Bringing You Another Side Of The Story

Are You Ready? The Impact of Triple H.

Photo Credit: USA Network

In the early 1990s, a muscular figure with thick blonde hair made his way to the ring. He was in WCW; his name was Terra Ryzing, now known as Triple H, and I knew that he could potentially become a major superstar. Never in a million years did I believe that the man born Paul Michael Levesque would not only marry into wrestling royalty, but he would ultimately come to oversee a multi-billion dollar wrestling empire as WWEs Chief Content Officer and Head of Creative.

Terra Ryzing was quickly repackaged to Jean-Paul Levesque in WCW, who a year or so later signed on with WWF (currently WWE) to become the man who we are most familiar with, Hunter Hearst Helmsley aka Triple H aka The Cerebral Assassin, aka The Game.

Most wrestling fans know that Hunter was trained by Killer Kowalkski, was a member of The Kliq, was punished for the ‘MSG incident’, was co-founder of Degeneration X (DX) and Evolution, introduced the crotch chop and ‘Suck It’ to pop culture, as well as the world to the Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna (Joanie Laurer).

Triple H has had historic rivalries with Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, Booker T, the Rock, the Undertaker, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, and a host of other superstars and legends. He is the founder and creative force behind NXT, who produced many on the current rosters of both RAW and Smackdown, including our Tribal Chief Roman Reigns and El Campeon Damian Priest!

His endless list of championships has led Hunter to become both a Triple Crown and Grand Slam winner. Those championship matches didn’t go without injuries, one of which took him out of action for eight months, but what a triumphant return? I still remember his appearance on Regis & Kathie Lee on the morning of January 2, 2002, sharing how he wasn’t sure how the fans would respond to his return. 

Later that evening, at Madison Square Garden, one of the largest pops in wrestling history occurred when we saw a familiar image, adorned in leather and denim, Motorhead blasting through the arena with the techo, pyro, and Titantron behind him. We KNEW our Cerebral Assassin was back. 

Did you know that Hunter appeared in Blade: Trinity, The Bernie Mac Show, Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery, Scooby-Doo! WWE and Curse of the Speed Demon, and Billions? He is also the co-author of Making the Game: Triple H’s Approach to a Better Body and he wrote a chapter in Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans.

Alongside, his wife, Stephanie McMahon, they had individual workout videos, appeared on the cover of Muscle & Fitness, created The Authority, put renewed respect on women’s professional wrestling, and introduced us to The Shield, who many argue is the greatest wrestling faction of all time. 

Hunter and Stephanie also created Connor’s Cure, in honor of Connor Michalek, a youth who was a major wrestling fan and sadly lost his life to cancer. Trip and Steph would likely say that their greatest achievement are their three daughters: Aurora, Murphy, and Vaughn.

Without question, Triple H has contributed much to the world of professional wrestling, but there are those who question if he would have the success that he has if he hadn’t married the boss’ daughter? What will Triple H’s legacy be?

Will his many victories be overshadowed by family ties or will we even care because love him or hate him, without the creative mind and genuine passion that Triple H has for professional wrestling, we wouldn’t have Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Seth Freakin’ Rollins, Roman Reigns, Damian Priest, Rhea Ripley, and a host of other talent. 

Without Triple H, we wouldn’t have the promotion of black female talent (i.e., Bianca Belair, Naomi, Jade Cargill). Without Triple H, we wouldn’t have both ring announcers for the red and blue brands be female and B-L-A-C-K, encouraging a workplace of diversity and equal opportunity both on and off camera. WWE and its community arm WWE Impact has flourished under the shared leadership of Triple H and Nick Khan. 

Ever since the unprecedented merger to become TKO Group under the Endeavor umbrella, there seems to be another sold-out show, record breaking PLE, major PLEs already having identified host cities around the world, and Netflix carrying RAW, Smackdown, NXT, and PLEs starting in January 2025, propelling WWE to a worldwide platform that has never been achieved by any other sport. 

If anyone wants to win in this game called life, I encourage wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike to pay close attention to the lyrics of his famous theme song, The Game:

It’s time to play the game
Time to play the game! Hahaha

It’s all about the game and how you play it.
All about control and if you can take it.
All about your debt and if you can pay it.
It’s all about pain and who’s gonna make it.

I am the game, you don’t want to play me.
I am control, no way you can change me.
I am heavy debt, no way you can pay me.
I am the pain and I know you can’t take me.

Look over your shoulder, ready to run.
Like a good little bitch, from a smokin gun.
I am the game and I make the rules.
So move on out here and die like a fool.
Try to figure out what my move’s gonna be.
Come on over sucker, why don’t you ask me?
Don’t you forget that the price you can pay
Cause I am the game and I want to play

There’s more, but you get the gist.

I had the opportunity to talk with Triple H when I was in college. The Connecticut Blue Blood, Hunter Hearts Helmsley was pleasant and seemingly good natured. I know this to be true because I asked if he could send an autographed photo to my home. He took my address and shortly before grad school graduation, guess what arrived in my mailbox? He was a man of his word and that’s the Triple H that I choose to remember and someday hope to call my boss!