I'm just going to say it right away: this entire article is going to be one huge exercise in resisting the all-too-easy burying joke. But here we go.
Triple H has now been part of the wrestling business for 25 years. You can say anything you want about The Game, but you cannot say that he doesn't have staying power. Then again, nobody really denies this, they just hate where his staying powers seems to come from. Many tales of backstage politicking made him a top star in the company, and an uncomfortable helping of nepotism means he isn't going away anytime soon.
In fairness, Triple H has done many great things for the business. At the height of the Attitude Era he made an amazing top heel for the likes of Stone Cold and The Rock. Nowadays he has done amazing things backstage, especially in making NXT one of the best things about WWE today. And really, one of the most admirable things about him is that he doesn't let the IWC's comments about him convince him that what he's doing is wrong.
But even then, everyone has a few skulls buried in their closet, and Triple H is no exception. He steadfastly stands by many things the fans have disliked, but even he has to admit that some things about his career are shameful. And there's even other things in his past he'd rather stay hidden for more personal and/or ego-driven reasons.
And unfortunately for him, we're digging them up to show the world. Here's 20 pictures of Triple H he'd rather you not see.
20 Katie Vick
We're just gonna get this one out of the way right now. Everyone and their mother knew it would be here, so no point in saving it for later just to make you scroll through to make sure we didn't forget about this nugget.
In late 2002, Triple H embarked on a feud with Kane that turned into one of the most controversial angles in wrestling history. The story was that Kane had a love interest named Katie Vick who died in a car crash with Kane at the wheel. Great start with the demon Kane being involved in a love angle. But those raised eyebrows soon turned into outright disgust when Triple H claimed Kane had sex with her dead body.
And then WWE decided "You know what would make this even better? If Triple H dressed up like Kane and simulated this scene." Yeah...moving on.
19 Kayfabe Marrying a Drugged Stephanie McMahon
Oh, don't think the tasteless angles stop there. Necrophilia is bad enough, but we can add kidnapping and forceful marriage to the list of Triple H's sins.
In 1999, Triple H feuded briefly with Vince McMahon, and one of the subplots in the feud, was Triple H getting together with his daughter, Stephanie. Forcefully. Triple H drugged her, put her in the passenger seat of his car, and married her in a drive-through (oh, Las Vegas) while she was still unconscious.
Now people do like to forget that this was retconned as a planned event by Stephanie as revenge against her father allowing for The Undertaker to kidnap her, but that isn't exactly reassuring. It still involves Triple H apparently being comfortable with being thought of as a kidnapper and the closest possible thing to a rapist without technically being one. So it's safe to say he still wants this forgotten.
18 Accidentally Exposing Stephanie McMahon
Oh, the early stages of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's relationship were just a hot mess, weren't they? We'll just casually add that time he caused her a wardrobe malfunction to the list of things he wants forgotten. Let alone the fact that it involved him physically attacking her.
Triple H's feud with Chris Jericho in early 2002 heavily involved Stephanie McMahon. She kayfabe divorced Triple H leading to so much hostility between the two that it often overshadowed Jericho. You know, the WWE Undisputed Champion. One incident in this feud saw The Game attempt to Pedigree Stephanie only for Jericho to save her at the last second. But not before she had a little nip slip on live television.
And hilariously, it wasn't even the first time that happened.
17 His Relationship With Chyna
And rounding out the trifecta of shameful moments in Triple H's relationship with Stephanie McMahon, here's his ex-fiancee, Chyna. Now it's perfectly normal to have ex-lovers so at face value this isn't anything to be ashamed of. But what makes it a blemish on his resume is how it ended.
Triple H and Chyna were happily engaged, but when Trips started the on-screen relationship with Stephanie McMahon, it started turning into something more real. Yes, Triple H cheated on Chyna with Stephanie. And the worst part was that when Chyna found out about it, Vince McMahon chose his daughter over business and essentially shunned her out of the company. One has to wonder if Chyna will ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
16 Terra Ryzing
We've covered many times here at TheSportster that many wrestlers go through a variety of other gimmicks before they settle on one that they find success with. Triple H is no different, and while having to try multiple gimmicks is nothing to be ashamed of, his first gimmicks are almost laughable compared to his character now. Before he was The Game, he was Terra Ryzing.
