Leading The Authority on screen and off, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are the power couple in charge of the WWE Universe. Long time fans of pro wrestling know this full well, considering the relationship between Vince McMahon’s daughter and her husband almost entirely played out on Raw, SmackDown, and assorted Pay-Per-Views. Sure, there was more to it than fans were able to watch, but the broad strokes were all publicly shared with the world, from their first meeting, to the moment they fell in love, all the way up to their wedding.
On top of it all, fans were also able to watch Triple H’s previous relationship play out on television up to the moment it ended, when he dumped his ex in favor of Stephanie. That ex happened to be a noteworthy wrestler in her own right, referred to as “The Ninth Wonder of the World” for repeatedly breaking the glass ceiling. More commonly, she was referred to as Chyna, and because of her connection to Triple H, she remains one of the most controversial figures in WWE history.
Of course, the real story isn’t about Chyna’s relationship with Triple H but rather the fact it didn’t end until up to a year after he started seeing Stephanie as well. Without a doubt, the three formulated the highest-profile love triangle wrestling had ever seen, although the fact that two of the people involved in it are now amongst the most powerful in the industry today means elements of it get covered up. Spoiler alert: at no point in the saga do Triple H and Stephanie come out looking like people who cared about Chyna’s feelings in the slightest. To learn the full story, keep reading and discover 15 facts about the Triple H/Stephanie McMahon/Chyna love triangle that WWE doesn’t want you to know.
15. HHH Met Chyna Way Before He Met Steph
As with just about every love triangle in history, it should be pretty obvious that Triple H met the first woman he dated before the second. Prior to officially forming D-Generation X with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and HBK met Chyna after a wrestling show and quickly sparked a friendship. Coincidentally, HHH and Chyna had both been trained by the legendary Killer Kowalski, just one of their many similarities. Unsurprisingly, the two also had a great love of bodybuilding, amongst, no doubt, dozens of other interests that fast made them friends. Collectively, HHH and HBK used their influence to get Chyna a job with WWE, despite mild resistance from Vince McMahon. By the time Chyna made her debut as Triple H’s bodyguard, the two were dating quite seriously, and Stephanie McMahon was nowhere to be seen.
14. Steph Initially Thought HHH Was With HBK
Had Stephanie McMahon realized Triple H and Chyna were dating from day one, perhaps the WWE Universe could be an entirely different place than it is today. Of course, that’s assuming the Billion Dollar Princess can respect boundaries, which is an unlikely case. In any event, Chyna had nothing to worry about at first, considering Stephanie didn’t exactly recognize Triple H as a potential romantic partner. Believe it or not, the first time Stephanie laid eyes on her future husband, she was in college watching Raw, and actually assumed HHH and HBK’s antics in D-Generation X implied that something more than friendship was going on. By the time they met in real life, Stephanie had probably figured out the truth and claims this second meeting was more traditional “love at first sight.” That HHH was still dating Chyna at the time didn’t seem to bother her.
13. HHH Lived With Chyna And May Have Thought About Marriage
Plenty of men and women date before they get married, and sometimes, people criticize them for rushing into one relationship right after the other. Let’s clear things up for a second and point out that was most certainly not the case with this particular love triangle. While Triple H arguably did rush from Chyna straight to Stephanie, it’s not as though his relationship with the Ninth Wonder of the World was some brief fling. In fact, if Chyna was to be believed, it was actually quite serious, and the couple may have been considering marriage. Triple H has never quite confirmed nor denied this aspect of his time with Chyna, though he has basically acknowledged they had been living together for several years by the point he was ready to move on. Most people would take that as a sign of commitment.
12. Chyna Was Deeply Hurt Watching HHH And Steph Fall In Love
It all came crashing down for Chyna and Triple H’s relationship on November 29, 1999. No one outside of the two of them and Stephanie McMahon will really know when things were over. However, we can probably point to the infamous moment on Monday Night Raw when Triple H interrupted Stephanie’s kayfabe wedding to Test and claimed he himself had married (and sexually assaulted) her. From that moment onward, Triple H and Stephanie slowly came together onscreen, with Chyna pretty much fading away into a feud with Chris Jericho. By Armageddon, it was revealed that Stephanie had planned the whole thing, solidifying her and Triple H as a couple once and for all. At that point, they were constantly kissing, groping, and generally being romantic with one another, all of which reportedly left Chyna a crying wreck in the locker room having to watch it unfold.
