Finn Bálor and Elias collide as Raw's Seven-Man Gauntlet Match rolls on.02/19/2018 - 22:15
Triple reunion for The Game
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Triple H must have felt like he attended three different family reunions when Raw's 15th Anniversary celebration came to a close tonight.
One thing is for sure, it was definitely a walk down three different and very memorable memory lanes for The Game. He not only got a chance to torture Mr. McMahon (one of his favorite pastimes) and crash his former in-laws' first-ever in-ring family portrait, but he competed with two of his closest friends, Ric Flair and Batista and helped Shawn Michaels in a potentially career-threatening situation.
In some ways, Raw's 15th Anniversary tonight was a celebration of The Cerebral Assassin's career. Triple H has been a part of three of the most powerful groups in sports-entertainment -- The McMahon Family, Evolution and DX. One reunion -- with Evolution -- was expected while the other two were not. Perhaps more than any other Superstar, The Game has loved embarrassing the Chairman. Tonight was no different when, on Mr. McMahon's glorious celebration of the program he created, The Game crashed the family portrait featuring all the McMahons, including the Chairman's little bastard Hornswoggle, and stirred the pot.
Linda McMahon was conspicuously absent due to, as Mr. McMahon explained, a "gastrointestinal problem." But the faces of Shane and Stephanie McMahon reddened as The King of Kings reminded them -- and all our fans in the Arena at Harbor Yard -- that Mr. McMahon is not exactly a family man. From the "Original Diva" Sunny to Melina to Mae Young and even Howard Finkel and Pat Patterson, Triple H took great delight pouring the spotlight on the Chairman's unquenchable libido and his many -- and somewhat, eclectic -- dalliances, even if they were accidental. (After all, that's how Hornswoggle came into the world, right?)
While the McMahon Family Reunion was all fun and games for The Game, the Evolution reunion was a very serious matter. Tonight was the first time Evolution -- Triple H, Batista, Flair and Orton -- had been together as a unit in more than two years. Since that time, The Game, The Animal and the "Nature Boy" have remained friends. But Orton's ego has grown out of control as he has "evolved" into a ruthless, yet dominant, WWE Champion. Just a few weeks ago, he leaped at the opportunity to send Flair into retirement after Mr. McMahon issued a "win or retire" ultimatum to "Naitch." (Under orders of Mr. McMahon, the next singles match Flair loses -- by disqualification, pinfall, submission or count-out -- will be his last and he'll be forced to retire.)
Tonight, Orton refused to stand alongside his former Evolution teammates. He refused to pay any homage to the men who helped mold him. He spit on Evolution's legacy and preferred a different kind of reunion -- with his former Rated-RKO partner Edge. Along with Umaga and Edge, Orton took the opportunity to try to embarrass his former teammates on an historic Raw. But alas, thanks to the overzealous ferocity of the Samoan Bulldozer, Orton's team was disqualified and Triple H rejoiced alongside Batista and Flair.
However, The Game wasn't through for the night. Just like Orton attempted to cement his legacy as a Legend Killer at Flair's expense, Mr. Kennedy has tried to show the world that Shawn Michaels' time has come and gone. These two will meet at Armageddon next Sunday, but tonight, Kennedy tried to make their rivalry personal by giving his longtime friend, Jannetty, a beatdown after defeating him in a competitive matchup.
Michaels thwarted Kennedy and a brawl ensued between him and the brash Superstar. Just when it appeared Kennedy was about to make sure HBK wouldn't make it to Armageddon, out came his old DX partner, Triple H.
Our fans erupted and crossed their arms in salute to The Game and The Showstopper. They paid homage to DX, but in many ways it was a tribute to Triple H. The 11-time World Champion has known nothing but excellence in his career. That's illustrated not only by his trophy case, but by the company he keeps. Our fans have shared Triple H's highs and lows -- many of which have occurred on 15 years of Raw. The Game has provided many unforgettable moments on Raw, and tonight was no exception.
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