Paul Michael Levesque (July 27, 1969), better known by his ring name Triple H (an abbreviation of his character's full name, Hunter Hearst Helmsley), is an American professional wrestler and executive in World Wrestling Entertainment. Before joining WWE, Levesque began his wrestling career in the northeast indy scene under the ring name Terra Ryzing which was given to him by Killer Kowalski, who trained him. Once he signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1993, he continued to use the ring name Terra Ryzing and later changed to Jean-Paul Lévesque. He joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1995 with the on-screen persona of wealthy sophisticate Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He later changed his name to Triple H and adopted an alternative image in the stable D-Generation X. After the dissolution of DX, Triple H was pushed as a main event wrestler, winning several singles championships. As part of a storyline, Triple H married Stephanie McMahon, who later became his real-life spouse. In 2003, Triple H formed another stable known as Evolution, and in 2006, briefly reformed DX with Shawn Michaels. Overall, Helmsley is a fourteen-time world champion: a nine-time WWE Champion, and a five-time World Heavyweight Champion. In addition, he won the 1997 King of the Ring, the 2002 Royal Rumble and 2016 Royal Rumble, and was the second Grand Slam Champion. Outside wrestling, Levesque has made numerous guest appearances in film and on television. He is starring in the WWE Film, Killing Karma. He is also the main protagonist in the WWE'12 Outsider Story line.
Early life and career
Paul Levesque was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. In his youth, Levesque was a fan of professional wrestling and his favorite wrestler was Ric Flair. He became aware of bodybuilding at the age of fourteen, and after graduating from high school in 1987, he entered several bodybuilding competitions. He was crowned Teenage Mr. New Hampshire at the age of nineteen. During this time, he met Ted Arcidi and began to consider a career in Professional wrestling.
Levesque enrolled at Killer Kowalski's wrestling school in 1992 after it was recommended to him by Arcidi. He joined the Independent Wrestling Federation (IWF), which used trainees from Kowalski's school in their promotion. Here, Levesque became the IWF Heavyweight Champion and started using the name Terra Ryzing.
World Championship Wrestling
In early 1994, Levesque signed a one-year contract with World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In his first televised match, he wrestled as a heel and defeated Brian Armstrong. He continued using the name Terra Ryzing until mid-1994, when he was renamed Jean-Paul Lévesque. This gimmick referred to his surname's French origins and he was asked to speak with a French accent, as he could not speak French. During this time, he began using his finisher, the Pedigree.
Lévesque had a brief storyline feud with Alex Wright that culminated at Starrcade 1994. Between late 1994 and early 1995, Lévesque briefly teamed with Lord Steven Regal, whose snobby British persona was a good match with Lévesque's similar persona. The team was short-lived, however, as Lévesque left for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in January 1995 after WCW shot down his request to be pushed as a singles competitor.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1995-present)
The Connecticut Blueblood (1995–1997)
As a continuation of his gimmick in WCW, Levesque started off his WWF career as the Connecticut Blueblood, Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He appeared in taped vignettes, in which he talked about how to use proper etiquette, up until his wrestling debut on the April 30, 1995 episode of WWF Wrestling Challenge.
Although he was heavily pushed in the first few months after his debut, his career stalled during 1996, starting off with being mired in a feud with Duke "The Dumpster" Droese following a loss in the Free For All at the 1996 Royal Rumble. Up until that event, his angle included appearing on television each week with a different female valet. Sable was his valet at WrestleMania XII, and after his loss to Ultimate Warrior, as part of the storyline, he took his aggressions out on her. The debuting Marc Mero came to her rescue, starting a feud between the two wrestlers.
On May 28, 1996, Helmsley appeared on WWF Superstars against Marty Garner. When Levesque attempted to perform the Pedigree, Garner mistook the maneuver for a double underhook suplex or powerbomb and tried to jump up with the move, causing him to land squarely on top of his head and suffer neck damage. Garner sued the WWF, eventually settling out of court and later discussed the incident in an appearance on The Montel Williams Show.
Levesque was known backstage as one of the members of The Kliq, a group of wrestlers including Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman and Scott Hall, who were known for influencing Vince McMahon and the WWF creative team. He was slated to win the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, but was demoted from championship contender to "jobber to the stars" after the Madison Square Garden Incident, in which the Kliq broke character after a match to say goodbye to the departing Nash and Hall. Despite the punishment, Helmsley did have several successes following the MSG Incident. Mr. Perfect became his manager and he was booked to win the Intercontinental Championship for the first time on October 21, 1996, defeating Marc Mero. When Mr. Perfect left the WWF, his departure was explained to be a result of Helmsley turning his back on his manager as soon as he won the Intercontinental Championship. He held the belt for nearly four months before dropping it to Rocky Maivia on the February 13, 1997 special edition of Monday Night Raw, called Thursday Raw Thursday. For a very brief time, Helmsley was accompanied by Mr. Hughes, who was his storyline bodyguard. After losing the Intercontinental title, he feuded with Goldust, defeating him at WrestleMania 13. During their feud, Chyna debuted as his new bodyguard.
