In an obvious sign that WWE was worried sick about Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs as well as the NHL playoffs, both Stephanie McMahon and Vince McMahon returned to open this week's WWE RAW broadcast. The two announced that Triple H "wouldn't be competing" in a match against Curtis Axel on RAW. Here is a recap from our RAW report:
Stephanie McMahon imakes her way to the ring to open RAW. Stephanie says it is great to be back on RAW, but wishes it was under better circumstances. At Extreme Rules, her husband competed against Brock Lesnar in a brutal match. And then 24 hours later, against doctor's orders, competed against Curtis Axel. But she is here tonight to make an executive decision to not allow Triple H to compete tonight. She doesn't want him to jeopardize his well-being against a man that is beneath. Triple H has given his life and body for all of you, but the decision is not about you. She then says not to be selfish about this, and then…
Vince McMahon's music hits and he power struts his way to the ring. Vince and Stephanie hug, and then Vince mugs for the cameras and says the crowd is happy to see him. He is happy to see them as well, but he has a personal request to make. He asks the crowd not to boo Stephanie about this. He says she has feelings just like them, and says that they should have compassion. Triple H, well, he has given everything he possible could. Stephanie says that she loves him more than they do, and Vince agrees. Triple H is the father of his grand children, and Vince then says he will not compete. They go to leave, and then Vince asks what they want as the crowd chants for Triple H. "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM THAT MAN?" Vince says this is family entertainment, and not a blood sport. For the record, Kofi Kingston last week went through a table and the crowd chanted one more time. Well there will not be one more time for Triple H, not tonight or any night. Plus Curt Axel is beneath Triple H, just like the crowd is beneath Triple H.
The Shield then arrives and they go to break.
The idea behind the segment was to get people talking about Vince and Stephanie appearing and then to keep people tuned in during the commercial break to "see what happens next" when The Shield came out. Of course when they came back from break, the viewers were simply told Vince and Stephanie were able to "leave the ring without a confrontation". They then went right in to a big six-man tag-team match. A smart move for ratings.