The Post’s Joseph Staszewski brings you around the world of professional wrestling every Tuesday in his weekly column, the Post Match Angle.
Triple H is immediately putting his stamp on WWE by righting a number of Vince McMahon’s perceived wrongs — mostly with his former stars in NXT.
The biggest of those so far has been the surprise return of Karrion Kross on “Friday Night SmackDown” last week. Kross was flanked by his wife Scarlett and was immediately thrust into the main event picture. If there was a WWE multiverse like in Marvel this would be the Earth 1218 version where the now-retired McMahon didn’t debut Kross solo, have him job to Jeff Hardy, dress him up as an S&M gladiator and eventually release him. McMahon had become notorious for miscasting and underusing a number of Triple H’s former NXT stars on the main roster.
Under Triple H’s watch as head of creative, Kross — a former NXT champion — took out No. 1 contender Drew McIntyre and Scarlett placed the hourglass in the ring to put Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns on notice. This is Kross as he should be, as Triple H presented him in NXT — quickly undoing the damage McMahon did. Kross’ return and Dexter Lumis (who was released in April) showing up on “Monday Night Raw” this week also adds that element of anticipation of who’s coming back next. Preferably Bray Wyatt and Johnny Gargano, if WWE really wants to make a splash.
Triple H also wasted little time getting the women’s tag team championship tournament going after months of silence under McMahon following Sasha Banks and Naomi’s suspension. Obviously bringing the former champions back would be a big moment for Triple H. He could right another of McMahon’s wrongs by doing that and having more talent and meaningful storylines dedicated to the division. There is no reason Toxic Attraction’s Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jane shouldn’t be called up soon — along with Mandy Rose too. Teaming Iyo Sky with Dakota Kai and Alexa Bliss with Asuka will add star power and an immediate storyline to the women’s tag team scene.
The women’s division as a whole appears to be getting extra attention from Triple H. The majority of the SmackDown women’s roster was in a gauntlet match to decide champion Liv Morgan’s next challenger. The match itself was well booked. Sonya Deville scored her first televised pin since May 2020 and Raquel Rodriguez eliminated three foes before finally getting pinned by Shayna Baszler.
It’s also about time we get Baszler – a former NXT women’s champion — being presented as a badass and getting a one-on-one singles title match. Her only one was against Becky Lynch with no fans at WrestleMania 36. She will likely partner up with real-life friend Ronda Rousey to complement the former UFC champion’s heel turn as an intimidating duo.
Over on Raw, Ciampa is also finally getting time to shine. The former NXT champion (we see a trend here) is delivering awesome promos and had a pay-per-view quality match with Bobby Lashley for the United States championship on Monday. WWE even pulled in Ciampa’s real life connection to the legendary Harley Race — the first-ever U.S. champ — to add deep meaning to the contest. It should give fans hope for long-overdue pushes for a Finn Balor or what looks like a reinvigorated Kevin Owens.
There have also been more subtle improvements. Those include the commitment to longer matches, reconnecting with wrestling history, stories that play out over an entire show, a few cliffhangers and putting your best in-ring wrestlers on TV (see Mustafa Ali and Ricochet) instead of leaving them in catering or having short matches. Talent is now allowed to say things like “wrestler” instead of “sports entertainer,” and “hospital” instead of “local medical facility,” which always made WWE feel like it was operating in its own universe.
Also, imagine having something booked or to look forward to on Raw and SmackDown more than a few hours before the show. This Monday we knew the women’s tag team title tournament was starting and Ciampa was going to face Lashley. Later this week on SmackDown fans know they will get another women’s tag tournament match and see the Intercontinental title defended. It is important in promoting the shows and creating greater continuity in storylines that was missing at the end of McMahon’s run.
There is certainly more for Triple H to do. He has to bring in more teams and add prestige back to the men’s tag team division, make Survivor Series feel meaningful again, give the wrestlers their first names back and maybe sign a big free agent when the time comes.
