There are any number of famous wrestling factions from the annuls of the business’s history. The Four Horsemen, D-Generation X, the NWO. One of the more infamous groups in wrestling history though is not a faction at all, The Kliq. The Kliq was a group that formed in WWE during the mid 1990s and consisted of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman and Kevin Nash. It wasn’t a formation that happened on screen but rather one that took place back stage. The five men traveled together and became extremely good friends and thus decided that they needed to form some sort of group to help protect their own and each other’s interests, and that they did. The five of them manipulated people back stage and used their combined sway to help better their careers, something that rubbed a lot of Superstars the wrong way.
Others being rubbed the wrong way didn’t bother the quintet though. As long as they had each other that’s seemingly all that mattered. Even though there were five of them, now WWE COO Triple H didn’t actually join The Kliq until it had already been formed. The Game was welcomed in upon his arrival in WWE. Since that fateful recruitment in 1995 the man who would later become The Cerebral Assassin has made four life long friends and an endless amount of tales and interactions with them all, whether those interactions were as a group or moments with separate members of The Kliq. Here’s a run down of 20 of those moments from Triple H’s initiation into The Kliq to the present day.
20. Kevin Nash Tells Him About Prospects
What’s absolutely certain about all five men who made up The Kliq is that not only have they all had great careers in their own right, but each and every one of them has a great wrestling mind. So good in fact that arguments could be made for all of them to be working behind the scenes at WWE and not many would think it was simply because Triple H is one of the main guys there now. In fact Kevin Nash has said in past interviews that if he ever sees an independent or up and coming talent that he’s not sure Triple H is aware of he’ll drop him a message about him or her.
19. ‘The Kid’ Has Been Around Longer Than Him
Triple H and the rest of the guys in The Kliq to this day affectionately refer to the youngest member of their friendship group X-Pac, or Sean Waltman, as The Kid. While Waltman may be the youngest of the quintet, at first he may not have been a fan of the nickname. Why? Because Sean was actually in the wrestling business a fair few years before his friend Triple H was. In fact X-Pac was picking up his famous first win on Raw over fellow Kliq member Scott Hall two years before The Game even set foot in WWE. Waltman may be a kid compared to Triple H when it comes to years on the planet but he most certainly is not when it comes to years in the business.
18. His Recent Message to X-Pac
X-Pac was recently involved in a fresh controversy that saw him arrested for alleged drug possession while going through an airport. While he admitted to having medical marijuana with him that shouldn’t have been a problem, security seemed adamant on pinning something bigger on the former drug addict. Thankfully charges have since been dropped against Waltman as he wasn’t in possession of anything that he shouldn’t have been. One funny story to come out of the situation though was the reported interaction between Sean and Triple H. At the time of his arrest it was reported that Waltman had around $700 on him. When The Game heard that he apparently text his friend jokingly saying that he must be the worst meth dealer in the world.
17. He Missed Their Recent Reunion Panel
In recent years WrestleMania has become more than simply a one night show. Nowadays it’s more of an event that takes over a town for a whole week. Over the course of that week there’s just about everything and anything a professional wrestling fan could possibly want when it comes to shows and performances. One of the latest crazes in the business is for certain stars with an abundance of stories to take to the stage and tell those tales to a captive audience. In Orlando for WrestleMania 33 The Kliq did their own take on said craze and formed a panel for fans around the world to attend. Except it wasn’t quite perfect. Unfortunately Triple H couldn’t make it to the once in a lifetime panel and it was left to his fellow four members. In all fairness he probably had his hands pretty full with everything going on that weekend in WWE.
16. Stephanie Calls Shawn To Calm Him Down
Earlier on in this list we outlined the fact that Triple H’s wife Stephanie once believed that her husband and Shawn may have been more than friends, before they were married of course. Well it’s pretty clear that Mrs Triple H doesn’t think that any more and is very comfortable with the close relationship Shawn and The Game have with one another. In fact when Triple H is stressed about work or freaking out about something, guess who Stephanie gets on the other end of a phone? That’s right, The Heart Break Kid. Sometimes Steph can’t calm her husband down and it requires the knowledge of his best fried to talk him off the proverbial ledge.
15. He Wrestled In WCW Before Hall And Nash Jumped Ship
As I touched upon in a previous entry, Triple H didn’t arrive in WWE until 1995. The Kliq however was formed before that and originally just consisted of Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman. While that quartet were plying their trade in WWE Triple H was actually in WCW of all places, where most of the aforementioned members of The Kliq would eventually end up just a couple of years later. The Cerebral Assassin is just one of a number of talents that WCW didn’t see the potential that WWE would later see in them. While under their watch Triple H portrayed the terrible Terra Ryzing followed by a French guy due to his real life surname Levesque. His fellow Kliq members actually told him that they would watch WCW and mock his Terra Ryzing gimmick.