11. Vince McMahon Allegedly Knew About It The Whole Time
The exact timeline of Triple H’s dating history starts to get a little fuzzy around the point he and Stephanie hooked up onscreen. As already established, he was still living with and dating Chyna at that point and kept doing so while his televised relationship with Stephanie McMahon slowly turned into a reality. There must have been plenty of fights and discussions around this point about his loyalty, with Chyna increasingly fearing Triple H would leave her for his TV wife. Soon enough, that’s exactly what happened, and Chyna was understandably furious when she found out. When it came time for her to confront Stephanie about the matter, it almost immediately became apparent that Vince McMahon had known the whole time. Granted, this is hardly a surprise, as Vince was the one booking Stephanie and HHH together in the first place.
10. Chyna Left WWE For Good After Everything Was In The Clear
After a year of uncertainty, disloyalty, and confusion, Chyna finally knew Triple H was cheating on her with Stephanie McMahon, but there was one problem. All three of them still had WWE contracts, and this meant for Chyna to keep performing her job, she needed to keep working for the family of the woman who indirectly ruined her life. Again, the timeline is kind of fuzzy, with differing reports on how quickly she left the company after finding out, not to mention why exactly she left in the first place. The one thing known for certain is that tensions were extremely high between Chyna and the McMahons throughout this ordeal, and it soon led to her departure from the company. At first, Vince had allegedly promised Chyna her job was safe, and yet it was merely a matter of time before she was told her services were no longer needed.
9. The Ordeal Briefly Killed The Women’s Championship
Although it makes sense the McMahon family would want to get Chyna out of the picture ASAP once she had a reason to form a grudge against them, there was an unexpected downside to her departure. Perhaps, as part of a ploy to keep Chyna happy, she was booked to defeat Ivory for the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania X-7. Chyna was still reigning as champion when it came time for her to leave the company, and once again, reports slightly differ on why she was allowed to exit without losing it. Some stories claim she was supposed to drop the belt to Lita, while others allege the McMahons simply didn’t care, feeling it was more important to cut their losses and move on. Either way, the result was WWE lacking a Women’s Champion for the better part of six months, pretty much killing the entire division until Trish Stratus was ready to save it.
8. HHH Has Wrestled Both Chyna And Steph
Due to the close quarters male and female wrestlers are forced to travel around the world in, it’s fairly natural for love triangles such as this one to sprout up. The ramifications are rarely so Earth-shattering as what happened when Triple H left Chyna for Stephanie, but one wrestler dating a handful of others is hardly uncommon in WWE or elsewhere. The relationships Triple H shared with Chyna and Steph are still pretty unique, though, considering he also has the dubious honor of having wrestled matches against both of them. In fact, the match Triple H had against his wife was for the WWE Undisputed Championship and ended with him pinning her after a Pedigree. His match against Chyna didn’t go so well for him, HHH getting pinned after her partner Kane dispatched his own partner, X-Pac.
7. Chyna Rebounded With One Of Triple H’s Best Friends
Jilted lovers tend to hit rock bottom pretty fast, and insiders worried that that would happen to Chyna almost immediately after she left WWE. Years of drug abuse ultimately ending in a tragic overdose indeed occurred, making those fears all too real. The warning signs were there early, most tellingly when Chyna started dating Triple H’s fellow D-Generation X member and good friend, X-Pac. The relationship was highly tumultuous and filled with drug use. Triple H spoke about the matter at the time, showing more concern for X-Pac than his ex-girlfriend, noting what a terrible mistake X-Pac was making by dating her as she fell apart. Granted, it was Triple H’s actions that exacerbated Chyna’s condition, but that detail didn’t seem to cross his mind.
