Tonight on Friday Night SmackDown the WWE will celebrate 25 years of Triple H careers. But as everyone knows the road wasn’t always clear for Triple H. He aligned himself with the backstage group known as The Kliq and it essentially provided him the booking protection that he needed to turn himself into a mainstay. He then married the bosses’ daughter and obviously that didn’t hurt either. So let’s take a look at so at the top ten times Triple H pulled out his “Golden Shovel” and buried his opponent.
10. Mick Foley (2000)
Mick Foley in 2000 was the modern-day Daniel Bryan. He was the super over babyface because he was different and it was definitely time to pull the trigger on another Foley title run. But nope Triple H would go onto fire Foley on live TV on more than one occasion that year. He would retire Foley in a hell in the cell match that Foley should have gone over to become world champ.
9. Kurt Angle (2000)
Staying in the year 2000, Triple H after winning the all-star fatal 4 way at Mania feuded with Kurt Angle. Angle who was red hot at this time. The WWE Championship was involved in a weird angle that involved an on-screen love triangle with Stephanie. It was doomed from the beginning and the payoff saw neither guy win the WWE Championship but gave us a cringed triple threat at SummerSlam. Thank God for The Rock.
8. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania X8!)
Jericho was the hottest thing on WWE television at the time aligning himself with Stephanie McMahon. Triple H would return from injury win the Royal Rumble and headline the show of shows against Jericho where he would go over as a very underwhelming babyface.
7. Kane (2002)
I’m going to spare the world the whole story and to make it simple… I’ve only got two words for ya: Katie Vick.
6. CM Punk (Night of Champions 2011)
This one is rough. CM Punk was the hottest act in the company after his infamous Pipebomb segment on Monday Night Raw. He won the world title from John Cena and took his ball home. When he came back who other than the Game had to get his paws on him and get himself in the mix. Punk would go on to lose to HHH and have an odd offset feud with Kevin Nash in the process.
5. Randy Orton (2004)
This one really is a shame. Randy Orton had just become the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history and instead of letting Orton settle into his new babyface character and enjoy a decent run with the title, Triple H had evolution turn on Orton. Orton would drop the World title back to him on his first PPV title defense. Orton wouldn’t be in the World title picture again until 2007.
4. Goldberg (2003)
Following WrestleMania 19 Goldberg would finally debut in the WWE. After running over The Rock and Chris Jericho in dominating Goldberg fashion he would enter the world title picture. Guess who was Champion? You got it Hunter Hearst Helmsley and instead of putting Goldberg over in the Elimination Chamber he laid him out with a sledgehammer and retained the world title. He would finally let Goldberg over him in a Title vs Career match. Goldberg won but he only held the World title for a cup of coffee. The next PPV would see Kane chokeslam Goldberg and Evolution would hit the ring and take Kane out and Triple H would crawl over and put an arm over Goldberg for a 3 count thus burying him.
3. Daniel Bryan (SummerSlam 2013)
I know we got the long term payoff to this at WrestleMania 30, but I assure you that is not what the corporate offices wanted. They wanted Randy and Batista. Triple H meant everything he said when he called Daniel Bryan a B+ player and his pedigree spot at SummerSlam to Bryan was a burial.
2. Booker T ( WrestleMania 19)
This feud would come in Triple H’s infamous reign of terror and it’s very rare you see the WWE run a racially profiled feud and when they do it’s UNHEARD of for the heel to go over. That’s exactly what we got at WrestleMania 19. Booker T was booked great going into this match. Triple H had hit on his troubled past and how guys from his background just aren’t cut out to be the top guy. After making Booker look really strong heading into the match we got a lackluster match at Mania that would end with Triple H hitting a pedigree on Booker T and taking over 23 seconds to cover him. Booker would eventually get over but yikes this was BAD!
1. Sting (WrestleMania 31)
Yes, I couldn’t make this list without putting Sting on here. Sting having never stepped foot in a WWE ring finally decided he wanted to and he wanted to have a match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31. Instead, Triple H wanted to work with Sting himself. The match saw run-ins from DX and the NXO. While it was a really cool moment it was also the WWE burying Sting as the announcers shit all over Sting and the match would end after Triple H hit Sting in the head with the remains of a broken sledgehammer.