The Suplah podcast

Liam DunneMarch 19th, 2015Blog1 Comment »

Triple H Is The Best Character In Wrestling

Okay, so, before we even get started with the article, I would kindly like to ask all you smarks and hardcore members of the IWC to, please, leave your pitchforks and torches at the door and hear me out before you all proclaim “FUCK YOU LIAM YOU FUCKING NONCE, CM PUNK/DANIEL BRYAN/DRAGON DRAGON IS THE BEST!”

I recently watched Max Landis’ fantastic short comedy film “Wrestling isn’t Wrestling”. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it, I’d suggest to check it out now. It’s okay I’ll wait… Back? Excellent! It’s a great video that really encapsulates Triple H’s two decade long career. But when I gave it another watch, and looked through the comedy, to really analyse what Landis was saying, although I think he misses a lot of points out (which I believe may have been intential to make the short more comedic) I actually think he made a decent point. Triple H really is the greatest character that professional wrestling has ever seen.

Now, I need to establish the basic rule for my argument here. When I state “best character”, I am NOT stating that Triple H is the best athlete, talker, performer or any of that jazz. What I’m talking about is the actual character of Triple H, and for this I must employ my Film Production degree to discuss it. (Finally, it’s actually come in useful!)

I don’t want to step on the toes of the short film, and go in depth with each general change that The Game has gone through over the years. What I do want to bring up is Hunters over all character arc. He started off as a snobby rich guy, who wasn’t really taken very seriously by the rest of the roster, let alone the audience at large. Due to this, he was often on the losing end of battles, things weren’t made easier after the Madison Square Garden incident of 1996. When Hunter and Kevin Nash, who were being portrayed as villains, embraced the fan favourites Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall at the end of the show as both Nash and Hall were leaving to jump over to WCW at the time. Due to this breaking-of-character right in front of a live audience of thousands, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was punished heavily by management, he was on a big losing streak and got his planned push taken away which involved winning the King of The Ring (which famously went to Steve Austin and kick-started the Attitude Era), but punishment wasn’t something that didn’t happen to Shawn Michaels due to him being a main eventer.

No doubt that Hunter was genuinely angered by management over this entire situation. This anger was clearly used to drive the antics of D-Generation X. It was the opportunity for Hunter to get back at the powers-that-be that took away his opportunities to move up the card constantly, by coming out on live TV and causing chaos. Yes it was scripted to an extent, but WWF/E has constantly used reality to inspire their writing for stories on their shows, and I believe this is no exception. Hunter became Triple H, and finally had the chance to say “Fuck You” to the authorities.

Things changed for Triple H though when Shawn Michaels went on a temporary retirement following his back injury. He formed DX 2.0, and controlled it as it’s leader. For the first time in the characters history, we see him taking leadership. Before he was the mid carder being at the beck-and-call of the main eventer, but now things have turned around. This is where the seeds of future Triple H would be planted, and which continued to grow through the group of Evolution.

Years later, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were revealed to be a married couple. Now in reality this was known by pretty much everybody and their grandmother, but in the fictional “WWE Universe”, Triple H and Stephanie were said to have divorced each other and even had a heated rivalry in the early 2000’s, but it was retconed in 2009. This gave the character a new motivation, by marrying into the family that owned the business, not only was he ensured with a job for life, but he now knew that the keys to the prestigious WWE kingdom were within his grasps. Instead of controlling two major factions in the WWE, he could control the WWE itself. Instead of being the company’s champion, he could be the company’s chairman. As prestigious as being the champion no doubt is, nothing says control like owning the company that owns the championship.

So now we move into the more recent incarnation of the character. The leader of not only the Authority, but probably the second most influential person in the entire company just behind Vince McMahon himself. Triple H crosses horns with Daniel Bryan. Now like Landis says in the short film, when Triple H see’s Daniel Bryan, he see’s himself. But what Landis fails to mention is that Triple H see’s an idolised version of himself. Daniel posseses similar qualities to Hunter, but the key difference between them is that Daniel Bryan was loved where as Hunter… well… not so much. And for that Bryan is seen as the enemy, both in fiction and behind the scenes. Due to this, Triple H does his best to hold Bryan back, to hold him down and make sure he never reaches the top of the card.

Much like what management did to Triple H nearly 20 years before…

All of this is important to explain why Triple H is the best character ever written. His arc is unlike anything seen before in professional wrestling. It harkens back to something like Darth Vader from Star Wars or Harvey Dent from The Dark Knight. Darth Vader started as Anakin Skywalker, who joined the Jedis to defeat the Siths, only to turn on his friends and join up with Siths to create the Empire. It’s a story that goes full circle and is relatable. It is damn near Shakespearean in its execution. Triple H is like the Sinestro of the WWE continuity!

Now do I think this was the intention? Of course not, WWE seems to get cold feet if a tag team stays together for a year or so (when will Cesaro turn on Tyson Kidd?), let alone create an in depth, three dimension character arc that lasts over 20 years. From being under used, and held back by those in higher positions, the character of Triple H manipulated and played the company at it’s own game, by getting the attention of those in charge, pissing them off and eventually managing to weasel his way into power. Austin was a bad ass, The Rock was entertaining, Hogan was the hero and Punk was the rebel… but not one of them has been as diverse and as an interesting mythology behind one, Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

Triple H’s moniker is “The Cerebral Assassin”. Assassin? Not quite. Cerebral? Most definitely.

Home | Blog     

RSS Facebook Twitter Youtube

Recent Shows ...

Follow The Suplah


Latest Episode