Triple H has often been criticized for using “political power” and “creative influence” in order to boost his own profile and keep down his competition. Perhaps the most blatant demonstration of this was in 2002. Rob Van Dam was a popular upcoming star who needed the one big win in order to seal his main event status. The reported backstage news suggested that Van Dam was all set to win the World Heavyweight Title in 2002. Triple H didn’t like this. He is said to have got Vince’s ear and talked management out of this, and instead we saw Van Dam do the job in matches against Triple H.
Former WWE superstar Paul London has shed some further light on the whispered hostility between Hunter and Van Dam. London was a talented star himself, a star of the indies much like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. The talented acrobatic athlete had a good run as a tag team champion with Brian Kendrick in WWE, but found he never really got over for various reasons. This was despite being considered on of the most talented workers on the roster. Much like Van Dam, promise turned into disappointment.
Speaking on Gerweck Radio about the Van Dam / Triple H relationship, London states :
“That is another reason I’m pretty sure I won’t be returning there any time soon. Hunter was pretty obviously jealous of certain individuals. I’m not saying he was jealous of me. I could tell he was envious of (Rob) Van Dam. He was extremely envious of Rob’s success. He was jealous of Van Dam’s personality. He was jealous that people gravitated towards Rob, because people liked being around Rob because he was very positive. The most glaring was the work rate. Hunter has had the same matches his whole career. If the guy is so damn tough, why does he need a sledgehammer. How do you justify this guying be a bad ass if he always has a weapon. Hunter is like that nerd that throws out a joke expecting the room to start laughing and ends up laughing at his own joke.”
Despite all this, it was reported that it was Triple H who in fact negotiated Rob Van Dam’s return to WWE in 2013. Tensions have clearly cooled, but there is no doubt that the Two men had ‘heat’ throughout their peak years in WWE.
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This article was first posted on November 18, 2013