When it comes to Triple H, fans typically have one of two opinions regarding him: They either love him or they hate him. No matter what side of the debate you stand on, it’s hard to deny that The Game has made some great contributions to WWE. However, it’s just as hard to deny the fact that he’s also ruined the show on quite a few occasions. Some fans have excused the negative aspects of his ego being a driving force behind WWE due to everything he has done for the future of the company. We love NXT and the wrestlers who have been brought up to the main rosters because they offer a promising future to WWE; and if it wasn’t for Triple H then we wouldn’t have any of that.
Following this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, fans are finding that Triple H is remaining in their good graces. His return took what we expected to be a predictable match and turned it upside down, resulting in a widespread shock.
The events in that Fatal Four Way have left us with a lot of questions regarding the future of Rollins and Reigns; but the biggest question on our mind, “Is Kevin Owens going to be able to continue proving his worth or will Triple H take the spotlight in his reign as champion?” It's the question that we need to be the most concerned about. It’s very possible that we could see Triple H ruin the credibility of one of our favorite Superstars. We’ve seen it happen so many times before and it has become one of the biggest reasons why so many people have had such a negative view of the 14-time World Heavyweight Champion.
We hold out hope that this new version Triple H, who is personally responsible for giving a promising future to the WWE, remains that man. Although we want to believe that his actions and decisions are solely meant to benefit that future, a quick glance at his past leaves us with a sinking feeling in our stomachs; and it makes us want to push Triple H as far away from the new Universal Champion as we possibly can. Since we know that isn’t an option, the only thing we can do is hope for the best but try not to get too attached to the idea of a positive outcome from this triumphant moment, just in case the past begins to repeat itself.
In order to show where our worry comes from and share what it is that we don’t want to see happen again, we are revisiting 15 times that Triple H ruined a story to benefit himself.
15 Eric Bischoff Assigns Triple H the World Heavyweight Championship
When it comes to championships within the WWE, they’re important regardless of whether you’re discussing it in a kayfabe manner or not. Either way, a wrestler needs to earn a championship title; they need to prove themselves to the company, to the other wrestlers, and to the WWE Universe. So when Eric Bischoff came out on an episode of Raw and literally handed Triple H the World Heavyweight Championship, it was a bit of a disgusting moment for all of us.
The entire segment consisted of Triple H stroking his own ego and Eric Bischoff loudly worshipping his very existence. What’s worse than that is when Ric Flair came out to dispute the championship being handed off like it was a game of hot potato and frosted his own portion of the promo with Triple H praise. It just didn’t make sense. Someone like Ric Flair, who is been a 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, should have come out and been highly ticked off to see the credibility of the championship put in question like that. During the beginning of the promo Eric Bischoff stated “You people deserve better than that” when talking about Brock Lesnar jumping ship to SmackDown with the championship. We agree with that, but we also deserved better than a champion who didn’t need to fight for the right to call himself one.
Later on in the show, HHH had a verbal confrontation with Bubba Ray Dudley where the “champ” accused him and everyone in the locker room of being jealous of how great he was. Think about that for a second as we move on to the next entry.
14 The Van Dam Feud
In 2002, Triple H found himself tied up in a feud with fan-favorite, Rob Van Dam. Van Dam was red hot at the time so when the feud began, we all expected to see some pretty great performances that ended with at least a few wins by RVD. Needless to say, that’s not what we saw. Instead we saw run-ins, disqualifications, a loss for the number one contender's match, and Van Dam being shot down to the midcard. It’s hard to understand why this feud wasn’t utilized the way it could have been, but eventually we did learn a little something about Triple H regarding Rob Van Dam.
There are reports after reports, even including a claim by Paul London (who almost made this list when Triple H randomly attacked both him and Kendrick after they saved his butt from Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, and Carlito), that Triple H was jealous of Rob Van Dam. Even RVD himself has said that the success he had in WWE was in spite of HHH. Knowing that Triple H’s actions were enough to convince other wrestlers as well as RVD that he did not want Van Dam to succeed the way he did, it’s just further proof that Triple H has a history of altering story lines in order to benefit himself.
13 (Not) Making Reigns Great Again
The main event for WrestleMania 32 was something that no one wanted to see. Honestly, the entire show received some pretty harsh reviews, but the majority of the scrutiny revolved around the main event match between Roman Reigns and Triple H. Obviously Reigns’ victory played a huge role in how despised the match was, but if you take a moment to think about it, Triple H was the factor that ultimately ruined it.
