Depending on who you ask, Triple H is either a bonafide legend and patron saint of professional wrestling or he's a guy who lucked out by marrying Stephanie McMahon and now gets to rewrite history to make himself a legend, 'cause hey, wouldn't you do the same thing if you were in his shoes?
Either way, nobody has even risen from a WWE midcarder with a cruelly provisional gimmick to the company's COO by making loads of bad decision. In all likelihood, Triple H is a very savvy individual, and were we to compose a list of "Smartest Things Triple H Has Ever Done" it would be much longer than 15 entries. I could be as many as 25, or even 26 entries.
Nonetheless, it is our task as forgers of snarky internet lists to focus on the negative. And heck, what's really so great about Triple H at the end of the day? He's never been known for being an innovator and the face of a beloved era of wrestling, like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan. He's never been known as a great interview like The Rock or Ric Flair. He never won the hearts of the fans and became a star despite bookers' misplaced wisdom like Daniel Bryan or Mick Foley. He never even broke the fourth wall to tell everyone how great he thinks he is like CM Punk. Triple H is here to show us all that if you work hard, make the right friends, get huge muscles to impress your boss who is obsessed with huge muscles, and win the love lottery when a powerful and influential woman decides you're worth marrying, you too can be Max Landis's favorite wrestler. And that's pretty okay, says we.
8 Ever Tangling With “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright
Back in 1994, Triple H - at the time, competing as “Jean-Paul Levesque” a Frenchier version of his real, already somewhat French name - had the misfortune of running afoul of “Das Wunderkind,” Alex Wright. The German-born high-flyer was noted as the greatest dancer ever to leave his disco boots behind for a run in the squared circle of glorious manly combat. Predictably, Wright trounced Triple H at the Starcade PPV that year. Many wrestling experts have pointed to this moment as the turning point in Triple H’s career - though Trips was confidence incarnate before this defeat, Wright’s demonstration of total superiority over the future Helmsley showed the current WWE COO his limits. Triple H may call himself the King of Kings, but assuredly, he knows the real king has always been Das Wunderkind.
7 Agreeing to Tangle With The Ultimate Warrior
After Alex Wright trounced and humiliated the man who would later steal a nickname originally designated for Owen Hart, you would think he would’ve learned his limits. Sadly, such was not the case, and Triple H voluntarily signed up to face the returning Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania XII. Warrior spent 100 seconds making Hunter his own personal chew toy and swiftly triumphed over his snide adversary.
6 Ever Tangling With Ryan Reynolds
Eh, maybe we can’t be too hard on Triple H for this lapse in judgement. After all, before Blade: Trinity, Reynolds was principally known as a comedic pretty boy in movies like Van Wilder, and likely several other films and television shows we don’t remember but also involved very little action. How was Triple H supposed to know Reynolds was actually Deadpool, and could easily dispatch of The Game in a fistfight, even if Triple H was a vampire? It’s not Triple H’s fault that Ryan Reynolds killed him, but it certainly did make Triple H look stupid.
12. Becoming a Terminator Robot
Understandably intimidated by the returning Sting at WrestleMania 31, Triple H decided to assume the identity of a Terminator robot. In theory, a T-1000 would be able to defeat Eric Draven in a fight to the death, and therefore the costume could've provided a psychological advantage. Trips didn’t take into account that the reason why The Crow is such a popular Halloween costume is it’s a very quick and easy costume to put together. Such is not the case with the far more complicated Terminator costume, which made for a lumbering, confusing, pointlessly elaborate entrance. Although the Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo was neat.
5 Advocating Necrophilia
Many viewers missed the point of the infamous Katie Vick angle that put an awkward, uncomfortable spin on Triple H’s 2002 feud with Kane. Trips is a longtime proponent of Christian alternative birth control methods. Not only does sex with the dead never lead to pregnancy, the Bible never specifically bans necrophilia like it bans homosexuality and condoms, according to advocates of the practice. While he thought he was sending a positive message by demonstrating the benefits of necrophilia, most viewers were deeply offended by the skit.
Actually, we can't even joke about this, the idea was just plain ridiculous.
10. Not Using “Teenage Mr. New Hampshire” As His Gimmick
Some fans say Triple H’s period as “Terra Ryzing” or his early years in the WWE as a pompous blue blood were low-points. We contend that the lowest point came whenever Trips decided not to capitalize on his bodybuilding success and instruct ring announcers to introduce him as “Teenage Mr. New Hampshire” Paul Levesque. Let’s imagine the faux-wholesome arrogant Olympic Gold Medalist persona Kurt Angle started out with, except Levesque would’ve been obsessed with his bygone victory in a New Hampshire bodybuilding tournament. It would’ve been the funniest heel character of its decade and made Triple H a star at least five years earlier.