There wasn't too much to his heel persona other than having a ring name often considered among the dumbest in professional wrestling history. It even stylized in multiple different ways such as Terror Rising or Terra Risin', none of which worked because it was the underlying pun that was so ridiculous. It thankfully didn't last long in his time with IWF and WCW.
15 The Original Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Triple H might also want you to forget that even when he did come to WWE, his character still desperately needed some work. He ended his time in WCW as Jean-Paul Levesque, a French aristocrat, and when he left for WWE, he stuck with a similar gimmick at first. He adopted the name Hunter Hearst Helmsley, but he started not as the ass-kicking monster Triple H, but as "The Connecticut Blueblood".
Yes, Helmsley stuck with the pompous rich man gimmick in his first few years with WWE. While it was certainly a step in the right direction from Terra Ryzing, it was still the sort of gimmick you'd expect from a perpetual midcarder, not a main event talent. So seeing the original Hunter Hearst Helmsley serves to remind everyone that the company really didn't think much of him at first. And if not for his infamous backstage politics with The Kliq, he may never have even touched the main event.
14 The Botched Pedigree
One of the worst things that can happen to a professional wrestler is getting a reputation as an unsafe worker. Goldberg still gets resentment by many fans for effectively ending Bret Hart's career, and it's hard for Seth Rollins to get past the fact that he put Finn Balor on the shelf and ended Sting's career with a neck injury. So I'm sure Triple H doesn't want people to see how bad it can be when his finisher, The Pedigree, goes wrong.
In 1996, Helmsley wrestled Marty Garner on an episode of WWF Superstars. Helmsley was booked to win the match with his finisher, but it didn't quite go according to plan. Garner seemingly thought Helmsley was going for a double underhook powerbomb, and ended up landing straight on his head, causing himself a severe injury. Even though Garner was the one botching, Triple H would rather you not see how horrifying his finisher can be when it isn't handled properly.
13 Getting Squashed by The Ultimate Warrior
Anyone who knows anything about the backstage scene at WWE knows that Triple H doesn't like to lose. He's infamously vetoed decisions by the creative team to let other wrestlers like Booker T or Randy Orton go over him properly. So he certainly doesn't want some guy like me behind a computer screen reminding everybody about that time he was handily beat in a matter of seconds at WrestleMania like a jobber.
Back in 1996, Triple H was still just Hunter Hearst Helmsley, the midcarder. His main gimmick at the time was simply coming to the ring with seemingly a different female valet every week. He was the one chosen to fight the returning Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania XII. And when I say "fight" what I mean is "get completed trashed by". The bout barely lasted a minute and a half and saw Warrior completely no-sell a Pedigree before squashing the Blueblood.
Clearly his career didn't suffer as much as it could have for anyone else, but it's still refreshing to know that Trips once got a taste of his own medicine.
12 Being Pinned by Eugene
Even after Triple H did rise to the main event and infamously refused to lose clean very often, if ever, there were still some embarrassing losses he had to take. My money for which one was the most embarrassing goes to being pinned by Eugene. You know, the special needs wrestler. Triple H was pinned by that guy.
Was it a clean pin? Of course not, unfortunately. The whole story with Randy Orton breaking off from Evolution overshadowed the moment and Eugene only won the No-DQ bout because of Orton. But still. He was pinned by a kayfabe mentally handicapped wrestler on the August 30th, 2004 episode of Monday Night Raw.
And the only reason I know that specific date is because as far as I can tell, the WWE Network is the only place anywhere on the internet you can actually see a picture of the cover. Well, at least up until now it was.
