Triple H and Stephanie McMahon hold the keys to the future of WWE. Vince McMahon is still in charge, but his daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Triple H continue to gain more power. The couple will run the company completely when Vince finally decides to step down from his role. It is amazing to remember that Triple H and Stephanie only linked together because they were placed together in an on-screen storyline. One of the first major angles for Stephanie and the biggest opportunity for Triple H came at the same time when they were placed together in a romantic angle. Both personalities worked perfectly together as great heels.
The real-life element was also in play. Triple H and Stephanie fell in love and have been together for almost two decades now. There were many things during that storyline that is not as discussed today. This angle not only changed the careers and lives of the two involved, but many others were impacted as well in both positive and negative ways. We will look back at just what went down as a result of Triple H and Stephanie getting placed together. It is one of the most important storylines in WWE history due to everything that it led to in the short and long term. These are 20 things about the Triple H and Stephanie storyline that everyone chooses to ignore.
20 Stephanie instantly passed Shane as better character
Shane McMahon is significantly more popular than his sister to wrestling fans, but Stephanie McMahon has been the better overall character. Most of Shane’s promos and character work are essentially going for cheap pops. Stephanie instantly impressed her father Vince McMahon right after she adopted a heel persona in the storyline with Triple H.
At just 24-years-old with minimal experience, Stephanie was getting the most boos every week on WWE television for the company. Wrestlers like Rikishi, The Dudley Boyz, and The Rock received thunderous ovations whenever they got the better of Stephanie. Shane just never had that level of heel work and his face character is as mundane and generic as they come.
19 They got together in embarrassing fashion
The relationship between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon ended up working out tremendously for their lives. Both personalities are still happier than ever and married with children. WWE also sees Triple H and Stephanie working together while celebrating their relationship as both television and real-life success.
One thing WWE and fans like to forget about is just how their original storyline started. Triple H tricked Stephanie into marrying him as a heel tactic to get to Vince McMahon. Their romantic storyline didn’t start in the most wonderful of ways. Both Triple H and Stephanie like to forget the original television wedding of them becoming an item as a cheap heel tactic.
18 Stephanie McMahon was bad in prior face role
There were fears that Stephanie McMahon just was not cut out for the television part of professional wrestling when she first started out in WWE. Stephanie was just out of college and found her first real job taking place in front of tens of thousands of loud live fans and millions watching on television.
Stephanie's face promos and character work left a lot to be desired during the storylines of The Undertaker going after her and Test dating her. It wasn’t until the Triple H storyline that Stephanie felt comfortable on the microphone. She became one of the top heels in WWE history and still receives huge boos for it on a weekly basis today.
17 Test's WWE career fell apart as result of it
Most wrestling fans forget that Triple H was not the first person to have a romantic storyline in WWE with Stephanie McMahon. Test was the wrestler to start dating Stephanie in 1999. It led to him feuding with Shane McMahon before winning his respect and blessing to date his sister.
Test had huge potential, and this was the biggest angle during his entire WWE career. The big change led to Stephanie marrying Triple H instead of Test and eventually becoming a heel. Test’s career in WWE fell apart shortly afterward. He didn’t even get a major PPV match against Triple H and lost his matches on Raw before becoming a forgotten man.
16 The Vince McMahon/Triple H feud ended after just a few months
Triple H and Stephanie getting married on-screen was mostly done due to Triple H’s feud with Vince McMahon. Steve Austin was on the sidelines and Vince turned face to get a new rival in Triple H. The move of marrying the boss’ daughter and turning her against him made Triple H a bigger heel.
McMahon referenced Triple H being one of his top rivals in the DVD made about his career and life by WWE. However, the feud barely even lasted that long. Vince united with Triple H and Stephanie just three months after Stephanie turned heel. Fans often remember it as a long feud, but it was quite short.
15 They buried The Radicalz
One of the coolest WWE moments in 2000 featured four WCW wrestlers making the jump to WWE at the same time. Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn all joined WWE together, to huge interest from the wrestling fan base.
