In most cases you would argue this was just over imaginative fans making a story out of nothing but given the murky past of Triple H and his sabotaging of other wrestlers pushes up the ladder can we be so quick to dismiss it?
When Triple H returned in the Autumn of 2005 after taking time out it was expected he would return on fire and as a fan favorite to freshen up his character and this seemed to be the case, until just two weeks in he was back to the same old heel character he’d played for years.
Triple H’s return took in a couple of average gimmick matches against the past it Ric Flair and a lame feud with The Big Show, but although both were poor feuds many put this down to Triple H’s opponents rather than the King of Kings. Edge finished of his feud with Matt Hardy with a high quality steel cage battle and a slightly disappointing ladder match but overall the feud was very entertaining.
On the night Edge was supposed to take up rivalry with Triple H’s recent sparring partner Ric Flair, Edge surprised everyone by cleverly cashing in his money in the bank title shot straight after John Cena had defended the title in an elimination chamber, within 30 seconds Edge was the champion.
For several weeks the ratings soared on Raw with Edge as champ however the reign was short lived and Cena relieved Edge of the title in rematch at the Royal Rumble. This is where the first whispers of Triple H’s interference appeared. There was talk that WWE were considering putting Edge in the main event at Wrestlemania either against Triple H as champ or as a fellow challenger in a triple threat contest but Triple H wasn’t keen on the idea and didn’t consider Edge a serious main eventer.
Triple H went on to meet Cena at Wrestlemania and the two put up a decent effort but hardly anything special but at Backlash Edge was added to the mix. All three men had amazing chemistry on the mic before the event and the match itself was relatively good, Triple H’s first genuinely good effort since his return in the Autumn.
Was Triple H now back to his best? Shortly after Backlash Triple H did what the fans had hoped for upon his return and went babyface bringing with it the return of Degeneration X. Sadly it was a false dawn for Triple H’s return to quality.
A poor feud with the Spirit Squad and a couple of entertaining gimmick matches against the Mcmahons proved little. It was starting to seem like Triple H needed a gimmick to put on a good show. Finally the chance for quality matches came along with the alliance of Randy Orton and Edge, two guys who where more than capable of having great matches.
Sadly once again the matches failed to live up to expectations but there also seemed more to the feud than appeared to the naked eye. This was WWE’s chance to get Edge and Orton over big time by beating or even destroying the legendary DX, yet what happened was the complete opposite it was Edge and Orton who where destroyed in their final meeting. The feud was ended their due to Triple H’s injury but it is doubtful Edge and Orton would’ve turned the tide on DX.
Again rumors surfaced that Triple H was the one who refused to put their younger rivals over but again this is unproven and the argument does have faults, one being that Randy Orton is a good friend of Triple H’s so he had no reason to hold Orton back. Also Michaels is no stranger to refusing to put people over perhaps it was him and not The Game who chose not to loose the feud. Then again maybe, although a strange decision, it was WWE’s plan of the feud all along.
If the rumors are true why would Triple H want Edge held back? Whether he likes Edge as an individual or not, surely Triple H can see the huge potential of a feud between the two, let’s face it Edge v Triple H would make a far better Wrestlemania main event than the ones we’ve had in recent years and the two have good chemistry on the mic together as highlighted by there brief feud in the build up to Backlash. Also Edge is now a proven main eventer so what would be the point in not wanting Edge on his show.
There are those that will say Triple H sees Edge as a threat, he’s younger, great on the mic, attractive and a fantastic in ring performer, which is something Triple H has struggled with in recent times, but for all that I believe there is another reason for Edge’s move to Smackdown. The injury crisis on Smackdown no doubt speeded up the process but I believe his move was inevitable. For Edge to remain a main eventer it was easier to give him the belt on Smackdown and allow Triple H to return and feud with Cena over the Raw version.