But the King of Kings has wasted no time trying to show people it’s no longer business as usual in WWE by leaning more heavily on his former stars in NXT and righting a few of McMahon’s wrongs in the process.
Hopefully, last Wednesday was step one toward progress in the AEW women’s division. The day started with the company announcing it added veteran Madison Rayne as a coach and included a women’s match before its usual 9:30 p.m. time slot on “Dynamite.” The tag match between the teams of Britt Baker-Jamie Hayter and Toni Storm-Thunder Rosa was really given the time and the quartet delivered and had the crowd into it. It also advanced the story to Rosa defending the AEW women’s championship in a hard-hitting match against Hayter at Battle of the Belts III.
Also, props to Rosa leaning into the “sandbagging” claims against her that Baker has brought into the feud by wearing a shirt that said “Sandbagging since 1994.” It all seemed like a deeper and more thoughtful presentation than we’ve seen in the past. Rayne coming from working with an Impact Women’s division that has been well-booked in recent years will help. She will also be facing TBS champion Jade Cargill this Wednesday on Dynamite. Having Cargill work with veterans like Rayne is always a good thing for her development.Keep it all coming AEW.
Friends No More
We all saw the breakup of the Undisputed Elite coming, mostly subtly on AEW TV and “Being The Elite”, it still felt kind of sudden for Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly to return and immediately turn on The Young Bucks. Maybe Cole was trying to get a jump on the process before Nick and Matt Jackson turned on him as they did in past companies and inevitably reconciled with “Hangman” Adam Page for the upcoming trios title tournament. No matter how we got there, its good to have the Elite seemingly back to together and a much needed big angle starting for AEW.
The 10 Count
WWE better have a trick up its sleeve to get the audience back behind Liv Morgan after her SummerSlam win over Ronda Rousey despite tapping out. The SmackDown crowd let their women’s champion hear it with boos last Friday and her meek response and explanation didn’t help. If the crowd doesn’t cooperate, does it now impact the needed heel turn you are attempting for Rousey? That should be a big concern.
At some point again soon, Tony Khan needs more prominent storylines have a chapter play out on Rampage, which has become more of the cool-match show. Even if it’s your C and D-level story. While Mance Warner vs. Jon Moxley this week was excellent, just a little bit of a build would have gone a long way.
WWE women’s tag team tournament prediction: Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai over Raquel Gonzalez and Aliyah. Sasha Banks and Naomi return to confront the winners.
More than a few people, including myself, had some hesitance about AEW adding the All-Atlantic Championship. But I have to admit, having PAC defending it in different countries – three matches in the UK in July – is a really nice way to make it feel different and grow AEW’s reach.
Maybe Sami Zayn’s deteriorating relationship with The Bloodline leads to him and Kevin Owens taking the tag team titles off the Usos at some point. It’s either that or a 24/7 title storyline or him costing them the titles and now they can have no gold together.
IWGP World Heavyweight champion Jay White, who is undefeated in the G1 Climax so far, has made his post-match promos much-watch.
If you were hoping to see Solo Sikoa get called up to the main roster soon and join the Bloodline, his win in a falls count anywhere match against Von Wagner probably means he is staying in NXT for a bit longer. The same can be said for new women’s tag team champions Katana Chance and Kayden Carter.
Super intrigued by the official announcement of AEW’s video game, AEW: Fight Forever. The game features the Casino battle royale, exploding barbed wire death matches and lights-out unsanctioned matches along with your standard match types. It will also have mini games that look like something out of Mario Party. No release date was given, but this definitely feels like Kenny Omega is giving us a very different type of wrestling game.
There is a little bit of a cool Chyna-like vibe to Rhea Ripley as she has become the heater and enforcer for Damian Priest and Finn Balor in her unrelenting desire to beat up Dominik Mysterio.
Pat McAfee with a telestrator and kicking footballs into the crowd feels like a no-brainer and so much fun.
Bonus: Congrats to Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti on their nuptials and to Shawn Spears and Cassie Lee on their pregnancy announcement.