D-Generation X (1997–1999)
Helmsley's push resumed in 1997, when he won the King of the Ring tournament by defeating Mankind in the finals. Later that year, Shawn Michaels, Helmsley, Chyna and Rick Rude formed D-Generation X (DX). This stable later became known for pushing the envelope, as Michaels and Helmsley made risqué promos—spawning the catchphrase "Suck It", using a "crotch chop" hand motion, and sarcastically deriding Bret Hart and Canada. By that point, Helmsley had fully dropped the "blueblood snob" gimmick, appearing in T-shirts and leather. During this period, his ring name was shortened to simply Triple H. Even after the DX versus Hart Foundation storyline ended, Helmsley continued to feud with the sole remaining member Owen Hart over the European Championship. This culminated in a match between the two at WrestleMania XIV, with the stipulation that Chyna had to be handcuffed to then-Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter. Helmsley won after Chyna threw powder into Slaughter's eyes, momentarily "blinding" him and allowing her to interfere in the match.
After WrestleMania, Michaels was forced into temporary retirement due to a legitimate back injury sustained at the Royal Rumble, and Triple H took over the leadership position in DX, claiming that his now-former associate had "dropped the ball". He introduced the returning X-Pac the night after WrestleMania and joined forces with the New Age Outlaws. It was also during this time that Triple H began a feud with the leader of the Nation of Domination and rising WWF heel, The Rock. This storyline rivalry eventually led to a feud over the Intercontinental Championship, which Triple H won in a ladder match at SummerSlam. He did not hold the title long, however, as he was sidelined with a legitimate knee injury. When The Rock won the WWF Championship at Survivor Series, the rivalry between the two continued, as DX fought The Corporation stable, of which The Rock was the main star. Triple H received a shot at the WWF Championship on the January 25, 1999 edition of Raw in an "I Quit" match against The Rock, but the match ended when Triple H was forced to quit or see his aide Chyna chokeslammed by Kane. This began a new angle for Triple H, as Chyna betrayed him by attacking him after the match and joining The Corporation.
As part of the storyline, at WrestleMania XV, Triple H beat Kane with the aid of Chyna, who was thought to have rejoined DX. Later on in the night, he betrayed his long-time friend and fellow DX member X-Pac by helping Shane McMahon retain the European Championship and joined The Corporation. After Triple H's heel turn in early 1999, he moved away from his DX look, taping his fists for matches, sporting new and shorter wrestling trunks, and adopting a shorter hairstyle. His gimmick changed as he fought to earn a WWF title shot, changing from a fun-loving, rebellious person to a tough, somewhat-sadistic and a mean man. At this time, he claimed that it was "his time" (future reference on becoming the WWF Champion). After numerous failed attempts at winning the championship, Triple H and Mankind challenged WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin to a Triple Threat match at SummerSlam, which featured Jesse "The Body" Ventura as the special guest referee. Mankind won the match by pinning Austin, but the following night on Raw, Triple H defeated Mankind to win his first WWF Championship.
Triple H dropped the WWF Championship to Vince McMahon on the September 16, 1999 edition of SmackDown! before regaining it at Unforgiven in a Six-Pack Challenge that included Davey Boy Smith, Big Show, Kane, The Rock, and Mankind. He defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin at No Mercy before dropping the title to Big Show at Survivor Series.
McMahon-Helmsley Era (2000–2001)
By January 2000, already a three-time WWF champion, Triple H dubbed himself "The Game," implying that he was at the top of the wrestling world, and was nicknamed "The Cerebral Assassin" by Jim Ross. His storyline feud with Vince McMahon continued, with McMahon winning the title from Triple H during an episode of SmackDown!. As a result of the feud, an angle with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon began which carried the WWF throughout the next seventeen months; together they were known as the "McMahon-Helmsley Faction".
Triple H feuded with Mick Foley in early 2000 in a storyline that ended with a Hell in a Cell match at No Way Out that sent Foley into retirement. Triple H pinned The Rock at WrestleMania 2000 to retain the title, but lost it at Backlash to The Rock. He regained it three weeks later, in an Iron Man match at Judgment Day, only to lose it back to The Rock at King of the Ring. Hunter then entered into a storyline feud with Chris Jericho, which culminated in a Last Man Standing match at Fully Loaded.
A later storyline feud between Triple H and Steve Austin started when it emerged that Triple H had paid off Rikishi to run down Austin at Survivor Series, causing him to take a year off. In reality, Austin's previous neck injuries started bothering him again, forcing him to have surgery. In 2000, Triple H and Austin had a match at Survivor Series that ended when Triple H tried to trick Austin into coming into the parking lot to run him over again, only to have Austin lift his car up with a forklift and flip the car onto its roof 10 feet high. Triple H returned a few weeks later and attacked Austin. The feud continued into 2001 and culminated in a Three Stages of Hell match in which Helmsley defeated Austin. In 2001, Triple H also feuded with The Undertaker, who defeated him at WrestleMania X-Seven. He later teamed with his former nemesis Austin to form The Two-Man Power Trip, capturing both the WWF Tag Team Championship and the Intercontinental Championship twice by the end of the next pay-per-view.
