The months-long WWE creative reign of Paul “Triple H” Levesque looks to be coming to an end, at least as it has existed for the past several months. Fightful is reporting that Vince McMahon’s creative presence loomed large last night, backstage at WWE Raw.
Earlier in the day, Triple H, Nick Khan, and Frank Riddick conducted meetings with employees and talent assuring them that no major changes were coming to creative or production following Endeavor’s acquisition of the company. Triple H echoed that sentiment in his promo that opened up the show. Despite those assurances, according to the report, McMahon arrived just before the show started and began to make “McMahon-esque changes.”
McMahon also sat in the coveted Gorilla position backstage, even though talent had been told hours before that Triple H would be the one in that power seat. While in the Gorilla position, McMahon made several changes as the show progressed, frustrating many due to the dishonest nature of how they were told creative would be handled going forward. There’s also the issue of more than a dozen talent on the roster having been released under the McMahon-led regime less than a year ago.
One of the last-minute changes made to the show was the scrapping of two women’s triple threat matches that would have seen the winners advancing to a one-on-one match to decide a new number one contender for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. In its place was a single WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships number one contenders match. Bayley was scheduled to be ringside cheering on Damage CTRL but that was cut, frustrating several women involved.
In light of how positive the backstage environment has been under Levesque, the situation was described as “demoralizing.” In general, the morale backstage at Raw was said to be as low as it was just before WrestleMania last year when McMahon was still firmly in control, an all-time low.
Another change to the show was the last-minute addition of Omos vs Elias to the card. Omos was so unprepared for the match, he was said to be in catering expecting not to wrestle on the show and a rush was made to make sure he had gear. Apparently, several segments that were planned did not happen, and there were talents that were scrambling to do last-minute promo shoots. One decision that was not last-minute was Cody Rhodes tagging with Brock Lesnar, which had been decided early on Monday.
If McMahon makes the flight to Portland for Smackdown this Friday and remains in control of the Gorilla position, it is said it will be a huge negative sign to the roster. There were a lot of talents that did not know McMahon would be making changes to Raw and are unsure if he will be doing the same for Smackdown.
Due to the radically changing nature of WWE creative, at least two talents told Fightful they may ask for their releases while others plan to just ride out their deals. Multiple wrestlers were already exploring their options in the event McMahon did take back control of WWE creative.
Stay with Haus of Wrestling for all the latest regarding Vince McMahon’s return to WWE.