Since Triple H made his WWE debut in the spring of 1995 as a snobby blueblood, he has done it all. Triple H is the only man in WWE history to become a Grand Slam Champion and to win both a King of the Ring tournament and the Royal Rumble Match.
Most recently, Triple H has battled the largest athlete in the world: Big Show. "The Cerebral Assassin" first broke Big Show hand, then he exploited the injury en route to victory at New Year's Revolution.
With Royal Rumble on the horizon, Triple H vowed to win the 30-Superstar specialty match at
the pay-per-view and earn the right to challenge for the world championship at WrestleMania 22. There, Triple H said, he'd win his 11th world championship. But the Royal Rumble didn't
go as planned. Triple H drew No. 1, putting him in the most difficult position possible. Despite the odds, Triple H lasted
until the final three competitors, but he came up just short.
In May 1996, Triple H had his first televised battle with Shawn Michaels on RAW. It was the beginning of what would become one of the most important pairings — as allies and foes — in WWE history. In October, Triple H faced Stone Cold at Buried Alive in the origins of another storied rivalry. Six days later, Triple H would capture WWE gold for the very first time, winning the Intercontinental Championship from Marc Mero on RAW. It was the first of 19 WWE championship reigns to-date, including 10 times as the world champion.
After retaining his Intercontinental Championship against Goldust at the Royal Rumble in January
1997, Triple H began a rivalry with The Rock. Triple H would lose the Intercontinental Championship to The Rock on RAW,
but by March, Triple H would hit another milestone: his first WrestleMania victory. With newcomer Chyna by his side, he
beat Goldust (with Marlena) at WrestleMania 13. No one then knew just how large an impact Triple H would have on
the biggest stage of them all.
Next, Triple H dominated the 1997 King of the Ring tournament, beating Mankind in the finals. In the pay-per-view battles and wild brawls that followed, Triple H would be introduced to all three “faces of Foley.” He forced a double count-out at Canadian Stampede; brawled with Mankind in a SummerSlam Steel Cage; and beat Dude Love at One Night Only in September.
Triple H has arguably formed the two most important factions in WWE history. The first
was conceived in October 1997. Composed of himself, Chyna and best friend Shawn Michaels and epitomizing WWE “Attitude,”
they were known as D-Generation X. The group was constantly amid controversy, pushing the limits of tolerable behavior. One
of its first victims was WWE Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter, who fell to Triple H in a December, 1997, “Boot
Camp” Match in a pay-per-view bearing the group’s name.
At this time, Michaels was both the World Heavyweight Champion and European Champion, so D-Generation X devised a method to spread around the riches. As an early Christmas present, HBK literally laid down and allowed Triple H to pin him to “win” the European Championship. Triple H feigned tears in the ring, declaring how “hard” he had worked for that moment to arrive. The farcical title change infuriated WWE management, but that only fueled DX’s fire.
By early 1998, DX was a monster of the industry. On Jan. 20, 1998, European Champion Triple H hit a bump in the road. To further make a mockery of the division, Triple H sent Goldust out as his proxy for a match with Owen Hart. But when Owen beat the “Bizarre One,” Slaughter declared it a valid title match with Goldust defending on Triple H’s behalf. So, Owen became the new European Champion.
By March, Triple H had taken back what was his. “The Game” also made it two WrestleMania victories in a row by retaining the European Championship against Owen Hart at WrestleMania XIV.
The day after WrestleMania, Triple H assumed the DX leadership (upon Michaels’ departure). To solidify the group’s strength and take the outrage to a new level, Triple H brought the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac into the fold. Meanwhile, Owen Hart would join Nation of Domination, pitting WWE’s two largest factions against each other. The rival parties would battle continuously for the next five months.
During that span, D-Lo Brown would wrest the European Championship from Triple H. But “The Game” answered back by winning the Intercontinental Championship from The Rock in a SummerSlam Ladder Match. His success came with a price, however. Triple H was forced to miss three months with a serious knee injury.
Upon his return, Triple H took issue with the Corporation. He fought Kane at WrestleMania XV , where Chyna again shifted loyalties and rejoined D-Generation X. But The Cerebral Assassin made heads spin when he and Chyna surprised everyone by joining the Corporation that very same night.
Triple H captured the WWE Championship for the first time the night after SummerSlam 1999, beating Mankind. Remarkably, he lost that championship to none other than Mr. McMahon, who won his only world championship in an unscheduled match that saw Shane McMahon officiate. During the match, Stone Cold delivered a Stunner to the champ, allowing McMahon to get the shocking win. McMahon vacated the championship four days later, putting it up in a Six-Pack Challenge, where Triple H won and regained the championship.
The Cerebral Assassin then stepped between Stephanie McMahon and fiancÚ Test — marrying Stephanie under questionable circumstances before Test could. Mr. McMahon took great exception to this series of events, leading to an Armageddon Street Fight Match. During that match, Stephanie chose to abandon her father and align herself with The Game, marking the beginning of the McMahon-Helmsley era. Triple H won his third WWE Championship one month later from Big Show on the Jan. 3, 2000, edition on RAW.