During the May 21, 2001 episode of Raw, he suffered a legitimate and career-threatening injury. In the night's main event, he and Steve Austin were defending the Tag Team Championship against Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. At one point, Jericho had Austin trapped in the Walls of Jericho. Triple H ran-in to break it up, but just as he did, he suffered a tear in his left quadriceps muscle, causing it to come completely off the bone. Despite his inability to place any weight on his leg, Triple H was able to complete the match. He even allowed Jericho to put him in the Walls of Jericho, a move that places considerable stress on the quadriceps. The tear required an operation, which was performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. This injury brought an abrupt end to the McMahon-Helmsley Era, as the rigorous rehabilitation process kept Triple H out of action for over eight months, completely missing The Invasion storyline.
Return from injury (2002)
Triple H returned to Raw as a crowd favorite on January 7, 2002 at Madison Square Garden. He was booked to win the Royal Rumble to receive a WWF Undisputed Championship match in the main event at WrestleMania X8. At WrestleMania X8, Triple H beat Chris Jericho for the Undisputed Championship. After holding the title for a month, Helmsley dropped it to Hulk Hogan at Backlash. Triple H then became exclusive to the SmackDown! roster due to the WWF Draft Lottery and continued to feud with Jericho, culminating in a Hell in a Cell match at Judgment Day.
In the interim, between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction was brought to an official on-screen conclusion. By the time he returned, Triple H's on-screen marriage to Stephanie McMahon was on the rocks, so Stephanie faked a pregnancy in order to get him back on her side. When he learned that it was fake, he dumped her publicly on Raw when they were supposed to renew their wedding vows. Stephanie aligned with Jericho afterward, but she was forced to leave after losing a Triple Threat match on Raw the night after WrestleMania when she was pinned by Triple H. The divorce, and thus the storyline, was finalized at Vengeance.
Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels had made his return to WWF and joined the New World Order (nWo). Michaels and Kevin Nash planned to bring Triple H over to Raw in order to put him into the group. Vince McMahon, however, disbanded the nWo following several backstage complications and brought in Eric Bischoff as the Raw brand's new General manager. One of Bischoff's first intentions was to follow up on the nWo's plan and bring Triple H over to the Raw roster. Triple H did indeed go to the Raw brand, reuniting with Shawn Michaels, but on July 22, he turned on Michaels by performing a Pedigree on him during what was supposed to be a DX reunion. The following week, Triple H smashed Michaels' face into a car window to prove that Michaels was "weak". These events led to the beginning of a long storyline rivalry between the former partners and an eventual "Unsanctioned Street Fight" at SummerSlam, in which Michaels came out of retirement to win. Afterwards, however, Triple H attacked him with a sledgehammer, and Michaels was carried out of the ring.
Before September 2, 2002, WWE recognized only one champion for both the Raw and SmackDown! brands. After SummerSlam, champion Brock Lesnar became exclusive to SmackDown!, leaving Raw without a champion. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff then awarded the World Heavyweight Championship to Triple H in the form of the old WCW Championship belt. Triple H then received a push by having numerous successful title defenses, but he eventually dropped the belt to Shawn Michaels in the first ever Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series. He regained the title from Michaels a month later in a Three Stages of Hell match at Armageddon.
In January 2003, Triple H formed a stable known as Evolution with Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista. The group was pushed on Raw from 2003 to 2004. The height of their dominance occurred after Armageddon when every member of Evolution left the pay-per-view holding a title. Triple H held the World Heavyweight Championship for most of 2003. At the 2004 Royal Rumble, Triple H and Shawn Michaels fought in a Last Man Standing match to a double countout, so Triple H retained the title. Triple H dropped the title to Chris Benoit at WrestleMania XX, and he was unable to reclaim the belt from Benoit in subsequent rematches, including a rematch from WrestleMania between Triple H, Benoit, and Shawn Michaels at Backlash.
He then ended his feud with Michaels, defeating him in a Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood. After another failed attempt, losing to Benoit at Vengeance, he focused on Eugene, beating him at SummerSlam. Triple H then regained the title from former associate Randy Orton at Unforgiven. Following a Triple Threat World Heavyweight title defense against Benoit and Edge on the November 29, 2004 episode of Raw, the World Heavyweight Championship became vacant for the first time. At New Year's Revolution, Triple H won the Elimination Chamber to begin his tenth world title reign. At WrestleMania 21, Triple H lost the championship to Batista, and subsequently lost two rematches at Backlash and Vengeance. Following this, Triple H took some time off from wrestling, suffering from minor neck problems.
