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Outside of Hulk Hogan (and maybe Kevin Nash), Triple H likely has the worst reputation among pro wrestling fans for his ruthless backstage politics. Throughout his career, his ego has been so big that it would seem no number of championships won nor pay-per-views (PPV) main evented would satisfy it. Once he became a legitimate main event talent in 1999, there was no turning back.
His longest reign of terror came from 2003 until 2005 when he dominated World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) Raw brand. He did so by becoming world heavyweight champion and creating the Evolution stable, a heel group that consisted of Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista. It was designed to get the younger (Orton), greener (Batista) guys over while giving Flair something to do in the process of heavily showcasing Triple H.
Three out of four ain't bad.
Orton was really coming on strong, even becoming the youngest guy to win the heavyweight championship at SummerSlam 2004. But Triple H ended up burying him and taking it back for himself. Orton would recover nicely, of course, but his growth was most definitely stunted by "The Game."
Batista, on the other hand, was given the ultimate rub. Indeed, supporters of "The Cerebral Assassin" often point to this program as evidence that Triple H isn't the worst human being in wrestling history. After Orton left, Batista was obviously next to branch out and he did so by winning the Royal Rumble in 2005. Sensing a threat to his title, Triple H attempted to convince "The Animal" to challenge for the WWE championship on the Smackdown brand held by JBL. He even orchestrated a hit and run with JBL's white limo.
Ultimately, Batista decided to stick around to challenge for Triple H's title at WrestleMania 21, leading to the infamous thumbs up, thumbs down schtick that would become an early staple of Batista's babyface run with the belt.
And then something weird happened. Batista went over at 'Mania to win the title. Clean, even. It was a passing of the torch, so to speak. But not only did Triple H job the title clean to Batista at the biggest show of the year, he did the very same thing in the rematch at the next PPV, Backlash.
Unbelievably enough, it didn't end there.
The two looked to be done with their feud but Triple H challenged him to one last match on this date in WWE history (June 26, 2005) at Vengeance in a Hell in a Cell match. And Triple H put Batista over once more, allowing him to become the first man to pin Trips in a Hell in a Cell match.
That's three straight PPVs that Triple H, of all people, put Batista over clean in the center of the ring, 1-2-3. Simply put, he made Batista, who would go on to have a fairly successful career with the company before leaving in 2010 because he didn't like the direction WWE was going at that time.
Watch the classic match between Triple H and Batista at Vengeance 2005 after the jump.