As heir apparent to the WWE Universe ever since his marriage to Stephanie McMahon, there’s not much Triple H hasn’t done in the world of professional wrestling. HHH has won 14 WWE World Championships, in addition to a handful of Intercontinental, European and Tag Team Championships, not to mention two Royal Rumble victories and a turn as King of the Ring, all of which caused him to transition that last title into his new nickname, The King of Kings. Critics have long argued that Hunter’s success was intrinsically related to his marital relations, but in fairness, half of his accomplishments came before he and Stephanie even started dating, putting him well on his way towards the history books long before they wed.
Another sign Triple H hasn’t used his marriage solely for his professional advantage is the fact there’s still plenty The Game hasn’t accomplished in WWE and the wrestling universe in general. Granted, most of what Triple H hasn’t accomplished could be brushed aside as something he didn’t necessarily want to do. Nevertheless, other wrestlers can brag for having accomplished things their could be boss never did, something people in any profession can understand is a fun piece of leverage to have. Keep reading to learn the specifics of what others have that Triple H doesn’t in our list of 15 things The Game has never accomplished.
15 Put Over An NXT Talent
While NXT is generally viewed as the training ground for WWE, it’s also significant as Triple H’s practice federation before he takes control of WWE. The wrestlers and fans of NXT are virtually unanimous in their support of Triple H and his efforts at expanding the NXT brand, as evidenced as the importance given to his every trip to an NXT ring. However, one thing Triple H has never done is actually put over one of his NXT wrestlers, let alone even wrestle a single match for the brand. Even considering NXT wrestlers who have since been called up to WWE, Triple H has never so much as given any NXT wrestlers on screen praise of any kind. The closest he’s come were his high profile losses to Roman Reigns, who barely qualifies as an NXT wrestler, and his tenuous team with Kevin Owens, which many felt made Owens look weaker than he did before Triple H got involved. If Triple H really cares about NXT, he should start using his fame to turn his employees into superstars.
14 Found Long Term Success In The Tag Division
Included amongst the impressive list of championships help by Triple H include two reigns as WWE Tag Team Champion, one with Steve Austin and the other with his best friend, Shawn Michaels. Both of his reigns as Tag Team Champ came after he had already been WWE World Champion, arguably putting him in a position where he was above the tag division. Either for this reason or because they also came at a time the tag division was flourishing, neither of Triple H’s reigns with the tag belts lasted longer than a few months. In fact, the reign with Austin only lasted three weeks, ending with Triple H’s first disastrous quadriceps injury. While the reign with Michaels went on a bit longer, DX were never considered a run-of-the-mill tag team, instead viewed as two top solo stars working together for old time’s sake.
13 Won The WWE Hardcore Championship
Next to The Undertaker, Triple H has competed in the second most Hell In A Cell matches in WWE history, proving he’s more than capable of getting as violent as the best brawlers in the business. Triple H has also won his fair share of Last Man Standing matches, Street Fights, Cage Matches, and all sorts of other hardcore fair, so no one should deny his abilities at being a hardcore athlete. With that in mind, Triple H never managed to win the WWE Hardcore Championship. Even during the long and sometimes tortuous two years when the Hardcore title was defended 24/7, Triple H never saw the reason or opportunity to bother giving himself a quick 30-second reign with the belt. Chances are Triple H didn’t want the Hardcore Championship, perhaps because he would’ve had to lose it right away. Whatever the case, it’s just about the only thing Joey Abs, Viscera, and Terri all achieved that Triple H didn’t.
12 Won The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Match Of The Year
Sports journalism, and especially wrestling journalism, is often filled with personal opinions, and should thus always be taken with a few grains of salt. Even so, the publication to earn the most respect amongst sports entertainment fans has long been the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Founded by Dave Meltzer in 1983, the WON compiles, reviews, and rates practically every event in the wrestling world, creating yearly Best Of lists in dozens of categories, half of which all wrestlers would love to land on. The other half are more negative, though wrestlers probably hide it if it affects them. Triple H has nagged a few awards, good and bad, most notably getting called Wrestler of the Year in 2000. However, one award Triple H was never voted the winner is Best Match of the Year. Despite never being part of the greatest match of the year, Triple H has twice been a participant in the so-named Worst Worked Match of the Year, in 2003 against Scott Steiner at the Royal Rumble and 2008 against Edge and Vladimir Kozlov Survivor Series.
