It's all about The Game... and how you play it.

 

Triple H (a/k/a Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Jean-Paul Levesque and Terra Ryzing) has been a fixture on the national wrestling scene since the mid-1990's. As a result, he's had time to make his fair share of enemies along the way.

 

We're basing this on storyline rivalries The Cerebral Assassin had with wrestlers and non-wrestlers alike, not speculating on what may have happened backstage. 

 

In counting down the Top 50 Triple H Rivalries, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories looked at the following criteria:

 

  • How prominent was the rivarly?

  • What type of stage(s) did it play out on?

  • How memorable were the matches and/or segments?

  • How much did the rivalry do to advance either person's career?

 

If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.

 

Ready? Here we go!

50.

Henry Godwinn

One of the first rivalries that Hunter Hearst Helmsley had in the WWF was with Henry Godwinn, as the Connecticut blueblood couldn't have anything less in common with the Arkansas hog farmer. In one 1995 match, the two battled in an Arkansas Hog Pen match, with Triple H won but then was dumped into the slop.

48.

Alex Wright

One of the first singles rivalries in Jean-Paul Levesque's WCW career was against Alex Wright. The snobby Frenchman versus pretty-boy youngster was a natural clash of styles that led to a match at Starrcade '94, Triple H's only WCW PPV appearance. Surprisingly, Das Wunderkind won the match.

46.

Bret Hart

Leading up to the infamous Montreal Screwjob in 1997, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart and Hunter Hearst Helmsley met several times. Defending his D-Generation X partner Shawn Michaels, Triple H (and Chyna) were determined to make life miserable for The Hitman.

44.

Duke The Dumpster Droese

Another styles clash was between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and garbageman Duke The Dumpster Droese. Droese actually defeated HHH on the pre-show of the 1996 Royal Rumble in a match where the winner would be entered at #30 and the loser entered at #1.

42.

Scott Steiner

Although their 2003 series of matches were not exactly critically acclaimed, there was a rivalry between Triple H and Scott Steiner. The Game held off the challenge of Big Poppa Pump by engaging him in a series of strength competitions, and then they split a pair of matches on PPV.

40.

The Spirit Squad

The Spirit Squad were riding high in 2006 as Mr. McMahon's pet project when they got on the wrong side of McMahon's son-in-law Triple H. Eventually, The Game was fed up with the faction, leading to him re-forming D-Generation X with Shawn Michaels and having several bouts with the cheerleaders.

38.

The Great Khali

The Great Khali got Triple H's attention in 2008, challenging him to a "broken glass" arm wrestling challenging and then trapping him in his vise grip. The two met at SummerSlam that year, with Triple H barely retaining his WWE Championship. 

36.

Umaga

In 2007, Umaga was acting as an enforcer of sorts to the McMahon Family, so it made sense that when Triple H won the WWE Championship at No Mercy, Umaga got an immediate title shot (as in that very same night). Later, the two captained teams at the Survivor Series, with The Game (and Jeff Hardy) surviving.

34.

Owen Hart

Following the Montreal Screwjob, Owen Hart was the only remaining Hart Family member that hadn't fled the WWF for WCW. As a result, Triple H and D-Generation X targeted The King of Harts in place of his brother. Owen and The Game even feuded over the European Title, culminating in a match at WrestleMania XIV.

32.

The Legacy

In 2009, The Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) were out to prove themselves as a top team and were ordered by faction leader Randy Orton to make life miserable for D-Generation X. Legacy battled Shawn Michaels and Triple H at three straight PPV's, winning one match and losing two.

30.

Rob Van Dam

In 2002, Triple H was awarded the World Heavyweight Title by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, and Rob Van Dam was among the Raw performers who resented it. After winning a number one contenders match, RVD fought The Game at Unforgiven, only to be thwarted by Triple H's new manager - Ric Flair.

28.

Edge

In 2008, WWE Hall of Famer Edge had SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero in his corner when he challenged WWE Champion Triple H to a match at The Great American Bash (or so he thought). The Cerebral Assassin showed footage of Edge cheating on Vickie, bringing their rivalry to a much more personal level.

26.

The Big Show

Triple H and The Big Show have had issues dating back to 2000, when the giant defeated both HHH and The Rock to win the WWF World Championship. Beyond that, Show stepped in when The Game injured Ric Flair and the two had issues when The Authority was created.

24.

Eugene

Upon his debut in WWE, Eugene told everyone that Triple H was his favorite wrestler. The Game at first befriended him and attempted to separate Eugene from his true friends. But that plan eventually backfired, with Eugene and Triple H battling at SummerSlam in 2004 and in a brutal steel cage match on Raw.

22.

Seth Rollins

Bad blood between Seth Rollins and Triple H began in 2014, when they were part of The Shield and The Authority, respectively. The Game persuaded Rollins to turn on his Shield brethren, leading to a long partnership between the two, although they began feuding again, leading to a match at WrestleMania XXXIII.

20.

