Triple H was not in favor of Jeff Hardy becoming WWE Champion back at Armageddon in 2009 and argued over it before eventually relenting.
Jeff Hardy is one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. Very few have his presence and charisma. However, despite all his gifts, he was never really seen as a singles star. Well, at least not until he won the WWE Championship at Armageddon in 2008.
That would be the first of his three World title reigns in the company and his only run with the WWE Championship. However, according to actor and former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr., Triple H came very close to prevent that from happening.
Triple H was not in favor of Jeff Hardy becoming WWE Champion
During a recent appearance on the Ariel Helwani Show, Freddie revealed that Michael Hayes desperately wanted Jeff Hardy to become WWE Champion and requested him to make it happen. He then made a pitch that was approved by Vince McMahon before Triple H objected to it.
“I was handed an assignment from Michael Hayes, who brought Jeff Hardy into the WWF and had just hit wall after wall after wall trying to get him a push. And he saw that I was getting some love from the boss. And he said, ‘Freddie, make Jeff champion.’
That’s what I was tasked with. And so I wrote the whole thing out, weeks before it ever got approved, every single promo and I presented it to Vince the way you would pitch a film at a studio in the 90s when you had more than 10 minutes and Vince said yes and we were moving forward.
Very few people were against it. Kevin Dunn wasn’t nuts about it. Bruce was on board, and about 90% of the agents were on board and the day of the production meeting of Armageddon. Hunter brought it up, and everybody else was cool. And nobody had said anything, and I’m sitting in there nervous and he says, ‘Are we really going to trust the championship with this guy?’ And I knew that was a sniper bullet, man. Whether it was meant for me or not, it hit me, and I’m down on the ground, and I got to figure out a way up.”
Freddie then brought up Jeff’s merchandise sales and told Vince that if they didn’t strike when the iron was hot fans would stop caring about him.
“The only other Ace in the sleeve that I kept that I didn’t use in the pitch because it was good enough to get over with Vince was Jeff’s merchandise sales and those armbands that looked like Spider-Man [webbing] and his t-shirts. At least the week that I presented them with was outselling everyone.
So I came out of the dark with that, and I said, ‘Listen, this guy’s merchandise is already the top-selling,’ and I showed them the numbers on that. And I said, ‘It’s outselling everyone it’s even outselling you, man,’ I said, ‘We got to take a chance now while we can strike now while everything is ready and perfect or they’re gonna stop believing.’ And that was what got it over.”
Vince then sent everyone out of the room. Freddie waited outside with Hayes worried about the final decision they would make. Triple H finally left the room without even bothering to make eye contact without even bothering to make eye contact with the actor. He took this to mean that his pitch had been approved before confirming it from Vince himself.
“The door swings open. Hunter goes by doesn’t even throw me a glance, which meant two things. One, he wasn’t feeling me, and two, Jeff was going to be champion. So I looked at Michael, and I went in before Michael did back into the production meeting. I said, ‘Are we good?’ And he [Vince McMahon] just grunts his gruntly grunt, and I ran back out, and I was like, I won’t swear on your podcast, but I said, ‘We’re freaking good, man. We’re freaking good!’ And I watched it from a side entrance, the end of the match, and you can see Hunter removed himself from the end of the match because he didn’t want to be a part of that. He kind of rolls out of the ring, and Jeff has the moment with Edge.”
Despite pushing for Jeff’s win however, Freddie stated that Triple H was right in voicing his doubt but added that he still believed that the eventuall payoff was worth it.
“He was right. Jeff wasn’t trustworthy as champ, and it was a feel-good moment. But it wasn’t a sustainable one. Hunter’s about sustainable championship runs because that’s bankable, reliable money for the company. And his philosophy was sound then, and it’s still sound now, and I just know I pushed hard on that one because I thought it was worth it.”
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