Triple H: A People’s History

Hi Scott,

I lost interest in wrestling from around Wrestlemania 18 to about 2009. Whilst I get a general sense of Triple H in this period from hate on blogs and Wikipedia (as well as some of the flash points – Katie Vick, Scott Steiner, Booker T), can you or any of your readers provide a sense of exactly what Triple H did in this period that made him so maligned? What other backstage politics went into it?

Basically he came back from his quad injury with about 50 pounds of unneeded muscle and a fetish for leather jackets, which meant that he couldn't really back up his own reputation for in-ring work any longer.  Then he made himself World champion of RAW because he felt that the IC title was beneath him (which it was), but when they were building up RVD to that title, HHH squashed him like a bug.  Then he did the same thing to Kane to eliminate the IC title completely for a while. Bubba Dudley was getting over on RAW as a singles guy, so HHH squashed him on TV.  Then he wanted a program with Steiner to show that he could get a great match of him, and he couldn't.  Then there was Evolution, where the greatest wrestler in history got to play his second-banana and lapdog.  
Those are the highlights of the early years…