With the latest Smackdown vs Raw release coming this month, the wrestling organization behind it is protecting the public image of one of the company’s top stars, Triple H, by disallowing pictures of him “in a defenseless or vulnerable position.”
Two professional wrestling magazines, Fighting Spirit and Power Slam, confirmed details from a leaked private memo World Wrestling Entertainment and game publisher THQ sent to gaming media companies forbidding the depiction of WWE superstar Triple H in harm’s way.
Power Slam discovered that Triple H is the only one of the “protected” wrestlers, but no characters can be shown bleeding, in the interest of maintaining the company’s image more consumer-friendly.
“Digital Politics”, the Fighting Spirit feature leaking the memo details, rants about Triple H’s in-ring indestructibility and rumored controlling of the company. An anonymous games journalist told the publication, “There are further stipulations that highlight which screenshots will immediately be given the thumbs down. These include screenshots of ‘superstars’ (not allowed to refer to them as wrestlers) bleeding, weapons being used… and we’re not allowed to take ANY screenshots of Triple H losing or ANY screenshots of Triple H in a ‘defenceless or vulnerable position’. Oh, and the game still sucks.”
Power Slam‘s story seems better sourced, supposedly quoting straight from the memo the directions for previewers that they “Do NOT show blood. If using weapons, do not show anything with significant force (or intent to have),” and in reporting on “The Game” Triple H, media must “Refrain from showing Triple H in a losing/defeated/defenceless position.”
Non-wrestling watchers may wonder why one star is so coveted. These actions could be due to Triple H’s notoriety as one of the biggest drawing superstars with the WWE — or his marriage to the company’s owner’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon.