Triple H has not been seen on WWE television since WrestleMania 32 on April 3 in Dallas. It was there, of course, that HHH dropped the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Roman Reigns in the show’s main event. Theoretically, Triple H’s job could have been on the line that evening by way of Shane McMahon’s Hell in a Cell encounter with the Undertaker. Shane, however, became victim number 23 in the Deadman’s historic WrestleMania reign. That was supposed to spell the end of Shane in WWE altogether, paving the way for The Authority to continue running the show.
WWE fans have been forced to accept that the company is not afraid to throw logic out the window. Shane stuck around past WrestleMania and now is co-running Monday Night RAW with his sister – and Triple H’s wife – Stephanie. Stephanie returned to TV after a brief hiatus, but we’ve still not seen nor heard from Triple H for over a month. He’s barely been mentioned on television as the company presented Payback and now builds toward Extreme Rules.
There’s an unspoken (at least on television) dynamic that is adding additional layers of intrigue to at least two major feuds in WWE right now. Finn Balor’s main-roster debut is imminent, and with a well-documented history in the Bullet Club with Anderson & Gallows, Balor and AJ Styles may be crossing paths very soon. The other is the inconspicuous absence of Triple H while Shane and Stephanie try to co-exist in their current power positions. At this point, you get the feeling that Triple H will remain on the sidelines until the inevitable implosion between brother and sister plays out.
But once Triple H does return to TV, is he coming back as an executive, or is he coming back as The Game, with an intent to compete as an actual wrestler? According to Daily Wrestling News, Triple H will continue to balance his roles as performer and exec for another three years. Hunter’s previous talent contract expired at the end of March, and he signed a new three-year deal on Monday. This means two things; technically, Triple H wrestled in the main event in AT&T Stadium without a performer’s contract, and he will wrestle at least through WrestleMania 35 in 2019.
The terms of Triple H’s new contract were not immediately available, but the final year of his previous deal saw Hunter make $2.8 million, the third highest among WWE superstars behind John Cena and Brock Lesnar. Triple H had a booking contract where he had a $1 million base salary and earned over $700,000 in bonus money.
Triple H wrestled just four times in 2014, most notably in the opening match of WrestleMania 30 against Daniel Bryan. He followed that up with one single match in 2015, his WrestleMania bout with Sting. Many thought that that extremely limited competition schedule spelled the end of his days in tights and boots. But in 2016 alone, Triple H has laced those boots up six times, including winning the Royal Rumble, and more surprisingly, on two non-televised house shows. Outside of Reigns, his 2016 opponents have included Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, and Sami Zayn.
So who will Triple H target if he does, in fact, return with a vengeance this summer? Bleacher Report lists three feuds for Hunter upon his return to action. The obvious one being Shane McMahon in the near-term that the Inquisitr has reported could potentially culminate in a one-on-one match at SummerSlam. The other two would be Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt a little further down the road. Rollins and Triple H were originally rumored to square off at this year’s WrestleMania before Rollins went down with an injury. Wyatt, too, is on the shelf, but not before planting a subtle seed with the boss in the build to ‘Mania.
Chants of “you still got it” reigned down on Triple H as he clearly showed he’s physically capable of competing at an elite level in the WWE. And now he’s preparing to continue that path for at least more years. And that also may indicate that Vince McMahon is still not ready to step down anytime soon.
[Image via WWE]