During the night of the TLC pay-per-view, Triple H filled in at a WWE Live event for SmackDown Live star AJ Styles, who was a rushed replacement for Bray Wyatt against “The Demon” Finn Balor. Since the pay-per-view left two big holes to fill with both Roman Reigns and Wyatt absent, WWE wanted names who could still stir the same level of anticipation for their respective matches, or even more. For Balor, Styles was a very relevant and meaningful replacement match, since the two were both leaders of the New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Bullet Club faction. At the end of the highly-acclaimed match, the two catered significantly to the hardcore audience by connecting the “two sweet” hand gesture.
On Raw Talk, AJ Styles would further praise the match, admitting Balor was the better man on that night. He would also add that he is certain the feud was not over yet. Meanwhile, while in Santiago, Chile, Triple H competed against Rusev and was victorious. Following the match, Triple H celebrated with members of The New Day. He was even able to break out into a hip-gyrating dance, which evolved into twerking. Eliciting a huge reaction from the crowd, Triple H would end this moment by hitting Kofi Kingston with a pedigree before rolling out of the ring and prancing his way to the back.
Why Was Triple H Chosen To Fill In For AJ Styles?
Similar to the reasoning behind the selection of Kurt Angle and AJ Styles for TLC, Triple H was chosen as a replacement for Styles due to the anticipation from the Chilean crowd. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, based on comments from former WWE Spanish announcer Hugo Savinovich, a local promotion paid $900,000 for the shows and were not happy that both Styles and Owens were going to be off of the show in Santiago. As a result, Triple H was chosen, due to having the level of star power that would adequately replace the two competitors.
Triple H will be making another string of wrestling appearances outside the United States, as it was recently announced that he will be competing in the United Kingdom. It is currently unknown whether this is a direct relation to The Shield being initially advertised and Reigns recovering from his viral infection, but it is certainly getting Triple H some reps for potentially another match at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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