Triple H and The Rock’s acclaimed Attitude Era rivalry never made it to a one-on-one WrestleMania encounter – but it so nearly did.
Of the Attitude Era’s biggest rivalries, Triple H vs. The Rock is certainly up there. Despite contesting numerous critical matches for the period, ‘The Game’ and ‘The Brahma Bull’ never had a singles match at WrestleMania, however, there was once a plan for it to happen.
Speaking on the SPORTbible Stories podcast, Triple H revealed that it was actually The Rock’s idea for the match to happen and by the sounds of it, the plan was put in place after, at the very least, WrestleMania 29:
“He came to me and was like, ‘Hey dude, I got one more in me. I wanna do it with you. I want you and I to have that WrestleMania moment and let’s do it at WrestleMania.’ It turned out that it was for the following year.
So we had done this video for it and we were ready to go for it and somewhere along the time of that year, his movie career sort of changed. He was like, ‘Oh man, I’m not gonna be able to do this, the timing just doesn’t work out right and I can’t pass up this other opportunity.’ No problem. But that’s really where we were headed.”
Although they never had a singles encounter at ‘The Show of Shows’, Triple H and The Rock collided on a number of other WWE pay-per-views, including an acclaimed Ladder match at SummerSlam 1998 and a 60-minute Iron Man match at Judgement Day 2000 that concluded with the debut of The Undertaker’s ‘American Bada**’ persona.
Triple H elaborated on never getting a ‘Mania singles encounter with The Rock, explaining how their respective careers almost perfectly intertwined:
“The Rock and I is an interesting thing because I come in a little before he does as a talent. I’m Hunter Hearst Helmsley, he comes in as Rocky Maivia. We wrestle over the Intercontinental title, he becomes The Rock, goes with The Nation of Domination. I transformed to Triple H. Our careers sort of in a way marry each other and are intertwined with each other along the way and we never sort of had that defining WrestleMania moment.”
Triple H and The Rock had two WrestleMania in-ring moments outside of a singles encounter, as they entered WrestleMania 2000’s headliner alongside The Big Show and Mick Foley, while The Rock aided Ronda Rousey in confronting Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 31.