On this date in WWF history: Triple H returns to Raw in 2002

Watch Triple H make his triumphant return on the January 7, 2002, edition of Raw to one of the more impressive pops in the history of pro wrestling.

On the May 21, 2001, edition of World Wrestling Federation's (WWF) Monday Night RAW, Triple H planted his leg awkwardly and tore the quadriceps muscle in his left ham-hock. The devastating injury occurred during a tag team match featuring Trips and Steve Austin taking on Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit for the tag team titles.

Somehow, "The Game" managed to finish the match with half a leg, even going so far as to let Chris Jericho put him in his Walls of Jericho submission finisher.

Said Helmsley, in a follow-up interview with the WWF website:

"I'm a young guy. I'm 31 years old. I'm not even near my peak in this business yet. This is not a big deal. It's a bump in the road. I'll be back in a few months and in the grand scheme of things this is not a big deal."

Emphasis mine.

No, Trips hadn't peaked, as we can clearly see in hindsight, but at the time it was a major setback. You know what they say about absence and the heart.

Watch Triple H make his triumphant return on the January 7, 2002, edition of RAW to one of the more impressive pops in the history of pro wrestling.

The injury:

The return:

Triple H would go on to win the 2002 Royal Rumble and take the Undisputed Championship from Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 18.

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