The rise of Triple H is seeing him begin the slow process of eventually replacing Vince McMahon as the person running the WWE product. While his wife Stephanie McMahon is a factor, it is believed that she uses her energy for the business side. Triple H is expected to succeed Vince as the person making the final decisions on everything we see on screen. The experience in recent years running NXT has given fans hope Triple H will improve the product. Triple H has a few other roles like running the team that decides who to sign for the Performance Center before helping them evolve in NXT.
The women’s division becoming a huge part of WWE is one of the biggest projects of Triple H to reach success on the biggest platform. 205 Live recently saw him change the direction thanks to Triple H getting control of the weekly show. Due to all these factors, we have started to find more information regarding how Triple H feels about various performers. We know the wrestlers he most enjoys or wants to recruit. Reports and interview quotes have also showed us the wrestlers he also dislikes. These are Triple H’s ten favorite active wrestlers along with eight that he dislikes.
18 Favorite: Finn Balor
The signing of Finn Balor following his immense success in New Japan was a huge one for Triple H’s vision. WWE acquired Balor, Kevin Owens and Hideo Itami all within the same few days as part of the new class. Triple H loved the work of Balor and pushed him into a top role. It is no coincidence that Balor became the NXT Champion as the product was planned to expand in the form of bigger venues for TakeOver and more live events.
Triple H has revealed taking pride in helping Finn learn some of the new tools needed to succeed in WWE such as adding more to the Demon entrance and working the cameras. A recent story broke about Stephanie McMahon wanting Balor to become a gay character for representation. Triple H was reportedly the one against that due to not wanting to lose the aspects of his NXT character. There’s no doubt Balor will receive a big push if Triple H took over full control from Vince sooner than later.
17 Favorite: Asuka
Asuka recently saw her undefeated streak end at the hands of Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34 but it was still a great moment for her. Following many years of great work in Japan, Asuka finally got to perform on the biggest stage in arguably the biggest WWE’s match of all-time. The road for Asuka saw Triple H become her biggest supporter.
Triple H admitted that he is the reason Asuka spent more time than she needed in NXT. He made a request to Vince McMahon to take anyone he wants from NXT to get called up, but Asuka was the one person he needed. The faith of Triple H in Asuka saw him want to make her the face of the women’s division and the whole brand for a while. Triple H also likely played a big role backstage in Asuka being chosen to win the first women’s Royal Rumble match.
16 Dislikes: Cody Rhodes
One wrestler outside of WWE to have major disagreements with Triple H was Cody Rhodes. Both men shared the common interest of having close relationships with Dusty Rhodes. Triple H selected Dusty as his right-hand man in NXT, and Cody is obviously the son of the American Dream. However, it appears that Triple H just didn’t see anything special in Cody towards the end of his WWE run.
Cody has revealed that Triple H told him everyone has a different role on the card when asking about why he wasn’t getting a chance to move up the card. Triple H viewing Cody as a lower card comedy act as Stardust is a major reason Rhodes left. The joke is on Triple H here as Cody is now one of the biggest stars in the industry helping New Japan and Ring of Honor each grow.
15 Favorite: Kenny Omega
The kayfabe enemy of Cody Rhodes happens to be someone that Triple H likes. Kenny Omega is arguably the top wrestler in the world. The work of Omega has at least made him the hottest name outside of WWE. Triple H has developed the track record of acquiring all the top talent in promotions all over the world in recent years.
A cool thing Triple H has made common in recent years features him giving various members of the wrestling media a chance to ask him questions on a conference call the week before every NXT TakeOver special. One question asked about his thoughts on Omega’s success. Triple H stated he loved the talent of Omega and what he was doing for the business. It is a given that Triple H will try his best to sign Omega whenever he is a free agent.
14 Dislikes: Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder is one of the wrestlers to work in WWE for a decade now hoping to get elevated. The peak of Ryder came when he put together his own YouTube comedy series. Fans saw his personality and started chanting for him at shows. WWE did push him to win the United States Championship, but it was a short run. Ryder eventually saw his push end as WWE put him in humiliating segments.
Triple H is one of the wrestlers to humiliate him by delivering a Pedigree in a segment for no reason despite both men being faces. Various stories from former WWE talent have portrayed Triple H as trying to phase out the guys that have been on the roster for years in exchange for pushing his NXT stars. Ryder appears to be one of these names that will never get another chance at relevance in the Triple H era.