Triple H returned to Raw on October 3, 2005 as part of WWE Homecoming. He teamed with Flair to defeat Chris Masters and Carlito. After the match, Triple H turned on Flair hitting him with a sledgehammer, sparking a feud between the duo. Flair defeated Triple H in a Steel cage match at Taboo Tuesday for Flair's Intercontinental Championship. Subsequently, Triple H defeated Flair in a non-title Last Man Standing match at Survivor Series to end their feud.
D-Generation X revival (2006–2007)
Although Triple H failed to win the Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble, another championship opportunity arose for Triple H in the Road to WrestleMania Tournament. He won the tournament, granting him a match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 22. At WrestleMania, Triple H and John Cena fought in the main event for the title, which Triple H lost via submission. Later that month at Backlash, Triple H was involved in another WWE Championship match, fighting Edge and Cena in a Triple Threat match, where he lost again. In an act of frustration, a bloodied Triple H used his sledgehammer to attack both Edge and Cena and then performed a number of DX crotch chops.Triple H unsuccessfully attempted to win the WWE title from Cena on numerous occasions, blaming his shortcomings on Vince McMahon, which eventually lead to a feud between the McMahons and Triple H.
Shawn Michaels returned on the June 12 edition of Raw and soon reunited with Triple H to reform D-Generation X, turning Triple H face once again. DX defeated the Spirit Squad at Vengeance in a 5-on-2 handicap match. They continued their feud with Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and the Spirit Squad for several weeks. They then defeated the Spirit Squad again on the July 18, 2006 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event in a 5-on-2 Elimination match. They then again defeated the McMahons at SummerSlam, withstanding the attack of several handpicked WWE superstars by Vince McMahon. At Unforgiven, D-Generation X overcame the odds once again, defeating The McMahons and ECW World Champion Big Show in a Hell in a Cell match. During the match, DX embarrassed Vince by shoving his face in between Big Show's buttocks, and DX won when Triple H broke a sledgehammer over the shoulders of Vince McMahon after Michaels performed Sweet Chin Music on him.
At Cyber Sunday during DX's feud with Rated-RKO, special guest referee Eric Bischoff allowed the illegal use of a weapon to give Rated-RKO the win. At Survivor Series, DX got their revenge when their team defeated Edge and Orton's team in an Elimination Match. In January 2007, at New Year's Revolution, DX and Rated-RKO fought to a no-contest after Triple H suffered a legitimate torn right quadriceps (similar to the one he suffered in 2001 but in the other leg) fifteen minutes into the match. Surgery was successfully performed on January 9, 2007 by Dr. James Andrews.
King of Kings (2007–2008)
Triple H made his return at SummerSlam, where he defeated King Booker. After his return, he won the WWE Championship at No Mercy after beating the newly named Champion, Randy Orton, making Triple H an eleven-time world champion. In the same event, Triple H also defeated Umaga in his first title defense after Mr. McMahon declared his already-scheduled bout with Umaga, a title match. McMahon then announced, Orton would receive a title rematch in a Last Man Standing match in the final match of the event, which Orton won after an RKO onto the announcer's table, thus ending Triple H's sixth reign. Triple H's title reign at No Mercy is the fourth shortest reign in WWE history, only lasting through the duration of the event. In the Raw Elimination Chamber at No Way Out, Triple H gained a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV, by outlasting five other men. However, at WrestleMania XXIV, Randy Orton retained after punting Triple H and pinning John Cena following Triple H's Pedigree on Cena. A month later, at Backlash, Triple H won the title in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match against Orton, Cena, and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, tying the record for most WWE Championship reigns with The Rock. Triple H then retained the title against Orton at Judgment Day in a Steel Cage match and again at One Night Stand in a Last Man Standing match. Orton suffered a legitimate collarbone injury during the match, thus ending the feud prematurely.
Move to SmackDown (2008–2009)
On June 23, 2008 edition of Raw, Triple H was drafted to the SmackDown! brand as a part of the 2008 WWE Draft, in the process making the WWE Championship exclusive to SmackDown. After several successful title defenses against Edge, The Great Khali, and Jeff Hardy, Triple H ultimately lost his title to Edge at the 2008 Survivor Series pay-per-view. He then began a feud with Edge and Vickie Guerrero as well, going as far as to revealing nude pictures of Vickie Guerrero. He entered the 2009 Royal Rumble and was last eliminated by Randy Orton who went on to win the match. He entered the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out 2009, where he defeated Undertaker last to become a 13-time WWE Champion, breaking the WWE's record of having won most WWE Championships at eight. After Randy Orton attacked Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon, Triple H entered himself into the fray and begun to try to convince Orton to challenge him for his WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXV in an attempt to avenge he and his wife's family. Orton eventually agreed and made the stipulation that Triple H could not touch him until their match at WrestleMania. However, Randy Orton, along with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, attacked Triple H on the March 7 edition of SmackDown. Triple H responded by invading Randy Orton's home on the March 10 edition of RAW, but was ultimately apprehended by authorities. The feud would continue to Wrestlemania XXV.
