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The Cerebral Assassin.
The King of Kings.
The Game.

"You guys talk about being 'students of the game'? I am the fucking Game, J.R.! There is nobody that eats, sleeps, and breathes this business more than me!"
Triple H, during a 1999 interview with Jim Ross

Behold the King...the King of Kings!On your knees, dawg!

Triple H, or Hunter Hearst Helmsley if you prefer (not Paul Michael Levesque, born July 27, 1969), is an American business executive best known for having been one of WWE's longest tenured performers before announcing his in-ring retirement in March 2022. He is a nine-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and has been part of some of the biggest angles and matches in the company's history.

He is currently the company's on-screen Chief Operating Officer and holds several backstage positions in real life, namely as the Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President of Talent Development and Relations, as well as a "Senior Advisor" to WWE co-founder and Executive Chairman Vince McMahon. His position as Development EVP means that the developmental show WWE NXT is a major focus of his, and he was also given creative control of the then-floundering WWE 205 Live in January 2018.

He received his first induction into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the 2019 group induction for D-Generation X — though, considering his vast contribution to wrestling as a whole, both in and out of the squared circle, he's bound to receive more in the future.

He got married (yes, for real — kayfabe made things kinda weird here, we know) to Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon's daughter, in 2003; the two have three children.

In June 2019, unknown to the world or even to himself, Trips would wrestle his final matches; after largely staying behind the scenes during the COVID-19 Pandemic, he suffered a bout of viral pneumonia and subsequently experienced a "cardiac event" which permanently damaged his heart. He later went on to elaborate that he suffered an almost complete blockage of a major artery in his heart and narrowly escaped a 99%+ chance of death, requiring him to use an implanted pacemaker to prevent future catastrophes. In so making this announcement, he also brought an end to his in-ring career, permanently retiring from competition as of March 2022.

In light of Vince McMahon's official retirement from power in July of 2022, Triple H returned to his position of EVP of Talent Development and Relations, as well as taking over the creative and booking duties, while his wife Stephanie and business partner Nick Khan were appointed co-Presidents of the company. As of 2024, following his wife's resignation from her post and his father-in-law's banishment from the wrestling industry following more and more horrific allegations against him, Triple H — more than now-solo President Nick Khan, TKO board member Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, even TKO CEO Ari Emanuel — is the de facto leader of WWE, presiding over a period of nearly universal critical acclaim for the company.

"Behold the trope... the trope of tropes!":

  • 10-Minute Retirement: After his 2012 feud with Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman had repeatedly warned him he was past his prime, though after losing to Lesnar he actually started to wonder if the Jerkass Has a Point and stated he had a lot of thinking to do. Shortly after Lesnar returned to harass his father in law in 2013 however, HHH showed up to make the save.
  • The Ace: Is this in-character and out of it. He was nicknamed "The Ace of Spades" on one occasion by Matt Striker, which coincidentally is also the title of a song by Motörhead, who has provided Triple H's entrance themes for years.
  • Action Dad: Triple H has three daughters, and they are well-acknowledged as part of his character.
    • Stephanie was pregnant with his first daughter during his D-X reunion run with Shawn Michaels in 2006, with in-jokes made about it as their characters were still last known to be divorced.
    • Sometime after their real-life marriage was acknowledged and they were confirmed remarried in storyline, Paul Heyman once provoked Hunter and Stephanie into assaulting him by bringing up the bad examples they were to their kids, before Brock Lesnar came to Heyman's rescue.
    • Seth Rollins, tired of being ducked after his ouster from The Authority, would threaten to come to their house and greet their kids at the door, implying that he intended to beat up Triple H in front of his own daughters in order to get his revenge. This got Stephanie to reveal that she lied and Hunter was on his way, but she was still composed enough not to spoil the fact that Hunter was bringing Samoa Joe with him.
  • Affably Evil: In-character. He's charming and funny (especially during his days with D-Generation X), and when he dedicates himself to a cause, he really gives it his all. It's just that if that cause is himself (and it frequently is), he genuinely does not care how much damage he causes to others.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Somewhat. Usually when having a tender moment, be it with Shawn or the NXT talents, he has many cases of affectionately cupping their face or touching his forehead to theirs.
  • Alliterative Name: When he was Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the basis for his most known ring name of Triple H.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Batista. Discounting TV matches, Hunter was never able to best Batista with the World Title on the line during their rivalry in 2005. It took Batista beating him at three straight PPV matches (WrestleMania 21, Backlash and a Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance) for Triple H to come to terms with the fact that Batista was not only the better man, but that he had truly evolved into the "Animal" and the champion that Hunter had hoped he would someday become.
    • "Shawn Michaels is better" something of a meme among the WWE Universe. Fans even chanted it at DX when they inducted Mike Tyson into the Hall of Fame.
    • Max Landis presents the (rather credible) theory that "Always Someone Better" are the best three words to sum up Triple H's entire career in his Affectionate Parody video Wrestling Isn't Wrestling.
  • Apologises a Lot: Can fall into this with Stephanie, such as repeated apologies for upsetting her by hugging Chyna and not telling her. But the best example is with Shawn after Brock broke his arm, and Triple H was powerless to prevent it.
    Triple H: [as Shawn writhes on the mat in agony] Shawn, it's gonna be all right, man. It's gonna be all right. I'm sorry! Shawn, I'm sorry! Shawn, I'm sorry, man.
  • Appropriated Appellation: He also got his most well-known nickname from the page quote, which wasn't just a work to create the moniker.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • CM Punk. In real life. According to Punk's explanation of why he left WWE (see episode 226 of Colt Cabana's podcast), WWE expected him to shut up, get paid, and be happy; there were plenty of workers lined up behind him who are good company men. But Punk is highly opinionated, dangerously smart, knows how to save his bucks so he's not interested in money (insofar as receiving equal pay goes), and couldn't give a rat's ass about authority. When he singled out Triple H for mismanaging his career, he made it personal and Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were livid over being crapped on in full view of the IWC. Their hatred actually showed a bit too much when they had feuds on TV, to the point that both men would get carried away in the heat of their promos so much, they would start arguing about their real life problems in the ring.
      • However, Hunter went on record to say he's willing to bury the hatchet (at least publicly) with Punk if he's willing to come back, as he believes it would be what's (legit) best for business. Hunter has a proven record of being good at mending fences (as the manager of the WWE Hall of Fame he managed to convince both Bruno Sammartino and the Ultimate Warrior to accept induction after years of refusing to have anything to do with it), so it's believable enough. Seeing how Punk finally came back at Survivor Series, it's safe to say it's worked, at least for now.
    • Bret Hart. In real life as well. Bret might actually hate Hunter more than he did Shawn, with whom he has long since buried the hatchet. It's a mutual feeling, if a little less obvious or more ignored on Hunter's end. With Bret, you can't trust him to give an unbiased view about something if it involves Hunter in any capacity.
    • Randy Orton. With him, it became so personal that Orton had the audacity to attack Hunter's extended family— the McMahons, including his wife Stephanie McMahon. Orton even hit Stephanie with a DDT and then kissed her as she laid on the mat, unconscious, while Triple H (handcuffed to the turnbuckle) was forced to watch. Hunter himself retaliated by attacking Randy in his own home, including beating the crap out of him on his own front lawn. He then vowed to (and legitimately attempted to, in kayfabe) break Randy Orton's neck at WrestleMania XXV.
    • Roman Reigns. While Evolution and The Shield hate each other well enough, the one Reigns eventually came to hate the most was Hunter, even if his initial issues were with Randy Orton. As of this writing, Hunter has manipulated Reigns's surrogate little brother Seth Rollins into betraying both him and his other surrogate brother Dean Ambrose, helped Rollins win the Money in the Bank briefcase that would screw him out of his WrestleMania moment, and helped Rollins put Ambrose through physical and emotional hell. Then after he endorsed Sheamus and the League of Nations and pulled the same crap with him. Reigns eventually snapped and beat Triple H so bad that he had to be hospitalized. Hunter retaliated by eliminating him and Ambrose from the Royal Rumble to win his fourteenth world title. Once he got a shot at the title again, Reigns ambushed Triple H week after week leading up to WrestleMania 32 before taking the title from Hunter at 'Mania.
    • The Undertaker, a feud that begun near the end of the Attitude Era and continued 10 years later. Hunter was also the only person Taker fought with at three different WrestleManias. When Hunter boasted that there was no one in the company he hasn't beaten yet, Taker showed up and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania X-Seven in which Taker was victorious, extending the streak to 9-0. Ten years later, the feud was renewed and Triple H was determined to do what Shawn Michaels couldn't do in the previous two years. At WrestleMania XXVII, Triples gave everything he got but ultimately submitted to the Hell's Gate. However, Undertaker collapsed after the match and he was unsatisfied with his victory. Thus, 10 months later, he challenged Tripes to another match. A match dubbed as an "End of an Era" match between them was scheduled WrestleMania XXVIII in a Hell in a Cell match with HBK as the special guest referee. Once again, Undertaker was victorious, further extending the streak to 20-0 and ending his feud with Triple H for a while. Seven years later the feud began again with the two decide to face-off for The Last Time Ever, as it was named. Kane & Shawn were at ringside to help their respective brothers. With help from Shawn, Triple H gets the win to end their personal rivalry. An emotional Hunter hugs Shawn and goes to help up Undertaker with words of respect, followed by an emotional hug to him as well. Sadly the Brothers of Destruction didn't take kindly to the loss & attacked Hunter & Shawn with a Tombstone for the former and the latter getting put through the announce table. They help each other from the arena, but this leads to the official reformation of DX with Shawn coming out of retirement to declare war on the Brothers, whom they have officially lost all respect for, leading to a match in 2019 Crown Jewel.
    • Seth Rollins from August 2016 to WrestleMania 33. After betraying the Shield in May 2014, Rollins became the face of the Authority and Hunter's golden boy for two years. On Raw August 29th 2016, Hunter attacked Rollins, costing him the Universal Championship. A few months later, he interfered with Rollins's match against Sami Zayn, costing him a place in the Royal Rumble. Fed up with him, Rollins went as far as showing up at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, demanding a match with Hunter, only to be escorted away. Hunter refused to challenge him, even sending Samoa Joe to re-injure his previously injured knee. Eventually, Triple H accepted the challenge and Rollins was victorious.
    • Arguably lesser examples include Shawn Michaels (between DX runs), Vince McMahon (between McMahon-Helmsley regime runs), Mick Foley, The Rock, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (Triple H and Austin reached the point that they've each tried to kill each other at consecutive Survivor Series events). Of course, a few of those people are Real Life friends of Triple H, and Vince McMahon is his Real Life father-in-law. However, he also made just as many enemies in Real Life.
