WWE Magazine-12/02
That Damn Evil!
Respect the Talent, Hate the Man - Meet the Real Triple H

It takes a special kind of sadistic jerk to destroy three of the biggest feel-good moments in the WWE over the past year, but if anyone has proven himself to be that reprehensible, it's Triple H.
Few stories gripped WWE fans like Triple H's long and ardurous road back from a severe leg injury in 2001. From his painful and difficult rehabilitation from a carer-threatening injury, to his unlikely triumph at the 2002 Royal Rumble, to his victory over Chris Jericho for the WWE Undisputed Championship at Wrestlemania X8 in March, fans were squarly behind "The Game" and cheered their lungs out for him at every difficult step along the way.
Months later, the world was shocked by the sudden reunion of the cornerstones of D-Generation X - Triple H and Shawn Michaels. These longtime friends - a duo who had once run roughshod over the "old-school" rules and traditions of sports-entertainment, while blazing a new trail as one of the most entertaining and dangerous factions in history - walked down the ramp in their old DX colors, sending fans into a frenzy. But seconds into that historic occassion, the real Triple H re-emerged - uncaring, calculating, vicious beyond words and powerful beyond description. And it was he who destroyed the moment - and Michaels - with a Pedigree.
Fans at first were more perplexed than angry over the sudden attack. But they were soon given irrefutable proof of Triple H's true nature and cruel intentions toward his former friend. Weeks later, Michaels was found crumpled in a blood-drenched heap after having his head rammed through a car window. Triple H, still playing the charade of caring friend, led a bogus "investigation" into identifying the attacker, only to have a security camera reveal him as the culprit. Rather than recoil from the evil deed, Triple h reveled in it, laughing and mocking Michaels as a half-crippled has-been
That set the stage for perhaps the greatest Cinderella story of all: Shawn Michaels' comeback to the ring after four years on the sidelines with a serious back injury. Michaels and Triple H engaged in an unsncationed match at SummerSlam after signing hold-harmless clauses in order to legally engage in as much twisted mayhem as they could muster. After absorbing an almost inhuman amount of punishmentfrom "The Game," Michaels completed one of the greatest and most improbable comebacks in history by defeating Triple H. And yet, just as he basked in the glow of his triumph, Triple H attacked him from behind, twice slamming his ubiquitous sledgehammer into Michaels' damaged spinal column, and sending HBK from the ring on a gurney, on his way to a temporary stay in a wheelchair.
It's safe to say any goodwill WWE fans once had for "The Game" had long since expired. The masses reacted with disgust when Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff created the World Heavyweight Championship, only to hand it to Triple H on a silver platter without even the benefit of a title match.
Yet, when we reached him to get the inside scoop on his dastardly deeds, we were hoping for a small measure of contrition. We were sadly mistaken.

WWE Magazine: We've been getting thousands of letters and e-mails from fans who are utterly disgusted by many of the things you have said and done over the last few months. Would you care to respond to them?

Triple H: Like I give a crap what the fans think. This is a business. I am a businessman. When you're in business, you're not in it to make friends. You're in it to make money and be successful. That's what I do. That's why I'm "The Game." That's why I'm the best.

WWE: Mostly the fans fel betrayed by you. They stuck by you through your injury and rehab, through your comeback and when you beat Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania X8 for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Is this how you repay them?

Triple H: I never asked the fans for anything. I never asked for fans to cheer me when I got hurt. I never asked for the fans to cheer me when I came back. They just did. That was their decision. If they don't like the things I've done, I don't care. They didn't have a problem with me beating up Chris Jericho. But when I beat up somebody they like, they have a problem with it. Well, that's just too damn bad. I beat up anybody I want to, whenever I feel like it.

WWE: So we should all feel kind of stupid for having rooted for you in the past? Is that the deal?

Triple H: Of all the things people like you should feel stupid about in your life, rooting for me is the least of your problems.

WWE: Touche. Of all the horrible things you've done, the hammer attack on Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam is by far the sickest. You actually laughed your way back up the ramp after you nearly crippled him. How could you possibly derive pleasure from something like that?

