Triple H is often accused of burying his opponents, predictably winning matches like the beast he is booked as. But if you look at his recent feuds, that really is not the case. The latest incident is lasting a minute in the ring with Brock Lesnar before getting severely injured. He has not held a singles belt in three years, or a tag team belt in over two.
We will look at this on a year-by-year basis.
Following a lengthy, dominating period of PPV victories, Triple H fails to win two triple threat matches at the close of 2008. Triple threat matches can often avoid one wrestler looking weak by having others gang up on them and such, and at this point Triple H was due some losses. In retrospect, this formed the start of the recent feeble era the man has had at the WWE, but at the time it was understandable.
* Survivor Series 2008 - lost triple threat match to Edge (match featured Kozlov)
* Armageddon 2008 - lost triple threat to Jeff Hardy (match featured Edge)
Given how difficult a Royal Rumble victory is, his third PPV appearance without a victory in a row is hard to complain about, especially since he went on to be victorious at the 2009 Elimination Chamber match and WrestleMania 25. Up to this point, Triple H's previous level of dominance was clearly over, but he was still picking up major wins too. Here was the real turning point, far more than when the change started in late 2008.
Triple H would go on to lose three PPV matches in a row, including one that was a rematch of his WrestleMania 25 match with Randy Orton. Triple H's next four matches would all be tag-team matches, winning two and losing two. Note that these victories were part of a tag team however. He would close out the year losing another triple threat match, and winning a tag match with Shawn Michaels.
* Royal Rumble 2009 - failed to win Royal Rumble
* No Way Out 2009 - won Elimination Chamber match
* WrestleMania 25 - beat Randy Orton
* Backlash 2009 - The Legacy beat Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon
* The Bash - lost to Randy Orton
* Night of Champions 2009 - lost triple threat to Randy Orton (match featured John Cena)
* SummerSlam 2009 - D-X beat The Legacy
* Breaking Point - The Legacy beat D-X
* Hell in a Cell 2009 - D-X beat The Legacy
* Bragging Rights 2009 - lost to Team SmackDown as part of Team Raw
* Survivor Series 2009 - lost triple threat match to John Cena (match featured Shawn Michaels)
* TLC 2009: D-X beat Jeri-Show
Triple H would appear at four PPVs in 2010—he failed to pick up wins in Elimination Chamber and the Royal Rumble. Many fans point to his victory over Sheamus at WrestleMania 26 for an example of Triple H burying talent, but Sheamus did pick up the win in their rematch at Extreme Rules, in the PPV match which would conclude the feud and prove to be Triple H's last PPV for many months.
* Royal Rumble 2010 (failed to win Royal Rumble)
* Elimination Chamber 2010 (failed to win EC match)
* WrestleMania 26 - beat Sheamus
* Extreme Rules 2010 - lost to Sheamus
In his quest to challenge The Streak, Triple H fell short of his goal, before disappearing for another extended hiatus. 2011 later saw Triple H involved in the "conspiracy" storyline. While the storyline led to two PPV victories, Triple H's period as COO will be best remembered for the Awesome Truth's chaotic antics, the mass walkout from Monday Night Raw, and the rise of Johnny Ace. While Triple H did pick up two victories, the circumstances negate their significance. There was one against Kevin Nash (an old man no one under the age of 25 is likely to have heard of), and another against CM Punk (in a match so filled with interference that Triple H never really gloated about the victory).
* WrestleMania 27 - lost to The Undertaker
* Night of Champions 2011 - beat CM Punk (sort of)
* Vengeance 2011 - lost to The Awesome Truth (with CM Punk)
* TLC 2011: beat Kevin Nash
Triple H made another shot at beating The Undertaker this year. Once again, he failed to win.
Most recently, he was severely injured when Brock Lesnar and he scuffled a few weeks ago.
* WrestleMania 28 - lost to The Undertaker
Since Triple H's period of total WWE dominance concluded in late 2008, here are his final win/loss records.
* Singles matches: 4 wins / 4 losses
* Triple Threat matches: 0 wins / 4 losses
* Tag team matches: 3 wins / 3 losses
* Royal Rumble: failed to win twice
* Elimination Chamber: won one, lost one
* Total: 8 victories in the last 21 PPVs
Triple H's recent win-loss record is not very impressive in any area really, especially triple threat matches!
For a man routinely booked into the top feuds in the main event, he could really do with a few token wins. If the matches with Nash and Punk were meant to do that (interference avoiding CM Punk looking like he "lost", even if Triple H "won"), I don't think they did.
Currently, writers on Bleacher Report seem to be anticipating Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, with Triple H putting over Brock Lesnar, the logic being that if Brock is thoroughly put over in the eyes of younger fans who are not familiar with his past victories, it will enable him to put over some other talent such as Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler or Randy Orton.
Lesnar/HHH with Lesnar going over could well be a great match, but I think if Triple H loses another PPV, having failed to halt the rise of CM Punk, lost control of the WWE, failed to capture The Streak and proven seemingly unable to win triple threat matches, it is one too many. Sometime soon he needs to win a few televised matches followed by a PPV, just to remind fans why he is regarded as a legend. Maybe winning a Survivor Series match against Johnny Ace, where a team of WWE loyalists try to wring control of the WWE from the tyranny under which it is currently operated? Someone has to counter the gathering horde of heels in the company, and some sort of foul play by John Laurinaitis could be used to give the heels an advantage; currently the main event is face heavy while the mid-card is heel heavy, but Laurinaitis could use his authority to level the playing field and make it a great match.
Since this article was first written, Triple H lost to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2012, resulting in a crisis of confidence for The Game which saw him contemplate retirement, barely appearing on WWE television for six months. He is due to have a rematch at WrestleMania XXIX with Brock Lesnar, at which most fans assume he will pick up the win. With yet another singles loss on his record since this article was written, he truly needs that victory.