14. The Already Formed Kliq Took Him In
Despite the fact that the four already established Kliq members would watch Triple H on WCW television and laugh at his terrible gimmicks, they saw something in him. It was them who approached Vince McMahon and told him that he should attempt to sign The Game, who lucky for them was very unhappy at WCW anyway as you can imagine. Once Triple H arrived in WWE Kevin Nash approached him in an airport and informed the newest addition to the WWE roster that he should ride with them in their van. That he did and thus the Kliq as we know it today was officially born and complete with the addition of its fifth and final member.
13. He Was The Kliq’s Designated Driver
Triple H’s great wrestling ability and impressive look at a young age is what caught the eye of The Kliq and what got him a place on WWE’s roster. Once the four men took him under their wing however a new agenda appeared. It’s no secret that the four guys already in The Kliq have all delved into the worlds of alcohol and drugs, some of them venturing a lot further down that rabbit hole than the others. Well at the time that lifestyle was a part of all their lives, and they knew that for Triple H it most certainly was not. The Game didn’t like to drink or take drugs, so they recruited him to be their designated driver since they knew he would always be sober.
12. He Also Helped Them In Other Ways When Under The Influence
Triple H’s duties as the new, sober member of the group didn’t begin and end with simply ferrying them around when they were too far under the influence to do it themselves. Despite being younger than everyone in the group apart from Waltman, as the sober one it often fell on The Game to be the cooler head and de-escalate situations. One time in particular that Triple H recalled during an interview with Chris Jericho on Y2J’s podcast involved Sean Waltman and Scott Hall having to be dragged from a Denny’s. In the parking lot outside Hunter had to slap Sean as he was unconscious and according to his recollection of the occasion, barely had a pulse.
11. He Convinced Nash To Come Out Of Retirement
At the not so sprightly age of 52 Kevin Nash made another return to WWE and a return to performing in the ring, and for a ladder match no less. In interviews Nash has joked about how if you had told him earlier in his career that he’d still be competing in ladder matches into his fifties then he would have thought you were crazy. It was Triple H who managed to convince him it was a good idea though, by pitching the idea of himself being Kevin’s opponent. During the same interview Nash discussed how when it’s someone you don’t know well in the ring you do what you can to take good care of them, especially in something like a ladder match, but when it’s a close friend you both beat the hell out of each other.
10. Shawn Michaels Gave Him His Name
Growing up I always wondered where the name Triple H came from. I knew that it stood for Hunter Hearst Helmsley and for a while as a child I just assumed that was The Game’s real name. Well it’s not. His real name is Paul Levesque. So where on earth did he get Triple H from? Turns out it was the idea of best friend and fellow Kliq member, Shawn Michaels. Well that’s not completely true. The Cerebral Assassin came up with the idea to call himself Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and it was Shawn who began calling him Triple H as a nickname backstage. Of course when Hunter began to evolve out of his Connecticut Blueblood gimmick he began to make the transition to the shorter version HBK had come up with, apparently an idea Vince McMahon didn’t like at first.
9. WWE Told Him Not To Contact Scott Hall
Although four of the five member of The Kliq have had their own personal problems with substance abuse at one time or another, the two that have taken their addictions to the next level, or rather their addictions have taken them, are Sean Waltman and the focus of this entry, Scott Hall. During the late ’90s and early ’00s drug addiction ripped apart Scott’s life, leading him to be divorced twice from the same woman with whom he also had two children. His time addicted to drugs inevitably led to a lot of people trying to help and a lot of failed rehabilitation attempts. One man who tried to call and reconnect with him during those turbulent years was his long time friend Triple H. However when WWE learned that The Game had been in contact with Hall they urged that he not get in touch with him again, and that talking to him would take his mind off of what he was trying to do, that being focusing on getting clean.
8. He Lobbied For Scott To Be In The Hall Of Fame
It was an extremely bumpy road but nowadays Scott Hall is in a much better place. With the help of Diamond Dallas Page, for the most part, Scott has now hopefully left those drug fueled days behind him. One word was out that Hall was clean, WWE must have given the go ahead for Triple H to get back in touch. Not only that but The Game’s constant lobbying and sheer resilience meant that he could call Scott with even better news than simply being able to reconnect with a good friend. Triple H had convinced Vince McMahon to induct a now drug free Scott into the Hall of Fame. Clearly there was some compromising involved as he was inducted under his Razor Ramon moniker, but nevertheless it was a pretty special gesture orchestrated by Triple H.
