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The Power Trip was a professional wrestling tag team and stable in the World Wrestling Federation in 2001, consisting of Steve Austin and Triple H (collectively known as The Two-Man Power Trip), and also Vince McMahon to complete the stable, with the group usually accompanied by Stephanie McMahon mostly in Triple H's corner. Some considered it as an extension of the much larger McMahon-Helmsley Faction formed in the previous year. A few other heel wrestlers, such as William Regal, Rikishi (who turned against the group), Kurt Angle, and Stephanie's "pet" Rhino were also affiliated with the group.
Professional wrestling history
At WrestleMania X-Seven, Steve Austin took on The Rock for the WWF Championship in a face vs. face match. During the match, Vince McMahon interfered, which eventually led to Austin attacking The Rock with a steel chair to win the WWF Championship and in the process aligning himself with his long-time enemy. The next night on Raw Is War, there would be a rematch between the Rock and Stone Cold, this time in a Steel Cage match. Triple H would get involved in the picture when he demanded to know why Vince aligned himself with Austin, claiming that he took out Austin (referring to his previous feud with Austin that had ended only a month prior) for him. Vince arrogantly replied with "Austin was a winner at WrestleMania... you weren't," which led Triple H to leave the arena in frustration.
Later that night, during the Austin-Rock match, Triple H entered the cage with his sledgehammer with the crowd believing that he would help The Rock. This was not the case, however; Triple H, along with Austin, attacked The Rock. Stone Cold showed a new, vicious, and much more violent side to him as he would attack wrestlers like Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane), Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff), and even Lita with the steel chair several times. The two, who did not christen themselves under any name, were called "The McMahon Alliance" for a brief time before being officially known as "The Two-Man Power Trip" (or "The Power Trip" for short). On the episode of Smackdown following Wrestlemania, Austin as per request of Mr. McMahon assaulted his long-time friend Jim Ross after Jim Ross told Austin his opinion of his alliance with Triple H and Vince McMahon. Later that night, Triple H defeated Chris Jericho to win the Intercontinental Championship. (During this time, Triple H actually won the Intercontinental Championship twice; a week after defeating Jericho he was defeated by Jeff Hardy for the belt, but Triple H quickly regained the title on the following Raw Is War. The reigns were his third and fourth overall). Austin would go on to be named Most Hated Wrestler of 2001 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
Gaining all of the gold
While holding both major singles titles, The Two-Man Power Trip (which Triple H and Austin had become known as) began feuding with the reigning tag team champions, the Brothers of Destruction after the Brothers stopped a Power Trip attack on the Hardy Boyz. The two teams faced off at Backlash, with Austin and Triple H putting their titles on the line against the WWF Tag Team Championships. The Power Trip won the match after Triple H hit Kane with his sledgehammer and pinned him, and as such were in control of all three of the WWF's major championships. They became just the second team ever to simultaneously hold all of the WWF's three primary titles (after Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, who were WWF Intercontinental Champion and WWF Champion, respectively, when they won the tag titles for one day on September 24, 1995).
The next night on Raw Is War, McMahon booked an injured Kane in a title match against Austin, only for Linda McMahon to overrule this and give the Undertaker the title shot. However, Austin and Triple H attacked Kane before the match and the match ended in a disqualification. The Power Trip then attacked Kane's arm, giving him an elbow injury. On the next SmackDown!, Undertaker was awarded a rematch versus Austin at Judgment Day. Later, Undertaker attacked Austin during a Triple H-Jeff Hardy title match with a chain and threw him through a glass window. Vince McMahon called for an ambulance, only to reveal that Undertaker was the driver. The Undertaker then attacked McMahon and Austin, and later fought against the returning Rikishi, in a match that ended with a brawl between a returning Austin and Taker. At Insurrextion, Undertaker defeated both members of the Power Trip in a handicap match. Austin's WWF Championship was on the line, but did not change hands because Undertaker pinned Triple H. On the next Raw Is War, Mick Foley managed to make Rikishi leave the Alliance, getting him into a match with Austin with Undertaker being banned from the building. Austin won the match only for Rikishi to hit Stephanie with the Stinkface after the match. On the next SmackDown!, The Undertaker called out Austin, but Kane made his return to help his brother. On the May 14 episode of Raw Is War, Triple H challenged Kane to a Chain match for the Intercontinental title at Judgment Day, and the Power Trip offered the Brothers a tag titles shot. Undertaker was informed that his wife, Sara, was involved in a car accident, leaving the arena and making Kane fight the Power Trip by himself. Kane lost that match. Austin then revealed that Sara was fine. On the next SmackDown!, The Undertaker attacked Austin, and Austin said Triple H was the one to call the police. Undertaker demended a No Holds Barred match with Triple H. Triple H denied the accusations, and Stephanie McMahon revealed that Austin borrowed Triple H's cellphone that Monday. During the match, Stone Cold admitted he called the police, and the match ended in no contest after the Power Trip attacked Undertaker, making Kane run down for the save. At Judgment Day, Austin accidentally hit Triple H with a steel chair during his chain match with Kane, causing Triple H to lose his Intercontinental Championship. Triple H did not return the favor, however; instead, he helped Austin retain his title against the Undertaker in the main event.
