The Complete History of the WWE Championship - Part 11
- Revisiting every single WWE Championship victory in 2002 from Triple H to Kurt Angle.
Triple H (March 17, 2002 - April 21, 2002)
Triple H tore his quadriceps muscle in a Tag Team Championship match-up with partner Stone Cold Steve Austin versus the tandem of Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho on May 21, 2001. His road back to in-ring action was long and arduous.
However, eight months later, "The Game" finally returned to WWE television to a thunderous reaction on the January 7, 2002 Raw, hailing from historic Madison Square Garden.
Triple H won the Royal Rumble later that month and defeated Jericho in an average match in the main event. The crowd reaction was lukewarm for the bout due to Y2J being a massive flop as champion. Plus, it followed the The Rock versus Hulk Hogan dream bout one match earlier.
Despite the less than impressive start to his reign, Triple H expected to an enjoy a lengthy run on top, due to the momentum of his return.
However, "The Cerebral Assassin" had not counted on the massive wave of nostalgia engulfing Hogan, who had turned face during his 'Mania collision with The Rock. Hogan had (intentionally) turned the crowd against The Rock at WrestleMania and employed the same trick versus Triple H at Backlash the following month.
The original result booked was a Triple H win, but blinded by Hulkamania, WWE boss Vince McMahon decided to capitalize on the nostalgia pops Hogan was receiving and give the 48 year old veteran the title win.
"The Game" and his real life (by this point) fiancee, Stephanie McMahon frantically tried to change McMahon's mind to no avail.
Triple H's comeback title win lasted a mere five weeks.
Published 27 Aug 2019, 02:45 IST