Triple H is headed for a showdown with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30. And depending on whom you ask this is either very good or very bad for WWE’s most popular underdog. The reason for that is because of The Game himself, who many fans feel is nothing more than a self-serving egotist hell-bent on crushing others under his boot.
The fact is that we’ve been hearing this about Triple H for years now. From his time as a top guy, riding high as WWE champion, to his current run as the company’s primary heel authority figure; Hunter has been accused of killing more talents than he’s actually worked.
But he’s not killing Daniel Bryan. It’s not happening.
Of course, this has not been the popular opinion among the WWE faithful. Many fans feel that Bryan has been held back from day one.
They understood when Triple H betrayed Bryan at SummerSlam, allowing Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. And they were okay with the storyline continuing over the next three weeks leading to Night of Champions.
But when Daniel won the belt on that night, only to have The Game take it from him on the following Raw? That one did not get over too well. Critics began crowing that once again another Triple H screw job was materializing before our very eyes.
And then comes Battleground, another opportunity for the wrong to be righted, for Bryan to become the WWE champion. But then Big Show interfered and blew the finish all to pieces.
However it was not over yet. Hell in a Cell was supposed to have been the final chapter in the saga, the epic conclusion to the Daniel Bryan story. WWE’s biggest underdog was supposed to win the industry’s top championship and open the next night’s Raw to a heroes welcome.
But then Shawn Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music and once again Bryan was robbed.
By this point, fans had passed the point of outrage. They were in full blown riot mode. Why was Daniel Bryan being elevated to the top, only to be torn back down again? And more importantly, why was Triple H so adamant about keeping Randy Orton as WWE champion while the crowd clearly wanted Bryan to wear the gold?
Because he’s Triple H, the self-serving egotist. Right?
Therein lays the beauty of this storyline. Logic dictated that Daniel Bryan’s direction was not solely in the hands of Triple H and that if it were and Hunter didn’t believe in him, then Daniel would be jerking the curtain every night. Any sensible fan could see Daniel’s progression and recognized that crowd response was at a fever pitch. Adversity builds character and that is what was happening with Bryan.
But unfortunately, logic was overlooked in favor of the same tired old mantra. “Triple H traded in his sledgehammer for a shovel; he’s burying Daniel Bryan.”
By the way, love the word “bury.” Keep it up kids, it’s cute.
Here’s the thing. Triple H may very well be the egomaniac that so many fans believe him to be; I couldn’t say, I don’t know the man. But for anyone to truly believe that he wanted to destroy Daniel Bryan, to ruin his career by giving him one main event match after another, causing him to get red hot in the process?
On the March 14 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Triple H said he was going to bury Daniel Bryan. Why, because it’s true? Or was it because he’s playing into what the fans believe about him? Does that make him an arrogant corporate sell-out or a smart veteran that knows how to work the crowd?
The fact is WWE saw that Bryan was catching fire. He was positioned to do just that. If they did not want him to succeed, then he never would have laid hands on Randy Orton and if he had, Orton would have handled him from start to finish. Bryan would have seen the lights at the end of every match.
And those “yes” chants that have taken the company by storm? Would WWE have truly capitalized on that by selling merchandise emblazoned with the word? Signs could have been taken from the live crowds. Bryan could have gone on a losing streak of epic proportions. Cena could have been reinserted into the WWE title picture and stayed there to this very moment while Bryan wasted away working meaningless matches with Wade Barrett.
And Triple H would have sat on his throne drinking from a golden chalice, trusty shovel by his side, with Daniel Bryan’s head resting safely among all the others he’s collected over the years.
Only Daniel Bryan was not shoved back down. He was not booked in the curtain jerk to flounder away. He’s now working Triple H at WrestleMania 30 and when he wins that match, he will work the main event with Randy Orton and Batista.
Probably not. In fact with any luck, Daniel Bryan will end up burying Triple H. Man, I love that word.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
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