He has been one of the most polarizing professional wrestlers of his time among fans who have viewed him as an enemy of other talent he supposedly “held back” during his career. That same man is also unquestionably one of the greatest overall performers in World Wrestling Entertainment history. The Cerebral Assassin. The Game. The King of Kings. The Authority. Triple H has done it all since departing World Championship Wrestling for the WWE in the 1990s, and he has become a historic figure for all that he has achieved inside of rings and also behind the scenes.
The days of Triple H wrestling in matches on weekly editions of Raw and SmackDown have been replaced by he and his wife Stephanie McMahon slowly but surely taking control of the WWE over from company chairman Vince McMahon. Triple H has most notably helped to grow the NXT brand from a basic developmental territory into a roster that is capable of putting on spectacular events such as NXT Takeover: Brooklyn which took place in August of 2015 and one that was a WWE Show of the Year candidate.
With that said, it has widely been hinted and suggested that Triple H is not yet done facing off with opponents inside of WWE rings. His last encounter was with former WCW Champion Sting at WrestleMania 31, where Triple H was victorious over the man who was the franchise of the company that nearly put the WWE out of business. Those two could still have at least one last match against each other in their futures, and it is possible that their careers could be on the line for that final battle of WCW versus WWE.
15. Kevin Owens
Triple H is an old-school wrestling aficionado and the tradition is that wrestlers lose retirement matches. Pro wrestling journalists such as Dave Meltzer have, in the past, claimed that Triple H is high on NXT acts such as Kevin Owens. Owens was rewarded with the NXT Championship in his second WWE Network appearance for that brand, and Owens defeated John Cena in what was said to be his first ever WWE match. Owens being the man to retire Triple H would be a shocking moment, but it would also be the right way for such a storyline to be written.
14. Finn Balor
A lot of what was presented in the Kevin Owens portion of this piece also holds true for Finn Balor. The WWE has a potential future star in Balor, who has maybe the best entrance in the company today and who is, as of the posting of this piece, the NXT Champion. Balor is not at a level where he would be in a Triple H retirement match just yet, and it is somewhat difficult to imagine how the company would get to this story. Triple H does not have to retire anytime soon, though, so this idea could be one that is allowed to grow for months and maybe even years before it is executed.
13. Dean Ambrose
The WWE is hurting for top babyface performers, to the point that things could go terribly wrong for the company if John Cena were to be sidelined for a significant amount of time because of a serious injury. Dean Ambrose is over with fans and he has that so-called “it factor” that is needed to be a top star. Ambrose is missing something, though, and that something could be found if he were to be the wrestler who sent Triple H into retirement. He has feuded with Triple H and The Authority in the past, and thus this is not an idea from out of nowhere.
Multiple pro wrestling journalists have, in newsletters and podcasts, discussed how Triple H and Sheamus are friends and also training partners. Part of Pro Wrestling 101 is a wrestler who is about to enter retirement doing one last in-ring favor for a friend. The Sheamus character would require a lot of rehabilitation for fans to take this seriously and to then accept that he was the man who ended the career of Triple H. Neither man is, as far as we know, exiting the company or ending their careers anytime soon, and so there is time to make this a reality if that is the goal.
11. Roman Reigns
The experiment of Roman Reigns being one of the top acts in the WWE is one that has not yet worked as planned for the WWE. Perhaps Reigns needs a monumental victory, such as one that leads to the retirement of Triple H, for the character to receive a jump-start. This could work one of two ways: It could make Reigns the top babyface in the WWE who is responsible for toppling The Authority or it could make him a hated man who retired one of the best acts of the past two decades. Either way, Reigns would be better off than where he is today.
10. Shawn Michaels
WWE fans will continue hoping and wishing that the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels will have at least one more match for the foreseeable future. Michaels has sworn off such returns, but one has to imagine that he would at least have to consider having one last match if one of his closest real-life fans was the one making the request. Remember that Michaels would not necessarily have to be an opponent here. HBK could team up for a D-Generation X reunion against a team for what would be the final retirement match for Michaels and for Triple H.