Wrestler of the Week
Yes, he lost his United States Championship match against Bobby Lashley on Monday, but few people’s stock in WWE has risen more of late. The former NXT champion, who got to wear mentor Harley Race’s robe to the ring after a well-delivered and emotional promo, was allowed to take The All Mighty to his limits in a match that was arguably the best of the night. All of it continued to add to Ciampa’s credibility and makes him feel like a threat to anyone.
Honorable mention: Konosuke Takeshita, AEW
Match to Watch
Jon Moxley (c) vs. Chris Jericho, AEW Interim World Championship, AEW Dynamite (8 p.m., Wednesday, TBS)
This is the AEW world championship rematch from the clash at Revolution in February 2020 when Moxley beat Jericho for the belt right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Moxley asked for “The Lionheart” Chris Jericho from back in his WCW days for this match, so it will be interesting to see how that story is told. And while this entire Dynamite card is stacked, this match, how it ends and if anything happens after it should give us some idea about CM Punk’s status for All Out. If Moxley wins clean, with no reason for Jericho to come back and ask for another match, then you’d have to think Punk will be ready for Chicago – or Tony Khan has some other surprise up his sleeve.
When did Triple H take over WWE creative? ›
Triple H was previously the head of creative for NXT from 2010 until he suffered a cardiac event in September 2021.Will Triple H take over WWE? ›
WWE creative now belongs to The Game. The company announced Paul Levesque, better known to wrestling fans as Triple H, will take over the creative duties ceded by Vince McMahon last week.How Much Is Vince McMahon Worth? › Why is Triple H called the game? ›
By January 2000, Triple H had dubbed himself "The Game", after stating he was above the top of the wrestling world (as in not merely the "best in the game", but in fact "the game") and was nicknamed "The Cerebral Assassin" by Jim Ross.What is head of creative in WWE? ›
Paul “Triple H” Levesque is the Chief Content Officer of WWE, a publicly traded (NYSE: WWE) global media company. As Chief Content Officer, Levesque oversees the Company's Creative Writing, Talent Relations, Live Events, Talent Development and Creative Services departments.Did Shawn Michaels betray Triple H? ›
2 Shawn Actually Betrayed Triple H First
WWE still wanted to bring Michaels in for his star power despite his back injury blocking his matches. Michaels joined as the Commissioner authority figure and betrayed D-Generation X.
1 Loves: Triple H
Triple H has reportedly played an important role in getting Lesnar to come back to programming, time and time again. Lesnar has obliged - in part, because of the massive paycheck, and also because of the mutual respect and love for the business shared by both men.
Is Shawn Michaels really better than Triple H?
|Championships||Shawn Michaels||Triple H|
Triple H and Randy Orton have worked together for several years in WWE. Triple H and Randy Orton worked together in WWE for several years. Randy was introduced by Triple H and Ric Flair as part of Evolution. Since then, he has been friends with the two men.Who is worth more Trump or Vince McMahon? ›
Forbes estimates Trump's net worth at $4 billion, and McMahon's at just over $1 billion.
Who is richer Ted Turner or Vince McMahon? ›
So is Vince McMahon richer than WCW founder Ted Turner? According to Essentially Sports, Vince McMahon has a net worth of approximately $2.2 Billion. Ted Turner has a net worth of approximately $2.3 Billion. This makes Ted Turner slightly richer than the WWE Chairman.Who is the richest WWE superstar now? ›
- Vince McMahon – US$2.3 billion. ...
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – US$800 million. ...
- Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – US$150 million. ...
- John Cena – US$80 million.