13 Favorite: Cedric Alexander
Triple H taking over 205 Live has seen drastic changes to the product. WWE firing Enzo Amore led to the entire division changing for the better as Vince McMahon stepped down to give Triple H control of the Cruiserweight division. Cedric Alexander won the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania 34 to conclude a remarkable tournament bringing attention to the show.
Many thought Alexander winning would be too predictable since he was feuding with Enzo beforehand and seemed to be the most obvious choice to win it. Triple H decided to stick with predictability due to believing in Alexander’s skills. The initial Cruiserweight Classic saw fans chant “please sign Cedric” following a great performance. Triple H came out to unofficially confirm it in an incredible moment. Alexander essentially earned the title of a Triple H guy at this point.
12 Dislikes: Baron Corbin
The relationship between Triple H and Baron Corbin was overwhelmingly positive in NXT. Triple H’s original intent for the Performance Center was to train former athletes, particularly from the NFL, to become main roster stars. Corbin was one of the very few to progress into a major NXT role and move up to the main roster as an upper level SmackDown star.
However, the controversial backstage moment of Corbin cursing out WWE doctor Joseph Maroon during a concussion discussion changed everything. Corbin lost his Money in the Bank title shot and fell out of favor with the company. It is no secret that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are the ones behind the doctors and concussion testing playing a huge role in the current WWE landscape. Corbin humiliating the doctor hurt his standing with Triple H and most important people backstage. It’s no coincidence Baron was in the irrelevant battle royal again this year.
11 Favorite: Sasha Banks
The women’s revolution all started in NXT when Triple H decided to stray away from the main roster structure. Many would argue that Sasha Banks was the most important performer in gaining momentum. Banks had a few classic matches with Bayley and Becky Lynch that left the fans talking about the women’s title match rather than the men’s.
Triple H was the biggest supporter for Banks as she moved to the main roster. Steve Austin asked Sasha about her relationships with both Triple H and Vince McMahon. Banks revealed she was closer to Triple H and felt intimidated to approach Vince. Reports of McMahon not being high on Banks appear to be true. Triple H is her best hope of getting a noteworthy push in a top role.
10 Dislikes: Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon and Triple H have reportedly had tension backstage for many years. The relationship between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon took some time before Shane got used to it. Both sides however grew at odds against each other again through the years when wanting to gain control. Vince eventually picked Stephanie and Triple H as the ones to succeed him.
This is the main reason Shane initially left the company to start his own business projects. A return has Shane work as an on-air character with little control backstage. A podcast interview with Mick Foley saw Foley ask Shane about his relationship with Triple H. While Shane tried to say there was no issues, there was a tone that made fans believe the drama is still there. Triple H and Shane are rarely seen together in the WWE backstage documentary specials and the belief is they still dislike each other.
9 Favorite: Bayley
Another important to the women’s revolution in WWE is Bayley. The current role of Bayley is seeing her struggle to stand out with her character fading. An upcoming feud with Sasha Banks could be what is needed to save both of their careers back to where they were coming up from NXT. Bayley is the one woman that Triple H made the face of the division during an important time.
The decision was made for Bayley to stay in NXT when Banks, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch were all called up. Bayley helped move the NXT division forward with the iconic matches against Sasha. These matches are a huge reason WWE started to give the women’s division a bigger push. The character of Bayley is also considered one of the biggest success stories for Triple H’s vision of NXT making her a special performer to him.
8 Dislikes: Lana
One big change in the new ideology in the women’s division means that the ladies hired for eye candy will receive less of a push. Lana is the ultimate example of someone not benefiting from the changes in the company. In almost any other era of WWE, a woman with the looks and charisma of Lana would be a multiple time women’s champion by now. However, she can barely get any time in the ring.
Lana has been used primarily as a manager since coming to WWE. Her personal desire to become a wrestler led to her getting a chance on the SmackDown brand last year. The inability to keep up with the top tier in-ring performers in the women’s division today exposed her. Lana is barely on television anymore. Triple H’s vision for women’s wrestling is not one that Lana will likely ever be able to fit into.
7 Favorite: Kevin Owens
The signing of Kevin Owens truly showed how much change was going down in WWE behind the scenes. Owens was the top star on the independent circuit for many years, but most believed he’d never get a chance at his dream job due to his unconventional look and in-ring style. The scouting team was split on Owens after his WWE tryout until Triple H made the deciding vote to hire him.
