Hi folks! Following Vince McMahon’s departure, we have since covered how current WWE Superstars will fare under the creative direction of Triple H. Previous articles on the subject can be found here:
Today, to cap off this subject with one last article, we’ll be looking at former WWE Superstars who are more likely to return now that he’s in charge. That’s not to say that everyone will, but given their history with Triple H, I would expect a few to make their returns when they have fulfilled their commitments. This is an extensive list, so please forgive me if I can’t detail each entry too much.
Note: I wrote this yesterday with Dexter Lumis included. I’ll keep what I wrote about him, but his return on Raw means I’ve had to add someone else to make it 40.
#1. Adam Cole
Adam Cole holds the record for the single longest reign as NXT Champion and only sits behind Finn Balor on the all-time list. As a former North American and Tag Team Champion, he’s also a Triple Crown Champion, second only to Johnny Gargano. The Undisputed Era stable is known as the most dominant in NXT history, which makes Adam Cole arguably the most successful NXT Superstar of all time.
While his girlfriend Britt Baker and close friends are in AEW, I know he has the utmost respect for Triple H. Shawn Michaels is one of his heroes, so getting to work with him again would be tempting. It’s unlikely he will return soon, but give it a few years and he’ll be thinking about it. Even more so if he achieves what he wants to in AEW. We know Cole doesn’t like to get stale, so when he feels it’s time to return to WWE, he will, and I could see Britt Baker following him. She would love to wrestle with the likes of Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, and Sasha Banks, so that would be very enticing for the couple.
#2. Aleister Black
Triple H was looking to develop Black’s character, but being called up put him in a tough spot. Vince McMahon tried taking him in different directions, but nothing clicked. It’s unknown if it played a part, but it’s possible the tension between his girlfriend Zelina Vega & WWE kept him on the shelf for too long. After sorting that out, WWE was keen on getting him over, but they released him shortly after debuting a new gimmick.
I imagine Triple H wanting to put that right and develop Black with more freedom. AEW has helped Malakai Black to realize some of his vision, but he needs some finishing touches. Triple H is good at that, and I’m sure Aleister Black would trust him. Also, it helps that Zelina Vega is with WWE, so they’d be able to travel together again.
Speaking of Zelina Vega, could we see the return of Andrade soon? The answer is no. Last year, he said that he has a 3-year contract with AEW, which means he has two years left. Ric Flair has been heavily selling him for a while, understandably because he’s married to Charlotte Flair. His reason for leaving WWE was Vince McMahon not taking him seriously enough. He felt like his talent would be better used elsewhere.
This is an opinion piece, so I’m saying that while I admire his ability in the ring, I couldn’t care less about his character. I know English isn’t his first language, so promos will probably never be his strength, but I’m sure more could be done. I want to care if he wins or loses, but neither WWE nor AEW have given me enough reason. The best match I ever saw of his was when he faced Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia in 2018. I’ve been waiting for more of that, but no one’s since pushed him to the limit.
If AEW continues using Andrade as a mid-card guy for the rest of his contract, I’m certain he will return to WWE to reunite with Triple H and possibly Zelina Vega.
#4 & 5. Authors Of Pain (Akam & Rezar)
The Authors Of Pain were a force to be reckoned with in NXT. They were destructive and had solid chemistry. Combine that with Paul Ellering as their mouthpiece, and you have a team that should have worked out on WWE’s main roster. The problem was that WWE quickly did away with Ellering and wanted the AOP to do it by themselves. They weren’t ready for that, so WWE stuck them with Drake Maverick before using them as Seth Rollins’ lackeys.
They recently tried (& failed spectacularly) opening a promotion in the UK, but their future is uncertain. If Triple H wants a powerful heel team, they’ll jump on the opportunity. Even more so if Ellering returns because they worked very well together.
#6. Bo Dallas
Do you BO-lieve? I did. I was a big fan of Bo, even when he was the NXT Champion and no one wanted to see him. Then he continued to motivate me with his gimmick on the main roster, although again, many weren’t buying it because they weren’t bo-lievers. Later on, what came as a surprise was Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel getting the B-Team gimmick over. That was silly and people loved it, but every time Bo had anything going for him, Vince McMahon decided he didn’t like it anymore and buried it. Bo was buried so hard that he remained on the pay role for years with only rare appearances.
What we weren’t told is that in 2020, he had a neck injury and wasn’t cleared to compete. Last year, it became known that he is dating Liv Morgan. The former NXT & Raw Tag Team Champion has kept a low profile since his release. He & Liv have a farm together and they were trying to get into real estate (not sure if that’s still true) so they have work after wrestling. I still bo-lieve that Dallas will come back someday better than ever. Much like the next man, Triple H knows what he brings to the table, and Bo would still make a solid mid-carder for any of WWE’s shows.
#7. Bray Wyatt
The story of Bray Wyatt has been well documented. Apparently, there were clashes between Wyatt & McMahon and he was costing too much, but it’s all speculation. What we know is that Bray Wyatt wouldn’t be where he is without Triple H’s guidance in NXT. Back in 2014, he said this about Triple H’s influence on his character:
“I’m very uncoachable at times. I kind of have this mystique about myself where I don’t like people telling me what to do. I can tell you Hunter [Triple H] was very instrumental in the upbringing of the Wyatts. He saw something in us that we saw. We were so attached to it that we were dying to make it work and to get it out there.