Paul Levesque or as he is more commonly known, HHH (Hunter Hearst Helmsley) was born on July 27th, 1969 in Nashua, New Hampshire. HHH is one of the most famous wrestlers today, and for several reasons too. You don't get to call yourself 'The Game or The King of Kings' just like that.What is Triple H favorite weapon? ›
A personal favorite of Triple H, some of his most memorable moments in WWE are directly associated with the use of the sledgehammer. The Game has ushered the hammer into WWE lore through several vicious attacks on his fellow Superstars, even breaking the weapon over Vince McMahon's back at Unforgiven 2006.What is Triple H's best match? ›
- vs Cactus Jack, Street Fight, Royal Rumble 2000.
- vs Steve Austin, 3 Stages of Hell, No Way Out 2001. ...
- vs The Rock, Iron Man Match, Judgment Day 2000. ...
- vs Shawn Michaels, Unsanctioned Match, SummerSlam 2002. ...
- w/Steve Austin vs Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, Raw, 2001. ...
|SN||Twitter Account||Followers [In Million]|
|1.||The Rock||16392820 [16.39 M]|
|2.||John Cena||13864224 [13.86 M]|
|3.||Triple H||7661030 [7.66 M]|
|4.||Randy Orton||6337215 [6.34 M]|
This is only one of many instances, but John Cena has earned the right to have the creative control that he's enjoyed for years.How much do WWE creative writers get paid? ›
Average WWE Writer yearly pay in the United States is approximately $72,791, which is 39% above the national average.What did Undertaker say to Shawn Michaels? ›
As Michaels began to leave the ring, Undertaker grabbed him and told him he will beat Triple H in the cell and end an era. The most telling part of the conversation was when the Undertaker told Michaels that he would "officially end" him if he were to interfere.Are HBK and Undertaker friends? ›
Calaway And Michaels Are Good Friends Today
Despite his legitimate dislike for Michaels back then, Undertaker said that despite all the issues he had with him, HBK was always his first choice in terms of an in-ring partner. Nowadays, Calaway and Michaels are good friends.
Is John Cena friends with Shawn Michaels? ›
Cena says that while Shawn Michaels is his all-time favorite tag team partner, it took time for the two to become friends. "He was one of those guys that – when I started – wasn't too fond of me, but we ended up actually becoming really good friends," Cena said.Who is Brock Lesnar best friend? ›
One of the best-known friendships in WWE is between Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin since the two men climbed through the ranks in the company together. Shelton and Brock first met while in college and later lived together before cutting their teeth in the wrestling business.Who is the most loved in WWE? ›
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Career: Stone Cold Steve Austin is arguably the most popular wrestler ever to lace up a pair of boots and his status as a first-ballot Hall of Famer is justified by his many World title reigns and his role in the eventual victory of the WWF in the Monday Night Wars.Are Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar friends? ›
Vince McMahon retired from WWE earlier this week, which seemingly led to quite the reaction from Brock Lesnar. The two men have worked closely together over the past two decades and in that time have been enemies and close friends.Who is better Undertaker or Triple H? ›
And while Triple H has the batting average, so to speak, when it comes to match ratings, Undertaker has him beat in terms of total great bouts. Undertaker boasts a remarkable eight Hell in a Cell matches rated four stars or higher, twice as much as The Game, including the only five-star rating (vs.Are Dwayne Johnson and Triple H friends? ›
Rocky And HHH Are On Great Terms Today
Despite the dislike, Rock and Triple H were professional inside the ring and by working together, they made quite a lot of money for themselves, as well as the company. Years later, Triple H himself recalled that they were not the best of friends backstage.
Even after their on-screen partnership ended, the two often spoke of their mutual love and respect for each other. Ric Flair has often described Triple H as one of his best friends, even when he was not part of WWE.Who is John Cena's bestfriend? ›
John Cena himself has described Randy Orton as his best friend from day one. The two started together in Ohio Valley Wrestling, where they learned the basics of the industry, often helping each other in certain aspects.Who is Randy Orton best friend in real life? ›
John Cena & Randy Orton are best friend in real life | John cena, Randy orton, Wwe superstars.Did Randy Orton kiss Triple H's wife? ›
Triple H was handcuffed to the bottom rope and made to look on and watch while Orton, his bitter rival at the time, kissed his unconscious wife, as you can see below.
