Triple H gets his fair share of criticism and deservedly so. Some of the booking decisions,especially lately, around The Game seem to be about what’s best for him and not so much what’s best for business or what’s best for the fans. What magnifies the criticism is his marriage to Vince McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie. It’s really hard for fans to not think that he’s getting some type of preferential treatment or he’s booking himself to only benefit him. It is only natural for fans to get riled up when they see a part time 46-year-old win the WWE Championship at last year’s Royal Rumble or beat Sting at WrestleMania 31 instead of The Icon getting a match with The Undertaker.
In fairness to HHH, he probably doesn’t get enough credit as a solid in ring technician because some have a hard time with the way he married into the McMahon family. We also must remember that WWE hasn’t always been peaches and cream for him. He has survived some awful feuds, some really bad angles, and even a significant squash match defeat to become one of the all time great WWE Superstars. Let’s take a look at 8 Times Triple H Screwed The Fans & 7 Times WWE Screwed Him.
15 Screwed The Fans: Awarded The World Heavyweight Championship
In 2002, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar signed an exclusive contract with SmackDown, which left Raw without a champion. To remedy this dilemma, Raw GM Eric Bischoff simply awarded the World Heavyweight Championship to Triple H. There would be no tournament, battle royal, six-pack challenge, fatal four way, triple threat, or even a number one contender’s match to crown a champion. No, because fans wouldn’t want to see any of those options to crown a legitimate World Heavyweight Champion. All they did get was a belt exchanging hands and another Triple H promo. In fairness to the angle, it did create a lot of heel heat for Triple H’s character. However, in a moment that walked the fine line of reality and storyline, it only made Triple H’s reputation for taking advantage of his relationship with Stephanie McMahon much worse.
14 Screwed Triple H: Losing To Hulk Hogan At Backlash 2002
There is obviously no shame in losing to the legendary Hulk Hogan. However, the argument can be made that Triple H needed and deserved a win over Hogan at Backlash 2002. Hogan was on top of WWE in the 1980s before signing with rival WCW in 1994. Hogan returned in 2002 to great fanfare and for a last significant WWE run. The Hulkster lost an epic match to The Rock at WrestleMania X8. HHH defeated Chris Jericho for the Undisputed Championship at WrestleMania X8. With that said, some may argue that Hogan needed a win more than The Game. However, if there was ever a time to send a message that WWE was dominant over WCW then it may have been this match. Although HHH would later score a win over Hogan, the Backlash 2002 match was probably the one he really needed to win.
13 Screwed The Fans: Beating Dean Ambrose At Roadblock 2016
It was bad enough that Triple H had won the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 2016 but beating one of WWE’s young superstars at Roadblock 2016 might have been worse. It appears there was an attempt to keep Dean Ambrose strong in defeat by using the old false pin routine. What good was it if HHH rallied to score the clean pin anyway? The Game needed to keep the belt to do the honors for Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 32. However, there were far better ways for HHH to go over and keep Ambrose strong at the same time. It was important to keep Ambrose strong for two reasons. Ambrose had a big match coming up with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and was close to breaking into the regular main event picture. Keeping the 46-year-old HHH strong should not have been more of a priority than keeping the barely 30-year-old Ambrose strong.
12 Screwed Triple H: Losing To Ultimate Warrior At WrestleMania XII
The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most popular and controversial stars in WWE history. Warrior made one of his triumphant returns in 1996 at WrestleMania XII. He was notorious throughout the years for wrestling very short matches because he usually struggled to perform in longer ones. Some of his more notable matches were squash match wins over The Honky Tonk Man and Andre the Giant. It wasn’t a shocker that Warrior’s return was a less then two-minute squash victory. The lucky WWE Superstar that drew the winning Warrior beat down lottery ticket was none other then Triple H. Unlike The Honky Tonk Man, The Game was able to avoid WWE obscurity after the squash. The loss also set up a nice midcard feud with Marc Mero stemming from HHH’s mistreatment of his WrestleMania valet, Sable.
