Triple H

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Triple H, or Hunter Hearst Helmsley if you prefer (not Paul Levesque), is one of WWE's longest tenured performers. He is a multi-time WWE Champion (winning it eight times), and has been part of some of the biggest angles and matches in the company's history. Currently, he is the on-screen Chief Operating Officer (in real life he works in the backstage area of the business, as Executive Vice President of Talent Development and Relations, as well as a "Senior Advisor" to Vince McMahon).

Oh yeah, and he's married to Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of WWE chairman/CEO Vince McMahon.

As usual, That Other Wiki has a nice, long article on his career.


Triple H provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Affably Evil: Both in-character and in Real Life. He's charming, funny, and when he dedicates himself to a cause, he really gives it his all. It's just that if that cause is himself (and it frequently is), he genuinely does not care how much damage he causes to others.
  • Arch Enemy: The Rock, Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Cactus Jack and Batista. He tends not to make a lot of friends.
  • The Artifact: The "Triple H" came from his original gimmick, a snooty blueblood by the name of Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Likewise, the name of his finishing move, the Pedigree. He's also still billed as from Greenwich, CT despite that not sounding very tough (though he now actually lives there.)
  • Ascended Fanboy: He started out as a huge fan of the 80s-era NWA, then became a WCW jobber, and then moved to the WWF, where he became one of the top stars. Now he's the COO of the company in kayfabe (although he's a "Senior Advisor" to Vince McMahon, helping run shows, and heading up Talent Development in real life).
    • He's also been a huge fan of Motorhead ever since he was a kid, and when WWE brought up the idea to use the band for his new theme without knowing that, of course Triple H jumped at the chance. Since then, he and the band have been pretty tight, with Motorhead performing his theme live at a couple of Wrestlemanias and Triple H even growing out a Lemmy-style mustache/chop combination as an homage.
  • Author Appeal: Triple H loves to make penis gags. Specifically, he loves to imply he has a giant one. Also, according to Mick Foley's Hardcore Diairies, he was the one to note ACDC's Brian Johnson's significant pants bulge to the other wrestlers during their time on Saturday Night Live. It really makes you wonder if he's compensating for something...
    • Eh, Dwayne Johnson did the same stuff, Gag Penis is a pretty simple bit, and it fits his character pretty damn well.
    • Though the Rock had more material. Triple H's comedy is roughly 80% penis-related.
      • Just like his body is 80% penis!
    • His use of Motörhead for his entrance theme counts, though it was incidental. WWE's music director asked if he'd ever heard of Motörhead when it came time to do a new theme; it turns out Trips has been a huge fan of the band since his youth.
      • That's to the point where the band itself (or simply Motörhead frontman Lemmy) has appeared at WWE events, including one such Wrestlemania event.
    • He also loves old school southern style wrestling with more of an emphasis on the wrestlers than other people, and has been trying to talk Vince into resurrecting the War Games match for years.
    • Since becoming head of Talent Development, he's signed Sin Cara as well as IWC favorite Awesome Kong, and has focused on the old-school style of using promos to introduce new wrestlers before calling them up.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Pedigree, while very painful-looking and cool, takes a while to set up in comparison to other finishing moves and leaves him to be easily countered in a myriad of ways (usually either a back body drop or hooking the legs for a slingshot), making it very hard to pull off next to a move like the RKO or Sweet Chin Music.
  • Badass
  • Bash Brothers: With Shawn Michaels.
  • Berserk Button: Learn from Paul Heyman and don't talk about his children, he's protective of them.
  • Black Comedy Rape: When he kidnapped, drugged and married Stephanie in Vegas. She also fell in love with him after that. Of course, it's entirely possible he was lying to mess with Vince's head.

Triple H: The question, Vince, isn't if, but how many times we "consummated the marriage!" (thrusting his hips)