Booker T

A year before he had to contend with Chris Benoit, Triple H was faced with the challenge of WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, who won the opportunity to wrestle The Game at WrestleMania XIX. Leading up to the bout, both Triple H and manager Ric Flair hurled racist insults Booker's way, attempting to throw him off of his game.

18.

Goldust

The rivalry between Triple H and Goldust goes back to 1995, when both men were in WCW. In the WWF, the two battled for Goldust's Intercontinental Title in 1997, including a match at WrestleMania. Later on, Triple H's group Evolution electrocuted Goldust and then messed with him as The Authority.

16.

Sting

The rivalry between WWE Hall of Famer Sting and Triple H began at the 2014 Survivor Series, when the WCW Icon showed up out of nowhere to lead John Cena's team to victory over The Authority. Months of buildup between the two Attitude Era stars led to their clash at WrestleMania XXXI, with Triple H getting the win.

14.

Brock Lesnar

The rivalry between Brock Lesnar and Triple H began at SummerSlam 2012, and included matches at WrestleMania and Extreme Rules the following year, with Lesnar winning two of the three encounters between them. The Beast Incarnate also broke Triple H's arm with a kimura lock during one encounter.

12.

Kurt Angle

WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle first feuded in 2000, after the Olympic Hero set his sights on Hunter's wife Stephanie McMahon, adding additional fuel to the fire. The two have since clashed on numerous occasions, including the 2001 Royal Rumble, WrestleMania XXXI and the 2017 Survivor Series .

10.

John Cena

Going into WrestleMania XXII, Triple H was certain that John Cena was a flash in the pan and that he could easily capture Cena's WWE Championship. The plan didn't work out, and the two have faced dozens of times since, including having Cena defend the WWE Universe against Triple H's Authority faction.

8.

Daniel Bryan

One of the biggest stories in 2013/14 was when COO Triple H held back Daniel Bryan at every turn in order for Randy Orton to become "the face of WWE." Bryan got his revenge at WrestleMania XXX when he not only defeated Triple H in the opening match, but also Orton and Batista to regain the WWE World Title.

6.

Randy Orton

In 2004, Randy Orton captured the World Heavyweight Championship ahead of his Evolution leader Triple H, which touched off a feud between the two, with HHH capturing the title himself at that year's Unforgiven. They've since battled at WrestleManias XXI and XXIV, and as recently as Super ShowDown in 2019.

4.

Mick Foley

Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley have been battling since they were Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Mankind, respectively. The feud, in fact, led to Mankind's alter egos of Dude Love and Cactus Jack emerging. The feud resurfaced in 2000, when Mick Foley battled Triple H in a three-match series that culminated in WrestleMania XVI.

2.

The Undertaker

While The Undertaker and Triple H have also been battling since the Hunter Hearst Helmsley era, their finest series of matches were at three different WrestleManias (XVII, XXVII and XXVIII), where the two were amongst the biggest names in the business. Undertaker won all three bouts, but it helped Hunter, too. They last battled in a tag team match at 2019's Crown Jewel.

49

John Laurinaitis

In 2011 as newly-minted COO, Triple H was constantly bumping up against authority figure John Laurinaitis, who not only directed The Game into a feud with Brock Lesnar, but also attempted a coup when he convinced most of the roster to vote Triple H out of power.

47.

Vladimir Kozlov

In 2008, Triple H was WWE Champion on SmackDown and one of his challenges came from the 6"6 Vladmir Kozlov. The rivalry eventually led to a title match at the Survivor Series, in which The Game defended against Kozlov and Edge. While Kozlov never won the belt, he contributed to HHH's loss.

45

Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman has often been an enemy to Triple H. During his babyface run, The Game clashed with Paul Heyman Guys Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel. And let's not forget, Heyman led Lesnar through WWE headquarters to trash Triple H's office.

43.

Test

What more heelish thing can one guy do than to steal another guy's fiancee? In 1999, Triple H was determined to find out. At the wedding ceremony of Test and Stephanie McMahon, The Game had an objection - namely, he had already married Stephanie the night before; leading to bad blood between the two.

41.

X-Pac

Although Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer X-Pac were buddies for most of their careers, they aren't without their own sordid history. At WrestleMania XV, The Game turned on his former D-Generation X partner and aligned himself with Shane McMahon, setting off a brief feud over rights to the DX name.

39.

Curtis Axel

Somewhat surprisingly, Curtis Axel gave Triple H some nervous moments as recently as 2013, when the third-generation star beat The Game by knockout and later on Raw, beat Triple H twice in the same night, thanks to Mr. McMahon.

37.

Hulk Hogan

Triple H had held the WWF Undisputed Championship for only a month when he was challenged by WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, who had recently returned to the company. The two battled at Backlash in 2002 with Hogan surprisingly going over The Game and recapturing the belt after nearly a decade.

35

Shane McMahon

Although brothers-in-law Triple H and Shane McMahon have been on the same side more often than not, there have been a few times where they've opposed each other. For example, in 2006, Shane O' Mac helped his father in a battle against DX. And in 2000, McMahon thought his client The Big Show could topple The Game.

33.

