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The McMahon-Helmsley Faction (also referred to as the McMahon-Helmsley Regime and the McMahon-Helmsley Era) was a large heel stable in the World Wrestling Federation which was founded in late 1999, had mostly faded away by early 2001 and finally ended in mid-2002. Although initially it was an affront to the Corporation by the daughter of the owner, Stephanie McMahon, and one of its biggest up-and-coming stars, Triple H, it evolved into an alliance between then-heel stable, D-Generation X and a resurrected Corporation.
On the November 29, 1999 edition of RAW is WAR, WWF owner Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie was set to marry Test but Triple H interrupted the ceremony. He played a video on the Titantron showing himself marrying a drugged Stephanie at a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This led to a match at Armageddon between Triple H and Vince McMahon with the stipulations being that if Triple H won, he would receive a WWF Championship title shot on RAW, whereas, if Vince was victorious, Triple H would sign an annulment. Triple H won the match, and afterwards, Stephanie turned on her father and hugged her new husband. The next night, Triple H announced the inception of the McMahon-Helmsley Era. His capture of the WWF Championship soon thereafter, coupled with New Age Outlaws' dominance of the tag team division helped cement the faction's power. With Vince injured and Linda and Shane McMahon absent, Stephanie was the sole remaining shareholder, so she and Triple H assumed control of the WWF.
Principally, the faction ensured that Triple H did not lose the WWF Championship. The faction would therefore interefere in title matches where Triple H might lose, either intentionally causing a disqualification or attacking Triple H's opponent behind the referee's back. The group also helped Stephanie McMahon win and retain the Women's Championship, and assisted X-Pac in his ongoing feud against Kane.
Superstars such as Jeff Hardy became targets for the group. Matt Hardy had been previously injured, so the group made it their mission to cripple him so that the both of them would be injured. Others such as Big Show, Test, Rikishi, Kane, Chris Benoit, Funaki and Too Cool and Edge and Christian (before the duo turned heel) were also targets of the faction.
The group was immediately opposed by Mankind who appeared on RAW to tell Triple H and Stephanie that he thought that "the McMahon-Helmsley Era kinda sucks." The Rock would come to his defense, but Triple H forced them to face each other in a match where the loser would be fired. The Rock won the match and Mankind was fired. The Faction also tried to get The Rock fired, but their efforts failed.
On January 10, 2000, on an edition of Raw is War, The Rock and most of the WWF locker room surrounding the ring and threatened to "walk out on Triple H's candy ass" if Mankind was not reinstated. Their backs against the wall, Stephanie and Triple H had no other choice but to comply, leading to Mankind challenging Triple H to a match or the WWF title at The Royal Rumble. After a brutal beatdown at the hands of Triple H on the January 17 episode of Raw, Mankind metamorphosised into Cactus Jack three days later on WWF SmackDown!, therefore making the match at the Royal Rumble, Triple H vs. Cactus Jack, in a Street Fight.
At the Royal Rumble, Triple H defeated Cactus Jack in a brutal, bloody Street Fight. Both men were repeatedly hit with a 2x4 with barbed wire wrapped around it. Triple H was split open early, and bled a great deal. Later on, Cactus was handcuffed and lying on the entry ramp. Triple H was about to hit him on the head with a chair when The Rock hit Triple H with a chair of his own. Cactus was then released by a police officer. After pile-driving Triple H through the announcers' table, Cactus brought a bag of tacks into the ring. Cactus was back-body dropped onto the tacks and then kicked out of the Pedigree. Triple H then pedigreed Cactus Jack on the tacks for the win.
At No Way Out 2000, Cactus Jack lost a Hell in a Cell match to Triple H in which his career was on the line, and was forced to retire. Meanwhile, The Rock was defeated by Big Show after interference from Shane McMahon, losing his WrestleMania 2000 title shot to Big Show. The Rock then challenged Big Show to a match to regain his title shot with Shane McMahon as the special guest referee. The Rock was victorious after a returning Vince McMahon punched out both Shane and Triple H (who had attempted to intercept vince on his way to the ring) gave the 3 count in The Rock's favor. Linda McMahon then brought Mick Foley out of retirement and made the WrestleMania 2000 main event a "Fatal Four Way Elimination Match" between The Rock, Big Show, Triple H and Mick Foley. Each competitor would have a McMahon in his corner.
