Triple H has always been one of the most powerful and influential men in the wrestling business. Everyone knows that the perks of marrying Stephanie McMahon have led to his position as a potential successor to Vince McMahon that will ultimately run the WWE one day. However, it often gets lost in the shuffle that Triple H found his way to power in different forms through the years. Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman befriended him when he joined the WWE by forming The Kliq together. The Kliq used the star power of Michaels, Hall and Nash to get away with anything they wanted, such as hurting the careers of other wrestlers.
Following the end of The Kliq, Triple H rebounded by working his way up the rankings as a singles star. His influence grew as he entered a relationship with Stephanie. Many wrestlers to work with Triple H had more momentum or a story that should have led to them looking good at the end of a feud with him. It ended up damaging them and wasting their popularity. We’ll look at what happened with Triple H’s classic burials along with the journeys of what each wrestler have gone to do today. Can you rebound from a Triple H burial? Find out now.
15. Sting: WWE Ambassador
Wrestling fans waited many years to witness Sting finally step foot in the WWE. As the final icon from WCW to work for WWE, Sting entered in 2014 with a huge storyline against Triple H. Sting served as a vigilante arriving to stop Triple H from abusing power in his heel authority figure role. Everyone expected Sting to get the big win his WWE debut at WrestleMania 31.
Triple H ridiculously got the win over Sting to ruin the big moment. It was meant to signify WWE defeating WCW one more time in the war that ended fourteen years prior. Sting wrestled another match for the WWE, losing to Seth Rollins before retiring from in-ring competition. His amazing career would be celebrated at the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame. Sting still works for the WWE as an ambassador making appearances and promoting the company.
14. Rob Van Dam: Occasional Indie Wrestler/Standup Comedian
Rob Van Dam instantly became a massive star for the WWE following the end of the Monday Night Wars. WWE purchasing both WCW and ECW monopolized the industry. Van Dam wasn’t excited about going to the WWE, but he knew it was the only realistic step to take after ECW went out of business. His debut came during the WWE versus WCW feud to add ECW to the mix as WCW’s counterpart.
No one could have predicted RVD of all people would have been the breakout star of a WWE against WCW storyline, but it happened. His momentum continued to rise with Van Dam being a beloved favorite in 2002. A huge match against Triple H ended in disappointing fashion when the popular star lost and went back down to the mid-card. The WWE never utilized RVD to the best of his abilities with that being a turning point. Van Dam still wrestles very occasionally on the independent circuit and performs standup comedy at local clubs.
13. The Miz: WWE Star
Triple H’s burying continued when he transitioned away from being a full-time wrestler into an authority figure. Triple H needlessly humiliated one of his wrestlers in a non-televised segment. The Miz was coming off the heels of losing his WWE Championship months earlier and ranted in the ring about his stretch of bad luck. Triple H entered the ring and casually hit him with the Pedigree.
It’s easy to say that was just a dark segment, but it was done in such a humorous way that it exposed Miz as being significantly below Triple H. Miz’s career went downhill for quite some time as a forgotten and irrelevant member of the WWE roster. 2016 saw his rebirth as a top tier heel with his real life wife, Maryse, by his side. Miz is currently one of the most impressive stars on WWE television and a major reason for the success of SmackDown Live.
12. Zack Ryder: Injured WWE Star
A similar situation to The Miz incident saw Zack Ryder get buried by Triple H during a dark segment. Ryder was at the height of his popularity as a fan favorite thanks to his internet presence with a hilarious video series on YouTube. Triple H interrupted Ryder and hit him with a Pedigree for no reason at all. This was far worse than The Miz example, as Ryder was also a face.
The concept was that Ryder would mark out after the Pedigree, due to the excitement of taking a move from one of the legends he grew up watching. It just made him look like a fool and many things like that hurt him in the long run. Ryder is currently still a member of the WWE roster teaming with Mojo Rawley on SmackDown Live as the Hype Bros. An injury has him on the shelf as he’s expected to miss the majority of 2017.
