Who Was the Real Leader of WWE's 'Kliq?'

The mid '90s were a lucrative time for wrestling. While most of us instinctively recall the Stone Cold movement or Rocky's eyebrow, The Kliq was just as important to that era.

Consisting of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, X-Pac, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, The Kliq effectively monopolized the wrestling market share of pop culture. Hall and Nash jumped to WCW and started the revolutionary nWo with Hulk Hogan. While Michaels and Triple H introduced Degeneration X to the world.

In 1998, these counter cultural groups had some of wrestling's rowdiest moments. But according to Jim Ross, there was one steady hand that rocked the boat. As a guest on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Ross anointed the Kliq's leader, Triple H.

"The Game was the best in a lot of areas; when DX could be 'challenging' to deal with, at that point of their lives, and the decisions that they were making, their lifestyle, their road schedule, the wealth that was coming their way; most of those guys that were making seven-figures plus a year," Ross said.

Ross further explained that Triple H's maturity had played perfectly into him becoming a WWE executive.

"Whenever I had issues, I didn't feel as though I needed to play the trump card, and I needed somebody to address within that vicinity, Triple H was always the guy to go to because he was a good communicator and can communicate with his rowdy friends, so we got things taken care of. We knew he was going to be a good leader; he had a good vision, a good feel, and could always add things to any scenario to make it better," Ross said.

"Here is the key thing; he had the ability to look at other people's storyline and angles and make viable suggestions to make what they were doing better. Most top guys had the ability to do it themselves, but they're not as forthcoming to do it for others to get them over because of the paranoia, anxiety and insecurities that people have in those regards. People feel as though they cannot acknowledge their competition," Ross added.

This ability to empathize with other wrestlers and their career is a unique attribute. With some fans, Triple H has a tyrannical reputation, as they believe that he buried other wrestlers in favor of himself. We simply do not have the access to confirm or deny that sentiment, but Ross' take on the matter seems to squelch that criticism.


As a WWE executive, Triple H has been measurably fantastic. He brought NXT to life, as well as the WWE superstar that followed. When the time comes, Triple H will make a great Vince McMahon.

[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription]