YMMV / Triple H

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In his video, ''Wrestling Isn't Wrestling", Max Landis presents the interpretation that Triple H, the character, is really still Hunter Hearst Helmsley at heart; a blue blood snob, told from an early age that he was the best, only to find that once he entered the world of pro wrestling, he was overshadowed throughout his career by superior personalities and talents, creating a serious inferiority complex, sense of paranoia, and delusions of grandeur.
    • This probably reads too deep into what is, essentially, a by-product of Kliq politics... Which itself is by-product of Hulk Hogan politicking. (Hogan was Bobby Fischer; Hunter is a kid playing Whack-a-Mole.)
  • Base Breaker: He is probably THE best example of a Broken Base in professional wrestling. Depending on whom you ask, he is either a glory hound who's accused of using politics to hold back those he feels are a threat to his position, or one of the greatest wrestlers of this generation or any other who has fully earned the right to abuse politics to his advantage; or if he isn't abusing politics, he's the best wrestler and would be doing his company a disservice by not being on top.
    OOC: I find it difficult to distinguish the wrestler and the man. All right? Triple H, I'm blinded with hatred and always have been.
    • To elaborate: during 1999 to 2001, Hunter was an astonishing worker and in-ring talent; his 2000 street fight with Mick Foley at the Royal Rumble has to be seen to be believed. However, he was never the same after his first quad injury. About the same time, Stephanie McMahon became the chief creative authority for WWE...which was also the point that Trips went from simply being an already over-hyped (though talented) wrestler and champion to a physical god who simply could not be defeated under any circumstances by anyone, no matter how talented or capable. Combined with the widespread (and insider-confirmed) rumors about his backstage obsessions with winning at all times, he's come across as as a viciously self-centered individual. The final issue is that he is clearly responsible for the burial of several wrestlers' careers, sometimes defeating credible opponents (like Booker T at WrestleMania XIX) in appallingly one-sided squash matches (he waited a full 23 seconds to make the pin to ram home to the crowd just how inferior a wrestler Booker was). Basically, Trips has actual talent, and he could have been a huge force to elevate others and make wrestling truly great, but he is often just too self-serving to do the industry much good.
      • He eventually mellowed out some. The next few WrestleManias saw him getting beat by Chris Benoit (via submission), Batista, John Cena (again by submission), and Randy Orton respectively. It'd take him six years to win at WrestleMania again (against Orton). Also, after losing to Batista, Triple H wouldn't win another world title for two and a half years, and when he did win it, it was only for two hours as he lost it the same night.
      • For quite some time now, he has been heavily involved in putting over younger stars. Circa 2014, he put over Bryan and the Shield in back to back great matches. Even at this Wrestlemania, he lost to the emerging company face Roman Reigns. He has been known for going out of his way to put over guys he feel deserves the push- Batista, Benoit, Benjamin, Jeff Hardy etc.
      • Let's play Devil's Advocate. During the first couple of years of his "Reign of Terror", Trips was one of the few stars WWE had who could deliver the goods fairly consistently. This wasn't a great period for WWE in terms of star power: Austin walked out after disagreements about how he was booked, The Rock was making movies half the time, Hulk Hogan's nostalgia run didn't give business the expected boost, and Chris Jericho wasn't getting as over as WWE hoped. When old WCW stars like Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash were brought in, fan response was lukewarm at best, and Triple H definitely did much better than them in terms of in-ring work. Though we can't quite excuse him for all that he was involved in (most notably Katie Vick and the aforementioned Booker T match), he did help the company to stabilize a bit until Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Orton, Cena, and even Brock Lesnar were ready for bigger pushes.
    • A number of people ranging from Bret Hart to Jim Cornette have said that HHH is a good wrestler, but not a great wrestler, and while a solid worker, is not skilled or innovative enough to be headliner material. They also claim that Hunter's talents would be best served as a Jobber To The Stars, but lucky circumstances during the Monday Night Wars and his family connections have pushed him beyond a level he would ordinarily have reached.