The Radicalz attacked Triple H and other heels during their first night. Each member took a loss the following show on SmackDown, including Benoit losing to Triple H. Following this, the Radicalz turned heel to become the henchmen for Triple H moving forward. A potential top faction was sacrificed to make Triple H look like a bigger deal.
14 New version of DX
There are two versions of D-Generation X that fans remember. The original group features Triple H and Shawn Michaels as the major members. A second version saw The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac replace Michaels while Chyna received a bigger role. However, there was another version of the group in 2000.
Triple H’s relationship with Stephanie McMahon during this time led to him bringing back the group with her joining as well. X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Tori would make up the rest of the group. Billy Gunn's injuries led to the group attacking him and kicking him out. Most fans choose to forget that Stephanie was once a member of the legendary faction.
13 Run-DMC did their theme song
The McMahon-Helmsley Era version of D-Generation X would get revamped with a new theme song. WWE chose to replace the legendary theme song we still hear today with a new song performed by the iconic rap group Run-DMC.
There was even a music video shot for it with a lot of money put into the shoot. Triple H and Stephanie always came down to the ring with the music of Run-DMC as the other members of DX joined them. WWE shelling out the money for a major music act to perform your theme song usually shows that you’re doing a great job.
12 Triple H's work peaked during storyline
Triple H has had a tremendous career with fans liking different points. The most popular time of his run came during the storyline with Stephanie McMahon in 2000. Not only did the angle put him at a higher level, but his matches were better than ever before.
Triple H quite frankly peaked in 2000 with one of the greatest single years in WWE history. Impressive matches with The Rock, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and others had him delivering classics every PPV. Fans online started viewing him as the best performer in the industry as a time where competition was tough as can be. The work of Triple H regressed following this despite still being successful.
11 It got Mick Foley to next level as legendary main eventer
Mick Foley is remembered for being an iconic performer in WWE history. The reputation of Foley may not be as strong as it is without the help of the Triple H and Stephanie McMahon storyline. Foley was selected to be the first challenger for Triple H’s WWE Championship.
The heel work of Triple H and Stephanie led to fans rallying behind Foley due to the heels abusing their power. Foley grew in popularity under his real name, rather than the characters like Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love. Two legendary matches against Triple H in 2000 ended Foley’s career at the top of the WWE mountain. It got Mick to the next level as an iconic performer rather than just another great wrestler of the time.
10 It established Vince’s character’s first weakness
Vince McMahon became a tremendous character as a ruthless heel in the Attitude Era. Steve Austin was the perfect rival for him, but things needed to change when Austin was taking time off to recover from injury. Triple H was planned to be the heel that feuded with a face Vince.
However, the payoff exposed the one weakness Vince had in WWE. The love for his daughter Stephanie often had commentators refer to her as “Daddy’s little girl.” Vince turned heel on The Rock at WrestleMania 2000 to align with Stephanie and make peace with Triple H. The explanation from Vince showed loyalty to his daughter. It led to him forgiving Triple H for all the brutal actions he delivered throughout the months.
9 Tori was Stephanie’s best friend then disappeared
One of the wrestlers to benefit from Triple H and Stephanie McMahon’s storyline was Tori. The return of DX featured X-Pac becoming a couple with Tori as she turned on Kane. Tori not only started dating X-Pac and became a member of DX, but she was portrayed as the best friend of Stephanie.
Many segments would see Tori doing Stephanie’s dirty work or the two of them plotting together against other women in the division, especially during Stephanie’s Women’s Championship reign. Tori just stopped getting booked eventually with no explanation as to why she stopped hanging out with Stephanie. WWE struggled to find a new role for her after an injury and ended up releasing her.
8 It caused Big Show to win WWE Championship
A forgotten element of the Stephanie McMahon and Triple H storyline back in 1999-2000 featured Big Show winning his first WWE Championship. WWE needed a new champion for a few months that could be the face that loses to Triple H.
Steve Austin was injured, and The Rock was being saved to face Triple H at WrestleMania. This led to Big Show winning the title at Survivor Series 1999 and dropping it to Triple H about a month and a half later. Triple H was always going to win the hold heading into WrestleMania 2000, but WWE wanted him to win it after aligning with Stephanie.
