Triple H is one of the longest tenured guys in WWE right now and what a rich tapestry of a career he’s had, from the Blueblood Connecticut upon arrival to The Game in the ring for so many years all the way up to the back stage role he fulfills now. Eventually you really have to imagine that Triple H is the chosen one and the man who will take the place of Vince McMahon. Let’s be honest, of all the choices there are to take the reigns of WWE when the boss either passes on or decides to hang up his hat, The Game is likely the best one.
Vince McMahon has fallen out with a lot of people during his time in charge. Sadly it comes with the territory and is unavoidable. What Triple H is great at doing however is rebuilding those relationships, ones that are seemingly broken beyond repair. The likes of The Ultimate Warrior and Bruno Sammartino, who will both feature on this list, would probably not be in the Hall of Fame right now if it wasn’t for The Cerebral Assassin and his handy olive branch. He’s not all good though, and for every bridge The Game has built, he has also burnt one. This list will focus on both sides of that coin, w superstars Triple H has helped bring back into the fold and those who he has helped the company distance themselves from for good.
15. Built: Road Dogg
Triple H and Road Dogg have obviously been close friends for a long, long time. During the Attitude Era, the pair would stand side by side as members of the infamous D-Generation X. That was 20 years ago though and both men have come an awful long way since then. Not only is The Game basically second in command at WWE, but Road Dogg is the head of creative on SmackDown Live. It’s not a job Brian James, Road Dogg’s actual name, just walked into off the street however. The former New Age Outlaw suffered with addiction issues for a time between his DX days and now, even chewing out Triple H in a shoot promo. When Triple H first suggested adding Brian to the team Vince McMahon was understandably wary. Eventually his son-in-law wore him down, but without The Game fighting his corner, Road Dogg would likely not be where he is today.
14. Burned: Ken Shamrock
Another Superstar from the Attitude Era that makes this list is Ken Shamrock. Sadly for Shamrock though his story is quite the opposite to that of Road Dogg. When Ken and Triple H shared a locker room, Shamrock claims that there was animosity between the two of them and that it’s an animosity that exists to this day. The World’s Most Dangerous Man has said on more than one occasion that The Cerebral Assassin does not like losing matches and having to put fellow wrestlers over. However, it was something he had to do a lot for Shamrock at a point. Ken has also claimed that he’s attempted to return to WWE in the past after departing in 1999, but believes that it’s Triple H’s dislike for him that has stopped that.
13. Built: Scott Hall
Another very close friend of Triple H that has suffered from a lot of substance abuse issues over the years is Scott Hall. There was a time when Hall’s days appeared to be numbered, but thanks to help from Diamond Dallas Page, he managed to get his life back on track. This article isn’t about DDP however, and another man who helped Scott rebuild his life is Triple H. Much like Road Dogg, Vince McMahon needed wearing down somewhat when it came to reacquainting the man formerly known as Razor Ramon with his beloved company. This time it wasn’t in the form of a job, but rather a deserved induction into the Hall of Fame. It seems like some sort of a compromise was met as Scott was eventually inducted, but under his WWE persona, the aforementioned Razor Ramon.
12. Burned: Cody Rhodes
It has been over a year now since Cody Rhodes parted ways with WWE. Portraying Stardust at the time, Cody had finally had enough of being given lackluster ideas to work with and make the best of, such as ‘paint up like your brother’ as he put it. That quote plus an awful lot more was a part of a long and eloquent statement that Cody released following his departure from WWE. For the most part, the Ring Of Honor World Champion tried to keep a cool head during the writing of the statement and thanked Vince McMahon and Triple H for the opportunities they had given him. Read between the lines however and you could see that Cody is not The Game’s biggest fan. He recalls one of his final conversations with him before leaving WWE where Triple H told him WWE was a play and everyone had their role, only to reply that the best actors don’t settle for lesser roles. He also said that Triple H did not see him as a WWE Champion and that was his ultimate goal.
11. Built: Diamond Dallas Page
This one isn’t exactly an example of a relationship where a bridge needed to be built, but due to the circumstances and story behind it it’s definitely worth mentioning for the purposes of this list. Diamond Dallas Page was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame as a part of the 2017 class. The majority of his work may have taken place in WCW, but with WWE’s former Monday night rivals now technically under their umbrella, that shouldn’t make a difference. Triple H had a very touching and unique idea when it came to breaking the news to DDP that he was going to become a Hall of Famer. At the time, WWE were filming a documentary with Page, and while the cameras were rolling The Game called DDP to tell him, so the emotional moment was all caught on camera.
10. Burned: Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam isn’t exactly the kind of person WWE ever wanted being the top guy in their company. During the mid 2000s, however ,Rob’s popularity with the fans was undeniable, even in the eyes of Vince McMahon. The former ECW guy became a WWE Champion for a brief period and more than dipped his toe into the main event scene in the company. RVD’s stay with WWE may have been a lot longer and a lot more enjoyable for Van Dam if it hadn’t been for Triple H. While Vince didn’t like RVD, The Game really didn’t like him. The multiple-time World Champion joked about Van Dam’s drug use live on television and allegedly also made comments about Rob in a creative meeting in an attempt to lower his stock with other higher ups.
9. Built: Sting
Some of you reading this may think that this entry belongs on the other side of this list, but hear me out. When Sting finally arrived in WWE in late 2014, the majority of the WWE Universe couldn’t believe their eyes. Immediately it got fans thinking that we were finally going to be treated to the ultimate dream match, Sting versus The Undertaker. Instead as WrestleMania 31 grew ever closer, it became more and more evident that The Icon’s opponent at The Showcase of the Immortals was going to be Triple H, while The Deadman did battle with Bray Wyatt. Since then Sting has been interviewed an awful lot and only has good things to say about The Game. It’s highly likely that Triple H was the one who got the wheels moving on bringing the former WCW Champion into WWE in the first place.
