"When you look across the ring at me, and you look into my eyes, you are not immortal, you are not an icon; you are just like everybody else. You are an obstacle, and I will run you over. And that is not a threat, that is not a warning; that is just a fact! Because brother, I am THE GAME...and I AM THAT...DAMN...GOOD!"
Paul Michael Levesque debuted for the WWE in 1995. Over twenty years later, The Game has laid waste to his competition, becoming one of the greatest to perform in a wrestling ring. Countless championships, Feud of the Year awards, and arguably the greatest wrestler of the last decade (2000-09), Triple H has become a legend. Even though he was a first generation wrestler with no ties to the WWE, he became one of the greatest of all-time, he married Stephanie McMahon and is now involved in the behind-the-scenes efforts to make the WWE a pillar for entertainment.
With his prestige as a wrestler and a top employee on the business side of the company, the WWE would rather you not see certain photos of the polarizing Superstar. On the flip side, the WWE would love to show you certain photos that help the image of the company. We hope you enjoy the article, and if you don’t, we have TWO WORDS for you.
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15 Disapproved - The Apple-Polish Club
This lovely image comes from the main event of Vengeance 2006. At the time, Triple H was more of a wrestler than the business savvy executive we’re accustomed to seeing today. The main event featured D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) versus The Spirit Squad (Nicky, Mikey, Kenny, Johnny, and Mitch) in a 5-on-2 contest. After The Spirit Squad helped the McMahons beat Michaels and God at Backlash 2006, Vince wanted to further humiliate and destroy HBK by ordering his best friend, Triple H, to hit him with a sledgehammer.
Triple H didn’t follow Vince’s orders, thus, D-Generation X was reformed after years in the shadows. As expected, the two legends beat The Spirit Squad at Vengeance and the fans got to see Mitch get his face planted right on the behind of Triple H. What’s wrong with the picture? As Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for the WWE, it doesn’t look professional, especially in the PG era.
14 Approved - The Family Man
Triple H has done some of the most heinous things you can in the wrestling business. He’s destroyed legends, insulted crowds, and used violence as a way to get things done. This is all kayfabe of course and now that his career in the ring is almost over, it’s okay to let everyone know Triple H is a family man with family values. This picture exemplifies family values, which is exactly what the WWE wants their consumers to know.
The photo shows his wife Stephanie and their three daughters, Vaughn, Aurora , and Murphy. The McMahon family have been on the top of the wrestling mountain for such a long time, we can’t picture it changing. Between these three daughters and Shane McMahon’s three sons, fireworks are bound to happen in the WWE a few decades from now.
13 Disapproved - The Katie Vick Storyline
The Katie Vick storyline is arguably the worst narrative WWE's creative team has come up with since the turn of the century. You can even make a case that it could be the worst of all-time. Once upon a time, Kane was a terrifying force in the WWE. His gimmick as an indestructible maniac was a hit with the crowd. His background story from his debut in 1997 to 2002 was shrouded in mystery and the fans loved it. Then, in October of 2002, Triple H confronted Kane and said he’s a murderer...
A week later, Kane told fans he was drinking and driving while his girlfriend (Vick) was in the car and he crashed the vehicle. He survived and she died. Triple H would go on to wear Kane’s mask and abuse a mannequin (symbolize Katie Vick) both in the ring and at a funeral home. The storyline was trashy and no one enjoyed it at all. It’s argued that this killed Kane’s gimmick as The Big Red Monster and made Triple H look like a fool. The WWE would rather they forgot about this.
12 Approved - A Workout Beast
The look of a wrestler is just as important as their in-ring work and mic skills. If you don’t look like you can crush a man’s skull in, you might be compared to James Ellsworth. We don’t want to rip on Ellsworth, but the consensus is that he’s not championship material. You can be the most charismatic person in the world, but if you don't look like a champion, you probably won’t be. Unless the WWE decides to go the Gillberg route and make a joke out of a belt.
Triple H represents what a champion looks like. His workout photos show how determined he is to maintain a certain build. If you check out his workouts, Triple H makes it very believable that he’s still fit to compete in the ring, even when he’s in his late forties.
11 Disapproved - Accidental Watersports
Brock Lesnar can be one fearful beast. He has the strength of a gorilla, the speed of a defensive end in football, and the mentality of Ivan Drago from Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky IV. On an episode of Raw in 2013, The Beast Incarnate decided to attack Triple H. The attack was a storyline for Lesnar versus Triple H at WrestleMania 29, but the fans got more than they bargained for.
As Brock lifted Triple H up, you could notice a very dark and wet spot on Triple H’s jeans. This dark spot was confirmed to be due to a bladder accident by The King of Kings. We understand the WWE wanted Lesnar to have this effect on many, but we doubt they wanted Triple H to be the one who soaked his pants on live television. If Brock Lesnar would attack you, what would you do?
10 Approved - The Money Team
You want to surround yourself with the best. What better way for Triple H to stay relevant and keep the kayfabe storyline of being an unstoppable fighter than by hanging around with the greatest boxer this generation has seen. Triple H would come out with Floyd Mayweather’s entourage when the boxing legend took on Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas several years ago.
Both maintain a friendship and the WWE loves when their wrestlers can have relationships with huge sports stars. Mayweather competed in a WrestleMania match (WM XXIV) as did NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal (WM 32), so it’s no surprise the WWE supports their employees having relationships with athletes. Floyd Mayweather also represents winning, something Triple H does very well. Even though Floyd has his faults, the WWE would gladly welcome him back because that means money and ratings.
9 Disapproved - A Fallen King
The King of Kings can never look weak. During the Viking Age, if the king looked weak, he was seen as prey to those seeking power. The WWE would like you to believe Triple H is an immortal God that can strike fear and terror into the hearts of anyone that crosses him. His strength as a champion will always be told in the WWE content for decades to come.
It would be in the WWE’s best interests if fans, especially novices, didn’t know about Triple H’s injuries in his career. After all, the WWE is portraying him as a King, are they not? The photo represents Triple H as just another human. Neither a King nor God would ever succumb to injuries, it’s below them. With Triple H tearing his quad, it breaks all kayfabe about one of the greatest wrestlers to compete.
8 Approved - The Birth of a King
Triple H will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers to compete in a ring. Whether you agree or not is your opinion, however, 14 WWE World Championships can be a pretty solid argument for legendary status. This photo is taken from Triple H’s first WWE Championship. With the help of his future brother-in-law, Shane McMahon, he won the title against Mick Foley on Raw in 1999.
After several failed attempts, The Game finally earned his first championship. With D-Generation X quietly going into the night, the win could be argued as the beginning of The McMahon-Helmsley Era that has dominated the industry ever since. The real dominance of The Cerebral Assassin started on that glorious night and the WWE is proud of it.
7 Disapproved - Terror Risin'
Fresh out of Killer Kowalski’s wrestling gym in Massachusetts, a young Paul Michael Levesque was looking for work in the industry that he loves. In 1994, Triple H signed with WCW and debuted as a heel named Terror Risin’, before becoming Jean-Paul Levesque, a french snob character. After losing a feud with Alex Wright, WCW designated Hunter to the Tag Team Division. When he asked WCW if he could go back to singles matches, they declined and he left shortly after to the WWE.
Triple H would bring that condescending, self-importance, and narcissistic character to the WWE in 1995. We wouldn’t have it any other way. However, Triple H and the WWE would rather you forget about Terror and his ‘80s throwback Ric Flair haircut. With Triple H literally belonging to the McMahon/WWE family legacy, none of them want you to think he spent time anywhere else.
6 Approved - A Champion of Charity
Connor “The Crusher” Michalek has been an inspiration to everyone that has and is dealing with oncology-related issues. He was diagnosed with cancer of the spine and brain when he was three years old and died at the age of eight in 2014. Even though his life was short, Connor has made a bigger impact on cancer than most can ever do in a lifetime. His voice and presence had inspired the WWE Universe in a way no one else has. After his death, Connor was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and won the inaugural Warrior Award.
