Playing The Game: Ranking Triple H's Characters Throughout His Career

The world is always changing. Everyone goes through it, it's life. However, how many of you can say your personality and character has changed 15 times? Well, that's what a wrestler might go through during their career. In pro wrestling, many superstars, over the entirety of their career, will go through a drastic character and personality change in order to keep them interesting and refreshing. Anything from their outfits, hair, move set, entrance theme and personality all might be modified when a character change is in order.

For this article, we'll be focusing on the character changes for one of the most successful and popular superstars to ever grace the squared circle, Triple H. Hunter has been a professional wrestler since 1992 and continues to put on his ring gear in 2016. 20 plus years of bumps and bruises in the ring can take a toll on ones body. Apparently not for The Game. It almost seems as if he will be wrestling forever. However, he as well as many others, has had his fair share of character changes over the course of his career. Some good and some bad, but that's all part of evolving. Its a needed process that's always best for business.

With that said, here is a complete ranking of all Triple H's characters from worst to best.

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14 Terra Ryzing (1994)

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A short lived character, Terra Ryzing marks the beginning of his first character debut in a major wrestling promotion. His character originally was named Terra Risin but would eventually modified to Ryzing because Risin just sounded ridiculous. He debuted this character as a villain in 1994 and fought in various matches against names like Alex Wright and Keith Cole.

13 Jean-Paul Levesque (1994-1995)

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Halfway through 1994, he'd go through another character change, as he would eventually fight under the name of Jean-Paul Levesque. He developed a French accent, but could not actually speak the language. It was a prequel to the Connecticut blue-blood character he would later play in his wrestling career. His signature finisher, The Pedigree, would see its debut and he has used it ever since. He also had teamed with Lord Steve Regal for a brief time towards the end of his run and would eventually set his sights higher and left WCW for WWE.

12 McMahon-Helmsley Faction

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The McMahon-Helmsley Faction was a villainous stable that came together in 1999 with the goal of protecting Triple H from losing the WWE title. Triple H earned a shot at the title after showing a clip during the marriage ceremony between Test and Stephanie McMahon of Hunter marrying a drugged Stephanie McMahon in a chapel in Las Vegas.

Vince McMahon would grant Hunter the match under stipulations that if Triple H won, he would receive a WWE Championship title shot, but if Vince was victorious, Triple H would sign an annulment. Triple H would go on to win and in the process Stephanie would turn on her father and align with her new husband Triple H.

11 The COO

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At the age of 40, Triple H's career as a full time wrestler would come to an end in 2010. Since then we seen him lace up his boots a few times a year, with matches against Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler and Roman Reigns. He's had a hell of a career in pro wrestling, but the end of his full time career started a new chapter in his life, as the current COO of WWE.

Triple H took over the COO position back in 2011 after a segment with Vince McMahon, informing him that he has been being fired by the company's board of directors, allowing Triple H to take over the operations role. Since then, he's done nothing but incredible things for the company, including being a part of Monday Night Raw and running the most exciting show on the WWE Network, NXT.

10 Hunter Hearst Helmsley (1995) 

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In 1995, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, formerly known in WCW as Jean-Paul Levesque, would make his in-ring debut in WWE, as a snobby, etiquette-obsessed gentleman from Connecticut that resembled Gorgeous George. Helmsley wore a tail coat suit and carried a traditional spray bottle, highlighting his snobbiness. Hunter played this character incredibly well, evoking a hatred and emotion out of the fans.

9 D-Generates Reuniting (2006)

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Back in 2006, WWE fans witnessed the reuniting of one of the most entertaining factions in professional wrestling history, D-Generation X. After being a heel for almost fove years, Triple H turned face to save his long time friend/enemy, Shawn Michaels. The two together raised hell and caused mischief all over Monday Night Raw, though it was a little strange to see these older stars doing sophomoric humor at this stage of their careers. Triple H's drastic character change went from a selfless heel that only cared about winning the gold to entertaining rebel.

8 The Cerebral Assassin

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In January 2000, Triple H solidified himself as the "The Cerebral Assassin," which implied that he was simply smarter and more opportunistic than other wrestlers. Good ol' Jim Ross gave Triple H this nickname after Triple Hs character changed from a degenerate to someone who would destroy all his opponents on his way to the top of the mountain.