11 Won PWI's Most Popular Wrestler Of The Year
For all the respect the Wrestling Observer Newsletter receives, there’s also a considerable audience for the lighter and more entertainment based Pro Wrestling Illustrated. PWI was founded in 1979, existing as a kayfabe counterpoint to the Observer’s more hardcore journalism. Like the Observer, PWI has been handing out awards for the best performers in sports entertainment since the year publication began, and Triple H has won more than his share of awards from this magazine, as well. PWI has called Triple H the Wrestler of the Year, said he competed in four Feuds of the Year, and unlike the Observer, PWI believes Triple H wrestled in two contests called Match of the Year. More impressively, Triple H has been called the Most Hated Wrestler of the Year five times, leading to his reputation as Most Hated Wrestler of the Decade. However, Triple H has never seen the other side of this glory, as he never came close to winning Most Popular Wrestler of the Year. Obviously, far more of his career has been spent as a heel than a face, perhaps making this fact unsurprising. Still, the distinction shows a lack of range that separates Triple H from some of his best contemporaries like Steve Austin or The Rock, who bounced back and forth between heel and face with equal abilities in both category.
10 Earned Bret Hart's Respect
Exactly the same as any given wrestling publication, individual opinions held by wrestlers are only as important as fans feel the need to make them. Bret Hart’s feelings on Triple H are still worth sharing, though, if only because of how often he made them known and how strong they were when he shared them. On numerous occasions, Bret Hart has used his podcast and dozens of other interview outlets to voice his belief Triple H has never deserved his position in the wrestling industry, considering in Bret’s mind, Triple H isn’t all that good of a wrestler to begin with. Bret has varyingly complained about Triple H getting a better rating than he did in a video game to more direct insults like claiming Hunter couldn’t lace The Hitman’s boots. Recently, Bret did give a blanket apology, admitting he’s been too negative in his old age. However, that doesn’t mean Bret took back his comments and it's fair to assume he still thinks what he said, only now he chooses to do so silently.
9 Got Over The Ultimate Warrior
At WrestleMania XII, The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley in under two minutes, the definition of a squash. The match was Warrior’s grand return to WWE after a four year absence and Triple H was at a point in his career when he was feuding forgettable names like Henry O. Godwinn and Duke Droese. After the match, Hunter moved into another low level feud with Marc Mero, while Warrior resumed his position in the main event, albeit only in rare appearances. Warrior was out of the company in a manner of months, with Triple H thus never able to get his revenge in anyway, a fact he has always seemed bitter about during interviews. Triple H has always been accused of using his political clout to keep his win-loss record on his favor. This one mar on his record stands as one of the very few cases of a top star beating Triple H without him ever getting his revenge.
8 Set Any WWE Championship Records
His 14 reigns as a World Champion makes Triple H one of the most decorated superstars in professional wrestling history, with 9 WWE Championships and 5 World Heavyweight Championships to his name. Despite this incredible success, Triple H has never set any particularly important records with the WWE Championship. His 9 reigns came second to John Cena’s 12, and Bret Hart, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, and Bruno Sammartino all surpass Triple H in terms of most days as champion. HHH actually does hold the record for most days as World Heavyweight Champion, but he’s two reigns behind Edge for the most times with that belt. Considering part of Triple H’s long tenure with the World Heavyweight Championship includes his first heavily maligned reign, which came completely unearned even in kayfabe, it should be obvious why whatever he achieved with that belt doesn’t compare to the prestige of the WWE Championship, making it seem less impressive in both comparison and retrospect.
7 Starred In A Profitable Film
For decades now, rumors have presented the idea Triple H hasn’t always gotten along with his longtime in-ring rival The Rock behind the scenes. Part of the issue stems from Triple H’s jealousies, although he’s hardly alone in being jealous of the most successful man in Hollywood. Triple H is still a unique case in how instantly and completely his film career turned into a complete bust. His attempt at hitting the screen started with a minor role in Blade: Trinity, followed by lead performances in The Chaperone and Inside Out, both produced by WWE Studios. Blade was a financial success for reasons unrelated to HHH, but his two starring vehicles lost WWE millions, making it highly unlikely The Game could ever have a second career as a comedy or action star. Once upon a time, Triple H claimed he wanted to play Thor in a film adaptation of that franchise and given his track record, it isn’t very surprising Marvel never took him up on the offer.
