Weight: 269 lbs
Real Name: Paul Levesque
Hometown: Nashua, New Hampshire
Billed As: Greenwich, Connecticut
Other Names: Terra Ryzing (IWF/WCW), Jean-Paul Levesque (WCW), Jean Pierre Lafite (WWF), Hunter Hearst Helmsley (WWF), HHH (WWF), Triple H(WWF/WWE), "The Crock" (WWF), "The Game"(WWF/WWE), "The King of Kings"(WWE)
Wrestler Since: 1992
Finishing Maneuver: Pedigree, Indian Deathlock
Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #11(2010), #1(2009), #3(2008), #51(2007), #21(2006), #4(2005), #3(2004), #2(2003), #10(2002), #6(2001), #1(2000), #26(1999), #24(1998), #31(1997), #79(1996), #84(1995), #225(1994)
Other Related Websites:
History: (Last Updated: 6/09/06)
D-Generation X - Rollercoaster Bio
Two Man Power Trip - Rollercoaster Bio
Triple H - Cagematch Bio
Triple H - Online World of Wrestling Bio
Triple H - Wikipedia Bio
Weight: 269 lbs
Real Name: Paul Levesque
Hometown: Nashua, New Hampshire
Billed As: Greenwich, Connecticut
Other Names: Terra Ryzing (IWF/WCW), Jean-Paul Levesque (WCW), Jean Pierre Lafite (WWF), Hunter Hearst Helmsley (WWF), HHH (WWF), Triple H(WWF/WWE), "The Crock" (WWF), "The Game"(WWF/WWE), "The King of Kings"(WWE)
Wrestler Since: 1992
Finishing Maneuver: Pedigree, Indian Deathlock
Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #11(2010), #1(2009), #3(2008), #51(2007), #21(2006), #4(2005), #3(2004), #2(2003), #10(2002), #6(2001), #1(2000), #26(1999), #24(1998), #31(1997), #79(1996), #84(1995), #225(1994)
Other Related Websites:
History: (Last Updated: 6/09/06)
There's no doubt that Paul Levesque has made a name for himself in the world of professional wrestling. As Hunter Hearst Helmsley, otherwise known as Triple H, he has become one of the top icons in the sport, as well as one of the most powerful wrestlers in the backstage area. He's been an incredible fan favorite, drawing the cheers out of the crowd with little effort. He's been the most hated wrestler in the world, due to his rule-breaking tactics. He's done it all, and he's got a long way to go before his career finishes up.
Levesque grew up in New Hampshire, competing in basketball and baseball throughout high school. What really interested Levesque, though, was body-building. After graduating from high school, Levesque entered into various competitions, and won the Teenage Mr. New Hampshire competition at 19, a major accomplishment. Still, Levesque felt that there was more in store for him than just body-building competitions, and began looking into other options.
Soon, Levesque chose the direction of his future, signing up to train with legendary pro wrestling star Killer Kowalski, attending his wrestling school in Reading, Massachusetts. Under Kowalski, Levesque learned the art of the sport, as well as getting tips from one of the biggest rule-breakers in wrestling history. In 1992, Levesque made his debut, wrestling for the IWF (Kowalski's training federation) under the name "Terra Ryzing". It didn't take long for Terra Ryzing to make an impact, as he won the IWF Heavyweight Title in July '92, defeating Tony Roy. Terra Ryzing would remain a major part of the IWF for the next year, training himself continuously in the hopes of climbing up the ladder to the more well-known federations.
In 1994, he was given his chance, as he signed with World Championship Wrestling. Still wrestling as Terra Ryzing, he never truly got a chance to shine, competing mainly against low-card opposition. Terra Ryzing's only bright spot was a Television Title match against Larry Zbyszko, where Zbyszko stayed the champ. In May 1994, Levesque tried a new tactic, changing his name from Terra Ryzing to a variation of his own name, Jean-Paul Levesque. As a French-Canadian aristocrat, Levesque gained a little momentum, and even appeared at Starrcade '94, losing to Alex Wright. But just as it seemed that Levesque might be on his way with WCW, he surprisingly refused to sign a new contract, then left WCW in favor of the World Wrestling Federation.
Levesque entered the WWF in the spring of '95, with a brand-new name to wrestle under: Hunter Hearst Helmsley. For the first few months, Helmsley wrestled again in the low-card position, usually coming up victorious as his push was slowly built. At Summerslam '95, he was given his first WWF PPV shot, and took advantage of it, winning over Bob Holly. He then entered into an extended feud with Fatu, competing against him at several pay-per-view events. Triple H's battles with Fatu led to his next feud, as he met up with Henry Godwinn, a professed "pig farmer". At this point in his career, Helmsley was still the aristocrat, and looked down on Godwinn. The two fought in an "Arkansas Hog Pen" Match at In Your House V, as Helmsley was forced to roll in the mud, tarnishing his "high-class" image. But Helmsley did manage to get the victory with his finisher, the Pedigree, continuing to earn respect from his peers.
It was during this time that the Clique began to form in the backstage area. Helmsley became friends with many of the other WWF superstars, forming a powerful union that worked to make the members of the Clique look good. The group included Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels and Sean Waltman, some of the best in the business at the time.
Helmsley's next feud started at the '96 Royal Rumble, as he faced off against Duke "The Dumpster" Droese for the right to enter the Rumble as #30. Due to Helmsley getting disqualified, he was forced to enter #1 in the Rumble. Helmsley put on a strong performance, lasting over 50 minutes before finally being thrown out by Diesel. Although he did well, Helmsley wasn't happy, blaming his loss on Droese. He attacked Droese at one point, Pedigreeing him on a trash can lid, then cutting off his hair. The two fought at In Your House VI, with Helmsley getting the victory. Helmsley next entered into a short feud with the Ultimate Warrior, who was making his return to the WWF. At Wrestlemania XII, Helmsley suffered a devestating defeat, as the Warrior won in less than 2 minutes. Helmsley blamed the loss on his valet, Sable, but when he went to attack her, he was stopped by Sable's husband, Marc Mero.
Helmsley and Mero would feud for the next few months, splitting their matches evenly as they went at it. Just as it seemed like Helmsley was gaining momentum in his WWF career, however, the infamous kayfabe incident took place. At Madison Square Garden, Helmsley wrestled Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) while Shawn Michaels took on Diesel (Kevin Nash). This was the last night for Hall & Nash, who were both jumping to WCW. After their matches, the members of the Clique came together in the ring, hugging each other and breaking "kayfabe", otherwise known as the mystique of the business. By showing their friendship in the ring, the group allowed the world to see that their "hatred" for each other was not true. After the incident, Hall and Nash left the WWF, with Sean Waltman (X-Pac) leaving soon after. Since Michaels was currently the World Champ, the only member of the Clique that Vince McMahon could punish for the incident was Helmsley.
Over the next few months, Helmsley's punishment was very clear. While thought of as a favorite for the '96 King of the Ring Tournament, he didn't compete in it, instead fighting at the PPV in a dark match with Aldo Montoya (Justin Credible). Helmsley was forced to lose to many mid-carders over the period, including men like Sycho Sid, an aging Jake Roberts and a growing star in Steve Austin. Finally, though, Helmsley started to climb back up the WWE ladder in November '96. Due to an incident where Mr. Perfect "stole" his harem of women, Helmsley challenged the man to a match at Monday Night Raw. During the night, though, Helmsley attacked Perfect, apparently injuring his leg. Pefect convinced Marc Mero, the Intercontinental Champion at the time, to take his place in the match. But it all turned out to be a double-cross, as Perfect helped Helmsley defeat Mero by hitting the Marvelous One with a steel chair. This helped Triple H win his first WWE gold, the WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship.
Helmsley would feud with Mero for the rest of the year, and although Triple H usually took the loss, he always managed to find a way to slip out with the Intercontinental Title. At the beginning of '97, Helmsley, with his "butler", Curtis Hughes, began to take a liking to Marlena, who was the valet of Goldust. As expected, Goldust disliked the attention being sent towards his girl, and a new feud erupted. At the '97 Royal Rumble, Helmsley and Goldust went at it, with Hughes helping Helmsley to the victory. Later on that night, Helmsley competed in the Rumble, but didn't last long, as Goldust managed to throw him out. Helmsley and Goldust continued their feud into the next month, but Helmsley also had other problems to worry about. Curtis Hughes left him, leaving Helmsley without an ally to aid him in matches. Soon, Helmsley lost the WWF Intercontinental Title, surprisingly being beaten by "The Rock" Rocky Maivia.
At the Final Four pay-per-view, Triple H got a rematch against Maivia, trying to regain his title. Unfortunately for Helmsley, Goldust & Marlena also got involved, coming to ringside and distracting the challenger. Because of their appearance, Maivia was able to take out Helmsley and get the victory, staying the champion. After the match, however, Triple H got some revenge, as a massive woman came out of the crowd and attacked Marlena. It was soon announced that the woman, Chyna, was Triple H's new bodyguard. Helmsley & Chyna fought against Goldust & Marlena all the way up to Wrestlemania XIII, where Helmsley and Goldust met in a final, feud-ending match. Helmsley got the victory with his Pedigree, his first Wrestlemania win.
Helmsley next had a short, forgettable feud with Flash Funk, beating him at A Cold Day In Hell, before getting himself entered into the '97 King of the Ring Tournament. At first, it seemed that Helmsley was not going to be involved, as he was disqualified in his qualifying match against Ahmed Johnson due to Chyna's interference. But when Helmsley claimed that he didn't know he could be disqualified, he was allowed to take the place of the injured Vader in the tournament, and beat Crush in the qualifying round to move forward. At the '97 King of the Ring, Helmsley defeated Ahmed Johnson with Chyna's help, getting some revenge for his DQ loss. Helmsley then went into the finals against Mankind. The two had a terrific match, which included Mankind's infamous mask being torn off. In the end, Helmsley got the victory, winning the King of the Ring. But Helmsley wasn't satisfied, as he brutally attacked Mankind after the match with the KOTR crown.
Triple H and Mankind continued their violent feud after KOTR, and faced off again at the next Pay-Per-View, Canadian Stampede. But nothing was settled, as the two were both counted out as they took their bloody fight to the outside. The two couldn't be separated, and throughout the rest of the night, they were seen still brawling in and out of the crowd, the backstage area, and even outside of the arena. Helmsley and Mankind next signed to fight in a "Steel Cage" Match at Summerslam '97, so that there would be no countout. In another bloody match, the two delivered tremendous amounts of punishment to the other. At one point, Helmsley had the chance to escape the cage, but stayed, wanting to do more damage. This backfired on him, though, as Mankind was able to land a huge elbowdrop from the top of the cage on Helmsley, then escaped the cage, getting the victory despite Chyna's interference.
Soon after Summerslam, Helmsley and Chyna began hanging out with Clique member Shawn Michaels, as well as "Ravishing" Rick Rude. The group came together, calling themselves Degeneration-X, the next generation of the WWF. The powerhouse group mocked wrestlers and announcers alike, and soon were feuding with the Hart Foundation, one of the toughest stables around. Helmsley also managed to put a good finishing touch on his feud with Mankind, who had reverted to his "Dude Love" persona. Helmsley defeated Dude Love with the Pedigree at One Night Only. Later that night, Helmsley joined with the rest of Degeneration-X to help Michaels take out the British Bulldog. The group injured the Bulldog's leg, and the referee was forced to declare him unfit to continue, causing the European Title to go to Michaels.
Due to Degeneration-X's antics, the Commissioner, Sargeant Slaughter, began to take action against them. It was announced that Helmsley would have to face Slaughter at the Degeneration-X pay-per-view in a "Boot Camp" Match. During the violent match, Chyna tried to interfere, only to have powder thrown into her eyes, blinding her. Despite Chyna being out of commission, however, Helmsley got the victory, landing the Pedigree onto a steel chair. Not long afterwards, Slaughter, looking for some revenge, ordered that Shawn Michaels would have to defend his WWF European Title against Helmsley. Michaels & Helmsley had the last laugh, though, as Michaels laid down and let Helmsley pin him for the belt.
Helmsley then started to feud with Owen Hart, who wanted to reclaim the European Title for the Hart Foundation. During this time, though, Helsmley's knee was injured, leaving him unfit to compete. This didn't stop Helmsley from interfering with Hart, costing him, among other things, the '98 Royal Rumble. Helmsley nailed Hart with a crutch during the Rumble match, making Hart easy pickings to be eliminated.
It was soon announced that Helmsley's thirty-days to defend the European Title were almost up, and that he would have to defend the belt against Hart at a Monday Night Raw, injured or not. Helmsley, in return, sent in Goldust, dressed up like Helmsley, to wrestle for him. Hart got the victory over "Hunterdust", and Slaughter gleefully declared that since the belt was supposed to be on the line, Hart became the European Champion, even though Helmsley wasn't involved in the match. At No Way Out '98, Helmsley joined up with the New Age Outlaws (Jesse James & Billy Gunn) & Savio Vega (who was subbing for the injured Shawn Michaels) to fight against Hart, Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, & Terry Funk. Triple H continued to go after Hart during the match, but was unable to prevent Austin from knocking Jesse James out with the "Stone Cold Stunner" to get the victory. After the match, Austin nailed Chyna with a Stunner as well.
After No Way Out, Helmsley again had to rest his injured knee, but still continued his feud with Owen Hart. For the next few weeks, Chyna surprisingly attacked Hart's opponents, making sure that Hart didn't lose the European Title. In March '98, with Hart feeling the pain of injuries himself, Helmsley challenged him to a match for the title. During the fight, Chyna nailed Hart on his injured leg with a baseball bat, then rolled him into the ring. Triple H then put on an ankle lock, and Hart was forced to tap, allowing Helmsley to reclaim the European Title. At Wrestlemania XIV, Helmsley and Hart went at it one more time for the belt, with Sgt. Slaughter handcuffed to Chyna at ringside to keep her from interfering. This plan didn't work, however, as Chyna threw powder into Slaughter's face, blinding him. Chyna then got a low blow on Hart, which allowed Helmsley to hit the Pedigree for the victory. The DX band, which was on hand at the event, played the DX theme live for the champion as he and Chyna departed the ring.
At Raw following Wrestlemania XIV, Helmsley came out and announced that, since Michaels was injured, he was taking over as leader of Degeneration-X. He claimed that Michaels had dropped the ball, so he had picked it up. He then introduced X-Pac (returning from a stint in WCW) as the newest member of D-X. Later that night, Helmsley, Chyna, & X-Pac surprisingly interfered in the tag title match, helping the New Age Outlaws win the WWF Tag-Team Titles. It was obvious that the DX Army was now in place. Helmsley, as the leader of D-X, continued his feud with Owen Hart, setting up a match between them at Unforgiven '98. Chyna was suspended above the ring in a cage, to keep her from being involved. During the fight, though, Chyna began to escape the cage, bending the bars. As Jesse James came down to lower the cage, the referee missed X-Pac's interference, as he hit Hart with a fire extinguisher. Helmsley then hit the Pedigree and got the victory, staying the European Champion.
Degeneration-X began one of their most infamous segments the night after Unforgiven, as the entire group appeared outside the Norfolk Scope, where a WCW card was taking place. Helmsley was able to get several fans to state that WCW sucked, landing some shots against the competition. It was a major success for the WWF. Degeneration-X then became involved in a wild feud with the Nation of Domination, since Owen Hart had joined the group to fight Helmsley. At Over the Edge '98, Helmsley & the New Age Outlaws faced off against Hart, D-Lo Brown, & Kama. Hart managed to get some revenge in the match, as he landed a Pedigree maneuver on Helmsley, dropping him onto the European Title. Hart then got the pinfall, beating Triple H.
Helmsley next concentrated on defending his "royal" title in the '98 King of the Ring Tournament. Helmsley was forced to face X-Pac in the qualifying round, causing some trouble between the D-X members. However, this was cleared up due to the Nation of Domination interfering, attacking X-Pac. Helmsley, not seeing the assault, got the victory, moving on. Helmsley next faced the Rock in the quarterfinals, and despite the interference of Chyna, the Rock moved on, taking out Helmsley. This caused a major feud to erupt between Triple H and the Rock, which included Helmsley spitting water in the Rock's face, helping Ken Shamrock beat the Rock in the finals of the KOTR tournament. The feud continued to build during the next month, as the Rock cost Helmsley the European Title, knocking him out with the Rock Bottom so that D-Lo Brown could get the victory.
At Fully Loaded '98, Helmsley and the Rock met in a "Three Falls" Match, with the Rock's Intercontinental Title on the line. The match was wrought with interference from both stables, as the match went back and forth. The Rock scored the first pin with the Rock Bottom, but Chyna helped even things up, hitting a low blow that allowed Triple H to get a small package pinfall. At the end of the match, Helmsley seemed to be about to get the three count, when the referee declared that the time limit had run out, causing a draw. Helmsley, not surprisingly, was unhappy with the ending of the match, and continued to feud with the Rock over the next month. Triple H also had problems with X-Pac, but the two managed to patch things up in their war against the Nation of Domination. At Summerslam '98, Helmsley and the Rock got it on once more, fighting in a "Ladder" Match. Mark Henry tried to interfere to help the Rock win, but Chyna again was the deciding factor, hitting a bleeding Rock with a low blow. Helmsley then climbed the ladder and got the Intercontinental Title, winning the match and the belt.
Helmsley and D-X continued to battle against the Nation after Summerslam, with Triple H feuding with Mark Henry. Before the next PPV, Breakdown, Helmsley was shown in the backstage area, being attacked. He couldn't compete at the pay-per-view, and later was shown with a knee injury, keeping him out of action for months. In October, Helmsley was stripped of the Intercontinental Title, and a tournament was put together, with Ken Shamrock winning. At the next PPV, Judgment Day '98, Helmsley reluctantly handed over the IC Title, then followed it up with the DX "Suck It" maneuver. This angered Shamrock, who later that night attacked Helmsley, slamming his already-injured knee in a car door. This would keep Helmsley on the disabled list. At the '98 Survivor Series, Triple H was expected to return, as he was included in the "Deadly Games" tournament for the World Title. But when his match came around, it was announced that, although he was "sent tickets", he didn't show. Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco announced that the Big Boss Man would take his place in the tournament, and that Helmsley would be fired for not appearing.
A few weeks later, X-Pac was attacked by Ken Shamrock, but Helmsley surprisingly reappeared to save his D-X partner. He then challenged for a shot against the Rock, who held the WWF World Heavyweight Title at the time. However, McMahon changed the match, giving X-Pac the shot instead. At Capital Carnage '98, Helmsley took on Jeff Jarrett, taking him out with the Pedigree for his first major win since his injury. Later on that night, Helmsley, with Chyna, tried to help X-Pac win the World Title. But due to his interference, the Rock won via Disqualification. At the next Raw is War, Helmsley and X-Pac, apparently the last two members of DX, confronted the New Age Outlaws, who had apparently switched to Vince McMahon's Corporation. However, later that night, the Outlaws helped Helmsley and X-Pac, showing that the betrayal was just a hoax. DX was still as strong as ever. In the middle of December '98, Helmsley was finally given the shot he'd been wanting, facing the Rock for the World Title on Raw is War. But during the match, while Chyna was distracted taking care of Shawn Michaels, a mystery man, Test, made his first appearance, attacking Helmsley and keeping him from winning the title.
The war continued to grow between DX and the Corporation, with Helmsley allying himself with Mankind. The McMahons tried to break up the alliance by pitting Helmsley against Mankind, with a shot at the Royal Rumble on the line. Shane McMahon, who was the referee, helped Helmsley win the chance to compete in the Rumble, but Helmsley, annoyed at the outcome, Pedigree'd Shane, leaving him in the ring with Mankind. At the '99 Royal Rumble, Helmsley entered as #23, and was able to eliminate Jeff Jarrett and Val Venis. But Triple H was unable to stop "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who landed a Stunner on Helmsley and eliminated him, ending his hopes as the Rumble winner.
On the next Raw is War, Helmsley fought against the World Champ, the Rock, in an "I Quit" Match. During the brawl, Helmsley landed the Pedigree on the Rock, and looked to be in good shape, when the Corporation came out with Chyna. They threatened to take Chyna out unless Helmsley said "I Quit". Having no other choice, Triple H gave in, costing himself the match. He then checked on Chyna, but was surprisingly low-blowed, as Chyna showed that the 'threat' was actually a trick. She betrayed Helmsley and joined with the Corporation. Helmsley later called her a "2-dollar whore", and continued his feud with the Corporation, fighting with one of their newer members, Kane. At the Valentine's Day Massacre, Helmsley & X-Pac teamed up against Chyna & Kane. At one point in the match, while X-Pac was fighting with Shane McMahon, Helmsley went for the Pedigree on Chyna, only to be chokeslammed by Kane, losing the match.
Helmsley & X-Pac continued to feud with Chyna & Kane, as well as the rest of the Corporation. A trick from Shane McMahon cost X-Pac the European Title at one point, but Helmsley helped X-Pac get a rematch at Wrestlemania. At one point during the month, Chyna called Helmsley out. Triple H was quickly followed by Kane. As Chyna was holding Triple H, Kane threw a fireball at his face. But Helmsley ducked, and Chyna took the horrific blow instead. Later on that month, Helmsley called out Kane for some revenge, but got the Undertaker in Kane's mask instead. Helsmley would later come out disguised as Goldust, hitting Kane with a fireball of his own. At Wrestlemania XV, Kane and Helmsley went at it in a violent way, but the match wasn't decided until Chyna came down to ringside. She surprisingly nailed Kane with a steel chair, getting Triple H disqualified. Helmsley then attacked Kane, showing that he and Chyna were back together. Just as it seemed, though, that they were both becoming faces, they interfered in X-Pac's European Title match later on, helping Shane McMahon retain his belt. Helmsley was now part of the Corporation.
For the next month, Helmsley & Chyna feuded with X-Pac & Kane, the two men they had turned on. After numerous clashes, Helmsley met X-Pac at Backlash '99, with Chyna continuously interfering. Kane came to the ring and evened the odds, attacking both Chyna & Helmsley. Despite the attack, Triple H came back to hit the Pedigree, beating X-Pac. In the weeks following the pay-per-view, Helmsley and Chyna began to target the Rock. Their stable changed as well, as the Corporation merged with the Ministry of Darkness, forming the Corporate Ministry. During the month, Helmsley continuously assaulted the Rock, breaking his arm at one point by throwing him off the stage, then later attacking the arm with a sledgehammer. At Over the Edge '99, Helmsley fought a brutal war against the Rock, even using his own cast against him. Eventually, though, Triple H went too far, grabbing a chair from Chyna, then shoving the referee out of the way, getting himself disqualified. Helmsley didn't seem to care, going after the Rock with the chair, only to get his head busted open when the Rock came back. Chyna turned the tables again, though, allowing Helmsley to attack the Rock's injured arm with the chair. Mankind eventually came down to make the save.
The next night, on Raw is War, Helmsley delivered an emotional speech about Owen Hart, who was killed in an accident at the PPV. He dedicated his victory over Al Snow to Hart. Afterwards, Helmsley went back to his heel ways, feuding with Mankind and the injured Rock. Triple H was also scheduled to compete in the '99 King of the Ring Tournament, but refused, saying that he had nothing to prove. Chyna was allowed to take his place. Helmsley, at one point, was put into a "Cast" Match against the Rock, forcing him to compete with a cast around his leg. The match went badly for Helmsley until the Undertaker interfered. As the pay-per-view approached, Triple H and the Undertaker, due to various miscues, began to fight amongst themselves, as well as against the Rock, who would face the Undertaker for the World Title. Triple H publicly stated that, whoever won the match, he wanted the next title shot.
At the '99 King of the Ring, Helmsley tried to help Chyna in the quarterfinals of the tournament, but was stopped by Commissioner Shawn Michaels. Chyna then lost to the Roaddogg Jesse James. It was later announced that, since Shane McMahon had been "injured" at the hands of Ken Shamrock on Sunday Night Heat, Triple H could take his place, teaming with Vince McMahon in a handicap match against Steve Austin. During the World Title match, the Rock placed a cloth covered with ether across the Undertaker's mouth, trying to knock him out. But Helmsley came to the ring and attacked the Rock, nailing him with the Pedigree and allowing the Undertaker to retain the World Title. After the match, Commissioner Michaels ejected Helmsley from the building due to his interference, keeping him from the main event match.
Soon after the pay-per-view, Helmsley & China joined up with "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn, reforming part of Degeneration-X. The group claimed that they deserved the rights to the DX name, a fact disputed by X-Pac & the Roaddogg Jesse James, who were also using the title. The two groups would feud during the month over the naming rights, while Helmsley also continued to concentrate on the Rock. At Fully Loaded '99, Helmsley watched as Chyna & Gunn lost to X-Pac & the Roaddogg, losing the "DX" rights. A furious Helmsley then went into his own match, a "#1 Contender No-Disqualification Strap Match" against the Rock, with the winner getting a World Title shot at Summerslam. During the match, both Chyna and Gunn interfered, helping to keep Helmsley in the match. In the end, after the Rock got rid of Gunn, Helmsley landed the Pedigree, to get himself the victory.
The next month was a crazy one for Triple H. At one point, he was forced to put his #1 Contendership on the line in a Triple Threat match against the Undertaker and Chyna. Helmsley thought that Chyna didn't deserve the shot, since she was "just a woman". This of course infuriated Chyna, making it a true Triple Threat match. During the bout, Steve Austin, the current World Champ, interfered, taking out Helmsley and putting Chyna on top of him, giving her the World Title shot. Helmsley argued with Chyna on the next show, saying that he deserved his contendership back, and they arranged a second match between them. But once again there was interference, with Mankind costing Helmsley the match. Mankind later beat Chyna for the spot, then took on Helmsley, with both men being counted out in their fight. It was eventually decided that both Helmsley and Mankind would face Austin at the next PPV.