  • The Artifact: The name "Triple H" comes from his original gimmick in the WWE where he was a snooty blueblood known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley. The name of his finishing move, the Pedigree, is likewise an artifact of his original gimmick. He's also still billed as from Greenwich, Connecticut (though he now actually lives there). Presumably, "Hunter Hearst Helmsley" is still his kayfabe "real name", since other wrestlers who are friendly with him in a given storyline will sometimes call him "Hunter", and he is even sometimes called this backstage. Hell, when he does something the fans love (such as when he revealed the new Cruiserweight Championship belt at the climax of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament) the crowd start cheering "Thank you Hunter!" *clap clap clapclapclap*
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • A marriage where the groom: kidnapped the bride (who was engaged to somebody else), drugged her to the point that she couldn't even remember the incident and was completely unconscious and unable to give consent, gave consent for her in a high-pitched voice and created videographic evidence that he did so, which he then showed on live national television. Yeah, that's completely legally binding. Of course, it turned out that the bride wasn't actually drugged at all and was in on it from the beginning, but this still applies since nobody raised the issue or, you know, called the cops about it. Especially since he "joked" that he raped her while she was knocked out.
    • Also, the follow up was Vince McMahon wrestling him in a match with the stipulation that the marriage would be nullified if Triple H lost. Yeah, sure.
  • Ascended Extra: He was a pretty minor character in WCW as Jean-Paul Levesque. In WWE, he was the Kliq's Designated Driver and "the guy who carried Shawn Michaels' bags." This was all before his unexpected rise to the main event following his split from D-Generation X, and his repeated runs with the World Heavyweight and WWE Championships. By the time he retired, Triple H had cemented himself as a Living Legend who deserved his spot in the Hall of Fame.
  • Ascended Meme: The March 14, 2014 episode of WWE SmackDown left no more pretenses.
    Triple H: I will put an end to your dreams and I will BURY DANIEL BRYAN!
  • At Least I Admit It: Triple H resorted to a lot of dirty tactics in his ascension to the main event and he won’t sugarcoat him doing it, only noting I Did What I Had to Do to make it to the top. During his program with Punk, he admitted in no certain terms that he stepped on a lot of people to get where he was and doesn’t begrudge anyone who does the same to get what they want, only criticizing Punk for what he believed was Punk doing the same thing but wrapping it up in being “the voice of the voiceless” to feel morally superior about it.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Triple H loves to make penis gags. Specifically, he loves to imply he has a giant one. Also, according to Mick Foley's The Hardcore Diairies, he was the one to note AC/DC's Brian Johnson's significant pants bulge to the other wrestlers during their time on Saturday Night Live.
    • He seems to be a real life Amazon Chaser. He dated Chyna for years, and now he's got Stephanie McMahon (who was never particularly fit before) working out heavily and making workout tapes with him. This also shows up in a lot of the promotional footage for the women of WWE NXT - they're much more likely to show videos of the women doing squats and chin-ups in the gym instead of wandering around the beach in bikinis.
    • His use of Motörhead for his entrance theme counts, though it was incidental. WWE's music director asked if he'd ever heard of Motörhead when it came time to do a new theme; it turns out Trips has been a huge fan of the band since his youth. So far, he got two songs for himself ("The Game" and "King of Kings") and one for his Power Stable Evolution. Hunter is such a big fan that the band itself (or simply their frontman Lemmy) has appeared at WWE events, including playing Trips out to the ring live at two separate WrestleManias.
    • By all accounts, WWE NXT is a running case of Author Appeal. He loves old school southern style wrestling with more of an emphasis on the wrestlers than other people. According to sources, NXT is sufficiently under Vince McMahon's radar, and is Triple H's "baby," and he's pretty much running it himself:
      • Since becoming head of Talent Development, he's signed Sin Cara as well as IWC favorite Awesome Kong, and has focused on the old-school style of using promos to introduce new wrestlers before calling them up. To the IWC's great delight, also, he has also reportedly made some tweaks in developmental, expressing (among other things) a desire to have the talents there learn to cut promos from bullet points rather than the writers writing the promos word-for-word.
      • He has been trying to talk Vince into resurrecting the WarGames match for years - which he finally managed to make happen in 2017 in NXT, booking a War Games match between SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain), The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong and The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) at the eponymous NXT TakeOver: WarGames event. It turned out to be a smashing success. While the first one was a heavily-modified version of the original WarGames format, the 2018 edition was (with the exception of the open-topped cage) a faithful recreation of the WCW original. With it subsequently becoming an annual event, the 2019 one even saw the first women's WarGames match (another example of this trope, as Trips is also noted for how hard he pushes the women on the roster). And, true to form, when he got control of main roster booking in 2022, one of the first things he did was announce that that year's Survivor Series would feature a pair of War Games matches.
      • Generally speaking, Triple H is a fan of old-school wrestling tropes such as using managers or valets to support wrestlers who need themnote  and Power Stablesnote . He also firmly believes in having a strong tag team wrestling scene, with NXT's tag division regularly being considered among the best in the entire world, and certainly better than that of either RAW or SmackDown. These tendencies become particularly noticeable when you compare with how these characters are used when they move to the main roster, since Vince is not a fan of any wrestler who can't stand on their ownnote  and has a disregard for tag team wrestling in general and dedicated tag teamsnote  in particularnote .
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Pedigree, while very painful-looking and cool, takes a while to set up in comparison to other finishing moves and leaves him to be easily countered in a myriad of ways (usually either a back body drop or hooking the legs for a slingshot), making it very hard to pull off next to a move like the RKO or Sweet Chin Music. This is more obvious when someone other than him tries using it, and even more obvious when Seth Rollins decided to adopt it as his Finishing Move in 2015 (especially on the "takes a while to set up" part).
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He typically wears suits during his heel runs, and ever since becoming the on-screen COO in 2011, a suit has almost become his exclusive attire whenever he is not in a match.
  • Bad Boss: Particularly after instaurating his "Best for Business" policy after SummerSlam 2013, which in short means "screw the faces over and piss off the crowd."
  • Bald of Evil: Triple H cut his hair to a close crew cut once his real-life responsibilities backstage increased, and consolidated into this when he turned heel at SummerSlam 2013.
  • Bash Brothers: With Shawn Michaels as part of DX. His third run with DX and subsequent reunion with Shawn was even motivated in part by Hunter wanting a strong ally again.
  • Beard of Barbarism: An interesting example. While by no means a face, he was clean-shaven during his early years under the "Connecticut Blueblood" gimmick, as a way to emphasize his snobbish holier-than-thou attitude and his penchant for proper etiquette. After forming D-Generation X with Shawn Michaels, and dropping the Blueblood gimmick, he began to grow a beard and began to wear Underwear of Power instead of his traditional tights, completing the transition with his "The Game" gimmick, in which he is now an untamed, sledgehammer-wielding larger-than-life hellraiser who can give Stone Cold Steve Austin a run for his money — a look which he retained even after reforming DX. As an on-screen Corrupt Corporate Executive in the mid 2010s, he sported a Perma-Stubble to complement his crew-cut. By 2020, he went completely bald and grew a much bigger beard than he had grown previously and looks someone stuffed a Viking warrior into a business suit.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Triple H is the exact kind of rebellious, troublemaking degenerate the snobbish aristocrat Hunter Hearst Helmsley looks down upon and despises.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Apparently, according to his Thy Kingdom Come documentary, his "Terra Ryzing" ring name came about when his first promoter attempted to bill him as "the Terrorizer" and he disagreed, saying he wanted a first and last name. Said promoter separated some syllables, changed some letters around, and the rest is unfortunate history.
  • Benevolent Boss: Unlike with his Bad Boss character in The Authority, his Real Life management of WWE NXT has been praised by countless wrestlers and fans alike, and he carried this laid-back mindset into his management of WWE Creative after taking over from his Control Freak father-in-law in 2022. As with NXT, the main roster finally started seeing improvements in ratings, reviews, and match quality immediately thereafter.
  • Berserk Button:
    • You do NOT want to speak ill of Triple H's children. Paul Heyman found this out the hard way when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon both went full Papa Wolf / Mama Bear on him.
    • Harming, threatening to harm, or even bumping into his wife, Stephanie, is a sure-fire way to get a beat down from The Game. Famous case with Randy Orton after he DDT'd & forced a kiss the unconscious Stephanie. Hunter broke into his house with his sledgehammer & beat him mercilessly until the police came to take him away.
    • Same with Chyna when they were together. Harming or threatening her invoked his rage.Went berserk when The Rock and Mark Henry, his enemies in The Nation of Domination, forced themselves on Chyna after they had locked Hunter and the rest of DX in the locker room. After escaping, Hunter stormed the ring while a match was still in progress, and battered both competitors with a steel chair, clearing the ring. Guest commentator Shawn Michaels punctuated this rampage by saying "I have seen him like this before, and you do NOT want to get in his way!". Hunter grabbed a mike and screamed "Rocky! You've crossed the line, pal! At the PPV, I'm gonna make you my BITCH!!"
    • Outside of the 4-year feud, Shawn is Hunter's very best friend and anyone really hurting him is almost as bad as hurting Stephanie. His 2012 feud with Lesnar shows it well. Things were already personal when Brock broke his arm and Hayman brought up his kids. But Brock beating up Shawn and breaking his arm took him over the edge. Hunter was so angry at the attack on his friend, he took off his shirt and yelled at Brock to fight him right there instead of waiting for Summerslam.
    • Stealing his belt. He has a match with British Bulldog for which Rock is the special guest referee and he's not impartial to either of them. His antics get the match a No-Contest and Triple wants his belt, but is told Rock took it. This leads to a rampage where Triple H beats the messenger, then goes backstage and beats up anyone he walks past while searching for the Rock and demanding his belt.
    • His ego has also been used as an intentional Berserk Button for the benefit of others. Perhaps the most well-known incident of this manner occurred during the buildup for Triple H's WrestleMania 28 match against The Undertaker. After an in-ring monologue from The Undertaker, the rest of the segment used an obscene number of tropes in a number of different ways as Triple H and 'Taker had a verbal battle for the ages. Triple H initially refuses The Undertaker's challenge, on the grounds that it would be "bad for business."
      Undertaker: Hey, businessman... is it bad for business if I'm gone... or is it bad for business that you'll be gone? You can put whatever spin that you want on this, but at the end of the day, when you look in a mirror, all you're gonna see is a coward.
      Triple H: I am SICK TO DEATH of this "coward" thing! YOU WANT COWARD?! [hesitates as he regains his composure] I see what you're trying to do... it's not gonna work. I'm sorry, but the answer's no. [leaves the ring and starts to walk to the back]
      Undertaker: You know, Hunter... I think I just figured it out. You know that you can't do what your buddy Shawn Michaels couldn't do. Because you know Shawn was always better than you.