6 Found Closure With His Ex
Stephanie McMahon married Triple H in 2003, after slightly over three years of dating on screen and off. Prior to this relationship, Triple H was in an equally intense and almost as high profile relationship with legendary women’s wrestler Chyna. Triple H and Chyna started dating sometime in the mid ‘90s, having met while both trained under Killer Kowalski. Their relationship went public when Chyna followed Triple H to WWE as his valet and later a member of DX, only to dramatically fall apart when Triple H started hanging around with Stephanie. According to Chyna, she and Triple H were still living together when he started cheating on her with Stephanie, adding extra stress to their horrible break up. It wasn’t long until Chyna was fired from WWE and spiraled into a life of substance abuse and bad decisions, essentially getting her blackballed from the wrestling industry. She and Triple H rarely saw each other again, with Chyna complaining until her untimely death that she never truly received closure on what happened between them.
5 Made An Appearance In ECW
This list already covered the fact Triple H never won the WWE Hardcore Championship and his lack of violent tendencies extends to him having never once appeared in ECW. Triple H didn’t sign with WWE until the middle of 1995, at which point ECW was arguably producing an even better product than either of the big leagues. Interestingly, when the company had an agreement where wrestlers would crossover, Triple H apparently offered to go over several times.
Triple H then had no interest in making an appearance on either of the first ECW One Night Stand Pay-Per-Views, though he did wrestle one match with Shawn Michaels against The Big Show on an episode of ECW On Sci Fi. Amazingly, even though he never appeared in the original ECW, Triple H did defeat an ECW World Champion on an episode of SmackDown in 2000, when he squashed Tazz in a title vs. title match. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t exactly endear him to the ECW faithful.
4 Won Any WCW Championship
Though Triple H never appeared in ECW, he did have a short stint in WCW, wrestling as Terra Ryzing and then Jean-Paul Levesque throughout 1994 and early 1995. Whether as Ryzing or Levesque, he had a decent record against jobbers and no name talents, but consistently served as a jobber himself whenever placed against noteworthy opponents. Levesque repeatedly lost to superstars like Johnny B. Badd, Alex Wright, and Larry Zbyszko, often with the WCW Television Championship on the line. He also tried his hand at the tag division with Lord Steven Regal as his partner, once challenging Buff Bagwell and The Patriot for the WCW Tag Team Championships to no avail. These failed attempts at gold were Levesque’s only chance at glory in WCW and he always came up empty handed. In retrospect, Triple H claimed he only intended to stay in WCW for a short time and his complete lack of success only confirmed his decision not to sign for a second year.
3 Found Success Outside WWE
Pushing the specifics out of the way and getting straight to the point, not only has Triple H not achieved any success in WCW or ECW, but he in fact hasn’t achieved anything noteworthy in any wrestling company at all other than WWE. Outside of WWE and his short stay in WCW, the only other companies Triple H has made appearances for are Killer Kowalski’s International Wrestling Federation and the one-time WWE developmental territory Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He had plenty of practice and training in the IWF, winning their top championship, but his UPW appearance was entirely in a non-wrestling capacity. Considering how small the IWF was, the promotion can hardly be considered equal to WWE, let alone modern day indies like Ring of Honor or international promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling. Chances are, Triple H is happy with the way his career went, seeing no need to bother working anywhere else. Still, the fact he’s never been truly tested elsewhere gives critics something to point to when questioning if he’s truly an all time great.
2 Won The United States Championship
Even more so than Triple H can still call himself hardcore without having ever won the Hardcore Championship, it isn’t as though Triple H can’t claim to be from the United States simply because he’s never won the United States Champion. This minor distinction aside, the fact he never won the US title might actually nag at him a bit deeper than the lack of hardcore gold, if only due to the higher level of prestige it’s been given throughout time. The Hardcore Championship was short lived and always had a hint of comedy to it, while the US Championship was tied with the Intercontinental Championship as the number two prize in the company. Triple H’s third and fourth Intercontinental title reigns came after he had already won the WWE Championship a number of times, so it isn’t as though he would have seen the next best thing as slumming. Granted, his opinion may have changed by the time he was on the same brand as the US title, hence his decision to never win it.
1 Joined The nWo
Proud though Triple H must be for having been a member of D-Generation X, there will always be detractors who feel that group was merely WWE’s best attempt at copying the New World Order. Ignoring that the foundation and purposes of the groups were markedly different, they did have a fair amount in common, including a number of shared members in Shawn Michaels and X-Pac/Syxx, which also means that every member of The Kliq joined the group except Trips. Although he was given a number of chances when the nWo reformed in WWE during the spring of 2002, Triple H never joined his friends donning the black and white. Once upon a time, just about everyone in WCW was a member of the nWo, so it could be argued this isn’t exactly an accomplishment per se. Still, the number of friends Triple H had in the group would have made him an easy fit that could have elevated both he and the rest of the group if played correctly.