WWE.com interview (8/30/02)
'Fine line between dedication and obsession' for Triple H
by Phil Speer

"It's well chronicled that Triple H loves this business. He eats, drinks and sleeps this business." -Undertaker, May 3, Birmingham, England

Ironically, Undertaker was wrestling Triple H that night, but his comments were pretty much on the money. Even Triple H himself admits it.

"I don't think it's too far from the truth," Triple H told WWE.com. He added with a laugh, "Sometimes too much so. There's a fine line between dedication and obsession."

I have never met anyone who loves his line of work more than Triple H loves sports entertainment. I've never met a doctor who loves doctoring, a teacher who loves teaching, a policeman who loves policing, as much as Triple H loves being a World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar.

Just consider a few recent examples: Triple H competed on World Wrestling Entertainment's international tour in May even though it was a "RAW" tour and he was on SmackDown! at the time.

"I was booked to be there," Triple H said, referring to the international tour. "The tour was booked when I was champion (and therefore also appeared on RAW). I was signed to appear there. I was advertised to appear there. So I'm going to go. If I'm advertised, I'll be there."

In May, Triple H wrestled Chris Jericho in a Hell in a Cell match at Judgment Day, even though the Game had a broken kneecap. One day after a bruising, bloodying Hell in a Cell, he wrestled at a non-televised match in Birmingham, Ala.

"I feel like the bus that hit me on Sunday (at Judgment Day) backed over me on Tuesday," the Game said two days after his Hell in a Cell match. A few hours later, he went out and competed at that night's SmackDown! taping.

There are seemingly infinite examples of the Game's love for his work. In June, he wrestled the Undertaker at King of the Ring even though he needed surgery on his right elbow. Unable to wrestle for nearly two months, he nonetheless attended WWE events to lend a hand.

Then there was the Australian tour. This time, it was a SmackDown!-brand event, and he had moved over to RAW. But, of course, he flew Down Under anyway. After all, he had been advertised to be there.

"I don't care," Triple H said of making the 16-hour flight to Melbourne. "We used to work a lot more days than this. People say, 'Oh these tours are rough.' We used to go overseas for 18 days and have six to eight hour bus rides every day. This is a breeze. A lot of guys look at it like, 'Oh God I've got to go to another day of work.' I love doing this, so it's not like a burden for me to go out on the road and get to do what I like to do."

Triple H already loved the business before he tore his quadriceps muscle in May 2001. He was a student of the game -- which is where his nickname came from. Early that month, he traveled 7,000 in 48 hours -- 3,500 miles for an international event, and 3,500 more miles to return to the U.S. to host Sunday Night HEAT. The next day at RAW, he was exhausted, but he agreed to an interview with WWE.com. (That's another thing about the Game -- he's truly the consummate professional. He's done interviews with his face covered in blood moments after brutal matches. His done them while soaking his leg in ice water. The list goes on and on.)

"From a physical standpoint, this business only lasts so long for us," he said that day in May. "You're in the limelight, you're on top -- your big run only lasts so long. I'm going to take every little bit out of it I can. I'll sleep when it's over.

"There's an old saying, 'You make hay while the sun shines.' The sun is shining. I'm making all the hay I can. It'll all end too fast. When it's over, I'll at least be able to say I did all of it."

Two weeks later, the Game tore his quadriceps muscle.

Since then, he has seemingly come to love and appreciate the business even more, if that's possible. He began attending shows even when he wasn't booked.

"Just because I'm not on the show doesn't mean that I can't help in some other way at the show," he said. "I think it's important, if you can lend a hand in any way to make the show better, to do it."

The injury no doubt made him realize more than ever that he can't do this forever. But whether he can wrestle for the next 10 years or 10 minutes, he's found his calling in life. I can only hope that those close to me one day find something they love as much as Triple H loves wrestling. But I doubt that will ever happen.

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