Since his debut on The Grandest Stage of Them All at WrestleMania XII, Triple H has become a fixture at WWE’s premier event. Synonymous with The Showcase of the Immortals, he has battled every major star to walk through the door, captured the top prize and headlined the show more times than most could ever imagine.
He has been one of the consistencies of WrestleMania, and while there is no guarantee he will be back as an in-ring competitor at this year’s show in Tampa, Florida, The King of Kings has five potential ready-made opponents.
5. AJ Styles
With no clear path to WrestleMania for AJ Styles, why not program the measuring stick for excellence in pro wrestling over the past 20 years against Triple H, a Superstar he has never crossed paths with or battled in a singles match?
Should he be ready for the event after suffering a shoulder injury in the Royal Rumble match after taking a wicked spear from Edge, Styles would provide the perfect opponent for a Triple H who works a slower, more methodical style at this point in his career.
We have seen The Phenomenal One adapt to opponents of a variety of styles, working around their limitations to deliver the finest matches possible. Look no further than his WrestleMania 33 match with Shane McMahon.
While The Game is infinitely better than his brother-in-law, he would benefit from working with a guy as talented and brilliant between the ropes as Styles. The promo work alone, especially given Styles’ history as an “indy guy,” would make it worth booking the showdown.
4. King Corbin
One year after retiring Kurt Angle, challenging Seth Rollins for the undisputed title and warring with Roman Reigns for months on end on broadcast television, it would be a major disappointment if King Corbin were not involved in something of real significance at this year’s Showcase of the Immortals.
His program with Reigns wrapped up after Friday’s SmackDown, so it is difficult to figure out where Corbin fits on the Road to WrestleMania.
Enter The King of Kings.
Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg attacked Corbin off camera back in November, footage of which was then posted to the company’s YouTube channel.
Throw in there the fact that Corbin is the 2019 King of the Ring and considers himself the true royalty of WWE, and you have a feud that, while lacking the intensity of Triple H’s other ‘Mania programs of late, would give SmackDown’s lead heel a signature program while getting The Game on the card.
3. Adam Cole
Cocky. Brash. Arrogant. Champion.
Those four words describe NXT titleholder Adam Cole better than any, and for that reason, it is almost a miracle the leader of Undisputed Era has not yet crossed the ruler of all things black and yellow.
Having already proved his worth in the main roster rings, defeating Daniel Bryan and taking Seth Rollins to the limit, Cole would easily be able to make the jump to Raw or SmackDown for WrestleMania season, where he (and the entire NXT brand) would benefit from working alongside Triple H.
As the unappreciative egotist who sees NXT as his and Undisputed Era’s, he could easily defy the Cerebral Assassin, jump him and set up the most significant match of his career.
It would be different, make an even bigger star out of Cole and give The Game someone fresh and exciting to work with after consecutive years of facing familiar foes such as Batista and Kurt Angle.
2. John Cena
When all else fails, go back to what works.
Triple H and John Cena have been dance partners on the grand stage before, both at WrestleMania 22 and XXIV, and have battled each other in several other high-profile encounters over the course of their legendary careers.
For fans of the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras, they are among the absolute best to ever lace a pair of boots (or Reeboks, in Cena’s case) and Superstars to consider for the Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling.
With Cena off enjoying a career in Hollywood and Triple H continuing to devote his life to the industry that he loves, there is plenty of potential for The Game to assume the role Cena filled a decade ago.
Imagine, for a second, Triple H calling out Cena for claiming to love the industry, only to be the biggest hypocrite in the world and leaving to make movies like his good friend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Triple H as the fierce defender of wrestling and Cena as the returning hero seeking to prove he still loves the industry that made him a household name could provide the spark fans would need to buy into a match they have already seen many times before.
1. Finn Balor
Finn Balor returned to NXT back in October and has spent his time with the black-and-yellow brand mowing down anyone in his path. From Johnny Gargano to Matt Riddle, Ilja Dragunov to Trent Seven, he has proved to be a dangerous and determined competitor with a total disregard for his opponents.
What if that put him on a collision course with the man who considers the young stars of NXT his kids?
Balor is arguably the one NXT star who has earned the right to compete at WrestleMania. What better way to position him as the most dangerous, calculating and unforgiving star in NXT than by having him target the one man who is untouchable in the eyes of that roster?
The promo work alone would be interesting.
Imagine Balor calling out Triple H for watching his “kids” go to the main roster, only to fall prey to political maneuvering while he sat back and did nothing about it. He could claim to be back to warn the next generation about the false prophet that is their boss.
That is dream booking, but it is something that even a writer with only a little bit of knowledge and forethought could think up to bring the two sides together and create a WrestleMania match that would put to bed any questions about Balor’s star power.