Owens was instantly pushed into a top spot on NXT television and was called up to the main roster in record time. Triple H believed in KO enough to play a role in him defeating John Cena in his debut match. The Universal Championship win for Owens in 2016 was emotional both guys as Triple H helped him win in character, but they embraced with real life emotions for KO’s crowning moment.
6 Dislikes: Jinder Mahal
One of the few wrestlers not acquired by Triple H to get a new push in recent years is Jinder Mahal. Vince McMahon saw something special in Mahal last year following the superstar shakeup. Mahal was moved to Smackdown and received a massive push of the blue. The decision was made to put the WWE Championship on Jinder right out of the gate leading to a long title reign.
WWE eventually quit on his title reign shortly before a tour in India. Mahal faced Triple H on one of the shows and shockingly took a loss. One of the reasons Jinder was pushed so heavily was to appeal the WWE product to the Indian market. Triple H stated those fans wanted him to win over Mahal and viewed him as the bigger star. The cold quote showed that Triple H felt Jinder just wasn’t on his level leading to the match result.
5 Favorite: Ronda Rousey
The signing of Ronda Rousey is a move Vince McMahon had very little to do with. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon started recruiting Rousey during the peak run of her UFC career due to her wrestling fandom. The WrestleMania 31 angle where Rousey and The Rock got the better of Triple H and Stephanie set the table for future business discussions.
Rousey is viewed as the biggest acquisition under Triple H. The success or failure will be credited to Triple H and Stephanie. This is one reason why they went with the mixed tag match at WrestleMania 34 wanting to help get her over in a major way. The match turned out to be a show stealer and fans are excited about Rousey’s future in WWE. Expect Triple H to attempt to make Ronda the new face of WWE going forward.
4 Dislikes: Brock Lesnar
One fallout from the Ronda Rousey signing is Brock Lesnar becoming less of an attraction. Brock is no longer the biggest former MMA name on the WWE roster and it showed at WrestleMania 34. The crowd treated Rousey like the biggest star in the world while trolling the main event with Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
Vince McMahon is the one most behind pushing Lesnar as the ultimate attraction in WWE. It is rumored that Triple H and Brock don’t have the best of relationships. Lesnar only likes to handle his WWE business discussions with Vince. The past matches between Brock and Triple H reportedly saw them butting heads. Considering how much money Lesnar makes and how much his star is fading, expect Triple H to try to get rid of the beast.
3 Favorite: Seth Rollins
Triple H launching NXT as his own developmental product was the first big step for him to prove he could run WWE in the future. The first NXT Champion was going to set the tone of what Triple H’s vision for NXT would be. This saw him go with Seth Rollins as the right man to represent what he wanted from the product.
Rollins became one of Triple H’s favorites to work with and help develop. The main roster success of Rollins came with help of Triple H offering advice and having his back backstage. There is no way Rollins would have cashed in during the main event of WrestleMania 31 to win the WWE Championship if Triple H wasn’t his biggest supporter. Both men worked together for quite some time as Triple H became his on-screen and off-screen mentor.
2 Dislikes: Dolph Ziggler
Justin Roberts wrote a book about his WWE tenure that took a lot of shots at Triple H. The personal relationship between Triple H and Roberts was negative, but Roberts felt others were hurt by The Game. Dolph Ziggler was named as one of the wrestlers held down backstage by Triple H. According to Roberts, Triple H wanted to remove Ziggler and other relevant popular wrestlers from the equation, so his NXT stars could replace them.
Dolph was underused for years before becoming completely irrelevant. Triple H has reportedly never been a fan of his leading to a few small quips exchanged on air over the years. Many expected Ziggler to get the push of his career after winning a Survivor Series match for his team to get rid of the Authority. Coincidentally, it was the authority role of Triple H behind the scenes to hurt Ziggler.
1 Favorite: Charlotte Flair
WWE has gone all in on making Charlotte Flair the face of the women’s division. The shocking win over Asuka to end her undefeated streak at WrestleMania 34 proved Charlotte was still the queen of WWE with no one near her status on the full-time roster. Triple H, Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon all supporting Charlotte means she has the full confidence of WWE going forward.
The role of Triple H saw him do his best to help Charlotte learn the business in NXT. A close friendship between Triple H and his wrestling Ric Flair likely played a role in him going out of his way to help get Charlotte on the right track. Charlotte has proven she deserves her spot and Triple H is getting a lot of credit for her being a success story from NXT. Triple H is now reportedly attempting to build towards a Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey match at WrestleMania 35 for the first women’s match to main event WM.