  • Blond Guys Are Evil: He plays this trope pretty damn straight. When he's heel, his hair is cleaner and pulled into a ponytail, making him look much more blond; when he's face, his hair is loose and unkempt, making his hair look darker.
    • And during his heel runs in the early 2000s, he actually did dye his hair a much lighter golden blond than is his natural color.
  • Blood Brothers: The Kliq, but especially Shawn Michaels. God help you if you mess with Shawn Michaels and Triple H is around to witness it.
  • The Caligula: Along with Stephanie McMahon during the McMahon-Helmsley Era
  • Call Back: The walkout isn't the first time that the WWE locker room threaten to boycott him.
    • Also, the 2012 confrontation between the returning Undertaker and Triple H was a direct call-back to their 2011 confrontation with the roles reversed. The first time, everybody knew through the vignettes that the Undertaker was coming to RAW on 2 21 11, and before he could say much of anything (Not that he's much of a talker, anyways...) Triple H's music hit. In 2012, Trips - who had already been announced for RAW - was poised to fire John Laurinaitis and then Undertaker's music hit in exactly the same fashion. Also, both times, the two offered challenges by using their trademark gestures.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: This happened to him on the 1/30/12 RAW with his attempt to fire John Laurinaitis. Instead of going with his father-in-law's classic "YOU'RE! FIIIIRRRRREEDDD!" yell, he tried to borrow Laurinaitis' "I wish you well in all your future endeav-" and was interrupted by Undertaker's DONG.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's in his forties now. John Morrison and The Miz once sarcastically hinted that he looked old enough to be fifty.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: His heel character typically comes off as this. As a heel HHH cuts his hair to a shorter length (though it's still quite long) and keeps it pulled back in a ponytail, shaves, wears suits and frequently manipulates the system through politics, dirty tricks and outright bribery. Contrast this to his face persona who wears leather jackets, t-shirts and jeans, lets his hair grow wild and sports a beard.
    • Many fans accuse him of being this in Real Life ever since he married the boss' daughter.
    • Has inverted it in his new on-screen role as Chief Operating Officer. Wears suits, is a good guy. Maybe.
  • Creator Couple: With Stephanie McMahon. Both work behind-the-scenes in WWE.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As a face he wears dark trunks with Creepy Cool Crosses and Dem Bones on them, wields a hammer, and does the right thing... eventually.
    • He was also Light Is Not Good during most of his 2002-2006 heel run (going clean-shaven and famously wearing lily-white trunks and boots at WrestleMania XX, while playing a monster heel).
  • Demoted to Extra: This occurred to him in 1996. He was a part of the infamous kayfabe-breaking Madison Square Garden "curtain call" (where Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Trips, and Shawn Michaels hugged each other in the middle of the ring following a match); since Hall and Nash were heading off to WCW, and Michaels was one of the top guys in the company at the time, Trips had to take the fall. His main event push was delayed for quite a while as punishment.
  • Depraved Bisexual/Anything That Moves: In the original DX, this was a pretty important part of his character. He also kissed Shawn Michaels a bunch of times and gave this immortal response when asked if he spoke Spanish like Chyna:

"I'm bi- a lot of things, lingual ain't one of them."

John Cena: Well, it looks like He-Man (Triple H) and Skeletor (Edge) have some unfinished business...

  • Fake Nationality: His father is French-Canadian, but his character in WWE is obviously a White Anglo Saxon Protestant American.
  • Fan Nickname: Some critics call him "HGH" due to how overly muscular he has seemingly become, which was the result of his rumored steroid use. Also the fact that the quad tears he keeps having are rarely seen outside of heavy steroid use.
    • Not to mention "Triple Haitch", courtesy of William Regal.
    • And "The Nose of Noses" or "The Human Water Sprinkler".
    • Crappers have taken to calling his several World Heavyweight Championship reigns between 2002 and 2005 the "Reign Of Terror."
      • Which is sometimes called the "Reign of Terra, as a nod to his first character, Terra Ryzing.
    • His finisher, the Pedigree, is called "the burial" by Smart Marks for obvious reasons.
    • Trips.
  • Finishing Move: The Pedigree - also an artifact from the Hunter Hearst Helmsley gimmick.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: What his Wrestlemania 27 feud with The Undertaker was. They last fought each other at WrestleMania 17.
  • Foe Yay: Has it with The Undertaker, most notably, as well as Shawn Michaels when they were feuding from '02-'05 and boatloads of it with Randy Orton in their 2009 feud.
  • Fourth Wall Observer
  • Gag Nose: One of the first things people use in a Triple H parody is a gigantic fake nose, hell, a Fan Nickname of his is "The Nose of Noses".

"The comedy stuff with us was just based on our giving personalities. I gave Shawn the comedy gift of my nose . . ."

