The Greatest Feuds of All Time – Triple H vs Scott Steiner – 2002-2003
One of my most well-known articles is my recap of the Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs Warrior feud from 1998. I won’t lie, it’s damn good, but I have to give as much credit to the idiots at WCW for thinking that people would want to witness Hulk Hogan having an hallucination that Warrior is in the mirror. Even though he really was in the mirror. Anyways, recapping feuds is a series I wanted to keep up, but honestly, it’s taxing, baby! There’s a shit ton of research that goes into it, not to mention you’ve gotta bring the funny, and I put a lot of pressure on myself. Really, that’s all just a ruse to mask me being lazy. You guys are really good to me, so I owe you the goods.
Now, what’s the only feud that could follow something as completely idiotic as Hogan v Warrior? None other, than Scott Steiner vs Triple H.
The setting is WWE, 2002. Triple H had been awarded the Heavyweight Title in September, and lost it to a returning Shawn Michaels in November. Mean while, after the bomb that was The Invasion, Vince started trying to sign up every other major WCW star he didn’t initially. One of those guys, of course, is the last person ANY wrestling company should ever sign. The unprofessional, borderline psychotic, juice-addicted, sputtering moron, Scott Steiner. Both Smackdown & Raw were trying desperately to sign Steiner, when in reality both sides were praying he’d end up on the other person’s show. Well, he ended up on Raw, just as Triple H was regaining his belt back from Shawn Michaels at Armageddon.
And away, we go….
December 16th, 2002 – RAW – Orlando, FL
It’s Triple H appreciation night here on Raw. The main event is Bischoff with Val Venis bringing out Triple H, who the night prior defeated Shawn Michaels to regain his World Heavyweight Championship. HHH comes with Ric Flair by his side, and we’re shown a Triple H video package. He says it’s hard to be humble when you’re the best, and you keep proving it again and again. This is really Introduce-The-New-Challening-Babyface-Promo 101, as Triple H rattles off the names of people he’s beaten. It’s truly a shame that after his quad injury he was absolutely terrible until 2009-2010. Oh, here comes the sirens! Now, when it comes to Steiner v HHH in promo land, I will type them up verbatim. Oh, and all of Scott’s incredible Steinerisms will be in bold
Steiner: You’ve beat a lot of guys, but you can’t beat me!
Bischoff: Scott, I thought we had an understanding?
Steiner: The only understanding is, this crontract says I get a world title shot. If not, I’m outta here.
HHH: Hold on a second, hold on a second here, lemme get this straight. You think because you walk
down that ramp and get in this ring that you deserve a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship? Why
the hell should you get a shot? Because you’re Scott Steiner? Because you’re Big Poppa Pump? Now, pal, I know where you came from, and I know how they did business down there, but this place is different – here, you EARN your shot at the World Heavyweight Championship! And uh, quite frankly, you haven’t proven anything to me. So uh, no Eric, Big Poppa Pump doesn’t get a shot at the World Heavyweight Champion. You understand me?
Steiner: Did you think I came to the WWE to start at the bottom? See I’ve been watching you talk trash, and I don’t like it! Cuz you think you’re gonna be the greatest of all time, I’M gonna be the greatest of all time. And I guess now that we’re standing face to face, you’re a little scared, cuz you realize when I’ve said I’m the genetic freak, I wasn’t lying! See, I’m as big as I say I am, and now, you don’t wanna fight me! You call yourself “The Game”? I say you’re “The Game”, with no balls.
HHH: Is that so? Is that so, huh? I tell you what, tough guy, you want your shot so bad? I tell you what, Eric, you go ahead and give Scott Steiner his world title match, but it’s your funeral. Hold on, hold on. Before you sign that, I want you to understanding what signing that means, you see, I understand you’ve been a big fish in a small pond for a long time, you sign that paper and jack, you jump into the ocean with both feet and you’re gonna be standing face to face with the biggest shark of’em all, and I will eat you up!
Steiner: You say I’m a big fish in a small pond? Well unless you consider the world a small pond, I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about? Cuz in case you haven’t noticed, I have the largest arms in the world, not you! Nor, will you ever…have the largest arms in the world, as long as I’m around, and as long as I’m around, I’m the man, not you! Now I said world title shot, he said Royal Rumble, I say, tonight! See why I don’t I bish slap you right now, cuz there’s not a damn thing you could do about it! You’re suppose to be a tough guy, you take the first punch! TAKE THE FIRST PUNCH! And see what happens! Cuz I will rip you…from limb to limb.
They then go face to face, with Triple H eventually backing out…before being bish slapped.
Scott: You’re not the man, you’re not Big Poppa Pump, you’re not The Big Bad Booty Daddy, you’re not Freakzilla! And I’m gonna kick your ass! This goes to all my freaks in Orlando, Big Poppa Pump’s your hook up, hollar, if you hear me!
My absolute favorite thing in the whole world is Triple H saying that you EARN your shot at the title, despite the fact he was just given the belt on TV.
December 23rd, 2002 – RAW – Oklahoma, OK
[the only video I can find of this has Triple H in the ring already, then Steiner's music hits]
HHH: Hold on a sec, hold on, hold on hold on. Now, I’m not backing down from you, I’m being smart. And since smart is not something you’re accused of all the time, lemme explain that to you. See, you and I have signed contracts to face each other at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight Championship, MY, World Heavyweight Championship. And what that means is, 4 weeks from now, you and I stand to make a whole hell of a lot of money. And I for one, am not willing to give up one dollar of that cash, so these people can get a taste of Scott Steiner vs Triple H. But, but, I do have a proposition for you, you call yourself Big Poppa Pump, the Genetic Freak, you call yourself, The Man, well there’s a saying, Naitch, I think you know what it is, how does it go? To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man. Well the way….[Scott grabs the mic]
Steiner: Lemme smarten you up a little bit. These people here in Oklahoma didn’t come here to see you, they came here to see ME, kick your ass! and I hear you correctly, last week you weren’t feelin’ a hunren cent but tonight you’re feeling pretty good? And you think you can go 1-1, man to man, with Freakzilla? I say, let’s stop wasting time, talking about it, I say let’s do this right now! [HHH tries to grab the mic, can't take it from Steiner]
HHH: Is that what you think huh? Is that what you think? Prove it! Right here tonight! Prove it! In an arm wrestling match! [you can honestly hear the ENTIRE crowd go "AHHH" in utter defeat.] you guys bring that stuff down here, bring that stuff to the ring, c’mon, get down here get it in this ring. Woah woah, hey where you going? What’s the matter Scott? You afraid? Huh? You scared? I thought you had, I thought you had the largest arms in the world, huh? Now c’mon, those guns are pretty big. But they don’t compare to me. You know it, and I know it. Let’s face it, Scott. You’re built for show, I’m built to go! Now, I mean, unless you’re scared, that I’m gonna embarrass you in front of all your freaks?
Scott: The only one that’s gonna be embarrassed, is you!
Seriously, from the faces they’re making, if I was watching this live, I would honest to God think they were both about to turn into the Hulk, or that their skeletal systems were trying to jump out of their respective mouths.
Triple H is about to win, but then Scott smiles! He’s been playing him! Big Poppa Pump takes HHH to the limit and wins! Well, great, now the wad is blown. Why would I want to see The Rumble after this!? I mean, unless the rematch is with the other arm. They go again, and Scott beats him 3 times in a row! GREAT. Now what would they do with Wrestlemania!? Triple H backs off…
Steiner: This goes to all my freaks in Oklahoma, Big Poppa Pump your hook up, and the next World Heavyweight Champion, hollar if you hear me!
This is just some classic stupid. Although to be honest, I’ll give them points for not being completely cliche’ with it. Triple H didn’t do 7 false-starts, and no one was beat up afterwards. But then I have to remove the points, just because they aren’t obvious, doesn’t give them the right to be really fucking boring. When Superstar Billy Graham was doing the arm wrestling deal in the mid 70′s, it made sense, and it got heat. When I tune in to see two guys WRESTLE, I don’t want to see them competing in some other sport or activity. I don’t care how many Double Word Point throwdowns are promised.
January 6th, 2003 – RAW – Phoenix, AZ
Well, the arm wrestling contest settled things once and for all, at least that’s what I believe we all thought. However, it wasn’t to be true. Triple H has slapped on the fake tan, lubed up, and selected a group of guys from the audience to be judges.
They first bust out the double bicep.
I’m a fan of bodybuilding, and Triple H’s physique blows Scott Steiner’s away by miles, especially when it comes to his posing routine. But there are few wrestling fans who are also fans of bodybuilding, so man was this segment stupid of them. We get the side-chest pose, which Triple H actually does, and Scott just flexes his arm. Third is most muscular, known as the crab. They then go face to face, and start fighting each other with poses. It’s honestly one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen. I’m surprised Scott Steiner wasn’t put in the hospital with the way Triple H hit him with the double bicep pose, I mean, RIGHT TO HIS FACE. Brutal. The judges all vote for Triple H, and I’m thinking something is afoot. This may be rigged. I’m still shocked that they allowed Scott Steiner to take a DOUBLE BICEP POSE right to the head. I mean, c’mon guys, he has a family, we don’t need to pop the buy-rate at the risk of a man’s life!
Scott: You tell me, not one of you voted for me? he won every one? You tell me this ain’t a set up, you don’t know these guys? Never met’em before in your life? Well I’ll tell you what, I’ll let all my freaks here in Phoenix here decide who the REAL winner is! HOLLAR IF YOU HEAR ME! Now you go up, and see who..who thinks who…you won or not
HHH: I don’t need to go up on some turnbuckle, have a bunch of idiots tell me something I already know. Listen to me, hey, this is the judging panel, right here, unanimously across the board, they said, I was the winner. This is as fair, as any Mr. Olympia judging panel that I have ever seen. Now, listen, I can understand that you’re a little bit embarrassed [crowd starts to chant you suck]. I can understand that you and your freaks are a little bit embarrassed that cha’ got beat, I mean, clean, right through, so, listen, hey, I understand, bodybuilding is a subjective sport, it’s apples and oranges. Listen, I’ll make the excuses for you, alright? It’s an opinion, these opinions think I’m better than you. Now, that bodybuilding is subject, I tell you what, let’s come up with something that’s more objective you still aren’t convinced I’m not the better man, let’s come up with another contest, let’s say, I know, here, push ups. That’s your gig, right? That’s your gimmick, that’ what you do? Your the guy that does push ups, that’s what you do, right? Well I say this, one for one, we do push-ups, cuz I know, when it comes to push ups, I’ll smoke you. Alright then, let’s do it.
They start off doing push ups, get to about 10, when the judges all get up and start beating the hell out of Steiner. Triple H laughs and claps…which leads me…did he know one of these judges? Could he possibly have known them all?! No, sir, no. If I can’t believe in a pose-down on Raw, then there’s nothing left to believe in.
Steiner beats up all 6 guys, then leans on the ropes and says..
Steiner: C’mon, Dipple H!
Alas, Dipple H will not be coaxed into a fight, good sir!
January 13th, 2003 – RAW – Uncasville, Connecticut
So, they have the bench set up to the left of where the wrestlers come out. Steiner says he wants to warm up with 585lbs. Since I actually do work out, I can tell you that’s the biggest load of bullshit ever. Not even Arnold was benching 500lb on the regular, if ever. To do so would require a special bench suit and everything. Anyways, so Triple H comes out with a suit, and I believe he has dubious intentions, and doesn’t seemed prep to bench.
HHH: Let me explain something to you Steiner, I don’t give a crap about bench pressing, I don’t give a crap about arm wrestling, don’t care about pose-downs, I’ve been playing games with you, couple of weeks stringing you along, having a good time, laughing. The fact is, I don’t give a care about any of that stuff. What I care about is sitting right on my shoulder, It’s the world heavyweight championship, it says that beyond a shadow of a doubt i am the best, not at arm wrestling, not at posing, not at bench pressing, but at wrestling. In this ring, in this world, I am the best that there is. Now, I’ve heard you talkin’, and you think you’re the guy, you think you’re the guy who’s got my number, you’re the one that can knock me off that perch, sitting on high. Let me ask you this, you think you’re the first one, cuz there’s been a whole long list of guys before you that thought they were the guy to. That thought they were the man. Hogan, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Austin, they all thought at one time or another that they were the guy who could knock me off the top of the mountain. Huh, yet here I stand, in the center of this ring, still the world heavyweight champion. Not them. Me! You see it’s real easy to say you’re the best, this proves it! Now, what makes you think you’re different than anybody else? Nothing. Nothing. You are the same as they are. You will talk a good talk, until we get to the Rumble, and this Sunday I will do what I always do, I will make an example of you in front of the whole world. I will prove to you that I am the man, and that I am everything I say that I am. That I am the best. That I am the WHC. And that I am the game, and that I am that damn good.
Steiner: Well if you’re that damn good, why wait till Sunday night? See I don’t think these people came here to see a bench press contest, what I think they really see…came to see, is me come down that rile, and kick your ass!
Well, Scott starts coming down the rile, and Triple H takes off his jacket. They start throwing punches, and Scott gives HHH a belly to belly suplex. Triple H gets beat down as Steiner starts to strip him down, ala Ric Flair. Triple H tries to mount a comeback in his BVDs but no go. He gets sent to the outside as Steiner starts throwing his clothes out of the ring.
Scott Steiner: C’mon Triple H, I’m just getting started! *does push-ups* just like Sunday night, this brelt is gonna be mine! C’mon, get your ass back in here!
It’s an absolute shame that the Rumble match wasn’t that long. Will Steiner win the brelt this Sunday? Will the activity Steiner did in the ring tonight still have him gassed by the time Rumble comes around? Keep reading, brave souls…
January 20th, 2003 – The Royal Rumble – Uncasville, Connecticut
Look, I know we smarks tend to be harsh on wrestler’s who either suck, or are assholes. Those who are both get double barrells. Well, this time I wanted to go a different route. Everytime Steiner botches something, I won’t mention it, instead I’ll say that he won the lottery. Because winning the lottery is positive. We strive to be positive here at Str8 Gangster, No Chaser.
Triple H is the first one out, and I find that shocking. Steiner is out and he’s got a #1 on his tights colored with the red, white and blue. I imagine he wanted to show support for “the Americas” while we were in the middle of World War 2 or something. The bout starts with some punching, as Steiner does this combo of chop, slug to the back, chop, slug to the back, chop, slug to the back. After that, he does some more punching. He whips HHH off the ropes and executes a punch. He then tries to press slam HHH but he’s so gassed, he can barely hold him up as he WINS THE LOTTO! and drops him. They get to the floor, and Steiner gently pushes HHH into the post. Most wrestlers use force when doing something like this, Steiner treated it more like a polite suggestion. Back in and we get a suplex , a Boston Crab, and then some elbows. Steiner goes for a bearhug, but Triple H escapes, only to get another suplex . They go back outside, then get back in as HHH hits a neck-breaker for two. Pedigree is reversed into a catapult, but it’s more just HHH leaping into the turnbuckle. We get another suplex , and Steiner is so gassed that he WINS THE LOTTO! and just collapses.
They try a Tombstone reversal spot that at one point looks like Steiner is so tired that he’s mid-tears. HHH does a neck-breaker that Steiner fucks up so bad he WINS THE LOTTO and lands side by side, face up by Triple H.
Steiner does another suplex , and then has to pull himself up via the ropes like he’s Rocky Balboa at the end of Rocky II. Another slug fest, Steiner gets a backdrop, then does another suplex . And then ANOTHER . And then ANOTHER . Steiner tries a tigerbomb and WINS THE LOTTO by tripping over himself and falling down. Steiner hits HHH with a superplex  for two. Crowd is definitely chanting “STEINER SUCKS” at this point. Flair & HHH bail, but Steiner chases’em down and draws blood on HHH by cracking him in the face with the title. Back in, Steiner hits a 450 splash! Nope, sorry, I mean he hits another suplex . After HHH tries to draw a DQ, Steiner teaches him a lesson, a suplex lesson . HHH finally goes out to get the sledgehammer and we FINALLY get a DQ. At 18:13. Steiner is so upset, that he puts Triple H in the Steiner Recliner, and he’s so upset that he just grabs Triple H’s head, and forgets to do the rest, so Triple H has to put his arms atop Steiner’s legs.
With Hogan & Warrior, it was at least so bad it was entertaining. This one, is just so bad. Although it is incredible that Steiner has the had the balls to call himself an athlete, when he’s literally gassed before the match begins. This was slow and pathetic. What really makes me mad, is if Chris Jericho were to main event, and turn in a performance 1/100th this bad, Triple H would have done EVERYTHING in his power to make sure that Jericho got stuck wrestling Chyna and then apologizing to her. Oh, wait…
Why on Earth these idiots tried to have Steiner as a face is beyond me. He’d probably work just fine as a heel, look what they did with Mark Henry, it could have worked, perhaps. This feud is beyond bad, with them trying to keep the two apart for weeks to mask Steiner’s limited abilities, but serving up some of the stupidest and least interesting things that they could have possibly think of. I’ll bring up Jericho again, with two examples of him creating awesome feuds all by himself, out of NOTHING. His feuds with Dean Malenko and Goldberg were all him, and pretty much little to no involvement from the others, and the feuds got OVER. Yet here we have two former world champions who couldn’t even make one evening interesting.
In the end, they drew no money, and did absolutely nothing for themselves or for the business. Of course, this feud chugged along, and was built for only one man, the same man that was the sole reason for wrestling existing in 2002, 2003, 2004, and part of 2005; Triple H. The guy who tore up the ring in 2000 and 2001 until a leg injury put him out for a year. When he returned, he never really returned. Long gone were the days of ***** matches, and having awesome feuds. In their place was a stupid hair cut, different colored boots & tights, and the “it’s all about me” attitude. Man, those were some dark days.
Now, I know that the article ends here, yet the feud didn’t. The reason I’m choosing to end it after The Rumble is because the feud had nothing going for it after. I mean, sure, it had nothing going for it initially, but at least there was some absolutely wretched programming to laugh at. This time? Nothing, really. Steiner & Triple talked at each other a bit, but that was about it. There was one week where it was hardly addressed. Steiner beat Jericho to become the #1 contender. They wrestled at No Way Out in a match that was only slightly better than their Rumble bout, and not worth recapping. The only point in the feud that is worth notice, is Evolution forming.
Alright, kids, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the trip, and learned that if anything is true in life, it’s that Big Poppa Pump is your hook up. Hollar, if you hear him.