Triple H's wrestling career is among the most fascinating in the history of the industry. As an in-ring performer, Triple H has a legendary body of work with superb matches and enough moments to last a lifetime.
The more interesting aspect of his life is his backstage role and the controversy surrounding it. Triple H’s real life romantic relationship with Stephanie McMahon gave him a great deal of power in the WWE and he was never afraid to use it. Many wrestlers and personalities hold a grudge against him for doing them wrong, especially when he was competing with them for the top spot.
Triple H’s perception has changed for the better in recent years with his transition into a more prominent role in running the company. The introduction of NXT has made fans appreciate him more and the wrestlers working under him get someone wanting to help them rather than sabotage them. Despite his negative reputation, Triple H still did manage to make a few close friends during his long career in the business. We’ll look at both emotions shown towards one of the most influential men ever to enter pro wrestling. These are the eight best friends of Triple H and eight of his most hated enemies in pro wrestling.
16 Friend: Kevin Nash
The friendship sparked in The Kliq has lived on for over two decades. Triple H was the lowest member of the group on the totem pole during his first few years in the WWE. Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman included him in their inner circle. Triple H would have short falling outs with every member of The Kliq at some point over the years, except Nash. The cool demeanor of Nash makes it impossible to get into a fight with him.
Nash was actually one of Triple H's groomsmen H for his wedding with Stephanie McMahon. Triple H has used his current position to help Nash out on multiple occasions. We all remember the appearance of the big man to set up a storyline with CM Punk, despite it making no sense at all. Nash was given another gift by his friend when WWE made him the “main event” of the 2015 Hall of Fame by inducting him as the top attraction.
15 Enemy: Bill Goldberg
Bill Goldberg and Triple H have always hated each other. The two met via an awkward interaction at an autograph appearance when respectively working for WWE and WCW during the Monday Night Wars. Everyone was on edge in the time frame, but it continued for many more years. Triple H absolutely trashed Goldberg for having no passion or heart on an appearance of Tough Enough. Pro wrestling was Triple H’s dream from day one but Goldberg lucked into it. That’s where it all stems from.
The two were forced to work together during Goldberg’s short WWE tenure. Vince McMahon brought him in, hoping to draw big money. Goldberg’s lack of love for wrestling hurt him with less freedom to do what he wanted. Triple H gave Goldberg his first loss in WWE and he regained the World Championship following their feud. Many believed Triple H went out of his way to ruin Goldberg’s unbeatable gimmick. Both have traded insults through the years and are clearly never going to be the best of friends, although Goldberg is being linked to a return.
14 Friend: Vince McMahon
It seems like an obvious choice for Triple H to be a good friend of his father-in-law. However, the relationship between Triple H and Vince McMahon started long before he started dating Stephanie McMahon. Vince used to use Triple H as an example of the kind of guy Stephanie should aspire to date. She took the advice to heart and ended up marrying Triple H to make him a member of the McMahon family.
Triple H and Vince are currently two of the lead voices backstage, deciding the stars of the future. Both men have been rumored to butt heads over how talent should be booked, but at the end of the day, they are extremely close. The love is often shown as the two trade jokes when on television together at gatherings like the Hall of Fame. McMahon will always go down as one of the more inspiring voices in the career and life of Triple H.
13 Enemy: Paul London
Triple H has rubbed many wrestlers the wrong way through the years. The political power saw him look strong consistently on WWE television. That carried over to the other talent working with him looking rather weak in comparison. One specific moment stands out when Triple H destroyed any chances of credibility for Paul London and Brian Kendrick. The Tag Team had the longest reigning Tag Title championship run on SmackDown but moved over to Raw.
London and Kendrick suffered humiliation during their biggest moment on Raw. They saved fellow face Triple H from getting attacked in a three-on-one beatdown. Instead of thanking them, Triple H delivered a Pedigree to both men and left them flat in the ring for no reason whatsoever. It was one of the most egregious instances of Triple H burying others and London still holds a grudge. Kendrick has made peace to return to WWE via Triple H’s CWC but London flat out refuses to ever consider working with The Game again.
12 Friend: Road Dogg
The era of D-Generation X is probably the most important chapter of Triple H’s career. Fans viewed him as a bigger star due to his presence in the popular faction. Shawn Michaels leaving the business opened things up for Triple H to become the leader with new members working with him. Road Dogg was one of the talents to get the opportunity and hit a home run. The charisma and sense of humor made him a perfect fit for the DX style.
The two men had a falling out when Road Dogg left the company and he buried Triple H in various shoot interviews. Road Dogg felt Triple H didn’t do right by him and played a role in his departure.
