Triple H has yet to make a peep on WWE television since his loss to Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania back in April, but he’s certainly making a lot of noise behind the scenes. ESPN recently launched a new WWE subsite, and Triple H was their first interview as The Game responded to 50/50 booking criticism and the purpose behind using enhancement talent.
More privately, Triple H has attempted to thwart any plan that Vince McMahon has to build to a match that would pit his son-in-law against his actual son, Shane McMahon, at next year’s WrestleMania. There has been a lot of backstage friction between Vince’s heirs, but Hunter doesn’t want it leading to anything on TV. We also recently noted how it was Triple’s decision to keep his name out of the WWE Draft with his in-ring future still up in the air.
The Cerebral Assassin remains intent on wrestling at WrestleMania 33, but according to those close to him, he has yet to narrow down a list of potential opponents, though word is he’d prefer to face an up-and-coming star rather than an established veteran. So as you see, there has been a ton of news on someone who hasn’t made an appearance on the main roster since April 3 inside AT&T Stadium in Dallas. And there’s even more.
According to Daily Wrestling News, Triple H is exerting more of his power and has recently done so to make an example out of Alberto Del Rio. Previous reports have highlighted a disconnect between Del Rio and Triple H, which has led to some speculation that Del Rio may leave WWE when his contract runs out this October. Vince has wanted to re-sign the Mexican Aristocrat, while Triple H would prefer the two sides part ways. Del Rio is another example of HHH and Vince not seeing eye-to-eye on certain talents, which also includes Dana Brooke.
After the League of Nations experiment failed, Vince had planned to push Del Rio once the dust settled on the brand extension, but Triple H had gotten in Vince’s ear enough to cool off on those plans and the Chairman’s support has dwindled somewhat. There has been plenty of internal talk suggesting that Triple H simply doesn’t like Del Rio, and the feeling might be mutual. Hunter has shown plenty of frustration to Vince and other WWE officials in light of Del Rio disrespecting him, while Triple H believes Alberto is more committed to his social life than his sports entertainment career.
The most tangible example of Triple H’s punishment came during the draft when Del Rio was sent to Smackdown and his girlfriend, Paige, was drafted to RAW. All of the other real-life relationships were kept in tact as far as brand placement. Rusev and Lana, The Miz and Maryse, and Dean Ambrose and Renee Young were all kept together. Nikki Bella and Emma are expected to go to Smackdown when they’re cleared for competition so that they can travel with boyfriends John Cena and Zack Ryder.
But Del Rio and Paige were separated because Triple H believes the former World Heavyweight Champion is a bad influence on a female superstar the company had high hopes for. That might all be moot now with Paige’s injuries being considered far worse than originally anticipated, but it was a message nonetheless showcasing to Del Rio (and perhaps the rest of the locker room) that Triple H is in charge and has plenty of power.
Del Rio hasn’t had anything significant since the League of Nations split up, and that will continue through the second-biggest show of the year on Sunday’s SummerSlam. He did have a rather high-profile match with Randy Orton last week on Smackdown, to be followed up by one with John Cena this week, but it likely won’t result in anything for Del Rio. However, once SummerSlam is over, Smackdown will need to rely on its entire roster with brand-exclusive pay-per-views looming. The blue brand has Backlash on September 11, and No Mercy on October 9, so certainly worth keeping an eye on to see where Del Rio fits in, if at all, moving forward.
[Image via WWE]