      • To be fair, it is a tad difficult to take their opinions very seriously. Bret Hart, in particular is often derided for making downright egregious statements regarding anything involving Hunter. For example, he accuses Hunter of going after the bodybuilders and neglecting the good wrestlers, whereas Vince understands their worth. The average wrestling fan knows quite the opposite is true. Vince is a nut for big guys- Hogan, Warrior, Andre, Khali etc.,whereas Hunter is a strong advocate of great in-ring talents like Rollins, Owens, Balor and so on. Hart shit on the main roster product blaming HHH's bad booking( who is known to have minimal creative inputs), whereas simultaneously praising NXT takeover shows which are booked by- you guessed it, HHH. He repeatedly calls HHH out on his wrestling abilities, famously rating the highly acclaimed Undertaker-HHH bout from Wrestlemania XXVIII a 4/10. Same goes for Cornette, who admits he was so angry at HHH for the Curtain Call incident that he would have fired him on the spot. (In hindsight, it may not have been a good decision after all).
    • There's also the rumor that when he was about to win his first World Title at SummerSlam 1999, Stone Cold Steve Austin refused to lose the belt to him. They had to make a 3 way dance with Austin, HHH and Mick Foley, with Foley beating Austin and HHH beating Foley the next night on Raw. Between that and taking the sole punishment for the incident where The Kliq broke kayfabe as Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were leaving, it's understandable why he might want to be in a politically powerful position.
    • A new factor has come with reports that TV tapings headed by HHH are said to be less stressful than ones ran under Vince. Taking into account Helmsley's affinity for southern-style angles and concepts (he's pushed for a War Games match for years), and wanting the product to be focused on the workers and not sideshows (he was vocal in his disdain for the Diva Search), many are starting to welcome the idea of Triple H taking over for Vince and being a counter-point for his wife (said to be exactly like Vince). Much to their horror.
      • Especially against Kevin Dunn, the brains behind the Diva Search and Katie Vick (which, let's be honest, was just as humiliating and degrading for him to do as it was for Kane- at least Kane wasn't the one who had to actually hump a dummy).
      • If his management of NXT is anything to go by (he's basically considered the "real father" of NXT as a developmental ground rather than the fake competition show it used to be) this perception is highly accurate. Even when he's a heel in WWE, he's always cheered when he makes an appearance on NXT.
      • Even so, there's a list of reason the word is "many" as opposed to "nearly all" or even "most" (though it does get up to that level when NXT has a particularly awesome show [e.g. Takeover: R-Evolution] or the main roster gets especially terrible [e.g. Survivor Series 2015]). For starts? The constant 30-minute Authority promos. The condescending parent attitude he and Stephanie take on the main roster even when talking to their storyline allies. The reports that he wanted to keep the "disappointed dad" routine going with Seth Rollins. The fact that Stephanie is the direct heir(ess) to the throne and "his" takeover would still see him as her second-in-command. Royal Rumble 2014 effectively being Kliq-a-Mania. The opening promo the night after Survivor Series 2015 effectively making the preceding month's Tournament Arc all about him. Yes, it is pretty unanimously agreed that Vince needs to step down and the Helmsleys can't make things worse. However, there's plenty of material to give people pause about exactly how much better WWE will get once it's fully under their authority.
    • Also interestingly enough, Triple H has, in-universe, become the very guy his detractors have accused him of being in real life - although he's yet to crank the self-parody up to Vince McMahon levels.
    • One particularly idiotic moment is Armageddon 2003. He won the title pinning Goldberg after a Kane chokeslam. What's stupid about this one, you may ask? This is literally the only time Goldberg was EVER downed by a finisher. Every other time needed a taser, chairshot, lead pipe etc
    • Given Helmsley's reputation of using his backstage power to his advantage, it must be said that he had the chance to end Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak THREE times. Undertaker won all three matches. Make of that what you will.
