Is Shawn Michaels really better than Triple H?

This past Monday night on Raw, The Undertaker re-affirmed his opinion to both Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Speaking to Hunter, he said – "Remember when I told you that Shawn Michaels is better than you? He is."

At first glance, many fans might simply agree based on what they know about both men's careers in WWE. WWE's official DVD release of "Top 50 Superstars of all time" even names Triple H No. 12 and HBK No. 1. This would be enough for most to deem the argument conclusive, but taking into consideration other factors, is it true? Is Shawn Michaels better than Triple H? Let's compare.


While wins and losses may not be kept thoroughly and don't exactly have a deep impact on a superstar's career, it's still interesting to compare the overall PPV record of these two legends:

Triple H has a career PPV record of 77-59-4 across 140 PPV appearances (not including WrestleMania 28). That's a winning percentage of 55%.


Shawn Michaels has a career PPV record of 47-57-6 across 110 PPV appearances. That's a win ratio of 42.7 percent.

Against each other on PPV, Triple H also owns the lion's share of victories, going 3-1-1 against his Hall of Fame best friend:

Aug. 25, 2002 – SummerSlam – HBK wins 'Unsanctioned Street Fight'

Dec. 15, 2002 – Armageddon – Triple H wins 2 of 3 falls match (2-1)

Jan. 25, 2004 – Royal Rumble – 'Last Man Standing' Match ends in a draw

June 13, 2004 – Bad Blood – Triple H wins 'Hell In A Cell' match

Oct. 19, 2004 – Taboo Tuesday – Triple H wins match

(I am not counting their European title "match" on Raw in 1997, hilarious as it was)


In PPV matches with multiple participants in which either HBK or HHH won the match, Hunter has the advantage there also, going 3-1:

Nov. 17, 2002 – Survivor Series – Elimination Chamber - Shawn Michaels beat champ Triple H, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Chris Jericho and Kane to win the World Heavyweight title

April 27, 2003 – Backlash – Triple H, Rick Flair & Chris Jericho beat Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels & Booker T

Aug. 24, 2003 – SummerSlam – Triple H beats Goldberg, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton & Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Title

Feb. 17, 2008 – No Way Out – Elimination Chamber – Triple H beats Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, JBL & Umaga

Despite being "Mr. WrestleMania," Shawn Michaels (6-11) has a worse record than Triple H (7-8) at WWE's Super Bowl. Hunter has closed the show more times: HBK -- five main events (12, 14, 20, 23, 26), Triple H -- six main events (16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25). Hunter has also done something Shawn Michaels has never done on the grandest stage off them all –- as a villain, win in the main event at WrestleMania. In fact, Triple H was the first villain to do this at WrestleMania 2000, retaining the WWE title in a fatal four-way match to close the show (HBK was unsuccessful as a villain against Diesel at WrestleMania 11, in the penultimate match on the card).


At SummerSlam, WWE's biggest event of the summer, Hunter (8-4) edges out Michaels (6-4-1) again. Shawn holds one more Royal Rumble victory than Triple H.

Triple H also has more WWE championships to his name, in almost every category (except tag team titles):




Shawn Michaels



Triple H



WWE Title







World Heavyweight Title







Intercontinental Title







Tag Team Title







European Title







Yet despite how fun it might have been to look through these numbers, there is a reason Shawn Michaels is considered the greatest superstar of all time and why so many agree with what The Undertaker said on Raw this past week. For that, we need to look at the qualitative facts, not the quantitative.

In terms of charisma, HBK has no equal. His ability to connect with the crowd through his actions in the ring is second to none. Though Triple H may be better vocally on the microphone, HBK always seemed to rally the crowd behind him more than his counterpart.

The biggest argument is that despite the numbers, it can be said that at every WrestleMania since No. 10, HBK has had the best (or second best) match on the show:

10 – Razor Ramon beats HBK – Ladder Match


11 – Diesel beats HBK – WWE title

12 – HBK beats Bret Hart – Ironman match

14 – Steve Austin beats HBK – WWE title

19 – HBK beats Chris Jericho

20 – Chris Benoit beats HBK and Triple H

21 - Kurt Angle beats HBK


22 – HBK beats Mr. McMahon

23 – John Cena beats HBK

24 – HBK beats Ric Flair (career-threatening match)

25 – Undertaker beats HBK

26 – Undertaker beats HBK

It's no easy feat to consistently show up and steal the show at the event where every superstar brings their very best, and Shawn Michaels continuously did that.


To generalize, you knew that if Shawn Michaels was booked, he would most likely give you the best and most entertaining match on the card. That reputation was earned through providing years of evidence in the ring. Particularly earlier in his WWE ascension (most notably his first championship reign in 1996), HBK would rev the engine on the highest gear whether the event was televised or in front of 2,500 people in Kalamazoo. That alone goes a long way in tipping the scales in HBK's favor in this argument.

Though it's an intriguing part of the Undertaker vs. HHH story going into WrestleMania, I'm sure to real-life best friends HBK and HHH, this debate is nothing more than an opportunity to take playful jabs at each other. But it sure is interesting and fun for us to debate.

Arda Ocal is a TV personality for theScore Televivion Network. Find his blog posts here.