WWE.com interview (4/03/03)
Triple H on Wrestlemania, Goldberg & Austin
Conducted by Phil Speer

What does Triple H think of the arrival of Bill Goldberg? What did he think of his match at WrestleMania? The World Heavyweight Champion answered those questions and many more in this interview.

WWE.com: What did you think of your match at WrestleMania?

Triple H: I was happy with my match at WrestleMania. I thought we had a good match. I think Booker T really stepped it up, and I think he feels like he stepped it up. I think Booker T did what he needed to do, and that was prove to a lot of people that Booker T deserves to be in matches of that caliber. I think that's how he felt going into it, that he needed to prove that. And I think he did. I was happy with it.

WWE.com: How are you feeling these days?

Triple H: I feel good. Going into WrestleMania, I had a very busy schedule. But I was dieting down for (an upcoming workout) book at the same time, so I felt like I was in very good shape going into WrestleMania. I feel physically good. I've been going through a lot of rehab, realistically on my whole body, trying to get the aches and pains out. I've got a bit of mileage, so I'm trying to do some things to help that.

WWE.com: Some fans said they thought the end of your match at WrestleMania made Booker look a little weak -- the way there was a delay between the Pedigree and the pinfall. Can you comment on that?

Triple H: You'd have to ask Booker that. I don't think Booker thought I made him look weak. Frankly, I couldn't care less about what fans on the Internet think.

WWE.com: What do you have to say about what Kurt Angle did at WrestleMania, working with a severely injured neck?

Triple H: Kurt once again proved how tough he is, and how dedicated he is and how much passion he has for the business. I don't think there was a doubt in most people's minds, but anybody who did have a doubt of that, Kurt surely erased that. My hat's off to him. He put on a hell of a performance, taking one hell of a risk, and not just with his career, but with his life. Screw his career. That's important, but there's a lot more in the world than that. But he took a hell of a risk because of his pride and passion for this business. I can't say enough about that.

WWE.com: This is the third year in a row that you've wrestled in front of 50,000-plus at WrestleMania. Does that ever get old? Does the adrenaline ever lessen?

Triple H: Did you hear the crowd at WrestleMania? I don't think that could get old. It's an indescribable feeling. And if you think that gets old, you're in the wrong business.

WWE.com: What do you think of Bill Goldberg coming to WWE?

Triple H: I think Bill's a big star. He's got a big name. And hopefully he can add. But WWE is a different beast altogether. It's going to be a real sharp learning curve, I think, for Bill. Hopefully he can do it. We don't have a 300-guy-deep talent roster to feed him 200 wins. He's going to have to get over in a different way -- not that he's not already over, but to stay over. I think he'll adapt, and adapt well. I look forward to getting in the ring with him.

WWE.com: What would you say to a younger talent who is frustrated that WWE seems to keep hiring people, as opposed to giving the talent already on the roster an opportunity?

Triple H: My advice would be to not worry about other guys, worry about yourself. This company can't strap a rocket on somebody who is not ready for it, no matter what. But a talent can strap a rocket on himself whether the office is ready to push him or not, and get himself over. It doesn't work the other way around. There have been numerous examples in the past of guys who they've tried to go to the moon with: Sid, Lex Luger. Guys that they really tried to go with. And then it didn't work out. They can't push somebody that the fans aren't ready to accept in that position. Steve Austin made himself. Yes, the office then took the ball and ran with it. But when Steve came in and he was the Ringmaster, and nobody gave a crap about him, Steve changed his persona, Steve changed his attitude. Before the office was ever doing anything with him, before he was doing the stuff with Bret Hart, Steve was creating a persona that the fans were getting behind. I know because I was working with him every now and then, and he was one of the most over guys, even though he was basically a bottom-of-the-card guy. He was working a program with Savio Vega, and at the bottom of the card, but he was getting one of the biggest reactions on the show. And he had all the tools there to do it. Guys have got to make sure they have all the tools. Too many guys I see, the office tells them what they want them to do to make it, and they don't do it. (The office will) say, "Well, you don't have any interview skills. You need to do that." They don't do it, they don't go practice, they don't do anything. "We need you to change your look." They don't change anything. "We need you to change this." They don't do it. It's up to the guys. I think there's become an attitude in our business -- some people will criticize me for saying this, probably -- where guys say, "This is bulls***. When's my turn?" It's not about getting a turn. Not everybody gets a turn. It's about making your opportunity. That's a fact; that's the way it is. When Rocky was the most un-over guy in this company, they turned him heel because they had no choice, but The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, then took that heel turn and developed a character that fans just ate up. He did that. The same thing with Austin. That's just the facts. That's how you do it.

