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Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Eyes On WWE: The 5 Best Triple H Feuds

By @TrueGodImmortal

One would say, it's all about the game and how you play it. When it comes to Triple H, that's about as accurate a statement as you can make. Through a 22 year WWE career, Triple H has seen the highs and the lows. He's jobbed at Wrestlemania and lost big time main events, but he's also a 14 time world champion and a certified legend. One thing about Triple H that I've always loved is his ability to make a compelling feud. In recent years, he's done it with Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins, and it's worked very well. He's had a number of great feuds and that's why we are here now. Today, I wanted to look at the 5 greatest feuds in his WWE career. Let's get into it.

5. Triple H vs Kurt Angle 

-It came down to two choices for the 5th spot and it was NOT The Undertaker. The Undertaker gave Triple H three classic Mania matches, but they never had a vicious feud. Angle and Triple however? They had one of the best and most entertaining feuds I had ever seen. Match wise, they never had that one standout classic, but their feud essentially lasted from 2000 to 2002 without ever really slowing up. Kurt was enamored with Stephanie, and of course, that sent Triple H into a frenzy, but what made matters even worse was that Stephanie seemed interested in Kurt too at times. They had a number of solid encounters, but this feud really felt like these two didn't like each other, which we found out was slightly true later on. A great feud that showcased both men at their best in promos.

4. Triple H vs Stone Cold Steve Austin 

-You might wonder why this isn't a bit higher, and it's quite evident. The consistency in the matches between HHH and Austin varied over the years, and I believe they only have one classic against each other and that's the No Way Out 2001 Three Stages of Hell bout. Still, these two feuded for years, really beginning in 1999 during the summer, and it continued throughout the years up until 2002, where Austin walked away from the WWE and eventually retired. Triple H set up Austin to be ran over, Austin dropped Triple H from over 20 feet in the air inside a car, Austin and Triple H cost each other title shots, this rivalry was probably one of the most intense and hatred fueled rivalries of his career. 

3. Triple H vs Shawn Michaels 

-In reality, most on the surface would say this is the best rivalry of his career. It is not. Shawn and  Triple H had great chemistry in the ring, but their feud didn't really kick off until 2002 in the summer with their excellent Summerslam Non Sanctioned Match. It was the first match for HBK in over 4 years and he hadn't missed a beat. Their feud would continue in the first ever Elimination Chamber, a Three Stages of Hell Match, a number of tag team matches, Last Man Standing Match, a Wrestlemania Triple Threat, then it finally finished with a Hell In A Cell match. Of all those matches, I enjoyed their Summerslam encounter the most, the Elimination Chamber, and their Last Man Standing Match, along with the classic Mania triple threat with Benoit. This rivalry was great in the ring, but the storytelling and storylines lacked a bit as time went on, bringing this rivalry down some from a top or second spot.

2. Triple H vs Mick Foley 

-The average fan might tell you to put this feud at the no. 1 spot, but there's no denying who is the greatest rival in Triple H's career and while Foley might have got him to a new level, this feud is just a notch below the no. 1 pick. Still, this feud is one that raged on for years, starting in 1997 with the Hunter Hearst Helmsey vs Mankind feud and eventually transforming into the final chapter with Cactus Jack vs Triple H. The final chapter is the most infamous, as we saw them go at it in a vicious fight at the 2000 Royal Rumble, a match that changed the perception of Triple H and then an even better Hell In A Cell match at No Way Out the following month put the stamp on the rivalry. For 4 years following this feud, Mick Foley stayed retired and Triple H could brag about the fact that he retired Foley, making this rivalry truly one of his greatest. 

1. Triple H vs The Rock 

-This shouldn't even be a debate really. There were rumors of the WWE doing a possible match between the two at Wrestlemania 30, 31, and 32, but it never came to fruition and all signs point to it not happening again, but the fact there was interest there for some years showed that this feud is still something special. Their segments on the 15th anniversary of Smackdown and Wrestlemania 31 showed they still have an electric aura between them, but their feud lasted from 1997 through 2002 really, and though it stopped at times, they always picked up where they left off. From their brief feud over the Intercontinental Title in 1997 to the vicious DX vs The Nation feud that was led by Triple H and Rock respectively in 1998 to their off again/on again feuding through 1999, all the way to the peak of their feud in 2000 over the WWF Championship, Rock and Triple H brought out the best in each other and could have feuded forever and it wouldn't have been a bad thing. From their Ladder Match to their 30 minute contest all the way to their 60 minute Ironman Match, their feud was one for the ages and certainly the best in the career of Triple H.



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