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The 13 Reigns of Triple H
At Night of Champions, CM Punk won’t be facing WWE’s Chief Operating Officer. Instead, The Scond City Savior will battle Triple H, one of the most accomplished and ruthless Superstars in WWE history. WWE.com reminds Punk why The Cerebral Assassin has what it takes to beat him, by revisiting each of Triple H's 13 World Championship victories. (PHOTOS)
Reign No. 1: Triple H vs. Mankind, Aug. 23, 1999
"This was the ultimate moment – finally reaching the pinnacle of the business." —Triple H
One night after SummerSlam, Triple H defeated Mankind for his first-ever reign as WWE Champion. This Monday Night RAW classic also featured Shane McMahon as special referee.
Prior to the match, an enraged Triple H declared that Foley robbed him of his rightful championship at SummerSlam. The Cerebral Assassin declared that he'd break RAW announcer Jim Ross' arm if he wasn't granted an immediate championship opportunity.
Fearing for Good Ol' J.R., Mick Foley granted The Game's wish. But the gesture resulted in the loss of his championship, as Triple H began his first-ever world championship reign.
Reign No. 2: Six Pack Challenge, Sept. 26, 1999
When Mr. McMahon vacated the WWE Championship on Sept. 20, 1999, a Six Pack Challenge was scheduled for Unforgiven, where the winner of the match would be declared the WWE Champion.
Included in the match were The Rock, the British Bulldog, Big Show, Mankind, Kane and Triple H. In the end, The Game forced The Rock's shoulders to the mat for a three-count, capturing his second WWE Championship.
Reign No. 3: Triple H vs. Big Show, Jan. 3, 2000
Triple H's second reign as WWE Champion was going smoothly until he ran into the largest athlete in the world at the 1999 Survivor Series. It was there that Big Show stripped The Game of the WWE Championship.
Less than two months later on an episode of Monday Night Raw, Triple H got his revenge on Big Show and won back the WWE Championship, marking the beginning of his third reign.
Reign No. 4: Triple H vs. The Rock, May 21, 2000
"The Rock and I had parallel careers in a lot of ways. As rookies, we wrestled for the Intercontinental Championship. We battled when The Rock was in the Nation and I was in DX. Then, we had the ultimate rivalry over the world championship. This one meant a lot because not only did I beat The Rock, but I did it in a 60-minute WWE Iron Man Match — a match that most men can’t even comprehend being in." —Triple H
Triple H wasted little time getting his revenge on The Rock – the man who defeated The Game for the WWE Championship just three weeks earlier.
At the Judgment Day pay-per-view, Triple H defeated The Rock in a WWE Iron Man Match to capture his fourth WWE Championship. The victory, however, was not without controversy.
A returning Undertaker took to the ring toward the end of the match. The Deadman destroyed almost everybody at ringside, which also included Shane, Stephanie and Mr. McMahon. Special referee Shawn Michaels disqualified The Rock as a result of Undertaker's actions, giving Triple H a 6-5 edge and the WWE Championship.
Reign No. 5: Triple H vs. Chris Jericho, March 17, 2002
"Winning at WrestleMania is the ultimate moment. But it was extra-special for me because it was the defining moment of my comeback from a career-ending quad tear." —Triple H
In a span of two devastating days, Triple H lost the Intercontinental Championship to Kane at Judgment Day and then lost the tag titles the following night. In that match, Triple H tore his left quadriceps muscle completely off the bone. Yet, “The Game” found the heart to finish the bout. It took Triple H eight months of hellacious rehab before he would return.
Triple H came back on a special edition of Raw at MSG, and he followed that up by winning the 2002 Royal Rumble Match, earning an opportunity at the world championship. The Game became the Undisputed WWE Champion at WrestleMania X8, where he defeated Chris Jericho at Toronto’s SkyDome.
The Game's reign on top barely lasted a month before being upended by Hulk Hogan in April.
Reign No. 6: World Heavyweight Champion, Sept. 2, 2002
"This was Eric Bischoff basically saying what was the truth, which was that 'there is nobody in this business who is champion more than Triple H. He defines what being a champion is, and that’s why I made him champion.' It’s the ultimate show of respect." —Triple H
Prior to Sept. 2, 2002, WWE recognized only one World Champion, and that champion represented both Raw and SmackDown. Just after SummerSlam, however, champion Brock Lesnar inked a deal to become exclusive to SmackDown, leaving Raw without a champion.
Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff then declared that since Lesnar had left for SmackDown that Raw needed its own champion. So with that, he opened a briefcase and pulled out the old WCW Championship and gave it to Triple H, naming him the first World Heavyweight Champion.
Upset that Triple H was merely handed the championship, Ric Flair disputed the decision noting that he was a 16-time Champion and not once had anything handed to him. Triple H agreed to face Flair later that evening in his first title defense. The Nature Boy gave it a valiant effort, but “The Game” hit the Pedigree for the pin.
