Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Instant Feedback: You Proved Triple H Right

Out with the old, in with the old in different makeup
Photo Credit: WWE.com
WWE's desired narrative and "headcanon" oftentimes are in direct opposition to each other. Headcanon, a Tumblr-coined word that describes taking a deeply personal interpretation of events in popular culture as gospel truth, can make a lot more sense than the written, literal story in times of subpar output, and in times of quality, it can be an enriching appendix to what's going on. WWE is known for having stretches with great wrestling, and the character design and execution might be on point, but trusting narrative is a dicey proposition. Relying on headcanon to get through rough episodes of RAW is necessary in some cases.

One could make the argument that Triple H's farewell promo tonight was setting up something sinister in the future, foreshadowing a return after things fell apart. Of course, it could also have been classic Triple H hubris. No one knows. But WWE has built a track record that plays to a notion that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." Daniel Bryan made a grand return tonight for one night, and he basically embodied everything that The Authority was against the babyfaces, only acting against the heels. Tit for tat. An eye for an eye.

In the minds of the tastemakers of the company, the opposite of raging oppression against the good guy is raging oppression against the bad guy. IN reality, the other side of the coin isn't doing it to the other side, but balance, fairness, justice. Bryan wasn't reversing the injustices levied upon him and his friends. He became that which oppressed him. And thus the cycle of turmoil continued.

It's at this juncture where WWE's vision for what it wants to happen and a reasonable headcanon start to conflict. WWE wants the audience to believe tonight was a net positive. In reality, Triple H was right, albeit for the wrong reasons. He spoke clearly and even plagiarized Jack Nicholson's speech from the end of A Few Good Men (excellent movie, by the way) about how without him and Stephanie McMahon, WWE would descend into madness. He wasn't speaking from a point of view of objectivity. He what the learned scholars would call an unreliable narrator. The company had already been a festering hole filled with garbage under his reign. But he spoke truth. WWE on a rudderless ship captained by multiple guest general managers would not necessarily lead to shore unless by accident.

The funny thing is, Trips was proven right before he could even leave the arena. And the beat will continue to thump arhythmically until the next corrupt permanent authority figure is put into place. So on and so forth. Headcanon will be a fan's best friend, but imagination dies as the average human grows older. Blessed is the human who is still as mind-expanded and clever as he or she was at age six. I know I have trouble coming up with simple hypotheticals without having a gob of data in front of me. Headcanon doesn't come easily for everyone. Some people don't want to have to mentally figure out ways to take rough clay of an entertainment medium and mold it into something palatable. No "correct" way of consuming entertainment exists, but when WWE almost requires you to dress its output up in order to enjoy it, maybe the problem isn't with the fans, but with the creatively bankrupt people writing this shit.

Of course, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon will be back. All great villains except oddly enough John Laurinaitis get second, third, fourth runs. And they will return WWE back to a dystopian wasteland where it pays to be bad. But until WWE realizes that vacillating back and forth between failed states is a bad model for its fictional universe and maybe trying a balanced, neutral office that allows personal issues to develop between wrestlers again is the way to go, well, Triple H will continue to be right for the wrong reasons.