WWE.com: We interviewed Goldberg recently, and when we asked him about the incident involving the two of you at a convention a few years ago, he said to ask you about it. So what happened?

Triple H: What happened was, I was sitting at an autograph booth signing autographs. Bill Goldberg came, and while I was sitting down at the autograph booth, stood about 30 feet away and hurled a bunch of obscenities and threats. I thought he was joking. At the time as he was yelling, I thought it was one of those type things where you might see somebody from the business, and you heckle them -- "Ah, you suck!" and stuff like that -- then when they look up, you laugh and wave and go about your business. I thought that's what it was at first, so I laughed, you know? And then he kept hurling obscenities. I was doing the autograph session with Steph (McMahon), and I remember I looked at her and said, "Is he serious?" It was funny at first. And he was 30 feet away from me, standing there with nobody between us. If he had that strong of an issue, you'd think he would have just come right over to me and said something, or whatever. And that was really it. I think it's been blown out of proportion over the course of time.

WWE.com: Why did he feel the need to hurl obscenities at you?

Triple H: Honestly, I don't know. I've never asked him about it. Honestly, I've not seen or talked to Bill in any way, shape or form since that incident happened. I've just never seen him. I've heard that he heard I said something about him either on the Internet or in an interview. Again, there's a lot of misinformation out there. Maybe I did say something about him. If I did say something about it, I'm sure it's nothing I wouldn't have said to him if he would have asked me. I don't know Bill enough to judge what it was. But it was a long time ago, and I'll judge him today. And if he smarts off again, I'll just drop him on his head.

WWE.com: Is this an issue that the two of you are going to have to settle now that you're on the same team?

Triple H: It's not an issue we have to settle. We don't have to be best friends, we've just got to exist at work. I don't have to go to Bill Goldberg's house and have a meal with him. I don't have to go hang out with him. I don't have to go shoot pool with him. I don't have to do anything with Bill Goldberg other than do business. And he doesn't have to do anything with me. He's just got to be able to stand in the ring, and I've got to be able to stand in the ring. That's it.

WWE.com: And it's safe to say you are looking forward to working with him in the ring?

Triple H: I think Bill Goldberg is a huge star. And I think that together we can make a lot of money, for the company and for everybody. There's a lot of guys here that Bill can draw money with. So I'm certainly looking forward to that. That's the one thing that people don't understand about the business. Everybody says I'm holding guys back. Why would people hold guys back? The more guys who are over, the more guys you have to work with and make money. You look at WrestleMania. There were a lot of big-time matches on that card Sunday. A lot of great, big-time matches. I don't know how people can say that the company or the boys are holding guys back when there are more top guys working in more matches on this WrestleMania than there's ever been. If you asked me, it looks like they were getting held back more years ago, when one match meant something and all the others were just kind of a bunch of matches. I don't see it, but of course to the Internet, they say that's because I'm the one holding everybody back.

WWE.com: Do you think you're ever going to wrestle Stone Cold Steve Austin again?

Triple H: The question now is whether anybody can ever wrestle Stone Cold again. I don't think anybody can answer that question other than Stone Cold Steve Austin and his doctors. Selfishly, in a perfect world, there are very few guys in this business I enjoy working with more than Steve. We had a hell of a run together -- working against each other, coming up in the same timeframe, all that. I would love to work with Steve again, have him stay around the business. I don't know physically if he can do it, only time will tell. I feel bad. I never wish anybody to be injured in any way, shape, or form. And I certainly don't wish anybody to have an injury that ends his career. One of the things that you always want to be able to do in this business is go out on your terms -- not because your body fails you, not because you're pushed out. Because you felt like it was time. Steve is still a young guy, and he should still kind of be in his prime. Unfortunately, injuries ended it way too soon. I feel bad for that. At the same point in time, Steve had one hell of a run. That was one hell of a ride for him. He should never feel badly about his career, because he did it all. He did more than almost anybody ever in the business. He's always going to be remembered as one of the greats of all time in the business. I'd rather have a brief career the way he did, than have a 30-year career that basically amounted to nothing.

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