The Triple Threat match at Summerslam '99 featured a special referee in Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who resolved that he'd call the match fairly. Early on, Helmsley was helped out by interference from Chyna. But this soon ended, as Ventura sent Chyna away from ringside. Later on, Helmsley used a steel chair to knock out Mankind, but Ventura refused to count, not allowing the attack with the foreign object. Shane McMahon tried to come to Triple H's defense, ordering Ventura to do his job, but Austin landed the Stone Cold Stunner on McMahon, allowing Ventura to throw the boss's son out. Austin later hit Triple H with the Stunner, and Triple H was able to land the Pedigree, with Mankind breaking up the pin both times. The match ended with Mankind hitting a double-arm DDT on Austin, allowing him to win the World Title. After the match, a frustrated Helmsley attacked the downed Austin with a chair, going after his injured knee, with Chyna keeping the ring officials from making the save.
The next night, on Raw is War, Triple H came to the ring and angrily demanded a World Title shot, saying that he was cheated by Jesse Ventura. He grabbed Jim Ross's arm, threatening to break it unless Mankind granted a title shot. Mankind, having no choice, agreed to it, only to have Helmsley injure Ross's arm anyway. The match was signed, with Shane McMahon making himself the special referee. The Rock came to ringside as a 'commentator', to keep an eye on things. During the match, McMahon conveniently looked in the other direction, as Helmsley hit first Mankind, then the Rock, with a steel chair. Helmsley then put Mankind into the ring and hit the Pedigree, getting the quick count to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title for the first time.
A few days later, Helmsley appeared on Smackdown, taunting both Mankind and the Rock. He was quickly answered by the Rock, who demanded a title shot. This was granted by the Commissioner, Shawn Michaels, who also made himself the referee. As the match commenced, Michaels was continuously distracted by both Chyna and Shane McMahon, who worked hard to interfere on the champ's behalf. The Rock worked through it, though, and put Helmsley on the mat, preparing for the People's Elbow. Just as he was running across the ring to land it, though, Michaels surprisingly stepped in, hitting his Sweet Chin Music. Triple H then recovered enough to hit the Pedigree, winning the match and retaining the World Title. Afterwards, Helmsley, Chyna, McMahon, & Michaels celebrated the double-cross in the ring.
Soon, Triple H seemed to be feuding with all of the top faces in the WWF. He fought against the Rock, Steve Austin, Kane, Mankind, the Undertaker, Billy Gunn, the Big Show, and others, always finding a way (usually with Chyna or Shane McMahon's help) of slipping away with the World Title still around his waist. With his sledgehammer always nearby, Triple H began to brag about all the people he had injured, calling himself "The Game". On one night, Mankind and the Rock, as the tag champs, were scheduled to face the Undertaker & the Big Show in a "Buried Alive" Match. Helmsley attacked the Rock in the back, then came down to the front, hitting the Big Show with the sledgehammer. He then buried Mankind, allowing the Undertaker & the Big Show to win the World Tag-Team Titles. But just as it seemed that Helmsley's night was complete, he was surprised by an attack from Steve Austin, who threw Triple H into an ambulance, then ran the ambulance over with a monster truck.
Helmsley later had Austin arrested for aggravated assault, but the charges didn't stick. The two later had a match, which ended in a No-Contest after Austin attacked the referee. At the next show, Austin demanded a rematch, but Helmsley instead said that he'd challenge another "main-eventer". Later that night, Helmsley called out Vince McMahon, and after insulting the boss's wife, the match got started. There was a lot of interference in the fight, from Shane McMahon, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, and Chyna, but the main interference came from Austin, who Stunned Helmsley, then pulled McMahon on top, costing Helmsley the World Title. It was later announced that McMahon would vacate the World Title, leaving it open to six competitors at the next pay-per-view. Helmsley demanded one of the spots, saying that he would injure a member of the McMahon family if it was not granted to him.
Helmsley's problems continued with the McMahons, as Vince put Helmsley in five matches in one night. Helmsley would have to win three of the five matches to keep a spot in the Six-Pack pay-per-view match. First, Helmsley was beaten in a "Chokeslam" Match by the Big Show, since Helmsley couldn't possibly chokeslam the 500-lb wrestler. In the second match, Triple H was outmatched by Kane in their "Inferno" bout, but interference by Mideon & Viscera forced Kane to burn his hand, thus giving Helmsley the victory. Helmsley then had to have a "Handicap Casket" Match against both Mideon & Viscera. Although he tried hard, Helmsley was unable to overcome the odds, and lost the match. In the fourth bout, Helmsley had to win a "Boiler Room Brawl" against Mankind. Thanks to interference once again, Helmsley snuck out of the room and got the win. In the fifth and final match, Helmsley took on the Rock in a "Strap" Match, with the British Bulldog as the special referee. Just as it seemed that the Rock would win, ending Triple H's title chances, the Bulldog attacked him, taking the Rock out with the Running Powerslam. Helmsley then landed the Pedigree for the victory, ensuring his spot in the "Six-Pack" Match.
At Unforgiven '99, the wild "Six-Pack" Match took place, with Helmsley facing off against the Rock, Kane, Mankind, the British Bulldog, & the Big Show. Steve Austin was brought in as the special guest enforcer for the match, but he later became the referee, after the WWF ref was taken out by "striking" refs who thought he had crossed the picket line to work the match. During the bout, the British Bulldog used a steel chair on the Rock, knocking him out. Austin quickly intervened, nailing the Bulldog with the same chair, but the road was left open for Helmsley, as he came in and hit the Pedigree on the Rock. Austin reluctantly made the count, giving Triple H the win and allowing him to regain the WWF World Heavyweight Title. After the match, Austin tried to raise Helmsley's hand, only to have Helmsley break away from him. Austin then hit the Stone Cold Stunner on Triple H, breaking up his victory celebration.
Helmsley would feud with Austin over the next month, with Austin quickly getting named the number-one contender to Triple H's World Title. The feud didn't take long to turn brutal, with Helmsley apparently being attacked by a rattlesnake at one point. Helmsley appeared at the next show with snake bite scars on his face, and claimed that he was going to retire because of the attack. He even showed signs of a seizure from the poison. But it was all a ruse, as Helmsley attacked Austin at the end of the night, then peeled off the fake scars. A few weeks before No Mercy, Helmsley faced the Rock in a "Steel Cage" Match at Rebellion '99, the British PPV. After a lot of interference, Helmsley was able to get out with the World Title still around his waist, as he prepared to face Austin.
At No Mercy '99, Helmsley and Austin were signed to fight in a "No Holds Barred" Match by Vince McMahon, who didn't want Triple H to escape via a disqualification result. As the night progressed, the Rock announced that he wanted the first shot at whoever won that night. Helmsley, apparently annoyed by the Rock's opinion, attacked the superstar with his sledgehammer. When the match rolled around, both Helmsley and Austin used every weapon they could find. Helmsley was eventually bloodied, but continued to fight back, getting many close calls. The Rock then came to the ring, intent on nailing Helmsley with his own sledgehammer. But Helmsley ducked, forcing the Rock to smack Austin instead. Triple H then took out the Rock with a Pedigree, then pinned Austin to stay the WWF World Champion.
After the pay-per-view, both Austin and the Rock claimed that they deserved the next shot at Triple H's belt. Helmsley arrogantly claimed that he wasn't afraid of either man, so Vince McMahon quickly arranged for Helmsley to defend the World Title against both men in a "Triple Threat" Match at the next PPV! During the month, the three men routinely fought against each other, leading up to the PPV. Triple H seemed to be slightly outmatched, as both Austin and the Rock would attack him first at any occassion. But Helmsley soon found himself some back-up, as he reformed Degeneration-X, teaming once again with Chyna, X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws. The group worked well together, fighting against many of the top faces at the time. At the '99 Survivor Series, Triple H lured Austin to the back, where Austin was surprisingly run down with a car. D-X members all denied involvement in the sudden assault on Austin. Triple H thought he would only have to fight the Rock. But in a shocking maneuver, McMahon placed the Big Show into the match instead as Austin's replacement.
The wild match featured many unbelievable maneuvers, the biggest of which was Triple H and the Rock actually working together, landing a double-suplex that put the Big Show through a table. During the match, the referee was knocked out, but Commissioner Shawn Michaels ran down to take his place. The Rock landed his Rock Bottom on Helmsley, but Michaels was taken out of action by the Big Show. Degeneration-X then became a factor, running to ringside to try to aid their leader. But the biggest interference came from Vince McMahon, who came down to the ring and knocked out Helmsley with his own World Title. The Big Show then fought his way back into the ring and picked up Helmsley, hitting his chokeslam. A vindictive McMahon stayed in the ring and made the count, making the Big Show the shocking winner and the new World Champion, taking the belt away from Helmsley once again.
Triple H was furious after Survivor Series, claiming that Vince McMahon cheated him. McMahon, meanwhile, continued to look into the car that hit Austin, blaming DX. Helmsley and McMahon, along with their respective factions, went back and forth, with Helmsley challenging McMahon to a match at Armageddon. McMahon seemed to be losing control, as he rammed the DX limo with a car, then attacked the car with a baseball bat. Helmsley quickly had him arrested, but McMahon returned later on to hit Triple H with a chair, knocking him off the stage. Helmsley came to the next show with a court order, stating that McMahon couldn't get within 50 feet of DX. DX then later attacked Shane McMahon and Test. Vince responded by sending out the entire roster to go after DX.
The next week, on Smackdown, the wedding of Stephanie McMahon and Test was scheduled to take place. Before it could, however, Triple H made another appearance, showing footage of him and an unconscious Stephanie at a drive-in wedding chapel. Test couldn't marry Stephanie because Helmsley was already her husband! Stephanie later tried to get Helmsley to annul the marriage, and Triple H said that if he lost the match against Vince, that he would grant it, but if he won, he gets a World Title shot. The match at Armageddon '99 was "No Holds Barred", and weapons quickly came into play. Most of them were donated by Mankind, to help Vince. The fight left the ring and headed backstage, even going to the parking lot, where Helmsley tried to run over McMahon. In the end, McMahon got hold of Triple H's sledgehammer, but before he could swing, Stephanie appeared, wanting the chance to hit him. But Triple H took the hammer from Stephanie and nailed Vince, allowing him to get an easy pin. After the match, Stephanie embraced Helmsley, showing that the marriage wasn't fake.
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley & Triple H soon took over the WWF, as Vince, heartbroken, left the arena. The couple then took over booking duties, making many matches that were biased against the face stars. Helmsley also seemed to be biased against Kurt Angle, while Stephanie showed occassional "feelings" for the young star. Helmsley was eventually confronted by Mankind, who tried to interfere with the matches any chance he had. Helmsley answered back by putting Mankind and the Rock in a "Pink Slip on a Pole" Match, with the loser getting fired. The Rock won, apparently ending Mankind's career. But Mankind would return later in the night for one last appearance, attacking Helmsley during his No-Disqualification Match against the World Champ, the Big Show, helping the champ retain the title.
This wasn't the end, though, as, on the first Raw of 2000, Helmsley again put himself against the Big Show. During the match, the Big Show got distracted by the DX members at ringside, allowing Helmsley to recover and hit a low blow. Helmsley followed it up with the Pedigree and got the 1-2-3, winning the WWF World Heavyweight Title for a third time.
The next week, the Rock started Raw is War by bringing most of the roster to the ring. He threatened a walk-out unless the Helmsley couple agreed to their terms. Hunter & Stephanie came out to answer the terms, and eventually agreed not to fire anyone else, as well as to reinstate Mick Foley, aka Mankind. Mankind then came out and used the power of the moment to get himself a World Title match against Helmsley at the Royal Rumble, with Street Fight rules. During the night, problems crept up between the members of DX, as they were forced to fight against each other by the Rock. But the group later came back together, apologizing to each other. As the Royal Rumble approached, Mankind took some beatings from DX, and later came out and stated that 'he' wasn't up for a Street Fight. But his alter-ego, Cactus Jack, was, so he took off his mask and white shirt and became the different wrestler, making him even more of a threat to Triple H's World Title.
At the '00 Royal Rumble, Helmsley and Cactus Jack engaged in one of the bloodiest matches yet seen in the WWF. Both men were badly bloodied, as each used any weapon they could find. At one point, Cactus Jack brought out a 2x4 covered in barbed wire, waffling Triple H with it. Helmsley came back later on by handcuffing Cactus Jack's hands behind him, making him defenseless. But Cactus Jack was able to lure Helmsley back to the entryway, where Helmsley was suddenly attacked by the Rock. A policeman then came out to take off the handcuffs, evening things up again. In the end, Triple H hit Cactus Jack with the Pedigree, but still couldn't get the three count. So he pulled Cactus Jack up again, dragged him to where a pile of thumb tacks were located, and hit another Pedigree on top of them. This finally did it, as Triple H got the three count. After the match, Helmsley was carried out by EMTs, only to have Cactus Jack come after him again, proving that the feud wasn't over.
The time after the Royal Rumble showed a lot of action by Helmsley. He had to deal with the Rock, who won the Royal Rumble (and thus a shot at the World Title at Wrestlemania). He heard the complaints of the Big Show, who claimed that the Rock's feet hit the ground first at the Rumble, making him the winner. Helmsley eventually allowed the Big Show to fight the Rock at the next PPV in a #1 Contender's match. Helmsley's main attention, thought, was still on Cactus Jack. At one point during the month, Cactus Jack came out with the Radicals (Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko & Eddie Guerrero), a group of former WCW stars who wanted WWF contracts. Helmsley gave matches to each Radical, pitting them against a DX member, with the stipulation that they had to win two of their matches to get contracts. None of the Radicals won their matches, with Helmsley himself beating Benoit in the main event.
At the next show, Helmsley came out and confronted Cactus Jack and the Radicals, demanding another match against Cactus Jack at No Way Out. Helmsley had Cactus Jack place his career on the line, while giving Cactus Jack the right to choose the match. Cactus Jack chose a Hell in a Cell. Helmsley then talked to the Radicals, asking whether they showed their appreciation to the man who gave them an opportunity, or the man who gave them contracts. The Radicals then turned on Cactus Jack, beating him down and joining with Triple H. The two wrestlers met once again at No Way Out '00, fighting first off inside the cell, which was chained shut. However, Cactus Jack was able to break the cage open by throwing the steel steps through it, and the fight spilled outside into the crowd. Helmsley later made his way on top of the cage, then attacked Cactus Jack with a barbed-wire 2x4, knocking him off the side and down through a table. Cactus Jack would make a comeback later on, hitting Triple H with the now-inflamed 2x4, but Helmsley managed to back bodydrop Cactus Jack through the cage and down to the ring. Cactus Jack was then easy pickings for a Pedigree, as Helmsley both kept his World Title and ended Cactus Jack's wrestling career.
After No Way Out, Helmsley began to focus his energies on the #1 Contender, which was still the Rock. Meanwhile, though, Helmsley started having problems with the Big Show, who had allied himself with Shane McMahon. Since both Shane and Stephanie had booking powers, many surprising matches were put together, usually involving the Rock. Tempers soon rose between the Helmsleys and Shane'o'Mac, which led to Vince McMahon reappearing on the side of the Rock. They set up a Triple Threat Match for the World Title on Raw, with Helmsley making the stipulation that the match, happening now, wouldn't happen at Wrestlemania. During the match, all three McMahons became involved, but Helmsley did the most in the end, hitting the Pedigree on the Big Show for the victory. After the match, though, Linda McMahon, Vince's wife, came out and announced that she was backing Mick Foley, giving him one final match in the WWF. This set up Wrestlemania main event with a McMahon in every corner.
The match was set up as No-Disqualfication, No-Countout by Vince McMahon, to make sure that Helmsley did not sneak out with the gold. At Wrestlemania 2000, Helmsley, Mick Foley, the Big Show and the Rock went at it in an "Elimination" Match for the World Title. The Big Show seemed to take the advantage at first, but his attacks only made the other three wrestlers gang up on him and eliminate him first. The match then settled down into a three-way contest, with no one working together. Helmsley made the next big impact of the match, hitting Foley with a chair, then Pedigree'ing him on the chair to get the pinfall. Foley didn't leave right away, though, attacking Helmsley with barbed wire. Finally, it was down to Triple H and the Rock. While they battled it out, Vince and Shane started fighting on the outside, with Vince being sent to the back for 'medical attention'. However, Vince soon returned, taking out Shane and entering the ring. Surprisingly, Vince then attacked the Rock, knocking him out with 2 chair shots and allowing Helmsley to get the pin, staying the WWF World Champion. Vince and Stephanie then got together, father and daughter reuniting while Triple H celebrated his shocking victory. It didn't last long, as the Rock ended up attacking all three members of the McMahon family with Rock Bottoms.
Helmsley continued to feud with the Rock after Wrestlemania, while also dealing with other concerns. On one night, after Chris Jericho insulted Stephanie, Helmsley took him on, with the World Title on the line. In a stunning turn of events, Jericho took Helmsley down after Triple H shoved the second referee, Earl Hebner. Hebner made the quick 3 count and declared Jericho the winner, handing him the World Title. However, later in the night, Helmsley demanded that Hebner reverse the decision, since Hebner wasn't the official referee. Hebner agreed, as long as Helmsley didn't attack him while he was a WWF referee. Helmsley agreed, but after Hebner reversed the decision, Helmsley fired him, then attacked him, brutally beating up the senior ref. Triple H then feuded briefly with Jericho, before turning back to the Rock, who was given the World Title shot at the next PPV. It was also announced by Linda McMahon that Steve Austin would be in the Rock's corner at the event. This was later proven when Austin destroyed the DX Express bus.
As the main event at Backlash '00 started, Steve Austin was nowhere to be found. This left the Rock against the mercy of the Helmsley-McMahon regime. Not surprisingly, Shane McMahon was made the special guest referee. At one point, the Rock hit the Rock Bottom on Helmsley through the announcers' table, which also knocked out Shane. But Vince quickly interfered, helping get things back on Helmsley's side. In the ring, Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco took over the referee duties, but still couldn't get the 3 count to fall. Infuriated, the entire gang of thugs started stomping on the Rock, only to have Austin finally appear, running to the ring and nailing everyone except for the Rock with a steel chair. Linda McMahon then brought down the reinstated Earl Hebner, who took over the referee position even as the Rock got the People's Elbow on Triple H, making the pin and taking away the WWF World Heavyweight Title, ending Helmsley's long reign at the top.
It didn't take Triple H long to declare that he deserved another crack at the World Title. He challenged the Rock every chance he could, while also going after the man he thought cheated him, Earl Hebner. Helmsley and Shane McMahon took on the Rock in a "Triple Threat" Match at Insurextion '00, with all the odds apparently in their favor. But once again, when the ref was taken out, Hebner came down and, despite Vince McMahon's arguments, made the 3 count when the Rock pinned Shane. Helmsley didn't give up, however, as he worked out a deal to face the Rock at Judgment Day '00 in an "Iron Man" Match. It was later learned that Shawn Michaels would return to be the special guest referee for the epic encounter, something that Helmsley was not quite pleased to hear.
The 60-minute Iron Man match started quickly, with both men showing the rage that they had for the other. The Rock earned the first fall, landing the Rock Bottom, but Triple H soon evened it up with the Pedigree. Helmsley then used his smarts, getting a quick roll-up for a second fall, then hitting a piledriver for the third. Ahead 3-1, Helmsley tried to slow the pace of the match down, but the Rock wouldn't allow it, getting a pinfall after a DDT. Helmsley then had to use dirty tactics, hitting the Rock with a steel chair. Michaels immediately disqualified Triple H, evening up the score. Helmsley, though, didn't care, as he was back in control. He used a sleeper on the unconscious Rock, retaking the lead 4-3. However, the Rock would come back and even things up, looking like he was going to take the victory in the closing minutes of the match. Shawn Michaels was pulled from the ring, though, by Vince and Shane McMahon, allowing DX to attack the Rock. However, the Undertaker suddenly appeared on his bike, driving to the ring and taking out DX. When he attacked Helmsley, though, hitting him with the tombstone piledriver, Shawn Michaels had no recourse but to DQ the Rock, which allowed Helmsley to win the match and regain the WWF World Title.
Over the next few weeks, Helmsley and Degeneration-X found many foes to oppose them. Both the Rock and the Undertaker wanted World Title shots, as well as Kane, who attacked Triple H and stole the belt at one point, forcing Helmsley to give him a #1-Contendership match against him, which Kane won. However, since both the Rock and the Undertaker had also been promised the title shot, the trio could not get along. It was eventually announced by Linda McMahon that Helmsley, Vince, & Shane would face the Rock, the Undertaker, & Kane at the next PPV. She also later added the stipulation that if any of Helmsley's team was pinned, Helmsley would lose the World Title to them. Vince tried to have the face team taken out, sending various teams to attack them, but this just led Linda to add a "No Interference" stipulation. At the '00 King of the Ring, Triple H was clearly outmatched, as Vince and Shane couldn't begin to stand up against the three faces. But the faces also worked against each other, breaking up the pinfalls so that they could have a shot at the title. In the end, while Helmsley was fighting on the outside, the Rock stopped Vince from doing the People's Elbow on him, then landed the Rock Bottom to get the win and take away the World Title.
On the next Raw, Helmsley demanded to be named the #1 Contender, only to have the new Commissioner, Mick Foley, declare that he would have to fight Kurt Angle and the Rock. If Helmsley or Angle won, they'd get a shot. Otherwise, neither would. In the match, Helmsley and Angle broke up each other's pin attempts, with Triple H getting the advantage near the end. But a distraction from Chris Jericho allowed the Rock to nail Helmsley with the Rock Bottom, taking away Helmsley's title shot. Helmsley and Jericho feuded for the next month, with Triple H still angry about a kiss Jericho had stolen from Stephanie. Foley's interference, however, gave Jericho an advantage, as he wouldn't give Helmsley a match against Jericho. But Jericho asked the Commish for a Last Man Standing match at the PPV, which Foley granted, setting up the bout. During this time, problems were starting to brew between Helmsley and Angle, who continued to make advances on Stephanie.
At Fully Loaded '00, Stephanie received some flowers, apparently from Angle. Helmsley angrily went to Angle's dressing room, only to be ambushed by Jericho. During the match between Jericho and Helmsley, Triple H went for a chair, but was stopped by the ref. This allowed Jericho to get back into it, and he managed to get the Walls of Jericho applied. Stephanie came to the ring to break it up, only to be placed in the Walls as well. But Helmsley recovered, eventually backsuplexing Jericho through the announcer's table. Triple H got up, but Jericho couldn't make the count, giving Triple H the victory.
Problems continued to grow between Helmsley and Stephanie as time went on. Triple H was placed in a tag-team match with Trish Stratus as his partner. When he tried to show Trish some wrestling holds, Stephanie came in, believing that Helmsley was cheating on her. The next week, Stephanie was chosen to tag with Helmsley, who accidentally called her Trish, causing Stephanie to leave. Stephanie later teamed up with Helmsley and Angle in a match, getting the win. Stephanie and Angle embraced afterwards, making Triple H furious. The problems only got worse when, in a #1 Contenders match, both Helmsley and Angle pinned Jericho for the shot. It was later announced that Helmsley and Angle would face the Rock at the next PPV. The two tried to work together over the next couple of weeks, with mixed results, especially after Angle kissed an injured Stephanie.
Helmsley confronted Stephanie about the kiss at Summerslam '00, but Stephanie swore she felt nothing for Angle. In the Three-Way match, Helmsley and Angle couldn't wait to get it on, brawling even before the World Champion, the Rock, could get to the ring. Helmsley put Angle through a table, then went for his sledgehammer, but was stopped by the Rock. As the two started to fight, Angle was carried out on a stretcher. Helmsley had the advantage at one point, but couldn't seem to finish off the Rock. Meanwhile, in the back, Stephanie convinced Angle to return to the match, and he made a major impression, hitting Triple H with the sledgehammer. However, this allowed the Rock to throw Angle out, then hit the People's Elbow for the victory, retaining the title.
Triple H and Angle continued to go against each other after Summerslam, with Angle claiming that Helmsley had gotten back together with Chyna. Stephanie angrily slapped Helmsley, but he was able to convince her that there was no affair. However, Triple H was then arrested and accused of "spousal abuse", due to him accidentally hitting Stephanie at Summerslam. At the next show, Triple H demanded to know who called the police. It was eventually revealed to be Test, who was getting revenge for Helmsley stealing Stephanie away from him. A mini-feud blew up between the two, which also involved Test's partner, Albert. Triple H also continued to go after Angle, with the two brawling repeatedly. The Commissioner, Mick Foley, set up a match between Helmsley and Angle at Unforgiven, then continued to team the two up against T&A. Just before the PPV, Angle took Helmsley out with the sledgehammer, then stole another kiss from Stephanie.
At Unforgiven '00, Stephanie apologized to Helmsley for sticking up for Angle. She claimed that things were through between them, and that she supported Helmsley fully. Helmsley and Angle then went at it, with Commissioner Foley as the special referee to keep things even. The match went back and forth, with neither man having a clean advantage throughout. Stephanie became the major factor of the match, coming down the aisle and landing a low blow on Angle while Foley's back was turned. Helmsley quickly took advantage, hitting the Pedigree and successfully pinning Angle. Helmsley and Stephanie then left together, once again appearing as a happy couple. This didn't last.
Helmsley started into a feud with Chris Benoit in the next month, while also still having problems with Kurt Angle. At one point, Commissioner Foley placed Triple H and Angle in a #1 Contenders match. Beforehand, Helmsley asked Stephanie to stay away from the ring, but Stephanie would come down anyway, halfway through the match. Benoit then came to the ring to attack Stephanie, distracting Helmsley constantly. When Helmsley came out for a second time to save Stephanie, Benoit knocked Triple H out, allowing Angle to get the easy pin. Helmsley later blamed Stephanie for the loss, forcing tears to roll down her face. This would backfire, as Stephanie would later announce that she was now Kurt Angle's manager, not Triple H's.
