Even though it was Eddie Guerrero who lived by the line “I lie, I cheat, I steal,” it seems as though this should have applied to Triple H. Though fans of the ’90s remember The Montreal Screwjob and the children today know what transpired on Monday Night Raw a few weeks ago, The Game has interfered in way more championship opportunities than you might think.
Triple H is one of the most decorated Superstars in WWE history. He could break Ric Flair’s World Championship record. He’s on par to take over the company when Vince McMahon leaves. But he’s always going to be remembered as a Superstar who changed the course of WWE history with his involvement in championship screwjobs.
He needed help from Evolution and The Authority to win past titles. But Triple H was also one of the few superstars who stuck his nose in championship bouts so much that he screwed a superstar ever in the favor of another. Here are the top 20 times The Game was involved in a championship screwjob.
20. Screwing RVD, Raw 2002
Rob Van Dam was one of the top Superstars to come from The Invasion Angle. He got over quickly by facing some of the WWE’s stiffest competitors. When it came to the September 16, 2002 edition of Monday Night Raw, he had to defend his Intercontinental Championship against The Millennium Man, Chris Jericho.
During an incredible match, The Game came out to interfere with RVD. The latter hit him with a Frogsplash, but Triple H came back and got into his face. RVD had to take him out with a series of kicks, but that allowed Jericho to use the distraction to his advantage. He put Van Dam in the Walls of Jericho and forced him to tap out. Odd, considering Triple H and Jericho often feuded during The Attitude Era.
19. Shawn Michaels Lays Down, Raw 1997
Shawn Michaels and Triple H were very close friends in real life. The two had formed D-Generation X an helped kickstart the Attitude Era. They did more than enough to help WWE win the Monday Night War against WCW. But looking back to an overlooked incident would tell the story as to how these two became close. In a way.
The Heartbreak Kid was the WWE Champion thanks to The Montreal Screwjob and also carried the European Championship. However, during the December 11, 1997 edition of Raw, Michaels simply laid down and let The Game win the European Championship. (Commissioner Slaughter made this match in hopes of causing tension between the two.)
Since when does handing the title away that easily end up getting over with fans? The Fingerpoke of Doom and Bash at the Beach 2000 sure didn’t end well. But this was a rare time it worked, helping Triple H begin his rise to legendary status.
18. Judgment Day 2003, vs. Kevin Nash
WWE fans were given a dream match. It was two former friends from The Kliq together. Kevin Nash who helped put WCW on the map against Triple H, one of the main wrestlers who helped WWE win the Monday Night War. You had two big-named wrestlers with long hair. What could we complain about?
At Judgment Day, 2003, Nash and Triple H faced off for the World Heavyweight Championship. In a storyline that made no sense, the two went heavily at it until Hunter decided to smoke the referee with a sledgehammer. For a Pay-Per-View that was fairly disappointing but at least had this one hyped-up match, WWE just had to find another way to mess it all up. The Game screwed over Nash with a cheap tactic.
17. Screwing Ken Shamrock, DX: In Your House
Ah yes, The good ol’ D-Generation X: In Your House edition of 1997. You knew the two main members of DX (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) would find a unique way to be the main stars of the show. Unfortunately for fans, it was yet another disappointing result for a hyped-up match.
You see, Ken Shamrock never won the WWE Championship, but he was oh-so-close to winning the main event of In Your House. He faced off against non other than The Heartbreak Kid for the title. Shamrock had Michaels in submission move and was so close to winning and finally getting over once and for all. But being a good friend, Triple H came in and interfered before Michaels could tap. Michaels won via disqualification and as a result, got to keep the title.
16. Michaels Returns The Favor Vs. The Rock
If Triple H were to help his best friend win the title by screwing over Michaels’ opponent, The Heartbreak Kid could at least return the favor. Right?
On the April 17, 2000 edition of SmackDown (pilot episode), The Rock faced Triple H for the WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels was the special guest referee, so fans could only wonder what in the world could go wrong here. The Rock was gaining momentum and hit The Game with his finisher, The Rock Bottom. He was about to top it off with The People’s Elbow, but Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music, setting Triple H up for the pinfall victory.
15. Help on the Edge, Taboo Tuesday 2004
Even though it wasn’t a great success and had a weird name, Taboo Tuesday was a fun concept, where fans got to vote for the matches they wanted. Shawn Michaels won the fan vote for which wrestler should get the chance to face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday.
Edge was one of the finalists and lost out. During HBK’s match with The Game, The Rated R Superstar hit Michaels with a Spear, giving Triple H an easy win. Even though it wasn’t the finish fans were hoping for (considering Michaels returned after some weeks off-screen) this was the moment where Edge completed his heel turn. And he only became the best heel of the Ruthless Aggression Era. So we won’t complain a bit.