Wrestelmania XXV and it's aftermath
Randy Orton and Triple H would continue the feud until their faceoff at Wrestlemania, where they would faceoff in one of the three main event matches of the event. The match would end with Triple H winning the match to retain his championship, and some would say, his family honor. The next night on the April 6th edition of Raw, Randy Orton proceeded to demand a Title Match at Backlash stating that, the McMahon family owe it to him, as does the company and the fans, but instead Vince McMahon came out and proceeded to inform Randy Orton that he would not get his title shot, but he would get a chance to redeem himself in a three on three tag team match, with Randy Orton, and his Legacy, Ted Dibiase, and Cody Rhodes versus Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon, the night also had a match which saw the alliance of Batista joining the McMahons in a match where Vince McMahon and Randy Orton fought.
Return To Raw (2009)
During the 2009 WWE Draft, Triple H was drafted from SmackDown to Raw; since he was the reigning WWE Champion during this time, he brought the title to Raw due to draft regulations. At Backlash, Triple H lost the WWE Championship to Randy Orton after The Legacy defeated Triple H, Shane McMahon and Batista in a six-man tag team match. Triple H was taken out on a stretcher, and did not return until the June 8 episode of Raw, when he confronted The Legacy. On the August 17 episode of Raw, Triple H reunited with Shawn Michaels to reform DX, and defeated Legacy at SummerSlam. At Breaking Point, they lost to Legacy in a Submissions Count Anywhere Tag Team match. However, at Hell in a Cell, DX defeated Legacy in a Tag Team Hell in a Cell match.
They began a feud with Chris Jericho and Big Show. It was quickly ended at Bragging Rights where team Smackdown defeated team Raw lead by DX. DX was scheduled to face John Cena for The WWE Championship at Survivor Series in a Triple Threat Match but failed to do so.
After failing to get the WWE Championship from John Cena, due to conflict between each other, they continued on to go for the Unified Tag Team Championships from Jerishow. They defeated Jerishow at TLC:Tables, Ladders & Chairs to become the new Unified Tag Team Champions. DX defended the titles against Jerishow the next day at The Slammy Awards but only to get themselves disqualified by pushing over the referee moments after the match started. They went on to send the DX army superstars to personally escort Jericho out of the RAW arena, as he is now trespassing.
DX Separated , Feud with Sheamus (2010)
On January 11 Mike Tyson, who was the Raw guest host for the night, teamed with Jericho to face DX; however, at the end of the bout, Tyson turned on Jericho and aligned himself with Michaels and Triple H.On the February 8, 2010 episode of Raw, DX lost their Unified Tag Team Titles to ShoMiz (The Miz and The Big Show) in a Triple Threat Elimination Tag Team match also featuring The Straight Edge Society (CM Punk and Luke Gallows.) On the March 1 episode of Raw they lost their rematch for the titles which would be their last televised match before Michaels retired. Michaels and Triple H had a non-wrestling reunion at the 2010 Tribute to the Troops.
On February 21, Triple H participated in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, although he was unsuccessful, he eliminated Sheamus (who was the WWE Champion at that time). He was attacked by Sheamus a few weeks later, after Sheamus blamed Triple H for costing him the WWE Championship. This set up a match between the two at WrestleMania XXVI, where Triple H came up victorious. The night after Wrestlemania, Triple H was attacked by Sheamus while trying to give a farewell speech for Shawn Michaels' retirement. This would set up a rematch at Extreme Rules. At Extreme Rules, after Sheamus attacked Triple H at the start of the show, Sheamus went on to defeat him. On the same night Triple H suffered a torn biceps muscle. WWE announced that Triple H will return on the WWE Fan Appreciation Event on October 30 in Hartford, Connecticut. He defeated Alberto Del Rio in a singles match. Later on in the night, during the John Cena and Kane match The Nexus interfered then a few minutes later, the whole locker room (including Triple H) came to attack them.
Chief Operating Officer (2011–2013)
On the February 21, 2011 episode of Raw, Triple H made his return to the WWE by interrupting the return of The Undertaker. He challenged him to a match at WrestleMania XXVII, which later became a No Holds Barred match. A week later he put Sheamus through the announce table with a Pedigree, in retaliation for Sheamus giving him a 10-month injury. At WrestleMania XXVII Triple H lost which extended Undertaker's undefeated streak to 19-0, however Undertaker was carried from the ring in a stretcher whereas Triple H left the ring of his own volition. At the end of the July 18, 2011 episode of Raw, Triple H returned on behalf of WWE's board of directors to relieve his father-in-law Vince McMahon of his duties. This was followed by the announcement that he had been assigned to take over as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the WWE. This was during a storyline where CM Punk had won the WWE Championship and left the company. Though a new champion was crowned, Triple H helped resign CM Punk and upheld both championship reigns. He announced he would referee a match to unify both WWE Championships at SummerSlam. Although he counted a pinfall for CM Punk to win, John Cena's leg was on the ropes which would break the pin. Regardless, Triple H's longtime friend Kevin Nash attacked Punk immediately after the match to allow Alberto Del Rio to become champion. Though Nash and Punk demanded a match against each other, Triple H fired Nash for insubordination and booked himself in a No Disqualification match at Night Of Champions with his position of COO on the line. He won the match despite interference from John Laurinaitis, Nash, The Miz and R-Truth. After repeated attacks from these wrestlers in various matches, the majority of WWE's on-screen staff gave Triple H a vote of no confidence. Mr. McMahon returned to relieve him of his duties on Raw though he remained COO. He was replaced as General Manager of Raw by Laurinaitis, who booked him in a tag team match against Miz and R-Truth at Vengeance. During the match, Nash once again attacked him and did so the following night on the October 24 Raw, hospitalizing him. WWE later announced that Triple H sustained a fractured vertebrae which would remove him from television until his return on December 12, as part of the Slammy Awards. On December 18, Triple H defeated Nash at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in Sledgehammer Ladder Match where he used the sledgehammer against Nash.
Triple H returned on the January 30 edition of Raw, to evaluate Laurinaitis' performance as General Manager. Before he could announce the decision, he was interrupted by the returning Undertaker. After initially refusing the rematch as he did not want to tarnish Undertaker's legacy, Triple H accepted the challenge after being called a coward who lives in Shawn Michaels' shadow, on the condition their rematch be contested inside Hell in a Cell. Triple H went on to lose this match at WrestleMania XXVIII. Triple H returned the night after Extreme Rules to confront Brock Lesnar, who had tricked John Laurinitus into renaming Raw SuperShow to "Raw SuperShow Starring Brock Lesnar", among other demands, and made Brock go back to the contract he approved, which in followed, Brock snapped Triple H's arm. Two months later at No Way Out, Triple H challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam, which Lesnar accepted at Raw 1000. At SummerSlam Triple H was defeated after Lesnar broke Triple H's arm again. Eight nights later on Raw, Triple H announced he would be retirining from in-ring competition.
On the February 25, 2013 episode of Raw, Triple H returned to brawl with Brock Lesnar, who was about to attack Vince McMahon again after defending Paul Heyman from McMahon's retaliations. The fight resulted in Lesnar's head being split open, which required 18 stitches. The following week on Raw, Triple H set out a challenge to Brock Lesnar for a match at WrestleMania XXIX. Brock would later return and take out Triple H's friends, The New age Outlaws with F-5's. Lesnar and Heyman would then announce that Lesnar would face Triple H at WrestleMania only if Triple H would agree to the stipulations that Lesnar and Heyman set forth. On the March 18 episode of Raw, Triple H would brutally attack Heyman before the contract signing. After signing the contract Lesnar would appear and save Heyman. Heyman then would announce that Triple H has signed a contract that states that if Triple H loses to Brock Lesnar then his career is over. At WrestleMania, Triple H beat Brock Lesnar to keep his career intact. After the match, Triple H was also cleared of a broken arm. On the April 15 episode of Raw, Brock Lesnar attacked all three member's of 3MB before Paul Heyman challenged Triple H to face Brock Lesnar in a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules, which Triple H accepted a week later.
The Authority (2013-present)
At SummerSlam, Triple H was the special referee for the main event between John Cena and Daniel Bryan. Bryan won the match via pinfall thus becoming WWE Champion, and Triple H congratulated him. However, Randy Orton entered the ring to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase. To the surprise of the audience, Triple H hit the Pedigree on Daniel Bryan and helped Orton win the match and the WWE Championship, therefore turning heel for the first time since 2006.
Over the coming weeks, he set up handicap matches against any wrestlers who questioned his decisions, such as Big Show and Dolph Ziggler, even firing Cody Rhodes in retaliation for the latter's insolence. On the October 7 edition of Raw, he was knocked out by Big Show and had to be carried out by the officials out of the arena. At the 2013 Slammy Awards, Triple H immediately pedigreed Orton after Daniel Bryan shoved the WWE Champion into Stephanie McMahon, despite Orton's shock.
At WrestleMania XXX, Triple H lost to Daniel Bryan and assaulted him post match. Later during the main event, Triple H and Stephanie attempted to prevent Bryan from winning the title and recruited Scott Armstrong as a crooked referee, but were unsuccessful as Bryan made Batista tap out. On the April 18 episode of SmackDown, he announced that Evolution would return and he would team up with Randy Orton and Batista. At Extreme Rules, Evolution lost to The Shield and again at Payback in a No Holds Barred elimination match. On the June 2 episode of Raw, Batista would leave the group after Triple H refused to grant him a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H would then resort to "Plan B", which would be Seth Rollins turning on The Sheild and rejoining The Authority.