  • Game-Breaking Injury: Jokes aside, The Game tearing his quad left him out of action for eight months in 2001. Would he be considered lucky that he missed the Invasion angle?
  • Garbage Wrestler: While his Wrestling Psychology is solid, his style is that of a brawler, and he just loves to hit people with sledgehammers.
    • This is very much YMMV as most people in the industry would argue that having Wrestling Psychology automatically prevents one from being a Garbage Wrestler. If that was the case, every single brawler would be one.
  • Genius Bruiser: In character he's a powerful and devious competitor, out of character he's a body builder and by all accounts a very smart man. One of his official nicknames is "The Cerebral Assassin."
  • Genre Savvy: All the time. Especially the time he gave an entire lesson/LampshadeHanging to Shelton Benjamin on how to properly cut a promo and how the heel has to wait until the face has their back to the ramp before they jump him.
  • Green-Eyed Monster
  • Guy Posse: From 2003 to 2005 he was accompanied most of the time by Evolution, a clique of three snobbish Superstars (Ric Flair, Batista, and Randy Orton, to be precise) who interfered in Hunter's matches, bullied face Superstars, and were known as much for their custom-made suits, Rolex watches, private jets, and sexual escapades as for their wrestling skills.
    • The idea for Evolution came from the Four Horsemen, a similarly-themed clique led by Flair in NWA and then WCW in the 1980s and '90s.
  • Happily Married: To Stephanie McMahon.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door
  • He's Back: He came back after about eight months on the shelf on 2/21/11, the same night The Undertaker made his return.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: He and Shawn Michaels are among the most famous heterosexual life partners in wrestling history. According to Hunter's actual wife, Shawn is Hunter's "road wife".
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Triple H was revealed as the mastermind behind Stone Cold Steve Austin's attack in 1999.
    • He also hijacked Test's (kayfabe) wedding to Stephanie McMahon (and subsequent push).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Recently on the wrong end of a brutal beatdown by Kevin Nash, mainly using a sledgehammer.
  • Hot Dad
  • Iconic Wrestler: Has absolutely reached it, though it's kind of a sore subject how he got there.
  • Informed Attribute: Was explicitly called a great technical wrestler ad nauseum in the '90s and '00s, despite being a brawler first and foremost, and uses far more strikes than he's ever used submissions. His one attempt at a real submission hold was a disastrous experiment with the ancient "Inverted Indian Deathlock". It was generally an attempt to push him as a "smart wrestler" (as smart guys are usually technical masterminds as well), which he really did better by cheating and manipulating others anyways.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Claims responsibility for breaking "The Streak." Not because he actually beat the Undertaker, but because he was able to walk out of the arena on his own power and 'Taker wasn't.
    • Tempting Fate: And after his Hell In A Cell rematch the following year, he was so badly beaten both 'Taker and Shawn Michaels had to carry him out of the arena together.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With his idol, Ric Flair.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: He was in a string of beer commercials a few years ago. For the most part, he's a teetotaler in real life.
    • The episode he guest-starred in on The Drew Carey Show had Triple H, going under the ring name "the Disciplinarian", becoming a sponsor of Buzz Beer and after over-indulging in Vegas, he ends up telling kids to never drink as the beer was the one thing that could kick his ass.
  • It's Personal: Usually a hallmark of a really, really good Triple H feud. Notable examples are his 2002-2004 feud with Shawn Michaels, his 2007 feud with Randy Orton, and his 2011 feud with CM Punk.
  • Jerkass: When he's a heel. To demonstrate how much of a Jerkass he can be, in 1999 the man turned Vince McMahon, the Big Bad and the same man who was the mastermind behind a satanic cult whom he had kidnap his own daughter as part of a plan to get the WWE title off of Stone Cold Steve Austin earlier that same year, into a FACE, and it even resulted in an Enemy Mine situation when Austin would help Vince, his hated Arch Enemy, win the WWE Championship from Triple H. And that's just one example.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even when a face he's still insults everyone, beats people with a hammer, and is pretty arrogant to boot, but helps out his friends and does the right thing. In Real Life he's supposedly pretty arrogant and a bit uncouth, but he seems to be a genuinely kind person who mentors people, is nice to his fans, and adores his three daughters.
  • The Kliq
  • Large Ham: Hilarious. Give the man a live microphone and 20 minutes of free airtime, and you're guaranteed to be entertained.
  • Loveable Rogue: As part of DX.
  • Love Triangle: Between his then-kayfabe wife Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle in 2000.
    • A Real Life one of sorts also occurred between him, Stephanie, and Chyna at one point.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Connecticut Blueblood and Evolution Variants.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Despite being one of the most controversial figures in professional wrestling, both on camera and behind the scenes, Triple H is actually friendly with the fans and is a noted mentor to many wrestlers, including Batista and Randy Orton.
  • Misblamed:
    • He was blamed for the infamous Katie Vick angle; that was created by Kevin Dunn, with approval by Vince McMahon.
    • Dennis Randazzo, author of Ring of Hell, accuses Triple H turning Austin into his lackey during the latter's 2001 Face Heel Turn, despite that fact that Austin held the WWF Title and Triple H held the Intercontinental Title, and thus, Austin was positioned as the more important member of the Two-Man Power Trip.
    • Frankly, because of his pull backstage and his reputation of burying other wrestlers, it's almost standard operating procedure to blame him for anything. He was accused of forcing Chris Masters to continue his dreadful Master Lock Challenge long after it overstayed its welcome, and frequently takes the blame any time a wrestler seems to be stuck in a bad gimmick because he's "holding them back" because he's "threatened by them."
    • In a possible case of Reality Subtext, this bled over into the 'walkout' story-line that took up a big chunk of late 2011, with Trips (as the kayfabe Chief Operating Officer) taking the fall for a lot of things that were frankly out of his control.
  • Montreal Screwjob: On the Internet, he's actually hated/blamed by fans for the Screwjob more than either Vince McMahon or Shawn Michaels, due to his backstage influence with Vince and the fact that he's the one who suggested the possibility that Bret would pull an Alundra Blayze and trash the WWF belt upon going to WCW.[1]
  • Nepotism: In Real Life, he's the "Senior Advisor" to Vince McMahon and the head of Talent Development.
  • Noble Demon: As much as he talks about what a dangerous guy he is, he's not that different from any other face.
  • No Fourth Wall: All the damn time.