At No Mercy '00, Helmsley was granted a match against Benoit. The two went back and forth, with Benoit even managing to get his Crippler Crossface submission hold applied. Triple H was able to escape, though, keeping the match alive. It was later decided surprisingly not by the competitors, but by Stephanie, who came to ringside and slapped Benoit. With her distracting the referee, Helmsley landed a low blow, then a Pedigree, getting the victory. Later in the night, Stephanie came out to manage Kurt Angle in his match against the World Champ, the Rock. When the champ took out Stephanie with a Rock Bottom, Triple H came to the ring. After throwing Angle out of the ring, Triple H attacked the Rock, hitting the Pedigree. He then left with the unconscious Stephanie, as Kurt Angle took advantage, eventually winning the World Title.
Over the next few weeks, Triple H feuded with the champ, Angle, as well as the team of the Radicalz. There were even signs of a Degeneration-X reunion. But things would change quickly only a short time later. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had been out of action for months, due to being hit by a car. It had been discovered that Rikishi was the driver of the automobile. On Raw is War, Austin was being attacked by both Rikishi and Kurt Angle, when Triple H came to his aid. However, after getting rid of Angle, Helmsley then attacked Austin with a sledgehammer, bloodying him. Helmsley claimed that he was the one who had orchestrated the attack on Austin, showing his partnership with Rikishi. Commissioner Foley then stepped in, saying that Helmsley would face Austin at the next PPV in a No-Disqualification match.
At the '00 Survivor Series, the energy was high between Austin and Helmsley. The match quickly ventured away from the ring, as the two men battled it out up and down the aisle. Triple H tried to take advantage early on by throwing Austin into the ring steps, but the Rattlesnake quickly came back, opening up Triple H's forehead with a television monitor. The match went back and forth, involving many weapons, including some of Austin's beers. Austin gained a lot of momentum as the match went on, backdropping Helmsley through the announce table. Helmsley tried to beg off, but Austin wouldn't hear of it, and landed his finisher, the Stone Cold Stunner. This wasn't enough for the enraged Austin, though, as he went and got a chair, putting it on Helmsley's neck. Helmsley escaped, though, as the fight headed into the back. The Radicalz then attacked Austin, giving Helmsley a chance to get into a car, where he apparently planned to once again run Austin down. But Austin escaped the Radicalz, then reappeared with a forklift, picking up Helmsley's car, then dropping it upside-down to the concrete. The match was declared a no-contest, as medics ran to Helmsley's aid.
Helmsley was out of action for a few weeks, as it was announced by Stephanie that he had a concussion, along with numerous other injuries. Helmsley reappeared during a match between Austin and the World Champ, Kurt Angle. Triple H brutally attacked Austin, causing the DQ. It was announced soon afterwards by Commissioner Foley that there would be a six-man Hell in a Cell Match for the World Title at the next PPV, involving Helmsley, Angle, Austin, the Rock, the Undertaker, and Rikishi. An alliance was quickly formed between Helmsley, Angle, & Rikishi, as they went against the faces. The alliance was partially broken only a few days later, though, as, after an assault on the three faces, Angle turned on the group, attacking Rikishi. Triple H then nailed Angle with a chair, apparently staying on Rikishi's side.
The '00 Armageddon match proved to be one of the most brutal matches ever seen, as most of the athletes involved were bloody messes by the end of the fight. Helmsley was opened up by Austin, who rubbed his face across the steel. At one point in the match, Rikishi saved Triple H, dropping his leg across Austin's head. He helped up Helmsley, only to have Triple H Pedigree Rikishi and nearly get the win, with the Rock breaking up the pinfall. During the match, Vince McMahon, who was firmly against his "investments" becoming injured, tried to tear down the cell. He managed to tear down the door with a truck, before Foley had him evicted. This allowed the wrestlers to escape the cage, as Helmsley and Austin fought down the aisle. Helmsley finally got some control going, as he threw Austin through a glass window. Triple H later led the climb up the side of the cage, still fighting Austin. He would later climb down safely, while the Undertaker threw Rikishi from the top of the cage into the back of the pick-up truck. In the end Austin hit the Stunner on the Rock, but was then taken out by Triple H. Angle then slipped in and made the pin on the Rock, staying the World Champion.
Helmsley was out for a short time afterwards, but would soon return in early 2001, once again costing Steve Austin a chance to become the World Champion. He also opened Austin up with a steel pipe. It was later announced that Helmsley would face Kurt Angle for the World Title at the Rumble. Vince McMahon also said that if Helmsley or Austin attacked the other, they would lose their shots at respective matches at the PPV. The two had many confrontations, usually circling around Kurt Angle. At one point, after bumping into each other, Austin delivered the Stunner to Helmsley. McMahon later claimed that, since it was in the heat of the moment, he would allow both to compete. Another factor building throughout the month was the animosity between Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Trish Stratus, who had begun hanging out with the World Champ, Angle.
At the '01 Royal Rumble, Helmsley asked Stephanie not to ruin his chances due to her problems with Trish. During their talk, Drew Carey, the comedian/television star, entered their dressing room and introduced himself. Helmsley then sent Carey over to meet Trish, which eventually led to Carey being put in the Royal Rumble match. During the World Title match, both Trish and Stephanie became involved in one way or another. When Trish tried to help Angle escape a figure-four, Stephanie attacked her, and they brawled all over until Vince McMahon came down to separate them, eventually getting them to the backstage area. Meanwhile, in the ring, the referee was knocked down, allowing Angle to get his World Title. But Helmsley blocked the shot, then Pedigree'd Angle, looking like he was about to win. However, Steve Austin ran to the ring and struck Triple H with the World Title, then followed it up with the Stone Cold Stunner. Austin then departed, while Angle made the weak cover to get the victory, staying the champ. Later in the night, when Austin came out for his turn in the Royal Rumble, a vengeful Helmsley attacked him from behind, opening his forehead up. This didn't stop Austin from winning the Rumble, however.
The rivalry between Helmsley and Austin continued to grow in the coming weeks, with Vince McMahon announcing that they would fight each other again at the next PPV. The two men would attack each other whenever they had the chance, usually in violent affairs. At one point, Austin injured Helmsley's arm, forcing him to keep it taped up. At No Mercy '01, the two men fought in a "Three Falls" Match. The first fall was under regulation rules, keeping the action inbetween the ropes. The match went back and forth repeatedly, with Helmsley getting an advantage after a low blow. He climbed the turnbuckle and came off, only to get caught with a Stone Cold Stunner, getting Austin the first pinfall.
The second match involved a street fight, sending them outside the ring. Helmsley managed a comeback during the fight, bloodying Austin with a 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire. In the ring, Helmsley nailed Austin in the face with his sledgehammer, then followed it up with the Pedigree, winning the second part. The third part of the match brought a steel cage down around the two combatants. The two men fought harder than ever, frequently using the steel as a dangerous weapon. In the end, it came down to who fell first, as both Helmsley and Austin knocked each other out with their respective weapons (2x4, sledgehammer). Triple H fell on top of Austin for the pinfall victory, winning the hotly contested bout. After the match, Austin hit another stunner on Helmsley before leaving.
At the next show, Helmsley bragged about how he had beaten everyone in the WWF. This brought out the Undertaker, who didn't quite agree with Helmsley's assessment. The two would start a violent feud leading up to Wrestlemania, which included Helmsley destroying the Undertaker's expensive motorcycle. The two signed to fight at Wrestlemania X-7 in a straight-up match, but the fight quickly deteriorated into a brawl. Helmsley went for his sledgehammer early in the fight, only to have the referee take it away from him. The Undertaker then got control, but after a few close counts, the dead man took out the referee, eliminating the need to stay in the ring. The two wrestlers fought into the crowd, heading back to a section of scaffolding, where the Undertaker chokeslammed the Game off to the ground below. Medics tried to check on Triple H, only to have the Undertaker take them out as well. The fight then returned to the ring, where the Undertaker went for his finisher, the Last Ride, only to have Helmsley hit him in the head with his sledgehammer, bloodying him. That was about it for Triple H, however, as the Undertaker would later come back and hit the Last Ride for the victory, maintaining his Wrestlemania winning streak.
Also at Wrestlemania X-7, Steve Austin turned on the fans, joining with Vince McMahon in order to beat the Rock for the World Title. This caused some uproar in the back, with no less than Hunter Hearst Helmsley becoming upset over the event. He confronted Vince McMahon, wanting to know where his place was in the mix. Later on that night, the Rock fought against Austin in a cage match. During the match, Helmsley made his way to the ring with his sledgehammer, supposedly coming to the aid of the Rock. Instead, Triple H used his sledge on the Rock, hammering away on him along with Austin and McMahon. The owner of the WWF would suspend the Rock indefinitely for "his own good", as Helmsley, Austin & Mcahon ran rampant on the federation. With the aid of Austin, Helmsley was able to take out Chris Jericho, winning the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title.
The first people to step forward to challenge the Two-Man Power-Trip were the Hardy Boyz. Helmsley was put into a title defense against Jeff Hardy. With Matt's help, Jeff got the victory, taking away the title after only a week. However, Vince McMahon quickly gave Helmsley a rematch, and he and Austin ko'ed the Hardy Boyz, allowing Triple H to regain the Intercontinental Title. The Two-Man Power-Trip was next challenged by the Undertaker & Kane, who had managed to beat Edge & Christian for the Tag-Team Titles. Sensing an opportunity, Vince McMahon worked out a deal where the two teams would face off at the next PPV with all three of the championships on the line. Helmsley & Austin made sure to work in various assaults on the two brothers, focusing on Kane's injured arm, trying to make the injury worse as the PPV came closer, and not fully failing. At Backlash '01, the two teams had it out, with the larger, more powerful faces keeping the advantage at the beginning, before the Two-Man Powertrip concentrated again on Kane's arm. At one point, Helmsley hit Kane with his Pedigree, but Austin insisted on being the one to make the pin, which gave Kane enough time to recover and kick out. Later on, Austin hit the Stunner on Kane, then went off and brawled with the Undertaker, while Helmsley, hefting his sledgehammer that Mr. McMahon had been holding, pounded Kane and got the pinfall, winning the WWF Tag-Team Titles and giving the two men two titles each.
On the next card, Triple H, Austin, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley & Vince were shown celebrating their victory. Austin also said he'd give a World Title shot to Kane, whose arm was still badly injured. Linda McMahon appeared on the Titon Tron, though, and said that Kane deserved the night off, but since Austin was wanting to defend the belt, he could do it against the Undertaker. When the Undertaker came out to the ring for the main event title match, Helmsley & Austin were shown in the back, viciously beating down Kane. The Undertaker then ran to the back and threw Helmsley into a door, knocking him out and leaving it a one-on-one fight between Austin and the Undertaker that went back to the ring. After a few minutes of back-and-forth action, a recovered Helmsley came to the ring and attacked the Undertaker with the sledgehammer, causing the DQ, but also making sure that Austin retained the belt. Afterwards, Helmsley & Austin beat down the Undertaker and Kane, with Austin putting Kane's injured arm between a chair and stomping on it.
With Kane temporarily out of the picture, the Two-Man Power-Trip took every opportunity to double-team the Undertaker, including meeting him in a Handicap match at the British PPV, Insurrextion '01. However, the Undertaker fought through both men, managing to pin Helmsley to get the win. Despite the loss, Helmsley & Austin continued to work as a team, defending the tag titles on various occassions, usually by cheating. Things got worse for Helmsley, though, as Kane made his return, immediately challenging for Triple H's Intercontinental Title. At Judgment Day '01, Helmsley and Kane fought in a Chain Match. At one point, Kane slammed Helmsley into a chair, while also shoving him against a ringpost, breaking open Helmsley's forehead. Triple H came back, getting in some moves, but Kane soon took advantage with a shot to the groin with the chain. When Kane hit his chokeslam, Austin ran to the ring to help out. This backfired, though, as Austin accidentally nailed Helmsley with a chair shot, allowing Kane to get the victory and take away the IC strap.
After the match, hostility grew between Helmsley and Austin, with McMahon trying to keep them focused on the main event, Austin vs. the Undertaker in a No Holds Barred Match. During the fight, Helmsley came to the ring with his sledgehammer, only to be knocked down by the Undertaker with a chair shot. Vince McMahon also became involved, as he was accidentally clocked by Austin. The Undertaker then went for the Last Ride on Austin, but Helmsley came back, hitting the Undertaker with the sledge. As Triple H kept Kane busy on the outside, Austin was able to win the match, keeping the World Title. Another important event at the PPV involved the Tag-Team Turmoil match, with the winner earning a tag-team title shot. Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit won the match, setting up a bout between them and the Two-Man Power-Trip on Raw.
Both Helmsley and Austin showed some resentment towards each other going into the match, due to Helmsley having lost the IC Title to Kane. The match between the two teams quickly fell apart, as all four men stayed involved for the majority of the bout. A crucial moment in Helmsley's career occured early on, as he went to save Austin from the Walls of Jericho. Triple H lunged forward to hit Jericho, but as he did so, he tore his left quadracep muscle, leaving him in devestating shape. Despite the injury, Helmsley continued the match, even going as far as to be put in the Walls of Jericho on the announce table. Helmsley later entered the ring to save Austin from being pinned, only to hit Austin with the sledgehammer instead. Helmsley was then knocked out of the ring, while Jericho landed the Lionsault on Austin and got the pin, taking away the tag-team titles. This was the least of Helmsley's concerns, however.
After the match, Helmsley was carried painfully from the ring, and immediately taken to the hospital for an MRI on his leg. It was later announced that Helmsley's torn muscle would require immediate surgery, putting him out of the wrestling business for nearly a year. Helmsley went to Dr. James Andrews and had the procedure, leaving him weak but recovering. Triple H would work hard over the rest of 2001, training his body and keeping himself in shape. He slowly worked his leg back, fighting against the pain of the injury. Vignettes were shown on WWF television, showcasing his work to return to the squared circle.
Triple H would make his return at the first Raw in 2002, coming back as a fan favorite. He immediately got himself entered in the '02 Royal Rumble, knowing that the winner of the match would be given a World Title shot at Wrestlemania. With Stephanie again at his side, Triple H went into the Rumble as one of the favorites. More than halfway through the Rumble, Steve Austin eliminated Val Venis and Test to empty the ring. The next person down was Helmsley. After a staredown, Helmsley and Austin went at it, proving that their old partnership was not renewed. Their brawl was interrupted by the Hurricane, who attempted a double-chokeslam on the two wrestlers. Instead, the Hurricane was eliminated by both. Triple H would later eliminate Faarooq on his quest for the victory. The final four turned out to be Helmsley, Austin, Kurt Angle and Mr. Perfect. Surprisingly, Austin went out first, being eliminated by Angle. Austin would reenter the ring and knock out all three competitors with chair shots. Angle and Perfect then tried to double-team Helmsley, but Triple H used some miscommunication to get rid of Perfect. Angle then nearly eliminated Helmsley, but Triple H came back into the ring, hit a face-buster on Angle, then threw him out to get the win and the guaranteed World Title shot.
Problems began to develop with Helmsley and his wife, Stephanie, around this time. Stephanie had changed a lot since Helmsley was injured, including a run as the owner of ECW. When Triple H returned, Stephanie started to brag about how her brains and business savvy had created his career, taking a lot of undeserved credit. Things seemed to be falling apart between them, and a divorce seemed imminent. Then Stephanie announced to Hunter that she was pregnant. Helmsley hugged her, lifting her up in joy. A week later, though, when the couple was planning to renew their vows in the ring, Helmsley found out that his wife wasn't really pregnant, that it was just a ploy to keep them married. At the renewal ceremony, Helmsley told Stephanie exactly how he felt about her. He also said that he wanted a divorce. When Vince McMahon got into Helmsley's face, Triple H attacked, destroying the wedding set-up. He and Stephanie were through (at least in storylines).
This, of course, led to Helmsley having to deal with the wrath of the McMahons. Stephanie once again hooked up with Kurt Angle, who wanted a shot at Helmsley's #1-Contendership shot at Wrestlemania. The match was set up for No Way Out '02. The odds were further set against Helmsley when Stephanie was set up as the special referee. At the match, Stephanie showed up first, having herself announced as "Stephanie McMahon", dropping the Helmsley part. It was clear that Stephanie wasn't going to call the match down the middle. During the match, though, Angle accidentally clotheslined Stephanie, taking her out of the match, as another ref came to the ring. This gave Helmsley back the advantage, as he got many close 2-counts. Angle, though, took out the replacement referee, then landed a low blow to get the advantage back. Stephanie then returned to the ring, even as Angle put on his Ankle Lock submission hold. Helmsley rolled through it, though, tossing Angle once again into Stephanie. Angle tried to use a chair, but Helmsley ducked, then hit the Pedigree. Before the replacement ref could count to 3, though, Stephanie took him out with an elbow drop. Helmsley grabbed Stephanie for another Pedigree, but Angle got back up, nailing Helmsley with two chair shots, followed by the Olympic Slam. Stephanie made the quick count to give Angle the victory, and the #1 Contendership.
Fortunately for Helmsley, he was given a rematch against Angle for the spot the next night, and he utilized it, beating Angle for the spot. Helmsley and Angle would continue to feud going up to Wrestlemania, with the two fighting once in a steel cage match, which was won by Angle, thanks in part to interference from Chris Jericho, who was the Undisputed World Champion at the time. Jericho was also partnered with Stephanie, who would do anything to keep Helmsley away from his goal. Jericho and Helmsley exchanged both verbal and physical shots throughout March, as they headed towards their confrontation at Wrestlemania X-8. At one point, Jericho injured Helmsley's leg, looking to repeat the injury that put Helmsley out for a year, an injury that Jericho had caused. At the PPV, Jericho came out with Stephanie, while Helmsley came out alone.
The two men quickly took it to the outside, fighting against the guardrail and on the announce table. Jericho's attack plan was obvious, as he went after Helmsley's injured leg. Stephanie also soon became involved, raking Triple H's eyes at one point. Helmsley then brought Stephanie up to the ring apron, then dodged a spear from Jericho, which instead hit Stephanie. Helmsley brought Stephanie into the ring to Pedigree her, but Jericho made the save. He then went back to the injured leg, getting a figure-four around the ringpost, even as Stephanie mocked Triple H. The two later fought back to the announce table, where Triple H went for a Pedigree. Instead, Jericho backdropped Helmsley through the table. The turning point in the match came when Jericho brought a chair into the ring. Helmsley was able to reverse a move, DDT'ing Jericho on the chair. This brought Stephanie into the ring, where she tried to use the chair, only to be stopped by the ref. Helmsley then hit the Pedigree on Stephanie. Jericho used this moment to get in a chair shot, but it still wasn't enough to stop Helmsley, who came back to land the Pedigree on Jericho for the victory, earning the Undisputed WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
A brand split took place after Wrestlemania, with Triple H being saved from the draft lottery, since he was the champion. This meant that Triple H could appear on either Raw or Smackdown. Over the next month, Helmsley still had problems with Chris Jericho and Stephanie, but his main focus was on defending the World Title. In a surprising move, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan was named as the #1-Contender, after the Hulkster's great match with the Rock at Wrestlemania (Hulk lost). Helmsley and Hogan both showed respect for the other, although it was unclear how deep the respect actually ran. The two had to team with the other in various matches against Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle, and the teamwork, while there, was not brought about by friendship.
At Backlash '02, Helmsley and Hogan went at it in a regular match, with no special stipulations. It started out as a friendly contest, even involving a Test of Strength. But the fighting soon turned ugly, as the wrestlers went to the outside, with Helmsley slamming Hogan's head on the ringsteps. Helmsley would later concentrate on Hogan's hurt knee, trying to do some damage to it with chop blocks and figure four leglocks. Hogan would soon Hulk up, though, and took Helmsley down, before landing the leg drop. Chris Jericho then came to the ring and took down the ref, before nailing Hogan with a chair shot. Helmsley got rid of Jericho, though, then went back to Hogan, who again Hulked Up. Helmsley dodged the leg drop, though, and got the Pedigree, only to have the Undertaker come to the ring and smack Triple H with a steel chair shot of his own. Hogan got rid of the Undertaker, but then dropped the leg and got the victory, taking away the World Title. After the match, an angry Helmsley still shook Hogan's hand, renewing the respect.
WWE Smackdown: 2002
With the loss, Triple H became the property of Smackdown, no longer allowed to be part of both shows. He would get some revenge on the Undertaker at the England pay-per-view, Insurrextion '02. They had a fierce match, which even began tearing down the ring, as the top rope broke. Helmsley was able to get the victory in the end with the Pedigree. This wasn't Helmsley's primary focus, though, as he was more interested in going at it again with Chris Jericho. Helmsley and Jericho had had difficulties with each other for years, especially with Stephanie's involvement. It was worked out that the two would settle things at Judgment Day '02, in one of the most violent matches around, the Hell in a Cell. The match started out inside the ring, as the referees locked the cage. Inside, the two men beat heavily on each other, with Helmsley getting the early advantage when Jericho missed a flying elbow, instead hitting the ringpost and falling to the outside. Both tasted the cage's steel outside, with Jericho bleeding from a wound to his arm, while Helmsley's head was busted open. Weapons were put into play, as Jericho used a ladder from under the ring to pummle the Game. Helmsley used a chair to get back into the match, but Jericho's attack was relentless, even going as far as to knock out the referee!
While other refs worked to get inside the cage to help the bloodied referee, the fight continued, with Helmsley kicking the chair back into Jericho's face. Helmsley then found his favorite weapon, the sledgehammer, which he smashed into Jericho's head. Unfortunately, the referees were busy elsewhere, tending to the fallen ref, so no pin could be made. The two wrestlers battled outside, through the now-opened door, and went to the announce tables, where Jericho attempted a Pedigree, only to have Helmsley fight his way out and deliver a DDT through the table instead. Helmsley then got another weapon, a barbed-wire 2x4, and chased Jericho with it, who climbed the cage to try to escape. Helmsley followed him up, but Jericho got the 2x4 and used it against Triple H. Jericho then put on the Walls of Jericho, with a referee climbing to the top of the cage to check for a submission. Helmsley fought his way out, then managed a low blow, to slow down Jericho. He then tried a Pedigree, only to be backdropped into the cage. But Helmsley would come back once more, knocking Jericho out with a bat, then Pedigreeing him on top of the cage for the pinfall victory.
With a great victory under his belt, Helmsley again looked towards bigger things. At the first Smackdown in June, Helmsley competed in a 20-man Battle Royal, with the winner to become the #1 Contender to the World Title, which was around the Undertaker's waist. Helmsley and Hulk Hogan "won" the Battle Royal, which put them in a #1 Contenders match later that night. Helmsley was able to avenge his title loss, getting the victory over the Hulkster and earning the title shot. Triple H and the Undertaker would confront each other many times over the next few weeks, with Helmsley teaming with Hogan against the Undertaker & Kurt Angle. The Rock also became involved in the storyline, as he showed his support for Helmsley, due to his problems with the Undertaker.
At King of the Ring '02, Helmsley prepared to face the Undertaker for the World Title. He was given some unexpected support from the nWo, as he hugged his old friends Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels & X-Pac. The nWo said that, if Helmsley needed it, they would help him out. Helmsley didn't think he would need it. The match quickly disintegrated into a brawl, as the referee, Earl Hebner, was soon taken out. The Rock then came to ringside, going to the announce table to watch the match. With the ref down, the Undertaker went for a steel chair, only to have it kicked out of his hands by Helmsley. The Undertaker then landed a cheap shot on the Rock, bringing him into the ring. The Rock tried to nail the Undertaker with a chair, only to accidentally hit Helmsley instead. This allowed the Undertaker to hit the Last Ride on Helmsley and make the pin, as another ref ran to the ring. But Helmsley kicked out, leading to the Undertaker angrily throwing the ref out of the ring. This was a mistake, as the Rock came back in and Rock Bottomed the Undertaker. Triple H then recovered and got the Pedigree, but the referee was down. As Helmsley checked on him, the Undertaker got a low blow and rolled up Triple H, getting the victory and retaining the title. After the match, the Rock came back to the ring and hit the People's Elbow on the Undertaker. But as he tried to help Helmsley, Triple H nailed the Rock with the Pedigree. The Undertaker then chokeslammed Helmsley to end the night.
After the match at King of the Ring, Helmsley took some time off to rest and recover from some injuries. On the first Raw in July '02, Shawn Michaels and the other members of the nWo came out to ringside, with Michaels saying that one of their 'family' was going to return soon. He claimed that Triple H would soon be joining the nWo. Over the next few weeks, Michaels and the nWo continued to send their advances to Helmsley, saying that, if he didn't join them, he'd have to face them. However, things fell apart for the nWo soon afterwards, as Kevin Nash was injured. Vince McMahon came out on Raw to the nWo's music, saying that they were dead, and that it was a new era for WWE. He announced that Eric Bischoff was the new general manager of Raw, while Stephanie McMahon was given control of Smackdown. Bischoff didn't waste any time, as he promised to bring Helmsley to Raw.
At Vengeance '02, things seemed to be going against Bischoff. When he approached Helmsley early on, Triple H was on his way to see Stephanie. Later on, Stephanie had some papers delivered to her, causing Bischoff to sweat bullets. However, this was a swerve, as Helmsley was signing the divorce papers, officially ending his and Stephanie's marriage. Triple H then made his way out to the ring, followed by Bischoff and Stephanie. Bischoff told Triple H that Raw was the way to go, since it would be "strickly business", nothing personal. Stephanie pointed out Bischoff's past with WCW, and how he didn't give Helmsley the chance to be a star there. Triple H seemed to be leaning towards Smackdown, when Shawn Michaels came out of the back and asked his friend to join him on Raw. Helmsley then made his decision, opting to sign with Raw.
WWE Raw: 2002
On the next show, Triple H, with Bischoff, called out his friend, Michaels. Bischoff then named Michaels as Helmsley's manager. Michaels took exception to this, though, as he said he wouldn't let Bischoff order him around. Michaels then left the ring, with Bischoff sending Helmsley after him. Helmsley met Michaels in the backstage area and told him not to leave, that Helmsley had a plan. Later in the night, Triple H handed Michaels a clothes bag, whose contents seemed to surprise Michaels. At the end of the night, Helmsley and Michaels made their way out to the DeGeneration-X music, with both wearing the old-fashioned DeGeneration-X t-shirts! The two men recited the DX catchphrases, but the reunion was quickly broken up, as Triple H suddenly turned, kicked Michaels, then landed the Pedigree, ending the friendship by throwing his torn-off t-shirt on top of the Heart Break Kid.