11 In the Hospital
Let's not forget either that Triple H has been on the receiving end of some debilitating injuries. In his career, he's had no less than two high profile injuries that kept him out of action for nearly a year each. One occurred in early 2001 during his tag team run with Steve Austin, where he tore his quad simply running across the ring to break up a pin. Yep, Kevin Nash isn't the only one. The second happened in early 2007, when he tore his quad again during the DX feud with Rated-RKO. Moral of the story: Triple H in a tag match is a disaster waiting to happen.
Now it's perfectly normal for wrestlers to suffer freak injuries. But the circumstances under which they happened to The Game, and simply the image of him being carted around unable to walk on his own, really emasculates his character. So he'd probably like you to forget about it all.
10 Getting Burned During His WrestleMania XXIX Entrance
The only thing more synonymous with Triple H than refusing to lose is over the top entrance sequences, especially at WrestleMania. For every grand entrance that truly hyped the coming bout like his entrance at WrestleMania XXX, there have been ridiculous ones like coming out dressed like The Terminator at WrestleMania 31. But the one he'd most like you to forget is his entrance from WrestleMania XXIX.
When he came out through the smoke in his entrance, his stomach and arms were covered with some weird white substance that made him look absolutely ridiculous. And to add injury to insult, turns out it was dry ice and he suffered second degree burns because of it. With all the notable instances of injuries happening during entrances and with how intricate Trips' entrances were, it really was just a matter of time, and when it did happen, it was quite the disaster indeed.
This one has less to do with anything truly embarrassing that Triple H did, and more to do with how the WWE has tried to change its image since Triple H's prime. Back before WWE went PG, they didn't have a care if wrestlers decided to let out some blood to intensify a match. Hell, they probably encouraged it during the height of the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression Era.
But nowadays, the red stuff is a no-no. Wrestlers are only ever allowed to bleed if it's an accident, and even then, officials sometimes stop a match because of blood. By bleeding during some of his previous matches, Trips never really did anything wrong. But because of WWE re-branding itself to be family friendly, Triple H now has to hide away moments like this.
Although it does seem a bit hypocritical that he became a higher up in the same company that now forbids wrestlers from doing it.
8 Mitch Joining 'The Club'
With Triple H famously a part of D-Generation X, one of the most non-PG stables ever, don't think blading is the only thing the Vice President of Talent has to keep hidden away. Making people shove their faces in between someone's ass cheeks was really more Vince's trademark, but at Vengeance 2006, Triple H indulged in his father-in-law's hobby.
After Triple H and Shawn Michaels beat The Spirit Squad in a 5-on-2 handicap match, they continued to beat up on the cheerleaders, as if losing a 5-on-2 match wasn't burial enough. And when only Mitch was left in the ring, he got the worst of it. Michaels held up his limp body as Trips dropped trow and then this happened. Not only would this probably not be okay in WWE today, it also represents everything fans hated about the childish return of DX.
7 The Hog Pen Match
Of all the matches we've talked about so far that Triple H would rather you forget, we haven't even gotten to the worst one. That would have to be the infamous Hog Pen Match. Back when he was still the pompous rich man character, Helmsley had a short feud with Henry O. Godwinn, the pig farmer. Do you get it? The rich snob fighting the bluest of blue-collar workers? I would say it was as terrible as you'd expect it to be, but it turned out even worse somehow.
The two were given a match stipulation at In Your House 5 that creative thought was fitting of the theme of the feud. The first wrestler to toss the other into a pen full of slop at ringside would be the winner. Even though Helmsley won, it was obvious it was going to end with the rich man character being covered in excrement looking goop.
It was such a flop of a match that WWE never ran that stipulation ever again. Or so we thought until they inexplicably brought it back for Santino Marella and Vickie Guerrero in 2009.
6 Out of Shape
Now, I like to think of myself as a body positive person. Unless someone is out of shape to the point of it being obviously unhealthy, I don't care what you look like. WWE however, especially Vince McMahon and Triple H, are all about body image. So Trips probably wants you to forget that he isn't always the best about keeping himself in shape.
