My Thoughts on Triple H’s World Title run from 2002-2003

There are a couple of “internet wrestling community myths” that have been passed on from generation to generation.

Ultimate Warrior died years ago

Macho Man and Stephanie McMahon – enough said

The ECW/WCW Invasion in 2001 bombed

Vince McMahon hates certain wrestlers

The list goes on and on. All of them are just pure fiction that people make up,believe, and then pass on as fact. They are just ridiculous and laughable claims. The worst part is that fans actually believe them. To a certain extent, you see it EVERY SINGLE DAY with all of the news reports that come out. Most are flat out false, yet certain fans continue to buy into ANYTHING that is posted online. Today’s topic is just like the previous mentioned myths.

Did Triple H “bury” the roster in 2003?

For those who read my work, they know that the term “buried” means nothing. Nobody is ever truly buried in WWE. The term is baseless, and I do not use it whatsoever. However, the topic has come up time and time again. As most remember, Triple H won the World Title in late 2002 and held it until September 2003. Throughout the year, he dominated the Red Brand and kept the gold through thick or thin. Let me just go through the year as it went…

Just to stall time before WrestleMania XIX, we saw the rematch at No Way Out in February between the two men( Triple H and Scott Steiner). At this point, the steam from their feud was all but over with. Evolution was formed, and Triple H was not going to drop the title a month before the biggest show of the year. On top of ALL that, Steiner was hurt. Again, nobody can convince me Steiner should have won here.

Okay, this is the biggest controversy.

I have said it before, and I will say it again.

My entire “WrestleMania party” had picked Booker T to win the World Title. Seeing as I thought that wasn’t happening, I bet with each and every friend/family member a couple of dollars each. Needless to say, I collected after the match.

The argument is that Triple H winning proved that “racism is right.”

As usual, that is not true.

Booker dominated their feud. He owns a few victories over The Game, and the record books show that. When it came time to decide who should win, the decision came down to two things:

A) Have Booker win the title

B) Build up Triple H even more

The answer was simple.

Bill Goldberg had just signed on with WWE. In order for his run to be worthwhile, he needed to become World Champion. He was bigger and more well known than Steiner. Thus, WWE had to have a big, bad heel for him to crush down the line. Instead of going right to the big Triple H vs. Goldberg showdown, they waited a few months. Booker getting the title would have only thrown a wrench in the long-term payoff.

Sorry folks, King Booker won the World Title a few years later, and the moment was well worth the wait.

fter that, Triple H was in a huge six man tag team match at Backlash. Obviously, the gold was not on the line. The Game, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho ended up getting the win over Kevin Nash, Booker T, and Shawn Michaels. It was a great match that many fans forget.

For May, Triple H took on Nash for the World Title. The big man had recently returned from injury and was looking to take out HHH. It was the classic “best friends, better enemies” story line. At Judgment Day, they ran a DQ finish with Nash just destroying Triple H. As in most cases, this was done to set up a FINAL grudge match.

We saw that at Badd Blood in June.

Mick Foley was the special guest referee. With Nash ready to take some time off and go film a movie, the decision was another easy one. Triple H had to retain. I am sure he would have been more than happy to give his friend a nice title reign, but it just wasn’t going to happen. Fans were NOT behind Nash as the top face on Raw. He was “over” but not nearly enough. Thus, the feud came to a close, Nash teased a heel turn shortly thereafter and left with his new hair cut a few months later.

Summerslam was set to be the HUGE battle beween Triple H and Goldberg for the World Title!

Dream match.

One on one.

World Title.

HHH vs. Goldberg.

Then Triple H got injured. As World Champion, he decided to work through the pain and try to continue on. That is very admirable, but his big showdown with Goldberg was now in doubt. You can’t push your limits too much. That would just cause even WORSE pain. Thus, WWE had to switch things up a little bit in August.

The main event was Triple H vs. Goldberg vs. Nash vs. Jericho vs. HBK vs. Randy Orton in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Title. it would give a few guys some shine in the main event, as well as let HHH heal up. Also, it brought back the big steel structure in grand fashion for WWE.

I understand some folks did not like the ending of the match.

Triple H wrestled about a minute long and pinned Goldberg, after he had ran through just about everybody else before that.

That is fine. I am not going to argue that point. Goldberg was on FIRE and ready to become World Champion. That was (probably) his best night in a WWE ring. However, there is one reason that WWE didn’t do the title switch at Summerslam:

Tradition.

Call in old school. Call it predictable. Call it whatever you want. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people believe that a title switch should ONLY happen in one on one matches.

Not wild tag matches with stipulations.

Not an Elimination Chamber match.

Not a ladder match, where nobody is pinned.

None of that!

Simply a one on one match with two men wrestling where the better man wins.

That time was Unforgiven 2003.

Triple H vs. Goldberg for the World Title with EVERYTHING on the line: If HHH wins, Goldberg had to retire. If Goldberg wins, the long, long, long title reign of HHH was over.

Those were huge stakes!

Something had to give. Either fans were guaranteed a new champion (finally!) or Goldberg was going to retire.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a great selling point for a pay-per-view.

They did the match. Triple H lost the gold (and multiple rematches), and Goldberg was “the man” on Raw. The Game took some time off and even returned to lose again at Survivor Series 2003. Fans got their “moment” with Goldberg on top. He had his World Title, and all of the sides had won.

Without that lengthy title reign, Goldberg winning wouldn’t have meant much. There was no reason for Kane to win the title in 2002. ¬†There was no reason for anybody to defeat HHH in 2003, except Goldberg.

Look at Honky Tonk Man’s IC title reign.

Look at HHH in 2000.

Look at JBL in 2004.

Look at CM Punk now.

The longer these reigns go, the more fans want a new champion. The more they groan every time the heel wins. The more fans cheer for the next challenger. The more intensity it adds to the match. The more and more and more and more it adds to the eventual World Title switch.

When HHH finally lost, it was HUGE!

When JBL finally lost, it was HUGE!

When Punk lost, it was HUGE!

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Author: julian

Writer and Media Journalist for Alternativemindz since 2012. I Cover the latest in Pop Culture, Video Games, Comics, Pro Wrestling and much more.