In February at No Way Out, Triple H survived a vicious Hell in a Cell Match with Cactus Jack, retiring Mick Foley in the process. Then in April, Triple H delivered on another significant accomplishment by becoming the first WWE Champion to defeat an ECW Champion in Tazz.
The animosity between Triple H and Stone Cold reached a fever pitch when in November of 2000, the Cerebral Assassin was revealed as truly behind Stone Cold getting run over by a car the year before. This led to a match at Survivor Series, where Austin exacted vehicular revenge: When Triple H tried to escape the arena in his car, Stone Cold lifted the automobile with a construction crane — then let Triple H and his car plummet to the earth.
Triple H miraculously recovered in time for No Way Out, where he beat Stone Cold in a special best-of-three falls contest featuring a traditional match, a Street Fight and a Steel Cage Match. But in a shocker, Triple H aligned with Stone Cold and Mr. McMahon the night after WrestleMania X-Seven, then won the Intercontinental Championship three days later from Chris Jericho. Triple H followed that up by winning the World Tag Team Championship with Stone Cold at Backlash.
In a span of two devastating days, Triple H lost the Intercontinental Championship to Kane at Judgment Day and then lost the tag titles to Y2J & Chris Benoit the following night. In that match, Triple H tore his left quadriceps muscle completely off the bone. Yet, “The Game” found the heart to finish the bout. It took Triple H eight months of hellacious rehab before he would return. Learn about his long road back to health in his book, “Making the Game.”
Triple H came back on a special edition of RAW at MSG, and he followed that up by winning the 2002 Royal Rumble Match, earning an opportunity at the world championship. The Game became the Undisputed WWE Champion at WrestleMania X8, where he defeated Chris Jericho at Toronto’s SkyDome.
After facing Michaels at SummerSlam, Triple H claimed another world championship on Sept. 2, 2002, after a unique sequence of events. RAW had been left without a champion after Brock Lesnar signed a contract exclusive to SmackDown. In retaliation, then-RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff introduced the World Heavyweight Championship — exclusive to RAW. Bischoff declared its first champion would be Triple H.
World Heavyweight Champion Triple H continued his rivalry with HBK and it carried into the Elimination Chamber at Survivor Series, where Michaels came out on top. Triple H regained the championship in a Three Stages of Hell Match on Dec. 15, 2002, at Armageddon.
On Jan. 20, 2003, the Cerebral Assassin formulated a plan that would change WWE forever. He aligned himself with "the dirtiest player in the game," Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista. Together, they were Evolution.
With the protection of his faction, Triple H held the World Heavyweight Championship for most of 2003, finally losing it to Goldberg at Unforgiven in late September. During that lengthy reign, Triple H beat Kane in Mask vs. Championship Match, revealing the Big Red Monster’s face.
In December, Triple H won back the World Heavyweight Championship in an Armageddon Triple Threat Match. What followed were a series of incredibly close matches with Shawn Michaels, but Triple H managed to escape with his title every time. The Game ran into a juggernaut at WrestleMania XX, where Chris Benoit realized his lifelong dream by beating The Game for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Triple H hit another milestone when he was drafted to SmackDown during a lottery in March of 2004. But the next night, GM Bischoff had found the means to regain his star attraction, trading the Dudleys and Booker T to SmackDown for The Game.
In June, after a recent history that included two draws and a Triple Threat Match, Triple H finally beat Michaels decisively at Bad Blood. After 45 minutes of bloody carnage and total exhaustion in Hell in a Cell, Triple H mercifully ended the match, hitting Michaels with the Pedigree twice in succession.
Evolution reached a crossroads when rising star Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Benoit at SummerSlam. “The Legend Killer” was a bit too far ahead of schedule for Triple H’s liking, so in the infamous “thumbs-down” incident on RAW, Triple H kicked Orton out of Evolution. The Game then finished the job by beating Orton for “his” championship at Unforgiven in September.
Triple H was then put at an unprecedented disadvantage when he was forced to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against one of three possible opponents at Taboo Tuesday. Minutes before his match, the results of WWE fan voting revealed none other than longtime rival Shawn Michaels as his challenger. But the Cerebral Assassin effectively exploited Michaels’ knee injury and successfully retained the championship.
In November 2004 at Survivor Series, Triple H’s team lost to Randy Orton’s team, giving Team Orton four weeks of control of RAW. The Game tried to lure General Manager for-a-day Maven into the Evolution fold, but when he refused, Triple H defeated him. Next, the Cerebral Assassin outwitted GM Chris Benoit by feigning injury, costing The Crippler his chance at the World Heavyweight Championship.
When Orton’s turn as GM came around, chaos ensued. Edge and Chris Benoit tied during a RAW roster Battle Royal, so Orton ordered a Triple Threat Match also involving Triple H for his championship. But Edge and Benoit simultaneously won, forcing Mr. McMahon to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship — despite The Game’s fervent protests. When actual General Manager Eric Bischoff returned from vacation, he ruled that the World Heavyweight Championship would be won in the Elimination Chamber at New Year’s Revolution. There, Triple H won his 10th world championship.