Triple H with a beard

Three of WWE’s biggest stars of all time — The Rock, Triple H, and Kurt Angle — told an unforgettable story during their triple threat match at WWE SummerSlam 2000. But though fans may remember it best because of the questionable "friendship" between Angle and Triple H’s wife Stephanie McMahon that the story centered around, the competitors themselves remember the match because a lot of the action was improvised. "As a part of that match, Kurt is going to get put through a table by me, and I’m going to pedigree him through a table," Triple H said on "Impaulsive." "He’s going to get knocked out, and they’re going to cart him off. Except I get him on the table, I hook Kurt’s arms, and as we’re about to go for the pedigree, the table breaks from underneath us … I’m trying to protect him, but we come down, and I watch his head smash into a control box." Triple H says that was when the match started to be called on the fly, as Angle was "out cold" and even snoring before being woken up and stretchered to the back.

"Now, this is where the story gets terrible because now we know about concussions and everything else. None of this should have ever happened, but we didn’t know this at the time, but, you know, Kurt goes into the back. Rock and I are just working now … At some point, we’re getting feedback from the back through the referee, and finally — it was Earl Hebner — I just tell Earl, ‘Earl, do not tell me one thing’ — with a lot of expletives in here — ‘that they say from the back. I don’t give a s**t. I need one thing: tell me if he’s coming back, if he knows where he is. That’s it, that’s all I need to know and tell me when. We’ll just keep going until somebody tells me he can come out or he ain’t coming out. I’ll figure out a finish.’"

The Rock and Triple H would eventually receive an update, but it was only part of the puzzle pieces they were hoping for. Kurt was ready to come back into the match but was so concussed that he was unsure of where he was or the spots he still needed to carry out. "At one point, I go to punch him. Steph’s behind him, and I’ve got to punch, but he’s got to duck the punch, and I’m gonna hit Steph, and like, he can see me readying up for it, but he’s just looking at me [glazed over]. I know he’s not ducking. I grab him by the neck, and I pull him out of the way so that I could hit Steph." When all was said and done, The Rock would retain the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 2000 and continue holding it until losing it to Angle at No Mercy in October.