FHM Magazine-10/01
Quote, Unquote
Triple H:
The WWF's intimidator on death threats, getting knocked cold and pushing Vince McMahon into a dumpster
Credit to Triple H Unleashed for this interview.

FHM: Because you're seen as such a badass, do people go so far as to make actual threats against your life?

HHH: I had a death threat in my room after Wrestlemania a few years back. I had a security guard escort me from the match back to my room, and right on my table there was a note saying, "I hope you fucking die. I'm gonna kill ya." They never found out who it was, but I'm staying on a floor with other wrestlers that has 24-hour secutrity. I said to the guard who brought me up to my room, "Hey, security is working out great."

FHM: Does it seem as if there's no place you can go to avoid fans hounding you?

HHH: I've had people walk up to me in a urinal when I had my dick in my hand and say, "Triple H, I just want to shake your hand and tell you how great you are." I'm like, "I don't think you really want to be shaking my hand right now." I've had people follow me into the bathroom as I'm going to take a dump and will slide a piece of paper and pen underneath the stall and ask me to autograph it. When I was in rehab for my leg injury in Birmingham, AL, there were people who had driven cross-country to meet me. The security guards had to chase them away.

FHM: Do they think you are the animal you play in the ring?

HHH: Sometimes my fans seem to forget I'm not the same guy when I'm out of character. At one point, I was the most hated guy in the business, and often when I was in the ring, the crowd would chant "Asshole, asshole, asshole." This one time, I was checking in at the airport, doing my best to be low-profile, and all of a suden I hear this guy yell, "Asshole!" Then another guy yelled it. All of a sudden there were about 20 people on the upped level of the airport chanting, "Asshole, asshole." The poor old woman behind the ticket counter just wanted to crawl underneath her desk. She had no idea what was going on.

FHM: Does your bad-guy reputation help you avoid confrontations?

HHH: It's pretty common for me to come back to the hotel and run into fans who want autographs, but occasionally, you'll run into the ones that are pissed because you just beat "their guy." I can remember after one match when I beat Steve Austin, this guy started getting in my face and he was a bit toasted. I let him blow off some steam. Once I decided I'd had enough, I gave this guy a look like I might rip his head off, and he backed off rather quickly.

FHM: Why is it that wrestlers appear to be such naturals when they make appearances on sitcoms or in movies?

HHH: Most people think that when it comes to wrestling, we are just going out there and being ourselves as opposed to playing a character. When I did The Drew Carey Show, the director was going over things and telling me what we were going to do each day. Finally, he said, "On Friday, they are going to have people in here, so you're going to have to do your lines live in front of an audience of about 800 people. I hope you're ok with that." I looked at him as if he were kidding. I do this in front of 20,000 people a night with no retakes! It amazes me that these people have no clue what we have to do as wrestlers.

FHM: What's the nastiest thing you've done to an opponent during a match?

HHH: I gave Mick Foley a face-first pile driver into a pile of 20,000 thumbtacks. This was all Mick's idea, though. He knew it was coming. That's the sick part of it. All day prior to the match, he's doing everything to convince me to do this to him, and I'm like, "I can't, I can't"

FHM: When you look at a script for a match, do you ever say to yourself, "The writers must really hate me"?

HHH: Ninety percent of the crazy shit we do actually comes from the wrestlers, not Vince. That entire story with the thumbtacks came from Mick Foley and myself. Vince will never ask us to do something he wouldn't do himself. I remember he came up with this idea of having these two wrestlers pushed off a ramp into a dumpster. Here we are at rehearsals, and there's Vince testing it out.

FHM: Do you feel the media goes out of it's way to rip Vince McMahon, especially with the disastrous XFL?

HHH: I think the average man on the street likes Vince and and likes when Vince succeeds, but the media and the establishment hate Vince and hate when he succeeds because he is not one of theirs. In fairness, Vince does give the media plenty of opportunities to go after him. When it came to the XFL, I think they made two mistakes. One was before it got started, they attacked the NFL. They were calling the NFL a "no-fun league." The NFL took offense and, I think, went to the media and said, "Bury these guys or you're not going to be dealing with us at all." The other mistake was NBC putting the games on Saturday nights. But I really think when February hits next year, people are going to miss the XFL.

FHM: What did you make of Vince McMahon's decision that "the show must go on" after the death of wrestler Owen Hart during a Pay-Per-View event?

HHH: Had we decided to not carry on with the event, it might have been worse. Everybody backstage was so devastated and shook up that I really think that not cancelling the show was good therapy for everyone. I feel Vince made the right decision, and I think Owen would have felt the same way. The one thing that really pissed me off was the criticism we received the next day, people saying that what we did was shameless publicity to take advantage of Owen's death. This guy was my friend; he was everyone's friend.

FHM: What's the worst injury you've suffered?

HHH: Tearing my quad was pretty brutal. I was in a tag match with Steve Austin, and we were up against Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit for the WWF tag titles. Jericho had Austin in a move that is called the Walls of Jericho, and I came in to hit Jericho from behind to make the save. As I hit him, I lunged forward and planted my left foot. It was at that point that I felt a "pop" above my knee. It was like a shot of electricity had flown up my leg, which was actually the muscle bunching up under my leg. I immediately fell over, and at first, I really wasn't sure what had happened because it was so fast. I went to stand up and there was nothing there.

FHM: Did you continue with the match?

HHH: There was a series of events that were to take place to put a "capper" on the match, and I knew what was coming. I was to put Chris Jericho on top of the announcer's table, and then he was going to reverse the situation and put me in the Wals of Jericho, which is when you have the guys feet hooked underneath your arms and he's in a wheelbarrow position between your legs. There was so much pressure on my quads that the pain was unbelievable, but we just have to suck it up. There is no one to replace you, so not continuing the match never entered my mind.

FHM: Ever had a wrestler get pissed off at you and decide to go off the script?

HHH: I was in this one match with The Rock and Kurt Angle, and partway through the match, Angle got knocked out and had to be taken from ringside, and that kind of put a damper on things. The thing about our business is each guy needs to be able to trust the other in the ring. There are so many times during a match when you're giving the other guy your entire body.

FHM: Aren't guys ever tempted to take cheap shots?

HHH: If they try to do something to injure you, there will be ample opportunity for the roles to be reversed, and you just can't operate in our business that way. There have been times when I've been knocked out accidentally and you just deal with it. But the bottom line is we are a family and we really have to look after each other's backs.

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