Right before the WWE Draft last month, the company published a list of all the superstars that would be eligible to be selected either to RAW or SmackDown. As fans and journalists tend to do, everyone went through it with a fine-tooth comb and discovered several marquee names missing from the list. Most notably, Triple H, Undertaker, and The Rock were nowhere to be found even though Brock Lesnar was.
The WWE has found itself in a bit of a semantics battle lately as it pertains to their part-time superstars. Lesnar (and most likely, Triple H, Undertaker, Rock) are not subject to drug testing or the Wellness Policy when all the full-timers are. Brock was eligible for the draft because he works five or six pay-per-views a year, while the other three might work one match a year at this point in their careers.
The Inquisitr noted that the Undertaker requested to be left out of the draft as he’s still claiming that he is retired. Whether he is or isn’t, his future is still very much up in the air. The Rock was left out for more obvious reasons, but despite a busy Hollywood schedule, he still finds time for the WWE, especially around WrestleMania season. So that leaves Triple H, who is in each WWE arena every week, leaving many to wonder why he might not be eligible.
Triple H is certainly a sporadic in-ring worker these days, having scaled back beginning in 2010 to focus on his front-office role. As most know, Triple H is the executive vice president of talent, live events, and creative of WWE, and the brains behind NXT, WWE’s developmental brand. According to Daily Wrestling News, it was Triple H himself who pulled his name out of the draft list, as his future as a performer remains uncertain.
Triple H has competed at every WrestleMania dating back to 1996, with the exception of WrestleMania 23 because of injury. Rumor has it that The Game wants to wrestle at his 22nd Show of the Immortals next year when WrestleMania 33 invades Orlando, Florida. Since taking on more a part-time schedule, Triple H’s WrestleMania opponents have included the likes of the Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, Sting, and Roman Reigns, in that order.
The talk backstage is that Triple H has yet to narrow down his potential list of opponents for WrestleMania, let alone decide who he wants to face. But seeing how he’s wrestled against established stars over the last six Manias, and the fact that he’s grown NXT to the level that it has become, some WWE officials believe his opponent will be an up-and-coming star. That might include someone who has yet to be promoted to the main roster or a former NXT talent that’s recently been called up.
It’s pure speculation at this point, but if that is the criteria for his next opponent, you’d have to believe the contenders would be Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and/or Samoa Joe. But perhaps a more obvious choice might be Seth Rollins considering their on-screen history and the fact that the match was once planned to take place in Dallas this past April before Rollins suffered a major injury.
Before Triple H’s WrestleMania opponent is determined, however, he’ll need to appear on television again, something he hasn’t done since losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Roman Reigns inside AT&T Stadium. The initial thought was he would enter a program with Shane McMahon, culminating in a match at SummerSlam, but that has been put on the back-burner for whatever reason at this time. The seeds have certainly been planted, so it’s just a matter of how much longer Shane will be sticking around and whether his brother-in-law wants to go through with it at all. In any event, his extended absence should make his eventual return that much more important.
[Image via WWE]