The next week saw an angry Shawn Michaels searching the arena for Triple H. Helmsley would later come to the ring, saying that the attack was all Michaels' fault, since HBK couldn't give up the spotlight to Helmsley. As Helmsley talked about how Michaels' career was over, an official came to the ring, telling Helmsley about something. Triple H then left the ring and ran to the back, finding a bloodied Shawn Michaels in the parking lot, having apparently been rammed headfirst into a car window. Helmsley claimed that he had nothing to do with the attack to Bischoff. On the next Raw, Triple H searched for the attacker, trying to find out who had done it. After interviewing several wrestlers, Helmsley was brought to the ring by Bischoff, who also had Shawn Michaels live via Titon Tron. The two men showed Helmsley a blurry videotape, which showed the attack. After some computer enhancement, the attacker was shown to be none other than Hunter Hearst Helmsley himself! Triple H admitted to attacking Michaels, which caused Michaels to challenge Helmsley for a match at the next PPV.
In the weeks leading up to Summerslam, Helmsley bragged about how he would end Michaels' career. He even brought papers to a Raw for Michaels to sign, so that HBK couldn't sue him for breaking his bones. Michaels faxed the signed papers into Raw that night, but it was a trick, as Michaels would attack Helmsley during his World Title match with the Rock, causing it to end in a No-Contest (Brock Lesnar also interfered). At Summerslam '02, Helmsley and Michaels faced off in an "Unsanctioned" match, thus keeping any responsibility for injury away from Bischoff. Neither wrestler kept much of a long advantage, as the momentum continued to swing back and forth. Various weapons quickly became involved, from trash cans to the sledgehammer. At one point, Helmsley backdropped Michaels onto a steel chair. But the Heartbreak Kid would come back, nailing Helmsley with his Sweet Chin Music, connecting with the chair and knocking it back into Triple H's face that bloodied him. Michaels also performed a few other sensational moves, from leaping off the turnbuckle to slam Triple H through a table on the outside, to diving off a ladder for an elbow drop. In the end, Triple H recovered enough to try for the Pedigree, but Michaels dodged it and got a roll-up for the victory. Afterwards, a pissed-off Helmsley viciously attacked Michaels, severely injuring him with his sledgehammer.
On the next Raw, while Brock Lesnar was giving a victory speech after becoming the World Champ, Shawn Michaels' music played over the speakers. Helmsley then surprisingly came out to the music, saying that it was the last time anyone would ever hear it, since he had ended Michaels' career. Helmsley then challenged Brock Lesnar to a World Title match. However, the Undertaker then came out, saying that he, too, deserved a shot. A #1 Contenders match was set up for that night between the two wrestlers. The two men were evenly matched, which led to things being decided by the champ, Lesnar. After the referee had been knocked out, Lesnar came to the ring, going after the Undertaker and nailing him between the eyes with the World Title. Triple H then made the cover to become the #1 Contender. However, when Brock Lesnar left the arena that night, it was announced that he would wrestle exclusively on Smackdown. This would have a major effect on Helmsley's title hopes.
A week later, Eric Bischoff brought Helmsley to the ring, saying that Raw deserved to have its own champion. He pulled out the old WCW title from a briefcase and gave it to Helmsley, declaring him the champion, since he had won the #1 Contenders match the week before. The gift of the title was disputed by Ric Flair, and the two fought later in the show, with Helmsley getting the victory via a low blow and the Pedigree. On the next show, Bischoff announced that there would be a Fatal Fourway Elimination contendership match to decide Helmsley's PPV opponent. It involved Rob Van Dam, Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy and the Big Show, with Van Dam winning the match. Triple H and RVD would feud up to the PPV, with Helmsley causing RVD to lose his Intercontinental Title to Chris Jericho.
At Unforgiven '02, Triple H and Rob Van Dam went at it, with their two different styles making for an entertaining match. As is typical with these matches, the referee took a bump, knocking him down. Van Dam then started to get the momentum going, taking down Helmsley with his arsenal of quick maneuvers. Ric Flair then came from the back, holding Helmsley's sledgehammer. He went to hit Helmsley, but then turned around and nailed Van Dam instead, turning heel and joining up with Triple H. Helmsley seemed surprised by the turn-around, but went with it, hitting the Pedigree on Van Dam even as Flair brought the referee around, waking him up in time to count the 1-2-3. Helmsley & Flair then left together, celebrating the victory.
Flair soon became known as Triple H's 'manager', being there to help the champion retain his belt. The duo had a short feud with Van Dam & Bubba Ray Dudley, before having his next major foe set up in the Intercontinental Champion, Kane. Bischoff announced that the winner of the PPV match would unify the titles, effectively ending the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. This was the beginning of the one of the most bizzare, contoversial feuds in WWE history. On an October edition of Raw, after Kane single-handedly defended the World Tag Titles in a TLC match (Helmsley & Flair had taken out the Hurricane earlier in the night), Helmsley came out and mentioned the name Katie Vick to Kane. Helmsley then called Kane a murderer, saying that he had killed Vick 10 years before. Kane later admitted that he had known Vick, and that the lady had died in a car accident, with a somewhat drunk Kane driving. At No Mercy '02, the two men fought a brutal match, with Helmsley being aided repeatedly by Flair. In the end, that was enough, as Triple H got the Pedigree for the win, defending his title.
A day later, Helmsley & Flair appeared on Raw, bragging about the win. They also brought a tape with them, supposedly confirming their accusations towards Kane. Although Hurricane Helms tried to steal the tape, it was delivered to the production truck and played, showing a masked Helmsley apparently performing sexual acts on a "corpse", a dummy in a casket. It became known as one of the most perverse acts in wrestling history. Later on that night, Kane & Rob Van Dam defeated Helmsley & Flair, with Van Dam getting the pin by hitting the Five-Star Frog Splash on Flair. Afterwards, Kane took Helmsley back to the Hurricane's car and threw him in the trunk, before driving away. Helmsley was able to escape from the trunk, however, and showed up the next week with the Katie Vick dummy, making fun of Kane. The Hurricane then came out, showing a tape of a man dressed like Triple H having a sledgehammer surgically removed from his butt. Kane appeared shortly thereafter, attacking Helmsley. The two men fought in a non-title Casket match later that night, with the main factor being a returning Shawn Michaels, who nailed Helmsley with some Sweet Chin Music. Kane took advantage, chokeslamming Helmsley and throwing him in the coffin for the win.
Things didn't get any better for Helmsley after this, as it was announced that the main event of the next PPV would be the Elimination Chamber match, involving six men fighting for the Raw World Title: Helmsley, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho. All six men would have altercations going into the pay-per-view, specifically between Helmsley and Michaels. At the '02 Survivor Series, the rules for the Elimination Chamber were explained. Four of the wrestlers would start out in chambers, with the other two starting the match. Every few minutes, a random chamber would open, putting another wrestler into action. Pinfall and submission were the ways to be eliminated. The last person standing would win the match and the World Heavyweight title.
The first two in the ring were Helmsley and Rob Van Dam. Helmsley tried for the early advantage, going for the Pedigree, but was backdropped to the outside of the ring, onto the steel portion of the cage. Van Dam then climbed up one of the chambers, kicking away at Chris Jericho, who tried to stop him. RVD leapt off the cage with a flip onto Helmsley, doing some more damage. The countdown then started, and Jericho's chamber opened. Jericho went after RVD, but the man was hard to stop, as he leapt at Jericho from the top rope. Jericho ducked, but RVD clung to the side of the cage like a spider, then turned and leapt again, smashing him down. Finally, Helmsley and Jericho double-teamed RVD, beating on him, as Booker T was released from his chamber. Booker T attacked everyone, as a melee broke out. RVD, meanwhile, climbed onto an empty chamber and came off for an attempted frog splash on Triple H, landing with a knee on Helmsley's throat, injuring him. Booker T then nailed RVD with a missile dropkick, eliminating Van Dam.
Kane was the next one into the match, with brutal results, as he threw Jericho through one of the "bulletproof" windows of the chambers. Kane then attacked Helmsley and Booker T, getting a chokeslam on Booker. Jericho came back with a lionsault on Booker to eliminate him. By this point, Helmsley was bleeding from shots into the cage. Shawn Michaels was the last one to enter, as he attacked everyone. Kane showed his power, chokeslamming all three opponents, but this just led to them teaming against him. They hit Sweet Chin Music, the Pedigree and the Lionsault to eliminate him. Helmsley and Jericho next double-teamed Michaels, opening up his forehead for a crimson mask. But Triple H and Jericho couldn't decide who would get the pin, and started to attack each other. Jericho reversed the Pedigree into his submission finisher, the Walls of Jericho, but Michaels took advantage, hitting Jericho with Sweet Chin Music and eliminating him.
This left the two hated rivals, Helmsley and Michaels, to go at it, with Helmsley's World Title on the line. Helmsley took advantage early on by catapulting Michaels through one of the windows. But Michaels came back, dodging the Pedigree and returning the catapult. Michaels then climbed up onto a chamber and dropped an elbow on Helmsley, adding to the damage. Michaels prepared for some Sweet Chin Music, but Helmsley blocked the maneuver, kicked Michaels in the stomach, then hit the Pedigree. But a slow pin didn't work, as Michaels kicked out. Helmsley decided to try another Pedigree, but Michaels escaped it, then hit Sweet Chin Music for the victory, winning the WWE Raw World Title away from Triple H. Helmsley later had to have his throat worked on, due to the hit from R.V.D.
After a week off from Raw, Triple H reappeared during a title match between Michaels and R.V.D. Helmsley took out both guys, hitting Van Dam with the Pedigree and knocking out Michaels with a chair. Triple H was then placed into a #1 Contenders match with Van Dam at the next show. Michaels was also named the special referee, and he quickly used his power, sending Ric Flair to the back. During the match, Michaels obviously favored RVD, but miscues allowed Helmsley to stay in it. In the end, Van Dam accidentally hit HBK with a sidekick, allowing Triple H to nail Van Dam with a chair shot and get the pinfall, earning the shot at a rematch. Helmsley and Michaels fought afterwards, with HBK knocking out the Game with some Sweet Chin Music. Later on in the month, HBK challenged Helmlsey to meet him in the parking lot, only to attack him as soon as he and Flair came out.
At Armageddon '02, Triple H and Michaels went at it in a "Three Falls" Match for the World Title. The first fall went under "Street Fight" rules, with weapons like trash cans and tables becoming major factors. As the match wore on, Helmsley headed to the back and brought out a barbed-wire 2x4. He then lit it on fire, before going after Michaels. But HBK managed to knock the 2x4 back into Helmsley's face, busting him open. The two fought back to the ring, with Helmsley getting the Pedigree for the first win. The second fall was a "Steel Cage" Match, with the two being surrounded by the cell. Helmsley dominated the match early on, but Michaels began to come back, causing Flair to steal the key from the referee and enter the cage. Michaels was ready, though, waffling Flair with a chair. Michaels then hit Helmsley with some Sweet Chin Music, before putting him on a table and climbing the cage. Michaels came off the cage with a huge splash through the table, pinning Triple H for the second fall.
In the third and final portion of the match, the two fought it out in a "Ladder" Match, with the World Title hanging above them. Both wrestlers, already badly beaten, continued to fight, using the ladder as a lethal weapon. Both wrestlers hit their finishers, but were unable to capitalize by climbing up the ladder. In the end, as Michaels stretched out for the World Title, Helmsley pushed the ladder over, sending Michaels plunging out of the ring and through a set of tables that had been set up. Triple H then pulled the ladder back up and slowly made the climb, managing to grab hold of the "Raw" Championship. For the 7th time, Triple H was at the top of the food chain.
A ceremony was arranged on the next Raw, celebrating Helmsley's victory over Michaels. At the same time, however, the spot was promised to Scott Steiner's contract signing. When Helmsley came out for the ceremony, Steiner came out as well, signing his contract and announcing that, as part of the contract, he was awarded a World Title shot against Helmsley at the Rumble. Over the next few weeks, Helmsley challenged Steiner to various contests. First, Helmsley lost an arm-wrestling contest to Big Poppa Pump. The next week, the two had a "posedown" contest, with the judges giving the win to Triple H. The judges then attacked Steiner, showing that they were on the Game's team. A bench-press contest was scheduled the next week, but it didn't take place, as Steiner looked like he would easily win it. Steiner and Helmsley then brawled, with Steiner easily getting the upper hand, ripping off Helmsley's suit and tie.
The match at the Royal Rumble '03 began with a face-off, but soon became the brawl that everyone had expected to see. Steiner dominated early on, nearly getting on the Steiner Recliner submission hold, with Flair pulling Helmsley out of harm's way. Steiner started to go after Flair, giving Helmsley the opportunity to get back in the match. But Steiner soon regained control, causing Triple H & Flair to try and leave with the World Title, willing to take a count-out loss. Steiner went after them, though, smashing Helmsley with the title and causing him to bleed. Triple H later tried to leave again, leading to a fight with Steiner through the crowd. Helmsley tried another trick later on, attacking the referee, but the ref refused to disqualify him. Finally, Helmsley brought out his sledgehammer and attacked Steiner, forcing the ref to end the match, giving Steiner the win via DQ. After the match, the ref stopped Helmsley from using the sledgehammer. During the distraction, Steiner got hold of the weapon and laid out both Triple H and Flair, then placed Helmsley in the Steiner Recliner.
On the next Raw, Steiner demanded a rematch against Helmsley, but Triple H claimed he had a doctor's note that would not allow him to wrestle. Instead, Steiner was set against Flair's protege, Batista. The match didn't get started, though, as Helmsley, Flair, and Randy Orton also came down, joining with Batista to beat down Steiner. Helmsley's allies would help him on many occasions to attack Steiner, helping to protect the World Champ, who was using a crutch due to a hematoma in his leg. Helmsley came out at one show and introduced his comrades, basically refering to them as the Evolution. The group wasn't able, however, to keep Steiner from once again becoming the #1 Contender, winning over Chris Jericho.
At No Way Out '03, Helmsley and Steiner again met for the World Title, this time with Steiner focusing on Triple H's injured leg. Flair again became involved, causing Steiner to chase him around the ring. Helmsley attacked Steiner as he came back through the ropes, taking the advantage. Triple H tried to use the ropes to get the pin, but only managed to get the referee angry with him. Steiner retook control, applying the Steiner Recliner, which led to the Evolution running to the ring, only to have Steiner take them out. As the ref ejected the Evolution from ringside, however, Helmsley nailed Steiner with the championship belt, then, after a failed pin attempt, got the Pedigree to win the match, once again defending his World Title.
It was announced on the next Raw that a 20-man Battle Royal would take place, with the winner getting the title shot against Triple H at Wrestlemania. The Rock was the heavy favorite going in, but he was tossed out by Booker T, who earned the shot. The tension between Helmsley and Booker T quickly became racially-oriented, with Triple H & Flair telling Booker T to carry their bags, drive their limo, and more. Booker T didn't take kindly to the comments, starting a heated feud. At one show, Helmsley fought Maven, another black wrestler, and decimated the youngster, before leaving him hanging on the ropes. Helmsley also defeated Goldust, Booker T's tag partner, while Booker T was taken out by a "fan"'s crutch, who was revealed as Randy Orton. Things weren't all perfect for Triple H, though, as he was bloodied and beaten by Booker T during a tag match (also involving Flair and Goldust).
The match for the World Title took place at Wrestlemania X-9, Triple H's eighth time at the grand event. Booker T took control at the beginning, as the fight went on both in and out of the ring. Helmlsey soon came back, slamming Booker T into the steel steps at ringside. The fight went back and forth, with close pinfalls happening on both sides of the brawl. Ric Flair, as always, was a factor on the outside, helping to get in some cheap shots. Booker T fought back to take out Flair, then nearly won the match with a guillotine leg drop. But the Game, despite an injured leg, managed to land the Pedigree, then made the tired cover to get the victory, staying the champ after a hard battle.
In the weeks after Wrestlemania, Helmsley continued to have problems with Booker T, as well as renewing his long-time feud with Shawn Michaels. At one Raw, Helmsley teamed with Chris Jericho, who was feuding with Michaels at the time, against Booker T & Michaels in a tag match. Booker T won the match by pinning Helmsley with a bridge, but the heels attacked the faces after the match, beating them down. The Hurricane tried to make the save, only to be taken out as well. Suddenly, an old theme hit the speakers, the Diesel theme, and Kevin Nash came down the aisle. He took out Jericho and Flair, then turned to Helmsley, who had gotten his sledgehammer. They looked like they were going to duke it out, but Triple H simply dropped the hammer and left the ring. Helmsley and Nash continued to come face-to-face as time went by, talking about their long-time friendship. Helmsley wanted Nash to make the decision of which side he was going to be on. Things finally broke down between the two during a match between Helmsley and Booker T, when Nash came to ringside, helping up both Triple H and Michaels. Helmsley attacked Nash, saying that he had made Nash's decision for him.
A match was set up for Backlash '03, with Triple H, Flair & Jericho taking on Nash, Booker T & Michaels. The primary feud, though, was between Helmsley and Nash, with the former friendship hovering between them. The match between the six former World Champs was a wild one, with each man taking his turn in the spotlight at one point or another. Eventually, the match broke down into a brawl, with the referee losing complete control. Nash stayed in the ring, taking out Chris Jericho with his Jackknife Powerbomb. But the referee was distracted, keeping Nash from getting the pinfall victory. It also allowed Helmsley to come into the ring and crack Nash in the head with the sledgehammer, allowing Jericho to get the win for the heel team.
On the next Raw, Helmsley arranged for him & Flair to get a tag-team title shot against Rob Van Dam & Kane. As the match began, Shawn Michaels was shown in the back, talking on a cell phone. He said that Helmsley was a sitting duck. During the match, Helmsley & Flair seemed to be on the way to victory, as Triple H nailed Kane with the Pedigree. Kevin Nash then came out with a sledgehammer, chasing Helmsley from the ring, which left Flair being double-teamed and beaten by the tag champs. Helmsley, meanwhile, fled to a limo, with Nash hitting out the windows behind him. A week later, Chris Jericho hosted one of his "Hi-Lite Reels", his version of a talk-show. He brought out Nash, who called Helmsley a dead man for trying to end his career with the sledgehammer. Triple H then came out, and the two immediately brawled, destroying nearly everything around them while leaving the arena. A final confrontation occured at the Raw before the PPV, when Nash was wrestling Jericho. Triple H & Flair came down to try to injure Nash, but Shawn Michaels evened the odds, and the night ended with Nash "pinning" Helmsley via Michaels' count. Nash then raised the World Title over his head, showcasing the belt he would be fighting for.
At Judgment Day '03, Helmsley was signed to face Nash for the World Title. In a memorable moment before the match, Stephanie McMahon, now the general manager of Smackdown, told her former husband to be careful. The match was a bad one for Helmsley, as Nash dominated the fighting with his power and rage. Helmsley nearly stole the win with a surprise Pedigree, but Nash kicked out of the pinfall. A shocked Helmsley then left the ring and got his sledgehammer, only to have the referee stop him from using it. Nash, though, had his own weapon, nailing Helmsley with the World Title and forcing the ref to call for the DQ. The assault continued after the bell, with Nash putting Helmsley through the announce table with his jackknife powerbomb. Helmsley was still the champion, but Nash was clearly the survivor of the night.
The next night, Steve Austin, who was the co-general manager of Raw, called out Helmsley & Flair, even stopping the Game's intro. He announced that, since Helmsley had been thoroughly beaten the night before, he didn't deserve to be wearing the World Title. Austin also said that, although Helmsley was "hurt", he would have to defend the belt that night against a former World Champion. To the surprise of many, Helmsley chose his opponent to be Ric Flair. Helmsley was expecting Flair to lie down for him, but, after a pep talk from Shawn Michaels, Flair told Helmsley that he wouldn't just allow Helmsley to pin him. The match was a great one, with both men coming close to getting the victory in the early goings, including Flair getting on his Figure Four leglock. At one point, with the referee down, Helmsley went to knock out Flair with the World Title, only to have Flair counter the maneuver and hit Triple H instead, getting a close 2 count. Finally, Helmsley hit the Pedigree to get the victory and hold on to his World Title. After the match, Nash came to the ring to chase Helmsley out. As Triple H rested painfully on the ramp, Austin came out again and announced that Triple H would face Kevin Nash at the next PPV, in a Hell In A Cell match. After the show ended, Triple H participated with several other wrestlers in honoring Flair, breaking kayfabe to praise the legendary Nature Boy.
The next show featured a signed match of Triple H facing both Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair in a handicap match, thanks to Eric Bischoff, the other co-owner of Raw. Helmsley was later seen kissing up to Austin, to try and get the match changed, but to no avail. It all turned out to be a swerve, however, as Flair attacked Michaels as soon as he was tagged in. Helmsley then got Michaels with the Pedigree for the victory. Meanwhile, in the back, a masked man attacked Kevin Nash before he could come to the rescue, and was later revealed as the returning Randy Orton, who was rejoining the Evolution. The three men then beat on Nash, as the show ended. On the next Raw, Helmsley, Flair, & Orton stayed as a unit, bragging about their trickery. Michaels, Nash, & the Hurricane then attacked them, setting up a 6-man match later that night. Helmsley also intimidated the referees, getting them to tell Austin & Bischoff, the co-GM's of Raw, that they wouldn't referee the Hell in the Cell match at Bad Blood. Austin said he knew of someone crazy enough to do it, though. At the end of the night, Helmsley's team won when he Pedigreed the Hurricane, getting the win.
It was later announced by Austin that the special referee for the match-up was going to be Mick Foley, Helmsley's old nemesis. Helmsley protested, and got in Foley's face, saying that he was the one who ended Foley's career. Later in the night, Foley, who had seemed reluctant to get back in the ring, opted to be the referee, and was savagely hit with a chair by Helmsley as a result. But Foley weathered the blow, and wanted more. Helmsley attacked him again, but Nash came out, making the save and knocking Triple H out. A bloodied Foley then made a pretend three count, showing what could happen at the pay-per-view.
At Bad Blood '03, Helmsley and Nash met up for the Hell in a Cell war, with Helmsley's World Title on the line. Nash controlled the beginning of the match, with Foley, as the ref, looking on. The battle went in and out of the ring, although not leaving the cell. Nash used a chair early on, but Helmsley got the momentum back when he pulled a tool box from under the ring, taking a hammer from it and "hammering" Nash, cutting him open. Foley, however, took away the hammer, causing more problems between Helmsley & Foley. After choking Nash with a screwdriver, Helmsley got a barbed wire 2x4, but Nash blocked the shot and reversed it, causing Helmsley to bleed as well. Helmsley went for his sledgehammer at one point, but again, Foley took it away. This came back to haunt Foley, though, as Helmsley, after drilling Nash with a chair shot, smacked Foley as well, making even the referee of the match bloody. Foley came back to get his Mr. Socko maneuver on Triple H, but Helmsley escaped with a low blow. The distraction allowed Nash to hit his Jacknife Powerbomb, but Helmsley kicked out at 2. Later on, Helmsley hit Nash in the head with the sledgehammer, and followed it up with the Pedigree to get the victory, staying the champ. After the match, Helmsley celebrated with Ric Flair & Randy Orton.
On the next Raw, Mick Foley came out and talked about the match at Bad Blood, only to be interrupted by Evolution. It was announced that Evolution was looking for a fourth member, and Orton seemed to indicate Foley. But Foley wanted no part of the "Four Horsemen wannabes", causing Evolution to attack him. Al Snow and Maven made the save, sending Evolution from the ring. Later on that night, during the Kane/Rob Van Dam vs. La Resistance tag match, Kane lost control, attacking La Resistance with a steel chair and getting DQ'ed. After the match, Triple H came out, praising the 'return' of the old Kane, and offering Kane the fourth spot in Evolution. Steve Austin came out immediately after, though, and told Kane to take a World Title shot against Helmsley rather than join his stable. Eric Bischoff put in an added clause stating that if Kane lost, he would lose his mask. Kane made his decision by chokeslamming Helmsley, setting up the match.
As promised, Helmsley and Kane faced off in a Title-vs-Mask Match the very next Raw. Kane was all brute force, and dominated part of the match, although Triple H continued to fight on. Near the end, a Kane clothesline from the top turnbuckle 'accidentally' knocked Helmsley into the referee. Ric Flair then ran into the ring, only to be chokeslammed. This allowed Helmsley to get the Pedigree, but Kane kicked out, then got back up, preparing to chokeslam Triple H. Randy Orton interfered, though, getting a low blow. Helmsley then hit a second Pedigree and got the victory, retaining the title. It also brought Bischoff to the ring, who said that Kane had to unmask. Before he could, though, Evolution attacked him, landing several blows before Rob Van Dam ran down for the save. Afterwards, Kane took off his mask, revealing a bald head and no burn scars at all. Kane then chokeslammed RVD before leaving the ring.
A week later, due to Kane apparently not wanting a rematch due to his unmasking, Bischoff instead gave a World Title shot to Rob Van Dam. The match between Triple H and RVD went about as usual for a Helmsley match, as Ric Flair quickly became involved from the outside. Later on, though, Van Dam came back, hiting the Five Star Frog Splash on Helmsley. Before he could get the pinfall victory, Flair charged the ring, hitting Van Dam with the World Title and causing the DQ. This only lasted a few seconds, though, as Bischoff came out and said that the match had to continue, with "No-Disqualification" rules. Bischoff also added a "Falls Count Anywhere" stipulation, allowing Van Dam to make a cover on the floor, which was broken up by Randy Orton, who came out to help Triple H. The group headed to the stage area, where Van Dam tried hard to fight off the 3-1 odds. Despite landing a Rolling Thunder on the stage, though, Van Dam couldn't manage it, as Helmsley put him away with a DDT on the steel. After the match, Kane's fire exploded all around the stage, startling everybody. Kane then came out and looked like he was going to chokeslam Van Dam, but instead grabbed Bischoff and threw him off the stage, while Evolution took off.
