Fans have maintained several lingering questions since Vince McMahon’s power play. One of the main ones: will Triple H remain in charge of creative?
Vince McMahon’s push to get back onto WWE‘s Board of Directors created a lot of questions, with fans left wondering whether Triple H would maintain creative control. The Game has been booking Raw and SmackDown since McMahon initially retired back in late July. Vince returning has dramatically shaken WWE’s corporate power structure, with Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon, retiring last week. Rumors of a sale to Saudi Arabia also turned the professional wrestling world on its head last Tuesday, leading to at least two backstage meetings to try and reassure talent and employees alike.
One of the biggest concerns that seem to be bothering WWE talent is Triple H’s future as the head of creative. His time with the book has been highly regarded, whereas McMahon’s old-school tendencies sometimes rubbed wrestlers the wrong way. Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed how Vince McMahon could regain creative control over time. “He is in the office. He is talking about things other than the sale. There will probably be more and more of Vince’s fingerprints’ as time goes on. As far as creative goes, it just depends on… who knows. If Vince wants it, he’ll work to get it. He may do it slowly.” Meltzer also concluded that if Vince McMahon wants creative control back, he has enough power to make that happen. (h/t to Thomas Lowson of sescoops.com for the transcription)
There’s no denying that Vince McMahon is responsible for some of the most memorable storylines in wrestling history. He helped propel the likes of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock to lofty heights during his time with the book in WWE. Somewhere along the line, Vince McMahon grew out of touch with what modern wrestling fans wanted on Raw and SmackDown, slowly twiddling away the company’s once sizable core fan base. This became easier once WWE shifted away from the pay-per-view format, as streaming rights deals guaranteed massive paydays for the company. McMahon didn’t have to cater to the audience in an attempt to generate pay-per-view buys, so he didn’t. Fans were treated to lethal doses of Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Charlotte Flair, and no matter how much they pushed back, the feeling was that Vince didn’t care.
Triple H’s run with the book in WWE hasn’t been perfect, but the product is much more in line with what professional wrestling fans want in 2023. There’s been a renewed focus on in-ring action, and newfound care has been given to the ongoing storylines. The Bloodline saga has been magnificent, full of subtleness and intrigue that would have almost certainly eluded Vince McMahon. Where McMahon always seemed to want to slap fans in the face with his talking points, Triple H rewards audience members for paying close attention and engaging with the product on social media.
Cable television is dying, but WWE has figured out how to remain relevant by creating massive footprints on YouTube and TikTok. The company has a gigantic streaming library, and budgets and imagination only limit the space for more creative content. There’s a tremendous value in this brand and one that Triple H has helped revive over the last several months. Put simply: if a company like Disney or ESPN is looking to buy WWE, they should be looking at how things have been done over the last six months to understand WWE‘s true long term potential.
Next: How Much Would Jay White Move The Needle For WWE?