Paul Levesque is better known by his in-ring name of Triple H, aka Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He’s less known by the name Terra Ryzin, but that’s another story.
Triple H has a lot of critics, but he also has a lot of supporters. What is interesting about Triple H is that while so many wrestlers have spoken poorly of him, he married the boss’s daughter, and has arguably used his backstage influence to rack up one of the most decorated in-ring careers of all time. As a result, he still manages to earn the respect of many who look forward to his increased role in taking over the WWE.
Part of this is that Triple H is seen as the driving force behind the NXT brand, which receives much more acclaim from wrestling critics than the main roster shows do. The feeling amongst many is that wrestling might be in a better place once Vince McMahon fully leaves control of the company in Hunter’s hands.
If Triple H takes over WWE’s main roster and it begins to resemble the type of product seen in NXT, you can expect the amount Triple H haters in the world will start to diminish.
Triple H has arguably had the greatest career of any pro wrestler ever. Not only has Triple H main event multiple WrestleManias (including the most recent one), won World Titles, and participated in numerous classic WWE storylines, but he also managed to earn himself (through marriage or hard work, you be the judge) one of the highest ranking positions in the world’s most successful wrestling companies.
Despite all of his success, the WWE would rather you do not remember the following 15 things.
15. The Curtain Call
At that time Hall was known as Razor Ramon, and had been a focal point of WWF television for several years. Hall had some great matches and storylines during this run, including two classic ladder matches with Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship.
Nash at the time was known as Diesel, and had a long run as WWF Champion.
This was all during the period of “the Kliq”, a group of wrestlers that aligned together and lobbied for increased backstage influence. The group consisted of Hall, Nash, Shawn Michaels and the less accomplished (at the time) Triple H.
On the final MSG house show for Hall and Nash the entire Kliq broke character after the main event, and gave what can only be referred to as “a bow” to the live crowd.
Many felt that breaking character in the middle of the ring was bad for business, and some were furious with the Kliq. The WWF could do little to punish Hall and Nash however, since they were leaving the company, and Shawn was the Champion at the time and was beyond reproach, so Triple H was the loan member of the Kliq to really suffer any backlash for the incident.
Triple H had been scheduled to win the upcoming King of the Ring tournament, but after the curtain call that spot was given to Steve Austin.
14. Botched Pedigree Leads to Lawsuit
The WWE probably would prefer you don’t remember the time Triple H nearly broke Marty Garner’s neck on an episode of Superstars in 1996.
Triple H, still in his blue-blood gimmick at the time, was wrestling a squash match, with Garner playing the role of jobber.
Garner assumed the move was a double underhook suplex and jumped up along with the pedigree instead of going to the mat flat. The result was that Garner landed on the top of his head and suffered a neck injury. Garner sued the WWF and the case was settled out of court.
Despite the botched move and the legal action that resulted the WWF still aired the match unedited.
Marty Garner ended up being fine after rehabbing the injury. He would go on to compete on the indie circuit, ECW, and even a few house shows with WWE several years later.
13. Is a Heel on Raw but a Face on NXT
NXT fans might have a hard time understanding how they feel about Triple H. This is because when Triple H is on Raw he is usually talking down to the fans, explaining that he’s the boss and everyone else is lesser than him, and then he’ll make Dolph Ziggler wrestle 5 guys before calling it a night. But on NXT he has given himself the role as the guy who appreciates good wrestling just like the die-hard NXT fans do. He gives the fans what they want.
So which guy is he? Is he the guy that does what’s best for business? Or the guy that does what the die-hard wrestling fans want?
12. Married the Boss’s Daughter
There is nobody that has ever married the boss’s daughter and not lost some respect. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were married in 2003 and have 3 daughters together, meaning that Triple H has successfully merged his DNA with that of wrestling’s most successful family.
By marrying and fathering children into the McMahon family, not only did Triple guarantee that he would have a tremendously successful in-ring career, he guaranteed that he will continue to earn large pay checks from the WWE for the rest of his life.
This is not to say that he shouldn’t have married Stephanie, it’s just to say that there is always a stigma carried around by those who marry the boss’s daughter.
11. Terra Ryzin’
Lots of very successful wrestlers have been known by horrible gimmick names. Kane went on to a very successful career after having been known as Dr. Isaac Yankem, and Kevin Nash was once been known as Oz in WCW.