On the October 27 episode of Raw, Triple H would offer John Cena a chance to join forces with The Authority, which Cena refused. This led to Triple H announcing a Traditional Survivor Series tag team elimination match for Survivor Series, with a team representing The Authority facing a team captained by Cena. On the November 3 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon announced that if Team Authority would lose, they would be removed from power. On the November 21 episode of Smackdown, Triple H announced that if Team Cena lost, all of Team Cena, except Cena himself, would be fired. At Survivor Series, Big Show joined The Authority by betraying Cena, but Sting made his WWE debut, attacking crooked referee Scott Armstrong and Triple H, and assisted Ziggler in pinning Rollins to give Team Cena the victory, putting the Authority out of power. After being out of power for a month, Rollins coaxed Cena into reinstating The Authority on the December 29 episode of Raw, by holding Raw guest host Edge hostage with Big Show. On the January 19 episode of Raw, Cena would defeat Rollins, Kane and Big Show in a handicap match when Sting distracted The Authority, allowing Cena to pin Rollins and win back the jobs of Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan, who had been fired two weeks previously by Triple H and Stephanie. On January 26, it was officially announced via WWE.com that Triple H challenged Sting to a "face-to-face" confrontation at Fastlane, which Sting accepted; at the confrontation, Sting challenged Triple H to a match at WrestleMania XXXI, which Triple H accepted. At WrestleMania, Triple H defeated Sting with interference from D-Generation-X, but shook hands with Sting after the match.
On January 24 at the Royal Rumble, Triple H made his in-ring return as the 30th entrant, in which the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was defended for the first time, Triple H eliminated the defending champion, Roman Reigns, before eliminating Dean Ambrose, thereby securing his second Royal Rumble win.
In 2010, Levesque's role as an Executive Senior Advisor was officially formalized as he was given an office at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. As a senior advisor, Levesque was placed in charge of a new talent development department in 2011, focusing on worldwide recruitment, training and character development of future WWE employees.
Levesque dated fellow professional wrestler Joanie Laurer (who appeared in the WWE as Chyna), from 1996 until 2000. Later in 2000, he started dating Stephanie McMahon and they married on October 25, 2003. He and Stephanie have three daughters, Aurora Rose born in July 2006, Murphy Claire born on July 28, 2008 & Vaughn Evelyn born August 2010.
In late 2004, Levesque released a book entitled Making the Game: Triple H's Approach to becoming a professional body builder. Mostly devoted to bodybuilding advice, the book also includes some autobiographical information, memoirs, and opinions.
In 2010 Levesque's role as an executive senior adviser was officially formalized as he was given an office at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
His commercial appearances include ads in May 2006 for Miller Lite where he debates "Man Laws" with the likes of Burt Reynolds, Eddie Griffin and Jerome Bettis. That same month, he also appeared in a commercial for USA Network with Anthony Michael Hall, which cross-promoted Raw and Hall's show, The Dead Zone. Hall's character, a psychic, touches Triple H while he lounges beside a pool and has a vision of him falling asleep in the sun, and fellow wrestler John Cena slapping Triple H's sunburned back and leaving a handprint. He has also appeared in commercials for bodybuilding supplements such as Stacker 2 and YJ Stinger. Levesque also appeared in a Wendy's commercial holding up a Triple Classic Burger calling it the "Triple H Burger".
Levesque appeared in the movie, Blade: Trinity, as a vampire enforcer named Jarko Grimwood. He is also starring in the WWE Film Journey of Death with Clive Owen, which is due to release in 2009.
Levesque has also appeared in several WWE Home Video releases, including Triple H: The Game and Triple H: That Damn Good in 2002, D-Generation-X, a reissue of the VHS version, in 2006, and The New and Improved DX in 2007. Triple H: King of Kings, a DVD covering his career so far, was released on March 25, 2008. Triple H: Thy Kingdom Come, a DVD that covers his life and career, was released in 2014.
|1998||Pacific Blue||Triple H|
|1998||The Drew Carey Show||The Disciplinarian|
|2004||Blade: Trinity||Jarko Grimwood|
|2005||The Bernie Mac Show||Triple H|
|2011||The Chaperone||Raymond "Ray Ray" Bradstone|
|2011||Inside Out||Arlo "AJ" Jayne|
Levesque appeared in an episode of the USA Network series Pacific Blue on August 9, 1998. In December 1998, he did a guest appearance in The Drew Carrey Show as the Disciplinarian. He was also featured in the August 14, 2005 episode of MTV's Punk'd in which he was led to believe that he had ruined a wedding by hitting the bride in the face with a door and damaging her nose until Ashton Kutcher and Stacy Keibler showed up. Additionally, his television appearances include guest spots as Triple H on MADtv and Saturday Night Live, and as a character on an episode of The Bernie Mac Show. Levesque also won the WWF edition of The Weakest Link, in which he and Stephanie McMahon were the final two contestants. Levesque has also been a guest announcer for the Mr. Olympia competition.