7 Their storyline caused a WrestleMania Main Event
The original main event for WrestleMania 2000 to feature Triple H defending the WWE Championship against The Rock. There was a tremendous rivalry there, and Stephanie joining Triple H this time just gave The Rock even more material for his promos.
However, the storyline with Mick Foley and Triple H made Vince McMahon realize that they could do more with it. The decision made for both beloved faces that were feuding with the McMahon-Helmsley regime would be part of the biggest match of the year. Big Show entered the equation for the concept of a McMahon in every corner. The match ended with three McMahon’s reuniting and forming a new heel group with Triple H.
6 WWE never had an on-screen explanation for them getting married years later
One comparatively recent element of the storyline romance between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had no true explanation. Triple H and Stephanie split apart on television back in 2002 following the face turn of Triple H. Fans were told they were divorced, with zero references to any real-life romances.
It was just referenced on television one day that Triple H and Stephanie were indeed married in real-life during Triple H’s feud with Randy Orton. The story of Orton attacking the McMahon family members added to the reveal. However, there was no explanation why or how they got back together for the on-screen aspect of everything.
5 Stephanie almost won WWE Championship
The end of the 2002 storyline culmination of Triple H leaving Stephanie McMahon almost led to a huge moment. Stephanie and Triple H became enemies on screen at this time. The brand split was taking place and that sparked the final match to end angle.
Triple H defended the WWE Championship against Chris Jericho and Stephanie in a Triple Threat match. There were reports that WWE strongly considered having Stephanie win the title for the surprise value. Luckily, those plans were scrapped, and Triple H retained. Stephanie winning the WWE Championship may have been the WWE version of David Arquette winning the WCW Championship.
4 Chyna was still getting pushed
A common complaint about the Triple H and Stephanie McMahon storyline blending into real life is the belief that Chyna was ruined due to it. This was not true early on, as Chyna continued to get pushed for the first full year of the storyline between Triple H and Stephanie.
Bruce Prichard even revealed on his podcast that Stephanie was always the biggest supporter for Chyna in the WWE creative meetings throughout her run in the company. The end of Chyna’s contract saw the two parties go separate ways once Triple H and Stephanie went official. However, it did not stop Chyna from finding success when she was still in the company.
3 Kurt Angle was supposed to win over Stephanie
Kurt Angle entering the picture in the Triple H and, Stephanie McMahon storyline gave it new life. There reached a point where fans got used to the couple and started cheering Triple H due to his great work. WWE added Angle to the mix as Stephanie’s friend, often flirting with her.
The storyline was among the high points for WWE during the summer of 2000. Various reports indicate Angle was supposed to win over Stephanie since the fans hated them both, while cheering Triple H. The story goes that Triple H argued against this, claiming no one would buy a woman choosing Kurt over him. It changed the entire ending of the storyline as Angle and Stephanie could have had a great run together.
2 Stephanie’s title win set the women’s division back
Stephanie McMahon winning the Women’s Championship in 2000 was a baffling move not many expected WWE to go with. Unlike Vince and Shane, Stephanie was never viewed as a capable wrestler or fighter in any regards. D-Generation X cheated to help her defeat Jacqueline to win the title.
The Women’s Championship was essentially a prop for Stephanie to hold during her promos. Her rare defenses would see her just run around until receiving help and stealing the pin. It hurt the credibility of the title and the division until Lita finally ended the run. Stephanie does not like talking about her title reign, given how important and credible the women’s division is today.
1 Triple H needed Stephanie to get to next level and vice versa
The legacy of the McMahon-Helmsley regime storyline is that two talented personalities got together and created even bigger success. However, both Triple H and Stephanie were in odd places in WWE before getting together.
Triple H was a top star but always fell below the tier of The Rock, Steve Austin, and even Mick Foley. The addition of Stephanie took him to that level as a true elite superstar. Stephanie was struggling to find any momentum as a character and had little chemistry with Test. The storyline with Triple H helped her find her voice as a heel and made her the character she is today. Both personalities found true love in real life, but their careers thrived once placed together.