Freddie Prinze Jr Details Fractured Relationship With Triple H Over Jeff Hardy Title Win

In 2008, Jeff Hardy won the WWE Heavyweight Championship at Armageddon in a triple threat match featuring Triple H and Edge.

Getting Hardy to the champion was the task of Freddie Prinze Jr, the actor who had joined the WWE writing team.

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Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Freddie detailed how Jeff's title win fractured his relationship with Triple H.

"We're on the road to making Jeff champion, which some people were against, and it turned out to be rightfully so because he was not responsible with his life and he was having drug issues at the time and that was the reason they were nervous to do it, but Vince had greenlit this. We were going to Armageddon and he had the promo of all promos, the payoff promo, he's going over at Armageddon, not everyone is happy about it, but it's for sure happening and I know there's for sure no tomfoolery going on because I saw some secret stuff," recalled Freddie.

Freddie did praise Stephanie McMahon for saving the promo segment as the power had gone out and Stephanie worked to make sure the segment still came off how it should. He credited the entire McMahon family for their work ethic and care when it comes to WWE.

Circling back to his relationship with Triple H and Jeff's title win, Freddie said, "The Jeff Hardy storyline was the end of any relationship I had with Hunter, and I'm open about that, but it wasn't a secret. He was against it and didn't think we could count on Jeff. Hunter is a company man. I felt, creatively, it was worth the risk. He didn't. In hindsight, he was right. Jeff was released from the company I think less than a year later because he got in more trouble. I never blamed him for it, but he certainly, at the time, I'm sure he doesn't care now, but at the time, he wasn't having it."

FPJ continued by discussing his objective when it came to making Jeff champion compared to Triple H's philosophy.

"The value he had on the belt and the value I had on it were very different. It was one of those things where, for Paul, it's 'protect the brand at all costs.' For me, I was handed an assignment from Michael Hayes, who brought Jeff Hardy into the WWE and had hit wall after wall after wall trying to give him a push. He saw that I was getting love from the boss, and he said, 'Freddie, make Jeff champion.' 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. 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," he said.

Freddie continued by saying, "The day of the production meeting of Armageddon, Hunter brought it up. Everyone else was cool and nobody said anything and I'm nervous. He said, 'Are we really going to trust the championship with this guy?' I knew that was a sniper bullet and whether it was meant for me or not, it hit me. I'm down and I have to figure out a way up. The only ace up the sleeve I have that I didn't use in the pitch was Jeff's merchandise sales. Those armbands and t-shirts was outselling everyone. I came out of the dark with that. I said, 'This guys merchandise the already the top selling' and I show them the numbers, 'it's outselling everyone, even you [Hunter]. We have to take a chance now while we can strike and things are perfect or they [the fans] are going to stop believing.' Then Vince was like, 'Alright, everyone get out of here,' which meant me and the agents. I'm not going back to the writer's room, I'm waiting to find out. Michael Hayes is like, 'Freddie, I don't know, maybe you pushed too hard.' He's nervous. I'm like, 'it's going to work out.' The door swings open, Hunter goes by, doesn't throw me a glance, which meant two things; one, he wasn't feeling me. Two, Jeff was going to be champion."

FPJ concluded by once again admitting Triple H was right, saying, "Again, he was right. Jeff wasn't trustworthy as champ. It was a feel good moment, but it wasn't a sustainable one and he is about sustainable championship runs because that's bankable, reliable money for the company. His philosophy was sound then and it's still sound now. I pushed hard because I thought it was worth it."

Hardy held the WWE Heavyweight Championship for 42 days, losing it to Edge at Royal Rumble 2009. He would win the World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions later in 2009 before leaving in August due to his contract expiring.

Elsewhere during the interview, FPJ discussed his desire to open his own wrestling company. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

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