WWE.com interview (6/24/02)
Conducted by Matt Duda

This weekís episode of SmackDown! would normally likely include a segment with Triple H responding to his loss to the Undertaker at King of the Ring. As luck would have it though, The Game was forced to travel to Birmingham, Ala., where Dr. James Andrews planned to perform surgery on Tuesday to remove bone chips from Triple Hís right elbow. WWE.com called Triple H Monday evening to get the story about his latest injury and his thoughts on King of the Ring, Vince Russo and the state of WWEís locker room.

WWE.com: So tell us about the injury. How did it happen and whatís the prognosis?

Triple H: I really donít actually know exactly how it happened. I had bone chips in my elbow. I think anybody in our business thatís been doing this for a long time has chips in their elbows and different things like that. Iíve had them there for a long time. They bug me sometimes, sometimes they donít. A few weeks ago when I was working on TV with the Undertaker, he hit me with a chair and I think he hit me in the elbow and I guess one of the chips dislodged and went into the joint of my elbow. It basically prevented me from bending my arm all the way straight, so my range of motion is very limited. Basically, what you have to do is just kind of wait and see how the chip moves. At that point, I waited for it, but it wasnít moving out and it started to affect my shoulder. It was affecting how I worked. I couldnít throw punches well. Every time I took a bump it hurt because when you take a bump your arm snaps back. It was pretty painful and it was really starting to inhibit my work and it was starting to screw my shoulder up. It was changing how I did things and it was starting to take its toll on my shoulder so I had to get it fixed. Itís been getting progressively worse the last few weeks. Sunday at the Pay-Per-View it was really bugging me during my match, so Iím actually glad Iím getting it done now because I wouldnít want to go too much longer with it.

WWE.com: So youíre back in Birmingham?

Triple H: Back in Birmingham with Dr. Andrews, but this is a simple surgery. It looks like theyíre not even going to put me out. What theyíre going to do is called a nerve block. Theyíre going to do is obviously sedate me, then theyíll put some sort of medicine up near my collarbone I guess; shoot it into the near the nerve and it deadens the nerve. So basically my arm will be dead for about 12 hours. Theyíll just do the surgery, and hopefully all it is is going into the joint, removing all the chips I have in there. Worst cast scenario is thereís some screwed up bone in there that they have to shave and it might take a little bit longer to heal. As it stands right now, itís just a chip so itíll only be a couple of weeks. Iím planning on being back for the next Pay-Per-View.

WWE.com: But we understand you wonít miss any TV time until then.

Triple H: I will miss SmackDown! since itís being taped while Iím having my surgery, but I shouldnít miss any TV after that. I wonít be able to wrestle for probably a few weeks, but Iíll still make the TVs. Iíll make the towns that Iím booked on. Might not be able to wrestle, but I can do something. Hopefully, if everything goes well, Iíll be back for Vengeance, which is four weeks away.

WWE.com: What did you think about your match with the Undertaker at King of the Ring?

Triple H: You know, Iím a perfectionist. I wasnít necessarily very happy with it. Itís one of those things. I hate to make excuses, but I was working with an injury that made me really slow the pace of the match down. It just wasnít what I wanted it to be. I feel like I didnít do the Undertaker any justice, give him the match he deserved to have. Iím kind of down on that, kind of disappointed in myself. I wish I could have put on a better performance, but Iíve got to understand I was limited. Iíve got a pretty good batting average. I can take this one with a grain of salt and just move on to the next one.

WWE.com: You were scheduled to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game next week. Are you still going through with that?

Triple H: Yeah. Because theyíve advertised me Iím going to be there. Iím still gonna go. I donít believe Iíll be throwing any pitches unless I do it left handed, and thatíd be very entertaining. But Iíll still go and do the appearance and they can figure out what they want me to do from there. Maybe Iíll just go out on the field with them or something like that. Maybe Iíll have my nephew do it. Heís 11 so heíd have some fun.

WWE.com: You grew up in New Hampshire. Thatís Red Sox country. Are you a fan?

Triple H: Iím a fan, a casual fan. With our schedule the way it is, I donít honestly follow any sports. Itís one of those things where youíd have to put effort in to follow it, and I just donít have the time to do it. But I grew up watching those guys, and itíll be fun to do. Itíll definitely be an honor for me to go do it. Itíll be a thrill to do so. Iím looking forward to going. Originally I was going to take batting practice with them and everything, but obviously I canít do that. So Iím going to go hang out with them for batting practice. It should be fun.

WWE.com: Youíve worked with Vince Russo in the past, and now heís back in some capacity. Whatís your take on that?

Triple H: You know, Iíve worked with Vince Russo in the past. Heís a good idea guy. I guess itís a team effort, and if heís willing to contribute to the team, thatís great. I look forward to having his ideas and his thoughts and all those things. I donít know the details. I try to stay out of that stuff as far as he was in, he was out, he wasnít in; I donít know what the hell is going on with it. But the way I look at it is, as long as everybodyís heads are going in the same direction, weíre all just trying to make the best product possible. So if he wants to contribute to that, thatís great. Heís had good ideas and heís a smart guy and if he wants to contribute to that, tremendous. If heís looking for it to just be about him or something like that, and that was a problem Ė he didnít want to be part of a team or something like that Ė then that wonít work out because thatís what we are. Itís not a one-man show, itís everybodyís show and we all work to make it right. I guess itís up to him on what he wants to contribute.

WWE.com: Whatís the status of the locker room in the wake of the Stone Cold situation?

Triple H: It seems to be fine. Obviously weíve not had a boatload of shows since then. It doesnít seem to be an issue. These things always make people realize Ė and everybody should always realize Ė that nobodyís bigger than the business. The business will not stop because one person leaves. Business will continue on no matter who leaves, no matter what happens. Itíll continue to be what it is, whether thatís good or bad. Right now, weíve not missed a beat, just continued on. Things seem to be just fine. The one thing is, I think most of our guys realize weíre fairly privileged. We get to do something most people would kill to do everyday of our lives. Thatís pretty much an honor. Itís like Rock said in that promo Ė and that was pretty much the truth Ė the guys in our locker room are there because they want to be there; because thatís what they want to do. If somebody doesnít want to be there, thatís fine. Move on. But itís not going to stop everybody from doing what they love to do.

WWE.com: Anything else going on we should know about?

Triple H: My video comes out this week, I think. My workout one I havenít taped yet. Seemingly, every time I get close to taping it, something happens where I donít tape it. I was going to tape it in July, but it looks like weíre probably going to have to tape it maybe in the fall. Just because obviously Iím not going to be able to train. I kind of donít know what to expect from this surgery. Itís a minor surgery, but I donít know how fast Iíll be able to snap back from it training-wise. Iíll do what I can and come back as quickly as I can and thatís all you can do.

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