Reign No. 7: Three Stages of Hell, Dec. 15, 2002
"Shawn and I have had a long history — best of friends, worst of enemies. But any time we’ve been in the ring together, whether on the same side or opposites, it’s been magic. This one was no different. To beat one of the greatest performers in history of our business, this one meant a lot. —Triple H
Triple H and Shawn Michaels had already fought in an unsanctioned Street Fight and in an Elimination Chamber Match, so it was only fitting that their Armageddon match for the World Heavyweight Championship was two-out-of-three falls. Adding to the intrigue, the first fall was a Street Fight, the second fall was a Steel Cage Match and the third fall was a Ladder Match.
Triple H was able to pick up the all-important first fall in the Street Fight after he hit Michaels with the Pedigree.
Michaels bounced back in the Steel Cage Match and pinned Triple H after he connected on a splash through a table. Everything looked like it was lining up for HBK as his specialty, the Ladder Match, would decide the contest. But The Game came to play and as both Superstars were climbing the ladder, Triple H shoved HBK off, causing him to fall through a group of tables. Triple H continued his ascent up the ladder and grabbed the World Heavyweight Championship.
Triple H would go on to hold the championship for more than nine months, his longest reign to date. During this time he defended his championship against the likes of Kevin Nash, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kane and Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner.
Reign No. 8: Triple Threat Match, Dec. 14, 2003
"If Goldberg was a symbol of WCW at their time of greatness, then that night, I exposed WCW and Goldberg as being a fraud. Who’s next? Unfortunately for you, me." —Triple H
Goldberg had been mowing down the competition for more than two months, but he faced his biggest test at Armageddon in a Triple Threat Match against Triple H and Kane.
In the end, the numbers game was too much for Goldberg. Kane was able to hit the Chokeslam on the champ, but before he could go for the pin, Batista pulled him out of the ring.
Triple H took advantage of the situation and made the cover for the win and his eighth world championship.
Reign No. 9: Triple H vs. Randy Orton, Sept. 12, 2004
Triple H couldn’t bear to see anyone else with the World Heavyweight Championship, let alone one of his protégés, Randy Orton. So without even blinking, Triple H kicked Orton out of Evolution and immediately began his quest to reclaim the title.
Orton put up an admirable fight, but Batista and Ric Flair proved to be too big of a distraction in the end, as Triple H was able to win his ninth world championship at Unforgiven.
His championship reign lasted nearly three months before he was forced to vacate the title after a Monday Night Raw championship match ended in controversy.
Reign No. 10: Elimination Chamber, Jan. 9, 2005
The World Heavyweight Championship was vacated by RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff following a controversial Triple Threat Match. Bischoff then declared that the title would be up for grabs at New Year's Revolution in an Elimination Chamber.
After entering the match third, Triple H outlasted the competition, and with the help of Ric Flair and a monster clothesline from Batista, Triple H pinned Randy Orton for his 10th world championship.
Less than three months later, the cruel hand of irony would end Triple H's 10th reign; at WrestleMania 21, Triple H fell victim to the Batista Bomb and lost the championship to Batista, the very man who helped him win it at New Year's Revolution.
Reign No. 11: Triple H vs. Randy Orton, Oct. 7, 2007
After an injured John Cena was forced to abdicate the WWE Championship, Mr. McMahon awarded the coveted prize to Triple H’s former Evolution protégé, Randy Orton. Convincing Mr. McMahon that The Legend Killer was not a deserving champion, The Game collided with Orton for the WWE Title at No Mercy, sealing a victory over his former rival with a Pedigree and capturing his eleventh World Championship.
The Cerebral Assassin had little opportunity to savor his victory, as he faced Umaga in a previously scheduled bout mere moments later – a contest that became a WWE Championship Match by order of The Chairman. One pinfall later, The King of Kings stood triumphant.
His body battered and exhausted after defeating both Orton and The Samoan Bulldozer in a single evening, Triple H was forced to defend his title a second time that night after WWE’s Apex Predator immediately utilized his rematch clause. In a harrowing Last Man Standing Match – a stipulation mandated by Mr. McMahon himself – Orton outlasted The Game to win back the WWE Title.
Reign No. 12: Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match, April 27, 2008
Triple H stormed into Backlash 2008 to clash with a battle-tested trio of former WWE Champions in a brutal Fatal 4-Way Match, determined to wrest the WWE Title from Randy Orton’s clutches. Still seething following Mr. McMahon’s No Mercy machinations that separated him from the title he so deserved, a vengeful Game outlasted John Cena and JBL, pinned his former protégé and left Baltimore with his twelfth World Title.
Reign No. 13: Elimination Chamber, Feb. 16, 2009
After three decisive victories inside the callous confines of the Elimination Chamber, Triple H entered the imposing structure once again at No Way Out 2009, where he surpassed five of WWE’s most formidable Superstars – Vladimir Kozlov, Jeff Hardy, Big Show, The Undertaker and then-WWE Champion Edge – to begin his eighth WWE Title reign.
This momentous victory surpassed the record for most WWE Championships held by a single Superstar, a benchmark previously set by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Of course, not everyone is convinced that Triple H can beat CM Punk at Night of Champions. In fact, find out why The Game may have bitten off more than he can chew by clicking here. Then continue the debate by sounding off on Facebook.