Evolution would feud some with the Dudley Boyz over the next few weeks, with Helmsley and his group usually coming out on top. Evolution then came to the ring late in July '03 to reveal their new t-shirt. Helmsley made sure to state that no one could stand in their way. Before he could finish, though, he was interrupted by Bill Goldberg, who was quick to announce that Helmsley was next. The two nearly got into it, but Helmsley backed off, saying that their fight would be on his terms. It was later announced that Helmsley and Goldberg were signed to face off at the next PPV. A match was also signed for Raw pitting Goldberg against Flair. During the night, when Bischoff was scheduled to fight Shane McMahon, he approached Helmsley and made a deal: the match at Summerslam would be No Disqualification, obviously favoring Evolution, as long as Helmsley helped out Bischoff. As the Flair/Goldberg match went down, Orton and Helmsley were quick to attack Goldberg, causing the DQ. Shawn Michaels ran down to try and make the save, only to be followed by Chris Jericho, who attacked Michaels. Kevin Nash then cleared the ring with a steel chair. Afterwards, Steve Austin came out and made a change for the PPV, stating that the match for the World Title would now be an Elimination Chamber Match between Triple H, Goldberg, Orton, Jericho, & Michaels. An irate Helmsley then canceled the Evolution's deal with Bischoff.
At Summerslam '03, the Elimination Chamber was set up, with Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels starting things out, while the other four participants were locked behind glass cases. The two went back and forth, showing their animosity towards each other. Randy Orton came out next, and a three-way brawl erupted. The fourth man allowed out was Kevin Nash, who quickly used his power to cut through the other individuals. However, this forced them to team up against him, with Michaels catching Nash with some Sweet Chin Music while he was attempting a Jackknife Powerbomb on Jericho. Jericho rolled him over to get the pinfall, eliminating Nash. A furious Nash then took out all three men with powerbombs before leaving, giving the next entrant, Bill Goldberg, a great advantage. Goldberg nailed Orton with a spear, then pinned him, taking out one. Goldberg followed that up with a Jackhammer on Michaels, eliminating another. Michaels would recover enough to catch Helmsley with some Sweet Chin Music as he came out at last, knocking him back in. Goldberg, meanwhile, speared Jericho through a glass wall, then took him into the ring and speared him again, eliminating him and making it just Helmsley and Goldberg, who kicked in Helmsley's glass cell to get to him. But a bloody Helmsley persevered, and managed to crack Goldberg with the sledgehammer as he tried for another spear, allowing Triple H to keep the title. After the match, Evolution came in and beat down Goldberg, bloodying him with the sledgehammer.
On the next Raw, Goldberg demanded a rematch, with just him and Helmsley involved. Triple H granted the rematch, as long as Goldberg put up something against the World Title: Goldberg's career. Goldberg accepted, wanting to get his hands on Helmsley. Triple H later said that he was tired of all the hype around Goldberg, and that he was no different than the other contenders who had faced him in the past. None had gotten the title from him. At one point, Goldberg teamed up with Shawn Michaels & Maven to win a 6-Man match over Evolution. The next week, Bischoff announced that he was going to have a surprise tag match, with Goldberg & an unknown partner vs. Helmsley & an unknown partner. This was a set-up, however, as Helmsley teamed with Ric Flair while Goldberg was forced to 'tag' with Randy Orton. Goldberg had to basically fight 3-on-1 odds, and couldn't do it, as Evolution beat him down. The cage was lowered around them, as Helmsley cut Goldberg open with a huge chair shot, then later Pedigree'd him, leaving the man out on the mat in a pool of blood.
The Raw before the PPV featured Evolution throwing a going-away party for Goldberg. Helmsley came out to the ring alone (due to Austin keeping Orton & Flair away from ringside) and told the fans to cheer Goldberg, since it was the last chance they'd get. He then revealed a picture of Goldberg from the week before, showing his bloodied face. Before Triple H could finish celebrating, though, Goldberg announced that he was going to give Helmsley a "special moment" of his own, and came down to ringside, beating on Helmsley and forcing him from the ring. At Unforgiven '03, the beating continued, as Goldberg just appeared to be too strong for Helmlsey. This, of course, led to Triple H trying his usual tricks, including clocking Goldberg in the head with the sledgehammer. But Goldberg somehow got right back up, landing the spear, then the Jackhammer, to beat Helmsley and finally take away the Raw World Title.
The next Raw was a departure of sorts for Helmsley, as he told the crowd that they needed him more than he needed the fans. Helmsley didn't appear much over the next few shows, as, in real life, he was marrying Stephanie McMahon. Helmsley was still a major factor in shows, however, as he put out a $100,000 bounty on Goldberg's head, for the first person to take him out. Many people tried for the bounty, including Mark Henry, Rodney Mack and others. But the big surprise came when Goldberg was facing Shawn Michaels, with the title on the line. Batista came out of nowhere to make his return, taking out both Michaels & Goldberg. Batista put a chair on Goldberg's knee, then jumped on it from the ropes, apparently seriously injuring it. Evolution then celebrated, as Batista returned to their group and earned the bounty. Batista would come to the ring with the rest of Evolution (sans Helmsley) the next week, with the group (and apparently Eric Bischoff) stating that the title should be vacated and given back to Helmsley, since Goldberg was injured. Unfortunately, Steve Austin disagreed, announcing that Goldberg would defend the title against Helmsley at the next PPV.
Helmsley returned to the ring in November, although he mostly didn't wrestle, instead usually becoming involved in various Evolution matches. He also tried to attack Goldberg during Da Man's match with Batista, but Goldberg instead speared him, then took out Batista, winning the match via DQ. The match at the '03 Survivor Series started off badly for Helmsley, who was speared even before the bell rang. Goldberg then threw Flair out before continuing his assault on Triple H, starting the match. Helmsley & Flair eventually took control, however, when Helmsley got Goldberg on the outside and went after his leg (followed by Flair slamming it into the ringpost). Helmlsey later was given brass knuckles by Flair and clocked Goldberg with them, but only got a 2 count. Helmsley then went for the sledgehammer, only to have it taken away by Goldberg, who then nailed Flair, Orton & Batista, taking them all out. Helmsley tried a desperation Pedigree, but Goldberg powered out of it, then got the Spear/Jackhammer combo to win the match, once again beating the Game.
Due to Team Bischoff beating Team Austin at the Survivor Series, Austin was fired, making Bischoff the sole General Manager. As a result, Bischoff granted favors to all members of Team Bischoff, one of whom was Randy Orton. Helmsley also got himself a favor, since he was the "teacher" of Orton, and signed for a rematch against Goldberg on a late November Raw. During the match, Flair (of course) interfered repeatedly, yet Goldberg still took control near the end, when Randy Orton came down to ringside. Things got confusing when the bell was accidentally rung, even though the match wasn't over yet. Helmsley nearly got the win with a low blow and a Pedigree, but was distracted by Kane, who came to the ring amid fire and brimstone. Helmsley turned around into a spear from Goldberg, but Kane then entered the ring and took Goldberg out, eventually ending the match in a No-Contest. Helmsley complained to Bischoff afterwards, but was followed by Kane, who also wanted a title shot. Bischoff then gave in to both of them, signing Goldberg vs. Helmsley vs. Kane at Armageddon '03.
At the pay-per-view, Helmsley first teamed up with Kane to double-team Goldberg, who was the current champion. This didn't last long, as Kane, not one to be friends with anyone, turned on Triple H, but when Goldberg began to dominate both men, they again teamed up on the champ. A steel chair became a major weapon in the match, as Helmsley clocked Kane with it at one point, then nearly had his leg broken by Goldberg inside the chair. When Goldberg was put through the announcer's table by a Kane chokeslam followed by a Helmsley elbow drop, Triple H & Kane went at it in the ring, trying to get the win. The end was decided by the interference of Evolution, as Batista, Flair & Orton kept Kane occupied, while Helmsley hit a low blow and covered Goldberg for the victory, winning back his coveted Raw World Title for the third time (his 8th World Heavyweight Title Reign).
Helmsley finished out the year by feuding with Shawn Michaels, since Goldberg was temporarily deactivated by Eric Bischoff. Helmsley teamed up with Ric Flair & Batista on the Raw following the PPV, in a Handicap Match, vs. Shawn Michaels & Rob Van Dam. Despite the odds being in their favor, Helmsley was knocked out by Michaels' Sweet Chin Music and pinned, losing the match. Due to the loss, Michaels was given a Raw Title shot against Triple H on the last Raw of the year. Michaels had the home-field advantage, as the card took place in San Antonio, Texas. The match was incredible, and immediately became a candidate for Match of the Year, as Helmsley and Michaels gave it everything they had. Predictably, Flair continued to interfere, helping Triple H on several occassions. But Michaels decked Flair, taking him out of the bout. Near the end, the referee was knocked out, leaving no one there to make the count. Eric Bischoff surprisingly came down and checked on the referee, then slid into the ring, making a close 2 count for Michaels! The two fought back and forth some more, then Michaels landed the Sweet Chin Music, knocking Helmsley out. Michaels then fell on top of Triple H, with Bischoff counting to three. However, it turned out to be a trick, as Bischoff claimed that Michaels' shoulders were down as well, making the match a draw, which kept the title around Helmsley's waist.
Helmsley started the year off in his usual fashion, as he came down to the ring to insult "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who had just been reinstated to WWE as the "Sheriff" of Raw. Triple H made fun of Austin's new role, even laughing at Austin's 'badge'. But Austin had his own news, as he announced that Shawn Michaels would be facing Helmsley at the next PPV in a "Last Man Standing" Match. Michaels came to the ring, loving the idea, but Helmsley got the last laugh, Pedigreeing him before departing. On the next Raw, Helmsley and Michaels met in the ring in an interview, set up by Bischoff lackey Jonathan Coachman. Helmlsey actually praised Michaels, saying that there were only a few better than him. But he also said that one of those was the Game. Michaels responded by saying that the Last Man Standing Match might come down to one second, then knocked out Coachman with some Sweet Chin Music before departing.
At the '04 Royal Rumble, Helmsley and Shawn Michaels put on another great brawl, as they both looked to be the Last Man Standing. The two fought both inside and outside of the ring early on, with Helmsley avoiding a body block from Michaels that sent HBK through the Spanish announcers' table. Michaels, now a bloody mess, was on the defensive for a while, as Triple H tried move after move to keep him down for the 10 count. Helmsley used a steel chair on Michaels, but the entry of the chair came back to haunt him, as Michaels used it later on to cut Helmlsey open as well. Now, with both men bleeding, it became a war of survival. Helmsley nearly got the victory at one point with the Pedigree, but Michaels somehow got up at 9. When Helmsley went to Pedigree him again, Michaels shoved him off, then got some Sweet Chin Music to land. Both men fell down, out of it, and the referee surprisingly counted to 10, ending the match on a draw, much to the boos of the fans.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Helmsley came out to the ring and bragged about the great fight he had just survived, claiming that, since he still had the gold, he was the true winner of the match. Shawn Michaels then came out, causing Helmsley to ask what's it going to take to get rid of him? Michaels responded that they hadn't even gotten started yet. However, the two were interrupted by Steve Austin, who came out on his ATV and said that it was a shame about how the match ended. Austin claimed that Michaels deserved a rematch, but since Austin could no longer make matches, he couldn't make it happen. However, Austin did want to introduce Helmsley to his next opponent for the World Title, and brought out Chris Benoit, the former Smackdown star who had won the Royal Rumble! Benoit transferred to Raw under the legal loophole that said that the winner of the Rumble would challenge the champion (not specifying WHICH champion) at Wrestlemania.
On the first Raw of February '04, Triple H came to the ring to talk about Chris Benoit's challenge. Triple H mentioned that Benoit knew who the true World Champion was, and gave him credit for coming to Raw to face him. He also talked about how Benoit had injured Mark Henry earlier in the night with the Crippler Crossface. But Triple H was still confident, and said that he was going to show Benoit who the best man was, and called out his competition for the night, taking on Spike Dudley, one of the smallest men on the Raw roster. Predictably, Helmsley dominated the cruiserweight, finally finishing him off with the Pedigree.
A week later, Triple H watched as Benoit defeated Flair in a singles match. Later on, both wrestlers came out to do the contract signing for the match at Wrestlemania. Triple H confidently signed the sheet, then passed it over for Benoit to sign. However, before Benoit could put his name on the sheet, Shawn Michaels surprisingly came to the ring. Michaels wanted one more crack at Triple H, after their draw at the Rumble. When Benoit denied him, Michaels gave Benoit some Sweet Chin Music, then took the pen and signed his own name, apparently stealing the title shot! This made things worse for Triple H, though, as GM Bischoff, trying to placate every person involved, made the Wrestlemania match a "Triple Threat"! In other words, Triple H would have to defend against two opponents, with his World Title on the line.
The three wrestlers feuded heavily over the next month, with Triple H using Evolution to help him fight against both his foes. Triple H also used some subtle maneuvers, to make sure that Benoit and Michaels wouldn't work as a team. At Wrestlemania XX, Benoit and Michaels couldn't decide between themselves who would fight Triple H first, leading to a melee. The three wrestlers soon put on one of the best matches of the year, going inside and outside the ring with lots of high spots. At one point, Benoit set up Triple H to suplex him into an announcers' table. But Michaels intervened, surprisingly joining with Triple H to hit a double suplex on Benoit through the table instead!
The mini Degeneration-X reunion soon fizzled, as Triple H and Michaels then fought for a while, while Benoit recovered. When the Rabid Wolverine returned to the ring, Triple H attacked, going for the Pedigree. But Benoit managed to reverse it into the Sharpshooter, nearly getting the win. Michaels made the save, using his superkick to knock Benoit down for a 2 count. When HBK set Benoit up again for Sweet Chin Music, though, Benoit dodged, tossing Michaels out of the ring. Triple H tried to capitalize on Benoit's distraction with the Pedigree, but Benoit reversed it into the Crippler Crossface! Triple H struggled for a while, trying to roll out of the hold, but he eventually had no choice but to tap out, losing the Raw Heavyweight Title.
WWE Smackdown: 2004
Following Wrestlemania, a draft lottery was set up between the Raw and Smackdown brands. In a shocking development, Triple H's name was drawn by Smackdown GM Paul Heyman, sending Triple H to a new brand! Triple H was shown in the back, spitting out his water due to the shock of the moment. Heyman later placed Triple H in a Smackdown World Title match that night against Eddie Guerrero. But the match ended in a wild brawl between the Raw and Smackdown superstars, keeping Triple H from getting the gold. The speculation was fierce about Triple H's future, especially after Heyman quit that night (due to Raw GM Bischoff drawing Heyman's name).
WWE Raw: 2004
On the next Smackdown, Triple H's music played, but Kurt Angle came out instead, announcing that he was the new GM of Smackdown. Angle then let the world know (those who hadn't checked the WWE website) that he had traded Triple H back to Raw, in exchange for Booker T & the Dudley Boyz. Triple H reappeared with Evolution on the next Raw, bragging about his return, and how the locker room had to deal with him again. Triple H was then challenged by Raw newcomer Shelton Benjamin. In a surprise twist, Triple H was beaten by Benjamin, thanks in part to Benoit coming down to fight with Flair during the match! Triple H demanded a rematch against the young wrestler the next week, with Evolution assigned as the ring crew. Bischoff also announced that anyone who got involved who was not connected with the match would be fired. Triple H looked to get his revenge, but another surprise happened, as he was counted out on the outside, again giving Benjamin the win! Evolution assaulted Benjamin after the match, with Benoit, Mick Foley, & Shawn Michaels making the save.
It was soon announced that the Wrestlemania match would have a repeat appearance, as Benoit would put the World Title on the line against both Triple H and Shawn Michaels again, this time at Backlash '04. Not only that, but the match would be held in Canada, Benoit's home turf (and the most hated fanbase in the world for HBK). The battle between the three men had many similar characteristics from the first one, as two men would battle inside the ring while one recuperated on the outside. Early in the match, Benoit got Helmsley in the Crippler Crossface, only to have a still-fresh Michaels break it up.
Later on, Michaels accidentally took out the referee while trying to hit Benoit. When Benoit took out Michaels, Triple H reentered, only to once again get caught, this time in the Sharpshooter! With no referee, though, there was no submission. Head referee Earl Hebner (the referee who screwed Bret Hart) then came out, even as Michaels came back and got the Sharpshooter on Benoit. Triple H broke it up, though, preventing another "screwjob". Michaels later took himself out by missing a Flying Cross-Body and crashing through the Spanish Announcer's table. Triple H nearly took advantage of this, landing the Pedigree on the champion, but HBK barely made the save, keeping the match going. Triple H was later knocked out of the match, and could only watch as Benoit made HBK tap out to the Sharpshooter, retaining the title.
Triple H showed up late to the next Raw in the Evolution limo, only to find out that Michaels had been signed as the next #1 Contender to Benoit. Later that night, Evolution beat down Edge (who had challenged Randy Orton to an IC Title Match), then Triple H Pedigree'd Benoit when he tried to make the save. Later that night, Flair & Batista defended the Raw Tag Titles against Benoit & Edge, with Triple H interfering whenever possible. But Michaels then came down and gave Triple H some Sweet Chin Music, taking him out of the equation as Edge Speared Batista to win away the Raw Tag Titles, taking more gold from Evolution. A week later, Triple H came to the ring and attacked Tajiri, before complaining about Michaels getting the title shot. Tajiri came back, though, to spit the Green Mist into Triple H's face, blinding him! The Game, green face and all, fought Tajiri in a match later that night, dodging another Mist blast and getting the Pedigree for the victory.
Going into May '04, Evolution fought in a 6-Man matcb on Raw against Tajiri, Benjamin, & Edge. Triple H led his team, but had to watch as Orton got felled by an Edge Spear, losing the match. Later that night, Triple H interfered in the Benoit/Michaels World Title Match, Pedigree'ing Benoit. However, Triple H then also Pedigree'd Michaels, which allowed Benoit to get the victory, keeping the title. A week later, Triple H faced Benjamin in a singles match. The bout didn't last long, though, before Michaels charged the ring, causing a brawl between the two wrestlers, wih Triple H having to escape through the crowd. Michaels, due to the assault, was suspended by Bischoff, giving Triple H some breathing room. Triple H competed in a "#1 Contenders Battle Royal" the next week, eliminating Maven, Val Venis, the Hurricane, and Shelton Benjamin to reach the final 2, going against Kane. But Michaels then showed up, costing Triple H the match and the title shot.
On the next Raw, Triple H, with Batista, tried to ambush Michaels as he appeared at the arena. However, the man they beat up was Stevie Richards, not Michaels, who later surprised Triple H, causing a brawl. Michaels later got a match with Triple H agreed to by Bischoff, but Triple H showed up in the office, setting off another brawl between the two former best friends. One final brawl at the end of the night caused GM Bischoff to make their match at the next PPV in a "Hell In A Cell"! Triple H and Michaels continued to brawl over the next few weeks, whenever given the opportunity, once fighting it out in a Skybox. At Bad Blood '04, the two met in the Hell In A Cell, with Triple H confident after so many battles in the structure. It was a furious, bloody match, with Triple H nearly losing after taking a huge Flying Elbow Drop from HBK through a table. Near the end, both men landed their finishers, but couldn't put the other man away. Finally, an exhausted Triple H caught Michaels with another Pedigree and pinned him, winning the bout.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Triple H and Michaels met up in the ring, with Jim Ross looking for them to shake hands and end the feud. However, before anything could happen, "The Big Red Machine" Kane showed up and attacked Michaels, injuring his throat with a steel chair. Meanwhile, Triple H, showing no concern for HBK, left the ring unscathed, and was told by Bischoff that, if he could defeat Bischoff's mentally retarded nephew, Eugene, on the next Raw, he'd be #1 Contender. Bischoff had been trying to get Eugene to quit the business, so he routinely put Eugene in bad situations. A week later, Evolution showed up to the arena with Eugene in tow, even letting him dress in their locker room. Triple H also told Bischoff that he wasn't going to beat up Eugene, since they were now friends. Of course, this was all a trick from Triple H, as they broke into laughter once Eugene left. Later on, Triple H used a variety of tricks against Eugene during their match, with Flair hanging out at ringside. At the end, Triple H hit the Pedigree, but Bischoff didn't want Triple H to make the pin, instead telling him to keep up the beating. Triple H then went for a chair, but Benoit ran down to try to make the save. One of Benoit's chair shots went wild, though, hitting Eugene. Triple H then caught the distracted Benoit with a Pedigree to end the night.
On the next Raw, Eugene was called out by Triple H, who explained that he had just wanted to show Eugene that people were jealous of him, like Benoit. Triple H then named Eugene an honorary member of Evolution. When William Regal, Eugene's long-time manager & friend, tried to intervene, Triple H turned Eugene against him by talking about how Regal was forced to be Eugene's friend by Bischoff. A match was set up later that night, pitting Triple H against Regal, with Eugene as the special guest referee. During the match, Eugene tried to call things down the middle, but kept being distracted by Flair on the outside, giving Triple H an advantage. The match was decided, however, when Flair threw Triple H some brass knuckles, but Regal avoided the assault. When Regal picked up the knuckles, however, Eugene saw them, and immediately disqualified Regal, crying because his mentor was a cheater. Regal tried to explain, but was shoved into Eugene by Triple H. An infuriated Eugene then attacked Regal, beating him down until Triple H & Flair were able to escort him to the back, apparently having earned Eugene's trust.
A week later, with Bischoff on vacation, Eugene was surprisingly put in charge of Raw. Triple H worked to use this to his advantage, getting Eugene to make a "Handicap" Match, pitting Triple H, Flair, & Eugene against Benoit & Edge. Benoit was another close friend of Eugene, but Triple H helped work to break that up. During the match, Benoit went to hit Triple H with a steel chair, but Eugene broke it up. Later on, when Benoit got Triple H in the Sharpshooter, Eugene made up his mind, hitting Benoit with the chair! Eugene & Flair then left ringside, as Triple H Pedigree'd the World Champion and won the match.
At Vengeance '04, Evolution showed up with Eugene still in tow, even with Benoit trying to convince Eugene otherwise at one point during the night. Later on, Eugene teamed with Flair against the Raw Tag Champs, La Resistance, with Eugene causing the DQ by shoving the referee (while attacking both members of La Resistance). Later on, Triple H took on Benoit for the Raw World Title, with Eugene coming down to help out. He distracted Benoit at one point, allowing Triple H to get the Pedigree. However, Benoit kicked out at 2. Later on, Triple H, still in control, went for a chair, but Eugene refused to give it to him, causing problems. Late in the match, with both wrestlers down, Eugene came into the ring with a chair, but couldn't decide which man to hit. Benoit got up and grabbed the chair, struggling with Eugene, who then accidentally hit Triple H! As a crying Eugene left the ring, Benoit pinned Triple H for the victory, keeping Triple H from regaining the gold.
Twenty-four hours later, Eugene showed up in the Evolution locker room contrite about what had happened. While the rest of Evolution seemed furious, Triple H told him that he wasn't mad, but that Bischoff needed to see him. A worried Eugene went to see his Uncle Eric, with Bischoff telling Eugene that he was proud of him. Bischoff then gave Eugene a Raw World Title match against Benoit that night. Late in the match, Eugene got a close 2 count, and thought he had won. Evolution then came out, apparently to join him. But it was all a trick, as Evolution beat both Eugene and Benoit into the mat, leaving them a broken mess. Triple H spoke about Eugene on the next Raw, saying that he actually hated the man, and that no one respected him. Bischoff then announced that, on the next Raw, Triple H would be facing Benoit again, this time in a "60-Minute Iron Man" Match! That night, Triple H had Batista wrestle Benoit, with instructions to beat up the champion. Although Batista lost by DQ, he accomplished his goal, eventually destroying Benoit with a Batista Bomb.
The much-anticipated Iron Man match took place near the end of July '04, with both wrestlers exchanging moves early on with no falls. Benoit finally grabbed the edge in the match by getting the Crossface on Triple H, then rolling him over for the quick pin. Benoit stayed in control for a time, but when Triple H broke free of an Abdominal Stretch by throwing Benoit over the ropes and to the outside (hitting the apron on the way down), Benoit was in a bad way, bleeding from the mouth. After a variety of maneuvers, Triple H came back to get the Pedigree on Benoit, tying up the match 1-1. Triple H then pressed his advantage, tossing Benoit to the outside, then dropping him on the steel steps, leaving him to be counted out. This put Triple H ahead 2-1 with 30 minutes left.
As the match wore on, Triple H focused on Benoit's injured ribs, trying to do more damage. With 20 minutes left, Triple H managed to get a massive spinebuster for another pin, putting him up 3-1. However, when Triple H went to finish Benoit off with a Pedigree, Benoit reversed it into the Sharpshooter, forcing Triple H to tap out and getting himself back into the match. Benoit continued to fight back, trying and finally locking on the Crossface to even the contest up at 3 all, with only 10 minutes remaining. This brought Flair & Batista out to the ring to help their teammate, with Batista bloodying Benoit's face on the outside by slamming him into the post (while Flair distracted the ref). When the ref went down later on, Evolution triple-teamed Benoit, with Triple H looking like he was on his way to victory. However, Benoit kicked out at 2, causing Triple H to take out another referee. This backfired, though, as Eugene rushed out of the crowd and took out all three Evolution members, as well as his uncle Eric! As Benoit crawled to cover the unconscious Triple H, Eugene tossed a referee into the ring to make the count. Triple H lost the match, 3-4, all due to Eugene.
Triple H soon focused his attentions on Eugene, who was kept at home the next Raw by his friend, Regal. Triple H took out his frustrations on Regal instead, beating him down with his sledgehammer. A week later, Eugene tried to call Triple H out, having snuck out of the hotel he had been staying at with the injured Regal. Instead, Triple H appeared on the big screen, having gone to the hotel to do more damage to Regal! Triple H then blamed Eugene for everything that was happening, saying that it was his fault. Later that night, Evolution attacked Benoit, with Eugene coming out to make the save.