It's like, 11:08, guys. We're off the air!

"You know, the only reason Shawn asked me to do this tonight is to force me to say something nice about him."

"Vince, you have been relieved of your duties."

  • What Could Have Been: See Demoted to Extra above. One can only imagine what could have happened if HHH had won the '96 King of the Ring instead of Austin - no Attitude Era, no competition against WCW and the nWo...
    • Had he not been injured in 2001, Triple H would have turned face and challenge a heel Austin for the WWF Championship throughout the summer. Which would mean that the InVasion angle would at least have been interesting to watch.
    • His Crowning Moment of Funny response to the hypothetical question of "what if the Montreal Screwjob had happened to Shawn instead of Bret?"

Nothing. We're not that stupid.

  • Wrestler Appearance Failure: Triple H's quad injury in 2001 forced him out of action until 2002 ... which allowed him to escape the universally-despised InVasion storyline.
  • Worthy Opponent: Shawn Michaels stands out more than anyone else. Even after reforming DX, the two would still come to blows but still walk out as friends.
    • The Undertaker as well. He actually stated that the reason he wanted to face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 27 is because they are the last two prominent wrestlers from the Pre-Attitude Era days and he felt the need to put on one more era-defining match before they both retire.
    • Chris Benoit. So much respect Hunter had for him, that he tapped out clean to the Crossface on three separate occasions within a year at a time when the IWC was vocal in thinking that Triple H was only looking out for himself.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He beat the crap out of his Kayfabe-at-the-time ex-wife, of course, she did thoroughly deserve it.
    • Which becomes major funny aneurysm territory when you remember that they were dating at that point in real life.
  • Wrestling Psychology: Even his detractors will (usually) admit he's got quite the grip on this and can really use the crowd to build his matches.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Sometimes skirts into Xanatos Roulette territory.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The man has had to fight accusations of being a Creator's Pet and a Spotlight-Stealing Squad for years. When he began to work behind the scenes, smarks began to love him for defying WWE's apparent "Big Guys and Eye-Candy" policy by having his first major decisions be hiring lucha star Sin Cara (formerly Mistico) and Brawn Hilda Kharma (formerly Amazing/Awesome Kong). Unfortunately, both of those acquisitions have kinda blown up in his face, as Sin Cara has missed a lot of time between a Wellness Violation and injury, and Kharma is out of action for nearly a year due to a suprise pregnancy.
  1. He would confirm that on Shawn Michaels' Heartbreak & Triumph DVD and book.