Who is Triple H?
Triple H is the ring name of American professional wrestler, business executive, and actor Paul Michael Levesque who has held a total of 14 world championship titles, the all-time third-highest after Ric Flair and John Cena. Throughout his career, he earned a total of 25 championship titles including nine 'WWF/WWE Championships', five 'WWE World Heavyweight Championships', and two 'Royal Rumbles'. He is well-known for his finishing maneuver, the 'Pedigree'. He later joined the WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut as an Executive Senior Advisor and was named Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events and Creative. He reportedly helped a number of younger wrestlers, including John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Jeff Hardy, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, by intentionally losing high-profile matches. He also received praise for recruiting fresh talents through his WWE NXT brand. As an actor, he has appeared on films like 'Blade: Trinity', 'The Chaperone' and 'Inside Out'. With his wife Stephanie McMahon, he created the 'Connor's Cure' cancer fund in honor of an eight-year-old WWE fan who succumbed to the disease. He also wrote the book 'Making the Game: Triple H's Approach to a Better Body'.
Childhood & Early Life
Triple H was born as Paul Michael Levesque on July 27, 1969 in Nashua, New Hampshire to Paul Levesque Sr. and Patricia Levesque, and has a sister named Lynn. He became interested in wrestling after watching a match of Chief Jay Strongbow on television at the age of five.
He played baseball and basketball while attending Nashua South High School, and at the age of 14, began bodybuilding to look like professional wrestlers. After completing his graduation in 1987, he started entering into bodybuilding competitions, winning the 'Mr. Teenage New Hampshire' title at the age of 19, in 1988.
He took up job as a manager at a Gold's Gym in Nashua where he met Ted Arcidi, a world champion power-lifter who had a brief wrestling career. He convinced Arcidi to introduce him to legendary wrestler turned instructor, Walter ‘Killer’ Kowalski and began training at his school in Malden, Massachusetts in early 1992.
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Triple H took up the ring name Terra Ryzing and made his professional debut on March 24, 1992 for Kowalski's promotion, the International Wrestling Federation (IWF). In July that year, he won the IWF Heavyweight Championship by defeating Mad Dog Richard.
Signing a one-year contract with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in early 1994, he appeared on his first televised match as Terror Risin' and defeated Keith Cole. He subsequently donned the French snob persona, Jean-Paul Lévesque, had a feud with Alex Wright, and briefly teamed up with Lord Steven Regal before leaving WCW for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in January 1995.
He made his WWF debut as Connecticut Blueblood 'Hunter Hearst Helmsley' on the April 30, 1995 episode of Wrestling Challenge, and soon had a successful feud with the hog farmer Henry O. Godwinn. He won the Intercontinental Championship by defeating Marc Mero on October 21, 1996, but lost the title four months later to Rocky Maivia, a.k.a. 'The Rock'.
1997 saw him taking the shortened alias Triple H and win WrestleMania 13 against Goldust, the 'King of the Ring' tournament against Mankind, and forming D-Generation X stable with Shawn Michaels, Chyna and Rick Rude. He won the European Championship from Michaels in a rigged match, only to lose it a month later to Owen Hart, starting a feud between the two which ended with his win at WrestleMania XIV.
He had another feud with The Rock, whom he defeated in a ladder match at SummerSlam, winning the Intercontinental Championship, but was forced to rest for three months due to injury. On his return, he fought The Rock's 'The Corporation' stable, but was betrayed by Chyna, and eventually joined the group himself betraying long-time friend X-Pac while helping Shane McMahon retain the European Championship.
After losing his first WWF Championship to Vince McMahon in September 1999, he entered a feud with him by marrying his daughter Stephanie before her fiancé Test could, and then defeating him at Armageddon. He became known as 'The Game' and 'The Cerebral Assassin' in 2000 and won his third WWF championship by defeating Big Show during 'Raw Is War' in January.
He subsequently teamed up with Stone Cold and Mr. McMahon to beat Chris Jericho to win his third Intercontinental Championship, which he followed up with his fourth win two weeks later against Jeff Hardy. He next won the WWF Tag Team Championship for the first time, but while defending it against Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, he suffered a career-threatening injury that sidelined him for eight months.
He won the 2002 Royal Rumble upon his return and entered the Undisputed WWF Championship match at WrestleMania X8, which he won by defeating Chris Jericho. After Brock Lesnar signed an exclusive deal with 'SmackDown!', Triple H was announced the first World Heavyweight Champion, which he unified with Kane's Intercontinental Championship after defeating him at No Mercy in October 2002.
He defended the title throughout 2003 by forming the stable 'Evolution' with Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista, but eventually lost it to Chris Benoit at WrestleMania XX in March 2004. He was drafted to 'SmackDown!', but 'Raw' general manager Eric Bischoff traded him for the Dudleys and Booker T.
After Randy Orton won the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Benoit at SummerSlam, he kicked him out of 'Evolution' and took back the title by defeating him at Unforgiven in September 2004. The title became vacant in November, following which he vied for it with John Cena in at WrestleMania 22, but lost via submission.
He won his 10th world championship by defeating Cena at the Raw Elimination Chamber match in 2008.
In August 2009, he reunited with Michaels to form DX again and later defeated Jeri-Show to win the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship in a TLC match.
In April 2013, he challenged Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 29, where he defeated him following a 'Pedigree' onto the steel steps. That year, he created the villainous stable, 'The Authority', with his wife Stephanie, and set up handicap matches against any wrestlers who questioned his decisions.
He later returned at the 2016 Royal Rumble to defeat Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to claim the World Heavyweight Championship, his 14th title overall. He lost to Seth Rollins in a non-sanctioned match at WrestleMania 33 in April 2017.
Awards & Achievements
Triple H has won the 'World Heavyweight Championship' 5 times, the 'WWF/WWE Championship' 9 times and the 'WWF/WWE Intercontinental Championship' 5 times. He twice won 'Royal Rumble', 'WWF European Championship' and 'WWF Tag Team Championship’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Triple H was involved with Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna, between 1996 and 2002, but the relationship broke apart as she was not interested in having children. Following their staged marriage on 'RAW', he became genuinely involved with Stephanie McMahon, finally tying the knot on October 25, 2003, and has three daughters with her.
Rapper The Game revealed in an interview in November 2006 that he and Triple H are involved in a lawsuit over the rights to the name, 'The Game'.