The times sure have changed. Something that is quite evident from the man's theme song as well. From 'Time to play the game', we now listen to 'Bow down to the King'. He hardly puts on his gear anymore. But his legacy as the king, let's just put a hammer (sledge, of course) on it and say that it's safe.
Triple H, The Cerebral Assassin, The Game, The King.
I believe it's only when you write about a man, do you truly get to know him. You Google for more information, you watch videos. Everything that let's you construct a piece worth reading.
But when it comes to men like him, I think memories would suffice. Of course I'll watch clips to remind myself of those great times. He's part of a generation of superstars that made our childhood better. A time when
WWE WWF was a major part of our daily routine.
I don't know how it works with kids these days, but back then sibling fights always included a few wrestling moves - Choke Slams, Stunners, Rock Bottoms, Pedigrees.
The thing about Triple H is that he has been around for a long, long time. So naturally there is so much to talk about. Like his time with D-Generation X. By far the most entertaining faction in wrestling history. What Shawn Michaels and he did was pure magic. They came out on a tank, they invaded WCW, they mimicked others, they went against the establishment.
And of course, they made two words really famous - "S*** It!"
Then there was the time when Triple H started Evolution. There were times when it was just him and Chyna or him and Ric Flair. But whatever he did, he was always the centre of attention and he always succeeded at it.
And more often than not, swinging that sledgehammer around, he was the heel. Oh, the nostalgia!
He was the one person who made the World Championship belt look better. Like it was part of his attire. No one could carry it like he did. And some of his entrances were extraordinary.
The thing is that I hated him at one point of time. He was the quintessential bad guy. But there was something about him that made us want to copy him too. His moves are legendary. And who hasn't filled their mouth with water and spat it in the air?
As weird as the description sounds, Triple H doing it made for a grand image.
The best moments however were the ones we would share with our friends or siblings. Those are the ones you recall. So I called my brother and he reminded me of 2002. Back when Triple H was really hated. But he was out for months on end because he tore his quadriceps. An injury known to cripple men, to end their careers.
But then, one night on RAW, after 8 months of absence, his music hit. The crowd went berserk. It was a moment that could give anyone goosebumps. It wasn't a hero coming back, but the return of their favourite villain. The one who was good at being bad.
Have a look at this video and you'll know what I mean. Hear the crowd's unreal reactions and look at the man's face filled with passion and love for the sport. It was inspiring.
In fact calling it a return wouldn't do justice to him. It was a resurrection:
That is when I realised how important Triple H, the performer, is to the wrestling business. Sure, he has become the COO now, married to the owner's daughter and running the show. But you won't remember that. You will remember his antics as a competitor, his ability to do things others couldn't.
His athletic prowess was never in doubt. When I found out what he does on a daily basis, my respect for him soar through the roof. He has been booed most of his career for his character. But he stays committed to the brand.
Everyday, he wakes up early, spends time with his three kids, eats, trains, takes them to school, reaches work, does the desk work, the ring work, comes home to spend time with family, puts the kids to bed, eats, trains again, eats again, sleeps and repeats.
I respect him because after all these years, he still doesn't mind taking a beating, he still doesn't mind the crowd booing him, he still doesn't mind being the bad guy. His real name is Paul Levesque, but no one would even know that. For us, he will always be Triple H.
The crown may fit a lot of heads, but it shone brightest on the head of The Game. The long hair has gone, the muscles may not be as toned, the theme song is now different and he walks out in a suit. But the fact that he still evokes emotion, good or bad, says how brilliant he has been over the years.
A documentary based on his life is titled - Thy Kingdom Come. Anyone who has watched him perform would know how fitting that is. Because there have been many bad guys in wrestling but none as great as him. And there have been many rulers of the ring, but only one King.