At Summerslam '04, Triple H and Eugene went at it in their grudge match, with Triple H supremely confident going in. Triple H used his superior mind early in the match, knocking down the ring announcer, Lillian Garcia. When Eugene went to help her, Triple H attacked, taking control. Triple H also used a fake knee injury to get in some more shots on the slow-witted Eugene. But Eugene fought back repeatedly, even flipping Triple H off and getting a Stunner at one point. Later on, Flair saved Triple H from an embarrassing defeat, putting Triple H's foot on the ropes during a pin attempt. Flair was ejected from ringside, and met by Regal, who knocked him out with brass knuckles. Eugene, seeing this, was distracted, which allowed Triple H to get the Pedigree for the victory, escaping with the win.
One night later, on Raw, Triple H joined with the rest of Evolution in celebrating with Randy Orton, who had beaten Benoit the night before to win the Raw Heavyweight Title. Orton and Benoit faced off once more in a rematch that night, with Triple H assuring a nervous Orton that "Evolution will be your solution!" It worked, as Evolution helped to distract Benoit, allowing Orton to win with his RKO maneuver. After the match, Batista hoisted Orton onto his shoulders, apparently celebrating with him while Triple H gave him the thumbs up. But when Triple H turned it to a thumbs down, Batista threw Orton to the ground, and Evolution proceeded to beat the hell out of him! Surprisingly, Triple H & Evolution had turned on one of their own.
A week later, Triple H came out with Flair & Batista and gave Orton an ultimatum, saying that he had to turn over the Raw World Title to him. Triple H was the one who had to be World Champion in the group, not Orton. Orton seemed willing to hand it over, but then refused, spitting in the Game's face. When Triple H went after Orton, the champ smacked Triple H with the title, knocking him out! Batista & Flair gave chase, as Orton escaped, making him the #1 Target for the Game. It was soon announced by GM Bischoff that Triple H would be facing Orton at the next PPV for the Raw World Title.
On the final Raw of August, Triple H was placed in a "No Disqualification" Match with Eugene, looking to finally end Eugene's run with the company. The match went back and forth for a time, with Eugene 'hulking' up and nearly winning the match. But Triple H soon began to dominate, putting Eugene in a sleeper hold and knocking him out. The Game refused to pin him, however, instead wanting to inflict more damage with his sledgehammer. Before he could do more damage, though, Triple H was intercepted by Randy Orton, who brawled with him and eventually nailed him with the sledge, then got the RKO. As Evolution watched helplessly from ringside (while Orton kept them at bay with the sledge), an unconscious Eugene 'pinned' Triple H, scoring the upset.
An angry Triple H went to Bischoff the next week, with Bischoff quickly making a rematch between the two men inside a Steel Cage. This match was all Triple H, who brutally beat down Eugene, bloodying him on the steel. He focused on the shoulder of Eugene, apparently dislocating it. After a thorough beating, Triple H finally left the cage, leaving the unconscious Eugene laying on the mat. It was definitely a message to the World Champion. At Unforgiven '04, Triple H and Orton went at it, with Flair & Batista at ringside to continually help the Game. Near the end, the referee got knocked out, leading the Coach (an ally of Triple H's) to try to come down as the new ref. He got RKO'ed by Orton, taking him out of the equation. Orton then RKO'ed Flair as well, but got caught by a Batista Bomb, laying him out. Triple H, meanwhile, got a chair and nailed Orton with it, before dropping the chair and Pedigree'ing the champ onto it! Triple H then made the easy pin, becoming the Raw World Champion once again.
On the next Raw, the champ, with Flair & Batista, came out for an in-ring celebration, complete with a giant cake. It turned out, though, that neither Flair nor Batista had ordered the cake, which had a surprise inside. Orton came flying out and attacked, throwing Flair & Batista from the ring and knocking Triple H down with the title. Because of this, GM Bischoff gave Evolution a 3-on-1 Handicap Match against Orton that night. Technically, Evolution lost the match via DQ, as, when Orton seemed to have the edge, all 3 attacked him at once. As Triple H and the rest were beating down Orton, though, Shelton Benjamin & Chris Benoit ran out to make the save, ending with Batista tasting 3 finishing maneuvers in a row, while Triple H watched from the outside.
Triple H next had to deal with the uncertainty of opponents, as the next #1 Contender was going to be chosen by the fans for the next PPV. Triple H feuded with each of the candidates over the next few weeks, going against Benoit, Shawn Michaels, and Edge, as well as fighting in a "Lumberjack" Match against Chris Jericho. Triple H got the win thanks to Rhyno Goring Jericho, then had to leave the ring with Evolution, as a crazed Randy Orton showed up to RKO several lumberjacks. At Taboo Tuesday '04, Triple H found out that his opponent would be Michaels, despite Michaels suffering from an injury. The two put on another great match, which was marred when Edge came out, thinking that he should have been the one chosen. Edge Speared Michaels, allowing Triple H to get the pin and retain the title, even as Edge yelled at Michaels for not forfeiting his shot due to his injury.
On the next Raw, with Bischoff away because of his getting his head shaved at Taboo Tuesday, Evolution declared themselves in control of the show. Triple H tried to give Flair another shot at Randy Orton (he had lost to Orton at Taboo Tuesday), but Orton then came out, wanting a title shot instead. Triple H said that, if Orton could again beat Flair, he'd get a title shot, but if Flair won, Orton would never get another chance at Triple H's belt. Throughout the night, Evolution had confrontations with the faces of Raw, namely Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Maven. At the end of the night, during Flair's match with Orton, Flair tasted the RKO again. Batista started to come out for the save, but was stopped by the 3 faces. However, Triple H came from the other side and knocked Orton out with a chair shot, allowing Flair to get the pinfall victory, keeping Orton from the title. The win didn't help Triple H or Flair, though, as the rest of the faces from Raw came out and joined together in a complete beatdown of both men!
Triple H didn't show up on the next Raw, due to the seeming disrespect shown him from the locker room. Instead, Flair & Batista showed up to protest to GM Bischoff, only to have a firey mad Bischoff blast Evolution for not saving him from getting his head shaved! He made a "Survivor Series Elimination" Match for the next PPV, with the winners getting to control Raw for a month. The heel team was soon announced as Triple H, Batista, Gene Snitsky, & Edge. When Flair protested being left off the team, Bischoff just put him & Batista in a "Handicap" Match against Jericho, Maven, & Orton (3 of the 4 face team, with Chris Benoit being the other). Although a Triple H appearance was teased (it was Tajiri dressed up like him), there was no help for Evolution, who lost the "Handicap" Match.
Triple H came out to get in Bischoff's face on the next Raw, but Bischoff surprisingly stood up to him, threatening to strip Triple H of the title if he tried to bodily harm the GM. Things continued to build for the big match, with Bischoff saying that each week of the month, one of the winners would be in charge. While the face team seemed to be working well together, Triple H's team seemed to be falling apart, as both Edge and Snitsky said that, on their week, they'd have a World Title match with Triple H. Triple H and Batista seemed to be more of a unit, but even Batista was seen glancing enviously at the championship belt, leaving speculation that he, too, might try to go after Triple H if their team won. It was basically a no-win situation for the champ, as everyone was out to get him.
The '04 Survivor Series match started out with a lot of back-and-forth action, with no quick eliminations this year. At one point, Benoit seemed to be in control, catching both Triple H & Edge with his flying headbutt. But Snitsky broke up the cover. As the ref was distracted by Snitsky, Benoit got the Crossface on Edge, only to have Triple H get the Pedigree, allowing Edge to eliminate Benoit with a weak cover. However, dissention soon kicked him for Batista's team, as Triple H and Snitksy argued with each other, allowing the faces to come back. Flair tried to intervene to help, but the referee saw him, and ejected Flair from ringside. Meanwhile, while Batista was brawling with Jericho, Orton got the World Title and clocked Batista from the outside, allowing Jericho to get a running enziguiri to eliminate him.
Later on, a battered Maven (who had been attacked earlier in the evening by Snitsky) came down to join his team, only to have Snitsky attack him with a chair, getting himself DQ'ed! Maven was easy pickings for Triple H afterwards, though, making it a 2-on-2 match. After some more back-and-forth action, Edge caught Jericho with a Spear, eliminating him and making it Triple H & Edge against Orton. The two constantly double-teamed the challenger, but miscues worked against the heels, as Edge accidentally Speared the champion. This left Edge open to an RKO, evening things up again. The two final wrestlers went at it, with Triple H missing his chance for a Pedigree. Instead, Orton got the RKO and the victory, keeping Triple H's team from getting to run Raw for a month.
The first Raw after the Survivor Series was run by Maven, who immediately made a match: Maven vs. Triple H for the World Title. During the night, Triple H offered a spot in Evolution to Maven, if he would cancel the match. Batista was annoyed by this, telling Triple H that, since Helmsley can easily beat Maven, why should he be offered a spot? Triple H, though, told Batista that he shouldn't be thinking for the group. Helmsley then told him to lighten up. Triple H went on to defeat Maven that night, with help from Batista at ringside. Still, it seemed that problems were growing between Triple H and his enforcer.
On the next Raw, Chris Benoit was put in charge, and he immediately made a match between him and Triple H for the World Title in a Steel Cage. During the night, the problems between Triple H and Batista grew worse, with Batista taking out some of his frustrations on Chris Jericho, losing via DQ after refusing to release a hold. Triple H used this for his arguments, saying that Batista shouldn't have lost the match. Just before Triple H's title defense, Batista was seen storming from the building, with Flair following him in histerics. Meanwhile, Triple H was shown out cold in the locker room, forcing his title defense to be scrapped. Benoit went on to battle and defeat Edge in the cage instead. Soon after the main event finished, Batista came to the ring and demanded another piece of the champ. Triple H obliged, only to show that the whole thing had been a swerve to keep him from having to defend his title. Batista was still a strong member of Evolution. While they were celebrating, however, Randy Orton came out to talk about how he was in charge of the next Raw. Since he couldn't fight Triple H for the title, he instead announced a Battle Royal match involving Triple H, Batista, Flair, and most of the locker room, with the World Title on the line!
A week later, it was announced by Vince McMahon that, since anyone could win the Battle Royal, the winner of the match would instead get a title shot against the Game (who wouldn't compete in the Battle Royal). Benoit and Edge both lasted until the end, eliminating each other, forcing Orton to make it a "Triple Threat" Match for the World Title. Meanwhile, Triple H was trying to deal with some more dissention, as Batista had accidentally eliminated Flair in the Battle Royal. Flair & Batista came out later on to help Triple H against Benoit and Edge, but got ordered away from ringside by the GM, Orton. Meanwhile, in the match, Edge managed to reverse the Crossface enough to pin Benoit, but tapped at the same time, causing the winner of the match to be unknown.
It was announced on the next week's show, with Chris Jericho as GM, that the title was actually vacated. Triple H, upset, lashed out some at Batista, who then told Triple H that, if not for him, the belt would be around Benoit's waist. He then told Triple H "You're welcome" and left. Later on, Triple H & Batista were put in a tag-team match against Benoit & Jericho. Evolution did well in the match, but lost it via DQ when Triple H decided to use a chair on Benoit. He then swung at Jericho, but hit Batista instead, knocking him down. Triple H then laid out Jericho and tried to apologize to the hurting Batista. On the next Raw, Triple H & Batista were given a rematch with Benoit & Jericho, with Bischoff back as the GM to decide what happens with the World Title. Triple H wanted to kiss up to the boss, but Batista stopped him, convincing him to show his worth in the ring instead. It didn't work out as planned, though, as Batista saved Helmsley from the Crippler Crossface and hit a Spinebuster on Benoit, pinning him, and making Batista look stronger than the Game.
In a surprising announcement later that night, Bischoff told Triple H and the rest of the Raw locker room that there would be a 6-man Elimination Chamber match at the next PPV, with the Raw Championship on the line. The competitors would be Triple H, Benoit, Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge, and Batista! A brawl broke out between the combatants as the show ended. On the final Raw of 2004, Bischoff announced a new twist: each of the 6 wrestlers would compete that night against assigned foes. Whoever won their match in the quickest amount of time would be given the coveted final entry into the Chamber. If anyone lost, they would forfeit their spot. Batista had his match before Triple H, with the assurance that he wouldn't make the time any harder to beat. But in his match against Rhyno, Batista hit two Batista Bombs, then decided to make the cover, winning the match in only 3:02! Triple H yelled at Batista later, with Batista apologizing and saying that Rhyno had pissed him off. When Triple H continued the tirade, Batista got in his boss's face, saying "Now YOU'RE starting to piss me off!" Flair separated the two, and they went on with their business, with Batista watching as Triple H defeated Shelton Benjamin in the main event, but being unable to beat Batista's time. This made Batista the last man to enter the Chamber instead of Triple H, making it harder for the Game to win the match.
In the Raw before the PPV, Triple H had a match against Randy Orton, and he asked Batista to stay in the back while he handled the business by himself. Batista agreed to stay away, unless, of course, Orton started kicking Triple H's ass. Later on, Batista did, in fact, start to come down to help out Triple H when Orton seemed to have the upper hand, but got into a brawl with Benoit instead. Meanwhile, the match turned to chaos, as the referee got knocked out. This led to Shawn Michaels and Edge coming down to the ring as well, with Edge trying to Spear Michaels, only to get taken out by Chris Jericho! Meanwhile, Triple H countered the RKO, then went for the Pedigree, only to have Orton turn it back to the RKO for the victory, with Michaels, who would be the special referee at the PPV, doing the count.
At New Year's Revolution '05, the Elimination Chamber took place, with the vacated gold on the line. Benoit and Jericho started out the match, with the rest locked in the chambers. The two fought hard on each other, doing a lot of damage, before Triple H came in third. The Game had the advantage at first, but Benoit & Jericho started working together against him, with all three men bleeding from various wounds. Edge came in next, and attacked everybody, including an Edgecution on Triple H that nearly eliminated him. Orton was next, and the five wrestlers brawled, still with no eliminations. Finally, during the melee, Edge accidentally Speared the ref, Shawn Michaels, who later came back with some Sweet Chin Music. Jericho then got the Lionsault on Edge and pinned him, taking him out of the match. Benoit & Jericho then got Triple H in two submission holds at once, but Batista was released and made the save. Batista went on to eliminate Benoit with the Spinebuster, and took out Jericho with the Batista Bomb. But a low blow from Orton weakened Batista enough for the RKO, sending him out of the match. Batista didn't leave quietly, though, taking out Orton with a massive clothesline that allowed Triple H to get the Pedigree and win the match, becoming a 10-time World Heavyweight Champion!
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Triple H & Flair praised Batista as a team player, giving him lots of credit. But Orton interrupted the celebration and talked Batista into seeing a video of the match, showing that the Game had a chance to save Batista from elimination, but didn't take it. This caused more friction between the Evolution members. GM Bischoff then came out and announced that Batista would face Orton in a #1 Contenders Match for Triple H's Title! Throughout the night, Triple H and Batista interacted, with the Game telling his man that he deserved the shot, and Batista saying "Eventually people get what they deserve". In the match, Batista seemed to be on the verge of winning, but was distracted by Triple H, who wanted to hit Orton with a chair. Batista didn't want to go that route, telling the Game to leave, but Orton then shoved Batista from behind into the chair, then rolled him up, getting the pinfall and earning the title shot. A furious Batista glared towards Triple H as the show ended.
A week later, Triple H was worried about Batista, especially since he hadn't shown up the arena yet. Flair assured him, though, that he had talked to Batista on the phone, and that everything was cool. Batista later showed up to the arena and said that he forgave Triple H for the mistake. Still, problems persisted between the two, as Batista was told by Bischoff that he'd have the chance to enter the Royal Rumble match the next week, if he won a Qualifying bout. Triple H & Flair both thought they should focus more on retaining the title over Orton, but Batista was going to think about it. During the same show, Triple H tried to sneak-attack Orton, only to have Orton fight off both Triple H & Flair.
On the next Raw, Triple H & Flair came out during a Jim Ross interview. Ross was interviewing an old-time wrester, Danny Hodge, along with Stacey Keibler. Triple H told the others to leave, but wanted Keibler to stay, causing Ross & Hodge to stand up to him. Triple H & Flair then beat down the two men, before Triple H attempted a Pedigree on Keibler! Orton made the save, chasing the two Evolution members off. Later on, Triple H & Flair bragged to Batista about what they had done, but Batista didn't seem impressed with them having beat up an announcer, a senior citizen, and a woman. Batista then told them that he had decided to take the qualifying match for the Rumble, in order to ensure that, if Triple H lost the title to Randy Orton, Batista could get it back. Triple H later countered by saying that Flair would also be in the Rumble, for more Evolution 'security'. At the end of the night, Flair fought Orton, with Triple H & Batista watching from ringside. At one point, Helmsley tripped up Orton. The ref, knowing something had happened, blamed it on Batista and had him thrown from ringside, with Helmsley not even looking at him. Orton went on to win the match with an RKO.
At the '05 Royal Rumble, Triple H took on Orton, with the Raw World Title on the line. It was a furious match, but for once, Triple H did the damage on his own, causing Orton to suffer a concussion. This gave Triple H the edge, as he later landed the Pedigree to get the victory, retaining the title. Later that night, Triple H watched from the back as both Batista and Flair competed in the Rumble. Much to Triple H's unhappiness, Batista got the victory, winning a World Title shot at Wrestlemania! This meant that Batista had the choice of either facing Triple H or taking on the champion of Smackdown, John Bradshaw Layfield.
For the next few weeks, the main speculation on both Raw and Smackdown was, where would Batista go? While Triple H acted like he was interested in a match between the two men, he also decided that Batista should take the Smackdown Title from John Bradshaw Layfield, meaning that Evolution could rule both shows. Batista was further influenced by several Smackdown interviews mysteriously played on Raw, showing Layfield and the Big Show talking down to Batista. On one Raw, Batista was in the midst of a match, when Triple H interrupted to point out that Layfield's limo had just pulled up outside the arena. Helmsley wanted Evolution to beat down Layfield, but Batista disagreed, wanting to handle things on his own. This was nearly his undoing, however, as the limo tried to run Batista over, with Triple H making the last-second save. JBL later claimed that he hadn't been driving the limo, and that someone was setting him up. Batista still appeared later to attack JBL on Smackdown, anyway, destroying his limo. Batista also appeared at No Way Out '05, a Smackdown PPV.
The contract signing for Wrestlemania 21 was held on the next Raw, with Triple H & Flair both sure that Batista would sign to face JBL for the Smackdown World Title. In his gloating, Triple H revealed to Flair that he actually had been the one to set up the JBL limo attack on Batista, as well as playing the Smackdown clips on Raw. Triple H claimed to have done it for Batista's benefit, although it was clear it was more to keep him from challenging Triple H. Unbeknowst to Triple H & Flair, though, Batista was listening in outside the door, with a tight smile on his face. Later on that night, Evolution made their way out to where Bischoff & Theodore Long were waiting. After speeches from both GMs, as well as Triple H, Batista announced that he had known all along what he wanted. He dropped the Raw contract and seemed to be about to sign with Smackdown, giving the thumbs up to Evolution. In an ode to what happened to Randy Orton, however, Batista changed it to a thumbs down, then attacked, throwing Flair out of the ring, then Batista Bombing Triple H through a table! Batista then signed the Raw contract, saying that he was coming for Triple H's title!
A week later, an irate Triple H threatened to beat Batista within an inch of his life as soon as he arrived at the arena. Batista came to the ring later on for an interview with Jim Ross, talking about why he wanted to face the Game. Batista said that he wanted to beat the man, so that he could become the man, stealing a line from Flair. A few minutes later, Triple H & Flair came out, surrounding the ring. But only Flair entered, getting beat down by Batista, as the champ continually started to enter, only to back away. Batista once again showed the thumbs down, before drilling Flair with the Batista Bomb, as a frustrated Triple H stomped outside the ring, unwilling to enter. Triple H later arranged for Flair to face Batista in a singles match on the next Raw.
Before the match, a worried Flair was reassured by Triple H that he would be there with the sledgehammer to ensure victory. Bischoff nixed that, however, saying that he couldn't risk his Wrestlemania main event, and banned the sledgehammer from ringside. Even so, Flair had Triple H in his corner, and nearly beat Batista with the Figure Four. But Batista came back, took out Triple H, and Batista Bombed Flair again for the victory. On the next Raw, a "Pick Your Poison" Match was set up, as Batista got to choose Triple H's opponent. He picked Chris Benoit, trying to get under Triple H's skin (since Benoit had beaten the Game at the last Wrestlemania). It backfired in a way, though, as, while the ref was distracted with ejecting Flair from ringside, Triple H got a low blow on Benoit, followed by the Pedigree, getting a big victory and exorcising a Wrestlemania demon. Triple H then decided that, for his "Pick Your Poison" decision, he was selecting Kane as Batista's next opponent.
It was announced on the next Raw that not only would Batista have to fight the Big Red Machine, Kane, but it would also be a "Lumberjack" Match, with wrestlers handpicked by Triple H at ringside. The plan somewhat backfired on Triple H, though, as some of the wrestlers also had a grudge with Kane, and attacked him as well during the match. In the end, both Batista and Kane took out most of the lumberjacks, then got back to the fight, with Kane nearly winning with a Chokeslam. But Batista came back and got the Batista Bomb to walk out victorious, with Triple H angrily looking on from the announcers' table. The two wrestlers had an orchestrated Face-Off on the final Raw before the big event, with security at hand if needed. Triple H talked about how he had created Batista, and subsequently been betrayed. Batista simply said he would take the title, that Flair was a true legend, and that Triple H was an a**hole. This led to Triple H throwing over the table between them and slapping Batista, prompting a "thank-you" from the Animal, since this allowed him to fight back. The two brawled, with Flair, Bischoff, & security all trying to break them up.
At Wrestlemania 21, Triple H met his former ally, Batista, with the Raw World Title on the line. The match started slowly, with both men feeling the other out. Triple H tried to go for it all soon after, though, locking on the Pedigree, only to have a fresh Batista easily escape. Flair, at ringside, worked to help Triple H, distracting Batista to let the Game get the advantage, as well as later choking Batista from the outside. The match went back and forth, being fought both inside and outside the ring, including Triple H trying for a Pedigree on the steel steps. Batista countered by throwing the champ into the ring post, busting him open. Later in the match, when the ref was knocked down, Flair entered with the belt, looking to knock Batista out, only to taste the Spinebuster. This allowed Triple H to recover, however, and he nailed Batista with the belt. Batista was able to kick out at 2, then came back and got the Spinebuster on the champ. When he went for the Batista Bomb, though, Triple H got a low blow, stopping him in his tracks. Triple H then went once again for the Pedigree, but Batista stopped it with an incredible slam. He then gave the Thumbs Down and Batista Bombed Triple H, pinning him to take away the Raw World Championship.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Triple H came out to discuss his loss, saying that, while Batista was good on one night, he was great every night, and that he would be getting the World Title back soon enough. Triple H later watched Batista defend the title against Randy Orton, applauding after Batista's victory. Triple H vented again about Batista a week later, but this time he was interrupted by Rosey & the Hurricane (whom Triple H had attacked separately during the year). The two men surprisingly double-teamed Triple H, sending him from the ring and causing Triple H to accept a "Two-On-One Handicap" Match against them. Although Triple H was tested in the bout, he came through, tying up Rosey in the ropes, then Pedigree'ing the Hurricane for the victory. Triple H then attacked Rosey some more, before Pedigree'ing him on the floor, sending a message towards Batista. He sent another one a short while later, as, while Batista was being interviewed by Jim Ross, Triple H laid out a challenge, the next week... to JR.
Although Batista said he would be in JR's corner the next week, he was late getting to the arena due to Triple H paying off his limo driver. This led to Jim Ross taking a bad beating from Triple H in their "No Disqualification" Match, a beating so bad that Jerry "The King" Lawler tried to make the save, only to be Pedigree'd. Unfortunately for Triple H, he toyed with JR too long, as Batista finally showed up and took out both Triple H & Flair, before dragging JR on top of Triple H to get Ross the improbable victory. A week later, Batista celebrated JR's win, even calling him the "#1 Contender" at one point. He added more fuel to Triple H's fire by showing the clip of him being pinned several times. That night, Batista faced off in a "Non-Title" Match with Christian. It was announced that Triple H would be in Christian's corner, while Flair would be the timekeeper and the Coach would be the referee. Despite the odds, Batista won the match with a Batista Bomb on Christian. However, Triple H attacked Batista after the match, knocking Batista out with the Pedigree.
The two men faced off again for the Raw World Title at Backlash '05. This time, Triple H seemed to have all the motivation and momentum behind him, as well as having Flair. Triple H was also obsessed with the Pedigree, believing that that was all he needed to get the win. He went for the Pedigree several times, with Batista finding ways to escape it. The two fought to the outside, and even briefly into the crowd, showing their hatred for one another. Later on, Batista was looking to end the match early with the powerbomb, but while Flair distracted the referee, Triple H was able to slam the World Title against Batista's skull, getting a near fall. The fighting continued, with the referee accidentally taking a bad hit from Batista. This allowed Triple H to get the Pedigree, but the ref was down and couldn't make the count. Flair later entered the ring to help out, but was taken out by Batista. In the end, Batista caught Triple H in the corner and got the Batista Bomb, with a semi-conscious referee making the count, keeping Triple H from regaining 'his' title.
Triple H was already in a bad mood when he came to Raw the next day. It got worse, as Bischoff announced that there would be a Gold Rush Tournament to decide the next #1 Contender to Batista's title. Triple H didn't think he needed to earn another shot, but had no choice in the matter. He faced Chris Benoit in the first round, with Flair helping him during the match. But when the ref went down, and Flair entered to help double-team Benoit, Batista ran out, taking out both men. Benoit then got the Sharpshooter on Triple H, torturing him while Batista gleefully watched, even pulling back the ropes when Triple H tried to escape. Cursing Batista, Triple H finally tapped, costing him another chance to get back the gold. Due to this defeat, Triple H "took his ball and went home," leaving Flair behind. Flair begged for Triple H to stay, but he instead drove off, with Flair blaming Batista for making him go.