      Triple H: [stops at the top of the stage, removes suit jacket and tie, storms to the ring] You think that suit and tie cover up layers of who I am?! Well, the layers are gone... I'm standing before you, and I'm looking you in the eye, and I am more certain than I have ever been before. You want this?! You want WrestleMania?! You want it all to come to a head?! YOU WANT AN END?! You've got it!
    • On March 10, 2014, Triple H maintained his composure during Daniel Bryan's entire Occupy Raw movement, but when Daniel Bryan demanded to be inserted into the Championship Match at WrestleMania should he defeat Triple H, Hunter completely lost it, and had to be held back by the security that he ordered to apprehend Daniel Bryan, just to keep him from storming a ring of hundreds of Daniel Bryan fans and the American Dragon himself.
  • Betty and Veronica: He was the Archie in a love triangle with Chyna (his long-time girlfriend, fellow wrestler and stablemate) and Stephanie McMahon (the newer, richer, more conventionally attractive boss's daughter).
  • Big Bad: As heel, except for when he's The Dragon to WWE's Greater-Scope Villain Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE and HHH's father-in-law. In fact his two major main event heel runs (his Attitude era run in 1999-2001 and his Evolution/King of Kings run in 2002-2006) ultimately had him become Vince's Dragon in the end, though the latter only happened at the very end. Even his most recent run has him being Vince's Dragon, though he's more of a Dragon-in-Chief so far as Vince only made one appearance since HHH's heel turn.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • Several times over the years with his wife.
    • As mentioned above, they wound up being Vince's Co-Dragons (along with Shane McMahon) in their initial run following Vince's Face–Heel Turn, and are currently playing the role to Vince sans Shane.
  • The Big Guy: In most cases when he isn't paired alongside other monsters like Nash, Big Show, and Undertaker. Speaking of the latter two, they along with Hunter are all lampshaded as the big guys of their respective tag-teams during a triple threat with JeriShow, DX, and CenaTaker. Jericho first sent in Big Show, HBK instantly tagged Hunter, and finally Cena tagged in Taker.
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    • When he kidnapped, drugged and married Stephanie in Vegas. She also ended falling in love with him after that. Of course, it's entirely possible he was lying to mess with Vince's head.
      Triple H: I know that you can only have one question on your mind... DAD... (...) And that is, not did we, but how many times did we consummate the marriage! [thrusting his hips]
    • Attempted and failed with the infamous Katie Vick angle.
  • Blatant Lies: His "Best for Business" thing he got going. It's always his justification for doing things that ultimately piss the fans off, i.e. not the best for business.
  • Bowdlerise: Invoked during DX's reunion on the season premiere of Raw, where he tells them that they have to tone down their vulgarity and swears because of WWE's sponsors. It doesn't work, with Shawn blurting out a Cluster Bleep-Bomb full of swears and later pointing to the presence of "four cocks" hanging out (which turn out to just be four rubber chickens) near Trips' computer.
  • Bromantic Foil: Kayfabe with Shawn during DX runs. Shawn's was the Heart-Break Kid. Hunter was in a serious a relationship with Chyna, though Shawn hit on her as well. The roles reversed in the 2006-2007 reunion. Shawn (in & out of Kayfabe) was married and became a Born-Again Christian, so his previous heartbreak behavior was non-existent. Hunter on the other hand, ogled or hit on any girl around. The DX BBQ shows it nicely when 2 ring-rats flash him, and he's later getting serviced under a table by two others until Candice comes along and one of the ladies gives her some action as well. It's also hinted he had something with Kelly Kelly.
  • The Caligula: Along with Stephanie McMahon during the McMahon-Helmsley Era.
  • Call-Back:
    • The walkout in October 2011 isn't the first time that the WWE locker room threatened to boycott him.
    • Also, the 2012 confrontation between the returning Undertaker and Triple H was a direct call-back to their 2011 confrontation with the roles reversed. The first time, everybody knew through the vignettes that the Undertaker was coming to Raw on 2 21 11, and before he could say much of anything (not that he's much of a talker, anyways...) Triple H's music hit. In 2012, Trips - who had already been announced for Raw - was poised to fire John Laurinaitis and then Undertaker's music hit in exactly the same fashion. Also, both times, the two offered challenges by using their trademark gestures.
    • After turning heel in 2013 after SummerSlam, he told us that Randy Orton, the new champion, was the diamond that had squeezed out of coal, something he referenced in his promo when he debuted Evolution, in which Batista and Orton was the future and the coal that would be transformed in to a diamond.
  • Canon Name: Hunter Hearst Helmsley, which is still maintained as the Triple H character's "real name" in part because of the man's refusal to accept being called Paul outside of corporate settings... although once or twice Stephanie has slipped up and called him "Paul" in backstage segments... and then there was that one time with CM Punk:
    Punk: I'm gonna tell you a little secret, why it's gonna be so satisfying for me to kick your ass. And right now, this isn't CM Punk talking to Triple H. This is Phil Brooks talking to Paul Levesque. The reason why it's gonna be so satisfying to me— [microphone stops working, Triple H and CM Punk argue without being heard]
    Triple H: [annoyed, tests his own mic] This one's working, use this. [hands Punk his mic]
    Punk: Good, Paul, because the reason I'm gonna be so satisfied after I kick your-- [microphone stops working again, throws mic down in frustration]
  • Cannot Spit It Out: This happened to him on the January 30, 2012 Raw with his attempt to fire John Laurinaitis. Instead of going with his father-in-law's classic "YOU'RE! FIIIIRRRRREEDDD!" yell, he tried to borrow Laurinaitis' "I wish you well in all your future endeav-" and was interrupted by Undertaker's gong.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Has no delusions that he is a nice guy and has even explicitly called himself an asshole. Perhaps best exemplified when he, as a face some years later, discussed Randy Orton's excommunication from Evolution, which was simply the result of Triple H being jealous that Randy was world champion.
    Triple H: I watched you become the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history. What happened the next night, Randy? I turned on you. I beat the hell out of you. I don't run from my past. I'm not a good person; I never have been a good person. I wasn't happy for your success.
  • Career-Ending Injury: He permanently retired from the ring after a health scare resulting from a genetic heart condition, and temporarily stepped down from his backstage duties. He now has a pacemaker that he can't risk jolting through ring bumps, but he's returned to his management roles.
  • The Chessmaster: One of his defining characteristics. A noteworthy example occurred during a feud with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Vince McMahon forced Austin and Triple H to sign a "No-contact" clause, which legally bound them to not have any physical altercations until their pay-per-view match. After both men signed the document, Triple H beat the piss out of Austin, and Vince was quick to inform him that he had just gotten himself suspended (per the terms of the contract). Triple H then revealed that he never actually signed the contract, while Austin had— he then signed the contract for real, which meant that Austin could not legally retaliate. See also Xanatos Speed Chess below.
  • Control Freak: One of his trademarks since taking over as WWE's full-time head of creative has been to invert this, delegating things that Vince tried to micromanage. He's given the commentators more freedom, which has notably earned Michael Cole a huge amount of praise for his improved work. He's also ditched the fully pre-scripted promos, going back to the older method of giving wrestlers bullet points they're expected to cover but giving them more freedom in how they actually do it. Perhaps most importantly, he's also reduced the scripting in the actual matches, letting the wrestlers figure out how to revise the match if needed. He's also joked about discovering this new thing called "sleep", implying that he won't work the insane schedules and extensive scripting that Vince was so famous for.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's in his fifties now, and while he's no longer an active wrestler, he's considered cooler than ever by some fans after taking over WWE creative.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • His heel character typically comes off as this. As a heel HHH cuts his hair to a shorter length (though it's still quite long) and keeps it pulled back in a ponytail, shaves, wears suits and frequently manipulates the system through politics, dirty tricks and outright bribery. Contrast this to his face persona who wears leather jackets, t-shirts and jeans, lets his hair grow wild and sports a beard.
    • Inverted in his on-screen role as Chief Operating Officer. Wears suits, is a good guy. Until...
    • Took to this trope fully during the Summer 2013 storyline against Daniel Bryan, openly screwing him over for the sake of "business." He's gone on to use The Shield as enforcers who attack anybody speaks out against him and threatened to even fire anybody who disagrees with his increasingly corrupt actions. Went so far as to firing Cody Rhodes after he lost to Randy Orton on the September 2nd, 2013 episode of RAW.
  • The Corrupter: Played this role towards Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins, in entirely different contexts.
    • Attempted - and to some degree succeeded - in corrupting a fellow Corrupter in Kevin Owens, during the NXT Invasion angle. Hunter used his bond with KO to convince him that while the higher-ups on the main roster never wanted him to succeed and always thought badly of him, Hunter and NXT had given Kevin his true home and appreciation. While KO would stay loyal to team RAW at Survivor Series, he also showed up for Takeover: War Games III to join team Ciampa to take on the The Undisputed Era in the War Games match itself.
  • Create Your Own Villain: While he himself was a heel at the time, it's universally agreed upon that Evolution (more specifically, Hunter) was responsible for Randy Orton's Start of Darkness. Randy never got over their betrayal, and it became the defining moment of his career. It would come to haunt his mentor for years to come, especially during 2009.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • As a face he wears dark trunks with Creepy Crosses and Dem Bones on them, wields a hammer, and does the right thing... eventually.
    • He was also Light Is Not Good during most of his 2002-2006 heel run (going clean-shaven and famously wearing lily-white trunks and boots at WrestleMania XX, while playing a dastardly heel).
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • For the most part Triple H is semi-retired, mainly due to his backstage duties piling up in preparation for when he finally does take over the company. He retired completely after suffering a heart problem that left him unable to step into the ring again.
    • This occurred to him in 1996. He was a part of the infamous kayfabe-breaking Madison Square Garden "curtain call" (where Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Trips, and Shawn Michaels hugged each other in the middle of the ring following a match); since Hall and Nash were heading off to WCW, and Michaels was the WWF Champion at the time, Trips had to take the fall. His main event push was delayed for quite a while as punishment. Though by accepting his punishment without complaint, Triple H earned a lot of respect from the more established wrestlers. Interestingly, Triple H was originally supposed to win the 1996 King of the Ring tournament. After the "curtain call", "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was booked to win the tournament as part of Triple H's punishment, and it's that victory over Jake "The Snake" Roberts that gave us the Austin 3:16 phenomenon.
    • Back when Michael Cole was first conducting his weekly sit-down interviews, Triple H was usually his guest but in the past year or so has been phased out in favor of other WWE wrestlers.
  • Dented Iron: Towards the end of his career he definitely had a bad case of this, which is one of the reasons he started fully committing to an Undertaker-like schedule. For example, he tore his pec within minutes of the infamous DX vs Brothers of Destruction match at Crown Jewel 2018, forcing him to lay outside the ring until the ending while everyone else carried on without him. For the record, he had only wrestled three matches prior that year.