Triple H: It was exactly what I said I was going to do, that's how. Shawn Michaels came back and decided to test me, and I told him if he did, I would leave him a crippled mess. And that's exactly what I did. It was a happy moment for me. I did exactly what I said I was going to do. Look, this is a physical business. You know what? When you cna't handle the physicality anymore, it's time to pack your bags and go home. That goes for anybody in this business. And if you can't pack them yourself, I'll pack them for you.

WWE: Shawn Michaels is a guy who is regarded by many as one of the greatest performers ever to set foot in a ring. Many people now say the same thing about Rob Van Dam, Is it possible that your hatred of them is born of jealousy?

Triple H: The way I see it, Shawn Michaels may have been great at one time; he might have been the greatest in the business - at one time. But today's a new day. And there's a new "best in the business," and that's me. Shawn Michaels can't hold a candle to me. The Shawn Michaels of the past, present or future has no business even speaking my name. That' how far ahead of him I am. And the same goes for RVD. He's a great athlete, but don't ever insult me by mentioning his name in the same sentence as mine.

WWE: You have a new set of circumstances to work under in terms of classic rivals. Steve Austin is gone; Undertaker, Kurt Angle and The Rock are on Smackdown! With guys like Rob Van Dam, Booker T and Chris Jericho on Raw, who do you see as the next classic rival for "The Game"?

Triple H: There are a lot of guys on Raw that are huge impact players - Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley. Bradshaw and Kane have always been in the mix as well. And I'm sure there will be some sleepers, too. The business grows daily, and everybody gets that mcuh better every day. You have to stay a step ahead of them, and that's what I do.

WWE: When Eric Bischoff handed you the World Heavyweight Championship in Spetember, you said nobody in the locker room deserved it more than you. Since then, a lot has happened, to say the least. Do you feel any need ot amend that statement?

Triple H: Who could possibly deserve it more than me? I have been the No. 1 guy in this business for years now. If anyone feels like they deserve that spot more than I do, I'd like to hear their arguments why. I am always the World Heavyweight Champion, as far as I'm concerned. I always will be. Until somebody can prove to me they're better than I am, I'm the best there is.

WWE: In that ase, did RVD earn your respect at Unforgiven? Is that even possible?

Triple H: Did RVD earn my respect? I'll hand it to RVD - he's a great athlete, he's a talented performer and he's one of the best in this business. Quite frankly, if he wasn't, he wouldn't have even been in the ring with me. But am I a better athlete? A better wrestler? The better man? Without a shadow of a doubt. I'm the best there is. I know it, and I believe it because I live it every single day.

WWE: In light of the things you've done and some of the things you've said, what does a person like you do for fun? Do you go out and skin cats? Do you go to nursing homes and Pedigree elderly people into their Jell-O?

Triple H: The things I do for fun are things like whacking Shawn Michaels in the back with a sledgehammer. I get pleasure out of shutting people up when they don't know when to shut themselves up. And that's what I've been doing lately, shutting a lot of people up.

WWE: Have you found a kindred spirirt and ally in Bischoff, or is he just a relentless ass-kisser?

Triple H: Eric Bischoff is a businessman. The fact of the matter is, when he looks at Triple H, he sees box office. He sees a guy who sells out arenas, headlines pay-per-views and does big TV ratings. Eric Bischoff is a smart man; he takes care of the people who take care of him. And I take care of him and make him a rich man by making Raw the No. 1 show on cable television.

WWE: In light of everything you've done and some of the things you've said here, is it safe to say you're more comfortable now that you're back to being a hammer-swinging a******?

Triple H: I don't think I was ever anything else. I think when people didn't like the person I was swinging the hammer at, they thought it was cool. Now that I'm swinging the hammer at someone they do like - RVD, Shawn Michaels, whomever - I'm back to being an a******. And that's fine by me. I couldn't care less. Like I said, it's a business. I'm not here to be praised or cheered. I'm here to make money and be the best. And that's what I am - always.

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