  • Creator Worship: Ironically enough, yes. There is a clear discrepancy in how NXT is run in comparison to the main roster shows. A large enough discrepancy that Hunter (and by extension, Stephanie) is ostensibly a face there while playing heel on RAW and SmackDown, as it became gradually obvious that, unlike Vince, they honestly listen to the fans for feedback and are appreciative of the audience. Which is why more and more people are yearning that they stop the whole Authority thing and leave TV and take more direct backstage roles instead ("take over the company", to be exact), as it's obvious that they would do a far better job than Vince at this point, though many admit that doing so wouldn't be all that hard.
    • After Survivor Series 2015, many were outright begging for Hunter to take over. A lot of the above postulated reasons on Hunter's running of NXT is often cited, but when it comes down to it, it all amounts to the fact that he actually gives a damn. Vince's reputation after that PPV has fallen so far that many are already considering him a Fallen Creator much in the vein of (ironically) Eric Bischoff.
  • Crossing the Line Twice: Triple H did this on a regular basis during the original days of DeGeneration X (see Crowning Moment Of Funny). He also crossed the line about thirty times during the Katie Vick angle.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: His 2002 return in Madison Square Garden, which earned him arguably one of the single loudest pops in the history of the industry.
    • While the pop for his return on 2-21-11 wasn't as loud, he gets bonus points for also interrupting the return of the freaking Undertaker
    • His 2000 run is considered to be the pinnacle of his career. To elaborate, he was widely considered the best wrestler in the world circa 2000-2001 prior to his quad injury- winning multiple wrestler of the year awards and having several classic matches at consecutive ppvs.
    • Either of his major quadricep injuries. You can see the muscle seperate and he insists on finishing out the match. Even led to an interesting moment where one of his opponents (I think Edge?) looks visibly concerned as they try to finish the match. Say what you will about the guy, he plays through the pain.
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome / Leitmotif / Villain Song : His theme songs ("The Game", "Line in the Sand", "The King of Kings") are performed by Motörhead, who would perform them live at WrestleMania X-Seven and 21 (Ironically, he lost in both those Wrestlemanias).
    • He also used "My Time".
    • His special pre-entrance theatrics at Wrestlemania XXVII were set to "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Metallica.
  • Crowning Moment Of Funny: His response to the hypothetical question of "what if the Montreal Screwjob had happened to Shawn instead of Bret?"
    Nothing. We're not that stupid.
  • Dork Age: Triple H's career took a hit during the Katie Vick debacle. Then, in 2003, he kept having mediocre to outright bad feuds with the likes of Goldberg, Kevin Nash, and (most infamously) Scott Steiner. This run, right off the heels of his quad tear and when he was most shamelessly hogging the World Heavyweight Championship for himself, is considered the worst of his career.
  • Draco in Leather Pants/Ron the Death Eater: He's both, oddly enough. His consistently high-quality matches and Evil Is Cool persona as a heel have gotten him cheered against faces like Scott Steiner, especially after the "Double-Underhook-what-the-fuck-was-that" and against uber-Face and Base Breaker John Cena, but his reputation for backstage trouble and tendency to bury other wrestlers has gotten him a lot of hate when wrestling as champion. The moral of this story? Wrestling fans are weird.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Thanks to the clear discrepancy in the way Triple H has been running NXT and the way Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn have been running the main roster shows (especially RAW) and pay-per-views, more and more fans (and even a lot of the wrestlers) are now looking forward to seeing him take over from Vince and Kevin Dunn and hoping it happens sooner than later. Yes, it's true. Not only does the online fandom actually like Triple H now, they WANT him to get more power.
  • Foe Yay: Has it with The Undertaker, most notably, as well as Shawn Michaels when they were feuding from '02-'05 and boatloads of it with Randy Orton in their 2009 feud.
  • Fridge Brilliance comes in when taking into account that his heel runs has him play a massive dick.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment / Hilarious in Hindsight, depending on your POV: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were "married" (and later divorced) in a story line. During this very storyline, Triple H and McMahon actually began dating in real life, meaning Steph stole him from Chyna, and later married and had children. After the "McMahon-Helmsley" storyline, their relationship - on-screen or off - was never mentioned until the "Randy Orton attacks the McMahon family" angle in 2009, which led to the real-life relationship being acknowledged on a few occasions; oddly enough, these moments are usually hilarious.
