Triple H is one of the most important wrestlers in the history of WWE’s Monday Night Raw. As a 14-time World Champion in WWE, he was one of the centerpieces of the show for about 15 years (give or take) and these days he’s an executive that helps run the show. Raw officially turned 25 years old on January 11 and will have a big birthday bash on January 22 in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.
In hyping up that huge show, Triple H has done a lot of interviews of late and recently spoke to USA Today’s For The Win. During the interview, Triple H was asked what “Stone Cold” Steve Austin meant to Raw. Austin, by the way, is going to be a part of Raw 25. Here’s what Triple H had to say:
“Oh man. In that timeframe, everything. I said earlier those first episodes of Raw almost had this feel of the start of the Attitude Era, but then the Austin timeframe and DX and all that…. It wasn’t the longest run on the planet because of injuries for Steve, but there was no bigger star ever in the business, probably. Just in that moment in time, it was huge. And anytime Steve is around, he just has a personality and an intensity that’s just hard to beat.”
Very kind words and in my opinion it’s true. The peak of Austin was unlike any wrestler ever, even when Hulk Hogan was on top. The crowds were bigger, the merchandise was selling more and it was a great time for the business. As Triple H said, it wasn’t the longest run because of injuries and that’s a damn shame.
Triple H talked about his tag team with Austin in 2001 known as the Two Man Power Trip that had a brief run as a team that was cut short after Triple H suffered a serious leg injury in May 2001. Does Triple H wonder what would have happened with that team if he didn’t get hurt?
“I do. It’s funny… Steve was at a point where he wanted something different and he wanted to run kind of on the dark side, so to speak, being a heel. I was the top heel, and we talked about it and here we are, doing this thing. And it was crazy – for a minute.
The Two-Man Power Trip. The guy that was the quintessential heel in the business, me, and then Steve, who was the biggest babyface but then also at the same point in time an unbelievable badass. You put those two characters together and it was just mayhem.
The injury happened with me, and I wonder… Fans ask me all the time, ‘well what would have happened if you hadn’t gotten injured, the Two-Man Power Trip stayed and the Invasion happened, what would have happened?’ It would be interesting.”
Triple H also spoke about how Raw was a game changer (pun intended?) for the wrestling business.
“I felt like the first time I saw Raw, I watched that first episode and I felt like it was a game-changer. It was what the name said, it was raw, right? What was the tagline of Raw? …. ‘Uncut, Uncooked, Uncensored.’ It was.
Everything in the business at that point in time was sort of these packaged, pre-taped shows, whether that was WCW or WWE. It was just kind of announcers going to matches and then going to interviews and going back to matches. [Raw] had a completely different vibe, it was like being at the live event, and the environment of it at the Manhattan Center was so much more intimate and the crowd was so hot.
It’s funny because you can look at those shows and… it almost felt like, in some way, a little bit of the start of an ‘Attitude’ kind of feel within the vibe of it, yet you still had the Doink The Clowns and all the other things. It hadn’t morphed yet, but it was a game-changer for me in the excitement level.”
That’s just part of the interview. To read all of it check out USA Today’s For The Win now.