Recent years have showed the opposite take place, with them reconnecting and Road Dogg getting hired by the WWE. Currently, he works directly under Triple H as one of the top producers for WWE television. Road Dogg has been referred to as the person in charge if Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are not at a taping.
11 Enemy: Rob Van Dam
The top star always brought up when discussing Triple H’s tyranny over the WWE roster is Rob Van Dam. Fans adopted RVD as their favorite star during his first couple of years in the company. The timing was right for Van Dam to capture the World Champion in 2002, as a rivalry brewed with the dominant heel champ, Triple H. As expected, Triple H picked up the win and sent RVD back down into the mid-card and Tag Team picture.
Van Dam had a great career but always lacked the top spot that he was ready for in 2002. Triple H has gone on the record stating he never played any role in the decision of that outcome, but no one buys it. RVD doesn’t have a soft spot for Triple H. The moment in question definitely still fosters a negative energy between the two. Van Dam suggested Triple H was jealous of RVD’s connection with the fans as a face and the two have never mended fences
10 Friend: X-Pac
Another longtime friend of Triple H to have a falling out with him for a short time period is Sean Waltman, also known as X-Pac. The two started a friendship in The Kliq and only grew closer in D-Generation X. Waltman returned to WWE following a bitter ending in WCW to join Triple H in DX with the new name of X-Pac. They were perfect together and provided the most entertaining days of DX with the face version of their stable.
Triple H and X-Pac’s friendship strained thanks to romantic confusion all around. The relationship between Triple H and Chyna ended when Triple H cheated on her with Stephanie McMahon. WWE let Chyna go and Waltman eventually started dating her. That potentially caused the rift between Triple H and Waltman until they repaired their friendship years later. X-Pac is once again a member of the WWE family with sporadic appearances and once again one of the better friends of Triple H.
9 Enemy: Kurt Angle
The rivalry between Triple H and Kurt Angle has gone on for about sixteen years now. Angle became one of the top heels in the WWE instantly and won the WWE Championship in less than a year on television. The success of Angle sparked competition with Triple H over the top heel spot in the company. A story has circulated for years that Triple H petitioned to change a story that would have Stephanie McMahon leave him for Angle on television.
It would have added to the heel character of Angle, but Triple H cut the legs off. Years later, Angle trashed Triple H for years of tension between the two and flat out accused him of abusing political power. The recent rumors of Angle wanting to return to the WWE have been met with the belief that Triple H argued against the move. Triple H allegedly talked Vince McMahon into turning down an Angle return to WWE and their hatred apparently still lives on today, despite them talking recently.
8 Friend: William Regal
William Regal has remained a loyal friend of Triple H for many years. The two worked together in WCW and connected on a closer level in the WWE. Regal’s vast knowledge and genuine love for the wrestling business made him a peer of Triple H. Through various struggles on the road to getting clean, Regal has been met with support from Triple H and it has paid off big time today in the current landscape of the WWE.
NXT is one of the biggest assets in the WWE today. Triple H is the man in charge, but Regal has been given the responsibility as one of the people responsible for its success. Regal scouts the world looking for the top wrestlers ready for a spot in WWE and plays a role in training at the Performance Center. If not for Regal, Triple H may not have discovered the greatness of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and many other stars to blossom in NXT. The friendship has not only benefited Triple H and Regal, but all of us as well.
7 Enemy: Scott Steiner
The most vocal enemy of Triple H has been Scott Steiner. A failed stint in the WWE caused Steiner to blame Triple H for sabotaging him. Steiner had a world of hype entering the company after a successful singles run in WCW before the company went out of business. Big Poppa Pump received one of the biggest pops in WWE history for his return in 2002. Triple H would enter a feud with him, leading to the two having absolutely dreadful matches together.
Chemistry is important, as two wrestlers need to work on the same page to create a great match. Steiner believes that Triple H was to blame for the matches flopping and ruining his WWE career. There was also an incident of Steiner refusing to take a drug test and requiring Triple H take one with him. WWE released Steiner faster than anyone expected and he has trashed Triple H for many years up to this day. Scott Steiner is one person Triple H doesn’t want to meet face to face any time soon.
6 Friend: Ric Flair
Triple H has lived a dream life in many aspects, but becoming best friends with a childhood hero has to top the list. Ric Flair was the favorite wrestler of most avid fans of the 80s and Triple H was not an exception. The two had a short history in WCW when Triple H was breaking into the mainstream wrestling world. Flair looked out for Triple H and stopped Randy Savage from burying the young talent in his final match before heading to WWE.