4 Letting Anyone Aside From Shawn Michaels Join DX
Not unlike its sister affiliation the nWo, D-Generation X scanned as its coolest when also at its height of exclusivity. Had the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac never been allowed in the group, today, DX would be known only as a faction that included one of the greatest performers in history, the future COO, and the most highly-paid adult film actress pro wrestling has ever produced. Because it lowered its standards for membership, even incrementally, now DX also includes a disgraced power lifter, Hornswoggle, the guy who sucks at writing Smackdown, and Sean Waltman….So, okay, maybe number nine on this list should read "Anyone aside from Shawn Michaels and Sean Waltman," because X-Pac is still cool.
8. Letting Himself Join Evolution
On paper, Ric Flair mentoring at-the-time up-and-comers Batista and Randy Orton looks like a great idea for a stable, so long as nobody mucked it up and decided he should be grooming them to be the new Four Horseman. Aside from overshadowing his compatriots and turning Evolution into his personal goon squad, what else did Triple H add to the group? Without Triple H’s dubious leadership, Evolution could’ve been purely a platform to build Batista and Orton into stars, as opposed to a platform to make them stars who would then be fed to Trips.
3 Marrying Stephanie McMahon Instead of Chyna
Romantically pursuing Stephanie McMahon only worked out well for Triple H because the relationship did. If they had ever broken up or gotten a divorce, his WWE career would’ve been as good as dead. Meanwhile, had he married Chyna instead, Triple H could’ve been along for the ride during her relatively brief but lucrative run in the adult film industry - and enjoyed access to all the heights of depravity a position such as his would’ve entailed. Because Triple H is COO of the WWE, he didn’t get to sleep with lots and lots of adult film performers. Instead, he has sanity-annihilating levels of corporate responsibilities. Joanie, ultimately, may have been the right call all along.
6. Breaking Into Randy Orton’s House With a Sledgehammer
It happens to everyone. Once in a while when we’re very upset or have had too much to drink or put too many things up our nose, it seems like a swell idea to kick down the door to our enemy’s home, threaten his wife with a lethal-force inducing blunt object, then throw said enemy out his own living room window. But we never follow through on these impulses, because we are afraid of prison. Triple H thought his celebrity status placed him above the law on the occasion in which he ran rampant through Randy Orton’s home in 2009, but the police and judge who presided over his case disagreed. Triple H was sentenced to seven years in prison for trespassing, breaking and entering, and multiple counts of assault.
2 Being Kinda Racist
Possibly still bitter about the countless occasions in which The Rock served him up his own rear end in a to-go box, Triple H decided he had a newfound irrational hatred for black people in 2002. The timing of his bigotry was convenient, as it coincided with Booker T winning a shot at Triple H’s world title. In the leadup to the big match, Levesque let Booker T know that “nappy-haired” “people like” him don’t win world titles. Triple H’s blatant display of racism resulted in his swift firing and WWE immediately removed any mention of their former star from its website. Wait, of course not.
4. The Chaperone
It’s fine and good to ridicule WWE wrestlers for starring in terrible movies - but it’s hardly anything new. What’s mystifying about The Chape rone is aside from Trips, it features noted actor from good movies Kevin Corrigan playing our hero's nemesis. Dude was fantastic in Slums of Beverly Hills and Pineapple Express - even had a role in Goodfellas early in his career. What did he do, or who did he tick off, to find himself so desperate for work that he took a role in what might as well have been a straight-to-cable Disney movie trumped up as a vehicle for a non-actor? Someone should find out, so the rest of us can know not to do whatever it was.
3. Not Having His Name Legally Changed to “Triple H”
How frequently has anyone called Triple H “Hunter” during the last 20 years? Are we really naive enough to assume anyone refers to him as “Paul” during his day-to-day existence? Don’t be stupid. For all practical intents and purposes, his first name is “Triple” and his last name is “H.” When Triple H files his tax return every year, the IRS agent says “Hey, neat, I got Triple H’s tax return. Wait, who’s ‘Paul Levesque?’ I’m confused now. Time for an audit.” It should say “Triple H” on Triple H’s driver’s license.
1 Not Acknowledging WrestlingIsn’tWrestling
Is WrestlingIsn’tWrestling possibly the finest wrestling-inspired film ever made? No, that’s actually Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler. But WrestlingIsn’tWrestling is still quite good, and a more-than worthy tribute and retrospective of Triple H’s storied career. So why won’t Triple H admit how honored he is to be its subject? He wouldn’t even be the biggest wrestling star to slap his stamp of approval on Max Landis’s heartfelt yet satirical look at WWE storylines - Bill Goldberg makes a cameo during the credits.
1. Not Arranging For The Mysterious and Unexpected Passing of Shane McMahon
Anyone in Paul Levesque or Stephanie McMahon’s position would be eagerly awaiting the death of Vince McMahon, so that WWE would become theirs to do with as they saw fit. But their plans could all go awry if Vince leaves his company to his son in fact, as opposed to son in law, Shane McMahon. It's noteworthy that Shane's been out of the spotlight and away from WWE for about seven years. So if, for example, his sister and brother-in-law were slowly poisoning him by paying his maid to crush up broken glass into a fine powder and mix it in with his Special K Plus Protein every morning, it might not look too too suspicious or draw too much media attention if Shane succumbs to an unexpected 'bout of exsanguination in the near future.