    • In 2001, running forward to hit Chris Jericho with a forearm to the back of the head, Triple H ripped the quadricep muscle right off his kneecap in one of the most cringe-inducing sports injuries ever caught on film. You can actually see the muscle come loose under the skin of his thigh and he immediately falls out of the ring in agony. Somehow he managed to get back up and finish his role in the match. Jericho, who had real life issues with HHH at the time, admitted in his book that he developed a huge amount of respect for HHH that night because he insisted on taking Jericho's finisher, which applied an insane amount of pressure on his already damaged quads.
    • And did it again in 2007 in a tag-team match with Shawn Michaels against Edge and Randy Orton: Tore his other quad and managed to finish the match, even Pedigreeing Edge through the announcer's table.
    • Three times a charm in 2018. Just shy of fifty years old, he tore his pec during a tag match between DX and the Brothers of Destruction at Crown Jewel and proceeded to wrestle the match to the very end with one arm.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Gave The Undertaker a crotch chop.
  • Disappeared Dad: A fate he desperately wanted to avert in his kids' lives, so he bought stock in a private plane company and flies back to his house after every show to see them. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming with things like this. It's clear he's crazy about his girls; just listen to any of his interviews about them.
  • Discontinuity Nod: He and Shawn Michaels took shots at the infamous Katie Vick angle in a 2007 D-Generation X promo.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": The originator. Triple H asks people to call him by his ring name, not his given name (Paul Levesque). This was particularly highlighted in an in-ring segment during which CM Punk, another wrestler who prefers not to be addressed by his given name, said, as a means of emphasizing how serious he was, that "This isn't CM Punk talking to Triple H. This is Phil Brooks talking to Paul Levesque." Bizarrely inverted with WWE Studios, with Triple H being the first (and only to date) wrestler to be billed under his real name as opposed to his in-ring pseudonym. As of 2013, it should be noted that this applies to his on-screen character only. As a corporate executive, you do call him Paul.
    • Since his in-ring retirement and subsequent corporate promotion(s), WWE's official company releases Take a Third Option by just using both (Paul "Triple H" Levesque) in a similar manner to how The Rock is sometimes billed outside of pure wrestling contexts. Although, as it's implied he has also taken over the onscreen "CEO" position previously occupied by Vince - there he's still simply Triple H. Ever since he has reinstated general managers for the shows in 2023, he only appears onscreen very sporadically, and when he does he is now introduced as Paul "Triple H" Levesque.
  • The Dragon:
    • To Vince McMahon after Vince's Face–Heel Turn at WrestleMania 2000. Was also Co-Dragons with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to Vince in 2001, until Triple H got injured. He seems to be becoming this in Real Life as well, as Vince recently made him his Senior Advisor.
    • Triple H was also The Dragon to Shawn Michaels in the early days of D-Generation X, until HBK got injured and HHH became the new leader.
    • He's The Dragon to Vince once more, though he's so far been a Dragon-in-Chief since Vince hasn't appeared much, and they haven't interacted much since HHH's heel turn oddly enough.
    • Even going back to The Corporate Ministry, he was this to Vince for at least part of 1999. At first it first appeared he'd become this to Shane and The Undertaker's Big Bad Duumvirate or the third man in their Big Bad Triumvirate. Then Vince revealed himself as the Higher Power later on, making the three of them Co-Dragons.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: From getting Vince to give him WWF title shots instead of Undertaker, to reforming the DX Army as Jerkass heels, all the way up to the infamous early days of his marriage to Stephanie McMahon, his takeover of the WWF saw him become such a great example of this he turned his own Satanic bosses into THE GOOD GUYS and their once-innocent daughter/sister into a hypocritical shrew by his actions alone.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Anyone who hasn't followed him from the beginning may be confused that, in the beginning of his WWE career, his gimmick was being a high-class snooty aristocrat, with mannerisms pulled right from the Victorian era and Beethoven's 9th Symphony the "Ode to Joy" as his entrance music. His gimmick and mannerisms have changed quite a lot since. (The only artifact left over from his early days is the name of his finishing move: "Pedigree".)
  • Easily Forgiven: A classic case after his Heel–Face Turn in 2006. But the biggest specific is HBK reforming DX with him. In 2002, Hunter tricked him into thinking he wanted to reform DX, only to pedigree him. Following this, Hunter put his head through a car window & left him lying in the parking lot, all because HBK refused to retire & be his manager. This lead to a brutal three-year feud where they battered & almost killed each other. During Hunter's slow Face-transition, Vince orders him to attack HBK during his Spirit Squad match but he attacks SS instead and leaves. During Hunter's match with them, Shawn comes to his aid and DX is reborn. While there was hesitance prior to reconciliation on both sides, you'd think Shawn would need more than what was shown to forgive Hunter's betrayal of him which started their entire feud.
  • Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting: During an attack on The Undertaker in 2001, Triple H first got the jump on Taker as he was sitting on his motorcycle, which resulted in the bike itself pinning Undertaker to the ground. Triple H then set up a chair, backwards, on top of Undertaker's neck. Then, to top it all off, he leaned over the backrest of the chair and talked tons of shit to the Deadman.
    Triple H: How ya doing, American Badass? You're the guy that makes people famous, ain't ya? You know what? I'm already famous. I'm famous for crippling people. I'm famous for putting people out! Let me tell you something... you keep screwing with me... I will cripple you.
  • End of an Era: 2022 as a whole, which saw Hunter retire from in-ring competition on account of heart problems only to later go on to take over WWE from Vince McMahon himself, ending the long chapters of both his and Vince's previous careers.
  • Eviler than Thou: From getting Vince to give him WWF title shots instead of Undertaker, to reforming the DX Army as Jerkass heels, all the way up to the infamous early days of his marriage to Stephanie McMahon, his takeover of the WWF saw him become such a great example of this he turned his own Satanic bosses into THE GOOD GUYS and their once-innocent daughter/sister into a hypocritical shrew by his actions alone.
  • Evil Genius: Triple H is a succesful businessman, a brilliant wrestler and a master manipulator who has fought and schemed his way to the top of the company and then on to effectively running it (more than once). There is a reason they call him "The Cerebral Assassin".
  • Evil Mentor: In Evolution, he was one to Randy Orton (echoing their Real Life relationship) and Batista. On the flipside, he had his own in Ric Flair and Steven Regal (the latter in WCW).
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • While he may be a no-nonsense authority figure, Triple H cares about his family to the point anyone thinking about harming or even smack talking about them will result in a beat-down. Lampshaded during the Slammy Awards 2013 episode of Raw, when Randy Orton received a Pedigree for inadvertently bumping into Stephanie while in the middle of an in-ring brawl during the Title Ascension Ceremony.
    • Randy himself would count as this over time; unlike the time he had Orton violently excised from Evolution over a decade prior, Hunter was clearly distressed when he was forced to oust him from the Authority, and couldn't even watch while Rollins and Kane finished the job. As such, when Randy came back, he and Stephanie tried to bring Randy back into the fold only for him to inevitably and predictably refuse to let bygones be bygones with Rollins.
    • Even as a heel, his legendary friendship with Shawn Michaels still stands strong.
    • He was shown to care about Chyna while together and he usually helped her cheat in her matches as much as she did him. They defected from DX to the Corporation together, and even switched back together. And anyone harming her was not taken kindly.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even as a heel, Triple H won't cross some lines.
    • After learning that Stephanie lied to him about her pregnancy so that he would renew their vows:
    Triple H: Steph, I have done some pretty bad things in my life. I admit it - I'm an asshole. But even I would not go this low.
  • Evil Overlord:
    • As a heel and as a face he sometimes resembles a dark king out of a fantasy novel. The epic Viking mustache he has sported since 2005 certainly helps.
    • His Conan the Barbarian, "King of Kings" entrance at WrestleMania 22 is made of this trope.
    • His WrestleMania XXVII and XXVIII entrances feature this trope in full force, the XXVII one in particular. Being accompanied by a masked army, striding out of a Dark Fantasy village left in ruins, wearing a Black Cloak and skull-faced crown, all while Metallica is blaring in the background? This may take home the award for most metal entrance ever.
      John Cena: Well, it looks like He-Man (Triple H) and Skeletor (Edge) have some unfinished business...
    • His WrestleMania XXX entrance looked like he was channeling Shao Kahn.
    • His occasional use of "King of Kings" ("Bow down to the / bow dow to the King!") as entrance music, which has since become the entrance theme for The Authority.
  • Expy: His earliest WWF appearances had him acting almost exactly like Steven Regal (fitting since he was supposed to tag with Regal in WCW and in some ways was his Mentor). The main difference was in WCW his character was a Foreign Wrestling Heel from France whereas in WWF he was a Take That! against old money families in Connecticut.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Briefly for comedy purposes with him & Shawn. The crowd chants that Shawn is gay and in turn he kisses Hunter who smiles and makes a heart-fluttering gesture.
  • False Friend: To Eugene, whom he only sees as a convenient pawn in his quest to regain his World Title. During his manipulations he constantly reassures Eugene tat they are friends, gives him gifts, and plays with him.
  • Fan Disservice: In 2011, The Boston Phoenix ranked him #20 on their "100 Unsexiest Men of 2011" List. Interestingly, he wasn't included in that list because of his physical attractiveness, but because of his role in the infamous derailment of the "Summer of Punk" angle:
    The Boston Phoenix: The night before his WWE contract expired, CM Punk snatched the WWE championship from the loathed John Cena, and wrestling was edgy and cool again... for about a week. Then Triple H — Vince McMahon's son-in-law and inexplicable "star" from 2003 — hogged the Monday Night Raw cameras for the entire summer. The fuck?
  • Fatal Flaw: For all his success and years of devotion to the business, the one thing Hunter has never been able to overcome is his ego, something that he himself has admitted on numerous occasions. It was how the Undertaker was able to goad him into the "End of an Era" Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania 28, and it was what would ultimately destroy Evolution, something that would come to bite him in the ass down the line, in the form of former protege Randy Orton, who gradually went insane due to the betrayal and held Hunter accountable for what happened for several years.
  • A Father to His Men: Especially in contrast to his dictatorial father-in-law, Hunter is well-known for treating the wrestlers who work for him just as well as he might treat his own children, which is one of the major operating factors in the Undying Loyalty so many from NXT would come to award him. He's not "Papa H" for no reason.
  • Female Gaze: Was on the receiving end of this from Stacy Keibler during a backstage segment of a SmackDown episode in 2002; she took a moment to take in the sight of a shirtless Game before resuming to tell him that Mr. McMahon wanted to see him.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: His characterization as the Connecticut Blueblood Hunter Hearst Helmsley is this. Just read his magazine personality profile.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Maybe pro wrestling's first "Fingerpoke of Doom" and almost certainly the first to ever be aired on television when Shawn Michaels basically gave up the European Championship to him. It was nowhere near as wasteful or damaging as WCW's, but still.