The end of the Power Trip
The next night on Raw Is War, the Two-Man Power Trip faced Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho with the tag titles on the line. In this match, Triple H suffered a legitimate and career-threatening injury when he misstepped, causing him to suffer a tear in his left quadriceps. Despite his inability to place any weight on his leg, Triple H was able to complete the match. Near the end of the match, Jericho tried to pin Austin, but Triple H got in the ring and tried to hit Jericho with the sledgehammer. Jericho avoided the blow and the sledgehammer instead hit Austin in the chest, a situation Jericho and Benoit took advantage of to win the match and the titles.
Austin and McMahon would continue this line. Austin would turn on Triple H on that week's SmackDown!, claiming that Triple H disrespected him and that he deserved to be on the shelf with his injury (before the tag team match, Triple H had spoken to Austin about teamwork, which Austin felt was disrespectful). On the next Raw Is War, McMahon booked Jericho against the Hardcore Champion Big Show, and Benoit against Rhyno, with the most impressive man getting a title shot against Austin later. Benoit defeated Rhyno, and while Jericho won the Hardcore title, Rhyno pinned him after the match to win the title. McMahon gave Benoit the title shot, which he lost in a manner similar to the Montreal Screwjob (the show was in Calgary), causing both Jericho and Benoit to attack Austin and McMahon. The next Smackdown, on Benoit's hometown of Edmonton, Jericho defeated Kurt Angle while Austin awarded Benoit a rematch which Benoit lost. On the next Raw Is War, McMahon put Benoit against Big Show, where Benoit won, while Mick Foley managed to use a contract clause to book Jericho in a title match against Austin with himself as an enforcer. Austin won after an interference from Regal. During the next episode of SmackDown!, Austin made an attempt to win back the tag titles with McMahon, after Jericho and Benoit already fought the APA and the team of Big Show and Rhyno, only for Benoit to pin Austin. On the next Raw Is War, Linda McMahon gave both Jericho and Benoit a title shot at King of the Ring. Austin protested the decision and tried to make a petition in order to cancel it, only for Spike Dudley to tear it apart when Austin insulted his girlfriend, Molly Holly. Austin fought Spike in a title match that SmackDown!, and both Benoit and Jericho came for his help after Austin attacked Molly. On the next Raw Is War, Austin teamed up with the Dudley Boyz to face Jericho, Benoit, and Spike, and tapped out to the Crossface and Walls of Jericho. During the next episode SmackDown!, Austin interfered in a match between Benoit and Jericho against the Dudley Boyz, costing them their titles, but as Austin tried to make Vince cancel the title match at King of the Ring, McMahon yelled at him to retain the title at the event or else their alliance will be over. Austin defeated both Jericho and Benoit King of the Ring, despite an interference from Booker T.
Austin and McMahon's version of the Power Trip was given a comedic side, with Austin being a little too "attached" to McMahon by hugging him, buying him gifts singing to him, and even telling his wife Debra to bake cookies for McMahon. Kurt Angle also got involved, though he was not an official member of The Power Trip stable. Austin was annoyed with Angle's presence and they would constantly bicker, to McMahon's exasperation. Angle later admitted that both he and Austin were injured at that point and were unable to wrestle, thereby resulting in non-wrestling performances with McMahon to entertain the crowds.
In July 2001, the Invasion storyline began, featuring WCW wrestlers "invading" WWF programming. The Power Trip, still nominally heels, teased a return to facedom, as in the face of the Invasion, both face and heel WWF wrestlers were seen as standing against the "true" bad guys, WCW. On the Raw Is War after King of the Ring, Vince sent both Angle and Austin to WWF New York in order to attack Shane McMahon and Booker T, only for Booker to appear in the arena and attack Vince, and Booker T attacked Austin on the next SmackDown!. As the feud with WCW escalated, and as ECW entered the Invasion storyline as well, McMahon pleaded with Austin to bring back the "old Stone Cold," the one who was a beer drinking sob and anti establishment as opposed to the "new Stone Cold," who was a whiner, in order to lead the fight against WCW and ECW. Austin, however, was heartbroken, thinking that McMahon did not appreciate his friendship and left the arena. McMahon talked to a depressed Austin in a bar trying to console him but to no avail. Several attempts to console Austin failed, and Austin found himself in a bar drinking on his own while the WCW–ECW "Alliance" took over and overpowered WWF. Austin finally became angry and attacked Alliance members with a pool cue. Austin was perceived as a face, and The Power Trip combination of Kurt Angle and Steve Austin were not only established, but also became a serious duo rather than comic relief. However, this changed when Austin betrayed Kurt Angle and assisted The Alliance to win the Inaugural Brawl of WWF Invasion on July 22. Austin's betrayal of the WWF would lead to the return of The Rock and the end of the Power Trip.
- Triple H's finishing moves
- Pedigree (Double underhook facebuster)
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's finishing moves
- Stone Cold Stunner (Stunner)
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wrestling Federation