A Defense of Triple H

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There has been some discussion on this blog about comments made by Carlito regarding whether Triple H is successful because he’s Vince McMahon’s son-in-law. Many seem to think that he only got his push because he was married to Stephanie, when in fact that is far from the truth. Let’s examine the facts.

The McMahon-Helmsley Faction began on-screen after Triple H beat down Vince McMahon in a brutal No Holds Barred match at Armageddon 1999 (December 12). Triple H’s real-life marriage to Stephanie was October 25th, 2003. I’m unable to find out when the two started dating, although it was probably sometime in 2000. For the purposes of this argument, let’s assume he was in a full-fledged relationship by June of 2000. (Note: this is a totally arbitrary date, but it fits what little information I could dig up). With those dates being established, let’s move on…

By Armageddon 1999, Triple H was already a two-time WWE Champion (then called the WWF Championship). He won his first title August 23rd, 1999 and his second at Unforgiven 1999 (September 26). He was also a two-time Intercontinental Champion and European Champion by September 1998. He won the 1997 King of the Ring.

By our June, 2000 “Start Date,” he had won two more WWE Championships (January 3rd and May 21st). By the time he was married in October of 2003 he had won one more WWE Championship (March 17th, 2002) and two World Heavyweight Championships (September 2nd, 2002 and December 14th, 2002). He also picked up two quick Intercontinental reigns (April 3rd and April 16th of 2001) and a Tag Team Championship with Steve Austin (Won April 29th, 2001 during the “Two-Man Power Trip” era).

To recap…

Before Armageddon 1999…2 WWE Championships, 2 each of the European and I/C belts, 1 King of the Ring.

Before June 2000…2 more WWE Championships.

Before Wedding Day (10/25/03)…1 more WWE Championship, 2 World Heavyweight Championships, 3 more I/C belts, 1 Tag Team Championship, 2002 Royal Rumble winner.

In total then he had 7 championship belts (either WWE or World Heavyweight), 5 I/C belts, 2 European titles, and a tag team title when he tied the knot with Stephanie.

Since 10/25/03…5 more championship reigns.

Instead of looking at dates, let’s examine these title reigns a little closer. I’ll be looking at only the major titles in the promotion. (either WWE or World Heavyweight).

He’s the current WWE Champion, but hadn’t held a championship since losing to Batista at Wrestlemania 21 in 2005. Except for a two-hour reign at No Mercy in October 2007, he hasn’t been in charge. He hasn’t won at Wrestlemania since 2003, despite being healthy for most of that time.

All that being said, the man isn’t perfect. By all accounts, he does politic backstage (although that began well before he started dating Stephanie) but is far from the only wrestler to do that. His moveset is getting a bit stale, as is his overall gimmick. However, he’s incredibly over, and has put on some tremendous matches in his career (two of my favorites are an Iron Man match at Judgment Day 2000 vs The Rock and a Hell In A Cell match at Bad Blood 2004 vs. Shawn Michaels – both available on youtube). Despite what Carlito and others may thing, Triple H earned his spot on top of the mountain, and is a slam-dunk WWE Hall of Famer when he hangs up his boots for the last time.

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