Eric Bischoff recently talked about the moment in 2002 when he presented Triple H with the “new” WWE World Championship. The title itself was actually the big gold belt, the title that was once around the waist of Ric Flair as the NWA, then the WCW, champion.
Bischoff handed the title to Hunter, even though The Game had not won a match to earn it. So what was the former WCW President’s take on the move?
“”I liked the idea when they laid it out to me, I thought it was a pretty cool idea. I have to say I was a little disappointed because I think they only went halfway with it, meaning I think that could’ve been a bigger moment. While I was there, I just wanted to show up, I wanted to do my job, I wanted to get along and honestly, I just wanted to have fun. I didn’t want to stress out over anything.”
The problem with the spot for Bischoff was that he felt the company’s brand split ultimately did not work.
“They never went all the way with it. They went halfway with it, they compromised. It was a diluted idea to begin with. This idea that we’re talking about right now, where I introduce a belt that everybody associated with WCW and to an extent me, because of my proximity to WCW, that could have been a bigger moment. It could have been a bigger issue. It could have created a much more divisive kind of environment and more heat. As it was it, it was kind of eh, it was a smarmy little move.”
Triple H did receive some flack from WWE fans during that time because they felt that he indeed did not deserve to be called champion when he really did nothing to get it. The irony of course is that every championship in WWE is handed out to Superstars and in this instance, the move was made to get Triple H over as a heel. The move worked and The Game became the most powerful antagonist in WWE.