Triple H and Stephanie also founded Connor’s Cure, a non-profit charity for cancer research. Triple H and the rest of the WWE gave Connor his greatest memories ever. It’s things like this that make the WWE Universe a great place for all who are dealing with similar circumstances.
5 Disapproved - Domestic Pedigree Abuse
There's two reasons why the WWE doesn’t want you to see this photo. One, the WWE takes domestic abuse very seriously now and acting out a male-on-female attack is a pretty big no-no these days. Secondly, Stephanie McMahon’s breast is hanging out due to the dress and position. So if you’re into rough foreplay, maybe this is right down your ally, however, for others, this could be a huge turn-off.
The WWE tries to appease everyone and doesn’t want to offend most in a reasonable way. To see Triple H perform his deadliest maneuver on his wife can trigger a certain group. You know how you can tell WWE doesn’t want anything to do with inter-gender violence? When was the last you seen an inter-gender match in the WWE with the opposite sexes going toe-to-toe? Microphone dropped.
4 Approved - The Success of NXT
The success of NXT can be directly contributed to Triple H. The promotion was supposed to be what the minor leagues are to the MLB and what the D-League is for the NBA, however, it has grown into its huge touring brand, which no one could have predicted five years ago. Triple H became involved in talent development in 2011 and, in a year, Florida Championship Wrestling received the NXT makeover.
At the time, there was no WWE Network to help popularize the brand but over the years, NXT grew into notoriety. With the WWE Network coming to life in 2014, NXT has become the main beneficiary of the business move. Triple H has listened to the fans and has signed some of the greatest wrestlers around the world and booked great cards.
3 Disapproved - Former Girlfriend
Breakups are hard, but it’s even harder when those break ups still get in the way more than a decade later. Triple H and Chyna met through Killer Kowalski’s wrestling gym and both hit it off well. When Chyna debuted in WWE by Triple H’s side in 1997, it was straight fire (Becky Lynch style). They would become two-thirds of the original D-Generation X, win numerous titles, and become the main building block for storytelling. You can argue the Attitude Era wouldn’t have the success it did without these two.
By all accounts, their breakup was a nasty thing, especially when Triple H would be publicly involved in a relationship with Stephanie a few months later. As Triple H and Stephanie moved on, Chyna seemed like she couldn’t. Many believe the bad blood between Chyna and the couple is the reason why she wasn’t in the Hall of Fame or brought back for special appearances. Over the years, Chyna has lashed out at Triple H, which has made headlines. This was a big headache and the WWE rather you not know or forget about this entire ordeal.
2 Approved - The Kliq
On a warm night at Madison Square Garden in 1996, four singles wrestlers hugged it out at the end of a house show, breaking all kayfabe rules. It is known as The Curtain Call. It was the public debut of The Kliq, the most notorious stable to every grace the wrestling industry. The Kliq itself was a group of non-kayfabe friends consisting of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman.
While Nash and Hall formed the nWo in WCW, Michales and Triple H started D-Generation X in the WWE. Waltman would bounce back and forth between both stables, which would drive wrestling ratings through the roof, creating the Monday Night Wars. Even though Triple H was punished for his actions during that one night at the Garden, the WWE loves showing Kliq content. The WWE isn’t shy about The Kliq anymore and they want you to know Triple H was an integral part of it.
1 Disapproved - Slipping Drugs to a Woman and Then Marrying Her
It’s 2016 and one of the most hotly debated topics is political correctness. President Elect Donald Trump winning the 2016 General Election of the United States is a big reason why political correctness is being examined to such a degree. Besides the assertions of racism, bigotry, and homophobia being the reasons Mr. Trump won, you can also make a point that he attracted the anti-PC demographic.
In regards to the entertainment business, many comedians, directors, and others have been criticized for being too vulgar in recent years. In 1999, this wouldn’t have been the case and the same goes for a storyline that involved one wrestler drugging a woman and then marrying her in a Las Vegas drive-thru. In a PG era and the cultural environment we live in today, this story wouldn’t even be fathomable because so many people would feel disgusted.
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