Triple H is given a lot of credit for the amount of good he's done with NXT, 205 Live and new talent WWE is bringing in and making big stars. Talents like Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Bobby Roode, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn are widely looked at as "Triple H" guys and they are the future of WWE.
So too, Triple H has been instrumental in pushing talents like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and others who, before Triple H, wouldn't have been given the time of day by a WWE who was all about ignoring other promotions and building their own stars.
That said, for all the good Triple H has done, he has a history and bad reputation for burying wrestlers and other competitors in an effort to reach the top of the ladder in WWE. Clearly driven, it's worked as Triple H is the second-most powerful man in WWE. He's set to take over the company and he'll likely do a lot of good things. With that in mind, some people might want to watch their step.
If the rumours are true, Triple H will politic whatever he wants to be done, he'll bury talent to get what he wants and he'll leave a path of destruction along the way. The fortunate ones will succeed in spite of his actions but others will flop.
Below is a list of 20 current and former WWE stars Triple H is rumored to have buried in one way or another. Which 10 managed to prevail anyway? Which 10 did not?
20 Recently Buried: Shinsuke Nakamura
With his win at the Royal Rumble, things might be looking up for Shinsuke Nakamura but it's been less than smooth sailing since he made his way up to the WWE main roster. Originally tapped as one of Triple H's guys, he was a huge hit in NXT and arguably one of the brands biggest stars since its inception. You'd think with that kind of response, Triple H would make sure to really guard Nakamura when he arrived in WWE.
Instead, Triple H pretty much abandoned his "King of Strong Style" and let WWE book him in a way that was less than flattering. There's no proof but with how much Triple H supported Jinder Mahal, Triple H might have been a voice in the decision to give Mahal the nod over Nakamura.
19 Dug Their Way Back Up: Sheamus
People might be surprised to see Sheamus on this list, especially when you consider how close he and Triple H were when Sheamus first arrived in WWE. Sheamus was hand-picked as WWE's next big thing and Triple H had a lot to do with that.
Then, as Triple H started to move up in the ranks, his support for Sheamus started to waver. Sheamus wasn't pushed any longer, he was taken out of the singles ranks and put into tag teams, eventually finding a home with Cesaro. You might think as Triple H rose to power, logic would have dictated that Sheamus would rise in the ranks too. That never happened.
18 Recently Buried: Jinder Mahal
To the credit of Triple H, he's been one of the few people to go on record and support Jinder Mahal when others believed he was not worthy of holding the WWE Championship. Triple H is proud that Mahal changed his image, made himself a star a deserved the title run, doing a lot of good in India where WWE was trying to reach a new audience.
With that mind, it made little sense to go to India, put himself in a match with Mahal and then pin him clean in front of his entire home nation. Triple H claimed it was because WWE's research showed he was a bigger star and more people wanted him to win. Today, Mahal is not the champion and slowly moving his way back down to the mid card.
17 Dug Their Way Back Up: Bobby Roode
Triple H is known to have a love for NXT and one of the more popular wrestlers to come out of NXT is Bobby Roode. He was a huge star on that brand for an entire year and if not for Triple H, Roode might not have been hired by WWE in the first place.
But, like many of these former NXT stories and talents Triple H has pushed forward, there's almost an aura of Triple H making sure these guys know who brought them to the dance and that despite their popularity, they aren't Triple H. The Game took the nod over Roode at the Survivor Series in 2017 and didn't push hard for him to remain a heel when he was called up to the WWE main roster. As such, while Roode is the U.S. Champion, some would argue he's floundered since his main roster debut.
16 Recently Buried: Kurt Angle
Every once and a while Kurt Angle and Triple H clash in today's WWE but their history with one another goes way back. In 2000, there was a love triangle storyline pitched between Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle and all three could have greatly benefited if the storyline had been followed through on.
Behind the scenes, Triple H squashed the idea when he argued it wasn’t believable for Stephanie to leave him for a guy like Angle. Today, Angle is back in WWE but often one-upped by Triple H. When Angle was designated a Shield member for one night, Triple H did the same thing not a few nights later at a house show just so Angle wasn't the only one. At Survivor Series, Triple H pinned Angle when Angle was making another big return. It just appears like Triple H has no intention of letting Angle get the spotlight.
15 Dug Their Way Back Up: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan was never given a chance to make it in WWE. That is until his momentum became so powerful there was nothing anyone could do to stop it - and Triple H tried. The storyline was that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H believed Bryan to be a "B" player. He was too small and too ordinary to carry the company and behind the scenes, rumors were there was some truth to what WWE was saying. The company really didn't believe he could make it.