Arguably the worst it got was in 2010. Especially during his Extreme Rules entrance, where his body was noticeably flabby and far less cut than usual. Which is perfectly fine. If guys like Kevin Owens can rise to the top despite heavier physiques, there is clearly nothing wrong with it. This only makes the list because Helmsley himself has never been one to think it's okay.
5 Overly Muscular
For as much as Triple H might like having a cut, muscular body, there is such a thing as taking it too far, especially after his return from injury in 2002. Triple H took his body to the extreme. So extreme indeed, that many fans starting suspecting that something else was behind his physique. Namely, steroids.
Backstage circumstances didn't help these suspicions either. He'd infamously made some regrettable comments implying that steroids aren't such a bad option. He also eventually got placed in a feud with Scott Steiner, which furthered suspicions. Plus with him being so cozy with Vince, who would soon become his father-in-law, he was exempted from drug tests backstage. Very suspicious indeed. Even if his body was achieved legitimately, he'd still like you to forget how suspicious it got.
4 Feuding With Scott Steiner
Remember what we said earlier about the Hog Pen Match being one of the worst Triple H has ever been a part of? Well that one was bad because the gimmick of the match itself was never going to get over. But it turns out Trips also took part in one of the worst pay-per-view matches in WWE history from a technical standpoint. That happened in early 2003 during his feud with Scott Steiner.
Even the buildup to the feud, featuring arm wrestling contests and pose-offs - no seriously- made sure nobody was invested in the match anyway. But then their match at the Royal Rumble failed to even reach that already low bar, proving to everyone that Steiner was a terrible worker and Triple H was in no way capable of carrying him to an even passable match, much less anything close to a classic.
The feud and matches were so bad that it pretty much killed all of Steiner's credibility as a main event star, and nearly crushed WWE's opinion of its own champion at the time.
3 Blade Trinity
Triple H, like many wrestlers before him, tried his hand at making the jump to film and TV acting. And...well...let's just say he's no Dwayne Johnson. The jump didn't go well for him. His best role to date was a very small part in Blade Trinity as Jarko Grimwood, a vampire. If you weren't sure if that sounded ridiculous or not, this picture of him in that film should clear it up for you.
And yes, no matter how minor his part is or how much of a bomb the movie was, it's still his most successful role to date. He took leading roles in WWE Studios productions Inside Out and The Chaperone, which only proved without a doubt that it wasn't meant to be.
2 Soiling Himself on RAW
There are many hilarious stories of wrestlers having accidents inside the ring. Hell, we did a whole article on it a while ago. Well turns out Triple H isn't safe either. On an early 2013 episode of Monday Night RAW, he engaged in a brawl with Brock Lesnar to get the feud to WrestleMania XXIX going and had a very conspicuous accident in the middle of the fight.
Fans were quick to point it out and and for a few months speculated whether he really did piss himself or if it was all just a hilarious coincidence. They got their answer when in an interview with The New Age Outlaws they joked about it too, and then Trips admitted it, joking back "Never go to the ring to fight a guy like that with a full bladder".
It's good to know that, like others who it's happened to, he can laugh about it. But it's still gross either way so he'd probably rather not keep talking about it.
1 Hugging Chris Benoit
Many of Triple H's best matches of his career were with the late Chris Benoit. That turns out to be very unfortunate for him because with WWE whitewashing Benoit out of their history after murdering his family, Triple H can no longer be openly proud of these matches. But the moment Triple H most wants you to forget in his interactions with Benoit is embracing the future killer after a match. That can't possibly come off well in light of what happened.
Now, the thing is that I saw this picture and thought "Oh, of course that makes the list." But then when I looked for more details about it, I realized that it happened on the SmackDown after Eddie Guerrero died and that the whole moment was a tribute to Eddie. For once, I have nothing snarky to say about one of these pictures. It truly is unfortunate that this moment of respect for Guerrero can't be properly celebrated in WWE today.