’s developmental brand, but they’re both top heels on the main roster now with Triple H playing the role of maniacal mentor to both.
It’s unclear how it will unfold as Owens is expected to drop his WWE Universal Title at Fastlane, then face Chris Jericho on the grand stage in Orlando. Joe’s WrestleMania plans aren’t finalized as of yet, but he could be Triple H’s backup plan in the event Rollins isn’t cleared in time. Either way, the trio would certainly produce compelling television on Monday nights.
[Featured Image by WWE]