In just the past few years, the WWE had undergone a litany of changes that not many could have foreseen. Not just inside the ring and booking behind the scenes, but what has happened to the coverage of media platforms for the WWE. Every week, a segment featuring former WWE personality Jonathan Coachman and a current superstar is broadcast. Five years ago, ESPN would have never have covered the WWE, let alone pro wrestling in general.
ESPN is even expanding its WWE coverage. Beginning in mid-August, the sports channel is launching a vertical website dedicated to covering the WWE. It will feature editorials, Peter Rosenburg’s Cheap Heat podcast, and much more. While many wrestling purists will think it’s a way for the WWE to make more money, they aren’t wrong. This is only a positive aspect to their mainstream relevance as ESPN has pull virtually everywhere.
Five years ago, none of this would have happened. While Vince McMahon has been an integral part of the entire process, Triple H has insisted that the WWE must develop a presence in the mainstream media. They used to be more popular, but that was when pro wrestling was a part of pop culture. It’s gone down in the last decade. The ratings are a good example of how things have changed. Instead of staying in the realm of 5.0 ratings, they struggle to land a 3.0.
ESPN’s new vertical platform for WWE will certainly help reach new demographics. Triple H is already kickstarting the entire process with a great interview on ESPN. In this chat, he talks about character development, why the tag-team scene was down in recent years, and 50/50 booking.
“Everybody is different, every single person. There are a lot of talents that, over the years, you take them and you turn their personality way up and that’s them. That’s their character. And that works for a lot of guys. A lot of them, as they become good, they start to morph themselves in a bigger, better way. And those are the ones that you just try to help cultivate to become big stars by turning up the volume.
“I think you go back five or six years ago when the tag teams were on the decline. Part of that was a thinner talent roster. NXT has been able to beef up the ranks enough for us to split rosters, and you see this resurgence. … I’m really proud of them — of the entire developmental system. It has allowed for the resurgence of tag-team wrestling and resurgence of women’s wrestling by giving them the platform to be able to do what they do.
Triple H has always been honest with the media and others about what the WWE is all about. He doesn’t reveal backstage secrets, if they exist, but during his WWE NXT conference calls before Takeover events, HHH doesn’t hold back. He’s aware the blurred line between kayfabe and reality is not around anymore. It’s very easy to find out backstage rumors, reveals, and news on the internet.
His roles in the corporate scene have increased dramatically, but that doesn’t mean he won’t wrestle periodically. In a recent article by the Inquisitr, Triple H is reportedly against fighting his brother-in-law, Shane McMahon, at WrestleMania 33. At first, the big match was supposed to happen at SummerSlam, but HHH is still off television, and he last appeared at WrestleMania 32 in his loss to Roman Reigns.
Triple H is starting to be a public figurehead for the WWE, and that’s exactly what they need. Vince is not in touch with current ideologies and trends. That’s where the 15-time WWE champion comes into play. He knows what WWE fans want, and that’s why WWE NXT is alive and kicking.
[Image via wwe.com]