14. Screwed by The Hardy Boyz, SmackDown 2001
During the April. 12, 2001 edition of SmackDown, Triple H faced off against Jeff Hardy, with the former looking to defend his Intercontinental Championship. Back in the day, you didn’t see mid-card guys ever upset the big guns, so everyone in the arena was expecting another victory by The Game.
Triple H got frustrated with the official and pushed him to the ground, knocking him out for a few minutes. Looking to put the match away, he put Hardy on the top ropes, before his brother Matt came out. Matt Hardy hit Triple H over the head with a steel chair.
The referee got up and counted the three, giving Jeff a shocking win as a devastated Stephanie McMahon looked on. A lesson for you kids: When you try to cheat to win, your opponents will find another way to cheat. Play it nice.
13. Vince Screws The Brothers of Destruction
The Undertaker and Kane formed The Brothers of Destruction, easily one of the most dominant tag teams of all time. They were so good, in fact, that Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin needed help from the boss man to beat them. That’s what happened at the 2001 edition of Backlash.
With The Game and The Texas Rattlesnake forming The Two-Man Power Trip and facing two giants, they would need all the help they could get. Near the end of the match, Kane and The Undertaker had the upper hand, until Mr. McMahon came out. He attempted to hit The Big Red Machine with a sledgehammer, but Kane avoided it. The two then struggled with each other, before Triple H hit Kane with the hammer. Vince then threw the knocked-out official into the ring, and The Game pinned Kane to win the tag team titles.
12. Screwed By Steve Austin, SmackDown 1999
At the height of the Attitude Era, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Vince McMahon were by far the three biggest names in WWE. All of them were involved in some of the greatest feuds that got them over WCW. But many of us question to this day why McMahon would be booked to win the WWE Championship.
McMahon and Austin faced off for the title on the September 16, 1999 edition of SmackDown. Vince was getting destroyed, with blood smeared all over his face. Chyna then held Linda McMahon hostage. Then, Austin came out and took down The Game, hitting him with the Stunner. He pulled Shane McMahon (the referee,) into the ring and had him hit the three-count, giving McMahon his first and only WWE Championship.
11. Evolution of a Screwjob vs. Kane
Having friends in life helps. Triple H always had alliance members to help him win his championships. With Batista, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton forming Evolution with him, the sky was the limit.
Kane and Triple H faced off for the World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden on June 23, 2003. Had Kane lost, he would have to unmask and reveal his face. During the match, Randy Orton and Ric Flair came to Triple H’s aid while the referee was knocked out. Orton hit Kane with an RKO and got the ref to hit the three-count. Eric Bischoff came on the mic, told Kane to take off the mask and the fans got to see what the guy looked like. But that wouldn’t be without the help of Orton and Flair.
10. Screwing CM Punk?
The main event of SummerSlam, 2011 definitely had one of the most insane finishes ever. You had CM Punk against John Cena with the WWE Championship on the line. Triple H was special guest referee, but you still expected a clean finish either way.
First, it was John Cena who got screwed over. As Punk went in to pin Cena, the latter grabbed the ropes, but The Game didn’t notice it. This allowed Punk to pin Cena and win the WWE Championship. So we had a great match with a controversial finish. Party’s over, right? Not exactly. Triple H’s old friend Kevin Nash arrived and laid out Punk. Alberto Del Rio then came out to cash in his Money in the Bank, becoming WWE Champion easily by defeating Punk. Triple H denied knowing about Nash, which Punk did not believe. The story was never quite settled.
9. Helping Stephanie Win Championship on SmackDown
Triple H had all this power being a champion and world-class wrestler. He was in a relationship with Stephanie McMahon back in 1999. The daughter of the boss. Vince didn’t have to “buy,” his daughter the WWE Women’s Championship, because his future son-in-law had a plan up his sleeves.
Stephanie faced Jacqueline for the title on the March 28, 1999 edition of SmackDown. With D-Generation X ringside, Stephanie got help from Tori. She delivered a DDT to Jacqueline while the referee wasn’t looking, giving Stephanie an easy pin to win the title. Having a powerful boyfriend and his alliances ringside were obviously going to help Stephanie win.
8. Judgment Day, 2001
In a match that featured two WWE icons, Stone Cold Steve Austin defended his WWE Championship against The Undertaker. It was a No Holds Barred match, so the perfect opportunity for outside interference to make an impact.
During a match that lasted over 23 minutes, both men slammed each other with chair shots. With The Undertaker about to pin Austin for the victory, Vince came in and threw his body on Undertaker, breaking up the three-count. Triple H had also come out in order to throw Undertaker off. The distractions worked and helped Austin win the match. Triple H and Vince McMahon were working together in the McMahon-Helmsley alliance and did their job in making sure Austin won the title.