11. Kane: WWE Star
Triple H’s reign of terror took place for a few years on the Raw brand following the first brand split. Raw would feature Triple H at the top of the card for the majority of his time there and he was usually the World Champion. Many of the popular faces saw their momentum sacrificed to add heat to Triple H’s heel reign.
This happened to Kane on a couple of occasions. Kane started to evolve into a very popular fan favorite worthy of being World Champion in 2002-2003. Triple H defeated Kane multiple times and unmasked him to turn him heel. Despite being buried, Kane has managed to remain employed by WWE all these years. The legend is still an active member of the SmackDown Live roster as a highly respected veteran and future WWE Hall of Famer.
10. Bret Hart: Runs Loan Company
Bret Hart’s burial from Triple H took place backstage rather than on screen. Triple H was a mid-carder during Hart’s reign as a main event star in the WWE. The relationship between Triple H and Shawn Michaels however led to Triple H having a beef with Hart. History has revealed that Triple H was actually the one to pitch the idea of The Montreal Screwjob to Michaels and Vince McMahon.
Hart has held on to the grudge for many years, refusing to completely forgive Triple H the way he has with Michaels and McMahon. Various interviews in recent years have seen the retired Bret trash Triple H for being an overrated wrestler and not a trustworthy man to run the business. At the moment, Triple H and Hart do have a decent business relationship that allows Bret to appear on WWE television every once in a while. Hart also runs a loan company in Canada with his sons to help small businesses in the area.
9. Daniel Bryan: SmackDown Live General Manager
Triple H has developed the reputation for helping the top independent wrestling talents by signing them to NXT and getting them ready for the main roster. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Finn Balor are just a few of the examples. This wasn’t always the case as Daniel Bryan would tell you from his time in the WWE. Triple H joined Vince McMahon in their belief that Bryan wasn’t worthy of being a ‘top guy’ or the face of the company.
Fans basically willed Bryan passed Triple H and McMahon’s booking by demanding he main event WrestleMania XXX. Unfortunately, that was the peak for Bryan before injuries started to pile up. Conflicting reports from doctors made it uncertain what his future would be before he made the decision to retire last year. Bryan has remained with the WWE as the SmackDown Live General Manager and has done a great job helping establish the brand following the split.
8. Chris Jericho: WWE Star
Chris Jericho and Triple H butted heads from day one when Jericho joined the WWE. There was conflict between the WWE stars and wrestlers coming in from WCW during the Monday Night Wars. Triple H took it to another level by being rude to Jericho and making comments about him behind his back, which were revealed in Jericho’s book. The personal insults carried over to interviews where Triple H would clearly bury Jericho in front of the world.
Both men held a dislike for each other for many years until maturity finally kicked in. Triple H ditching the ring for the suit and Jericho stepping away from the business at various points made both realize how silly a personal vendetta could be. They have a good relationship today as Jericho is one of the high points on the Raw brand working alongside Kevin Owens.
7. Paul London: Lucha Underground Performer/Agent
One of the most transparent incidents of Triple H burying performers featured Paul London and Brian Kendrick being on the wrong end. London and Kendrick had a record breaking Tag Title reign on the SmackDown brand before moving over to Raw. A segment on Raw saw them make the save to help Triple H survive a beat down from three heels to even the odds.
Classic wrestling logic would dictate the three faces would embrace and we would see a six-man tag match the next week. Instead, Triple H hit them both with Pedigrees and laughed at them. Their tag team run went downhill and never picked up steam again. London specifically has trashed Triple H in interviews for being a jerk that tried to harm his career. London’s current place of employment is Lucha Underground, where he works as both a wrestler and a backstage agent to help put matches together.
6. Brian Kendrick: WWE Star
Brian Kendrick suffered the same fate as Paul London when Triple H hit those infamous Pedigrees to humiliate them in front of the wrestling world. Unlike London, Kendrick did not burn all of his bridges after leaving the WWE. Kendrick admitted disliking Triple H burying him with no rational behind it, but he kept his chances of returning to the company alive.