Over the years, Triple H would use these tactics to embark on some crazy storylines and it helped shape his character to be one of the most hated heels of all time.

7 Family First (2009)

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During 2009, Triple H was in a heated rivalry with former evolution member Randy Orton. Orton was a red hot heel that rebelled against any orders from the chairman Vince McMahon. What really set the tone to this rivalry was Orton planting a DDT on The Game's wife, Stephanie McMahon, which led to the first on-screen evidence that the pair were married in real life.

Triple would team with his father in law, Vince McMahon, and brother in law, Shane McMahon, to try and take down Orton and Legacy. The rivalry between the two would focus more on a bitter family vs faction, that got as personal as any rivalry can get.

6 A Hero Never Forgotten (2002 Return)

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Before Triple H was sidelined with a torn quadricep muscle back in in 2001, he was arguably the most hated heel in the WWE. He would later return to the ring in January 2002, having possibly the most emotional moment in WWE history. The crowd greeted Triple H with one of the loudest pops any sSperstar has ever received. The crowd certainly did not forget who he was, but it seems as if they did forget all the terrible things he did (in character, of course).

It was then a natural turn for Triple H to embark on a babyface journey where he would win the 2002 Royal Rumble and later capture the WWE Undisputed Championship at WrestleMania X8. It was the perfect character story, with The Game returning, conquering the rumble and capturing the gold. His first true babyface run.

Unfortunately, his face turn would only last about a half a year, when he would eventually turn heel once again.

5 D-Generate 97-99 

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Are you ready? After getting rid of the snobby, etiquette-obsessed gentleman character, Triple H joined forces with The Heartbreak kid, Shawn Michaels. The two were real life friends who combined to deliver one of the most entertaining factions of all time. The two really set the tone for The Attitude Era, with their rebellious antics and pranks. Michaels would start out as the leader of the group, but after losing the title to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV, Michaels would take time off with an injury leaving Triple H as the new leader of the duo.

After gaining control of the group, Triple H would add Chyna, X-Pac and The New Age Outlaws. Together, these five became the most popular faction of The Attitude Era.

4 Leader of The Authority 

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We didn't think Triple H could get any more heat as a heel, but we were wrong. His work as the leader of The Authority might be some of his best work in years. Triple H would solidify his character after screwing Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Championship by hitting him with a Pedigree at the 2013 edition of SummerSlam. This is where the slogan "best for business" really took off, as The Game invested in Randy Orton as a better look for the company.

Since then, Triple H has been a top heel that screws anyone not to his liking.

3 Triple H's Raw 

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Whenever new fans think about the World Heavyweight Championship, they'll likely think about Triple H, as he completely owned Raw from 2002-2005 with the title. During that time period, even if he wasn't the World Champion, Triple H was still the focal point on TV. For three years, he feuded with the top babyfaces including Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Kane, Chris Benoit and many more. One common thing about all of them was that the WWE refused to allow any of them to go over om Triple H. Even if he lost the title, he would still have it back in his arms by the end of the feud.

This is without a doubt his most successful period of his illustrious WWE career.

2 The King of Kings 

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The King of Kings character came into play around the end of 2005. Triple H returned from an injury and would continue being a full blown heel after turning on his long time partner Ric Flair. Early on in 2006, Triple H would spend over an hour in the Royal Rumble, but would eventually get eliminated by the man that would go on to win, Rey Mysterio. As per-usual, Triple H found himself in the main event of WrestleMania, challenging as the number one contender for the WWE Championship. With Cena champion at the time, Triple H would bring his King of Kings character to life, introducing a new theme and a bad ass Conan the Barbarian style costume at WrestleMania 22.

The character didn't last long. In June of that year, he would reunite with Shawn Michaels, leaving behind the King of Kings character.

1 The Game

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To this very day, Triple H still goes by The Game. Originally a gimmick that was supposed to be given to Owen Hart, Triple H was obsessed with being the best and most of all being the World Champion, and would do whatever it takes to reach the top of the mountain. Triple H would solidify the success of The Game character after capturing the WWE title on an episode of Raw in August 1999.

He eventually shed his DX gimmick and started calling himself The Game. In an interview with Jim Ross he stated, "I am The Game, I am that damn good." Triple H was proving that he's best at what he does and he would never take second place.

This gimmick would end temporally after he suffered a torn quad injury, but The Game character would live on forever.

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