    • While it's really hard to claim it's on the same level of bad as the Trope Namer, this one tends to get a pass from fans for three reasons:
      • First and most important, it was for the European title, a lower-midcard belt literally created earlier that year, as opposed to everything surrounding the more famous one.
      • Second, Commissioner Slaughter had put them in this match to try and make them to fight each other (apparently thinking that Shawn would care about dropping the lower card belt when he was already WWF Champion) and this was their smart-ass response.
      • Third, it was friggin hilarious.
  • Finishing Move: Ciclone Negro's signature double-underhook face buster, which Triple H calls The Pedigree. The name is also an artifact from the Hunter Hearst Helmsley gimmick.
  • First Love: Stephanie McMahon, his partner of twenty years & wife of seventeen. He was in a seemingly serious relationship with Chyna from 1997-2001 but has said himself that his relationship with her was partly convenience since he was on the road all the time and she happened to be the woman who was there consistently. He elaborates that his relationship with her was during a period where he was young, wild, and not thinking about his future but in growing up & changing, he met Stephanie whom he credits as the greatest woman in the world.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: What his WrestleMania 27 feud with The Undertaker was. They last fought each other at WrestleMania X-Seven.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Hunter has a knack for decimating Kayfabe and acknowledging the fourth wall. Quipping that the cops arresting the superstars are not real cops and outright stating that there are writers working for the WWE are just a few examples.
  • Forced to Watch: Has been on the giving & receiving end.
    • For the latter, he was tied up and made to watch his opponent kiss an unconscious, DDT'd Stephanie, leaving him utterly livid.
    • With the former, he's done twice to Eugene, who Evolution holds down while he beats up Regal. Same happens later when Eugene calls him out and he appears on the screen to show Eugene the brutal attack on his friend.
    • Another instance of him being subjected to it was Hell In A Cell 2009. Knocking out Triple H, Legacy dragged Shawn into the cell and locked the door. Triple H came to, but could only watch Shawn get beaten while simultaneously looking for a way into the cell. Commentators comment the brutality of Legacy beating Shawn right in front of Triple H and taunting his helplessness.
  • For Your Own Good: Triple H's ego is so massive that he cited this trope as the reason he wouldn't face Daniel Bryan and also why he wouldn't face The Undertaker. His ego was eventually used against him to goad him into a match against both aforementioned men, and he would end up losing in each respective bout.
  • French Jerk: His real last name is Levesque... this actually resulted in one of his first gimmicks being that of a haughty Frenchman named Jean-Paul Levesque.
  • Friendship Moment: Most famously, he has many with Shawn -both in & out of character. Out of ring, there's been numerous hugs, embraces, and even a few kisses between them. In-ring, they are just as big on it -especially with the 2006 - 2010 DX.
    • Triple H watches out for Shawn on Smackdown. Batista warns Shawn to stay out of his way and Shawn calls him overrated. Batista takes off his hat and says he should -enter Hunter, who gets in his face to asks what it is he's going to do. Batista later attacks Shawn during his match but just as he's about to finish him off, Hunter runs out and takes it to Batista harder than anyone ever has before clothes lining him over the ropes with both men being KO'd after hitting the floor.
    • DX loses the match with Legacy due to Shawn being distracted by Undertaker. While upset at the loss, Hunter seemed more concerned for Shawn who can only sit in the ring with his anger & sadness. He kneels beside his friend & places a hand on his shoulder. Shawn was sadly not receptive at the time, but the moment from Hunter shows he does care about his friend's emotional state.
    • Holding Hands: A smaller moment on RAW after Brock breaks Shawn's arm. Being off-air, it can only be seen in phone recordings from attendees. HBK is carried out on a gurney and Hunter is beside him in support while Shawn squeezes his hand.
  • Friends with Benefits: Chyna. He notes they started off as friends before any relationship development, which wasn't until much later. During a Howard Stern interview he is asked about the bedroom performance of both women where Hunter is complimentary to the prowess of both and notes that if they didn't satisfy him in bed, he wouldn't have been with them as long as he had been. However, during the Sway in the Morning podcast, linked above in First Love, Hunter notes that he was with Chyna because he was on the road a lot and as far as sexual access, she was consistently there. But he notes the relationship happened during his young, crazy years before growing up and thinking about his future.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From the low man on The Kliq totem pole and the guy who carried Shawn Michaels' bags to the guy who now runs the whole WWE after Vince's retirement.
  • Gag Nose: Many jokes have been made about the size of his nose. He lampshaded it in his Hall of Fame induction for Shawn Michaels:
    Triple H: The comedy stuff with us was just based on our giving personalities. I gave Shawn the comedy gift of my nose...
  • Game-Breaking Injury:
    • Jokes aside, The Game tearing his quad left him out of action for eight months in 2001, and tearing his other quad left him out of action for a similar amount of time in 2007.
    • His quad tears pale in comparison to his heart problems (caused by hereditary genetics, not steroids), which required him to get a pacemaker. This forced him to permanently retire from the ring. Even a small bump could jostle the pacemaker, which would be a very, very bad thing.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • In character he's a powerful and devious competitor, out of character he's a body builder and by all accounts a very smart man. One of his official nicknames is "The Cerebral Assassin."
    • His real life role as VP of Talent and Live Events has been oft-lauded by industry insiders as having a progressive and vested point of view when it comes to younger talent.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • All the time. Especially the time he gave an entire lesson to Shelton Benjamin on how to properly cut a promo (even referring to it as a "promo," a rarity in WWE) and how the heel has to wait until the face has their back to the ramp before they jump him.
    • Shows subtle genre savvy during his entrance. When he climbs onto the apron to shoot water into the crowd, he looks over his shoulder at his opponent(s) before doing so. As of late 2015, after over 15 years of doing the same entrance week after week, only CM Punk (at Night of Champions 2011) has blindsided him despite Triple H being in perfect position to be jumped from behind.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Inverted. Since taking over as head of talent relations, Hunter's brought back many of the people Vince fired in his final years in charge.
  • Glass Cannon: Despite being consistently characterized as a powerful main-eventer that is a force to be reckoned with, Trips has been shown to be quite injury-prone. He even managed to blow out both of his quadriceps at one point.
  • Go Through Me: He did this with Daniel Bryan before WrestleMania XXX. If Bryan won, he was in the main event. If Triple H won, he was in the main event.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Has been accused of this as a performer, with claims that he uses his power to "bury" wrestlers who he wouldn't otherwise go over, and definitely plays this trope straight as a heel (sometimes doing exactly what he's accused of in real life, Daniel Bryan perhaps being the best example).
  • Guy Posse: From 2003 to 2005 he was accompanied most of the time by Evolution, a clique of three snobbish Superstars (Ric Flair, Batista, and Randy Orton, to be precise) who interfered in Hunter's matches, bullied face Superstars, and were known as much for their custom-made suits, Rolex watches, private jets, and sexual escapades as for their wrestling skills. The idea for Evolution came from The Four Horsemen, a similarly-themed clique led by Flair in NWA and then WCW in the 1980s and '90s.
  • Happily Married: To Stephanie McMahon. Averted this trope in kayfabe at the start of their storyline marriage, but has played it straight since the mid-2000s.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Hunter has switched allegiances, alliances and friends endlessly over the years. When he first started out in his Blue Blood gimmick, he was a heel and stayed heel during the first incarnation of DX. He then turned face shortly before Shawn left and turned heel upon his betrayal of the DX Army, upon which he became a heelish main-eventer. He mostly played heels, with some sparse face runs in between, up until his retirement. Upon Vince's retirement and Hunter's own ascendency to WWE Creative, he returned to being an onscreen authority figure. Unlike before though, he's shown to be surprisingly benevolent and much nicer to the wrestlers.
  • He's Back!:
    • He came back after about eight months on the shelf on February 21, 2011, the same night The Undertaker made his return.
    • On the August 29, 2016 edition of Raw, in the waning moments of the Fatal 4-Way Match between Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big Cass for the WWE Universal Championship, Triple H showed up, at the shock of the WWE Universe, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley, pedigreeing Roman Reigns, which allowed Seth Rollins to eliminate him. And then when it appeared Owens was gonna followed next, Triple H sent shockwaves by pedigreeing Seth Rollins, helping Kevin Owens to win his first world heavyweight championship in WWE.
    • Perhaps the biggest example comes in his spectacular return to the head of WWE's creative and talent relations departments following Vince McMahon's retirement after he lost the NXT show and otherwise seemed doomed not to play any major leadership role in the WWE just a couple of years ago.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Shawn Michaels are among the most famous heterosexual life partners in wrestling history. According to Hunter's actual wife, Shawn is Hunter's "road wife." In kayfabe, their friendship even transcends heel/face status; whereas it's almost an unwritten rule that in-universe friends must have the same alignment, Shawn and Hunter were portrayed as undyingly loyal to one another even when Triple H was a heel and Michaels was a face (albeit retired from in-ring competition) around 2013-14.
  • Hijacked by Ganon:
    • Triple H was revealed as the mastermind behind "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's attack in 1999.
    • He also hijacked Test's (kayfabe) wedding to Stephanie McMahon (and subsequent push).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Set up the vehicular attack on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at Survivor Series 1999 to take him out of the triple-threat match for the WWF Championship also involving the Rock. The Big Show got plugged into the match instead, and pinned HHH for the title.
    • Has been on the wrong end of a few beatdowns by his enemies with his own sledgehammer.
    • During Daniel Bryan's "Occupy Raw" movement, Triple H ordered security to handle the situation. Since WWE apparently hires mall cops and not actual security guards, they had no means of riot control (tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.), and the fact that they could do nothing about the situation only frustrated Triple H further. Eventually, Daniel Bryan's request to be given a chance to compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania pushed The Game over the edge. In his attempt to storm the ring in rage, he had to be held back by the same security guards that he called to escort Bryan and his 100-some-odd supporters out of the building.
  • Human Shield: Done in the fight with Eugene where he grabs & holds Lillian Garcia in front of him to slow down Eugene's attacks.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Took part in a parody segment that included jokes about the size of Owen Hart's nose, despite the multitude of jokes about his own.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Buried Booker T to his face for a being a five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, bringing up Vince Russo and David Arquette, while standing next to Ric Flair, who held that title 8 TIMES, and while holding the actual belt that had been used for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and had been dug out just for HHH as the (WWE) World Heavyweight Championship. Even if the point he was making was that Booker's title reigns all came during the lowest point of the WCW World Title's existence, this was still hypocritical, as around the same time frame, Trips himself was amassing a number of WWF Championship runs while Vince McMahon would hold the same title, not to mention his crew back then pretty much gift-wrapped the Women's Championship to the non-wrestler Stephanie McMahon. (He also conveniently failed to mention that he himself had wrestled in WCW before coming to WWE.)
