Just ahead of SummerSlam (2017), pro wrestling veteran Bruce Prichard got in depth on the topic of SummerSlam (2000) on his podcast, Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard. During the episode, Prichard talked about Chris Jericho turning the corner in his WWE career, what Vince McMahon liked about Triple H's work, and when Triple H started getting a reputation as a sycophant.
According to Prichard, Jericho was seen as a potential star by the summer of 2000 even though 'The GOAT' had his detractors in the beginning of his WWE run. Prichard explained that Jericho's strong performances night after night solidified his position with the company.
"In the summer of 2000, I think everyone saw Chris Jericho as a guy who was stepping up and a guy that could be one of the next big megastars because, without a doubt, yes, when Jericho first came in, he had a lot of people who looked at him when he got there and said, 'oh my God, he's so small! Is he really going to fit in here? Will he be able to hang with our guys? He doesn't fit.' And The Rock's stuff from that very first interview, talking about, 'the last time I saw you, you were in the ring with some guy named Juventud' didn't help Jericho at all. And I think that he had his critics and Chris had an uphill battle and I do believe that Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, those two in particular, their in-ring work, they're solid performance every single night, is what got them noticed."
Prichard explained that Triple H's consistency is what made him a serviceable if not great world champion. Moreover, Prichard suggested that 'The Game' helped 'Y2J' ascend to another level within WWE.
"The first time Triple H won the title is probably the first time Vince really saw him step up and thought that he is going to be a top guy. And as I've said before, Vince didn't always think that Hunter was going to be a top guy. He felt that he was a midcard performer at best. But there was that period in the mid-90s, in Vince's eyes, that he did step up and I don't know if Vince ever saw him as that plodding, boring, what Wade Keller, and Dave Meltzer, and those types felt. I think that this was now a time when Hunter, what they saw was his consistency. They saw a consistency in his work and the fact that he could go out there night after night, pay-per-view after pay-per-view, and consistently deliver one of the best matches on the card." Prichard added, "I felt that during this time, Hunter definitely helped make Jericho and take him to the next level."
Also during the show, Prichard divulged that Triple H only started getting the reputation as a "brown noser" when his relationship with Stephanie McMahon came out.
"I don't know because I wasn't one of the boys and listening to that gossip and rumor and innuendo. It never got to me because I was in the office. That wouldn't get to me, so to listen to that and hear that, I never really heard any of that kind of s--t until much, much later, when he was more involved." Prichard pondered, "I'm trying to figure out when, probably whenever it came out that he was dating Stephanie, around that timeframe."
Take a gander inside the box of gimmicks here https://www.mlwradio.com/something-to-wrestle-with-bruce-prichard.html. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.