Although Triple H is a largely popular figure with WWE fans today that hasn’t always been the case.
The turning point for many came in September 2002 when he was awarded the World Heavyweight Championship by Eric Bischoff on Raw. This kick-started the so-called ‘Reign of Terror’ and saw Triple H dominate the World Title picture for a number of years.
Meanwhile, Scott Steiner finally signed with WWE in October 2002 after overcoming a number of injury problems and joined the Raw brand. This put him in direct competition with The Game and started a rivalry between the pair. The two men met in a match at the Royal Rumble in 2003 which was widely panned before having another heavily criticised bout at No Way Out a month later.
Jim Ross Comments On Triple H Rumour
On a recent episode of his Grilling JR podcast, legendary announcer Jim Ross took a look at the 2003 Royal Rumble, including Triple H vs. Scott Steiner. As part of his analysis, Ross dismissed a long-held rumour among fans that The Cerebral Assassin sabotaged the match by sand-bagging Steiner on his power moves. JR stated that Triple H was too much of a professional and had too much of an ego to deliberately have a bad match.
“[on HHH sandbagging Steiner] No. Hell no. Triple H is not gonna go out there and have a stinker on purpose. No, look, it’s gonna sound bad. He’s a professional. He has his ego, and I say that in a good way. He’s got a lot of pride. He’s not gonna go out there and stink up the joint on purpose. It’s just he couldn’t do any more with Scotty. And they needed to call some audibles and one of those audibles would have been to shorten the match. The second audible would have been if Triple H went over.
I don’t know that the DQ thing, who did it save who? You know what, I think DQ finishes are so overused, they don’t mean as much as maybe they did in a previous generation, or you know, same guys wrestling a lot and territory, you know, type thing where you’re in the same market a lot, things like that. A lot of audibles could have been called. But that wasn’t how it went down, the two things that stand out, the match went too long, and HHH should have gone over. Simple as that, in my opinion.”
The infamous match ended with Triple H getting disqualified after hitting Steiner with a sledgehammer. The Game continued to hold the title until September.
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