AEW announced Jim Ross has criticized a major creative decision made surrounding Triple H twenty years ago.
September 2002 was when WWE first experimented with the Draft Extension, a.k.a. the brand split. After Brock Lesnar became SmackDown-exclusive, RAW found itself without access to the WWE Championship. And since Triple H was considered the biggest star on RAW at the time, he needed a way to convince viewers that he was still worth watching even though he wasn’t in the title picture.
Jim Ross played a role in WWE’s creative at this time, and when it came time to announce RAW’s new world title, he had to go along with the decision to just award the World Heavyweight Championship to Triple H, instead of having a tournament or a battle royal, or even a singles match.
The decision to just hand the WHC to Triple H didn’t sit well with fans, and it appears that it didn’t sit well with Jim Ross and others backstage, either as he explained on his Grilling JR podcast:
“It was very untraditional. Handing over a gift, the only time it might work if you had a red hot heel that giving the championship to might increase their heat and their profile. But in general, it’s not a good idea. Triple H should have, he should have got in the ring and it wasn’t his call. But to see him wrestle was always a bonus to me, and because he at that point in time, he was really getting to be an amazing heel.”
“He became the lead and Vince gave him the hot tag so to speak, and Triple H’s association with Vince certainly didn’t hurt Triple H’s heel persona, but I would never have thought about it. If I was in a production meeting or a creative meeting more specifically, I would have said I’m passing on that idea. I don’t like it. I just think there’s too many negative thoughts.”
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