January 23, 2000 — In the final months of the millennium Triple H established the face of the WWE, becoming the heel champion, reforming D-Generation X as a heel stable in league with the boss' daughter, and became a villain the likes the WWF had not seen in years. In 2000 he fired Mick Foley, only to hire him back when The Rock and every other wrestler under contract threatened to walk out. Then The Game beat Mankind in a vicious brawl, only to be driven off by a bleeding, unmasked Mankind, who H treated as if he'd seen a ghost. Mankind was meant to fight Triple H at the Rumble, but after he was beaten said he wasn't up to it. Cactus Jack was though. Triple H treated this as Angel turning to Angelus.
The match itself was treated as the best since the second Hell in a Cell in 1998, which was adored because of the high spots and excluding that the Royal Rumble street fight was considered the best match since the first Hell in a Cell in October 1997. Triple H and Cactus Jack spent the first two minutes in the ring, then the next ten tearing each other apart in the crowd. Then Cactus found his secret weapon, a 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire. The two would exchange blows with this before Cactus was slammed on the announce table. He was able to fight back while handcuffed until The Rock blasted Triple H with a chair, then he brought out thumbtacks. This backfired, as Triple H slammed Jack on the tacks, then hit the Pedigree, then a Pedigree on the tacks for the win.
Backstage footage showed the injuries Triple H suffered during the brawl, including lacerations all over his face from barbed wire, splinters from being slammed on wooden pallets and suspected broken bones.
At the following PPV Triple H and Cactus Jack would fight again. This earns a CMoA because Triple H lamented not being hit with the actual barbed wire, at the Rumble Cactus was and when it was his turn another 2x4 was used. Triple H wanted to be hit with the real thing, and here he got his wish.
And then Foley set the thing on FIRE! And hit H with it, not full swing by Foley's account, but it was a f'n burning 2x4 in barbed wire!
Jerry Lawler: "What could be worse that a 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire?" Foley lights up as the crowd roars like Hegestand were there.
Jim Ross: "Oh I'll tell you what's worse, Cactus Jack has that barbed wire and the wire's burning."
Triple H and Mankind weren't always enemies - in the lead up to Mankind's record-breaking Heavyweight Title on WWF Raw is War, December 29, 1998, Mick wasn't even supposed to have a shot. Following weeks of taunting by Vince McMahon, the final nail in the coffin was delivered when Vince announced that Mankind would only have a marginal CHANCE at the title at the next PPV, and only if he could beat his then new friend - Triple H. To top all this off, Shane McMahon was announced as the special referee. The match went as expected - Shane delivered a fast count, and Triple H got the win. As Shane raised his hand for the victory, Triple H had this to say: "Hey, Mick, I'm sorry... but this is the WWF. I want that gold, same as everybody else, and I'll take it anyway I can get it. But I will say this: 'MERRY CHRISTMAS!' *PEDIGREES SHANE MCMAHON*. Hey *motioning to Shane's lifeless body* ... HE'S ALL YOURS!"
Mick would take the opportunity to put Shane in a painful shoulder clutch and pretty much blackmail Vince into giving him his title shot that night. And making it No Disqualification. All because of Triple H's pedigree. Even better, this was the night Foley won his first World Title, and being the same night WCW began it's decline into oblivion (the title change was spoiled on Nitro with insults to Foley, coupled with several shall we say misjudged ideas that drove fans away to the WWF) was the icing on the cake.
Triple H's entrance at Wrestlemania 27 is one of the most awesome in existence: Everything goes dark until Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" starts playing, with what sounds like lightning strikes that light up the arena in time to the chiming of the bell. Then the lights come up, revealing a mountainside on the titantron while entrance scaffolding appears to be light on fire. Armored footmen with shields appear on the stage, forming a circle that expands out to show Triple H illuminated in a circle of light in furs, a crown, and mask. The lights go out once again. They come on once more with his theme playing and he now in his wrestling gear to make his way to the ring.
And then there's his entrance at Wrestlemania 22, in which he rose up from the floor seated on a throne, dressed like a Viking king, while a screen behind him showed medieval battle scenes.
He used a similar entrance for Wrestlemania 30 that, for some, recalled Game of Thrones.
During his rematch against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 28, during the final minutes of the match it became clear that Undertaker was going to add to his streak. It was just a matter of when. He catches Triple H and his sledgehammer mid-swing, and throws The Game back into the turnbuckle. Triple H stares at Undertaker for a moment, contemplating whether to throw in the towel or not, and instead…flashes the "Suck it!" crotch chop to a huge pop from the crowd. Sure, he ate a Tombstone Piledriver shortly thereafter, but that was a textbook example of being Defiant to the End.