9. The Undertaker
Triple H is 0-3 against The Undertaker at WrestleMania events. Unlike Shawn Michaels, however, Triple H never put his career on the line in order to obtain a rematch with ‘Taker at the biggest show of the year. WWE fans have been conjuring up retirement storylines for The Undertaker for years. This idea would allow both men to go out with a bang, as they have proven time and time again that they can produce great matches that live on in memories for years. Maybe Triple H could even get his hand raised this time. On second thought, that probably would not be best for business.
8. Seth Rollins
For all we know, Triple H could be planning this exact contest as his retirement match. The WWE planted hints throughout the summer of 2015 that Seth Rollins, the handpicked champion of The Authority, is more of a letdown than he is the next franchise of the company, and it was even said during the final Raw of August that Rollins is not as good as Triple H was during his championship runs. Rollins could prove his worth to Triple H by beating the former champion with The Pedigree, ironically sending The Cerebral Assassin into retirement with his own move in the process.
7. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar has, since fully committing himself to the WWE after retiring as an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, been booked by the company as an unbeatable monster who can only be defeated by The Undertaker if he receives a little help along the way. Triple H could, in storyline, decide that he is the only person remaining in the company who could bring Lesnar back down to earth, only to then learn that Lesnar truly is unstoppable. After that, Triple H could publicly claim that his wrestling days are over now that he can no longer be The Game.
6. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is currently sidelined because of the plethora of injuries and concussions that he has sustained. There are even rumors that Bryan could be forced to retire before the year comes to an end. If, however, Bryan passes a WWE physical and is able to return on even a limited basis, the story is already in place for why he would want to feud with Triple H. Triple H and The Authority held the character back and even cost Bryan the title. There would be no better way for Bryan to get revenge than to be the last man to defeat Triple H.
Don’t look now, but the story is already there for Sting to be the opponent for Triple H’s retirement match. Triple H defeated the WCW legend at WrestleMania 31, but that victory was not without controversy. It appears, as of early September 2015, that the storyline directly involving Triple H and Sting has been put aside, but it could be revisited down the road. It is being hinted that Sting will be the babyface who finally puts an end to the Authority. Triple H risking his career in an attempt to stop Sting could be a way to send one or either of these all-time greats into retirement.
4. Randy Orton
Triple H and the former “Legend Killer” Randy Orton have had quite the history together. They were teammates as part of the WWE version of The Four Horsemen known as Evolution, and the two also had several battles over championship titles. Triple H and Orton have, in storyline, had on-again, off-again relationships, and the story could be told that Orton would want to be the man responsible for sending Triple H into retirement. Triple H would probably want his retirement match to be with somebody who would help produce a memorable encounter. Orton could be the perfect opponent.
3. John Cena
The storyline for why John Cena would serve as the final opponent for Triple H would be simple enough to create even though these two are not historic rivals. Cena could be looking to eliminate The Authority once and for all, while Triple H could put his career on the line in an attempt to guarantee that Cena would never again be eligible to compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship if Cena lost the match. This may not be a favorite among all fans, but it’s a retirement match that would send Triple H on his way into the corporate world.
2. Steve Austin
Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin were all over the map during the Attitude Era days. They feuded over championships and they even spent some time as a tag team after Austin turned heel. The only thing standing between Austin making a return to a WWE ring for a last match is a company physical, one that the former WWF Champion may not pass because of the injuries that he sustained during his career. If Austin was given the OK to go for a safe match, Triple H could be the ideal opponent, particularly if the two agreed that it was a retirement match for both.
1. The Rock
This could prove to be more than just a suggestion, as it has been rumored for some time that Triple H and The Rock could have one last match in their futures. The rivalry between Triple H and Rock was one that helped the WWE stay ahead of WCW in the Monday Night Wars, and it also produced many memorable segments. The Rock has proven that he is willing to step away from Hollywood duties and return to WWE programming for a WrestleMania angle and there have, in the past, been subtle hints that his next and maybe final match could include Triple H as an opponent.
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