In 2004, Eugene debuted on WWE television as the storyline nephew of Eric Bischoff. Prior to his first on-screen appearance, Eugene competed in a dark match against Garrison Cade (aka Lance Cade). Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were among the high-profile WWE names who watched the match backstage.
Speaking on Talk Is Jericho, Eugene praised Cade for allowing him to show what he could do with the new character. He also revealed that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon gave him a standing ovation after the match.
“He [Cade] picked on me, slapped me around, made fun of me. A little bit different type of heat that you would get Eugene, other than viciously pounding him. Fire up, he ended up beating me right at the end.
“I walk back through the curtain. Hunter [Triple H], Stephanie, Fit were all standing ovation. He [Triple H] said, ‘You committed to the character 100 percent.’ The guys that go out there and aren’t sure, you can see on their face. I just went out there and did it.”
Eugene said Vince McMahon immediately decided to use him on WWE’s main roster following a positive comment from Steve Austin. The Hall of Famer said Eugene must be “one of the best” because he was trained by Danny Davis, Austin’s former opponent.
Eugene’s WWE storyline with Triple H
Five months after Triple H gave Eugene a standing ovation, he faced the WWE newcomer in a one-on-one match at SummerSlam 2004. The match came about after Eugene interfered in Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship match against Chris Benoit on RAW.
Triple H picked up the victory at SummerSlam in a 14-minute match. He also defeated Eugene in a steel cage match one month later. Eugene’s only singles win over Triple H came in a No Disqualification match on RAW in August 2004.
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