Triple H has morphed into one of the most powerful men in the pro wrestling business, second to only WWE C.E.O. Vince McMahon. It is a rare opportunity when the C.O.O. talks to the media but when he does, it rarely disappoints.
I wanted to hit a couple of the key points and discussions from the interview. Grantland.com is the first website to ask any of the big three (Vince, Hunter, and Stephanie) about the Reddit.com controversy of leaked results and news. Hunter isn’t worried and even confirmed a long rumored theory to the dismay of some CM Punk fans.
“The night we brought Lesnar in,30 the fans were chanting his name, and Vince said to me, “How do they know we have Lesnar here?” They didn’t! They’d heard rumors that Lesnar was a possibility. But if you watched that crowd, they were fucking blown away when he walked out there. And that’s the difference. People think they know, but they really don’t know any of the inner mechanics of what we do. Every now and then there’s something in there that will be right on, and I think that’s because talent put it out there. Talent hear things and that’s fine. We don’t really put much thought into it, to be quite honest. We just dislike when people ruin stuff for fans. It’s like telling kids Santa Claus is fake. Why do it? It doesn’t benefit anybody other than the ego of the person who put it out there. I never understood that. Why would you tell people what’s going on? Isn’t that the whole point of what we do, to keep them on the edge of their seats? I mean, yeah, we see where the Internet is going. We’re giving fans more access now and doing shows like Total Divas. But I laugh, like, when writers say “Oh, CM Punk laid the pipe bomb and lifted the fourth wall in a promo.”31 So let me get this straight, you think we put him out on TV, he broke f*cking everything we were supposed to do, and then sat down Indian-style and started blistering everybody, and we didn’t think Let’s take him off the air? If that would’ve been a shoot, it would’ve been off the air the second he started.”
It is interesting that Hunter would go out of his way to tell the reporter that the CM Punk pipe bomb promo was worked. I always felt it was a work even though many respected reporters went on record and reported it as a shoot, sharing that view with many fans. It just felt too contrived the way that the camera was in the right place at the right time in addition to hitting all of the bullets before the show went off the air. Does it change anything about the legacy of the promo? Not to me, but to some it may.
Hunter was asked the PG rating today and brought up an interesting anecdote about a Hell in a Cell match he and Shawn Michaels had against Shane McMahon and The Big Show.
“All that stuff is just special effects. It’s crazy special effects that you’ve never seen before, but if the story’s not good, it’s still a crap movie — it just has a bunch of stuff exploding. Visually, it’s unbelievable, but you’re bored 20 minutes in. At a certain point in time, those special effects just started to become all we were.
We were putting together a Hell in a Cell match once with Shawn and me against Vince and Shane34 and the Big Show.35 And Shane is the king of daredevils, and we were putting together all these crazy spots, and it’s just bothering me. Vince was like, “I can tell you don’t like any of this. Why?” It was because all we’re doing is putting together a bunch of special effects. And I said “People paid a lot of money to see Shawn and me stick your head up Big Show’s ass, but we’re jumping off a cage, landing on tables. Why?” And Vince said, “You’re right. Start over.” We could fall off all that stuff that day, but it’s not what they wanted to see. It wasn’t about the special effects; it was about the story line.
We reached a point where everything just became special effects. We had to pull back and go back to story lines. People will look at the Attitude Era and they’ll go, “Ahh, the golden age,” but then they’ll look back at the ’80s with Crockett Promotions and the WWF and say, “Oh, that was the golden age, too!” So, which is it? Because they couldn’t be more different. That’s as PG36 as you can get.”
Triple H may be the most polarizing figure in pro wrestling on the Internet. He was asked about it and according to him, he is far from the devil he is portrayed to be.
“I wish I had the brainpower and the wherewithal and the drive to be as maniacal and devious as people f*cking think I am. I’d be f*cking Darth Vader. I’d run the Empire, and I guess maybe that’s how some people see it, right? They’d say “Oh, he went in there and he buried29 this guy,” and it’s like, fu*ck, I had nothing to do with that. I didn’t even know he was coming in until I saw him that day.”
It is a long but absolutely fascinating interview. I’d recommend putting some time aside and checking out the whole thing. You probably won’t read many more like this with Triple H any time soon.
[amazon_link id=”B00DBPBQB8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: Summerslam 2013 DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B00CS7PJY0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] The Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden[/amazon_link]