11 Screwed The Fans: Beating Booker T At WrestleMania XIX
World Heavyweight Champion Triple H was a heat magnet during his 2003 feud with Booker T. The Game cut a very controversial promo on Booker that had some racial overtones. He asked the former five time WCW Champion to “dance” for him and also referred to Booker’s hair as “nappy”. Whether you’re a fan of this type of promo or not, it was effective. It painted HHH as the ultra obnoxious villain in need of an attitude adjustment from the sympathetic hero. The feud was set up perfectly for the villain to get what he had coming to him at WrestleMania XIX. However, Booker T didn’t get his revenge. Triple H successfully defended his title by cleanly pinning Booker T. It was a puzzling booking decision. To use an analogy, it would be like Rocky Balboa losing his rematch to Apollo Creed after all the verbal abuse he received from him. Triple H beating Booker T at WrestleMania XIX just didn’t make sense.
10 Screwed Triple H: Feud With Spirit Squad
The D-Generation X vs The Spirit Squad feud in 2006 can’t be counted among the career highlights of Triple H. The mighty HHH and the legendary Shawn Michaels up against a team of second-rate male cheerleaders was a head scratcher. The feud provided cheap laughs, such as DX dumping green slime and feces on the Squad, but really didn’t do much other than that. DX couldn’t even help elevate The Spirit Squad.Four out of the five Squad members were eventual WWE flops. The only member of The Spirit Squad to have success after the ridiculous gimmick was scrapped was Nicky aka Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler would go on to win two World Heavyweight Championships, four Intercontinental Championships, and a United States Championship. The argument could be made that the feud was a waste of time for both The Game and HBK.
9 Screwed The Fans: Beating Brock Lesnar At WrestleMania 29
The argument could be made that Brock Lesnar needed a win at WrestleMania 29 much more than Triple H did. At the time, Lesnar was just one and one in his WWE return run. He had beaten The Game at SummerSlam 2012 but lost to John Cena at Extreme Rules 2012. The Beast’s loss to HHH at WrestleMania left him at a mediocre one and two. As big a star as he was due to his previous WWE run and successful stint in UFC, Lesnar was in danger of being just another WWE Superstar instead of a big draw special attraction. Although Lesnar ended up winning their feud by beating Triple H in the rubber match at Extreme Rules 2013, it’s WrestleMania losses that tend to stick around longer in the minds of fans. WWE definitely gambled with one of their bigger meal tickets just so The Game could score a win over Lesnar at WrestleMania.
8 Screwed Triple H: Feud With Eugene
Triple H’s feud with Eugene in the summer of 2004 seemed like an odd “creative has nothing for you” kind of feud. Eugene was an excellent in ring technician but the character of Eric Bischoff’s “special” nephew was never more than bad WWE comedy. Oddly enough, HHH was in the main event of the previous pay-per-view (Vengeance 2004 vs Chris Benoit) and in the main event of the following pay-per-view (Unforgiven 2004 vs Randy Orton). However, there was no love for HHH at SummerSlam 2004. At this point in his career, how could The Cerebral Assassin not be in a main event match on one of WWE’s biggest and most celebrated pay-per-views on their calendar? Maybe, The Game was a little off his backstage game?
7 Screwed The Fans: Beating Goldberg At SummerSlam 2003
Goldberg came to WWE like a house of fire in 2003. Fans were popping about the latest WCW hold over to finally show up in WWE. He cut through the competition like a hot knife through butter. Goldberg defeated The Rock and Chris Jericho on his way to the Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2003. He was dominating the other WWE Superstars in the chamber and looked ready to take his rightful place as World Heavyweight Champion. Instead, Triple H snuffed out Goldberg’s fire with a shot from his sledgehammer, which might as well have been a shovel. Goldberg would go on to capture the title at Unforgiven 2003 but his momentum was ruined by his loss at SummerSlam. One can only wonder if Goldberg’s WWE run would have been more successful if not for The Cerebral Assassin.
