I know HHH gets ragged on in the 2002-2003 period for various legit reasons but he also gets criticized for not being ready for the main event push in 1999 but I’m making my way through 1999 on the network and I have to say I don’t see what all the criticism is for. He was kind of a breath of fresh air in the main event scene if you ask me. You couldn’t just keep throwing the same combination of Austin/Taker/Kane/Foley out there that you did for a lot of the last year. Yeah of course The Rock was awesome but if not HHH who else do you elevate at that point? He kind of bridged the gap between the garbagy brawls of the Austin era and the actual wrestling matches that came back into the main event scene later in 2000. So yeah, I think he gets some unwarranted flack for that first 6 month period in the main event scene until the Foley brawls got him on another level.
I mean, it’s easy to justify with hindsight because eventually it did work, but he sure didn’t feel like a "breath of fresh air" to those watching at the time. He felt like Roman Reigns getting pushed to the top regardless of how people react or what he delivers in the ring. Plus to say "Oh, you can’t just push combinations of Austin/Taker/Kane/Foley/The Rock forever" is kind of silly to me. That’s a lot of combinations! Plus if they hadn’t screwed up Big Show so badly that gives you a sixth viable main event guy to put in there.
So yeah, things worked out in the end, but I disagree with the premise, sorry.