Paul Michael Levesque (born July 27, 1969),[ better known by his ring name Triple H (an abbreviation of his character’s full name, Hunter Hearst Helmsley), is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, business executive, actor, and former bodybuilder. Levesque currently works in the front office of WWE as the Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events; he appears as Triple H on television as the chief operating officer and part-time wrestler.
Levesque began his wrestling career in the International Wrestling Federation as Terra Ryzing before joining World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1994. He soon became Jean-Paul Lévesque, a French Canadian aristocrat, similar to the Hunter Hearst Helmsley character he would later portray in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He later abbreviated his name to Triple H and adopted an alternative image in the D-Generation X (DX) stable. After the dissolution of DX, Triple H was pushed as a main event wrestler, winning several singles championships. As part of a storyline Triple H married Stephanie McMahon, who later became his real-life spouse. In 2003, Triple H formed another stable known as Evolution, and reformed DX with Shawn Michaels in 2006 and 2009. Levesque is heavily involved in the writing process of WWE programming, and holds complete creative control over his television character’s storylines, win/loss record, and championship reigns.
Overall, Levesque has won 23 championships in WWE. He is a thirteen-time world champion having won the WWF/E Championship eight times, and the World Heavyweight Championship five times. He was the first World Heavyweight Champion, having been awarded the title in September 2002. In addition, Helmsley won the 1997 King of the Ring, the 2002 Royal Rumble, and was the second Grand Slam Championship winner. Outside of wrestling, Helmsley has made numerous guest appearances in film and on television, like The Chaperone. By mid-2013, Helmsley began a storyline in which he and wife Stephanie McMahon are portrayed as unctuous, judgmental WWE co-owners dubbed “The Authority.” Together as a power couple, they make what are often shady decrees while claiming only to be concerned for “what’s best for business,” all the while romanticizing each other in the process with public displays of affection.
On the February 21, 2011 Raw, Triple H returned WWE by interrupting the return of The Undertaker. He challenged him to a match at WrestleMania XXVII, which later became a No Holds Barred match. A week later he put Sheamus through the announce table with a Pedigree, in retaliation for Sheamus giving him a 10 month injury. At WrestleMania XXVII Triple H lost which extended Undertaker’s undefeated streak to 19-0, however Undertaker was carried from the ring in a stretcher whereas Triple H left the ring of his own volition.
At the end of the July 18, 2011 Raw, Triple H returned on behalf of WWE’s board of directors to relieve his father-in-law Vince McMahon of his duties. This was followed by the announcement that he had been assigned to take over as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the WWE. This was during a storyline where CM Punk had won the WWE Championship and left the company. Though a new champion was crowned, Triple H helped re-sign CM Punk and upheld both championship reigns. He announced he would referee a match to unify both WWE Championships at SummerSlam. Although he counted a pinfall for CM Punk to win, John Cena’s leg was on the ropes which would break the pin. Regardless, Triple H’s longtime friend Kevin Nash attacked Punk immediately after the match to allow Alberto Del Rio to become champion. Though Nash and Punk demanded a match against each other, Triple H fired Nash for insubordination and booked himself in a No Disqualification match at Night Of Champions with his position of COO on the line.[ He won the match despite interference from John Laurinaitis, Nash, The Miz and R-Truth.
After repeated attacks from these wrestlers in various matches, the majority of WWE’s on-screen staff gave Triple H a vote of no confidence. Mr. McMahon returned to relieve him of his duties on Raw though he remained COO. He was replaced as General Manager of Raw by Laurinaitis, who booked him in a tag team match against Miz and R-Truth at Vengeance. During the match, Nash once again attacked him and did so the following night on the October 24 Raw, hospitalizing him. WWE later announced that Triple H had sustained a fractured vertebrae, and would be out of action. He returned on December 12, as part of the Slammy Awards. On December 18, he defeated Nash at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in Sledgehammer Ladder Match, after attacking him with a sledgehammer.
Triple H returned on the January 30 edition of Raw, to evaluate Laurinaitis’ performance as General Manager. Before he could announce the decision, he was interrupted by the returning Undertaker. After initially refusing the rematch as he did not want to tarnish Undertaker’s legacy, Triple H accepted the challenge after being called a coward who lives in Shawn Michaels’ shadow, on the condition their rematch be contested inside Hell in a Cell. Triple H went on to lose this match at WrestleMania XXVIII.
Triple H returned on the April 30 Raw, when he refused to give in to Brock Lesnar’s unreasonable contract demands, resulting in Lesnar attacking him and storyline breaking his arm. Upon his return two weeks later, Triple H was confronted by Lesnar’s legal representative, Paul Heyman, who announced Lesnar was filing a lawsuit against WWE for breach of contract. After he acosted Heyman, Heyman threatened another lawsuit against Triple H for assault and battery. At the No Way Out in June, Triple H challenged Lesnar, who was not present, to a match at SummerSlam which Heyman refused on Lesnar’s behalf the following night on Raw. At Raw 1000, Stephanie McMahon managed to goad Heyman into accepting her husband’s challenge against Lesnar. To anger Triple H, Lesnar broke his best friend Shawn Michaels’s arm on the August 13 Raw. Six days later at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Triple H via submission after once again breaking his arm.
On the August 27, 2012 Raw, Triple H was supposed to address his potential retirement, but did not make a definitive decision.
Triple H returned on the February 25, 2013 Raw, brawling with Brock Lesnar after he attempted to attack Vince McMahon. The brawl resulted in Lesnar having his head split open and requiring 18 stitches.The following week, Triple H issued a challenge to Lesnar, requesting a rematch with him at WrestleMania 29, which Lesnar accepted on the condition that he could choose the stipulation. The following week, after Triple H signed the contract and assaulted Heyman, the stipulation was revealed as No Holds Barred with Triple H’s career on the line. Triple H went on to win the match after hitting Lesnar with a Pedigree onto the steel steps. On the April 15 Raw, Heyman challenged Triple H to face Lesnar in a Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules, which Triple H accepted the following week. Triple H ended up losing the match at the pay-per-view on May 19 thanks to interference from Heyman, where he also injured his jaw.
The next night on Raw, Triple H wrestled Heyman’s newest client, Curtis Axel. He suffered a storyline concussion and was deemed to have forfeited. Despite being medically cleared to wrestle before the June 3 Raw, Vince and Stephanie McMahon did not allow Triple H to wrestle Axel, citing concerns for his well-being and the safety of his children. In response, Triple H stormed out the arena and vowed to return to the ring next week on Raw. On that episode, he lost to Axel when McMahon dubiously disqualified him, ordered Axel to leave the ring, then stole the bell and microphone to prevent the match from being restarted.
Triple H refereed the John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan WWE Championship match at SummerSlam. After Bryan won the match and the title, Triple H gave Bryan a Pedigree so that Randy Orton could cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase, therefore turning heel for the first time since 2006. Along with his wife Stephanie, they created The Authority, with The Shield as his enforcers and later Kane joining as the Director of Operations. Over the coming weeks he set up handicap matches against any wrestlers who questioned his decisions, such as Big Show and Dolph Ziggler, even firing Cody Rhodes in retaliation for the latter’s insolence. On the October 7 edition of RAW he was knocked out by Big Show and was carried out by officials out of the arena.On the December 9 Slammy Award special edition of RAW, Triple H would immediately Pedigree Orton after Daniel Bryan shoved the WWE Champion onto Stephanie McMahon, despite Orton’s shock