Hunter was champion and the idea was to book himself in the main event to lose to Reigns so that he would finally go over with the crowd when he won the championship. This was never going to happen no matter who they put Reigns against. So for Triple H (let alone anyone) to think that he had the ability to put Reigns over simply because he was taking a loss to him shows an ego level that is way off the charts. He might've have been forced into this role by injuries, but his return and crotch chop when defeating Reigns really got fans behind Trips, which didn't really help Reigns.
The match was boring and there have been accusations that WWE actually altered the audio levels of the event to stifle the boos that Roman received from the crowd. It says a lot when WWE decides that making the crowd sound dead is better than allowing the at-home viewers hear just how hated Roman was when he both entered the arena and left as champion.
12 'Mania 2000
Speaking of messes, does anyone else remember the main event at WrestleMania 2000? The four-way elimination match between Triple H, The Rock, Big Show, and Mick Foley was a disaster — which is really disappointing considering that all four of these guys are considered to be some of WWE’s greatest of all time. The match also featured all four McMahon family members (Vince, Linda, Stephanie, and Shane) representing a different opponent within the match.
Now, throughout Triple H’s career he has a very extensive history of winning matches due to outside interference. In fact, he really did not thrive within the company unless he had a stable behind him and was able to use that stable to aid in his victories. While this is a typical heel move and does add a little bit of excitement, it quickly became overkill in Triple H’s stories. In this particular match, we saw Vince McMahon (who was supposed to be in The Rock’s corner) attack his Superstar with a chair. It was only when this happened that Triple H was able to capitalize and pin The Rock in order to retain the championship.
Less than a month later, Triple H would face The Rock at Backlash with Vince and Stephanie by his side. It was here that he would lose the match and drop the championship to The Rock. Although this may not sound all that strange at first, you’ll find as you read further on in the article that this had become a bit of a trend. Triple H would emerge from WrestleMania victorious only to lose at the following (and less important) Pay-Per-View. If you ask us, that is an act of selfishness on Triple H’s part; proving that he wanted to appear to be the bigger star by refusing to lose at what is considered to be the most important Pay-Per-View in sports entertainment.
11 The Kane Humiliation
We just touched on the fact that the overuse of interference in Triple H’s matches is ridiculous, but this particular instance was just wrong. The match between Triple H and Kane at WrestleMania XV made Triple H look like a coward and completely embarrassed Kane. The two were running a storyline involving Chyna betraying Triple H in favor of Kane and The Corporation. Kane and Chyna were linked in a kayfabe romance and Triple H wanted revenge for several different interferences and a fireball that was intended for him, but hit Chyna instead (yeah, we won’t go there).
While the storyline had an angle that wasn’t all that bad (who doesn’t love a good love triangle filled with deception and heartbreak), what was bad was the fact that this match that took place on the “grandest stage of them all” and was used as a way to not only embarrass Kane by having Chyna come out and betray him in favor of Triple H, but that it ended in a disqualification because HHH once again had a close friend interfere on his behalf. The ending of this match accomplished nothing more than putting Chyna over, humiliating Kane, and making Triple H look like he can’t hold his own in a match. This shouldn’t have happened at WrestleMania. Save it for the televised programs or even one the less important Pay-Per-Views.
Earlier in the article, we briefly mentioned a trend regarding Triple H’s WrestleMania wins being followed up with a loss at the next, less important Pay-Per-View due to possibly wanting to appear as the bigger star. This is another one of those situations with Triple H putting his title on the line against Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXV, winning, and then dropping the belt to Orton at Backlash less than a month later. Ignoring the fact that this match was not all that great, the need for Triple H to feed his ego and prove himself as “the best” by going over at WrestleMania when he needed to lose is outrageous. This match was set up perfectly for Orton to win the title. There was a stipulation where if HHH had been disqualified or counted out, he lost his championship.
Orton could easily be considered the top heel at the time and when you mix all of that up with the fact that Randy won the belt three weeks later anyway, you have to question why it couldn’t have been won by him at WrestleMania — where it mattered so much more. That would have been way better than Triple H losing the championship in a six-man tag match between The Legacy and Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon at Backlash.
9 Ego-Mania Part II
The very next year we saw a very similar occurrence, the only real difference being Triple H’s opponent. At WrestleMania XXVI we saw Triple H going against Sheamus in his first WrestleMania. This was yet another match where Triple H’s opponent really needed to take home a victory more than Triple H did, considering that Sheamus had just lost the WWE Championship because Triple H had eliminated him in the Elimination Chamber match at the previous Pay-Per-View.
This would have boosted Sheamus’s momentum and it would have made so much more sense considering how much of a push he was already getting from the WWE. Guess what happened at the next Pay-Per-View. That’s right! Triple H and Sheamus faced each other once again and Sheamus won. Hell, Sheamus had even beaten Triple H so bad that it sidelined Triple H for the rest of the year (Triple H’s time off lasted until February the next year). So yet again we are stuck wondering why Sheamus wasn’t allowed to take the more important win at WrestleMania.
8 The Goldberg Debacle
Just about everyone knows that there was some actual heat between Triple H and Goldberg. The two men have never had anything all that positive to say about each other in interviews and that heat has been referred to as the reason why Goldberg’s run against Triple H in 2003 was so detrimental to his career. The feud originated at SummerSlam in 2003 during the Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Goldberg had been undefeated in WWE up until that point and the only reason he lost was due to Triple H hitting him with a sledgehammer before pinning him. Goldberg probably should have won this match, but he didn’t.
Triple H clearly did not want to put Goldberg over and that much was made extra clear when the following month, the two faced each other again with Triple H nursing a groin injury. Yes, Goldberg won — but the match was painfully boring. With Triple H’s injury, it was the perfect opportunity to put Goldberg over strongly by having him power through Triple H in a quick ending. It would have been much more interesting and exciting. But Triple H would never let someone, let alone Goldberg, do that to him.
7 "Look, I'm in the Main Event!"
At WrestleMania XIV, Triple H faced Owen Hart and it was yet another match that involved the use of outside interference in order for Triple H to land a victory. There has been speculation that Triple H taking this win over Owen was some sort of insult towards the Hart Family considering the fact that the Montreal Screwjob had taken place the previous year and Owen Hart had been the only remaining Hart Family member who was still employed with WWE. Since there is no evidence to support this claim, it’s hard to say if Triple H’s win was driven by that, which leaves it at nothing more than speculation.
However, there is one more moment in this WrestleMania that Triple H ruined: Shawn Michaels’ main event match against Stone Cold Steve Austin. Triple H and Chyna accompanied Michaels to the ring for his match, which isn’t a problem on its own. The problem came when Triple H and Chyna interfered with the match not long into it, only to be sent backstage. There was literally no reason for the two of them to come out with Shawn in the first place other than to give them some face time during the main event. They didn’t alter the outcome of the match and Shawn had not accompanied them to Triple H’s match. Therefore, what was the reasoning for not letting Shawn face Austin completely on his own?
6 HHH + The Streak x 3
The Undertaker's Streak had become the cornerstone of WrestleMania with everyone wishing they could take a shot to beat it. It was such a great accomplishment and the idea of someone breaking the streak and finally defeating The Undertaker on the biggest stage of them all was considered an honor bigger than winning the WWE World Championship. Taker faced many a great wrestler during this streak and Triple H was rightfully one of them. However, it was a bit strange to us when we realized that at WrestleMania XXVIII, Triple H would be taking his third shot at the streak — after just taking it on the previous year. We've seen other Superstars take The Undertaker on at WrestleMania more than once; Kane was one of them and Shawn Michaels had even wrestled him two years in a row prior to Triple H doing the same thing. However, Triple H is the only wrestler to ever get three chances.
No one is disputing that the first time around was a problem, but when we reached the second and third time, it was almost as if Triple H was his opponent because someone thought that no one else was worthy enough to face Taker at the time. Those two matches, or even just the last one, would have been a great chance for a younger talent to get in the ring with a legend. So why Triple H? He was definitely worthy of the matches and we're definitely not claiming that they weren't great matches, but it seems like there was the possibility for something to (for once) not be about trying to prove how great Triple H is.
Speaking of The Undertaker's streak...
5 He's Not Jobbing to Lesnar
The year after Triple H had his final go at The Undertaker's streak, he found himself in the ring with Brock Lesnar. The events leading up to this match were epic and entertaining, and chances are that when this match came around you were probably rooting for Triple H. However, almost none of us actually thought that Triple H was going to win — until they announced that Triple H's career was on the line. Having Lesnar lose didn't seem realistic and although we know that the level of realism within professional wrestling is typically non-existent (aside from shoots, injuries, and the times that WWE uses real life conflict to fuel a story line), we always hope that the endings will actually make sense.
Having Triple H lose the match really wouldn't have changed much in the grand scheme of things (how many matches did he participate in after that?), so why would WWE (or more likely, Triple H) feel like he needed to go over and prove himself better than Brock? Also, how do we look at the fact that Triple H lost to Undertaker twice in a row, beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 29, only to have Brock Lesnar end The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania XXX? Is anyone else seeing an issue with that?
4 The CM Punk Problem
Ever since CM Punk's departure from WWE, we have heard some very interesting things regarding the relationship between the two. Before that, we saw some interesting things as well but it wasn't until Punk finally opened up to us after the fact when we realized that those storylines were driven by some real-life hard feelings. So with some real heat between the two, it makes a lot more sense to look back on their momentary feud and figure out how and why events panned out the way they did. We all remember the famous pipebomb Punk dropped in 2011 and we remember when we he left with the WWE Championship just a couple weeks later. When Punk came back, he ended up in a storyline that involved Kevin Nash costing him the championship and Triple H being blamed for hiring Nash to keep him out of the championship picture. We ended up seeing Punk face Triple H at Night of Champions and losing, then we saw Triple H facing Kevin Nash at TLC while Punk was pushed over to feud with... John Laurinaitis.
We're not entirely sure why CM Punk was used as a way to create a feud between Triple H and Kevin Nash, but what we do know is that Triple H came out of retirement in order to beat CM Punk one time and ensure that he didn't get the chance to try again.
3 Chris Who?
The storyline that led up to Chris Jericho facing Triple H at WrestleMania X8 was hardly one that focused on Jericho at all. The entire thing revolved around a feud he was running with his wife Stephanie McMahon. This fact alone is infuriating enough considering that Chris Jericho was the Undisputed Champion at the time and became nothing more than a prop to sell the two of them with the shot at the championships being the driving force behind the whole thing.
During the match, Jericho had some assistance from Stephanie, but in the end the two of them weren't able to land a win over Hunter — even with his quad being "one wrong move away" from a re-injury. So Jericho was not only unable to beat Triple H, but he couldn't beat him with outside interference while he was on the verge of injury either? No wonder Jericho's career was damaged afterwards — he wasn't taken seriously. And because of that, it took six years (including a two year hiatus) for him to get back into the World Title picture. But hey, as long as Triple H was the shining star right? That's all that matters!
2 The Booker T Fiasco
As we are coming to learn, WrestleMania has been Triple H’s prop designed to make himself shine in the spotlight and make his opponent look weak. No one knows that better than Booker T does after he faced Triple H at WrestleMania XIX.
Booker T had spent a while proving himself within WWE and had become such a fan-favorite that going into this match, that it had the potential to make him a mega-star. Unfortunately, this feud almost completely buried his career. The use of extremely controversial promos definitely added fuel to this fire; he spoke about Booker T’s criminal history and referred to the WCW Championship as a joke, destroying a lot of Booker’s credibility in the process. We typically get retribution when promos such as this occur, but we didn’t this time around.
Booker lost his match after he was attacked by Flair and got hit with one single pedigree, which is something that is very rare within a WrestleMania match with so much heat built up. They typically go through a series of finishers before a winner is declared and this pitiful and quick ending made Booker T look weak in comparison to Triple H.
After this feud finally ended, Booker found himself stuck in the midcard for a while. It wasn’t until he became King Booker that he finally broke away from that and ended up as World Heavyweight Champion.
1 Sting's Debut
The WWE Universe had been begging and hoping for Sting for ages before he finally made his appearance. Being easily known as one of the best professional wrestlers of all time, we expected him to enter WWE with a bang. Which he kind of did, but at the same time he kind of didn’t.
His first official match took place at WrestleMania 31 and it was against Triple H. We expected great things from this match, but even more we expected Sting to annihilate Triple H. That didn’t happen. Sting lost the match and while it was nice to see the two shake hands afterwards, a lot of us couldn’t help but feel extremely disappointed. The announcers pointed out that this ending symbolized that the rivalry between WWE and WCW was finally “put to rest”, and while that’s a great way to look at it, we also know that this wouldn’t have happened if the roles were reversed. If Triple H had been out of WWE for a few months and his return was at WrestleMania, Triple H would have won. It wouldn’t matter who he would have been facing.
For someone whose first match within the WWE was so anticipated and desired, it makes absolutely no sense for him to have lost — especially in such an important Pay-Per-View. It makes Triple H look great, though. It makes him look like he can always beat the best because he is the best and that’s the only reason why this match played out the way it did.
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