Triple H is still in his honeymoon period as WWE’s booker, but the early returns on his episodes of Raw and SmackDown have been stellar.
The differences between Triple H’s booking style and Vince McMahon’s have been evident from the start, and a recent Monday Night Raw trend might be WWE‘s biggest win since the behind-the-scenes shift. There were always going to be changes in terms of who The Game wanted to feature prominently on television. McMahon had a handful of projects he had been working on, ranging from Theory to Lacey Evans, but those characters have largely fallen by the wayside since Triple H took the book.
Since he took over just before SummerSlam, there have been a lot of roster moves that ought to benefit the company. Dakota Kai was brought back into the fold, IYO SKY was promoted from NXT, Karrion Kross was re-signed and re-debuted on Friday Night SmackDown, and Dexter Lumis was re-signed and added to the main roster as well. There are also rumblings that WWE could be looking to bring Windham Rotunda, AKA Bray Wyatt, back to the company, and reports indicate that Triple H isn’t done adding talent yet. There are still a handful of other intriguing names available, including Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae, among others. Both of those performers were standbys for Triple H while in NXT, and The King Of Kings has already shown a willingness to tap into that well of talent and familiarity.
Tony Khan has admitted to being able to tell the difference. The August 8 episode of Raw was strung together effortlessly, leading to a show that felt free-flowing the entire time. That bore out in the ratings, too, as in the recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer pointed out the following tidbit: “[Raw] also kept its viewers as in 18-49, the first hour was actually 0.51, the second hour was 0.56 and third was 0.54. The third hour beating the first is a rarity.”These changes have led to some of the most exciting episodes of Raw and SmackDown in recent memory. Even
Triple H’s Subtle Storytelling Techniques Are Being Rewarded
Any fan who watched Triple H’s NXT version knows he loves to utilize backstage segments to progress storylines, especially in parking lots. That fact is so well known that it’s become a meme. While the observation is funny, there’s no denying that the August 8 episode of Raw was entertaining and easy to watch. That hasn’t been the case for the red brand often over the last several years, as an aging Vince McMahon continued to run back old storylines while refusing to push new stars.
How three hours of Raw flow together is almost more important than the matches themselves, as WWE fans are asked to sit down and watch a show that is long as an Avengers movie every week. Triple H’s fingerprints have been all over the layout of the broadcasts. Rewarding audiences for sticking with the performance and paying attention is a step in the right direction for Raw, and the show’s third hour topping the first is a significant development. Especially when considering WWE had nothing advertised for the last 60 minutes beyond the Ciampa vs. Bobby Lashley US Title match, which ended up kicking off the third hour instead of finishing it.