Naturally, Triple H would be the one to bring Kendrick back into WWE years later with the inception of the Cruiserweight Classic. Kendrick worked with Triple H when making a couple of appearances in NXT and it led to him being hired to be a part of Triple H’s new project. WWE was impressed with Kendrick enough to hire him as a member of the cruiserweight division on the Raw brand today.
5. Kurt Angle: WWE Hall of Famer
Kurt Angle’s rose early in his WWE career made him competition for Triple H instantly. Triple H already had to compete with Steve Austin and The Rock for the top spot in the WWE, and then Angle joined the mix by becoming a tremendous heel that may have surpassed Triple H. This led to jealousy on Triple H’s part when they worked a love triangle with Stephanie McMahon.
The initial payoff to the story was to see Stephanie leave Triple H to align with Angle and form a new heel power couple. Triple H talked his way out of it by badmouthing Angle and saying it wouldn’t be believable for a woman to leave him for Angle. The two were never on the same page until now. Angle is making his return to the WWE after a decade away from the company he calls home. Triple H brokered the deal to bring Angle back with the plans of inducting him into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class.
4. CM Punk: UFC Fighter
CM Punk is someone that Triple H hated from day one. Stories circulated the internet for years that Triple H would badmouth Punk for his look and nontraditional style early in his career. Punk overcame it to become a top performer in the WWE. His biggest success came when f cutting worked shoot promos against the people running the company, including Triple H.
Both men trashed each other on the microphone for some amazing and intense segments. Triple H tried to destroy Punk’s momentum by defeating him in a match at the height of his popularity. The backstage politics continued for a few more years until Punk left the WWE out of frustration. Punk credits Triple H for being a major reason why he’ll never return to the WWE. His new passion is mixed martial arts where he is trying (and struggling) to make it in the UFC.
3. Booker T: WWE Broadcaster/Wrestling School Trainer/Politician
A disheartening burial at the hands of Triple H came at WrestleMania XIX when he defeated Booker T. The storyline revolved around Triple H saying horrible things to Booker that bordered on being racist. It became uncomfortable to watch, but you still had hope knowing Booker would obviously get the win to overcome the evil heel. Triple H instead buried the popular face by getting a win he didn’t need or deserve at the time.
This did not stop Booker from having a successful WWE run and legendary career. WWE inducted him into the Hall of Fame and currently employs him as a broadcaster. Booker has other duties as well, running his Reality of Wrestling School and promotion in Houston. The retired wrestler is also looking to get into politics by running for Mayor of Houston in 2019.
2. Scott Steiner: Occasional Indie Wrestler/Restaurant Owner
The unpredictable Scott Steiner has been involved in controversy for many years. Steiner has drama with too many wrestlers to name, but his beef with Triple H is definitely one of the most high profile ones. WWE signed Steiner with the intentions of a huge singles push after his run as Big Poppa Pump in WCW made him a big name.
Two PPV matches with Triple H during his first feud back in WWE completely sunk the rest of his time there. The matches were absolutely horrific and Steiner moved much lower down in the card. Steiner holds Triple H responsible for the bad matches and for using backstage politics to sabotage his career. You can still find Steiner at the rare independent wrestling show or convention, but he spends most of his time running his Shoney’s restaurant, which is located in Atlanta.
1. Goldberg: WWE Star
Triple H and Bill Goldberg despised each other before even working together. The biggest difference between the two was that Triple H had a dream of being a wrestler all his life and Goldberg lucked into the position. Triple H said that when trashing Goldberg on national television by insulting contestants for owning a Goldberg poster during the Tough Enough reality show.
This continued when they worked together in 2003. Triple H got the upper hand against Goldberg, ruining any chance of Goldberg continuing his unbeatable character from WCW. Goldberg loathed working with Triple H and it ultimately made his initial WWE run a disappointment. A shocking return in 2016 changed that with fans rallying behind Goldberg as he defeated Brock Lesnar in 86 seconds. Triple H is now welcoming the addition of Goldberg’s star power for the WWE as the company enters WrestleMania 32 expecting Goldberg to be a major player.