At WrestleMania 2000, Big Show and Mick Foley were quickly eliminated, while Shane, Stephanie and Vince fought amongst themselves. As The Rock prepared to pin Triple H, Vince McMahon turned on the Rock and secured a victory for Triple H. Vince claimed that backing Triple H was the only way to reconcile with his daughter, and accepted Triple H as his son-in-law. Shane abandoned the Big Show soon after, also backing Triple H.
Over the course of the next few months, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction faced opposition from a variety of wrestlers, including Rock, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kane, The Dudley Boyz, Chris Jericho, Too Cool (Scotty Too Hotty and Grand Master Sexay), Steve Blackman and Rikishi. Mick Foley became Commissioner of the WWF in mid-2000 and aided in the fight against the Faction. Announcer Jim Ross was also a vocal critic of the Faction.
Triple H was a dominant champion throughout the first half of 2000, but twice lost the WWF Championship to The Rock. The first loss was at Backlash, when Stone Cold Steve Austin knocked him out with a chair shot and Linda McMahon reinstated referee Earl Hebner, who Triple H had fired earlier in the year, to count the pinfall. His second loss was at King of the Ring, when he, Vince and Shane defended the title in a six-man tag match against Kane, The Undertaker and The Rock. Vince had hoped that his enemies' individual title aspirations would lead them to fight amongst one another, allowing him to divide and conquer, but his plans were foiled when The Rock pinned Vince for the victory.
After Triple H lost the title, he would feud with Chris Jericho, with the remaining members of DX by his side. Shane went on to form a short-lived stable with former Faction allies Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Big Show, Edge and Christian. Triple H, Shane, Stephanie, and Kurt Angle formed an alliance to win the WWF Championship from the Rock, but this alliance would crumble after the love triangle between Helmsley, Angle, and Stephanie.
Steve Austin's return in October 2000 further aided in the dismantling of the group. By late 2000, with Road Dogg out of the WWF, Billy Gunn returning as a face and X-Pac injured, the group was largely forgotten. However the following year saw Austin turn heel and join Triple H and Vince McMahon to form The Power Trip. The group mostly disbanded after May 21, 2001, when Triple H was sidelined by a tear in his left quadriceps muscle.
By early 2002, Triple H and Stephanie's marriage was on the rocks. After months of friction, Stephanie tried to fake a pregnancy to hold onto her husband but Triple H found out it was fake and dumped her when they were about to renew their vows. The marriage officially ended at Vengeance. This also ended their on-screen relationship and finally brought the McMahon-Helmsley Era to an end.
By this time, Triple H and Stephanie had started a real-life relationship, which culminated in their marriage in October 2003. In early 2006 Triple H aligned himself with Vince and Shane McMahon, but no references to Triple H and Stephanie's marriage would be made during that time. Toward the end of Stephanie's real-life pregnancy with their first child in late 2006, Triple H often made jokes on-screen about "who the father might be", saying that whoever it was must be "hung down to here (pointing towards his kneecap)", before Shawn would stop him, and D-X even played a prank on Vince McMahon making him leave an arena in a rush thinking the baby was coming.
In mid 2007, the Faction had disbanded years prior, and Triple H was rumored to be Vince McMahon's (kayfabe) illegitimate son. After gathering the entire WWE roster, Vince came to the realization that if Triple H was indeed his son, then he and Stephanie would have committed incest, an idea which Triple H quickly brushed off. The son would later be revealed to be Hornswoggle.
At its height, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction included the following wrestlers:
- Vince McMahon
- Triple H
- Stephanie McMahon
- Shane McMahon
- Road Dogg
- Billy Gunn
- Gerald Brisco
- Pat Patterson
These wrestlers were also known to associate with the McMahon-Helmsley Faction:
- Big Show (associated with Shane McMahon)
- Kurt Angle
- The Radicalz (specifically Chris Benoit)
- Test and Albert and Trish Stratus (they would later feud with Triple H after he became a tweener.)
- The Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan
- The Dudley Boyz (prior to later turning face)
- Edge and Christian (due to confusion over what to call the Faction/Regime, Edge and Christian called it the "Fac-gime"; They however, were also targets of the Faction prior to turning heel.)