No other wrestler can claim they have had worse ring names than Triple H however. His current name is actually just an acronym for his previous name Hunter Hearst Helmsley, but the acronym just started to become the actual name he would be announced as.
His worst name however was his first one, Terra Ryzing. Hunter has stated that this was Killer Kowalski’s idea (Triple H was trained by Kowalski) as he was into one-word names at the time.
Originally he was billed as “Terror Rysin’” however WCW would later change this to the more menacing “Terra Ryzing”.
10. Goldberg Hates Him
For a brief but impactful period of time Goldberg was a huge star in the world of pro wrestling. When Goldberg became a star in WCW during the late 90s it was just what the company needed to inject new life into a product that was growing stale.
After WCW was purchased by WWE, Goldberg sat on the sidelines, choosing to sit out the remainder of his contract and still earn what was owed to him.
After his contract ran out and he was free to perform again his brief stint in the WWF was considered a flop. Following his WrestleMania 20 fiasco with Brock Lesnar, Goldberg never again returned to the company.
As anyone who follows Goldberg on Twitter can probably attest, Goldberg is quick to take shots at Triple H whenever possible and just seems to loathe the guy. At one point Goldberg expressed to fans that he would love to give Triple H a spear, and that he would not return to the WWE until they learned how to run a business.
9. Admitted Steroid Use
Athletes and non-athletes have used steroids to recovery from injury for some time, and Triple H is no different.
It’s hard to blame Triple H for using steroids to recover faster from injury, but that doesn’t mean the WWE wants you to remember that the man who is to lead the company into a new generation is an admitted steroid user.
On ESPN radio Hunter admitted to using steroids to recover from a quad injury he suffered, but stated that such drugs should only ever be used when prescribed from a doctor.
Many athletes have used the excuse that they only used steroids as a way to recover from an injury and gotten away with it, most notably Andy Pettitte seemed to actually be praised for his honesty when he gave a similar answer.
Triple H might be telling the truth that he would only ever use steroids to recover from injury, or he might be being slightly dishonest and his impressive physique has received some PED-related gains over the years.
8. He’s a Huge New England Patriots Fan
Being a New England Patriot fan is a little like the NFL version of being a New York Yankees fan. Teams like the Yankees and the Patriots have had so much success over the years that it’s easy for people to develop hatred towards fans of the team.
Both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are huge New England Patriots fans; they even used it as part of a storyline. Hunter and Stephanie attended Super Bowl 49 where their Patriots defeated Daniel Bryan’s Seattle Seahawks. Throughout the game the two were tweeting photos of themselves at the game, and rubbing in that the Pats had won yet another Super Bowl. The next night on Monday Night Raw they talked about how they are both Patriots fans, and much like the Authority is better than WWE fans, the Patriots are better than other NFL teams.
It’s not clear if Hunter and Steph cheering for the Patriots make the Patriots easier to hate or if it’s the other way around.
7. The Katie Vick Storyline
Younger fans might not know the name “Katie Vick” but those who were WWE fans during this time will never forget.
Wrestling fans often have to defend WWE to non-wrestling fans, but there is simply no way for anyone to defend this storyline.
The year was 2002 and Triple H was in a feud with Kane. In storyline Triple H had discovered a story about Kane’s past, where a girlfriend of his was killed in a tragic accident. Hunter decided to use this as a way to launch mind games at Kane, taunting him about the accident that killed his girlfriend.
If that wasn’t bad enough (it was, it was bad enough) Triple H then filmed a video of himself dressed up as Kane visiting the open casket of Kane’s deceased girlfriend, Katie Vick.
The video shows Triple H grabbing at, and then simulating having sex with a doll that was dressed up as Katie Vick’s body.
How many wrestling fans turned off their TV and never again watched WWE as a result of this is still not known.
6. Drugged and Married Stephanie
In real life it appears that Triple H and Stephanie have a very happy and healthy marriage, they even have 3 daughters! In storyline however, their marriage got off to about as rocky of a start as could possibly happen.
The year was 1999 and things were a little different. Some things that are considered offensive today weren’t considered offensive back in 1999. Drugging people and forcing them into an oath of marriage was evidently not that big of a deal at this time according to the WWE.
