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WWE’s Triple H period begins with an encouraging SummerSlam present

Brock Lesnar flips the ring upside down with A GODDAMN TRACTOR.

Brock Lesnar flips the ring the other way up with A GODDAMN TRACTOR.
Screenshot: WWE

The week main as much as Saturday night time’s SummerSlam felt notably guarded. Most of the tales in regards to the workings backstage within the wake of Vince McMahon’s “retirement” and Triple H’s taking on of inventive referred to the plans for the corporate’s second greatest present already being locked in. That we wouldn’t see HHH’s affect till after the present, when he might begin anew. Perhaps that was simply reducing expectations, maybe it was simply to make the issues HHH goes to alter pop all that a lot more durable on the present, perhaps a mixture of the 2. Whatever it was, you’ll be able to already see the seeds of the place one Paul Levesque would possibly take the corporate, creatively.

The first transfer that HHH went for was juicing the ladies’s division, which isn’t any shock provided that the ladies’s revolution on NXT after which the principle roster is mainly what his legacy as a booker will lead off with, and rightly so. Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley are family names as a result of HHH’s NXT featured them initially. Bianca Belair is similar. Women’s matches have led off PPVs or PLEs earlier than, however this felt slightly completely different.

As they at all times do, Belair and Lynch tore down the home, but it surely’s what got here after that signaled a particular departure from what had come earlier than. After the match, Bayley returned from harm, however she was accompanied by Dakota Kai — whom WWE’s earlier management had fired only a few months in the past — and Io Shirai (who did get a reputation change to Iyo Sky, however I’m selecting to simply not be bothered by that). The former had been launched by the previous regime, however was closely pushed by Triple H in her NXT days and was introduced again due to that, and Io/Iyo was one other HHH darling, one who was purported to be a part of the inaugural Mae Young Classic earlier than harm. Rumors had been that she was going to run down her deal and return to Japan, partially as a result of she didn’t see a lot of a future in both the brand new NXT or on the principle roster. Clearly that has modified. The buzz was additionally that this faction was pitched a protracted whereas in the past and fell on Vince’s deaf ears, so HHH instantly instituting one thing that the performers themselves needed is actually a sign to your entire locker room that he’s going to pay attention and adaptability might be a calling card.

Another facet HHH seemingly couldn’t wait to stomp throughout was Becky Lynch as a heel, as she pivoted away from it along with her handshake/hug with Belair after Belair’s win after which backing her up when the beforehand talked about returning trio got here to the ring. Lynch was by no means a heel, followers won’t ever dislike her, and it was folly to even attempt. Tweener sure, Becky can at all times straddle that line. But as a heel? Nope.

So now the Raw aspect of the division will get some new faces who can actually go in Sky and Kai (ha! Look at that!) in addition to a returning heavy in Bayley. Bayley can take the lead heel position that Lynch was by no means fairly suited to, and we will see another combos apart from simply Lynch-Belair on a regular basis with a sprinkling of Asuka. There’s additionally tag staff potential right here with Kai-Sky and Becky and Belair, which can get awfully fascinating every time HHH brings Sasha again (it’s gonna occur and my AEW goals are over). Clearly HHH goes to take this all a bit extra significantly.

In solely every week on the job, HHH hasn’t been shy about having individuals shit on issues he clearly thought had been foolish by proxy. On Smackdown, Roman Reigns taunted Theory by telling him, “Daddy’s not here anymore.” He had Drew McIntyre lower a promo throughout SummerSlam about how tedious Brock and Roman going through off had gotten. He even had Theory get clowned in the principle occasion, however we’ll come again to that. If nothing else, Trips has his finger on the heartbeat of what followers have been complaining about.

Perhaps essentially the most refreshing factor about SummerSlam is it felt like feuds and applications ended. One of essentially the most tiring issues about Vince’s WWE is that no PPV or PLE ever felt prefer it introduced something to a conclusion. Which is why there have been so many dumb non-finishes, as a result of we knew had been simply going to get the identical match on the subsequent PPV/PLE. It actually didn’t give what are purported to be signature reveals a sense of being all that necessary. It made one marvel why they’d hassle to tune all of it if nothing would ever change in story. Most of this card was only a Mania runback, actually.

But Lynch turning face places her on the identical aspect as Belair as an alternative of throughout from her. Bobby Lashley mainly squashing Theory looks like an finish to that. McIntyre is poised to be Roman’s subsequent foil. They made it clear we received’t be seeing the Usos and Street Profits once more. The solely issues that appear like it would proceed is Seth Rollins and Riddle, however they didn’t actually have a match on the present. Maybe Ronda Rousey will get one other crack at Liv Morgan, or perhaps she’ll be “suspended” and go away us on their lonesome for some time.

Add to that commentary not being afraid to speak like actual individuals, or to reference the adjustments that everybody is aware of about anyway as an alternative of pretending there’s nothing to see right here, and the entire thing had a brand new really feel. That we will tune into PLEs now and watch feuds conclude whereas others start, as an alternative of one other step on a slog to nowhere. You can’t assist however discover that refreshing.

WWE isn’t going to be a work-rate firm, and it’s nonetheless based mostly on memorable moments. So that’s why Brock tilting the ring with a goddamn tractor is what everybody will take out of it. It’s the form of silliness and bombast that Vince couldn’t carry himself to creator or didn’t have the humorousness for, not less than not anymore, however that is what WWE ought to be. Everyone’s speaking about it. It additionally coated for the truth that the remainder of the Lesnar-Reigns match was yet one more that simply didn’t fairly reside as much as its billing, although given everybody’s fatigue of this rivalry it in all probability couldn’t have. There had been tons of callbacks to their SummerSlam 2018 match, maybe their final good one, the place they simply received into the large spots proper from the bell and didn’t cease. That 2018 match additionally teased a cash-in from Braun Stroman, which was squashed mid-match by Lesnar, as was Theory’s this time round. But not less than this feud is over, Reigns can transfer on to one thing else that may hopefully free him from his stale state, and Lesnar can return to his Manitoba farm the place he raises greenback payments.

We’ll discover out extra now that HHH can spend the following 5 weeks or so utterly designing the highway to a PLE on his personal as an alternative of parachuting within the week earlier than such an occasion. But what we noticed Saturday portends to an enchancment, as easy a process as which may have been. But simply because it was easy doesn’t imply it isn’t significantly welcomed.