Triple H was a hot topic of social media discussion coming out of the March 13 WWE SmackDown episode on FOX, which was the first to air from the empty WWE Performance Center in Orlando due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Game opened the show with a promo to introduce fans to the Performance Center, and then ended up doing commentary with Michael Cole, which really had fans talking on social media.
As seen above, Triple H spoke with WWE on-air personality Pat McAfee on The Pat McAfee Show and discussed how original plans did not call for him to stay at the announce table with Cole. McAfee commented that the legacy of COVID-19 will be mostly negative, but one of the positives will be "old school Triple H" delivering at the announce table.
"I was putting on my best Pat McAfee at that moment, doing whatever," Triple H said of the shenanigans at ringside with Cole. "I think you and I have had this conversation multiple times, about in the right environment we can both do 'idiot' very well. It's a funny thing, that show, it all came about so quickly and we're down there trying to produce this event. No fans, no one knows what's going on. Everybody's doing their best of the ability to pull together - our staff, our crew, our talent. I'm trying to produce this show and keep everybody going, and all this stuff. So, we knew we needed a reset, for me to come on the air and tell people what's going on. Please just sit back, relax, hopefully enjoy this.
"I get on commentary for Cole to continue the reset but by the time I get off commentary in that first segment it's blowing up and as I'm walking off to the side, everybody is pulling me back going, 'Don't take the headset off! Man, you gotta go back out there, do the rest of the show.' I was like, 'I don't want to do the rest of the show.' They talked me into it, so i went back out there and for me, it was just, 'Alright, like, I'm not gonna be very good at this, so I'm just going to play the idiot.'"
Triple H then praised Cole for the work he does, and for how he handled Triple H at the announce table..
"Michael Cole, I can't say enough good stuff about," Triple H said. "He takes a lot of criticism, Michael does, much like any play-by-play or analyst in any sport. He gets a lot of it but the man is incredibly gifted at what he does, and for him to be able to continue to do his job, continue to do it in the manner he was doing, keeping all that show together, at the same point in time letting... being the butt of my jokes and rolling with everything. He didn't know half the stuff I was gonna say, when I was gonna say it. He literally took off after one of the segments and then came back, and I thought to myself, 'Well, he must have had to go to the bathroom or something.'"
For those who missed it before, WWE posted this video looking back at Triple H's commentary work that night: