Triple H is arguably the most important face in the wrestling industry. The current position as an executive in charge of finding new talent, spotlighting them in the successful NXT touring brand and studying the business enough to eventually replace Vince McMahon. A long history of on-screen stardom is what has made him among the top stars of the industry long before getting his influential position backstage. Every wrestling fan and personality seems to have a strong opinion one way or the other about Triple H as a person. His reputation is polarizing in the industry with the reaction either being very positive or very negative.
The career of Triple H as a performer and backstage mind have each caused him to have great moments and horrible ones. It all led up to his current place in wrestling as he holds the future of the industry in his hands. The position of power makes some of his negative moments a bit more embarrassing and something WWE will want to keep away from the memories of fans and the media. Triple H’s best moments are something they, however, want to have out there in the open. We'll take a look at both sides of Triple H’s career with seven moments WWE wants you to remember and eight they don’t.
15 Don’t Remember: Katie Vick
A very embarrassing moment in Triple H’s career involved the infamous Katie Vick storyline. The backstory of Kane featured his girlfriend dying in a car accident at the hands of him driving under the influence. This somehow culminated with Triple H wearing a Kane mask for a backstage vignette of him touching a life size doll meaning to imply Kane had intercourse with Katie Vick’s dead body.
As bad as the idea looks on paper, it was 100 times worse on television. Triple H stripping to his underwear to imply intercourse with a dead body was one of the lowest moments in WWE history. You would be hard pressed to find another high powered executive with a past that featured them doing such an act on national television. Triple H has referred to it as one of the worst booked memories of his career and one he knew was awful at the time.
14 Remember: WrestleMania Entrances
The spectacle of WrestleMania is what WWE wants to sell about the event more than anything else. It's the one time a year WWE has the world watching to witness the pageantry of the sport. Entrances are given more thought and a bigger budget to provide a memory. Triple H has become a literal king of the entrances with many of them appealing to his “King of Kings” nickname.
Older WrestleMania events featured Triple H having an entrance theme performed by the artists as he walked to the ring. As WWE has grown through the years, he has enjoyed the perks with tributes to Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator and various other ideas mostly about his evil king character. The annual tradition of Triple H having a badass entrance is one guarantee you'll always have for WrestleMania.
13 Don’t Remember: Crude DX Moments
WWE becoming a global family friendly company has changed the landscape in their presentation. Many things from the Attitude Era are negative memories that WWE wants to keep away from the eyes of new fans and investors. Triple H found his way in many terrible moments, specifically during his time in D-Generation X. The group prided itself on crossing the line.
Triple H was a part of many vulgar comments of the sexual nature. At one point, he convinced a female fan to flash the audience. The clip was used to showcase the popularity of DX with the nudity being censored. WWE’s biggest executive requesting young women flash is clearly not a good look and that footage will likely be hidden unless WWE completely changes direction back to an edgy product.
12 Remember: Role Leading DX
WWE may not want fans to remember the controversial side of D-Generation X, but the existence is clearly important. DX will always be viewed as one of the most successful factions in wrestling history up there with the New World Order, Four Horsemen and The Shield. Shawn Michaels did a great job as leader while an unproven Triple H made his way up the rankings in the group.
Triple H stepped into the leadership role when Michaels first retired in 1998. The group became even more popular with Triple H as the leader along with Chyna, X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws at his side. Triple H’s star power grew to the next level to prepare him for the main event scene. WWE definitely wants fans to remember Triple H as the successful leader of the popular DX faction for their work in the ring rather than the tawdry skits.
11 Don’t Remember: WCW Jobber
The television wrestling career of Triple H actually started in WCW. WWE does not like acknowledging the past of wrestlers unless they can make money off it. That makes Triple H’s WCW career an even bigger disappointment to the company considering he was primarily a lower card act there to put over other wrestlers. Triple H worked under the names Terra Ryzing and Jean-Paul Levesque with minimal success before leaving for WWE.
The only times WWE will ever reference Triple H’s time in WCW is when they want to mock WCW for failing to utilize his talent. Various documentary projects just paint Triple H as underutilized talent, which is true, but he also did nothing to stand out in his television time. Triple H’s overall greatness can’t be denied. However, the WCW stint was definitely a failure.
10 Remember: Finished Match With Torn Quad
One of the defining moments in Triple H’s career actually was probably the most painful moment of his life. Triple H tore his quad in the main event of Raw teaming with Steve Austin against Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. The insanely painful injury didn’t deter Triple H’s determination and he actually hobbled the way to finish the classic match as planned.
It showed just how passionate and committed he was to the art of wrestling. Triple H went from a successful wrestler that most people enjoyed watching to a hero for the sacrifice he made for the business. Most people would not have been able to stand up following such an injury. Triple H allowed another wrestler to put him in a painful submission to make sure the match and story got across effectively.
9 Don’t Remember: Burying Other Wrestlers
Triple H burying other wrestlers had to be summed up collectively here because the list is too long to name. Stars like Rob Van Dam, Booker T and Scott Steiner among others felt the backstage wrath of Triple H after he started dating Stephanie McMahon. Triple H claimed he had no influence but he clearly always found a way to position himself as the champion.
Many stars had momentum heading into matches with Triple H and shockingly lost in stories that would almost always have the face go over. RVD and Steiner have discussed their grudges for Triple H after he ended their pushes. Triple H has started to repair his reputation following his transition from the ring to the office. Today, his focus is creating new stars and the company definitely doesn’t want his past life of abusing power on display.