6. HHH And Steph Were Worried About Chyna’s Second Career
Chyna’s downward spiral continued long after she and X-Pac ended their relationship and wouldn’t end until she hit rock bottom by overdosing. Along this path to the bottom, Chyna appeared on a number of trashy reality shows and gradually lowered her profile as a mainstream star. Any chance of a comeback was thrown out the window when she signed a contract to “perform” in a number of adult films, including one where she pantomimed sexual actions with actors pretending to be Vince McMahon, Triple H, and dozens of other WWE figures. Unsurprisingly, McMahon, HHH, and the others parodied in the film weren’t entirely pleased with how they were represented, intensifying the already harsh feelings between them. Triple H, in particular, was on record as not wanting to make reference to Chyna lest his children find out about her second career or make the mistake of Googling it.
5. HHH And Steph May Be Blocking Chyna From The Hall Of Fame
Despite the controversy surrounding much of Chyna’s life, as documented in a list like this one, it needs to be remembered that she was also a legendary performer in her own right. Regardless of what transpired between Chyna, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon, the Ninth Wonder of the World earned her moniker by trailblazing through the WWE Universe and breaking ground for women everywhere. Chyna was the first female to compete in the Royal Rumble and the King of the Ring tournament, not to mention, she also became the number one contender to the WWE Championship and won the Intercontinental Championship twice. All of these add up to a career entirely worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame, and yet, as of 2017, Chyna has still yet to earn an induction. Most insiders agree that lingering feelings from the McMahon family are the only explanation.
4. Chyna Once Claimed HHH Was Abusive
When a relationship falls apart, especially in the way Chyna and Triple H acrimoniously parted ways, it’s not unusual for one party to spread some questionable rumors about the other. Given his position, Triple H hasn’t needed to make anything up about Chyna to drag her name through the mud, as he has simply been able to exclude her from the Hall of Fame and other retrospectives. Chyna had far fewer options, making her feel weak and powerless, so she allegedly manufactured a story about Triple H, well… making her feel weak and powerless. During an interview with former writer Vince Russo, Chyna claimed to ultimately end their relationship not because of Stephanie, but due to an incident where Triple H physically abused her with a harsh shove. Breaking his usual silence regarding Chyna, Triple H was quick to deny the allegations, and his buddy and fellow Chyna ex X-Pac came running to his defense by seconding the argument that she had made it all up.
3. HHH And Chyna (Kind Of) Reconciled At Roddy Piper’s Funeral
Reading this list up until now, it would be easy to assume the problems between Triple H and Chyna were so severe, reconciliation was pretty much out of the question from day one. That said, death has a strange way of bringing grieving parties together, and it took the demise of an industry icon to bring these two back together. Roddy Piper’s sudden heart attack in July 2015 sent shockwaves through the wrestling community, with countless former employees, fans, and friends attending the various funeral services held in his honor. Included amongst the bereaved were both Chyna, who had been friends with Piper for years, and Triple H, now a member of the family who once employed the fallen Hot Rod. After the services, a number of reports claimed Chyna approached Triple H to apologize for some of the things she had said over the years, which Triple H calmly accepted.
2. Both Women Were Integral To Triple H’s Success
At this point, the influence Stephanie McMahon has had on Triple H’s career should go without saying. Two decades ago, Triple H was merely another struggling wrestler attempting to etch a name for himself in WWE, and today, he’s poised to inherit the company should Vince McMahon ever step away. Of course, before that happened, he needed a jumpstart from Chyna to make him stand out from the other mid-carders populating the New Generation. There’s a good chance Triple H still could’ve been a star without Chyna, but there’s also no denying how important she was during his early years and especially to the persona developed by D-Generation X. While it’s true Stephanie has probably impacted him more overall, Chyna’s influence cannot be denied. This could be another reason fans shouldn’t forget her but is also a reason why HHH and Steph want them to.
1. Skeptics Believe Triple H Did It All For The Power
Professional wrestling is one of the most political industries in the world, with what happens behind the scenes often being twice as important as anything that actually happens in the ring. One trend throughout this list has been that Triple H’s life improved immensely since leaving Chyna for Stephanie McMahon, with his business prospects, in particular, shifting from next to nothing to potentially controlling the entire industry. With this in mind, some fans and critics have floated the idea Triple H’s entire romantic life has been based on what he found to be best for business. The theory goes that HHH never really loved or cared about Stephanie, let alone Chyna, and merely used whichever woman could bring him his true goal of one day owning the WWE Universe. Stephanie even acknowledged the scenario during an interview with Howard Stern, though she doubted it was plausible.