The Jan. 11 episode of Monday Night Raw was originally advertised to have a non-title match between Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton as the show's main event. But after McIntyre tested positive for COVID-19, the company had to scramble in order to compete with the College Football Playoffs National Championship game. Their answer wound up being Triple H making a return to television and winding up in a "fight" with Randy Orton, which saw the two men brawl for several minutes before Alexa Bliss interfered and threw a fireball in Orton's face.
"The Game" appeared on The Michael Kay Show this week and explained how the plan for his surprise in-ring return was cobbled together.
"I said it a few weeks earlier ironically, not thinking it was going to happen so quickly but I said I'm like that little box on the wall that says 'use in case of emergency, break glass.' There's a little hammer there, you smack it, pull the handle, Triple H pops out," he said (h/t POST Wrestling). "To be honest, I got the call the night before and was like, 'Hey, we're gonna write you in the show tomorrow' and that was it. It's not the same. As a performer, my hat is off to all the men and women right now that are doing this week in, week out, that did it all this time during COVID and the pandemic and did it in front of no one. Did it in front of few, did it in front of video walls with fans cheering and booing. It's not the same. It's difficult when you've geared your whole life and your whole career towards getting that reaction and working towards it and now you have to work towards the reaction that you believe that you will get and — but it's not the same."
In the same interview, the 14-time world champion was asked how he feels about possibly running WWE someday in place of his father-in-law Vince McMahon.
"Look, for me, all of this comes down to the success of WWE," he said. "I never started doing this in any standpoint — when I got into it, I just wanted to do this because I thought it was the greatest form of entertainment in the world and you just wanna be great at it and then whatever comes along with it. As my career wound down, I realized that I was just as fascinated with the behind-the-scenes of it. It is irrelevant to me who is steering the ship or who is doing what. There is plenty of work for everybody here. For me, it is all about ensuring that — like the tagline says, then, now and forever, right? That this brand of entertainment that I personally consider the greatest blended form of entertainment in the world, that it continues. So to me, it's irrelevant of any of it. It is just as long as it continues."