7. Him And Shawn Once Didn’t Speak For A Year
Going for extended periods of time without talking is not something that was reserved for Scott Hall. After Shawn Michaels retired for the first time following his back injury, the substance abuse problems he was already wrestling with spiraled out of control. Despite that WWE would use him sparingly in a non wrestling role to keep him relevant and to simply keep a big name on their TV. In fact Shawn was apparently supposed to play in a role in what is widely regarded as one of the most loaded cards in WWE history, even without him, WrestleMania X-Seven. When Michaels showed up for a meeting about the proposed appearance he was apparently drugged out of his mind. That alone was par for the course, but then he went on to call out Triple H in front of the locker room and labelled him a bad friend. The confrontation led to the friends not talking for over a year.
6. Kevin Nash Forced The Two Of Them To Make Up
It seems crazy to think there was once a wrestling business that didn’t contain Triple H and Shawn Michaels as best friends within it, but following that rift before WrestleMania X-Seven there very much was. Weirdly the two went on to have great, but very different, success during the time they were separate from each other. While Triple H continued to climb the ladder in WWE, Shawn got clean and found God. Eventually another member of The Kliq had seen enough. Kevin Nash stepped in and spoke to HBK, telling him it was time to call The Game and rebuild that final bridge. He did of course and clearly enough time had passed and enough good had happened that all the previous wounds had healed.
5. He Also Coaxed Shawn Out Of Retirement
It didn’t stop with a simple reconciliation phone call however. A year and a half after Shawn’s infamous drugged up confrontation of Triple H The Heartbreak Kid was back in the ring performing against his once again best friend. Once the fences had been mended Triple H clearly saw an opportunity. The Game talked Shawn into coming out of retirement for one last match, and Michaels agreed on the condition that it was against him. So at SummerSlam 2002 the pair had that one off match, but of course as we all know it turned into a further eight years in the ring for Mr WrestleMania. Thank the wrestling gods that Triple H convinced him to come back for that legendary run.
4. Stephanie Thought He And Shawn Michaels Were Gay
Of the four members that made up The Kliq other than Triple H himself, the one he had the closest relationship with was and likely still is Shawn Michaels. Initially they were the two men left behind after the others went to WCW plus eventually teamed up to create D-Generation X, so it’s no surprise really that the pair wound up forming such a close bond. There was one person who thought that The Game and HBK might have actually been a little more than just friends however, and it’s the last person you would expect to think that. In an interview long after her and Triple H tied the knot, Stephanie McMahon admitted that while she watched Shawn and her future husband on TV every week their closeness signaled to her at least that they might have been a couple.
3. He Warned X-Pac About Chyna
Of the five men in The Kliq, Triple H has always struck me as the one with the cooler head. The one member of the group who never loses his cool and can almost always talk down his fellow members when called upon to do so. It’s something we’ve seen demonstrated in a few of these entries and probably comes with the territory of always being the sober one. What a lot of people don’t realize is that before Stehpanie McMahon, The Game was in a relationship with Chyna. It came to a messy end and shortly after, X-Pac began to get involved with her. Close friends that they were, Triple H warned Waltman off of The Eighth Wonder of the World. Not because she was his ex, which in itself must have been awkward, but because she may lead Sean down a bad path. X-Pac ignored him, and unsurprisingly Triple H’s ignored advice turned out to be good.
2. X-Pac Defended The Allegations Chyna Made About Him
Sean Waltman began a close relationship and it was a rocky companionship to say the least. The pair were not a good fit. Both of them suffered from substance abuse issues and clearly together they’re addictions were only encouraged. As I mentioned in the previous entry, Triple H and Chyna’s relationship came to a troubled end. After they broke up Chyna actually accused The Game of hitting and abusing her while they were together. Years later when Sean Waltman was clean of drugs and long after he himself was no longer with Chyna, he made a point of defending his long time friend saying that he knew Triple H had never hit Chyna as she had claimed. Sean didn’t want to get into a slanging match with his ex girlfriend but wanted to make sure people knew that the accusations against Hunter were false.
1. The Curtain Call
One of the most infamous moments in The Kliq’s history was the one dubbed the Curtain Call. At a house show in Madison Square Garden the group, minus Waltman who was in rehab at the time, came to the ring and hugged each other. It was done as a farewell to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash who were on their way to WCW, but to many fans and wrestlers alike it was a slap in the face. The four of them were friends back stage, but not on screen. It went against kayfabe and someone needed to be punished. With Hall and Nash gone it wasn’t going to be them, plus with Shawn’s worth to WWE combined with his volatile nature it wasn’t going to be him either. Thus by process of elimination Triple H had to take the flack for all four men. The Game was due to win King of the Ring that year, but that honor was taken from him and instead bestowed upon Stone Cold Steve Austin.
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