One of the WWE’s top priorities for WrestleMania is getting Seth Rollins fully healthy so that he can finally square off with Triple H on the grand stage. Their proposed bout last year had to be scrapped due to the devastating knee injury Rollins suffered in November, and it’s in jeopardy again this year after Rollins was dealt another blow during the final segment on the January 30 episode of Monday Night RAW.
It was on that night, of course, that Triple H returned to WWE television to answer the challenges that Rollins had been laying out for the past couple of months. It was only Hunter’s second appearance on RAW since dropping the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania 32.
Instead of squaring off with Rollins himself, Triple H summoned Samoa Joe in a blindsided attack that would have been memorable enough considering Joe’s promotion was long overdue. But the attack left Rollins with legitimately-torn MCL and his WrestleMania status very much up in the air. As it always does, the show must go on, and Triple H has been adamant about performing at this year’s WrestleMania, leaving WWE officials scrambling to come up with alternatives.
Last year, we reported that Triple H was opposed to the idea of facing his brother-in-law, Shane McMahon, this April, focused instead on engaging in a program with a superstar on the rise. However, once Rollins went down with his injury, a Triple H-Shane match was put back on the table, among other possibilities. In an update to that story, Cageside Seats is reporting that while WWE officials are hopeful Rollins returns in time for the match, they are still in the process of making plans in the event he doesn’t.
While the Shane McMahon idea may still be on the table, current plans call for Shane to face AJ Styles in Orlando instead. It appears that several things would have to follow through for Shane-O-Mac to go toe-to-toe with Triple H at this point. Seeds for Styles and Shane have been subtlety planted, but they haven’t gone all the way on television yet, which enables them to change direction if they had to without losing anything from a continuity standpoint.
Meanwhile, Triple H may also be busy constructing the next big thing on RAW. As seen this past Monday night, The Game entered the arena via limousine with Samoa Joe and later, spoke with Kevin Owens backstage right before K-O’s brutal betrayal of Chris Jericho during the Festival of Friendship segment. This has led to speculation that Triple H is building a new stable that would resemble that of Evolution.
In it, Triple H would play the role once occupied by Ric Flair, Samoa Joe would assume the part of Batista, as the muscle of the group and Owens would be Triple H from that era. A fourth member would complete the homage, with rumors of Finn Balor returning to play the role that Randy Orton did back then.
If reports of this faction coming together are true, than that would eliminate the possibility of Triple H facing Samoa Joe at WrestleMania. That was one of the original pitches made two days after the Rollins injury occurred. It seemed like a long-shot at the time and is far less likely nearly three weeks later. Joe is penciled-in to face Sami Zayn at the Fastlane pay-per-view in just over two weeks, RAW’s final pit stop on the road to WrestleMania.
Balor may have been another option as Triple H’s opponent for a brief moment, but even though the first Universal Champion should make a WrestleMania appearance, it’s unlikely at this point that he’ll actually wrestle a match on the show. The fact that officials are still working on alternatives is an indication that Rollins’ status remains unclear, but their preference remains Seth come back to face The Game on April 2.
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