Marc Mero

Ill will between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Wildman Marc Mero began in a backstage segment during WrestleMania XII, when Helmsley berated his valet Sable (who of course turned out to be Mero's wife and manager). The two even battled over the Intercontinental Title later that year, with HHH going over.

31.

Kevin Nash

When WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash returned from injury in 2003, his first target was World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. The two Kliq members battled in a brutal series of matches, including Hell In A Cell that year. Years later, Nash returned to the ring to feud with The Game again as part of the CM Punk storyline.

29.

Sheamus

Miffed that Triple H had cost him his shot at the WWE Championship during 2010's Elimination Chamber, Sheamus attacked The Game on Raw, setting up for a match at WrestleMania XXVI. Although Sheamus lost, he challenged Triple H to a Street Fight rematch at Extreme Rules, which The Celtic Warrior won.

27.

Jeff Hardy

The bad blood between Triple H and Jeff Hardy began in 2001, when The Cerebral Assassin took Jeff's Intercontinental Championship. Later in 2008, Hardy was chasing HHH's WWE Championship, including matches at that year's Survivor Series  and Cyber Sunday PPV's.

25.

Stephanie McMahon

Although they're definitely on the same page today (on screen and off), Stephanie McMahon and Triple H's relationship wasn't always as smooth. In 2002, Stephanie faked a pregnancy to bring her and The Game closer, but the plan was foiled.  The Billion Dollar Princess then dedicated her life to making Triple H miserable.

23.

CM Punk

When CM Punk first dropped his "pipe bomb" promo in 2011, one of the people he criticized was Triple H. At first, the COO attempted to make peace with The Straight Edge Superstar but he was eventually goaded into a No-DQ match between the two at Night of the Champions, which Triple H won.

21.

Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit gave Triple H  some of his toughest moments in 2004. After winning that year's Royal Rumble, Benoit challenged The Game (and Shawn Michaels) to a match at WrestleMania XX, where he captured the World Championship in the main event.

19.

Ric Flair

While WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair served as Triple H's manager for many years , a return by The Game in 2005 ended with Triple H turning on his "best friend." This led to matches against each other at both Taboo Tuesday and Survivor Series, with HHH winning both. 

17.

Goldberg

WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg arrived in WWE in 2003 determined to replicate his WCW success. While that didn't exactly happen, he did challenge Triple H for his World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam and Unforgiven, the latter of which saw Goldberg win the championship. By year's end, he'd lost the belt back to The Game.

15.

Kane

The first major clash between Kane and Triple H happened at WrestleMania XV, although it wouldn't be their last. By late 2002, The Game managed to retire Kane's Intercontinental Title and humiliate him by telling the world about "Katie Vick." They battled as recently as 2018 during a tag team match at Crown Jewel.

13.

Roman Reigns

Much like Seth Rollins, the first major interaction with Roman Reigns and Triple H began during the Shield-Evolution feud in 2014. Two years later, The Game showed up at the Royal Rumble to screw The Big Dog out of the WWE World Championship, leading to a main event match at  WrestleMania XXXII. 

11.

Chris Jericho

The rivalry between Triple H and Chris Jericho dates back to early 2000, when Y2J appeared to have won HHH's World Title but the decision was later reversed. They also battled on and off for the next decade, including in tag team bouts and the main event of WrestleMania XVIII, where HHH regained the gold.

9.

Vince McMahon

Triple H against his own father-in-law? It's happened, many times. Let's not forget when The Chairman defended his daughter's honor against The Game at Armageddon.... and lost. Or how McMahon upset HHH for the WWF World Championship. They were even on opposite sides in Hell In A Cell in 2006.

7.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin have been on opposite sides several times, but none more so than when The Game admitted to orchestrating Austin's hit and run in 1999. This led to a famous "Three Stages Of Hell" match at No Way Out in 2001, with HHH winning the contest two stages to one.

5.

Batista

Much like Randy Orton, WWE Hall of Famer Batista was one of Triple H's prized students in Evolution. When The Animal secured a title shot at the 2005 Royal Rumble, Triple H tried his best to keep Batista from going after him. That didn't work, with Batista and HHH engaging in a three-match series, all of which Batista won. They faced off one last time at WrestleMania XXXV.

3.

Shawn Michaels

Triple H's closest ally and D-Generation X stablemate, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, has also been one of his biggest enemies. When  Michaels returned to WWE action in 2002, he defeated The Game at SummerSlam and then captured his World Title at Survivor Series. HHH and HBK have had several big matches since.

1.

The Rock

The first big match in the Triple H vs. The Rock rivalry began in 1997, when a young Rocky Maivia upset a young Hunter Hearst-Helmsley for the Intercontinental Title. Since then, they've done battle as the respective leaders of D-Generation X and The Nation Of Domination, traded the WWF World Title back and forth and even competed in a 60-minute Iron Man match at Judgment Day in 2000. Theirs has become one of the most storied WWE rivalries of all time.... let alone the biggest rivalry in Triple H's career.

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Wrestling Merchandise and Memories podca
Wrestling Historian Mike Rickard