Admittedly, most of the awesome was on Punk's side—hard to be otherwise, it was the Summer of Punk—but during one face to face confrontation with CM Punk, Punk's microphone cuts out. What does HHH do? He orders someone to get him another mic, just so Punk can say what he was going to say, to his face. Second mic cuts out? He's more pissed off at someone ringside, presumably the guy who maintains the mics than the guy who was verbally tearing into him. There's something impressive about someone willing to hand someone as eloquent and who dislikes them that much a microphone on live television, and when the microphone doesn't work or is cut off by outside forces will get him another one.
When Triple H is being heckled by Paul Heyman over two lawsuits and Trips is made angry enough to hit Heyman, he steps down. Heyman then says "I can see everything you're going to do from a mile away!". Triple H proceeds to DECK HEYMAN IN THE FACE.
Triple H: Didja see that comin'?
Being responsible for convincing Bruno Sammartino to finally accepting an induction to the WWE Hall of Fame after years of animosity towards Vince McMahon. The key points were convincing Bruno that they cleaned up the product with its current PG policy and that they do everything they can to ensure a drug-free locker room. Notably, Vince had no direct influence in the negotiations and at the time of the announcement, still hadn't even spoken to Bruno.
His recent return to in-ring action involves beating Brock Lesnar hard until he starts bleeding from the head.
Monday Night RAW, 12/9/13 show. During the scuffle near the end of the show, Randy Orton knocks into Stephanie, knocking her unconscious. Triple H scrambles over to her side, then within the space of ten seconds, switches to kickass mode, kicks Orton in the gut, followed by a Pedigree. Considering he's been out of action for quite a while, the fact that he was able to so naturally go back into his mindset is a mini-CMoA in and of itself.
During the closing of the 3/17/14 show of Monday Night RAW, Triple H conducted a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Daniel Bryan in a manner that goes against anything PG related on a WWE program thus reminding those that while he hasn't been in action for quite some time he is still the Cerebral Assassin. The awesome part came that even those in IWC boards who hated Triple H enjoyed watching, what was considered, the Triple H of old. Before he became hated by the IWC.
Wrestlemania XXX: Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H. Anyone have any doubts that Haitch could pull off a good match after months of potential ring rust? Not after this one.
Strangely enough, Hunter losing clean can be considered a CMOA. Having developed a somewhat deserved reputation among smarks for elevating his career at the expense of younger talent, seeing Hunter put Bryan over at the Biggest Stage of Them All while putting on a very good match definitely counts.
Dealing The Shield its heaviest blow yet. How? By convincing Seth Rollins to join Evolution rejoin The Authority. You'd expect him to go after resident mad dog "Lunatic Fringe" Dean Ambrose, or even Roman Reigns, who's rumored to be the next top company Face, especially since Batista had just quit earlier that evening, leaving their group without a powerhouse. You wouldn't expect him to go after the guy who was always one of the first to speak, to prop up his fist in their Symbol of Excellence pose (see main page image), who willingly took not one but two punches from Ambrose if it meant keeping the group together. If there's any doubt in anyone's mind now that Trips is still the Cerebral Assassin, then let this be the moment that doubt dissipates.
Ambrose and Reigns, while remaining friends, would opt to go down separate roads, no longer operating as the Shield at all within two weeks of this. Triple H didn't just deal the Shield its heaviest blow, he went from getting embarrassed by the Shield every week to destroying the Shield practically overnight.
Add to this the fact that Rollins would outright denounce the idea that both the brotherhood and justice aspects of the Shield were anything more to him than just business. Enter Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Trips, who's stated his belief in Rollins as the future of the company both in and out of kayfabe, has plenty of experience of his own in the art of betraying the closest of friends to get ahead. He saw his own same Machiavellian nature and hunger for success at all costs in Rollins while everyone else was comparing Seth to CM Punk or Jeff Hardy. "One step ahead of you moron fools" indeed.
Rollins' attachment to Triple H and the two's shared mastermind tendencies, in addition to Vince's soft spot for his family, would eventually come in handy for Hunter even after the Authority was supposedly destroyed. On the last Raw of 2014, Rollins used an appearance on the Cutting Edge Peep Show to attack the permanently-injured Edge and threaten to break his neck via curb stomp on the Money in the Bank briefcase, forcing John Cena to use the power given to him by Vince to bring the Authority back to power. Triple H's investment into the future and awareness of the talent around him is paying dividends even in kayfabe.