Many of the WWE Universe believe that Triple H has more power in WWE than he actually does. In fact, it's Vince McMahon that has the most power backstage, which means that Triple H is sometimes shocked by some of Vince's decisions just like the rest of us. Over the past few years there have been a number of WWE releases that Triple H had made happen. Much like Randy Orton and John Cena, The Game has the power to ensure that someone is fired if he wants them to be, but he also has an entire board of officials that he has to convince first. Triple H can also spend years building a wrestler from the ground up, only to have his father-in-law embarrass him by letting the talent go.
WWE releases are a regular occurrence especially now that WWE has the NXT brand and the Performance Centre to create their own future WWE stars. It seems like every wrestler in WWE right now is considered to be replaceable. Over the past few years, many WWE stars have been released through no fault of their own, but WWE is a company that has to ensure they are always making money and not spending it on superstars who are no longer needed.
The following list looks at ten WWE stars who's release from WWE embarrassed Triple H, as well as five that were obviously Triple H's own idea.
15 Embarrassed: Gail Kim
Gail Kim is thought to be one of the best female wrestlers that TNA has ever had, but she could have been a huge star in WWE if she had been given the chance. It was reported that Vince McMahon really didn't want to push Kim because he didn't think any of the WWE Universe could find an Asian woman attractive, which is deplorable.
Triple H was always big on Gail Kim and wanted her to be pushed to the main event level of the company, so he probably wasn't happy when it was reported that she was released from WWE. Kim has since refused to ever return to the company despite Triple H wanting to include her in his women's wrestling revival and instead has chosen to make a name for herself in Impact wrestling, something that has probably annoyed Vince McMahon ever since.
14 Embarrassed: Adam Rose
Adam Rose is someone who Triple H supported since the beginning of his career down in NXT. The Game changed Rose's gimmick into the party boy star that he is now seen as and allowed him to be promoted to the main roster after becoming a huge star in NXT.
Rose didn't quite manage to recreate the success he had in development when he was promoted to the main roster and after he violated the Wellness Policy the writing was seemingly on the wall. Triple H always supported Rose and saw him as one of his first big successes in WWE, so he can't have been too impressed when his father-in-law decided to go over his head and fire one of the men that he had made a star in the company.
13 Triple H's Idea: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is a former World Champion but this was mainly down to the fact that Vince McMahon was a huge fan of The Mexican star. It was well documented that Triple H and Del Rio didn't get along throughout the time in the company with the former United States Champion often throwing shade at The WWE COO online.
Vince was a loyal supporter of Del Rio up until last year when his relationship with Paige gave the company a lot of negative attention that they didn't need. Triple H had wanted Del Rio out of the company for a long time and finally he got his wish when Vince McMahon agreed with him and decided that Del Rio should be released from the company in the fall of 2016 just a year after he returned for his second stint with WWE.
12 Embarrassed: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is still a legend to many people in WWE especially Triple H who has grown up with him as his idol. This could be why it came as such a huge shock to WWE and its fans when comments of a racist nature were leaked online and it was Hogan who was behind them.
WWE had no choice but to protect themselves and their fanbase by releasing Hogan from the company and giving the impression that they would not allow anyone in their company to share comments of this nature regardless of who they are. It was perhaps a hard decision for WWE considering the fact Hogan was a legend but the company always has to look at the bigger picture and luckily it seems that Hogan could be returning in the near future. As COO this situation must have deeply affected Triple H.
11 Embarrassed: Emma
Emma is another former NXT star who was promoted to the main roster before she was ready and it left her in a little bit of a predicament. She was never someone that WWE saw as Championship material so instead the company decided to try and reboot her gimmick into Emmalina.
This obviously didn't work since Emma didn't fit in with the role that WWE wanted her to portray and ever since then she has had a lot of backstage heat. Obviously, Triple H brought a lot of these stars into the company and tries to look after them as much as he can, but Emma was another star that Triple H was unable to save since she had made too many enemies in the backstage area.
10 Triple H's Idea: Chyna
The story behind Chyna's WWE release almost two decades ago is perhaps now one of the best known to wrestling fans, which could be why Triple H is still one of the most disliked WWE stars of the current generation. No matter how powerful the WWE COO becomes, he will never be able to forget the way he ruined Chyna's career.
Triple H and Chyna dated while they were both part of D-Generation X before The Game was put into a storyline with Stephanie McMahon and had his head turned by the boss's daughter. The couple started an affair a few months before they decided to tell Chyna about her boyfriend's extracurricular activities, something that she didn't take too well. She lost her boyfriend and her job in the space of a day, something that she was never able to push past.
9 Embarrassed: Cody Rhodes
Dusty Rhodes was a father figure to many of the stars who have come through NXT over the past few years, which is why Triple H had so much respect for him and his sons Dustin and Cody.
Triple H would never have dreamed of releasing one of Dusty's children from the company that Rhodes gave his blood, sweat and tears to over the course of his career. Cody made the decision to leave WWE because he wasn't given the opportunities that he would like to have been at the time and the creative team had no idea what to do with him. Triple H probably wasn't happy about the decision but he couldn't overrule every other WWE official so he had to allow Rhodes to leave. Rhodes wasn't "fired" but he definitely embarrassed Triple H.
