Why AEW Has Just Helped Triple H In A Big Way

It's 2022 and WWE have the best storyline in wrestling. How?

Roman Reigns Sami Zayn

The September 24th SmackDown opening segment featuring Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, The Bloodline, and a brand new shirt was the sort of thing fans and wrestlers alike dream of.

The wrestlers themselves were having a field day with the excellent material. Reigns and Zayn left the biggest impression as the emotional centre, but the face acting from crucial background players The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman were all exceptional too. As they had to be and as they should be - so often wrestling forgets that it's asking you to receive everything you're seeing as real. It can't be real to fans if it doesn't feel that way to the performers.

And who couldn’t be drawn in by the whole thing? The segment - and more on its magic shortly - was that rarest of birds in recent WWE history; it encouraged as much about the future as it did the present.

This, miraculously, is becoming a bit of pattern.

Those that are good with hammers often see nothing but nails, and Triple H loved living that stereotype with his absolutely massive one when it came to beating pushes into the ground as a pro wrestler. A lighter touch in NXT between 2014-2016 proved he had something below the bombast as a booker, but a feverish chase for critical acclaim in the years that followed hit a wall when a genuine alternative scuppered his WWE-mandated one.

And yet, with Triple H now occupying the very hottest seat in the industry through the most unlikely of circumstances, he finds himself in charge of crafting and nurturing a tale peak-era Tony Khan himself would be probably be proud of.

That, of course, is working on the dangerous assumption that “Peak-Era Tony Khan” can now be considered past tense…


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Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett