While the big pay-per-view payoff for major rivalries is what largely drives WWE content, many performers agree that there is something special to the intimacy and magic of a live non-televised event.
Triple H is celebrating his 25th-anniversary in WWE. Throughout the quarter of a century he has been with the company, he has faced many legends both on television and around the country in exclusive live event matchups.
Speaking with ESPN, Triple H was very candid about the special nature of live events when asked about some of his favorite non-WrestleMania matchups.
“It's tough for me to put one down on paper. I feel like there were so many matches and so many performers that I worked with that were so instrumental to my career, that I feel like I'd be not giving credit to someone,” he began. “And to be honest, for every match that I had where I thought it was a great match at such-and-such pay-per-view ... like if I said to you, "This pay-per-view match with The Rock was my favorite pay-per-view match of all-time," I probably had a better match with The Rock someplace else, that wasn't televised, in front of just 10,000 people that saw it -- and we thought it was an even better match. In the 25 years of my career, I had so many talented people to work with. When you're able to put down that level of performance every night, it's tough to pick one.”
Triple H further explained the magic of working house shows by describing a match he had with Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1998.
“When you're in the zone. When you don't have to think. When there's stuff that's never even talked about or mentioned [before the match] that just took it to a whole different level. I can remember working with [Steve] Austin in a match in Chicago at the Allstate Arena, which is the old Rosemont Horizon. It's so loud in there. It's one of my favorite buildings. I think it was shortly after Shawn dropped the title to Austin, and he's white-hot. And it's so loud in the building that night. It's the peak of the Monday Night Wars, so we're going all-out. Putting on pay-per-view [level] matches every night.
"We probably went 50 minutes in the main event. And I can remember being on the mat, about a foot away from Steve, and we're both looking at each other, yelling at each other as loud as we can ... and neither one of us could hear the other one. Like, I'm trying to tell him what to do. He's trying to tell me what to do. And neither one of us can hear it. Nights like that are just magic. And there are too many of them to remember.”
While many fans are celebrating the 25 years of Triple H dominating in WWE, Fightful Select reported exclusively that his celebration on the April 24 episode of SmackDown went well past schedule. Learn more at this link.