Big Match Players: Triple H’s Best 5 Matches
For very new wrestling fans, Triple H might just be that bald guy with the beard in a suit. It would probably seem odd why this executive has the name “Triple H” or why he’s “The Game.” Debuting back in 1992 and trained by Killer Kowalski, Hunter has had many epic battles and gradually evolved from a generic musclebound heavyweight into a top tier WWE-style brawler.
Here are five matches that define Triple H’s wrestling career in WWE. Yes, all five was from the early 2000s and you can probably guess which ones made the list. This was Triple H’s prime. He had exited that early DX stage and was now “The Game” evolving into “The Cerebral Assassin.”
Three Stages of Hell: Triple H vs. Steve Austin (No Way Out 2001)
Here we have Trips in his power trip phase when he and Stephanie were terrorizing the company. His feud with Steve Austin had gotten so bad that the only way to settle things was in a bout that was three matches in one! Bonus points: the last two were matches that both Austin and Triple H specialized in so it could’ve gone either way. The Game took it in two straight after Austin took the first match.
Elimination Chamber: vs. Chris Jericho vs. Booker T vs. Kane vs. RVD vs. HBK (Survivor Series 2002)
One of The Game’s best performances of the 2000s was in the Elimination Chamber. Mind you, he also had some of the best opponents for this showdown. He headed in as champion, we had Booker T, RVD, HBK, and Y2J to do all of the really athletic, super exciting stuff while pretty much everyone in there could keep the match cohesive.
One of this match’s crimes is running almost 40 minutes but you’ve got six guys and the entrances are pretty much timed. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up with lengthy matches. At least it had a solid pace before it got chaotic.
Hell In A Cell: vs. Cactus Jack (No Way Out 2000)
While this one could be a bit slow at times, it was a great brawl. Plus, Hell In A Cell matches tend to be slow-paced at times. One, this is WWE’s most iconic gimmick match. Two, they had to build this thing and have it suspended over the ring for a whole show. Third, it was the main event so it had to have some time on it to milk the match. Finally, the title was on the line so it had to have time on it.
As a bonus: Foley wasn’t in his prime during this match. He’d fallen off of stuff and got bashed in the head often. More times than most of the main event roster at the time. Working a slower match in the WWE’s ultimate cage match should’ve been expected in 2000 and now when looking back at it.
Vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XX)
On my wall there are several magazine clipping from this very match. Actually, there are several from this WrestleMania as Eddie defending the WWE Title against Kurt was dope as well. This match had a lot going on with three top caliber wrestlers going at it.
Triple H was a three-time defending champion here once again—as he was in the above Hell in A Cell. Shawn Michaels had been World Champion once and was hunting for another belt. Benoit had never been World Champion. This match told so many side stories when you go into their history, it’s ridiculous.
1. Street Fight: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (Royal Rumble 2000)
Some would say that The Rock was Triple H’s career rival. I’d say Mick Foley. He’s gotten more over-the-top great matches out of Foley than Rocky Maivia by a country mile. The Cactus Jack gimmick debuted against Triple H. Also, Foley could make an opponent look lethal just by getting bounced around, bleeding, and tossed off of whatever.
He also elevated Triple H’s brawling and in-ring persona. Hell, Foley did the same for The Rock. Of the Triple H vs. Mick Foley bouts, this was the gold standard, blue-ribbon bout. Literally the most perfect Triple H match.
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