Triple H’s First Match In The WWE, Explained

Triple H made his WWE debut 28 years ago, but was a completely different person than he is today.

Triple H is now the head honcho in WWE, running the creative side of the company since the untimely departure of Vince McMahon.

He took the reigns of the company in the summer of 2022 and quickly transformed the weekly shows into the best they’ve been in decades.

He has brought back some old fan favourites, like Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, and built up new stars to take on Roman Reigns, like Cody Rhodes and Sami Zayn.

With an emphasis on long-term storytelling, Triple H’s reign as head of creative is looking like it could be a great one.

He may be a suit-wearing, corporate businessman now, but that was not always the case. Triple H used to be the most feared man in wrestling, with his endless title reigns, rambling promos that said nothing and brutal matches that harkened back to the old days of Ric Flair and Harley Race.

Triple H ruffled a few feathers back in his day, but that seems to have been all forgotten now thanks to his success booking NXT and now the main roster. With that in mind, let’s look back at the first time Triple H set foot in a WWE ring for an unforgettable debut in the WWE.

Triple H WWE Debut

Triple H made his debut during the taping for WWF Superstars on the 25th April, 1995. He wrestled Sonny Rogers in a short match. It lasted only two minutes and saw The Game picked up the win.

He was not known as Triple H back then. Instead, he had the gimmick of an aristocrat, making fun of the people who lived in the area in Conneticut that Vince McMahon lived. He was given the most pompous name possible, being anointed Hunter Hearst Helmsley. While not as bad as the Frenchman Jean-Paul Levesque (the name he was given in WCW), it wasn’t the easiest one of to live with.

He won the match, although it would not the first time the fans at home would see him. Triple H’s first match in WWE actually aired on tape delay, so his second ever WWE match was the first that was broadcast on TV.

That came the next day on 26th April 1995. Triple H’s first TV match in WWE was against Buck Zuhmoff, a little known jobber in the WWE at the time. The Game dominated in his debut, controlling the pace of the match in an impressive first showing.

Triple H won the match with a Cutter, which is more commonly known as the RKO. This was meant to be his finisher in the early days. However DDP was just getting the move popular in WCW as “The Diamond Cutter”, and asked his former colleague to stop using it. Triple H obliged and changed to the pedigree in the near future.

Triple H Revealed He Left WCW Because Of The Money

While there was a rumour that Triple H left WCW due to their reluctance to let him become a singles wrestler, that rumour has been shot down. Triple H teamed with William Regal in WCW as “The Blue Bloods” but left soon after due to how little money WCW were offering him.

He set the record straight on an episode of Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction, where he spoke about how much of a mess WCW was compared to the WWE up in New York.

“That’s false. When I went to WCW, they offered me a multi-year deal, this is one of those things where you look back now and go like, ‘I can’t believe I had the balls to do that.’ It was for very little money, which won’t sound like it was very little money now, but it was like for $50,000, but at that time you paid all your own expenses, and I was on the road a lot.

So I was losing a lot of money wrestling. So by the time I get to the end, and I was broke, but when they first offered me the contract, I was like, ‘Man, it’s not a lot of money,’ and Bischoff was like, ‘Well, I’m not paying you more money.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, it’s a multi-year deal, what if I just did one year?’ And he was like, ‘So I’m offering you multi-years, you just want to sign one? It’s kind of a dumb decision.’ I said, ‘Look, here’s how I look at it, let me wrestle for you for a year. At the end of the year, you’re either going to know I’m worth a lot more than $52,000, or I ain’t worth keeping.’

Things were such a mess there. Even Nitro hadn’t started yet but you could see the mess coming. And everybody that had come there or gone to WCW from New York, from WWE, was like, if I was asking anybody, my contract’s coming up, anybody that had been up here, was like, ‘Dude, get out of here. Go up there, Vince will make you a star.’

He clearly made the right choice, as he became a huge star in the WWE. He is a multi-time WWE Champion and now runs the entire creative side of the company. Most importantly, it is where he met his wife Stephanie McMahon, with the pair happily married and running the WWE together, alongside Nick Khan.

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