WWE Executive Vice President Triple H made a surprise return to the Royal Rumble last night, winning the match and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H last eliminated defending champion Roman Reigns, and then Dean Ambrose, to claim his 14th World Championship (two behind Ric Flair’s record 16).
For those who need a refresher on who Triple H is, he rose to prominence in the wrestling world in the late '90s when he started the faction DX with Shawn Michaels and, for better or worse, made “Suck It” and the crotch chop a part of pop culture. He would later marry into the McMahon wrestling family when he wed Vince McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie.
Sunday night’s victory was a huge surprise, as Triple H rarely competes in the ring (his last match was last year’s Wrestlemania against Sting) and has not been seen on WWE television since he was beaten to a pulp by former champion Roman Reigns.
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The Royal Rumble has been dubbed by WWE as their “kickoff to the Road to Wrestlemania” and last night’s event gave more clarity to Wrestlemania’s Dallas card. With Triple H now on top of the wrestling world as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, logic dictates that he will be in the Wrestlemania main event against rival Roman Reigns.
The night before Wrestlemania, WWE will host its annual Hall of Fame ceremony at the American Airlines Center, and a full list of possible inductees was leaked last week. The list is heavy on Texas ties. The only Hall of Fame inductee confirmed by WWE itself is the icon (and Dallas resident) Sting. Other wrestlers on the leaked Hall of Fame list include World Class Championship Wrestling legends and Von Erich nemesis The Fabulous Freebirds; former World Champion John Bradshaw Layfield (better known as JBL); Dallas-born diva Jacqueline Moore; Charles Wright (wrestled as Papa Shango and The Godfather). The rumored entrant for the oft-mocked celebrity wing is none other than Regis Philbin ... because wrestling.
Wrestlemania weekend is April 1 - 3. Follow the Dallas Observer for all wrestling updates leading up the sports entertainment spectacular.