Flair and Batista seemed to rekindle their bond over the next few weeks, with Batista saving Flair from an assault from Tyson Tomko & Christian. Flair seemed to return the favor soon afterwards, helping Batista fight off Edge, Christian, & Tomko during a World Title defense (Edge had won the Gold Rush Tournament). However, after the match, Triple H's music hit, and the Game walked out, with Flair turning again on Batista with a low blow. Triple H then entered the ring and beat down the champion, before announcing to the bloodied Batista that they would be facing one more time, in a "Hell In A Cell" Match!
Batista soon accepted the challenge, and the two rivals continued their epic feud. Triple H and Batista signed the "Hell In A Cell" contract the next week, with an intense nose-to-nose staredown afterwards. Meanwhile, at the time, the '05 Draft Lottery was taking place, with a wrestler being moved from each program each week. On one show, Kurt Angle came over from Smackdown to Raw, immediately wanting to get a crack at Batista, while confronting Triple H & Flair about who the top dog on Raw was now. A match was signed the next week for Batista vs. Angle, but the match didn't last long before Triple H & Flair attacked Batista, DQ'ing the bout. The trio attacked Batista until Shawn Michaels came out for the save, leading to a tag match between Triple H & Angle and Batista & Michaels. Thanks to Flair distracting Batista, Triple H was able to get the win with the Pedigree, gaining the momentum going into the PPV.
At Vengeance '05, Triple H met Batista for the Raw World Title at the third PPV in a row. The two battled inside the Hell In A Cell, with each bleeding from the sheer violence of the match, utilizing whatever weapons they could get their hands on. This even included a chair wrapped in barbed wire, which got the "ECW" chants going. Near the end, Batista took control over his former mentor, actually using the ring steps as a landing zone for a Spinebuster on his opponent! A badly hurting Triple H was then easy pickings for the Batista Bomb, with Batista once again retaining the title. Batista had done what few people ever expected: he had beaten Triple H three times in a row.
Batista was soon drafted to Smackdown, killing any chance of one more shot for Triple H. In the meantime, though, Triple H left Raw again, taking time off to recover from the hellacious match, as well as from three straight losses to the champion. Flair, though, reappeared on Raw after a time, winning the IC Title at one point from Carlito. Flair continued to feud with Carlito and his ally, Chris Masters, going into October '05. To combat the duo, Flair announced on the next Raw that his best friend, Triple H, was making his return the next week! Triple H & Flair teamed up against Carlito & Masters at WWE Homecoming, which signified WWE's move back to the USA Network. There were little problems between Triple H & Flair, as they worked together to defeat Carlito & Masters, with Triple H Pedigree'ing Carlito for the win. After the match, Flair gave Triple H his sledgehammer, and the two celebrated... until Triple H hit Flair in the head with the weapon! Triple H beat Flair down, eventually dragging him through the backstage area and throwing the bloody Nature Boy into a limo, ordering the driver to take off.
Triple H came to Raw the next week with most of the Raw locker room furious at him for what he'd done to a legend. While walking in the back, Triple H had confrontations with Shawn Michaels, the Big Show, and WWE Champion John Cena. When Cena talked about Triple H having lost some of his respect, Triple H warned Cena not to attract his attention. Cena told Triple H that if he wants some, to come get some, but Triple H responded that if he wanted it, he'd take it. Later on, Triple H explained himself to the pro-Flair crowd, saying that Flair had gone soft, and that Triple H didn't want to see his hero end up like that. Instead, Triple H claimed he'd taken the horse behind the barn and shot him.
A furious Flair came back after a week off and called out Triple H, giving an amazing interview where his head wound started bleeding again, gushing out blood. When Triple H came out to respond, Flair immediately chased him to the back with a baseball bat. Flair continued to chase after Triple H, as it was announced that the two men would fight on the next PPV, with the fans deciding on what type of match. Flair begged the fans to make it a "Steel Cage" Match, and they listened, putting the two inside the cage at Taboo Tuesday '05. It was a brutal fight, with both men showing the anger that was between them. In the end, a bloody Flair managed to crawl out of the ring, winning the match over his former best friend. On the next Raw, Triple H watched from the ramp as Flair defended the IC Title, defeating Rob Conway. He attacked Flair after the match, showing that the two still had some major problems.
The feud was put on hold, though, the next week, as both Raw and Smackdown did a tribute for Eddie Guerrero, who had passed away that weekend. Triple H did an emotional interview, talking about his ties to Guerrero. He later faced Benoit in a match, with Benoit, one of Guerrero's closest friends, getting the victory. Triple H and Benoit embraced after the match, working through the grieving process. A week later, things went back to normal, with Triple H cutting a promo about dealing with Flair at the next PPV. The two again faced off at the '05 Survivor Series, in a "Last Man Standing" Match. It quickly got ugly, as Triple H used a screwdriver to cut Flair open. Flair came back later to backdrop Triple H through an announce table, showing that both were willing to go to extremes to win. In the end, Triple H landed three Pedigrees in a row, with Flair struggling to his feet each time. A frustrated Triple H then smacked Flair with the sledgehammer, finally knocking him out completely to win the match. Flair was stretchered out afterwards, with Triple H making the "gun" symbol above him, apparently finishing him off.
Triple H bragged about what he'd done to Flair the next day on Raw, talking about how he made sure Flair was put in the finest hospital. Triple H then talked about how no one could look him in the eye, but he was then interrupted by the Big Show, who said he wasn't going to let what Triple H had done to Ric Flair slide. He called Triple H a piece of s***, then called him out for a fight. When Triple H tried to talk again, the Big Show knocked the mic from his hand, signaling that the time for talk was over. Rather than fight, however, Triple H left the ring and went up the ramp, leaving the Big Show behind. A week later, Triple H tried to persuade Vince McMahon not to fire Eric Bischoff, without success. He also had a moment with his ex-wife (current wife in the real world) Stephanie McMahon.
A week later, Qualifying Matches were held to decide who would compete in the "Elimination Chamber" Match for the WWE Championship. Triple H 'helped' Shawn Michaels win over the Big Show, hitting Michaels with a chair to deliberately get the Big Show DQ'ed. Later that night, though, Triple H lost his own Qualifying Match to Kane, thanks to the Big Show getting involved, keeping their feud going. In the meantime, Triple H participated in the Christmas in Afghanistan Raw, losing a "Boot Camp" Match to Shawn Michaels and his Sweet Chin Music. A week later, Triple H and the Big Show had a contract signing, which quickly turned violent. Surprisingly, Triple H got the advantage, smashing the Big Show's hand with his sledgehammer, apparently breaking it! Triple H then signed his part of the contract, leaving the Big Show cradling his injured hand.
Triple H bragged about the damage done to the Big Show's hand on the next Raw, only to get a nasty surprise when the Big Show came out with a massive cast on. The cast was hard enough that the Big Show was able to smash a chair out of Triple H's arms, as well as destroying a monitor with it. It seemed that the Big Show now had a sledgehammer of his own to use on Triple H. At New Year's Revolution '06, the odds seemed to be heavily against Triple H, as the Big Show was intent on using his new weapon on the Game. However, Triple H was able to dodge a punch, with the Big Show splitting the cast on the ring post! Triple H then focused on the Big Show's unprotected hand, doing as much damage as possible to it. It paid off later, as the Big Show couldn't manage a Chokeslam on the Game. Near the end, with the ref down, Triple H smashed the Big Show's hand again, this time with a steel chair. Triple H then got his sledgehammer (or what was left of it, as the Big Show had destroyed the handle earlier in the match) and hit the Big Show with it, before landing the Pedigree for the victory.
A day later on Raw, Triple H's feud with the Big Show continued, as he attacked the giant during his match with Shelton Benjamin, causing the Big Show to be counted out due to brawling with Triple H. In the meantime, Triple H declared himself the "favorite" for the Rumble match, saying that he would win it and go straight back to Wrestlemania to claim what was rightfully his: the WWE Championship. At the '06 Royal Rumble, Triple H seemed confident, at least until he drew his number: #1. Triple H had to come out first to take on 30 other competitors, facing off against Smackdown's Rey Mysterio at the beginning. The two wrestlers went at it hard, although they did stop to simultaneously eliminate wrestler #3, Simon Dean. Triple H would later eliminate Ric Flair, the Big Show, Kane, and Chavo Guerrero, while hanging around the Rumble for over an hour, an impressive feat. He made it to the final 3 by 'helping' Mysterio eliminate Rob Van Dam. Unfortunately for Triple H, he then got caught by a 619 and tossed by Mysterio, losing his shot at the title. An angry Triple H attacked Mysterio afterwards, but even this couldn't stop Mysterio from throwing out Randy Orton and winning the Rumble.
Triple H spoke about coming so close to winning on the next Raw, speaking about how Mysterio was supposedly helped by the spirit of Eddie Guerrero. Because of this, Triple H called out Eddie's nephew, Chavo Guerrero, for a match, telling him that he'd better pray for his uncle's help, because he's going to need it. Guerrero put up a good fight against the Game, but Triple H was too tough, winning with the Pedigree. The Road To Wrestlemania Tournament started the next week, with the winner getting a shot at Raw Champion John Cena at the biggest PPV of the year (since Mysterio was facing the Smackdown champion). In the first round, Triple H took on his long-time rival (and former best friend) Ric Flair, with Triple H taking the victory with another Pedigree.
A week later, Triple H had to face another rival, the Big Show, in the semi-finals of the tournament. It was another brutal match between the two, with the fight eventually going to the outside. The ref, unable to keep the two foes in the ring, eventually counted BOTH men out, ending the match. This didn't stop the fight, as Triple H was eventually Speared through the safety barrier by the Big Show, being left in a heap! In the back, when Vince McMahon was asked about what this meant to the tournament, he talked about having seen two men who didn't lose, and moved both men on to the tournament finals to face other semi-final winner, Rob Van Dam, in a "Triple Threat" Match.
Triple H, RVD, and the Big Show had it out a week later, with each giving a speech beforehand about how important the title shot was. The match soon seemed to turn into a "Handicap" Match, as Triple H & Van Dam had to work together against the major threat of the Big Show, who still managed to get a Double Chokeslam on both men. Eventually, though, when Van Dam knocked the Big Show to the outside, Triple H and Van Dam went at it, each trying to get the quick pin on the other. Van Dam was powerful during the match, landing the Five Star Frog Splash on Triple H at one point. Later on, RVD got the Frog Splash on the Big Show as well. However, Triple H then came in, broke up the pin, then Pedigree'd RVD to get the pin and the victory, finally fulfilling his promise to go back to the Wrestlemania main event. After the match, Raw Champ John Cena came out, with the two staring each other down.
A week later, Cena came out to be interviewed by the Coach, who talked about how Cena didn't have a chance against Triple H. Cena took the mic from the Coach, but before he could respond, Triple H himself came out, taking over the interview. Triple H and Cena talked back and forth for a few minutes, with Triple H not giving Cena any chance to defeat him. Cena replied with several facts about Triple H, including that he was a 10-time World Heavyweight Champion, but that he had never beaten Cena. The two came face-to-face, but the tension was surprisingly broken by Vince McMahon (on the Tron), who announced that Triple H and Cena would have to team up to face the Smackdown main event wrestlers Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, & Rey Mysterio on the return edition of Saturday Night's Main Event! Triple H and Cena both looked a little shocked, dealing with the fact that they would have to work with their new foe.
On the next Raw, Triple H was put in a "Wrestlemania Rewind" Match against his Wrestlemania XV opponent, Kane. It was a brutal match, with Triple H getting a lot of help from Chris Masters & Carlito, who attacked Kane outside the ring. This allowed Triple H to get the Pedigree for the victory. Later on, Triple H watched, sledgehammer in hand, as Cena won another "Wrestlemania Rewind" Match, defeating the Big Show. A week later, Triple H and Cena had their WWE Title contract signing for Wrestlemania, with Triple H giving Cena praise for FU'ing the Big Show, but also cutting him down by saying that, while he would normally pull his sledgehammer out from the contract table and attack the champ, he didn't feel he needed to, since Cena was already at a disadvantage. Cena replied that maybe the reason Triple H wasn't doing it was because Cena might stick the sledgehammer up Triple H's ass. The two didn't have time to come to blows, though, when Kane & the Big Show (the two opponents of Cena & Triple H the week before) came out. Triple H was quick to get his sledgehammer, while Cena prepared the title, but Chris Masters & Carlito then attacked Kane & the Big Show, causing a brawl.
It was later stopped by Mr. McMahon, who put together a 6-man tag match between Triple H, Masters, & Carlito and Cena, Kane, & the Big Show. The match ended, though, via DQ, when Masters & Carlito attacked Kane & the Big Show with chairs (to little effect). Cena then tried to goad Triple H back into the ring to settle things, but Cena was then ambushed himself by Smackdown's Randy Orton! Orton gave Cena the RKO, taking him out, then ran, as Triple H entered the ring to chase him out. Although Triple H had no problems with Cena getting nailed, he did seem ready to defend Raw. The show ended, though, with Triple H smirking down at the champion. At Saturday Night's Main Event #32, Triple H & Cena went into the "Handicap" Match with Angle, Mysterio, & Orton, with everyone wondering how they would work together. Triple H showed what he thought, as, after Cena caught Orton with the FU, Triple H ran in and gave Cena the Pedigree! He then tried to get Orton to make the cover, with Mysterio making the save, leading to Triple H Pedigree'ing Mysterio as well! Angle then took out Triple H, only to be RKO'ed. With everyone else down, though, Cena rolled up Orton and got the quick win, possibly the first time in Triple H's career when he didn't want it.
On the next Raw, Triple H was put in a match by Vince McMahon against Shawn Michaels (whom Vince was feuding with at the time). But when Cena confronted Vince, wanting a piece of Triple H, Vince opted to make it Triple H & Shane McMahon vs. Michaels & Cena! Triple H wasn't happy about being in a tag match against Cena, but Vince assured him that he had a plan. It all came to be early in the match as, after Cena used a closed fist on Shane, Vince disqualified him, sending Cena to the back and leaving Triple H & Shane against Michaels in a "Handicap" Match. Although HBK fought hard, Triple H looked to have the advantage at the end, preparing for the Pedigree as Shane climbed the ropes. But Cena reappeared, shoving Shane off the ropes, then helping Michaels clear the ring of Triple H, Shane, and security, with a furious Vince telling Cena that it would be Cena vs. Vince next week.
Triple H took on Michaels again the next week, with Mr. McMahon at ringside to help out. Michaels nearly had Triple H at one point, but Mr. McMahon distracted HBK, allowing Triple H to get the Pedigree. But Triple H didn't go for the pin, instead bringing Mr. McMahon into the ring and going for his sledgehammer. Cena came down for the save, with an overconfident Triple H dropping the sledgehammer to go after him, only to be sent from the ring. Later on, Triple H and Michaels, both handcuffed to the ropes, watched as Cena took on Mr. McMahon. Thanks to a low blow from Mr. McMahon, he got DQ'ed, but was also able to unlock Triple H, who entered the ring and took out first Cena, then the handcuffed Michaels with the sledgehammer, getting some more damage on his PPV opponent.
At Wrestlemania 22, Triple H rose from the stage, while Cena came out in an old-time car, complete with gangsters carrying tommy guns joining him (an ode to Chicago, where the match was being held). Surprisingly, the crowd seemed very pro-Triple H, booing much of Cena's offense. This made for an interesting match, as Triple H, despite his dirty tactics, had the crowd behind him. At one point, Triple H nearly won with a sledgehammer shot, but Cena kicked out, continuing the match. In the end, Cena blocked a Pedigree attempt to reapply his STFU, eventually forcing the Game to tap out. Despite all of Triple H's overconfidence going into the match, he didn't come out with the gold.
Cena came out on the next Raw to both boos and cheers from the crowd, feeling the heat of the audience in attendance. Cena was soon joined by Triple H, who talked about underestimating the champion and wanting another title shot. This, too, was interrupted, by Edge, who thought someone who had won at Wrestlemania should get the shot, namely himself. Cena tried to arrange a "#1 Contenders" Match between the two men, but Edge & Triple H joined forces, getting Cena to agree to a "Handicap" Match against them instead! Cena mostly fought against Edge during the match, as Triple H spent most of the match watching from a seat on the top turnbuckle. Triple H eventually got involved when it looked like Cena might take out Edge, but Triple H got taken out instead by an accidental Edge Spear! Cena then took Edge down, only to have Triple H viciously attack Edge as well! But when Cena went to give Edge the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, Triple H used the opportunity, booting Cena and giving him the Pedigree to pick up the victory. It was later announced on WWE.com that the next Raw PPV main event would be Cena vs. Triple H vs. Edge for the WWE Heavyweight Title.
Edge & Lita came out on the next Raw to brag about the 'win' over Cena, as well as to proclaim Edge as having the best chance of winning the WWE Title. Edge even said that he could beat either man. This brought out Cena, who threw insults back-and-forth with Edge & Lita, including Cena saying that, if he started to trash the fans, he'd become Edge, while if he let the cheers get to his head, he'd be Triple H. The Game also came out, getting involved. Triple H also told Edge that he had talked with "the old man" in the back and had arranged for another Handicap Match, this time pitting Cena & Triple H against Edge! While Edge didn't seem happy with the arrangement, Cena and Triple H didn't seem to get along either, as, when Triple H showed a handshake, Cena slapped him across the face and left the ring! In the match, Triple H and Cena barely got along, with Edge trying to take advantage. Near the end, though, Cena got the hot tag, taking it to Edge. When Triple H interfered, grabbing Edge and Pedigree'ing him (to try and steal the win), an angry Cena FU'ed his own tag partner, then put Edge in the STFU, forcing him to tap out!
It didn't take long the next week for the third "Handicap" Match to be signed, as Mr. McMahon, upset about Triple H calling him 'the old man', put his own son-in-law in the match against Cena & Edge. Triple H tried to swing things his way before the match, though, reminding Edge that Cena had betrayed his partner the week before. Cena & Edge didn't work well as a team, allowing Triple H to stay alive. When the ref went down, it worked fully to Triple H's advantage, as he retrieved his sledgehammer. He hammered Cena with his weapon, knocking him out. But Edge, who had been faking injury, then Speared Triple H, picking up a pinfall to 'even' the Handicap series between the three. It looked like things were going to start again the Raw before the PPV, with Triple H and Edge exchanging insults in the ring. Cena then came out, but didn't speak, instead just attacking Triple H, even as Edge & Lita left. Cena sent Triple H from the ring, and before the Game could return, the Spirit Squad came out, announcing that it would be the three wrestlers vs. their 5 in another "Handicap" Match that night! In the match, Triple H, Cena, & Edge had to work together, although their 'tags' were a little harder than normal. Near the end, with Edge & Lita opting just to leave, Cena grabbed one Spirit Squad member, while Triple H grabbed another, leading to a simultaneous FU/Pedigree combination! But no pin was made, as Triple H and Cena started going at it, with Edge & Lita laughing on the outside, as the show came to an end.
Triple H, Cena, & Edge met in their "Triple Threat" Match at Backlash '06, with Cena's World Title on the line. While Triple H and Cena went at it early on, Edge used his smarts, staying on the outside unless he needed to make a save. This soon backfired on Edge, though, as both Triple H & Cena decided to pull him into the ring and double-team him, trying to one-up each other by beating Edge into the ground. The match soon broke down into a true Three-Way bout, with several close calls. Late in the match, with Edge down on the outside (and the ref down), Lita tried to interfere, only to get Spinebustered by Triple H, who then got his favorite weapon, the sledgehammer, out from under the ring. However, Edge Speared Triple H, denying him his chance to use it. Edge then grabbed the sledge, but got nailed by Cena. Triple H then came back and tried to get the Pedigree, but Cena rolled up Triple H and got the quick pin. After the match, Triple H went berserk with the hammer, nailing Edge, Cena, and the referee, before walking out, shooting a couple of DX crotch chops the way of the champion.
The next night on Raw, Mr. McMahon made the Spirit Squad the co-General Managers for the night. They quickly made a match between Cena and Kenny for the World Title. Mr. McMahon also had a surprise for Triple H, as he wanted him to be the guest referee for the match. Triple H tried to turn things his way, telling Mr. McMahon that if Kenny "happened" to win, then Triple H should get the title shot against him the next week. But Mr. McMahon, apparently still remembering Triple H's "old man" comment from a few weeks back, told Triple H that he'd better referee the match, if he didn't want to be an old man himself before he got another title shot. Triple H reluctantly came out to referee the match. Early on, when Cena went for the FU, Triple H punched Cena in the face, stopping it. Triple H also turned his back when the entire Spirit Squad attacked Cena. But Triple H didn't seem to favor the Spirit Squad that much, either, taking his time to do the pin counts. When Kenny, finally fed up, shoved the Game, Triple H punched him out, then Pedigree'd Mitch when he charged the ring! Triple H then walked away, taking off his ref shirt, even as Shawn Michaels (who had referee'd earlier in the night) came out to take his place! Triple H and Michaels stared down for a minute, with a "DX" chant starting through the crowd. Triple H then walked away, as Michaels helped Cena win the match.
On the next Raw, Triple H came out and immediately demanded another title shot against Cena. The Champ responded, coming out and first talking about how Triple H has already had several chances. However, since Cena didn't want to be smacked with the sledgehammer over the next few weeks and be harrassed by Triple H, he agreed, giving Triple H his match! Before the two could go at it, though, Mr. McMahon intervened, saying that Triple H would get his title shot, but not that night. He gave Triple H the night off, then told Cena that he would be teaming up that night with Michaels in a "Handicap" Match against the Spirit Squad! Despite fighting hard, Cena & Michaels lost to the 5 members of the Squad. Afterwards, the Squad continued to beat down Michaels, which surprisingly brought out Triple H! However, as Triple H headed down to the ring, Cena came back and cleared out the Squad, only to get caught by a Triple H Pedigree! The Game left the champ laying, leaving people to wonder if he was actually going to save Michaels, or was he only interested in Cena?
A week later, Triple H & Cena were set to go at it in the 1st match of the evening, with the WWE Title on the line. However, Mr. McMahon again appeared, this time changing the match to Cena & the IC Champ, Rob Van Dam, wrestling in a "Handicap Texas Tornado Titles" Match against Triple H, Benjamin, & Masters! Triple H, understandably, was upset about the change, knowing that he now had 4 people to worry about instead of just one. At one point in the match, Triple H had to break up a Benjamin pin on Van Dam, keeping the match going. As the 3 heels bickered about who would get the win, RVD came back, taking down everyone and nearly getting the Frogsplash on Masters before Triple H broke it up. Near the end, Cena made his comeback and got Benjamin in the STFU, but Masters made the save. Van Dam then tried to steal the win, getting the Five Star on Benjamin, but he then got caught by Triple H's Pedigree! Likewise, Cena was distracted by giving Masters the FU, allowing Triple H to get in another Pedigree. But before Triple H could pin the Heavyweight Champ, a hurting Benjamin rolled over and pinned the unconscious RVD, stealing the victory from the Game! A furious Triple H argued with the ref afterwards, then added a third Pedigree for good measure, leaving the ref out cold as well!
Afterwards, Triple H fumed in his locker room, only to be interrupted in his rage by Shane McMahon. Shane-o-Mac told the Game that, since Vince had done him a favor (by giving him a title shot as promised), he had to return it by being in Kenny's corner in his match against Shawn Michaels that night! Triple H wasn't happy about the situation, and talked to Mr. McMahon later on, but Vince again asserted that his favor wasn't tarnished by his changing the match on the Game. Later that night, Triple H did indeed sit in the corner of Kenny, as Shane McMahon was the special guest referee. Late in the match, Michaels got control on Kenny, but Shane attacked him, then held him up, calling for Triple H to come in with the sledgehammer! The Game reluctantly did so, slowly aiming his shot at Michaels and even telling him "I want you to see this coming". Triple H then swung, but Michaels dodged, causing Triple H to knock out Shane instead! As an upset Vince ran to the ring and held his son, Triple H walked away, looking to be in shock and saying that he didn't mean to hit Shane with the sledgehammer.
Vince McMahon started off the next Raw by announcing that Triple H had to give a solemn apology in the ring later that night, or else there would be serious retaliation. Later on, Triple H came out to McMahon's summons. Although Triple H teased telling McMahon to "suck it", he opted for two other words: "I'm sorry". Mr. McMahon, apparently happy, told Triple H that he would accept his apology if Triple H used his sledgehammer at the end of the night to bash in Michaels' skull! In the back, as Triple H got himself some coffee, he was approached by Michaels, who called him a sell-out for actually apologizing for his actions. Triple H was also confronted by the Spirit Squad, who were facing Michaels in a "Handicap" Match that night. Kenny made sure to tell Triple H what to do, which irritated the Game. At the end of the night, Triple H came out after Mr. McMahon called for him, bringing the sledgehammer. Michaels was already badly beaten by the Squad, having had his leg bashed in with a chair. Triple H entered the ring and prepared for the strike, but he got interrupted by Kenny, who grabbed the sledge himself! Kenny then prepared to strike Michaels, but Triple H stepped in front, stopping him! When Kenny then started to swing at the Game, Triple H gave him a Spinebuster, then fought off the rest of the Squad, actually saving Michaels! The show ended with Triple H and Mr. McMahon glaring at each other, with the apology obviously thrown out the window.
Mr. McMahon arranged for Triple H to take on Kenny on the next Raw. Triple H was then called to McMahon's office, where he tried to explain that everything the week before was the Spirit Squad's fault for interfering in his planned attack on Michaels (who was now out with a knee injury, courtesy of Kenny). Mr. McMahon seemed to 'understand', but he still made the Triple H/Kenny match a "Spirit-Jack" Match, meaning that the rest of the Squad would be around ringside. Mr. McMahon rationalized it by saying that now Triple H could take out all of them at once. Triple H planned to have his 'friend' there to even things up, but McMahon later took away Triple H's sledgehammer, saying that he "didn't need it". Despite this, as well as the interference of the rest of the Squad in the match, Triple H managed to survive, taking out Kenny in the end with a Pedigree. Afterwards, the Squad went for revenge, trying to beat down the Game. Triple H rolled to the outside and seemed to be begging off, but instead he managed to get a second sledgehammer he had hidden at ringside! Triple H took out the Squad with the weapon, but then had to face Mr. McMahon, who proclaimed that Triple H would be joining the Kiss My Ass Club on the next Raw!
