14Triple H as Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Long before he was a 14-time world champion, an executive vice president in WWE, and Stephanie McMahon’s husband, Paul Levesque was Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Levesque debuted in WWE as ‘The Connecticut Blueblood’ Hunter Hearst Helmsley; a similar gimmick to his WCW character of Jean-Paul Levesque, except without the
atrocious French-Canadian accent. When Hunter aligned with the newly turned heel Shawn Michaels in 1997, Shawn began referring to Hunter by the off-screen nickname he had for his friend: “Triple H”. The two would of course go on to form D-Generation X along with Chyna and the rest is history.
But would Triple H have been as successful if he kept the Connecticut Blueblood gimmick? Not a chance. That gimmick belonged to the cartoonish mid-1990s and there’s no way it would have survived in the attitude era. It should also be noted that Hunter’s significant growth in size (entirely natural, I assume) played a large role in his push.