Quoth Triple H (WWE as Religion, Vince as God, RAW 1/25/16)

Image Source: wwe.com
Triple H’s promo last week on RAW was so full of important concepts I had to transcribe it. I’m still getting my bearings after my hiatus from working on the project of wrestling theory that is this blog, so an historic promo like this is a gift from the wrestling gods. Gods indeed! Look at everything he did here. He cast Vince McMahon, nemesis of wrestling fans the world over, as God. Not just a god, mind you, The (Capital G) God. God of the WWE Universe, for it was he who made it what it is today. I mean, he’s not wrong, but Vince as God and carny-corporate WWE as religion, law, and church is pretty heavy duty, even for Trips. We knew the Authority narrative to be a fascist allegory, but here’s the king himself laying out the politics of the WWE universe as literal dictatorship: religion, law, and church, all rooted in (or perhaps chained to) Vince’s godlike creation. Consider that for a minute. Triple H, who might be the shoot savior of the sports entertainment we all get accused of taking too seriously just came out as a true kayfabe believer in the dominance of throwback jack-booted oppression of narrative freedom and character development.
He’s not wrong, about Vince’s immense importance. One of my many essays in progress is about the profound heroism of Vince McMahon, and I’m not even being ironic about it. But to cast him as God and his transformation of the company as religion, law, and church is a pretty brutal double-down on the Authority’s continual oppression of our wrestling heroes and heroines. But you know what? We did this to ourselves. Our boisterous disrespect for Roman Reigns in the 2015 Royal Rumble, righteous as it may have been, drove the storyline down this path. By so viciously rejected Roman Reigns, we forced their narrative hand and defined Reigns’ future: we rejected him as a clean hero, so now he will forever be embattled, and who better to oppress him than the Authority, Vince, and the church-law-religion of corporate WWE. They took our disrespect for Roman Reigns, repackaged it as disrespect for them, and now they’re dishing it right back at us.
So enjoy Triple H’s promo, and get chills at his kayfabe tyranny:

Triple H: It’s good to be the king. It really is. I gotta hand it to one person from last night. That one person is Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns could be one of the most amazing athletes I’ve ever seen. I’m not kidding. He could be that good but the thing is he could be. Today he is not. There is a reason for that, because Roman Reigns lacks one thing and that one thing is respect. He doesn’t respect anything he’s arrogant, he’s cocky, Roman Reigns is great, but Roman Reigns needs to learn his place in life. I could put up with the fact that he thought he was better, I could put up with his disregard for authority. What I couldn’t put up with was his disrespect for this man. Because as far as I am concerned, as far as Roman Reigns should be concerned, and as far as each and every one of you should be concerned this man might as well be God, because he created all of this, and this, this, until my dying breath, until my dying breath, is my religion, my law, and my church, and I will be damned if someone like Roman Reigns will disrespect me or my religion. So a lot of people will say, why? Why, after everything you have done, do you need to be WWE Champion, Triple H? Your time has passed. You had an amazing career, second to none, Hall of Fame-worthy, you’ve had championships, you’ve made millions of dollars, you’ve transitioned successfully from the ring to the boardroom. And you are right. You’re absolutely right. I don’t need to be WWE Champion. But I want to be WWE Champion. You want to know why I want to be champion? Because people like Roman Reigns want to be WWE Champion, and they don’t deserve it. So up until when I say so, I will be the WWE Champion. Until everyone back there and everyone out here learns some respect, I will be WWE Champion. Why? Because I say so, and there ain’t a damn thing anyone can do about it, and that includes Roman Reigns. I will be champion…

Audience boos.

Vince: That’s not the respect were talking about. Shut up!

Triple H: That’s exactly what I’m talking about, that disrespect right there. It’s what leads people like Roman Reigns down the path they are on. It’s path called destruction, career destruction. And people like Roman and you will either conform or they wll simply cease to exist.



(And special thanks to my husband Hans for helping me with this transcription when I had one too many things to do.)

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