    • Of course when DX reunited in 2006 there were several references to the real life relationship, from H musing the guy who got Steph pregnant must have a bazooka to Shawn accusing him of knowing who the father was to mocking the McMahons with a photo of Vince, Shane, and a photoshop of Stephanie's baby: of course it was a terrible job of Triple H.
    • He began his career as a rich New England blue-blood, Kayfabe of course, now while he's at the height of his career he is a rich New England blue-blood, in Real Life this time. He was born in New Hampshire, is one of the most successful wrestlers ever, and has married into the royalty of Wrestling, the McMahons.
    • Triple H's comments to CM Punk while the latter was running the Straight Edge Society.
      "You don't drink, you don't do drugs, you don't smoke...okay, neither do I, but then again, I don't look like I've been on a week-long crack binge with Amy Winehouse."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Triple H and Shawn Michaels as D-Generation X parodied Vince and Shane McMahon, Triple H came out wearing a full suit and tie. That was in 2006. In 2011, Triple H is the Kayfabe boss, and suits and ties are exactly what he wears to the ring.
  • Ho Yay: Hilariously subverts it with Edge and Orton: "You want to do WHAT to my ass?!". Plays it straight and then some with Shawn Michaels.
    "I'm Bi- a lot of things, but lingual isn't one of them."
  • Internet Backdraft: Does Triple H deserve his top billing? How much influence does Stephanie have over his pushes? Is he responsible for the changes in WWE?
  • Magnificent Bastard: In-character, he took over WWE by marrying the boss's daughter on the night before her wedding to Test, retroactively tried to murder Stone Cold Steve Austin, tried to end his best friend's career, and can always be counted on for whenever the plot calls for Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. In Real Life, he really did marry the boss's daughter and, as part of that and The Kliq, more or less is the most powerful active wrestler in the business, with significant influence over his own storylines. He is also legitimately one of the company's best wrestlers. His two most influential career moments are probably his Face–Heel Turn at WrestleMania XV, which cemented him in this trope, and his brutal match with Mick Foley at Royal Rumble 2000, which was his first great match as champion, a position fans at that time thought he'd cheated his way to in both Kayfabe and in real life. And since actually going into the office as well as running the developmental brand version of NXT, his show-running style and appeal has received so much acclaim compared to Vince McMahon's ways that fans, wrestlers, and investors alike want him to take over the company's overall product direction.
  • Memetic Mutation: Triple H would like to inform you that HE. IS. THE GAME! AND HE IS THAT. DAMN. GOOD!!!
    • He would also like to ask you if you are ready. NO, TV TROPES, HE SAID AAAAAAARE YOOOOU READDDDDDYYYY?!
    • AH HOO HOO HUH HUH HUH HUH HUH!
    • LLLLLLLLEEEET'S GET READY TO SUCK IT!
    • Triple H vs. Broomstick in the Wrestlemania main event!
    • Ending his sentences with this sound-ah!
    • AM I FUCKING GOING OVER?!?
    • IT'S BEST FOR BUSINESS!
    • It's Burying Time!
  • Narm Charm: Hunter's entrance at Wrestlemania 30 had him come out on stage sitting atop an Iron Throne like chair, surrounded by concubines while wearing a cape and iron cross collar, and a chainmail coif and skull mask that would not look out of place on Shao Khan's head all to the theme of "O Verona". It is so over-the-top and ridiculous, but so fitting for Triple H's character that it still comes off as awesome.
  • Never Live It Down: A typical Smart Mark response towards a Triple H victory is "OMG TRIPLE H BERRIES HIS OPPONENT, LULZ!" This is made much worse when he actually lives up to the response, such as when he assaulted the team of Paul London and Brian Kendrick after they'd ran in to make the save for him for no reason.
    • Also amongst the Smarks, Katie Vick (see below).