7. Screwing Goldberg, SummerSlam 2003
One of the greatest matches to ever take place treated the many who tuned in to watch the 2003 edition of SummerSlam. It was a six-man Elimination Chamber that featured members of Evolution, Triple H and Randy Orton. Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, and Shawn Michaels were the other occupants in the match.
When it came to the final two, it was The Game against Goldberg. Thanks to his formation of Evolution, Triple H had an upper hand with Ric Flair helping him out ringside. Flair handed Triple H a sledgehammer before Goldberg could hit him with a Spear. Triple H would pin Goldberg and retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
6. Screwing Seth Rollins on Raw
The August 22nd, 2016 edition of Monday Night Raw featured a Fatal Four-Way match to determine the new Universal Champion, since Finn Balor had to relinquish it following a legitimate injury at SummerSlam.
It involved Kevin Owens, Big Cass, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. All signs pointed to a Rollins victory, especially near the end of the match. Out of nowhere, Triple H returned for the first time since losing to Reigns at WrestleMania. He Pedigreed Reigns and had him pinned to eliminate his long-time rival.
With Owens and Rollins left, Triple H shockingly turned on Rollins, hitting him with the Pedigree and allowing Owens to pin his opponent for the title. Owens finally got over after a long wait, thanks to Triple H pulling off an epic betrayal of his old friend.
5. Screwing Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2013
Daniel Bryan’s “YES” movement was spreading all across the WWE Universe. Now, his time to cement the legacy once and for all was to defeat John Cena for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, 2013. But of course, this match just had to feature Triple H as the special guest referee. You just knew where this one was going.
Bryan shocked Cena to win the championship. Over 14,000 people at the Staples Center in Los Angeles went crazy. It was a sight to behold. There was nothing that could end a beautiful night. Then, Triple H hit Daniel Bryan with a Pedigree, and Randy Orton came out to use his Money in the Bank contract. It was an easy championship win for Orton, as The Game helped his old Evolution buddy.
4. Screwing Chris Jericho on Raw
Chris Jericho was just over a year into his Y2J movement in the WWE. He had plenty of work to do in order to get over. So a match against Triple H for the WWF Championship on the April 17, 2000 edition of Monday Night Raw gave him the prime opportunity to begin making a name for himself.
Jericho pulled off a shocking victory as he pinned Triple H to win the championship. Earl Hebner (you’ll learn more about him later) was accused by The Game of making a fast count and demanded it not register in the books. Hebner obliged, and Triple H was still the champion and Jericho was screwed out of a well-earned title.
3. Screwing The Undertaker at Royal Rumble, 1998
Triple H and Shawn Michaels had every reason to be close friends. They were two of the WWE’s brightest stars ever during their respective primes. They formed D-Generation X and worked together in so many screwjobs, especially ones where at least one party was involved in the match.
The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels faced off in a Casket Match for the WWE Championship at the 1998 edition of the Royal Rumble. A match that was Undertaker’s forte would result in an easy win, right?
The New Age Outlaws tried helping Michaels win the match, but Kane came out to help his brother. During that, Chyna and Triple H brought Michaels out of the casket. Out of nowhere, Kane backstabbed The Undertaker and threw him in the casket, and Triple H and Chyna would close it, the match, and The Phenom’s hopes of becoming WWE Champion.
2. Family Ties at WrestleMania 2000
The main event of WrestleMania 2000 had to be a good one. But oh, it just had to have an epic screwjob for the ages as well. Here, we had a Four-Way Elimination match for the WWE Championship. It featured Triple H, Mick Foley, Big Show, and The Rock.
The Rock and Triple H were the last men standing. As the two fought it out near the end, Mr. McMahon turned on The Rock and hit him with a steel chair. This led for an easy pinfall victory for Triple H. Vince, Shane and Stephanie all helped The Game win, but they all received a Rock Bottom from, well, The Rock as a result. (This match featured a McMahon in every corner.)
1. The Montreal Screwjob
The most controversial moment by far in the history of professional wrestling involved three key people: Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and none other than Vincent Kennedy McMahon. But it also wasn’t possible without the referee, Earl Hebner, and a man named Triple H. You may or may not know he’s been involved in many screwjobs.
So how can The Game really be blamed? It was Vince who talked about this beforehand with Michaels. It was under Hebner’s watch where this all takes place. But many don’t know that none other than Triple H was the one behind this. Dun dun dun!
Michaels wrote in his autobiography that Triple H came up with the plan to screw Bret Hart in his home country. Triple H was also with Shawn Michaels when the two left the arena immediately under McMahon’s orders.
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