Who owns the most stock in WWE? ›
|Lindsell Train Ltd.||20.00%||8,659,710|
|The Vanguard Group, Inc.||9.24%||3,999,956|
|BlackRock Fund Advisors||8.08%||3,499,054|
|Ninety One UK Ltd.||5.68%||2,460,023|
Vince McMahon - Net Worth $2.3 billion
The owner of WWE, Vince McMahon, is the richest man in the franchise. The 72-year-old inherited the company from his father in 1982 and helped transform it into the massive brand that it is today.
1. The Undertaker. The workhorse of the WWE and widely regarded as the greatest wrestler ever produced by the company, The Undertaker has been under contract for the company since the 1990s.What's worth more WWE or UFC? ›
In 2015 the UFC was sold for an astounding $4 billion dollars as the fight promotion also reached $600 million dollars in revenue. The WWE has been around for over three decades and they're a permanent niche in the United States as well as a global juggernaut which generates near $700 million dollars in revenue.When did WWE changed logo? ›
|Logo since August 2014|
|Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, in 2012|
|Founded||January 1953 (as Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd.) April 1963 (rebranding as the World Wide Wrestling Federation) February 1980 (founding of Titan Sports, Inc.) June 1982 (purchase of Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. by Titan Sports)|
The first brand extension then ended on August 29, 2011. On May 25, 2016, WWE announced a relaunch of the brand extension as part of what was billed as "The New Era". The second brand extension went into effect on July 19, 2016.Who will take over WWE after Vince? ›
Longtime WWE chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, has stepped down from his role just a month before his 77th birthday. The elder McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, and current WWE president, Nick Khan, will take over the role as co-CEOs.When did Triple H start using the game theme song? ›
Triple H first used the 'King of Kings' theme song by Motörhead at the WrestleMania 22 pay-per-view event where he faced John Cena for the WWE Championship, in Chicago, Illinois. The intro to the song was played whilst Triple H was making his entrance sitting on a throne.What is the rarest belt in WWE? ›
On Feb. 15 1989, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase set out to create the most expensive wrestling championship to date. The Million Dollar Title, so named for the seven figures worth of diamonds intricately woven into its façade, became an integral part of the millionaire's persona.How much of WWE is scripted? ›
Although roughly 99.9 percent of the things that have happened in professional wrestling over the years have been carefully scripted and planned for, spontaneity is bound to creep in every once in a while. In fact, some of the most memorable moments in WWE history were unscripted.
Why is there no e in the WWE logo? ›
It's a slightly modified version of the logo that the company used when it was still the World Wrestling Federation. The updated version sanded off the "F" and turned it into a pair of W's.Which WWE brand is the best? ›
Erik Beaston (EB): There is a reason Raw is considered WWE's flagship. Not only is it the company's longest-running show, but it is the hub for the promotion's top stars.Who sold the most WWE merchandise of all time? ›
Stone Cold, a six-time WWE champion, holds the distinction of being the WWE superstar (retired or active) with the highest grossing merchandise on WWE Shop.Is WWE getting rid of brand split? ›
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that there are currently no plans in WWE to officially end the brand split. The company has unified both the WWE and Universal titles, as well as the RAW and Smackdown tag team titles.Who is the richest wrestler of all time? ›
1. Vince McMahon – US$2.3 billion. As the owner of the World Wrestling Entertainment company, which rakes in US$1 billion in revenue and was formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation, Vince McMahon is the richest star.Who is the highest paid wrestler of all time? ›
|Top 5 Highest-Paid WWE Superstars|
|1||John Cena||$9.5 million|
|2||Brock Lesnar||$6 million|
|3||Triple H||$2.8 million|
So yeah, Just some leave-in conditioner and some water and let it fly.” Thus, Roman Reigns explained that he wets his hair because he finds it cool. Perhaps, he might be applying it so that he can stay calm inside the ring and focus on the match.