When Stone Cold Steve Austin finally succumbed to the effects of the broken neck he suffered two year prior in late 1999 and got surgery that would keep him out for nearly an entire year, it left a gaping hole in the main event scene.
Triple H was more than happy to fill it.
He did so by aligning himself with the boss's daughter, Stephanie McMahon. As the story went, "The Game," as he was coming to be called, slipped Steph a mickey, knocked her out, kidnapped her, and married her at a cheap, drive by chapel. He revealed as much right when she was about to take her final vows with then boyfriend Test.
Oh, and he also insinuated he date raped her multiple times.
But whatever, the two were married and World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Owner and father of the bride, Vince McMahon, needed a way to get it annulled. Naturally, a wrestling match was held with the stipulations that if Triple H won, he would earn a WWF title shot but if Vince won, the marriage would be taken back and all would be right in the world again.
Late in the match, Stephanie shows up with a sledgehammer but fails to use it, leading to Triple H grabbing it up and successfully doing what she couldn't. He got the win and his WWF championship shot.
Then he turned the sledgehammer on Steph but just as he was about to strike, he laid it down beside him and Steph, previously looking on in horror, turned that frown upside down and gave Trips a big old hug and a kiss.
The McMahon-Helmsley Era had begun.