WWE.com interview (7/21/02)
Triple H on his injury, Nash and being ‘office’
Conducted by Phil Speer

DETROIT – July 21, 2002

So how does it feel to be on RAW, Triple H?

“I don’t know,” he told WWE.com with his customary smirk. “It’s not Monday yet.”

The question of whether Triple H would stay on SmackDown! or move to RAW was one of the featured attractions of Vengeance. He ended up deciding to move to RAW when his old friend Shawn Michaels made a surprise appearance and convinced him to switch. Then they retreated up the ramp, raised each others arms, and posed, something they hadn’t done together on World Wrestling Entertainment television in years.

“It was a lot of fun,” the Game said. “It brings back a lot of memories – some good, some bittersweet – but memories nonetheless.”

The Heartbreak Kid said, “It’s always fun getting back with your buddies out there.”

All the same, Triple H said in an interview before the show that he still would have rather laced up his boots.

“I’ll do something there, but I won’t be wrestling, and that sucks,” he said. “Especially considering it’s been a rough year injury-wise. I went 10 years without any, and now I think I’m making up for it. Hopefully this is the last of it. Now I need another 10 with none.”

His most recent setback is bone chips in his right elbow. He taped his arm heavily and battled through the pain when he wrestled the Undertaker at last month’s King of the Ring. Two days later, he flew to Birmingham, Ala., to have surgery by Dr. James Andrews.

Since then, it’s been more rehab for the Game. Mostly, rehab consists of stretching the arm to try to get his range of motion back.

“It’s just an inconvenience more than anything else,” Triple H said. “I can’t straighten it out all the way; I can’t bend it all the way. It’s not strong. And I’ve not even been able to train in the gym for almost two months now – a month prior to my surgery, and three weeks since my surgery. That’s a long time not to be able to really work out.”

Of course, Triple H also hasn’t been able to wrestle since the surgery. In fact, with the exception of a brief cameo on SmackDown! last week, he hadn’t even been seen on World Wrestling Entertainment programming until tonight. But even when the Game isn’t part of the show, he’s still a part of the show.

The Game has been spotted at several WWE television events, lending a hand in an agent/consultant type role.

“Just because I can’t be in the ring doesn’t mean that I can’t contribute creatively or behind the scenes,” he said. “There’s always something that needs to be done here. I’m still able-bodied and of able mind, so I can still help out.”

The Game was on hand this past Monday when WWE agents called an impromptu meeting with the RAW crew. Triple H was among the more vocal superstars in the meeting, and he was just as outspoken afterwards in an interview with WWE.com that’s generated quite a bit of controversy on the Internet.

Some have suggested that Triple H’s superstar peers perceive him as being part of the “office.” Triple H was asked about those rumors.

“If people want to think that I’m ‘office’ … hey listen, I’m one of the boys (wrestlers),” he said. “But I disagree with the ‘it’s-the-boys-against-the-office’ theory in this business. We all have one goal in this company, and that is to make these shows the best shows they possibly can be so the most people in the world watch them, so we all make a s***load of money. That’s how it works. That’s how we make the product good, and that’s writers, that’s office and that’s talent. That’s every single person who works for this company, and we all work together.

“I was asked to be here. I didn’t say, ‘Hey, I’m going to come to TV and just hang out until somebody finds something for me to do.’ They need the help, so I come and help. Just because my elbow’s hurt, doesn’t mean I can’t help out. If guys think that’s being ‘office,’ maybe they should look at that as f***ing work ethic. If guys would put more into the product than just saying, ‘Hey, it’s not my job to come up with ideas. I’m not a writer. I’m just talent.’ Well, you know what, you’re just a talent who don’t give a s***, so you’ll be a talent at the bottom of the card.”

What Triple H really wants to be is a member of the active roster. Two weeks ago, flew back to Birmingham so that he could rehab intensively at HealthSouth’s state-of-the-art facilities. His goal was to get ahead of schedule, and he says he was successful.

“Now it’s just a matter of continuing (rehab) on my own,” he said.

So the Game was in Birmingham when longtime friend Kevin Nash tore his quadriceps live on RAW on July 8, suffering the exact same injury Triple H did in May 2001. (Triple H’s hotel didn’t have TNN, so he didn’t actually see the show, or the injury, live.) Nash flew to Birmingham the next day so that Dr. Andrews could perform surgery on him.

“I was there when he woke up (after surgery),” Triple H said. “I talked to him almost every day since then. It’s a bad scenario. It’s unfortunate. Kevin said that he’s a 43-year-old guy who’s not a spring chicken. He’s going to try to recover from a devastating injury that a lot of guys can never come back from. It’s going to be interesting to see.

“The first thing Kevin said to me when he got out of surgery is, ‘There’s no way I’m going to let that be my last match.’ And I believe that. If there’s a will there’s a way, and I think that Kevin will go through hell and high-water to make sure he comes back from this and wrestles again.”

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