Will third time be the charm for Triple H?
Triple H will get a third opportunity at John Cena's WWE Championship this Monday when RAW originates from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Tex. Cena made Triple H tap out at WrestleMania, and he pinned The Game at WrestleMania 22, but will he be able to do the unthinkable and defeat the King of Kings in three straight championship defenses this Monday? The law of averages certainly don't side with The Champ, but that's nothing new for Cena. The WWE Champion's track record for overcoming the law of averages has been quickly becoming legendary.
John Cena is arguably the most controversial WWE Champion in sports-entertainment history. But you can't deny his heart. Week in and week out, the odds appear to be insurmountably stacked against the champion, and week in and week out, The Champ somehow overcomes all of the obstacles in front of him in order to retain the gold. It's because of his unbelievable heart and never-say-die attitude, that outside of a three week period, Cena has been WWE Champion ever since WrestleMania 21. In fact, it's that heart that has prevented The Game, Triple H, from winning his eleventh WWE Championship and reclaiming his throne as the King of Kings.
After taking time away from the WWE Championship hunt to take care of personal issues with the likes of Ric Flair and Big Show, Triple H targeted WrestleMania 22 as the setting to become an 11-time World Champion. It wasn't an easy road, but The Game managed to come out on top of the Road to WrestleMania Tournament to earn an opportunity at Cena's WWE Championship at the grandest stage of them all.
In the weeks leading up to the biggest event of the year, Triple H acted as if it was just a matter of time before the gold was wrapped securely around his waist. For the next couple of weeks Triple H tried to get the best of Cena psychologically, but The Champ seemed to be keeping pace with The Cerebral Assassin. Triple H wanted to knock Cena out with a sledgehammer during their official contract signing, but The Champ saw it coming. Watch video
Then, on Saturday Night's Main Event, the two WrestleMania opponents were forced to team up with each other in a special RAW WrestleMania main event vs. SmackDown WrestleMania main event as they faced Kurt Angle, Randy Orton & Rey Mysterio. For a few moments, it appeared as though Cena and Triple H could work as one unit, but it all fell apart very quickly when Triple H broke up a Cena pin attempt and Pedigreed the WWE Champion. Cena somehow managed to overcome the devastating maneuver, and with some help from some chaos among the SmackDown Superstars, he was able to pick up the win.
Just six days before WrestleMania, The Chairman, Mr. McMahon, put himself in a match against none other than Cena. It was also stipulated that Triple H would be in Mr. McMahon's corner, and Shawn Michaels would be in Cena's corner. But both Superstars would be handcuffed to the ring. The diabolical Chairman had a plan, and it played out to perfection. Triple H escaped his handcuffs and leveled Cena with a sledgehammer. The Game clearly had all of the momentum heading into WrestleMania. Watch video
No one really gave Cena a chance at WrestleMania, but that seems to be how The Champ likes it nowadays. He endured a hellacious beating at the hands of The Game and survived the Pedigree. Cena's undying tenacity kicked in and he managed to lock the King of Kings in the STFU, and made Triple H tap out to retain the WWE Championship on the grandest stage of them all.
But Triple H would not go away so easily.
He wanted a rematch against Cena at Backlash, but the Rated R Superstar took objection to this. It was Edge who was the only Superstar to break up Cena's championship reign back at New Year's Revolution in January. So, Edge felt it was only fitting that he get the next opportunity at Cena's WWE Championship. It was eventually announced that both men would get their opportunity because Cena had to put the gold on the line against both men in a Triple Threat Match.
In the weeks leading up to Backlash, all three men found themselves in a series of Handicap Matches. After taking turns teaming up with each other against the third participant in the match, Edge, Cena & Triple H all teamed up together to take on the Spirit Squad, just six days before Backlash. Edge left in the middle of the match, as Triple H and Cena ended up beating on each other instead of on their opponents. Watch video
Edge was clearly the freshest man heading into Backlash, but it's how you finish the match, not how you start, that matters. Triple H thought he had things wrapped up when he had Cena set up for the Pedigree. But The Champ, already on the brink of exhaustion, miraculously managed to reverse the maneuver into a roll up and completed it with an amazing bridge for the 1-2-3. The Champ was still here. But Triple H was not happy.
The Game was enraged and went on the war path after the bell ring. He grabbed his weapon of choice and cleaned house leveling both Cena and Edge. Cena may have won the battle, but it was Triple H who won the war and stood tall once all the smoke cleared at Backlash. Yet, he still failed to walk away with the WWE Championship.
After two losses to the champion, you'd think it would be time to head to the back of the line and work your way back up. But not for Triple H. The Game's unmatched sense of entitlement led him to ask Mr. McMahon for yet another opportunity at Cena's WWE Championship on RAW, just one night after Backlash. Mr. McMahon had other plans, though. He allowed Kenny of the Spirit Squad to have the opportunity to, at just 20 years of age, become the youngest WWE Champion of all time. But he did have an idea for Triple H as well -- he would be the special referee.
The Game was not happy to say the least, but he reluctantly went out to the ring. But once the match started, it was clear he didn't plan on taking his refereeing responsibilities seriously. After several lackadaisical counts, Triple H finally got fed up and decked Kenny and Cena before defying the Chairman's orders and leaving the match. Watch video
So, once again, one week later, Triple H was petitioning for a WWE Championship match. Cena, being the fighting champion that he is, was ready and willing to try to go 3-0 against The Game. But Mr. McMahon wasn't ready to let that happen yet. Since Triple H went against Mr. McMahon's orders the week before, Triple H would have to wait for his championship match. Later that night, The Game took matters into his own hands. After Cena saved tag team partner Shawn Michaels from the Spirit Squad, Triple H came to the ring and blindsided The Champ with a Pedigree. The Game sent Cena a message, and it was loud and clear - Triple H wants the WWE Championship. Watch video
Well, the time for waiting is almost over. Triple H will face John Cena in a WrestleMania rematch of epic proportions when RAW comes to you live Monday night at 9/8 CT from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Tex. Very few people have defeated Triple H went the WWE Championship is at stake. Very few people have escaped the Pedigree. And very few people have made the Cerebral Assassin tap out. But somehow, John Cena, the most controversial WWE Champion in history, has accomplished all of those feats. But how many times can lightning strike? Can Cena somehow find away to beat The Game an astounding three times in a row? Or will the King of Kings finally go back on his throne and become an 11-time WWE Champion? Tune in to RAW Monday night at 9/8 CT on the USA Network to find out.