    • Triple H's tendency to bury younger talents in the days of Evolution was so bad that when Shelton Benjamin & Gregory Helms saw that Benjamin's first match on the Raw roster after his move from SmackDown was against Triple H, Helms reportedly turned to Benjamin & told him how to take the Pedigree, and that was all he needed to know about working with Triple H. Ironically, that was the beginning of the multiple upset victories Shelton got over HHH that legitimized him as a singles star.
  • Nightmare Fuel: This picture from the 2010 Elimination Chamber once Trips entered the match.
  • Older Than They Think: The "Reign Of Terror" between 2002-2005 is what most fans point to when they talk about Triple H's backstage politics to get out of jobbing but according to Konnan, Triple H had well been doing this since at least 2001. In Triple H's defense, Konnan only brought it up to compare how mild Triple H was compared to what he had to deal with in WCW.
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: Never mind that there aren't enough plausible things to blame/hold against him, theories abound from Triple H brainwashing Vince McMahon into thinking he was behind the success of the attitude era (to explain how the Reign of Terror happened) to purposefully making the main roster shows worse (even though his individual effort probably isn't any worse than it was during the reign of terror, Nostalgia Filter for a Dork Age, imagine that) to his NXT involvement being a deliberate effort to kill the United States independent circuit (even though over 98% of its success stories cut their teeth on said circuit, making one question why he'd want to do such a thing). It's probably an indication of how cynical a lot of fans have gotten thanks to the recent running of the main roster shows.
  • Protection from Editors/Wag the Director: During the press rounds for SmackDown Vs RAW 2011, a memo was leaked where WWE HQ asked everyone who was covering the game to not use any screenshots in which Triple H was in a vulnerable or losing position.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: 2003 was a very bad year for Triple H in terms of fan appeal, although he closed out out with a great title defense against Shawn Michaels on RAW that was PPV quality.. He then kicked off 2004 with a Last Man Standing match against Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble that got a standing ovation. Then WrestleMania of that year saw an excellent triple threat match between him, Shawn, and Chris Benoit and an equally awesome rematch at Backlash. This trilogy of matches (as well as his long period of jobbing to Batista the next year) redeemed Triple H in many fans' eyes. During this period, he also jobbed to IWC darling Shelton Benjamin thrice in a row.
    • Many members of the IWC who still held a grudge against him for his shovel period, found themselves approving of most of his behind-the-scenes executive decisions and eagerly awaiting the day Triple H takes over the WWE from Vince, thanks to his old-school NWA-style mindset.
    • Playing a great heel opposite Daniel Bryan leading into WrestleMania XXX, then putting him over like a million bucks on Bryan's way to a memorable title run that night also had a lot of the IWC applauding HHH playing the perfect foil that made the triumph all the sweeter.
    • Wrestlers rubbed the wrong way by Triple H such as Rob Van Dam and Paul London have said he became much more tolerable after his semi retirement in the 2010s, to the point they went from "done" with WWE to at least "open" to his offers to return.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Triple H can get this reaction. Especially if the opponent in question is the guy audiences hate more than him.
    • On the February 22, 2016 edition of RAW, Hunter savagely attacked Roman Reigns, smashing his head on the announce table several times, bloodying his nose and giving him a Pedigree on the steel steps. Under normal circumstances, it would reestablish his cred as one of the most hated men in wrestling history. The issue is that the Reigns hate had reached an all-time high due to the conclusion of Fastlane the previous night and the fact that the company kept trying to turn him into Samoan John Cena note . Hence, instead of acquiring massive heat for Triple H and sympathy for Reigns, the Detroit crowd, down to the women and children, marked the hell out, chanting for him to give Reigns another Pedigree and acting like he was the second coming of the recently retired Daniel Bryan. Hunter working the crowd and basking in their reaction by giving DX crotch chops certainly did not help matters. It took him giving a similar beating to Dean Ambrose, the most popular superstar on the roster with Daniel Bryan's retirement, to get any real heel heat.
    • Wrestlemania XXII against John Cena is probably the most famous example, with the rabid crowd vocally cheering every Hunter moves and booing Cena out of the building accompanied by various non-PG chants. He was also heavily cheered in his bouts against Scott Steiner despite playing the dastardly heel.