    • Shawn Michaels wanted to make peace with Mike Tyson, who previously KO'd him for four years and Hunter tries to talk him out of it, saying that Tyson is certifiably insane. Funny coming from him since he's not a beacon of sanity himself and has done worse to people in storyline, bordering on attempted murder. In fact, Shawn is one of the people he's attacked or feuded with continually, so arguably Shawn is not right to trust him.
    • His vendetta against Daniel Bryan is because Bryan insulted his wife and family, feeling it's a personal attack on them. Which would be all fine and good... if his family didn't start the entire thing by repeatedly insulting him and treating it as if it's Nothing Personal.
    • Claiming that every action he takes in The Authority is "what's best for business" good would it have been for business if he had fired every Superstar and Diva for getting involved in Bryan getting beat down by The Shield?
    • Getting pissed over having the Escalade he gave Randy Orton "tagged" by Bryan, when he did just that and more to Vince McMahon's jet and limousine as part of DX?
  • I Am the Noun: The page quote.
  • I Can't Do This by Myself: A rare showing, but Hunter admits he's in over his head after taking a beating from Legacy. He thinks he may be getting too old to handle them alone, and decides he should call in some help.
  • Iconic Item: A sledgehammer. Though he wields it in a highly unusual manner because hitting somebody with a sledgehammer for real would cause severe legitimate injuries. Any time he swings the sledgehammer in the usual way he'll miss.
  • Important Haircut: Triple H cut his hair to a close crew cut once his responsibilities backstage increased. Because his on-screen debut with short hair was during the 2012 Slammy Awards, he lampshaded it by noting that at the 1997 Slammys he had won Best Hair.
  • Incoming Ham: His entrance theme starts with a guitar riff and Lemmy Kilmister's voice proclaiming that it's "TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!"
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Both in Kayfabe and out, Hunter seems to have an issue with wanting to be seen as a "skilled wrestler", possibly in response to the disdain he's received from wrestlers such as Bret Hart, when he's really most talented as a brawler. He's not a bad wrestler by any measure, but he's absolutely no Bret, and he's no Shawn either, a sore point The Undertaker used to goad him into a Wrestlemania rematch at XXVIII. This has sometimes worked to his detriment, perhaps most infamously during his match against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 32, where the two men should have been trying to murder each other after the heated feud they had, but instead put on a slow, technical match (which, owing to his extreme seniority over Reigns, would have undoubtedly been Hunter's idea) which bored the crowd to tears. See the next trope down.
  • Informed Attribute: Was explicitly called a great technical wrestler in the '90s and '00s, in an attempt to push him as a "smart wrestler" (as smart guys are usually technical masterminds as well), but he really did so better by cheating and manipulating others anyways, as while he uses tonnes of submission holds including the figure-four leglock, sharpshooter, crossface, armbar, abdominal stretch, sleeper hold and so on (his technical prowess is well displayed in his matches against Bryan, Benoit, Angle or Ambrose), he only does so from time to time, as his one attempt at a real submission hold as a finishing move was a disastrous experiment with the ancient "Inverted Indian Deathlock", and he admitted in an interview that although he can chain wrestle, he doesn't do it very often and insists on doing them at the right time and place. In fact, his match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 32 was criticized for being overly methodical, slow and technical since it didn't fit with their brutal feud.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Claimed responsibility for breaking "The Streak" after WrestleMania XXVII. Not because he actually beat the Undertaker, but because he was able to walk out of the arena on his own power and 'Taker wasn't. After his Hell in a Cell rematch the following year at WrestleMania XXVIII, however, he was so badly beaten both 'Taker and Shawn Michaels had to carry him out of the arena together.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With his idol and later fellow Evolution member, Ric Flair. In the opposite direction, Finn Bálor.
  • Invincible Villain: Grew into this once he established himself in the main event scene. Triple H would lose very rarely during his time in The McMahon Helmsey Faction, Evolution and the Authority.
  • It's All About Me: His run in Evolution eventually had him devolve into this, as his Evolution partners got sick of everything being about Triple H, even though he really wasn't doing anything to prove his particular importance.
  • It's Personal: Usually a hallmark of a really, really good Triple H feud. Notable examples are his 2002-2004 feud with Shawn Michaels, his 2007 feud with Randy Orton, and his 2011 feud with CM Punk. His 2012 feud with Brock Lesnar became this as well with Heyman (controversially) saying it was his most personal bout yet.
  • Jerkass: When he's a heel. To demonstrate how much of a Jerkass he can be, in 1999 the man turned Vince McMahon, the Big Bad and the same man who was the mastermind behind a satanic cult whom he had kidnap his own daughter as part of a plan to get the WWE title off of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin earlier that same year, into a FACE, and it even resulted in an Enemy Mine situation when Austin would help Vince, his hated Arch-Enemy, win the WWE Championship from Triple H. And that's just one example.
  • Joker Immunity: Since turning heel while being COO of the company and only doing part-time appearances, he seems to have inherited the one his old pops-in-law has.
  • Karma Houdini: Like many heel wrestlers before and after him, his nasty deeds as a heel would get no comeuppance once he made a Heel–Face Turn. One time though, it was actually averted when he found himself in a Survivor Series team in which his teammates were former rivals of his and all of them reminded him of their previous feuds. All Triple H could do after that was say a meek "My bad." Best example coming from Kane, who brought up the less than good Katie Vick angle, causing Triple H to cringe heavily before simply saying "Sorry about that" as Kane glares daggers at him.
  • Kneel Before Zod: "King of Kings", one of his entrance theme songs, recorded by heavy metal band Music/Motorhead.
  • Lack of Empathy: Demonstrates this from time to time as a heel, even towards his own wife (despite being happily married). When Stephanie was arrested and taken to jail on the July 21, 2014 episode of Raw for striking Brie Bella, who was at the show in a fan capacity and not as a competitor, she was scared to death and begging Triple H to help her as she practically drowned in her own tears. Triple H told her he'd be at the police station to get her out in five minutes tops, and at this point, there was a little less than an hour left in the show. By the end of the show, Triple H hadn't even come close to leaving the building, instead deciding to stay to announce the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This is all despite saying that "Family comes first" when questioned about it initially.
  • The Lancer: Served in this role in the original DX to Shawn Michaels. Became The Leader after Michaels' injury in what many consider to be his breakout role.
    • Arguably serves as this in WWE's Real Life corporate structure as well. While Vince McMahon was calling the shots Trips, like many examples of the Lancer trope, acted as a de facto second-in-command while trying (with mixed results) to mitigate some of Vince's more counterproductive impulses. It's said that Vince and Trips even clashed backstage on occasion over the direction of the product, particularly as the WWE NXT pipeline (Trips' pet project) began to have more influence over the WWE roster as a whole. In the post-Vince era, Hunter is now the undisputed head of creative, but is still arguably this to his wife Stephanie and Nick Khan, who replaced Vince as co-CEOs of the company and get the last word on business decisions.
  • Large Ham: Hilarious. Give the man a live microphone and 20 minutes of free airtime, and you're guaranteed to be entertained, especially if he's embroiled in a personal feud.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After all the crap that Hunter's pulled over the course of The Authority angle, when Roman Reigns snapped and gave him the beating of a lifetime, to the point that Hunter had to be hospitalized, few were willing to deny that he's had it coming for a while.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Boy, oh boy, does he love to do this. When he's not outright bulldozing the fourth wall with a complete disregard for maintaining kayfabe, he enjoys poking fun at smarks. At one point in 2013, after the internet was abuzz that he was going to bury Daniel Bryan during their feud, he promised, in-character, to do exactly that (even using the word "bury"). In another occasion, he also did an impression of a hypothetical WWE fan, saying that he "and his friend Mark" would stop watching, being an obvious reference to the term "Smart Mark." Even way back in 1999 when the WWF Attitude game was released he would address the player directly both during his entrance and in game. After the reunion of DX he confuses Shawn with Shane, then reacts that it's live TV so mistakes can and do happen.
  • Leave Him to Me!: During the feud between Roman Reigns and The Authority in 2016, The Authority forced then-WWE Champion Reigns to put his belt on the line in the Royal Rumble. When all other attempts to eliminate Reigns from the Rumble (including sending the League of Nations to beat him up to try and take him out of the match) had failed, Triple H himself entered the Rumble at #30 to deal with Reigns personally- and promptly did so, getting him some of the biggest cheers from the crowd he'd received in years.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: His heel persona in The Authority has him acting quite frankly as Mr. McMahon version 2.0.
  • Locked Out of the Fight: A literal case during Hell in a Cell, 2009. Legacy ambushed DX and Hunter is eventually KO'd, leaving them free to drag Shawn into the cell & lock the door. Even after waking up, Hunter can only helplessly watch Shawn get battered by the two Legacy members.
  • Loveable Rogue: As the leader of DX.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: During his Face years in 2006. He was shown to flirt with many of the Divas, and was sometimes very shameless in his behavior such as asking Kelly Kelly to flash him before DX's fight at Survivor Series 2006. There was also his interview where he prepares to "whip it out" for one of the Divas interviewing him, but Shawn drags him away. Not to mention his endless penis gags and jokes about the sex lives of others such as Vickie Guerro & Vince. But true to the trope, his antics fuel his degenerate persona, but are harmless.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Between his then-kayfabe wife Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle in 2000.
    • A Real Life one of sorts also occurred between him, Stephanie, and Chyna at one point.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Played this role towards Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins, in entirely different contexts.
    • Also the case with Eugene, a "special" younger wrestler who looks up to him. Triple H used him as a disposable pawn while pretending to be his friend.
  • Manly Man: His singles competitor persona from 2005 to 2011. Gone are the custom three-piece suits of Evolution and the sexual ambiguity/juvenile humor of D-Generation X. Instead he's a hammer-wielding badass with a Motörhead Villain Song and a bad attitude.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: As the "Connecticut Blueblood" (an upper-class heel) and as part of Evolution (where, taking a page from the Four Horsemen, delivered beatings to the faces and then bragged about it while in fine suits).
  • The Mentor: To Batista and Randy Orton, both in Evolution and in Real Life.
  • Meta Guy: He is fond of Leaning on the Fourth Wall.
  • Metalhead: As if having Motörhead do his theme songs wasn't enough of a clue, according to reports, he personally scouts relatively obscure metal bands to do a lot of WWE and NXT's theme music.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: For a guy who built himself as much as he has, he's never done too many power moves. A logical explanation comes in the form of a rumor that surfaced from his relationship with Chyna in the 1990s. Anecdotal evidence implies that Triple H is so ripped because he couldn't deal with the fact that Chyna was stronger and more muscular than he was.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Yeah, firing Big Show was not such a good idea, since in his mind he has nothing left to lose, so now he was free to invade WWE programming as much has he felt the need.
  • Noble Demon: As much as he talks about what a dangerous guy he is, he's not that different from any other face.
