Ever since rumors began to swirl regarding the resurrection of Vince McMahon’s XFL professional football alternative, there has been heavy speculation on the future of WWE’s day-to-day operations and how much control Paul Levesque (aka Triple H) will have going forward.
While Mr. McMahon himself claimed that his duties with the XFL would in no way take away his role in WWE, something he repeated in last week’s Q4 financial call, the continued belief backstage is that won’t be the case. According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there are those internally who believe it is “inevitable” that Paul Levesque will continue to take over more responsibility, and that he’s even “assembling his team in NXT” to prepare for that becoming a reality.
In many ways, whether it was done with this intention or not, the seeds of a major paradigm shift have been planted slowly over the last few years. While Vince McMahon has, and still does ultimately make the call on who gets called up to the main roster and when, it’s Triple H that has been hand-picking and grooming many of the stars who now occupy the top spots on RAW and Smackdown. The roster still has a large percentage of long-time WWE veterans, but every year that pool gets smaller and names like Cena and Orton aren’t likely to be full-time assets five years from now.
While nobody expects Vince McMahon to just hand over the reigns overnight, we’re now in a position where Levesque is fully running two hours of WWE programming every single week, between NXT and 205 Live. Since he took over the Tuesday night show a few weeks ago, we’ve already seen major changes to the vision and call-ups from both NXT and the WWE UK rosters. Plus, all three of the major developmental events – the Cruiserweight Classic, WWE UK Championship Tournament and the Mae Young Classic – were overseen by Hunter, with major credit to William Regal and a few others.
It’s also worth noting that both Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon were on last week’s financial conference call for the first time. They are also the key figures that have been pulling the strings on the Ronda Rousey deal for quite some time now, which has to be the first time ever that Vince wasn’t the primary figure negotiating a major money contract.