A week later, Triple H told Shane McMahon that there was no way he was kissing Mr. McMahon's behind. Shane seemed to agree, telling him to talk it out with Vince. Triple H later went to see Vince, managing to get him to agree to call off the 'initiation' if Triple H could defeat the Big Show in a match. Triple H didn't get much of a chance to win, though, as, after the Big Show was knocked to the outside, the Spirit Squad suddenly ran out and attacked him, causing the DQ loss for the Game! The Spirit Squad then quickly left again, obviously under orders to cause the loss. Triple H confronted Vince in the back about the attack, with Vince claiming that he had been on the phone and had had nothing to do with the trickery. Mr. McMahon still claimed, though, that Triple H had to go through with the joining of the Club, calling it "Leadership By Example" for the rest of the locker room. Part of Mr. McMahon's plan was to have Shane put a dose of drugs into Triple H's water, causing him to fall unconscious. Triple H, though, managed to switch the bottles. At the end of the night, in the ring, Triple H seemed to pass out, but it was all a trick, as Shane, too, collapsed, having drank the wrong water. Triple H then rose back up and faced Mr. McMahon, who had already dropped his pants. The Game delivered a Pedigree to the Chairman, showing that he wouldn't be joining his Kiss My Ass Club that week.
Pay-Per-View/Show Summary: (91 - 80, 1 Draw, 3 NCs, 2 DCOs)
- WCW Starrcade '94 = Jean Paul Levesque was pinned by Alex Wright.
- WWF Summerslam '95 = Helmsley defeated Bob Holly.
- WWF In Your House III (September '95) = In a dark match, HHH was beaten by Fatu.
- WWF In Your House IV (October '95) = Helmsley pinned Fatu.
- WWF Survivor Series '95 = Triple H, Jerry Lawler, Isaac Yankum & Mabel fought in an Elimination match against The Undertaker, Savio Vega, Henry Godwinn & Fatu. Helmsley was pinned by the Undertaker, whose whole team 'survived'.
- WWF In Your House V (December '95) = Helmsley won an "Arkansas Hog Pen" match over Henry Godwinn.
- WWF Royal Rumble '96 = In a dark match, Helmsley was beaten, via DQ, by Duke Droese. By losing the match, Helmsley had to enter the Royal Rumble first. Later that night, Helmsley competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Shawn Michaels.
- WWF In Your House VI (February '96) = Triple H won over Duke Droese.
- WWF Wrestlemania XII ('96) = HHH was quickly defeated by the Ultimate Warrior.
- WWF Good Friends, Better Enemies (April 28, '96) = In a dark match, Triple H pinned Marc Mero.
- WWF Kuwaiti Cup Tournament '96 (May) = HHH defeated Butch Miller, Savio Vega, and the Undertaker, then lost the Ahmed Johnson in the Finals.
- WWF "Beware of Dog" (May 26, '96) = Helmsley was beaten by Marc Mero.
- WWF King of the Ring '96 = In a dark match, Helmsley pinned Aldo Montoya.
- WWF I-C Title Tournament (August '96) = Helmsley lost in the first round to Sycho Syd. Marc Mero won the tournament.
- WWF Mind Games (September '96) = In a dark match, HHH was beaten by Jake Roberts.
- WWF Buried Alive (October '96) = Triple H was defeated by Steve Austin.
- WWF Survivor Series '96 = Helmsley, Jerry Lawler, Goldust & Crush fought in an "Elimination" match against Rocky Maivia, Marc Mero, Jake Roberts & Barry Windham. Helmsley was beaten by Mero. Maivia was the sole 'survivor'.
- WWF "It's Time" (December '96) = HHH lost, via countout, to Marc Mero. Helmsley retained the IC Title.
- WWF Royal Rumble '97 = Triple H retained the Intercontinental Title, beating Goldust. Later that night, Helmsley competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Steve Austin.
- WWF Final Four (February '97) = HHH lost to the IC Champ, Rocky Maivia.
- WWF European Title Tournament (February '97) = Helmsley lost in the first round to Bret Hart. The British Bulldog won the tournament.
- WWF Wrestlemania XIII ('97) = Helmsley won over Goldust.
- WWF "A Cold Day In Hell" (May '97) = Triple H pinned Flash Funk.
- WWF King of the Ring '97 = HHH defeated Ahmed Johnson and Mankind to win the KOTR tournament.
- WWF Canadian Stampede (July '97) = Triple H and Mankind fought to a Double Countout.
- WWF Summerslam '97 = Helmsley lost a "Steel Cage" match to Mankind.
- WWF "One Night Only" (September '97) = Helmsley defeated Dude Love.
- WWF D-Generation X (December '97) = HHH won a "Boot Camp" match over Sgt. Slaughter.
- WWF Royal Rumble '98 = Helmsley competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Steve Austin.
- WWF No Way Out '98 = HHH, Jesse James, Billy Gunn & Savio Vega lost a "No DQ" match to Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie.
- WWF Wrestlemania XIV ('98) = Triple H stayed the European Champion, beating Owen Hart.
- WWF Unforgiven '98 (April) = Helmsley pinned Owen Hart, retaining the European Title.
- WWF Mayhem In Manchester (April '98) = Helmlsey was beaten by the WWF World Champ, Steve Austin.
- WWF Over The Edge '98 (May) = Triple H, Jesse James & Billy Gunn were defeated by Owen Hart, D-Lo Brown & Kama Mustafa.
- WWF Fully Loaded '98 = HHH and the Intercontinental Champion, the Rock, fought to a draw in a "Three Falls" match.
- WWF Summerslam '98 = Helmsley defeated the Rock in a "Ladder" match to win the Intercontinental Title.
- WWF Rock Bottom (December 13, '98) = In a dark match, HHH pinned Droz.
- WWF Capital Carnage (December '98) = Triple H defeated Jeff Jarrett.
- WWF Royal Rumble '99 = Helmsley competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Vince McMahon.
- WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre (February '99) = Helmsley & X-Pac were beaten by Kane & Chyna.
- WWF Wrestlemania XV ('99) = HHH lost, via DQ, to Kane.
- WWF Backlash '99 = Helmsley defeated X-Pac.
- WWF No Mercy (UK) (May '99) = Triple H lost an "Anything Goes Triangle" match to World Champ Steve Austin. The Undertaker was the other participant.
- WWF Over The Edge '99 (May 23) = Helmsley lost, via DQ, to the Rock.
- WWF Fully Loaded '99 = HHH won a "Strap" match over the Rock.
- WWF Summerslam '99 = Triple H lost a "Triple Threat" match to Mankind, who won the World Title from the other participant, Steve Austin.
- WWF Unforgiven '99 = Helmsley won a "Sixpack" match to win the vacant World Title. The other participants were the Rock, the Big Show, Kane, Mankind, & the British Bulldog. Steve Austin was the special referee.
- WWF No Mercy '99 = Helmsley defeated Steve Austin in an "Anything Goes" match to stay the World Champ.
- WWF Rebellion '99 (October) = Helmsley kept the World Title, beating the Rock in a "Steel Cage" match.
- WWF Survivor Series '99 = HHH lost a "Triple Threat" match to the Big Show, who won the World Title. The Rock was the other participant.
- WWF Armageddon '99 = Helmsley defeated Vince McMahon.
- WWF Royal Rumble '00 = Triple H retained the World Title, winning a "Street Fight" over Cactus Jack.
- WWF No Way Out '00 = HHH defeated Cactus Jack in a "Hell in a Cell" match, staying the World Champion.
- WWF Wrestlemania 2000 = Helmsley kept the World Title, winning a "Four Corners Elimination" match over the Rock, the Big Show, & Mick Foley.
- WWF Backlash '00 = HHH lost the World Title to the Rock. Shane McMahon was the special referee.
- WWF Insurrexion '00 (May) = Triple H was beaten in a "Triangle" match by the WWF Champ, the Rock. Shane McMahon was the other participant.
- WWF Judgement Day '00 = Helmsley won an "Ironman" match over the Rock to regain the World Heavyweight Title.
- WWF King of the Ring '00 = Helmsley, Vince & Shane McMahon lost to Kane, the Undertaker, & the Rock. Since the Rock made the pin, he became the World Champ.
- WWF Fully Loaded '00 = HHH won a "Last Man Standing" match over Chris Jericho.
- WWF Summerslam '00 = Triple H lost a "Triple Threat" match to the Heavyweight Champ, the Rock. Kurt Angle was the other participant.
- WWF Unforgiven '00 = HHH won a "No DQ" match over Kurt Angle. Mick Foley was the special referee.
- WWF No Mercy '00 = Helmsley defeated Chris Benoit.
- WWF Survivor Series '00 = Helmsley and Steve Austin fought to a No-Contest in a "No DQ" match.
- WWF Armageddon '00 = Helmsley lost a "Hell in a Cell" match to World Champion Kurt Angle. The other participants were the Rock, Steve Austin, the Undertaker and Rikishi.
- WWF Royal Rumble '01 = Triple H was beaten by the World Champion, Kurt Angle.
- WWF No Way Out '01 = Helmsley beat Steve Austin in a "Three Falls" match.
- WWF Wrestlemania X-7 ('01) = HHH was pinned by the Undertaker.
- WWF Backlash '01 = Helmsley & Steve Austin defeated Kane & the Undertaker to win the Tag-Team Titles. Helmsley's IC Title and Austin's World Title were also both on the line.
- WWF Insurrextion '01 (May) = Helmsley & Steve Austin lost a "Handicap" match to the Undertaker.
- WWF Judgment Day '01 = Triple H was beaten in a "Chains" match by Kane, who won the IC Title.
- WWF Royal Rumble '02 = Helmsley competed in and won the Royal Rumble.
- WWF No Way Out '02 = HHH lost to Kurt Angle. Stephanie McMahon was the special referee.
- WWF Wrestlemania X-8 ('02) = Triple H defeated Chris Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
- WWE Backlash '02 = Helmsley lost the World Title to Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
- WWE Insurrextion '02 (May 4) = HHH pinned the Undertaker.
- WWE Judgment Day '02 = Triple H won a "Hell In A Cell" Match over Chris Jericho.
- WWE King of the Ring '02 = HHH was beaten by the WWE World Champion, the Undertaker.
- WWE Global Warning (August 10, '02) = Helmsley lost a "Triple Threat" Match to the WWE World Champ, the Rock. Brock Lesnar was the other participant.
- WWE Summerslam '02 = Helmsley lost an "Unsanctioned" Match to Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Unforgiven '02 = Helmsley retained the WWE Raw World Title, beating Rob Van Dam.
- WWE No Mercy '02 = Helmsley stayed the WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champ, winning over Kane.
- WWE Survivor Series '02 = HHH lost the WWE Raw World Title to Shawn Michaels in the "Elimination Chamber" Match. Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Chris Jericho & Kane were the other participants.
- WWE Armageddon '02 = Triple H won back the WWE Raw World Title, winning a "Three Falls" Match over Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Royal Rumble '03 = Helmsley lost, via DQ, to Scott Steiner. He stayed the "Raw" World Champ.
- WWE No Way Out '03 = HHH kept the WWE Raw World Heavyweight Championship, beating Scott Steiner.
- WWE Wrestlemania X-9 (March 30, '03) = Triple H retained the WWE Raw Heavyweight Title, taking down Booker T.
- WWE Backlash '03 = Helmsley, Ric Flair & Chris Jericho won over Booker T, Kevin Nash & Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Judgment Day '03 = Helmsley lost, via DQ, to Kevin Nash. Triple H kept the Raw World Title.
- WWE Insurrextion '03 (June 7) = Helmsley won a "Street Fight" over Kevin Nash, staying the Raw World Champion.
- WWE Bad Blood (June 15, '03) = Triple H won a "Hell In A Cell" Match over Kevin Nash, retaining the Raw World Title.
- WWE Summerslam '03 = Helmsley stayed the Raw World Champ, winning the "Elimination Chamber" Match. The other participants were Bill Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Kevin Nash & Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Unforgiven '03 (September 21) = Helmsley lost the Raw World Title to Bill Goldberg.
- WWE Survivor Series '03 = Helmsley lost to the Raw Heavyweight Champion, Bill Goldberg.
- WWE Armageddon '03 = Triple H won the Raw World Title, winning a "Three Way" Match over Bill Goldberg and Kane.
- WWE Royal Rumble '04 (January 25) = Helmsley, as the Raw World Champion, fought to a No-Contest with Shawn Michaels in a "Last Man Standing" Match, when neither could answer the 10 count.
- WWE Wrestlemania XX (March 14, '04) = Helmsley lost the Raw World Title to Chris Benoit in a "Triple Threat" Match. Shawn Michaels was the other participant.
- WWE Backlash '04 (April 18) = Helmsley lost to the Raw World Champion, Chris Benoit, in a "Triple Threat" Match. Shawn Michaels was the other participant.
- WWE Bad Blood '04 (June 13) = Helmsley won a "Hell In A Cell" Match over Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Vengeance '04 (July 11) = Helmsley lost to the WWE Raw World Champion, Chris Benoit.
- WWE Summerslam '04 (August 15) = Triple H defeated Eugene.
- WWE Unforgiven '04 (September 12) = Helmsley won the WWE Raw World Championship from Randy Orton.
- WWE Taboo Tuesday (October 19, '04) = Helmsley retained the WWE Raw World Title, beating Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Survivor Series '04 (November 14, '04) = Helmsley, Batista, Edge, & Gene Snitsky fought in an "Elimination" Match with Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, & Maven. Helmsley was eliminated by Orton, who was the sole 'survivor'.
- WWE New Year's Revolution (January 9, '05) = Triple H won an "Elimination Chamber" Match for the vacated Raw World Title. The other participants were Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Batista, and Edge.
- WWE Royal Rumble '05 (January 30) = Helmsley stayed the Raw World Champion, beating Randy Orton.
- WWE Wrestlemania 21 (April 3, '05) = Triple H lost the Raw World Title to Batista.
- WWE Backlash '05 (May 1) = Triple H again fell to the Raw World Heavyweight Champion, Batista.
- WWE Gold Rush Tournament (May '05) = Helmsley lost in the first round to Chris Benoit. Edge won the tournament.
- WWE Vengeance '05 (June 26) = Triple H lost a "Hell In A Cell" Match to the Raw World Heavyweight Champion, Batista.
- WWE Taboo Tuesday '05 (November 1) = Triple H lost a "Steel Cage" Match to the Intercontinental Champion, Ric Flair.
- WWE Survivor Series '05 (November 27) = Triple H won a "Last Man Standing Non-Title" Match over the Intercontinental Champ, Ric Flair.
- WWE New Year's Revolution '06 (January 8) = Triple H defeated the Big Show.
- WWE Royal Rumble '06 (January 29) = Triple H competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Rey Mysterio.
- WWE Road To Wrestlemania Tournament (February '06) = Triple H beat Ric Flair, then fought to a Double Count-Out with the Big Show. In the finals, Triple H won a "Triple Threat" Match over the Big Show and Rob Van Dam.
- WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #32 (March 18, '06) = Triple H & John Cena won a "Handicap" Match over Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, & Randy Orton.
- WWE Wrestlemania 22 (April 2, '06) = Triple H lost to the Raw Heavyweight Champion, John Cena.
- WWE Backlash '06 (April 30) = Triple H lost a "Triangle" Match to the WWE Champion, John Cena. Edge was the other participant.
- WWE Vengeance '06 (June 25) = D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) won a "Handicap" Match over the Spirit Squad.
- WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #33 (July 15, '06) = D-Generation X won a "Handicap Elimination" Match over the Spirit Squad.
- WWE Summerslam '06 (August 20) = D-Generation X took down Shane McMahon & Vince McMahon.
- WWE Unforgiven '06 (September 17) = D-Generation X won a "Handicap Hell In A Cell" Match over Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon, & the Big Show.
- WWE Raw Family Reunion (October 9, '06) = D-Generation X won a "Street Fight" Match over Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch.
- WWE Cyber Sunday '06 (November 5) = D-Generation X fell to Rated RKO (Randy Orton & Edge). Eric Bischoff was the special referee.
- WWE Survivor Series '06 (November 26) = D-Generation X, CM Punk, & the Hardy Boyz competed in an "Elimination" Match against Gregory Helms, Mike Knox, Johnny Nitro, & Rated RKO. Team DX all 'survived'.
- WWE New Year's Revolution '07 (January 7) = D-Generation X fought to a No-Contest with the WWE Raw World Tag-Team Champs, Rated RKO. It was during this match that Triple H tore his right quad.
- WWE Summerslam '07 (August 26) = Triple H, in his return match, defeated King Booker.
- WWE Unforgiven '07 (September 16) = Triple H won a "No Disqualification For Carlito Only" Match over Carlito.
- WWE No Mercy '07 (October 7) = Triple H won the WWE Championship, beating Randy Orton. Later on, Triple H lost the WWE Title, losing a "Last Man Standing" Match to Orton.
- WWE Cyber Sunday '07 (October 28) = Triple H won a "Street Fight" Match over Umaga.
- WWE Survivor Series '07 (November 18) = Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, & Kane won a "Handicap Elimination" Match over Big Daddy V, Finlay, Mr. Kennedy, MVP, & Umaga. Triple H & Hardy were the 'survivors'.
- WWE Armageddon '07 (December 16) = Triple H lost a "#1 Contenders" Match to Jeff Hardy.
- WWE Royal Rumble '08 (January 27) = Triple H competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by John Cena.
- WWE No Way Out '08 (February 17) = Triple H won the "Raw #1 Contenders Elimination Chamber" Match over Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, JBL, and Umaga.
- WWE Wrestlemania 24 (March 30, '08) = Triple H lost a "Triple Threat" Match to the WWE Champion, Randy Orton. John Cena was the other participant.
- WWE Backlash '08 (April 27) = Triple H won the WWE Title, winning a "Four Way Elimination" Match over John Cena, Randy Orton, and JBL.
- WWE Judgment Day '08 (May 18) = Triple H retained the WWE Title, winning a "Steel Cage" Match over Randy Orton.
- WWE One Night Stand '08 (June 1) = Triple H stayed the WWE Champion, winning a "Last Man Standing" Match over Randy Orton.
- WWE Night of Champions '08 (June 29) = Triple H kept the WWE Title, beating John Cena.
- WWE Great American Bash '08 (July 20) = Triple H retained the WWE Championship, taking down Edge.
- WWE Summerslam '08 (August 17) = Triple H stayed the WWE Champion, winning over the Great Khali.
- WWE Unforgiven '08 (September 7) = Triple H kept the WWE Title, winning a "Scramble" Match over Shelton Benjamin, Jeff Hardy, The Brian Kendrick, and MVP.
- WWE No Mercy '08 (October 5) = Triple H defended the WWE Championship, beating Jeff Hardy.
- WWE Cyber Sunday '08 (October 26) = Triple H retained the WWE Title, pinning Jeff Hardy.
- WWE Survivor Series '08 (November 23) = Triple H lost the WWE Championship, losing a "Triple Threat" Match to Edge. Vladimir Kozlov was the other participant. Edge replaced Jeff Hardy, who was attacked by Edge earlier in the day.
- WWE Armageddon '08 (December 14) = Triple H lost a "Triple Threat" Match to Jeff Hardy, who won the WWE Title. Edge was the other participant.
- WWE Royal Rumble '09 (January 25) = Triple H competed in the "Royal Rumble" Match, which was won by Randy Orton.
- WWE No Way Out '09 (February 15) = Triple H won the WWE Title, winning an "Elimination Chamber" Match over The Big Show, Edge, Jeff Hardy, Vladimir Kozlov, and the Undertaker.
- WWE Wrestlemania XXV (April 5, '09) = Triple H retained the WWE Title, beating Randy Orton.
- WWE Backlash '09 (April 26) = Triple H, Shane McMahon, & Batista fell to Legacy (Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, & Cody Rhodes). Since Orton pinned Triple H, Orton won the WWE Title.
- WWE The Bash '09 (June 28) = Triple H lost a "Three Falls" Match to the WWE Champion, Randy Orton.
- WWE Night of Champions '09 (July 26) = Triple H lost a "Triple Threat" Match to the WWE Champion, Randy Orton. John Cena was the other participant.
- WWE Summerslam '09 (August 23) = D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) defeated Legacy (Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes).
- WWE Breaking Point '09 (September 13) = D-Generation X lost a "Falls Count Anywhere Submission" Match to Legacy (DiBiase & Rhodes).
- WWE Hell In A Cell '09 (October 4) = D-Generation X won a "Tag-Team Hell In A Cell" Match over Legacy (DiBiase & Rhodes).
- WWE Bragging Rights '09 (October 25) = Team Raw (D-Generation X, The Big Show, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, & Jack Swagger) fell to Team Smackdown (Chris Jericho, Kane, Finlay, Matt Hardy, R-Truth, & the Hart Dynasty).
- WWE Survivor Series '09 (November 22) = Triple H lost a "Triple Threat" Match to the WWE Champion, John Cena. Shawn Michaels was the other participant.
- WWE TLC '09 (December 13) = D-Generation X won the WWE Unified World Tag-Team Titles, winning a "TLC" Match over Chris Jericho & The Big Show.
- WWE Royal Rumble '10 (January 31) = Triple H competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Edge.
- WWE Elimination Chamber '10 (February 21) = Triple H competed in the "WWE Title Elimination Chamber" Match, which was won by John Cena. Ted DiBiase, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, and Sheamus were the other participants.
- WWE Wrestlemania XXVI (March 28, '10) = Triple H defeated Sheamus.
- WWE Extreme Rules '10 (April 25) = Triple H lost a "Street Fight" Match to Sheamus.
- WWE WrestleMania XXVII (April 3, '11) = Triple H lost a "No Holds Barred" Match to The Undertaker.
- WWE Summerslam '11 (August 14) = Triple H was the special referee for the CM Punk / John Cena WWE Title Match.
- WWE Night of Champions '11 (September 18) = Triple H won a "No Disqualification" Match over CM Punk.
- WWE Vengeance '11 (October 23) = Triple H & CM Punk fell to Awesome Truth.
- WWE Tables, Ladders, & Chairs '11 (December 18) = Triple H won a "Sledgehammer Ladder" Match over Kevin Nash.
- WWE WrestleMania XXVIII (April 1, '12) = Triple H lost the "End Of An Era Hell In A Cell" Match to The Undertaker. Shawn Michaels was the special referee.
- WWE Summerslam '12 (August 19) = Triple H was beaten by Brock Lesnar.
- WWE WrestleMania 29 (April 7) = Triple H won a "No Rules" Match over Brock Lesnar.
- IWF Heavyweight Champion (7/1992)
- WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion (10/21/1996 - 2/13/1997)
- WWF European Heavyweight Champion (12/11/1997 - 1/20/1998)
- WWF European Heavyweight Champion(2) (3/16/1998 - 7/14/1998)
- WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion(2) (8/30/1998 - 10/11/1998)
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion (8/23/1999 - 9/14/1999)
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion(2) (9/26/1999 - 11/14/1999)
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion(3) (1/03/2000 - 4/30/2000)
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion(4) (5/21/2000 - 6/25/2000)
- WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion(3) (4/03/2001 - 4/10/2001)
- WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion(4) (4/16/2001 - 5/20/2001)
- WWF World Tag-Team Champion w/ Steve Austin (4/29/2001 - 5/21/2001)
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion(5) (3/17/2002 - 4/21/2002)
- WWE (Raw) World Heavyweight Champion (9/02/2002 - 11/17/2002)
- WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion(5) (10/20/2002 - 11/17/2002)
- WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champion(2) (12/15/2002 - 9/21/2003)
- WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champion(3) (12/14/2003 - 3/14/2004)
- WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champion(4) (9/12/2004 - 12/06/2004)
- WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champion(5) (1/09/2005 - 4/03/2005)
- WWE Champion (formerly Raw World)(6) (10/07/2007)
- WWE Champion(7) (4/27/2008 - 11/23/2008)
- WWE Champion(8) (2/15/2009 - 4/26/2009)
- WWE Raw World Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Shawn Michaels (12/13/2009 - 2/09/2010)
- WWE Smackdown Tag-Team Champion w/ Shawn Michaels (12/13/2009 - 2/09/2010)
PWI Achievement Awards: (7 wins, 11 1st RUs, 5 2nd RUs, 4 3rd RUs)
- 1999 Most Hated Wrestler, 1st Runner-Up
- 1999 Feud of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Helmsley vs. the Rock)
- 2000 Most Hated Wrestler, 1st Runner-Up
- 2000 Feud of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Helmsley vs. the Rock)
- 2000 Feud of the Year (Helmsley vs. Kurt Angle)
- 2000 Match of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Helmsley vs. Chris Jericho)
- 2000 Wrestler of the Year, 1st Runner-Up
- 2001 Match of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Helmsley vs. Steve Austin)
- 2002 Wrestler of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up
- 2002 Match of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Helmsley vs. Shawn Michaels)
- 2002 Most Hated Wrestler, 3rd Runner-Up
- 2002 Feud of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up (Helmsley vs. Stephanie McMahon)
- 2003 Wrestler of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up
- 2003 Most Hated Wrestler
- 2004 Match of the Year (Helmsley vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels)
- 2004 Most Hated Wrestler
- 2004 Feud of the Year (Helmsley vs. Chris Benoit)
- 2005 Most Hated Wrestler
- 2005 Feud of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up (Triple H vs. Batista)
- 2006 Tag-Team of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up (D-Generation X)
- 2006 Feud of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (D-Generation X vs. Shane & Vince McMahon)
- 2007 Comeback of the Year, 1st Runner-Up
- 2008 Wrestler of the Year
- 2008 Tag-Team of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up (LAX)
- 2008 Feud of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up (LAX vs. Beer Money)
- 2009 Match of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up (Triple H vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton)
- 2011 Match of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Triple H vs. The Undertaker)