The days of Triple H being the marmite of professional wrestling may be over, but the man still divides opinion like no other in the business. This is nothing new, and it has been this way from the moment Hunter Hearst Helmsley swaggered onto the stage, way back in 1995.
Some view Hunter as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, a man who deserves his place in the upper echelons of the industry and a first-ballot Hall of Famer in the future.
Many remember him for his incredible feuds with Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Steve Austin and others, his wonderful big-time matches and his willingness to try to create new stars on the biggest stages, as with Chris Benoit and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania.
Others will think of him as the ultimate wrestling politician, taking the shovel to anyone he sees as a threat to his position, the man who took the legs out of CM Punk and consistently buried performers far more talented than him. Some believe he married into the position he is in and therefore isn’t entirely deserving of his influence or power.
Regardless of which side of that fence you find yourself on, Triple H is a powerful man in WWE who has made a lot of decisions and wielded a sledgehammer of influence. Here are six things WWE fans have Triple H to thank for.
Starting with a kayfabe point, Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his WrestleMania debut way back at WrestleMania XII, where the Connecticut Blue Blood came up short in record-quick time against a returning Ultimate Warrior. It was a fairly inauspicious start for the future Game, with Warrior no-selling his Pedigree finisher.
Whilst the match was nothing to write home about, it was notable for the on-screen debut of Hunter’s valet that night. This was the first appearance of Sable, the latest in a line of beautiful women accompanying Helmsley to the ring.
Their partnership wouldn’t last long, however, as Sable’s real-life then-husband Marc Mero would save her from the violent clutches of HHH after the match. Sable would go on to become one of the most popular female performers in WWE history, not to mention becoming Mrs Brock Lesnar, and it all began on the arm of Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
#5 The Women’s Revolution
Whilst passing the torch of influence for the Women’s revolution away from anyone other than the performers themselves, is flat-out wrong, Triple H must almost certainly take no small amount of credit for giving them the platform on which to perform.
The WWE women’s revolution undoubtedly began in NXT, and event this didn’t happen until Triple H fully took the reigns over WWE’s developmental brand. Triple H has gone on record on a number of occasions, about how he feels the females in WWE deserve more spotlight, and the 14-time world champion has more than done his bit to make this a reality.
Every division requires someone going to bat for it within the walls of the creative room, and for the young women, who now found themselves in a position of prominence in WWE Triple H was that person.
There’s a reason Sasha Banks, Bayley and the rest view the Cerebral Assassin as their wrestling father figure.
#4 Randy Orton
Randy Orton was destined for greatness, and the platitudes that John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield frequently throws his way aren’t undeserved. The Viper truly is what you would get if you built a sports entertainer from the ground up, a man who understands his character and puts on better matches than people like to give him credit for.
Orton is a future Hall of Famer, regardless of what happens for the rest of the career. But until he joined forces on-screen with Triple H, Orton was nothing more than a generic enhancement level create-a-wrestler, even to the point where he used the Overdriver (or as he called it, the O-Zone) as a finishing move.
Orton was someone who had the tools but was almost entirely lacking in momentum, purpose or credibility. These intangibles came to his only after he joined Evolution. Orton joined Evolution and his road to becoming a major star began. The number one guy in Evolution? Triple H.
#3 Bray Wyatt
Remember Husky Harris? Okay, despite being one of the highlights of NXT season two, it is generally recommended to try and forget the tank with a Ferrari engine, or, whatever he called himself.
After being punted off the main roster by Mr Orton, Husky returned to WWE developmental, to try and find a new character that would do more for his career than ‘big dude who gets partnered with Cody Rhodes’. His first evolution saw him become Axel Mulligan, but this didn’t quite work.
Husky then started working in FCW as Bray Wyatt, a cult-leader from the Bayou that was as much Robert DeNiro in ‘Cape Fear’ as he was professional wrestler. Now the stories of Triple H mentoring NXT stars are plenty, but Hunter and Bray are two individuals that rarely get linked.
Even so, Bray has come out in interviews and stated that he owes his current incarnation to the mentoring and guidance of Triple H. Hunter himself has also said that he sees Bray Wyatt as the perfect example of the merits of WWE’s developmental system.
That system took a talent with potential, but little direction, in the shape of Husky Harris, and within a few years created a megastar who could viably challenge John Cena and The Undertaker at WrestleMania. WWE developmental works.
#2 Kevin Owens
In many ways the polar opposite of Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens is another one who has Triple H to thank for his current position. For years Owens was a standout performer on the independent scene, winning world championships in a number of promotions and also being a pioneer in merchandise and social media.
Owens (then going by his real name Kevin Steen) had all the tools to be a huge star in professional wrestling, but many believed that WWE wasn’t going to take a chance on someone who didn’t quite fit their mould.
Enter Triple H. It was the King of Kings who demanded Owens be signed to the company, the King of Kings who put the NXT Championship on Owens within the blink of an eye, and the King of Kings who may well be the biggest backstage reason Owens is the Universal Champion today.
Owens has gone on record on a number of occasions, stating his gratitude to Triple H, leaving no grey area as to who lobbied for him the most. So many fans had an issue with Triple H handing the Universal Championship to Owens on a silver plate, but the truth is that image was perfect in its poetry.
#1 Modern Day NXT
NXT is the most consistent WWE program today, and it has been for a long time now. The show has been hitting home runs since the TakeOver era began, providing the main roster with a whole host of major stars, who are already the finished product by the time they jump up to RAW and SmackDown Live.
Look at WWE draft for proof of this; five of the first six picks were NXT graduates.
In all of this, it is easy to forget that up until 2012, NXT was a glorified game show that happened to feature wrestling now and then. The first four seasons of the show were as much about the immunity challenges and obstacle courses, as they were about character development and in-ring action.
This changed when Triple H was given the reigns to do with NXT as he pleased when it became his baby so to speak.
Almost overnight, NXT went from being an embarrassing blot on WWE’s programming, to must-see pro wrestling, all the way to what it has become in 2016. This year has seen NXT become something of an e-Fed fantasy booking dream come true, with the biggest names from outside of WWE finding their way to the yellow brand.
There are many people to thank for this, but at the top of that list must be The Game, Triple H.
Whether you love him, hate him or utterly despise him, Triple H is a man of genuine influence and power in WWE today. If he continues using that power in these sorts of ways, who are we to complain?
For latest WWE News, live coverage and rumours visit our Sportskeeda WWE section. Also if you are attending a WWE Live event or have a news tip for us drop us an email at fightclub (at) sportskeeda (dot) com.