- Inverted Indian deathlock – WCW; Used occasionally as a regular move in WWE
- Cutter - Used early in his career before he debuted the Pedigree
- Abdominal stretch
- Arm Trap Crossface
- Atomic Drop
- Belly to Back Suplex
- Blatant choke
- Chop block
- Drop toe-hold
- Facebreaker knee smash, often as a back body drop counter
- Falling or running neckbreaker
- Figure four leglock, used as a tribute to retired wrestler Ric "Nature Boy" Flair
- Flowing DDT (quick DDT preceded by a kick to the gut)
- High knee strike
- Jumping knee drop
- Mounted punches
- Running clothesline
- Running Neckbreaker
- Short-Arm Clothesline
- Sleeper hold
- Spinning spinebuster
- Vertical Suplex
- With Ric Flair
- Low blow (Flair) / Running high knee (Triple H) combination)
- The Shield
- Daniel Bryan
- Randy Orton
- John Cena
- Shawn Michaels
- The Undertaker
- Vince McMahon
- Chris Jericho
- "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
- The Hart Foundation
- The Rock
- Stone Cold Steve Austin
- Hollywood Hulk Hogan
- Bill Goldberg
- Kurt Angle
- The Big Show
- Mick Foley
- Jeff Hardy
- Kevin Nash
- Scott Steiner
- The Great Khali
- Chris Benoit
- Brock Lesnar
- Owen Hart
- Booker T
- The Legacy
- Rob Van Dam
- Ric Flair
- Mr. Hughes
- Mr. Perfect
- Stephanie McMahon–Helmsley
- Vince McMahon
- Shawn Michaels
- Lord Steven Regal
- "Ravishing" Rick Rude
- Crotch chop / "Suck it!" taunt
- Showing off his muscles, put together with Shawn Michaels
- Arms crossed / The DX "X"
- Throwing his arms up and back, and expanding his chest and sometimes points to himself several times.
- Spitting out water during his entrance
- "The Connecticut / Greenwich Blueblood"
- "The Cerebral Assassin"
- "The Game"
- "The King of Kings"
- "The Proverbial Ring General"
- "The Boss"
- "The Corporate / Franchise Player"
- "The Sadistic Son-in-Law"
- "The Greatest Wrestler Alive Today"
- Entrance themes
- World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
- "Blue Blood" by Jim Johnston (April 28, 1995 – December 15, 1996)
- "Symphony No. 9" by Ludwig van Beethoven (December 15, 1996 – November 10, 1997)
- "Break It Down" by The DX Band (November 10, 1997 – April 5, 1999; June 19, 2006–April 2007; August 24, 2009 – March 1, 2010)
- "Corporate Player" by Jim Johnston (April 25, 1999 – May 10, 1999)
- "Higher Brain Pattern" by Jim Johnston (May 16, 1999 – June 21, 1999)
- "My Time" by The DX Band (June 27, 1999 – December 10, 2000)
- "The Game" by Motörhead (January 8, 2001–present)
- "King of Kings" by Motörhead (April 2, 2006–present)
- World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
- Triple H dated Chyna (Joanie Laurer) in real life before dating (and eventually marrying) Stephanie McMahon.
- Triple H appeared on an episode of Mad TV.
- Triple H appeared in the movie, Blade: Trinity, as a vampire enforcer named Jarko Grimwood.
- Triple H's first "stage name" was Terra Ryzing.
- Triple H is friends in reality with Shawn Micheals, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Batista, John Cena, Jeff Hardy, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, X-Pac and The Undertaker.
- During the attack on Triple H from Kevin Nash in October with his sledgehammer, the hammer legitimately hit Triple H, causing a real injury, as when he returned a part of his face was caved in.
- In WWE '12, Triple H is involved in every storyline in the Road to WrestleMania path.
- He is the antagonist to Sheamus in the "Villain" path
- He is the main character in the "Outsider" path
- He serves as an ally, friend and mentor to Jacob Cass in the "Hero" storyline.
- Triple H is only wrestler to face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 3 times.
Championships and accomplishments
- Chief Operating Officer
- Executive Vice President for Talent & Live Events
- World Heavyweight Champion (5 times)
- WWE Champion (9 times)
- WWF Intercontinental Champion (5 times)
- WWF European Champion (2 times)
- WWF World Tag Team Champion (1 times) - with Steve Austin (1)
- WWE Unified Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Shawn Michaels
- King of the Ring (1997)
- Royal Rumble winner (2002, 2016)
- 2nd Grand Slam Champion
- Slammy Award for Best Hair (1997)
- 7th Triple Crown Champion
- IWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- PWI Feud of the Year (2000) vs. Kurt Angle
- PWI Feud of the Year (2004) vs. Chris Benoit
- PWI Match of the Year (2004) vs. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit at WrestleMania
- PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2003–2005)
- PWI ranked him # 1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2000 and 2009
Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Feud of the Year (2000) vs. Mick Foley
- Feud of the Year (2004) vs. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit
- Feud of the Year (2005) vs. Batista
- Most Overrated (2002–2004)
- Readers' Least Favorite Wrestler (2002, 2003)
- Worst Feud of the Year (2002) vs. Kane
- Worst Feud of the Year (2006) with Shawn Michaels vs. Shane and Vince McMahon
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (2003) vs. Scott Steiner at the Royal Rumble
- Wrestler of the Year (2000)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2005)