Behind the scenes, it’s been an eventful week in terms of news surrounding Triple H. We revealed that The Game withdrew himself from draft considerations because of the uncertainty around his in-ring future. It’s been noted that while Triple H does plan on competing at WrestleMania 33, he’s yet to narrow down a potential list of opponents. Vince McMahon has been eating up the backstage friction between his children as of late, but Hunter doesn’t want it leading to a match between himself and Shane McMahon in Orlando next year.
All this and Triple H has still yet to appear on WWE television since losing to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania this past April. He’s remained focus on promoting the Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network, building towards NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II and filling in for Vince during the Chairman’s recent absence from live television.
Meanwhile, ESPN has launched a new subsite dedicated solely to the WWE as the relationship between the two brands continues to expand. For their first interview, you’d have to imagine Vince was on the Worldwide Leader’s short list of subjects, much like when the Stone Cold podcast premiered on the WWE Network with the boss as Austin’s first guest. However, Triple H granted the interview instead and broke down character development, psychology, and much more in a revealing conversation.
One of the more common terms thrown around during the modern era of sports entertainment is “50/50 Booking.” It’s a phrase used to illustrate how over the course of a feud in the WWE, both wrestlers are often booked to win so that neither comes out on the losing end. Interestingly, Triple H went on the offensive and squashed the concept altogether.
“It’s just a term somebody came up with. It’s just terms that people throw out there. When somebody goes, ‘Well, you just can’t get people over with 50/50 booking,’ [I’ll always say] ‘Oh, I’m sorry, how’s your territory coming? Because this one seems to be doing pretty good over here.’ We just had the largest WrestleMania in history. People talk a lot of smack about ratings and things, but they don’t understand all of the dynamics of everything we do. They don’t. They sit on the internet and they read one thing and they give their point of view.”
Triple H would continue by saying that he doesn’t even keep track of wins and losses and that his style of booking is based more on feel. He believes that some talents need to take more losses to elicit sympathy from the audience in order to build them back up from this underdog gimmick. And Triple H says that mindset comes directly from his father-in-law.
“People don’t understand it when Vince [McMahon] will say it’s not about wins and losses or those things. Do they matter? Sure. Are they the be all, end all? Absolutely not. I suppose there’s a stone somewhere that it’s written on that says, ‘Thou shalt not book 50/50 because it won’t lead to success for your promotion.’ We’ll stand on that stone while we’re selling out Brooklyn three days in a row.”
Obviously, Triple H is referring to the third weekend in August when the WWE puts on both the NXT and main-roster pay-per-views, as well as Monday Night RAW, all of which have been sold out for months. Since the brand extension, part of the road to SummerSlam has been paved with a renewed concept in the form of enhancement matches.
Braun Strowman, Nia Jax, and even American Alpha are being booked with the benefit of these enhancement matches. Triple H admitted to resetting the Strowman character and then further clarified the overall concept of these programs.
“Enhancement matches on the shows, to me, are designed to get personalities over. It’s designed for one guy to go out there — yeah, he beats up another guy, but what was he doing while he was doing that? He was establishing his moves, so I see what this guy does and see the kind of a style in which he wrestles? But if he just goes out there and just does a few moves with no personality and no charisma, I still don’t care about him. I just know he’s better than the other guy, who didn’t look like he was very good in the first place.”
[Image via WWE]