This would be reciprocated when Flair joined the WWE as a veteran presence following the death of WCW. Flair has credited Triple H and Shawn Michaels for giving him his confidence back after he fell into a low place. Triple H and Flair worked together closely in Evolution with Flair becoming the full-time manager of The Game. The two became good friends behind the scenes and still hold one of the closer relationships in the business.
5 Enemy: Kevin Dunn
The rumors of a power struggle backstage at WWE have pitted Triple H against super producer Kevin Dunn. Vince McMahon has extreme loyalty to Dunn and his family for their countless years of service in the WWE. Dunn will likely never be removed from his position of power if Vince is still the lead man in charge. There’s allegedly a drastic difference in philosophies between Triple H and Dunn.
Triple H has a clear vision for the future as shown with his execution of NXT. The new era of stars has been mostly discovered in NXT under Triple H’s watch, but Dunn is not as confident in this formula. Rumors have stated Dunn tried to sabotage the careers of Tyler Breeze, The Ascension and other various NXT acts called up to the main roster.
Triple H will likely replace him whenever he gets full control of the WWE, but until then, the two will likely try to manipulate each other in a game of figurative chess.
4 Friend: Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels and Triple H will always have their careers tied together. Michaels embraced Triple H early on in The Kliq and gave the young prospect a group of powerful friends to travel with. The biggest break of Triple H’s career would come when Michaels formed D-Generation X. It was the first time fans viewed Triple H as a potential singles star on the rise. The drug abuse issues in Michaels’ life forced the two to cut ties until he overcame the personal demons.
Triple H and Michaels had numerous matches when the latter made his return from retirement. The friends finally were able to have a feud on WWE television and spent many years tied to each other. Michaels chose Triple H to induct him in the 2011 WWE Hall of Fame class for good reason. Both men remain close today and Shawn is close to coaching a class at the Performance Center to help Triple H’s NXT kids.
3 Enemy: Bret Hart
Triple H suggested the idea of orchestrating The Montreal Screwjob to Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon when Bret Hart refused to lose the WWE Championship on his final night in the company. The idea turned into one of the worst moments of Hart’s life and he still holds a grudge today. Triple H has never made any bones about his role and belief in the situation. Hart has returned to form a solid relationship with the WWE again, but it doesn’t apply to his views on Triple H.
Through various interviews over the last few years, Bret has flat out trashed the outlook and in-ring work of Triple H. The term “4 out of 10” was used by Hart to describe the work rate of Triple H as a wrestler. A recent rant saw Hart call Triple H a coward for having a higher rating than Bret in one of the WWE video games. Hart has actually appeared on Triple H’s NXT program in Natalya’s corner, but the hatred will never die.
2 Friend: Scott Hall
Scott Hall has had one of the most tumultuous lives in the wrestling business with ups and downs. The in-ring talent of Hall provided excellence during his first stint in the WWE and that’s also where his friendship with Triple H launched in The Kliq. Hall’s personal demons harmed their relationship due to needing to get clean before being embraced by the WWE family again. Triple H helped Hall get help in countless rehab facilities through the years with the tab being picked up by him and the WWE.
The unique workouts of DDP Yoga ended up being the process to finally help get Hall back on track. Triple H was able to bring Hall back into the WWE world with the risks of negative stores associated with him diminishing. After Hall proved he could keep his head on straight, Triple H helped him get a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. Hall has appeared on various WWE shows, including WrestleMania 31, and it’s all thanks to his friendship with Triple H once again thriving.
1 Enemy: CM Punk
As seen with half of this list, Triple H has made a great deal of enemies in the wrestling business over the past twenty-four years. One man stands out as the top enemy of The Game and that’s CM Punk. The two have had a rocky relationship since day one. Triple H apparently mocked Punk’s look and physique during a dark match tryout and it leaked online. With that, Punk developed the reputation of being someone Triple H looked down on during his developmental days.
Naturally, they would become rivals on-screen when Punk became a top star on WWE television. The desire of Punk could not be denied and he became one of the biggest names in recent wrestling history. Triple H coincidentally was responsible for Punk’s red hot momentum cooling off in 2011. Punk inexplicably entered a feud with Kevin Nash and took a loss to Triple H, who was a part-time wrestler at this point, shortly after "The Summer of Punk.” The hatred between the two continued to grow backstage until Punk quit the WWE and confirmed the disdain for Triple H was a major reason why. Punk and Triple H’s story is a rare one of two wrestling personalities genuinely loathing each other with no repairing in sight.