    • WrestleMania XXXII: Triple H and Stephanie do everything they can to get heel heat and in classic WWE fashion they employ all of their worst tactics. They meta tell the audience to go to hell, they pipe in fake boos for H and cut the crowd mics on Reigns' intro as he receives the loudest boo in WWE history. He has a look of disbelief on his face for half the match as he can't believe how much they hate Reigns. In spite of a five hour show the crowd has plenty of energy left to boo. The outcome is so predictable people start to leave; the shots of Roman's fireworks outside the arena even showed cars leaving.
      • It didn't help matters, however, that the match itself was structured in a way that seemed to benefit nothing other than the notion of "Roman Reigns is getting his Wrestlemania Moment, GODDAMMIT!!!" For starters, the pacing of the match was off: if the story leading up to this event was that Triple H and Roman Reigns fucking hate each other, then why would you start the match off engaging in mat wrestling, with multiple hammerlocks and chin locks and the like? They should be trying to kill each other! Second, a Wrestlemania crowd isn't necessarily the "mark" (re: casual) crowd: these are people who are shelling out a lot of money to watch it all live. Thus, they are passionate about the product and are probably the type of people that care about coherence in plot and execution. Thus, they're smart to the "old" tricks: they cheered when Roman Reigns speared Stephanie McMahon, sure, but it turned back to boos in two seconds because they recognized it as a cheap effort to get them excited. They booed when Roman Reigns kicked out of the Pedigree, because they knew that this was a shallow attempt to advocate how strong Roman is! And they booed when Roman Reigns hit the spear on Triple H, because they knew that there was no way in hell that HHH was kicking out. But maybe the bigger problem was that the match took forever.
  • Tearjerker:
    • The end of the 10/3/11 RAW, when all of the other superstars, referees, cameramen, and divas walked out on Triple H and he turned and saw one man left, his friend Jim Ross... who promptly got up and left him, leaving him all alone.
    • Randy Orton's ousting from The Authority. Hunter couldn't even watch as Kane and Rollins delivered the finishing blows.
    • Chyna's death. Despite their relationship since the break-up, Hunter and Chyna had still been together for close to four years. If there was anyone Hunter did love other than Stephanie McMahon, it was Chyna. No matter what you think about Hunter, there is no doubt he must have taken her death hard, especially since they never got to mend fences and now, never will. Those who recorded and/or watched a house show match of his in Paris just two days after the news broke remarked that he looked absolutely haggard in the match. The only thing he can do from his side after this is to work together with Steph and family to fulfill what Chyna couldn't get in life: A place in the Hall of Fame, after years of her being prohibited from it.
  • Troll: A big part of his recent heel character. From "Aww, did someone not get what they wanted?" on the Raw after the Royal Rumble to saying he should vent his frustrations with angry tweets and then vow to never watch again (along with his friend Mark).
  • Unfortunate Implications: There is a reason why his feud with Booker T was controversial. And lets leave it at that.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: He comes off as The Woobie after losing clean to Bryan, running a very successful NXT, and trying his best to fill the shoes Vince left behind and still gets pissed on for "burying" talent and sleeping to the top, even after putting on multiple solid matches as well as taking part in epic feuds with The Rock, Steve Austin, and Chris Jericho during the beloved Attitude Era.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Take a look at his public image following the CM Punk tell-all session on Colt Cabana's podcast vs. his public image following NXT Takeover 3: R-Evolution. He went from looking just as bad if not worse than his widely-considered-to-be-out-of-touch father-in-law to getting back all the support he'd lost for his coming rise to power and turning it Up to Eleven.
  • X-Pac Heat: Usually Heel Triple H is Love to Hate-able, but fans quickly got sick of The Authority when they continued to take up screen time and rarely ever got their comeuppance. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Roman Reigns, who the fans didn't want to hate but nonetheless resented because the company spent months booking him as another John Cena, managed to get over in ten minutes simply by beating the crap out of Hunter, who sold the hell out of it.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TripleH