8. Burned: Alberto Del Rio
Of all the people on the burned side of this list, there may not be anyone who dislikes Triple H as much as Alberto Del Rio. In late 2015, Alberto returned to WWE and became the United States Champion on his first night back with the company. That was probably the only high point in Del Rio’s less than one year follow up run with WWE. Since he departed in 2016, the former WWE Champion has pulled absolutely no punches when it comes to slating his former employers. Alberto has filmed and released a couple of alcohol fueled rants about higher ups at WWE, with Triple H getting the brunt of the abuse. He even accused The Game of being behind Paige’s personal photos and videos being leaked.
7. Built: Shawn Michaels
Believe it or not, there was a point in history where Triple H and Shawn Michaels weren’t just not friends, but they actively were not talking to each other. HBK was supposed to play a part in WrestleMania X-Seven, but turned up to the arena drunk and on something else to boot. Triple H was not happy and didn’t talk to his former best friend for a year. Lucky for us, Kevin Nash forced them to patch things up and that sparked what lands them on this list, the return to WWE of The Heartbreak Kid. Shawn was off drinking/drugs and said that he would return for one more match, but only if it was against Triple H. That happened, of course, and the match was so good that Michaels decided to stick around for another eight years on top of that.
6. Burned: Scott Steiner
Sorry to disappoint any Scott Steiner fans out there, but Big Poppa Pump will likely never step foot in a WWE ring again. When WCW folded in 2001, Steiner’s return to WWE followed shortly after. His first order of business was a feud with then World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H. A pretty big deal for a Superstar just coming back into the company, regardless of status. Sadly for Scott though it did not go well. The two of them simply didn’t gel in the ring and it made for some pretty poor matches. Scott then took it upon himself to bad mouth both The Game and Stephanie McMahon backstage to whoever would listen and his status in the company naturally began to slip. It’s pretty clear that Steiner still hates The Game and still talks smack about him.
5. Built: Kurt Angle
By all accounts when it comes to contacting Superstars who are going to make it into the Hall of Fame, Triple H is the man putting everything together. There have been a couple of examples of it in this list alone with Diamond Dallas Page and Sting. Another man that Triple H was likely pivotal in bringing back into the WWE family was Kurt Angle, and we’re thankful for it. When Kurt left WWE, it wasn’t on the best of terms. He had a lot of problems at the time and was reluctant to let the company help him out. While he was away however he still had nothing but good things to say about The Game. During one interview he spoke about a SummerSlam match with Triple H during which he got concussed. Angle said that he literally couldn’t remember anything and if it wasn’t for Hunter walking him through the bout it would have been a disaster.
4. Burned: Chyna
In 2016, the pro wrestling world lost a Superstar who changed and innovated the business, and it lost her way, way too soon. Chyna passed away at the age of 46 and one of the saddest things about her passing is that she never had the chance to make up with WWE as well as a lot of its employees. One person the Ninth Wonder of the World had an extremely complicated relationship with was Triple H. During the Attitude Era, The Game and Chyna weren’t just partners on screen in DX, but they were also in a real life relationship. That relationship came to an awkward end, especially when it was revealed that The Game had begun dating Stephanie McMahon. Later, Chyna would accuse Triple H of physically abusing her while they were together.
3. Built: The Ultimate Warrior
All the way back in 1996, at WrestleMania XII, Triple H competed at his first ever Showcase of the Immortals. It’s a match that is often forgotten due to the nature of it and Triple H’s status at the time, but The Game’s opponent that night was The Ultimate Warrior. A dream match of sorts had both men been in their prime at the time. The match itself was more of a nightmare than a dream however, with Warrior squashing The Cerebral Assassin in a matter of minutes. Years later, The King of Kings would say that Warrior was the most unprofessional man he had ever been in the ring with. Despite all that, it was Triple H that mended the seemingly forever broken relationship between WWE and Ultimate Warrior. According to Warrior’s wife Dana, it took a couple of years of Triple H continually reaching out and eventually Warrior couldn’t help but reach back.
2. Burned: CM Punk
You will be hard pressed to find someone who has a lower opinion of Triple H than CM Punk. It has been well over three years since Punk left WWE and the former WWE Champion has made sure to let us know that Triple H played an awfully big part in him becoming completely disillusioned with professional wrestling. Even before his tell-all podcast with Colt Cabana on Art Of Wrestling, it was hardly a secret that Punk didn’t exactly see eye to eye with The Game. The weird and underwhelming feud between the two of them and Kevin Nash probably had a lot to do with Punk’s stock in Triple H being lowered drastically. Vince McMahon would likely bring Punk back into WWE tomorrow, but I imagine Triple H would have a thing or two to say about that.
1. Built: Bruno Sammartino
If you’ve ever listened to Bruno Sammartino tell stories, then you’ll know that not only is the former WWE Champion an extremely captivating man, but he has also led an incredible life. There was a long time in WWE’s history where Bruno was the man. He would single handedly fill Madison Square Garden over and over again. Eventually though, Sammartino distanced himself from the business he loved so much. He has discussed the fact and said that the use of steroids in the business led to him wanting nothing to do with it, as he wouldn’t even watch it. The Hall of Fame had a Bruno Sammartino shaped hole and it took Triple H to plug it. Over a long period of time, The Game slowly convinced Bruno that the business wasn’t like the one he had left behind and eventually he saw that to be true and came back to WWE, so he could take up his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.
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