All The World’s A Stage
“All The world’s a stage,
And all the men and women, merely players”
There are those that choose to cling to that which defines them. Those that choose re-write their own personal history. They are the storytellers, despite what others may speak or write about them. They are the writer, the printer and the narrator of their career. This is the life of pro-wrestler HHH, whom once again, has chosen to dictate the main storyline of the company that he not only is in charge of as the Chief Operating Officer, but that has passed him by years ago. It never seems enough for HHH, and this past week’s course of events was certainly no exception to the man behind the curtain, which we should pay not attention to.
After a mediocre struggle against Brock Lesnar inside of a steel cage at Extreme Rules, HHH was left alone in the ring, appearing to contemplate his future in the company as an active wrestler. Repeatedly the narrative forced down the audience’s throat was not that of a victorious Brock Lesnar whom had lost to HHH the previous month at Wrestlemania, but that HHH’s loss might spell the end of his career once and for all. To quote Wade Barrett in the post-show, “HHH fell on his own sword”.
A 43 year old par-time wrestler who has not been fully active for several years now, has taken over the spotlight of WWE’s main event because he was not satisfied with his original departure at Wrestlemania 28. It was, the end of an era against The Undertaker, and with his buddy Shawn Michaels in the ring to provide support, HHH wasn’t satisfied feeding his ego to make sure he was the sympathetic babyface that everybody cheered for on his way out from in-ring competition.
After a bout with John Cena at Extreme Rules in which he lost, Brock Lesnar was brought in to the mix with HHH and then Raw General Manager John Laurinitis. There match this past Summerslam was suppose to be the match that blew off their feud so that Brock Lesnar would be able to put over other talent. That was not the case for the HHH, who is so maniacal about how he is viewed in a historical context by WWE wants to write his own narrative where he finally conquers Lesnar and overcomes the odds to beat the man that broke his arm nearly one year ago. Brock was given a multi-million dollar for a one year contract (which he has since re-signed with the company in similar fashion) in which he only wrestled four times, three of which were against HHH.
To put this into perspective, HHH whom has taken charge in signing new talent (Sin Cara, Kharma to name a few) undoubtedly had a hand in signing Brock Lesnar to a deal, in one fashion or another. He was able to add him to his collection so he could have a full set since the two never crossed paths during Lesnar’s intital WWE run sans a PPV in Australia. HHH would get his opportunity to wrestle against Lesnar, but the bigger question is, why? Why subject himself to not only sign a talent, but restraining the potential of having Lesnar on the roster to himself and only himself aside from the indestructible one known as John Cena (whom Lesnar also lost to)? Simple, it’s all about the ego.
HHH added another toy to his collection thanks to the pockets of the McMahons and signed Lesnar so that he could get his dream match out of the way. It wasn’t to put over new talent, it wasn’t an attempt to increase business of any sort. If it was, then why have the same match three times in the same year? The definition of insanity is to repeat the same efforts yet expecting to yield a different result. The decisions made by HHH and the booking of Brock Lesnar are the definition of insanity. These are the actions of an insecure man that wants to define his legacy because he is not satisfied with what he had accomplished previously in his career. He wants to retire from in-ring action on his terms, which is perfectly fine, and he has earned that right. But he should take a page from his friend, Shawn Michaels.
Shawn put his career on the line once, and that was it. He had an agenda, it was booked properly and he rode off into the sunset one last time at Wrestlemania 26. He’s made the occasional appearance, maybe four or five a year, but he has defined his legacy by [b]NOT[/b] allowing his ego to consume him (and that’s saying a lot about Shawn Michaels) and has stayed retired from active competition since his retirement match. HHH can’t, and will never be Shawn Michaels as much as he wants to follow in his friend’s footsteps it will never happen. HHH wants to redefine constantly what retirement or legacy mean to him, but for every time he enters the ring for “one last time” he tarnishes his already caustic legacy.
This is a man, whom as COO has nearly as much creative control over the product as Vine McMahon and allows that abuse of power to control whatever he so chooses. It is this same reason that many fans have come to loathe his character because he refuses to be nothing more than a shell of his former self. His refusal to turn heel because he is towing the company line means that he is the second most stagnant character in WWE next to their top star, John Cena. Nothing he can say or do is exciting or intriguing, nor does it create compelling television. He is no longer a commodity that which WWE needs to survive with despite what he may tell you. It is of course what transpired this past week on Raw that was not only an act of discord, but also a form of lunacy as well.
During HHH’s match against Curtis Axel, HHH begins to become dizzy, faint and can hardly hold his own weight up to the behest of the ring personnel. The match is immediately stopped as the show goes off the air with a dazed HHH still trying to fight to be the babyface, but the crowd stood in stunned silence because they didn’t know what to make of HHH’s actions. This is a man that chose to run a concussion angle, despite the fact that their current World Heavyweight Champion is indeed suffering from the effects of a concussion as well and is not allowed to compete at this moment. This is a tasteless angle by a man who clearly has a poor sense of judgment. Not because it simply trivializes the injury to Dolph Ziggler, but it puts into question its entire concussion testing program.
It was earlier in the night that in storyline, a doctor did not clear HHH to wrestle and he was dismissed by HHH because he is the COO of the company and he will do whatever he so pleases. Again, it’s the, “it’s my toy/plaything and I will do what I want with it because I am the boss, and if you don’t like it, you can find another job” angle which does not elicit safety first. For a company that mandates “Do Not Try This At Home” they sure enjoy sending mixed messages.
On one hand, the concussion testing is performed when someone displays symptoms and it’s apparent that they hadn’t shown up yet, otherwise in storylines, HHH should not have been cleared until he passed the WWE’s ImPACT testing. However, he was not medically cleared by a doctor before his match which, sure, portrays him as the tough guy that he wants the world to think he is, but he is also sending a message that if you don’t compete when you are injured, then there is something wrong with you. That must be a sign of weakness and therefore you are inferior if you can’t fight through the pain. It’s the ego that feeds HHH and as he has grown older, the ego has chosen to consume him.
While HHH may have very little to offer in the squared circle, it would behoove him to remove himself from the snow globe he has enclosed himself in and look at the bigger picture for his company. A part time figure, has taken the spotlight for this company he works for because as it stands, he has not faith in the talent that precede him aside from John Cena. He feels that he needs to interject himself because there is not a single member of the roster that can replicate his performance or get the most out of a guy like Brocke Lesnar, someone that could be used to put over other talent.
Collectively, both men could do a lot of good by promoting the new talent that is begging to be put over, but HHH won’t let that happen when his ego gets in the way. He wants to make sure that his legacy and his status in WWE remains long after he decides to retire. At this point, he’s doing more harm than good with every day he chooses to compete. It’s time that he remove himself from the ring once and for all, but I feel the fans are going to have to suffer through another summer of Vince McMahon again before all is said and done with HHH. The sunset is never bright enough for HHH which is why he’ll never be satisfied with riding off into it.
The world is certainly a stage, but HHH is not a mere player. He is the director, the editor and the producer. If he returns to being a simple player, the company’s direction would look much better. Judging by the past year of HHH’s antics fans have had to endure, the future’s not so bright for WWE.