8 Embarrassed: John Morrison
Vince McMahon may be one of the most hated men in professional wrestling, but he is a man who is often able to see a star and then go on to make them one of the biggest draws in his company. Triple H seems to be the same, as he has spotted potential in stars long before Vince has.
John Morrison is one of the stars that Triple H backed to become a main event level star and he had the potential to do so. The only issue was the fact that WWE had no idea what to do with someone who was as uniquely talented as him. Morrison has gone on to prove his talent in Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground since his release which probably still annoys Triple H to this day since he knew what Morrison was capable of all those years ago.
7 Triple H's Idea: Maxine
Maxine might be remembered as one of the women who competed as part of the all-female edition of NXT back in 2010. Maxine had pitched an idea for a gimmick and character to Triple H when she was thinking about being promoted to the main roster, but it seems that instead of approving the idea, Triple H stole it and gave it to Aksana.
Aksana was someone that The Game had discovered so he was happy to push her to her full potential while leaving Maxine on the sidelines with no character for her to use on the main roster. It comes as no surprise that she was released from WWE not long afterwards, perhaps because Triple H didn't want the rest of the roster to find out what he did. Luckily Maxine has managed to reignite her career in Lucha Underground away from the prying eyes of the WWE COO.
6 Embarrassed: Paul London
Paul London's WWE release was one that came as a shock to many of the WWE Universe and embarrassed the company as a whole. It seems that the only thing London actually did wrong was that he smiled during a backstage segment involving Vince McMahon.
If this wasn't enough of an example to Triple H when it came to how petty the company can be, then he obviously wasn't looking hard enough. London was a huge star in WWE who had untapped potential, but it seems that he was another star who was wrapped up in politics and obviously still holds a grudge. London recently claimed that he would never return to WWE regardless of the circumstances, which leads many fans to believe that there is much more to his dismissal than meets the eye.
5 Embarrassed: Aksana
It became well-known throughout her time in WWE that the only reason Aksana had made it to the company was because of Triple H. Aksana was WWE's first ever Lithuanian female wrestler and Triple H was said to have been a huge fan of her, but it seems that this wasn't enough for her to keep hold of her job.
Aksana never really added anything to the women's division and was never pushed towards a Championship. When she injured Naomi in a match on Raw, the writing was already on the wall. Total Divas was taking over and Aksana wasn't part of the show. She unfortunately had nothing unique about her that ensured that her job would be saved through the latest bout of superstar releases.
4 Triple H's Idea: Ryback
Ryback has definitely been one of the most outspoken WWE stars ever since his WWE release last year and it seems that The Big Guy himself knows who is to blame for his release from WWE.
Even though Ryback walked away from WWE due to a pay dispute, he was later released from his WWE contract and even spoke about the reasons for his departure on his podcast. Ryback claimed that merely weeks after surgery he was speaking to Triple H, who was slowly gaining more control backstage in WWE and The Game told him that he was going have to pull the plug on him. Ryback claimed that this changed his entire perception of Triple H and the two stars were never able to see eye to eye again.
3 Embarrassed: Simon Gotch
Simon Gotch is another superstar that Triple H backed throughout his time in NXT and even allowed him to become NXT Tag Team Champion alongside Aiden English as The Vaudevillians.
After he was promoted to the main roster he wasn't used appropriately as a SmackDown superstar. Gotch caused a lot of problems backstage and got into a number of fights, to the extent where even his tag team partner turned against him following a backstage altercation at WrestleMania 33. WWE decided that this was the final straw and Gotch was then released from the company. English has seemingly done well without him over the past few months. Triple H backed both Gotch and English and was probably disappointed that one of his former NXT stars had been dismissed.
2 Embarrassed: Austin Aries
Triple H brought Austin Aries to the WWE after what had been a number of successful switches for former TNA superstars like Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. It seems that unlike Samoa Joe, who took over the NXT brand and left destruction in his wake, Aries didn't make the same impact on NXT.
The former Impact star was then moved over to the 205 Live brand, a roster that he didn't enjoy being part of. Aries was told that he wouldn't be moved to the Raw roster, something that he wasn't happy about and when it was revealed that he didn't get royalties for WrestleMania because his match wouldn't be included on the DVD, this was seemingly the final straw. Triple H brought Aries over to the company so he must have got a lot of side glances after he was released.
1 Triple H's Idea: CM Punk
CM Punk walked away from WWE back in 2014 when it was decided that he could no longer remain contracted to the company. Punk listed a number of reasons for his departure when he appeared on Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast later that year, with the main one being the fact that he didn't want to have to wrestle Triple H at WrestleMania.
Obviously, The Game saw this as utter disrespect especially since Triple H and Punk had never really managed to get along despite being part of a fantastic feud a few years before. Punk walked away from the company in January 2014 but wasn't officially fired until his wedding day a few months later, something that Triple H was obviously behind. Whilst Vince McMahon apologised for such a petty dismissal Hunter has never spoken about his part in it, but he seems the type to hold a grudge.