On an episode of Raw Stephanie was supposed to marry her storyline boyfriend Test, but somehow a wedding taking place on a wrestling show did not go down without incident. Triple H came out and showed everyone watching live or at home a video he had taken in Las Vegas of him and Stephanie getting married at a drive-thru wedding service. Stephanie is seen unconscious in the car with Hunter and Hunter is forced to fake Stephanie’s voice throughout the ceremony… somehow the wedding is deemed valid.
In the storyline Stephanie and Hunter would end up staying together and making their marriage work despite it being established on a bed of drugs and lies.
5. His Role in CM Punk Leaving
There are numerous reasons why CM Punk is no longer with the WWE, and it’s probably safe to assume that Triple H plays a large role in many of those reasons.
CM Punk’s famous shoot-style promo took aim at a lot of people, but none more than Triple H. Punk referred to Triple H as Vince McMahon’s “doofus son-in-law” and stated that he has no faith that the WWE would get better after Vince dies because it would just be Triple H and Stephanie running things.
Punk and Triple H had heat with each other for the last while of CM Punk’s run in WWE, and in the minds of many CM Punk fans, Triple H is the biggest reason why we will most likely never see Punk in a WWE ring again.
4. Ken Shamrock Hates Him
Ken Shamrock is still fighting mixed marital arts into his 50s, but don’t expect him to ever pop up in a WWE ring ever again. Shamrock absolutely hates Triple H.
Indications are that Shamrock initially began his disdain for Hunter when the two worked with each other during the Attitude era. Hunter had to put Shamrock over several times, as Shamrock was pretty well liked at the time stemming from his popularity in the UFC. According to Shamrock, Hunter would go to management and complain constantly about having to job to him, and it bothered Ken that Hunter wouldn’t talk to him personally about it.
Shamrock has never been hesitant to comment on Hunter’s self-serving attitude whenever given the opportunity, with his hatred being so great that it’s hard to see him ever agreeing to go back to the WWE.
3. May Have Prevented the Macho Man From Returning
Everybody loved Macho Man Randy Savage, but that does not change the fact that he was absolutely insane.
Savage, like many others, seemed to have quite a bit of heat with Triple H. It got back to Savage that Hunter had called him a dinosaur, so Savage responded in a YouTube video. In the video Savage called Triple H a “punk” and then said that he was going to steal Triple H’s girlfriend, which was somewhat uncomfortable to hear considering the long-standing (and unconfirmed) rumor that Savage and Stephanie were “more than friendly” with each other while Stephanie was still a teenager.
While all other legends have been welcomed back to the WWE, even those who sued the company, Macho Man was never brought back to the WWE until he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after his death. Perhaps Triple H played a role in preventing Savage from coming back because he felt legitimately threatened by him. Or perhaps Savage was just so intense that nobody felt comfortable with him coming back.
2. His Role in the Montreal Screw Job
The Montreal Screwjob will go down as one of the most infamous moments in wrestling history. Bret Hart was on his last big show with the company and was defending the WWF Championship against Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series in Montreal. Hart didn’t want to lose to Michaels (the two had a lot of heat between them) but offered to lose the title to Austin or Mankind. Bret also had a reasonable creative control clause in his contract that would have prevented the WWE from burying his character, and Hart felt that losing to Michaels would be doing that. The result was Earl Hebner calling for the bell while Shawn had Bret in an awkward looking sharpshooter and claiming that Bret submitted.
Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Earl Hebner and Triple H were all in on it and heat between Triple H and Bret has never really ceased. Bret Hart is a very vocal critic of Triple H’s, especially recently, blaming the staleness of the modern day wrestling product on Hunter.
1. His Relationship with Chyna
In 1997 Hunter Hearst Helmsley was given a brand new bodyguard, Chyna. The impressive physical specimen Chyna ended up becoming a big star in the WWE, and her and Hunter began a romantic relationship that lasted several years.
In interviews she would give later Chyna claims that she and Hunter were still together when Triple and Stephanie began a relationship. When Hunter and Stephanie’s relationship became common knowledge the issue with Chyna became sensitive. Ultimately Chyna was sent home and gone from the WWE.
Since that time Chyna has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and appeared in six adult films. She has never been a full-time performer in the wrestling industry since.