6 Screwed Triple H: Feud With Duke “The Dumpster” Droese
Triple H entered into a cartoon like feud with Duke “The Dumpster” Droese in the mid 1990s. It was WWE formula in those days for two very conflicting characters to have a feud. Naturally, Triple H’s “Connecticut Blue Blood” character was a perfect match for the garbage man whose tag line was “Time to take out the trash”. However, Droese was an average big man at best and Triple H had really nothing to gain in this feud. It was one of those feuds that could have really ended up burying both wrestlers. Despite HHH winning the feud, his loss to Droese at Royal Rumble 1996 was probably the highlight because with the win “The Dumpster” earned the coveted 30th spot in the Royal Rumble match. Again, The Game showed his ability to survive a dreadful feud to go onto bigger and better things.
5 Screwed The Fans: Main Event At WrestleMania X8
WrestleMania X8 may go down as one of the biggest missed opportunities in WrestleMania history and for a few reasons. First, WWE was unable to produce a Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs Stone Cold Steve Austin mega dream match. However, fans were treated to the next best thing, which was Hollywood Hogan vs The Rock. Inexplicably, this epic encounter was not the main event. That distinction went to Triple H vs Chris Jericho for Y2J’s Undisputed Championship. Despite being a well-wrestled match, Triple H’s title victory over Jericho could not match the electricity created by Hogan vs Rock. This was a huge blunder by WWE that many within the pro wrestling business could see coming a mile away. All these years later, the topic is still brought up on podcasts and other pro wrestling media outlets.
4 Screwed Triple H: Feud With Henry O. Godwinn
In late 1995, Triple H had the dubious task of feuding with perennial midcarder and former WCW jobber Henry O. Godwinn. Godwinn was a limited wrestler with a very outdated gimmick. It was HHH’s job to make the best of a bad situation. However, things went from bad to worse when the big payoff match was announced as an Arkansas Hog Pen match at In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings. Hillbilly Jim was assigned to be the special referee for the infamous match. Despite winning, Triple H suffered a badly lacerated back and that was before being thrown into the hog pen filled with pigs and slop. To his credit, HHH literally rose up from that slop to achieve WWE greatness. A lesser superstar may have walked away for wrestling opportunities outside of the WWE three ring circus.
3 Screwed The Fans: Winning Royal Rumble 2016
Triple H is still a very good wrestler and a very good on screen character. However, The Game is at a point in his wrestling career where he should really stay away from championships and main events. His victory at Royal Rumble 2016 held back several others who could have been better in the role of champion going into WrestleMania 32. For example, The Wyatt Family was extremely impressive in eliminating Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt would have made a great WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania. Lesnar would have also been a better choice and a match with Roman Reigns would have made a lot of sense. The Beast Incarnate and Reigns still had unfinished business from WrestleMania 31. Furthermore, HHH’s title loss at WrestleMania did very little to elevate Reigns. The match was far from memorable and Reigns has since fallen out of the world title picture.
2 Screwed Triple H: Katie Vick Angle
In possibly one of the most distasteful angles in pro wrestling history, Triple H accused Kane of necrophilia with a woman named Katie Vick. The feud between the two featured bizarre video footage used to mock the other. The Game, in a Kane mask, pretended to have sex with a mannequin inside of a casket. That was followed by an outrageous video of someone in various Triple H masks supposedly receiving an enema. The sad thing was that all the extracurricular activities overshadowed a truly significant unification match that took place as a part of the feud. Triple H unified the World Heavyweight Championship and Intercontinental Champion by defeating Kane at No Mercy 2002. The Intercontinental Championship would remain inactive until being revived in 2003. Triple H or any WWE Superstar for that matter should ever be subjected to such a horrendous storyline.
1 Screwed The Fans: Beating Sting At WrestleMania 31
Sting finally arrived in WWE as an active wrestler at Survivor Series 2014. He attacked Triple H and helped Dolph Ziggler defeat The Authority. Fans would have been happy with a short feud, between The Icon and The Game, climaxing at the Royal Rumble or Fastlane. The feud was supposed to be a warm up for Sting vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31. However, fans got a huge curveball when the Sting vs Triple H feud culminated at WrestleMania. First, the fans were screwed out of the dream match of all dream matches. Then to add insult to injury, Triple H got the win in a match that was booked like an independent pro wrestling nostalgia match. The match saw run ins from members of both D-Generation X and the nWo. Sting vs The Undertaker was shelved to beat an old dead horse called “The Monday Night Wars.”