© 2013 Rob. All rights reserved.

Triple H

tripleh

Acrylic, marker and spray on 30″ x 40″ canvas

Even with a storied career in the ring, Triple H could very well be the future of professional wrestling. Born Paul Levesque in 1969, he discovered a passion for bodybuilding at a young age, even being crowned Teenage Mr New Hampshire in 1988. He debuted with WCW in 1994 under the name Terror Risin’, soon to be changed to Terra Ryzing. After a few months he was repackaged as the artistocratic Frenchman Jean-Paul Levesque, during which time he developed his signature finishing move the Pedigree. He had a short time of tagging with Lord Steven Regal before moving to WWF/WWE. There, he continued the character under the name Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He faced the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania XII, and also feuded with Marc Mero.

Backstage, he became a part of The Kliq, a group of wrestlers who traveled together and looked out for each other, which included Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and Scott Hall. In-ring, he started being accompanied by Chyna, who worked as his bodyguard in matches. After winning the 1997 King of the Ring, he formed D-Generation X with Michaels, Chyna and Rick Rude, leading to that stable feuding with the Hart Foundation, and Helmsley specifically facing off against Owen Hart. By this time, he had dropped the blue-blood gimmick, toughened up his look, and shortened his name to ‘Triple H’. With Michaels entering a temporary retirement due to injuries, Helmsley reformed DX with X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws. He entered into feuds with The Rock and Kane.

At WrestleMania XV he fully embraced his villainous side, becoming one of the best heels in wrestling. Soon after, he defeated Mick Foley to win his first WWE Heavyweight Title. Following a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, he ‘married’ Stephanie McMahon and feuded with Vince McMahon, beginning the ‘McMahon-Helmsley Era’. During this time, he had notable feuds with Foley, Kurt Angle, Rock, and Austin. On the May 21, 2001 his career was nearly ended when he tore his quad completely off the bone. Okay, and here’s where we enter complete bad ass territory: He finished the match.

He returned as a face on January 7, 2002 to one of the best crowd reactions ever, and went on to beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania X8 to become the Undisputed Champion. He soon dropped the belt to Hulk Hogan, for what may have been the Hulkster’s last run as a World Champion. In July, he turned back heel after turning on the returning Shawn Michaels, leading to a long and brutal feud between the two. In September of that year, he was named the first WWE World Champion, going on to feud with Rob Van Dam and later Kane in the infamous Katie Vick storyline. (Google it)

In 2003 he formed Evolution with Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista, a modern Four Horsemen that dominated the wrestling scene. Naturally, the group disbanded and led to Trips feuding with the other three over time. In June of 2006, he and Shawn Michaels reformed DX leading to a full face turn by Triple H. The duo had a great feud against the team Rated-RKO, consisting of Edge and Randy Orton. This unfortunately led to Triple H tearing his other quad (I was at that show. The crowd was HOT for that feud).

He returned in 2007 and continued his feud against Randy Orton and later Edge. In 2009, he and Michaels got the band together again with DX, facing off against Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. Since 2011, his career as an in-ring competitor has been less full time, returning for notable big-match feuds with the Undertaker, CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar.

While his in-ring competition is slowing down, he is becoming even more involved in the business. Following their on-air relationship, he and Stephanie McMahon actually fell in love, marrying in 2003. In 2010 he became an Executive Senior Advisor with WWE, and in 2011 became the Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events. The change in the product is already noticeable due to his contributions, and there is a lot of excitement for what comes next.

About the piece: Continuing my pledge to do better with my work, I really tried to push myself with this. First I laid down the blacks in the background and the hair, then brought in spray paint, paint markers and a little house paint for wherever the blacks were, blurring the lines between what is back- and foreground. I then did the figure with a palette knife, and finished with the DX ‘tag’ over the top. Suck it!

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