8 Remember: Legendary Champion
The end result of Triple H’s reign of doom using his power to be the top star for many years is his title reign total. Triple H is currently a fourteen-time World Champion. That is the third most World Title reigns recognized by WWE right behind John Cena and Ric Flair with sixteen each. Triple H could very well match them if he wants another title reign, but the new desire to push young stars should prevent that.
WWE wants Triple H to be remembered as one of the most successful wrestlers of his time as he moves into the most powerful position succeeding Vince McMahon. Triple H being a legendary wrestler and all-time dominant champion adds respect to his name. It'll be the first time an actual wrestler is the one leading the company and Triple H’s accolades just make him even more credible.
7 Don’t Remember: Poor WrestleMania Matches
WrestleMania is the night everyone works towards with hopes of stealing the show. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are specifically remembered first for their WrestleMania highlights when thinking about their best moments. Triple H has had his fair share of great moments but he has been involved in some of the biggest disappointments in WrestleMania history.
The first singles WrestleMania main event of Triple H’s career came at his most popular period coming back from the torn quad injury at WrestleMania X-8 against Chris Jericho. Triple H won but the match was a huge disappointment. Randy Orton was the opponent of Triple H seven years later at WrestleMania XXV in one of the worst WrestleMania main events ever. The most recent WrestleMania shows saw Triple H have more lackluster outings against Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to continue his mediocre track record at the grand event.
6 Remember: Undertaker WM Matches
The one saving grace for Triple H’s WrestleMania history is The Undertaker. Triple H faced off against Undertaker at three different WrestleMania events and all three matches delivered big time. Undertaker won all three matches but they each told a different story. WrestleMania X-Seven featured the first memorable classic WrestleMania match for Undertaker when he defeated Triple H in a No-DQ Match.
The two legends picked it back up a decade later. Triple H challenged Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVII after Undertaker retired Triple H’s best friend Shawn Michaels. They followed the two classic Undertaker/Michaels WrestleMania matches with two of their own. Triple H and Undertaker had the best match at WrestleMania XXVII and followed it up with another classic. WrestleMania XXVIII featured them in Hell in a Cell with Michaels as the referee. It's arguably the greatest rivalry of Triple H’s career.
5 Don’t Remember: Running CM Punk Out Of WWE
Triple H’s shady side came out towards the beginning stages of his transition from wrestler to executive. CM Punk was someone Triple H always disliked going back to Punk’s early days in WWE developmental. Triple H apparently would mock Punk backstage to the other wrestlers due to his unconventional look at the time. The two never mixed with an unspoken dislike that turned into personal hatred.
Punk’s hottest time period following his “pipe bomb” promo saw him become an anti-authority hero for the fans wanting to see him stick it to management. Naturally, that story ended with WWE boss Triple H coming back to the ring just to beat Punk. The two would butt heads backstage until Punk quit out of frustration claiming he insulted Triple H on the way out. WWE does not want fans knowing Triple H is the one most responsible for such a star leaving the company.
4 Remember: MSG Return Following Injury
The aforementioned torn quad injury Triple H suffered made him a beloved figure on his road back after he left as a hated heel. Fans had no choice but to love one of the best wrestlers in the company leaving it all in the room with one of the toughest performances you’ll ever see. Triple H’s return came in January of 2002 during an episode of Raw in Madison Square Garden.
New York fans greeted him with arguably the loudest ovation in WWE history. MSG was absurdly loud the second his music hit and cheered with each pose. Triple H received a standing ovation before he even said a word. The fact that Triple H was the one involved in such a monumental is great for WWE to have in the library.
3 Don’t Remember: Racist Comments To Booker T
Triple H’s WrestleMania XIX match saw him defend the World Championship against Booker T. The story was very controversial with Triple H making offensive comments about Booker not being worthy of the title. Triple H continuously said “people like” Booker weren’t made to be championships but rather just to carry bags or drive limos for him.
It would have still been gross if Booker won the title following the comments of Triple H. Fans wanted to see Booker get the win as revenge but Triple H shockingly retained the title in another disappointing WrestleMania match of his. Booker was insulted with racially insensitive comments and lost the match at the end of the day. Triple H saying these horrible things is not something WWE wants out there; especially considering the story portrayed the evil racist winning at the end of the day.
2 Remember: NXT Success
The best thing to happen to Triple H’s reputation was the inception of NXT. Triple H took control of the WWE developmental system and started signing the best wrestlers in the world. WWE changed their approach of looking specifically for bodybuilders, failed football players and fitness models. Names like Sami Zayn, Neville, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor slowly started coming into the company with Triple H’s support to become stars.
Women’s wrestling finally started to get treated with respect in NXT thanks to Triple H’s vision. Almost all of the best things on WWE television today are thanks in part to Triple H giving talented people the platform to showcase it. NXT also became a money making touring brand despite the belief it would always remain a small project in Full Sail. Triple H’s vision proving to be successful is something WWE wants fans to remember for a positive perception when he finally takes over for Vince McMahon.
1 Don’t Remember: Marrying Drugged Stephanie
The relationship of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon is obviously something WWE loves since they will be the two running the company after Vince McMahon is gone. Triple H and Stephanie started a romantic relationship after working together as a couple on screen. WWE’s writing during the Attitude Era saw them get together in the worst of ways that is very shameful today.
Triple H was playing a heel feuding with Vince at the time. To get the upper hand, he drugged Stephanie and took her to a chapel against her will. The chapel married Triple H and an unconscious Stephanie. It somehow got worse when Triple H revealed he “consummated the marriage” with the drugged Stephanie. The happy couple running the company together today being shown in such a light is a moment none involved want in the public discussion.