  • No Fourth Wall: All the damn time.
    Triple H: It's like, 11:08, guys. We're off the air!
  • Not What It Looks Like: In 2000, Triple H (married to Stephanie McMahon in kayfabe) was backstage with Trish Stratus, as he taught her some basic wrestling maneuvers. Eventually, he teaches her how to reverse a basic standing hammerlock by reaching down and sweeping the opponent's leg. Then, as soon as Trish bends over, in walks Stephanie McMahon, while Triple H is in a very... compromising position with Trish (and the look on Hunter's face is absolutely priceless). Despite Triple H's innocence and attempts to explain the situation, Stephanie throws a tantrum and storms out of the room in tears.
    • 11 years later, on RAW's 1000th Anniversary, it happens again -with Trish no less. while she's showing him yoga moves. He bends to touch his toes with Trish behind him to help push him down while Hunter tells her it's tight & hurts. Cue DX. Road Dogg quickly says they'll be outside after flubs of saying things like they'd be by the backdoor & in the rear. Hunter goes after them, trying to explain, but they don't listen.
  • Number Two: He's currently kayfabe COO, making him this to Vince (who of course is the owner, chairman, and CEO of WWE in Real Life and kayfabe), as well as the future heir to Vince's throne. They've only had a couple of interactions though.
  • Odd Friendship: The Kliq. While Michaels, Hall, Nash, and Waltman were established wrestlers at a near-equal level, Triple H was a newbie who didn't party. Now, things have changed, and it's still hard to believe that the massively successful HHH and one of the best wrestlers ever in Shawn Michaels are friends with the troubled X-Pac and Scott Hall, whose jump to WCW was a major turning point in their careers.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • His reaction when he lost the WWE belt to Chris Jericho in 2000.
    • His epic reaction shot to being informed he'd be facing not Mankind, but Cactus Jack in the 2000 Royal Rumble. CMOA for Mick Foley, but Hunter's reaction just makes it. Specifically, Foley credits this as selling the angle; had Hunter laughed it off, it would have bombed, but because this was perhaps the most scared he looked in his career, it was one of the high points of the Attitude Era.
      • Of course, given how Cactus Jack made his WWF debut by replacing Dude Love in a street fight against him over two years prior, Hunter already had his share of bad memories of Cactus Jack.
    • How he reacted to The Undertaker at both WrestleMania 27 and 28 in their matches when he sat up/kicked out after numerous chairshots, hammershots, and Pedigrees.
  • Older Than They Look: He's entering his late 40s but still in great shape.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Triple H" is actually short for the name he used during his first major run in the WWF: Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He's still referred to as "Hunter" sometimes, though it's probably because Hunter is an awesome name, and he calls himself "Hunter" in real life.
  • Only Sane Man: Has this reputation in The Kliq, as well as in the McMahon family. Considering that he married into the McMahons, this is very justifiable.
  • Papa Wolf: Do not bring his children into a feud. Just don't. As Paul Heyman found out, it can only end badly.
  • Parental Substitute: He and Vince McMahon are quite close, and according to the nastier rumors floating out there, closer than Vince and Shane, all but confirmed by his kayfabe-tweaking "I love you, Pops" to Vince upon relieving Vince of his duties in kayfabe in July 2011.
  • Pet the Dog: A literal case with Lucy during his divorce from Stephanie in 2002/ Hunter loves her dearly and when Jericho gets her run over, a fearful Stephanie knows Hunter is going to kill her.
  • The Plan: Sometimes skirts into Gambit Roulette territory.
  • Platonic Kissing: with Shawn on a few occasions, most notably during Shawn's retirement sendoff.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Told Booker T that people who look like him, have hair like him and dance like him don't belong in main events. He would later claim that this statement was about former WCW talent, though the racial implications were still there.
  • Power Stable: The Kliq (as the Tagalong Kid), then D-Generation X (as its Leader and Co-Founder), which was then merged with The Corporation (forming the McMahon-Helmsley Faction, him as again the Leader), and later Evolution.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • While part of DX: "Are you ready? No; I said, ARE? YOU? REEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAADY?!
    • During his early days in the WWE: "... And I am That. Damn. Good!"
  • Punny Name: "Terra Ryzing"
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Seems to work for him in varying degrees since becoming the onscreen Chief Operations Officer. He's managed to put down guys like Brock Lesnar and Sting at WrestleMania but also couldn't beat Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker or Roman Reigns. Then again, he won not only the Royal Rumble in 2016, but the world championship in the same fell swoop.
  • Really Gets Around: Was with Chyna first, then later married Stephanie. After the divorce (Kayfabe 2002), he's been shown to have an eye for the ladies. Mostly during his time with DX in 2006.
    • Seemed to have something with Kelly Kelly during Survivor Series 2006. She's shown at ringside smiling at Hunter who approaches her with a smile & wave just before she flashes him.
    • While on Vince's private plane with Shawn, Hunter says the seats turn into a bed. When Shawn questions how he knows, he starts to explain about him and a chick but drops it.
    • Prior to the above, he & the Stewardess were seen eyeing each other up as they squeeze by on the aisle.
    • There's also a very (in)famous scene during DX's ban from RAW in 2006. They have a BBQ & party outside with numerous groupies. Later, Hunter is shown to be getting service from two girls under a table. Candice comes over to talk to him and one of the girls turns their attention to her.
    • There's also a scene during his time with Evolution where they have a party in the ring with numerous ladies present. A happy HHH begins to remove his shirt and the ladies gather around to help and touch him. But he seems receptive to the attention.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Amazingly enough, most backstage accounts seems to imply Trips is this whenever he's not trying to put himself in the spotlight.
    • His current role as Chief Operating Officer seems to have him shaping up as one of these, giving certain heels their comeuppance, including letting Zack Ryder squash Michael Cole on live television, bringing back Jim Ross, and letting John Morrison get his hands on R-Truth.
    • Despite his heel turn at SummerSlam 2013, he still shows flashes of this trope. As is the norm for powerful heels, he does have a tendency to lie and make life a living hell for babyface wrestlers (often for no good reason), but he's also done the same to fellow heels, including The Shield, Vickie Guerrero, and Randy Orton. He's shown a bit of favor to faces like Rob Van Dam and John Cena as well.
  • Red Baron: "The Game", "The Cerebral Assassin", "The King of Kings."
  • Retired Badass: Due to a heart issue that left him with a defibrillator in his chest in 2021, he officially retired in 2022. Before that he was semi retired.
  • The Rival: The Rock, Mick Foley, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and Shawn Michaels during the late 90s/early 2000s. Since then, Batista, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar have been added to the list.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Rock, Chris Jericho, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Kane, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Cactus Jack and Batista, Goldberg. He tends not to make a lot of friends, whichever side he plays.
  • Satellite Character: Basically his status in D-Generation X while Shawn Michaels was leader. They shared the same screentime, but were mostly described as "Shawn Michaels and his friend Triple H" or variations thereof. He eventually grew out of it when Shawn had to leave, and Triple H became the leader of DX.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Both in-character (as part of the McMahon-Helmsley Regime) and in Real Life (due to the Kliq and his marriage to Stephanie McMahon).
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: With Shawn especially during the final run of DX. Hunter is more aggressive and hotheaded. Shawn has his moments of anger, but as opposed to Hunter's rage, he can be more prone to pouting and / or storming off. Outright stated by Hunter during on DX Last Stand DVD.
    HHH: [to Shawn] I'm the macho guy of the team. You've always been the chick in this relationship.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In Evolution and in Real Life during semi-retirement due to his corporate position.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • Done to finally end the Evolution stable when he attacked Ric Flair with a sledgehammer after a victorious tag team effort against Carlito and Chris Masters. Evoked the trope the following week on Raw when he said Flair was too old and too mediocre and was damaging his own legacy so he "...took Ric out behind the barn and shot him."
    • The reason why he challenged The Undertaker at WrestleMania 27 - he wanted to end The Streak as well as believing that Taker was way past his prime.
    • The following year, Taker's pride in refusing to accept a Pyrrhic Victory would lead Taker to persistently demand he try this again - persistently, because a little more time in his new position caused Triple H to see business and nostalgia as more important than another fight.
  • Shout-Out: In real life, WWE does not have a position of "chief operating officer". But Ring of Honor does!
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: As a heel in the early-to-mid 2000s, he would always wear the typical striped referee shirt, with the sleeves cut off, when he was assigned to officiate a match.
    • In Degeneration X, HHH always wore a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • Especially during his 2003 and 2011 runs. Has progressively pulled this on the CM Punk story. Watch any promos promoting the upcoming match and how he's turned Punk from being an Anti-Hero rebel who spoke what everybody felt into a straw man complainer and turned the storyline into defending his wife's honor.
    • By necessity for the 2016 build up to WrestleMania, which is why Hunter won his fourteenth world title despite having expressed no interest in winning another one ever since he became more of a backstage official and an office executive. With the exceptions of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, every single full-time main event talent on the roster was injured (or in the case of Daniel Bryan retired) and would miss Mania. There was literally no other major heel to hold the title for Reigns to challenge for it besides Brock Lesnar, but Lesnar had transcended beyond the traditional dynamics of face and heel and had become a tweener in the eyes of the fans, one who would be cheered above Reigns no matter what he did. Then, after Fastlane, Reigns had to be written out so he could get facial reconstruction surgery for a deviated septum — he would still be able to do the match but still had to miss a significant portion of the build. Since Lesnar, Shane McMahon, and The Undertaker were only booked for a couple of shows, that meant Ambrose and Hunter had to carry Raw by themselves and start a mini-feud for the upcoming WWE Roadblock Network Special, since their respective opponents (Lesnar and Reigns) were unavailable.
  • The Strategist:
    • He's called "The Cerebral Assassin" for a reason. As a character and in real life, Triple H has mastered the psychology of professional wrestling. In JBL's words (regarding potential ring rust on the part of Triple H), "This is a 13-time world champion. The brain doesn't rust!"
    • This also applies to his taking control of talent relations and creative, as he's addressed many longtime fan complaints, improved TV ratings and locker room morale and persuaded multiple wrestlers who said Screw This, I'm Outta Here because of Vince McMahon's antics to come back. Some fans have taken to calling his time in charge of WWE as the "Cerebral Era".
  • Super-Deformed: Some DX merchandise has a chibi Shawn and Hunter on it. Particularly hilarious are the t-shirts of chibi Shawn and Hunter mooning people. Even funnier in that Triple H said in an interview that when shown the new shirts for approval, no one showed Shawn what was on the back (the chibi asses).
  • Sworn Brothers: The Kliq, but especially Shawn Michaels. Heaven help you if you mess with Shawn Michaels and Triple H is around to witness it. Highlighted during Triple H's promo at the end of the NXT invasion of SmackDown at the end of the November 1st 2019 episode, where he talked about how to build an army for a war and first stated that "you look to your blood" while walking over to exchange a Kliq salute with Shawn, who was perched on the ringpost.