Some people will say Triple H did the right thing by putting over Bryan at WrestleMania 30 and that's true but it wasn't by choice. Had WWE not given Daniel the title, fans would have rioted. After his big win, Bryan was immediately booked to fail and then injuries got the better of him. He's still as popular as ever and if he's ever given the nod to wrestle, would be WWE's biggest star. Triple H continually says that's not likely.
14 Recently Buried: Sting
WWE and Triple H could have easily taken the high road when Sting finally made his way to WWE. Entering as the only real icon of the WCW era not yet to be a part of WWE, a big win would have made absolute sense and anyone who would have lost to the Stinger wouldn't have had their legacy tarnished in the least. Triple H wouldn't have it.
Sting entered in 2014 with incredible buzz. He was the angel set to stop "The Game's" abuse of power and the two clashed at WrestleMania 31 with a healthy dose of D-X and NWO thrown in. To say it could have been a huge moment for Sting would be an understatement but Triple H ridiculously got took the win and made the entire match about cameos where WWE finally got the nod over WCW. Sting would never really get a chance to make up for the loss as he got injured in his only other WWE match and retiring thanks to a fluke move by Seth Rollins.
13 Dug Their Way Back Up: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is considered the "Beast Incarnate" in WWE and largely looked at as an unstoppable force. He's beaten top stars of the future like Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and he got the eventual nod over soon-to-be Hall of Famer Goldberg. But, Triple H is the one guy Lesnar has a clear-cut loss too.
At WrestleMania 29, not long after Lesnar made his return, it would have made the most sense to continue his roll and make him the unstoppable force then. No one would have looked poorly upon Triple H if he'd lost. But, in a No Holds Barred match, Trips got the win... again. Fortunately, Lesnar is one of those guys that losses don't seem to affect much. He rebounded to become Universal Title and most people don't even remember that loss.
12 Recently Buried: Zack Ryder
No matter how popular, Zack Ryder can't catch a break and the WWE seems to do everything in their power to make it impossible for him to get over. In 2011, Ryder had almost done it and his popularity was at an all-time high thanks to Internet videos that caught fans attention in a way no other WWE Superstar had done before.
WWE had a huge opportunity to do something magical but instead, Triple H let everyone know what WWE's creative team thought when he hit Ryder with the Pedigree after posing for a group photo. This came right after Ryder cut a promo bragging his own YouTube Channel was more popular than WWE's channel. Almost everyone saw this as punishment because Ryder thought outside of the box and did something amazing WWE still uses today to make millions of dollars. Ryder has never rebounded.
11 Dug Their Way Back Up: Chris Jericho
Triple H will publicly say that he thinks it's great Chris Jericho had conquered things no other WWE Superstar ever has and in front of the camera, it's all good but he's not telling the truth. When Jericho came to WWE to use NXT for his self-funded wrestling Cruise, Triple H gave him an emphatic no. When Jericho then used ROH, Triple H was choked. Jericho then signed with New Japan for a match against Kenny Omega and rumors were Triple H was livid even though Vince McMahon had given his blessing.
Jericho and WWE will always have a relationship but Triple H and Jericho do not appear to be on the same page at all. If it came down to it. Triple H would never let Jericho do what he's doing now which is working with two companies. It's great for wrestling but Triple H doesn't see it that way.
10 Recently Buried: Enzo Amore
For a while, Triple H was Enzo Amore's only supporter. He gave him his first shot in NXT when no one wanted to keep him, he promoted him to the main roster when others might not have and he continued to try and get him on WWE programming when Enzo was his own worst enemy.
Finally, Triple H gave up. This may not be seen as a burial but a true friend would try and work with Enzo to reshape his reputation in the WWE locker room and help him rehabilitate his image. This is not to say Enzo isn't a creep or a bad dude but there have been wrestlers in the past who were as bad or worse and Triple H was close to them. Enzo was released from his contract and likely gone from WWE for good.
9 Dug Their Way Back Up: Batista
Triple H and Batista were extremely close. In fact, they might still be as Batista has gone on record saying he'd like to return to WWE and work a program with Triple H. The problem is, Triple H wants nothing to do with Batista and has flat out ignored the Guardians of the Galaxy star's request.
So too, Batista openly criticised the way WWE booked him in his last return and he probably had a point. He was brought in as a babyface and he plays a much better heel character. When it didn't work he was jobbed out and forced to rejoin Evolution which he wasn't a huge fan of. Of course, Evolution always shines the brightest light on Triple H. Still, Batista is a huge star and doesn't need WWE.
8 Recently Buried: Booker T
If you look at Booker T now and back when he first came to WWE, it seems like we're looking at two different people. But, in 2003, when Booker T was getting himself over despite WWE holding back WCW guys, Triple H put the final nail in the coffin.
WWE badly needed new stars because guys like The Rock and Mick Foley had left. Triple H was pretty much it and Booker T could have joined him. Instead, at WrestleMania 19, when the two faced each other in a match that could have cemented Booker as a star, "The Game" pinned Booker clean and went on to headline Raw while Booker T went to SmackDown. Anyone who knows the story of Booker T now knows that he's pretty much done in WWE.
7 Dug Their Way Back Up: Goldberg
Speculation is that Goldberg and Triple H have never much liked each other. When the two were near or at the top of their respective companies, they had a lot of nasty things to say about one another and when they finally came head to head in WWE, it was obvious Triple H was going to get the final word in. Triple H not only suggested Goldberg had no passion for the wrestling business and didn’t deserve respect but when Goldberg should have been booked as the unstoppable monster upon his arrival in WWE, Triple H was the first one to pin Goldberg, ending his new undefeated streak.
It was way too soon to have Goldberg lose and by the end of Goldberg's one-year run, he was considered far less than the Goldberg people remembered. To this day Triple H doesn't take responsibility. Fortunately, Goldberg got another crack at things and was booked the right way during his second run with the company. He'll now be headed to the WWE Hall of Fame.
6 Recently Buried: Chyna
Triple H's burial of Chyna could be as simple as the fact he used to date her and now is with Stephanie McMahon. Sometimes the safer play is to side with your current spouse at the expense of the old flame. Or, Triple H actually believed what he said despite the fact that Chyna proved to be one of the most influential females ever to be a part of WWE.
Chyna and Triple H made an imposing team on the screen but when it came time to answer the question about whether or not she deserved a nod in the Hall of Fame, his answer was that Chyna’s career in adult films is the reason why she is currently not getting the nod. The fact that is alleged affair with Stephanie is also the reason Chyna was fired in the first place isn't exactly shining a positive light on Triple H as a person. This feels more recent because he may be the reason she doesn't get the Hall of Fame nod and that's not right.
5 Dug Their Way Back Up: CM Punk
Most people who know wrestling well know they need to take what CM Punk says with a grain of salt. He's proven to be bitter about all things WWE and much of his anger is targeted at Triple H who he claims talked down to him while he was with WWE and stopped his push in 2011 before Punk could really take off.
Triple H has said he has no personal heat with Punk but in the same breath insinuates Punk isn't nearly as big of a star as he thinks he is. If we're to believe former wrestlers like Tyler Reks, the story was that Triple H and Shawn Michaels targeted Punk. Fortunately, Punk has found a career outside WWE and while his fight record is the stuff of legend (in a negative way) he seems to have a lot of wrestling companies begging for his return to the sport.
4 Recently Buried: Bayley
While she was one of the most successful female talents in the history of NXT, Bayley has not seen near the same success on the WWE main roster and part of that is because she feels as though Vince doesn't see the same things in her Triple H did.
Bayley once did an interview where she admitted Triple H does not have the same control in WWE that he did in NXT and when she went to Triple H to express her concerns, he basically shuffled her off to Vince and said there wasn't much he could do for her. His exact words were "you're better off talking to Vince" and that hasn't worked because Bayley still seems to be in the doghouse. Triple H could help her out more, but he seems to refuse to.
3 Dug Their Way Back Up: Randy Orton
Randy Orton is still a star in WWE and some might argue that he shouldn't be, but there was a time when he could have (and probably should have) been WWE's biggest draw. He was the youngest WWE Champion and the minute he won the title, Triple H took aim at him and cut his reign was cut short.
Like Booker T, this was a golden opportunity to make a new star at a time WWE could have used it. Rather than letting Orton enjoy a lengthy title reign, WWE just went right back to Triple H and because of that, Orton is often viewed as a star but a disappointment that he never reached his full potential. There is a legit argument that this is because of Triple H's timing.
2 Recently Buried: Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews appeared to have all the tools WWE looked for in their Superstars. He had the look, the in-ring skill and the personality to be a big star. It was the reason he was sought out by NXT and Triple H. But, Triple H didn't give him the time he needed to develop properly in NXT and pushed him to the main roster too quickly.
There have been plenty of opportunities to bring Crews back to NXT where Triple H can directly work with him to make him a star but he's let WWE bury him over and over again, getting no momentum along the way. I'm sure Triple H still has high hopes for Crews but he doesn't seem to be going out on a limb for one of his own guys.
1 Dug Their Way Back Up: The Miz
Not only has The Miz become a huge star in WWE with a brand new multi-year contract under his belt but he's done so in the face of people constantly trying to hold him back One of those people was Triple H.
One example is a dark segment (not shown on television) where The Miz was cutting a promo and Triple H made his way to the ring. Instead of arguing or going back and forth, Triple H simply kicked him, gave him a Pedigree and left. Triple H may have seen this as funny for the live crowd but it was just another example of him thinking someone like The Miz wasn't on the same level. It's the kind of casual booking that has made it hard for The Miz to move up, even though he could have much more quickly.