  • Tagalong Kid: On the November 10, 1997 Raw, Jim Ross did a Word Association Test with Jeff Jarrett. When JR asked Jarrett about HHH, he said, "Tagalong."
  • Take That!:
    • His original incarnation as a stuck-up blueblood was because Vince McMahon recently purchased a new home in posh Stamford, Connecticut, and his neighbors didn't take too kindly to the kind of "low-brow" entertainment the WWF put on.
    • Hunter has also said numerous times in interviews that Goldberg is a terrible wrestler.
    • Too many times to count in D-Generation X, though of particular note is the time he asked Chris Masters what he could write a book about - "how to lose 30 pounds in a week?".
  • Take That, Audience!: Has gotten to be very good at delivering these while in his Authority corporate role. During Daniel Bryan's ascent in early '14, he seems to love nothing more than to mock the crowd's propensity for cheering on so-called "internet favorites" and behaving like crybabies when they don't get what they want.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The early parts of The Authority run happened to coincide with Paul Heyman's betrayal of CM Punk sparking the two men's subsequent feud with each other. Triple H promptly kept himself out of their way by approving any matches either Punk or Heyman and his clients requested against the other. He even lampshaded at one point that regardless of who comes out on top in their feud, he wins, as this all ensured that two longtime thorns in the side of the McMahon family would be non-factors as he and Stephanie established their newest regime — and at least one of them would end up knocked on his ass.
  • Theatrics of Pain:
    • While it's been overshadowed by his metaphorical shovel and burials of many potential stars, when Hunter wants to put a guy over, he will put that guy over. Hunter is almost as good a seller as Dolph Ziggler is and his best friend Shawn Michaels was, flopping around a la Ric Flair and stumbling about and acting like that chair shot Roman Reigns just gave him dislocated his knees. Even his detractors will admit that there's some real talent there.
    • Related to this is how he sells in promos or reacting to his opponents. Mick Foley is truly one of the greats but Haitch put over Cactus like he was some feared unstoppable monster and not one to make fun of. He could have shrugged off Undertaker's suggestion that Shawn was better, instead he rages that yes he will end the era at Wrestlemania, in Hell in a Cell. Anything less and these angles would have tanked, but Triple H really putting his all sells them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As part of his heel turn in 1999, Triple H started exhibiting sociopathic traits he'd never exhibited at any point previous more and more every week.
  • Troll: A big part of his 2010s heel character. From "Aww, did someone not get what they wanted?" on the Raw after Royal Rumble 2014 to saying he should vent his frustrations with angry tweets and then vow to never watch again (along with his friend Mark).
  • True Companions: The Kliq, which also included real-life friends Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman.
  • Underwear of Power:
    • He started wearing this when he was pushed to main event status.
    • He had actually worn one in WCW, but switched to the long trunks in his "Blueblood" persona.
  • Unholy Matrimony: In kayfabe with Stephanie (later also his wife in real life), forming the McMahon-Helmsley faction and later the Authority.
  • Unkempt Beauty: His DX look, jeans and t-shirt with ruffled hair, earns him more fangirl love than his McMahon-Helmsley Sharp-Dressed Man.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: First in 2000 when he married Stephanie and controlled Raw, then again in 2013 when he screwed Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Championship title. He claims what he's doing is "Best for business"...
  • Verbal Tic: His infamous ending of many sentences with "uh", especially when getting dramatic. "I am... the GAME-uh!" Has been mocked a couple times by The Rock during their feuds.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Had one on the March 10, 2014 episode of Raw when Daniel Bryan organized a protest that occupied the ring and brought the show to a screeching halt. He managed to maintain some composure...until Bryan revealed he didn't just want him at WrestleMania, but that if he won, he gets a title shot. Hunter lost it and had to be held back by security to keep him from trying to rip Bryan's head off in rage.
    • Happens at Survivor Series 2014 when Team Authority begins losing (which means the Authority would be stripped of their power). He drops any pretense of playing fair and throws every Yank the Dog's Chain and tactic he can think of, up to and including punching out multiple refs until he finally calls in a crooked one. When even this fails and Team Authority is defeated, all he can do is hold his head in shame.
  • Villain Protagonist: Oh yeah. He's a heel as of mid-2016 and he's been a main eventer for 15 straight years and counting.
  • Villain Song: Both of his more recent entrance themes, courtesy of Motörhead:
    • "The Game", his most iconic one so far, which sums up how much of a villanous badass he is in three minutes; and
    • "King of Kings", which he used almost exclusively during his recent heel authority figure run.
  • Villains Want Mercy: He has shown this on a few occasions as a Heel & Face. A famous heel case was being at Austin's mercy on the forklift. Hunter screams for Austin to put him down, not to do something he'll regret, and that he regrets running him over him.
  • Villain Team-Up: In 2001, with the now heel "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (as the Two-Man Power Trip).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Shawn Michaels. Anyone else mocks Shawn's receding hairline and new religion, they're headed for a beatdown.
    • A perfect example is his Hall of Fame induction speech for Shawn. Height, fashion sense, receding hairline, all are legit targets - and then you get down to the end, where he talks about how close he and Shawn are.
      Triple H: You know, the only reason Shawn asked me to do this tonight is to force me to say something nice about him.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • Either this or Vocal Decay; when he first started, his voice was kind of high and nasal. As time as gone on, it's bottomed out and gotten more growly.
    • As about fifteen years have passed, this could be purely coincidental (read: age), but it's likely that some of this has to do with his Character Development from his snooty Connecticut blueblood gimmick to the macho, sledgehammer-wielding brawler that he's been for the majority of his career.
  • Warrior Prince: Plays this pretty straight in regards to the WWE itself.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Kevin Nash in kayfabe.
  • Wham Line: Triple H taking over.
    Triple H: Vince, you have been relieved of your duties.
  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: Hunter Hearst Helmsley was a parody of wealthy Connecticut Blue Bloods.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He would habitually beat the crap out of his Kayfabe-at-the-time ex-wife. Justified in that her character was made out to be thoroughly deserving of every single beatdown— i.e., she was a heel.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Shawn Michaels stands out more than anyone else. Even after reforming DX, the two would still come to blows but walk out as friends.
    • The Rock and Triple H were engaged in a long and acclaimed feud in the Attitude Era, with each guy coming on top for several times. This rivalry was verbally referred to at their confrontation in WrestleMania 31. In Austin's absence, they managed to work so well together that 2000 was WWE's most profitable year financially.
    • The Undertaker as well. He actually stated that the reason he wanted to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania 28 is because they are the last two prominent wrestlers from the pre-Attitude Era days and he felt the need to put on one more era-defining match before they both retire. During the buildup to said match, Triple H went so far as to cut a promo of some of the Undertaker's biggest moments to remember the man he was at his height, rather than the 'Taker needing to be helped up the ramp after their match at WrestleMania 27.
    • Chris Benoit. So much respect Hunter had for him, that he tapped out clean to the Crossface on three separate occasions within a year at a time when the IWC was vocal in thinking that Triple H was only looking out for himself.
    • Daniel Bryan is a subversion of sorts, as Triple H repeatedly stated that Daniel was a "B-Plus Player" on-screen, but in reality is very proud of all the hard work he has put in, and had no problem putting him over at WrestleMania XXX.
    • Batista has the distinction of being the only man to defeat Triple H one-on-one in three straight PPV championship matches, is one of only two men (The Undertaker) to pin Triple H inside Hell in a Cell, and is undefeated against The Game. In kayfabe, since Triple H was a heel at the time, he refused to admit that Batista was playing this trope straight.
  • Wrestling Psychology: Even his detractors will (usually) admit he's got quite the grip on this and can really use the crowd to build his matches.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Executed brilliantly on the June 2, 2014 episode of Raw. At the beginning of the show, Batista suddenly and unexpectedly declared his official departure from Evolution and, apparently, from WWE itself. With the group only having Triple H and Randy Orton remaining, it looked as if the two had finally lost the war to The Shield. By the end of the night, however, Triple H proclaimed, like the mastermind that he is, that there's always a "Plan B." That was Seth Rollins' cue to beat the living hell out of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose with a steel chair. Evolution went from losing a member of its group to stealing a key member from its enemy, all in the span of less than three hours, without Triple H being able to pre-plan anything before that night. Evolution stayed alive by adapting, and The Shield perished, when it looked like the exact inverse was going to occur after Batista quit and The Shield thought they had won. Say what you want about Triple H's heel persona in kayfabe, but the man is the quintessential pro-wrestling chessmaster.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The man has had to fight accusations of being a creator's pet and a Spotlight-Stealing Squad for years. When he began to work behind the scenes, smarks began to love him for defying WWE's apparent "Big Guys and Eye-Candy" policy by having his first major decisions be hiring lucha star Sin Cara (formerly Mistico) and Brawn Hilda Kharma (formerly Amazing/Awesome Kong). Unfortunately, both of those acquisitions have kinda blown up in his face, as Sin Cara missed a lot of time between a Wellness Violation and injury, as well as being a patron saint of botching.note  Kharma, in the meantime, was put out of action for nearly a year due to a surprise pregnancy; she would go on to lose her baby and was eventually released by the company.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Infamous for doing this to kayfabe underlings and stablemates. Nearly equally infamous for having it come back to bite him in the ass at some point later.
    • Kicked Randy Orton out of (the original) Evolution, resulting in Orton's transformation into the Viper and his tormenting of the McMahon family for the better part of ten years.
    • Conspired to do the same to Batista - instead earned the Animal as an enemy and lost his title.
    • Did so to Shawn Michaels. Several times.
    • Put a hit out on The Shield when they showed signs of rebellion against The Authority. He was found out, resulting in his former protectors going full rogue and costing him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after Daniel Bryan had been essentially offered to Trips on a silver platter.
    • Appears to have done this to Seth Rollins as well, directly screwing him in favor of Kevin Owens to put the WWE Universal Championship on the latter for reasons unknown.
  • You Are Not Alone: Part of another Friendship Moment with Shawn when he falls on hard financial times & begins working for JBL. Hunter questions why Shawn didn't come to him for help and Shawn explains he didn't want that hanging over their friendship. An unimpressed Hunter tells Shawn he's being prideful, insisting that helping is what a friend does, and he's there if Shawn needs him. Shawn stands by his belief of needing to work things out himself and Hunter can only say he hopes Shawn knows what he's doing.

The King of Kings. There is only one.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): HHH


Shawn Michaels' Playgirl Shoot

During an argument with the rest of DX, Triple H brings up that when Shawn Michaels loses his smile, he does weird things like pose for Playgirl. He excuses it by saying that he was young, stupid and needed the money.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney

Media sources: