Triple H and Shawn Michaels have been two legends that have electrified and revolutionized the world wrestling industry for many years. Not just because of their great skill and the millions of memorable moments they have gifted fans in the ring, also because of the outstanding evolution and transcendence their characters have had throughout their careers. From being rivals to a best friend. From going solo to forging D-Generation X.
However, along the line some interesting facts might have been forgotten, because they were not that important or because the industry wished for them to be forgotten. Here are ten unknown facts about Triple H and Shawn Michaels:
10. Mr. Perfect was one of Triple H’s first managers
In his early years, Triple H used to call himself Hunter Hearst Helmsley (HHH) and he had as a manager Mr. Perfect himself, who even helped him win the Intercontinental title in 1996 against Marc Mero. Mr. Perfect used to be a broadcaster of the WWF when he landed his gaze on Triple H to make his life miserable. He began by taking his women who accompanied him on every fight ringside. This caused great turmoil to Triple H who eventually injured Mr. Perfect backstage on a later occasion.
Triple H won his shot at revenge and obtained something greater. Mr. Perfect influenced a match Triple H had against Austin at WWF Buried Alive, where he lost. Therefore, as a means to get even, The Game injured Mr. Perfect and obtained a shot for the Intercontinental Championship. During the match, Mr. Perfect betrayed Mero, the titleholder, by hitting him with a chair. Triple H sought the chance and won the fight. Mr. Perfect left the company after a while but they met again in 2002 when Mr. Perfect made his return at the Royal Rumble, although Triple H eliminated him.
9. Triple H’s lost his first fight in under 2min
After Ultimate Warrior returned to the ring, he faced Hunter Hearts Helmsley in WrestleMania, which would be the first grand fight for one and the last for the other. Everyone supported the Ultimate Warrior; it was impressive to watch how Triple H tried to finish him with a Pedigree but it had almost no effect on the Ultimate Warrior since he instantly stood back up. Triple H has changed his ways throughout the years but there is no denying that he was still trying to find himself during this period of time. The fight ended with a Warrior Splash in less than 2 minutes, something financially terrible for an event such as WrestleMania.
Yet, the next match was the main event which offered the brawl of the year between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in Iron Match. The Warrior and Triple H’s fight may have been forgotten by many after the big show that both Hall of Famers gave. The Ultimate Warrior went to the match with the motivation and drive to shovel down Triple H but, in the end, he didn’t achieve it completely. It’s possible that after that fight Triple H might have been left with an urge for revenge trying to bury the whole world in search of Warrior but he did not get it.
8. Triple H won, defended and lost the WWE title in one PPV
During the PPV “No Mercy” in 2007, Randy Orton was awarded the WWE title after John Cena left it vacant due to an injury. That same night, Triple H challenged Randy Orton in a fight for the Championship, which was accepted and ended with a new Champion, HHH. Previously, a fight between Triple H and Umaga had been planned which was carried out that same night having as the winner and still champion Triple H. The Game had already won two fights in one night but there would still be a 3rd, Randy Orton.
He used his rematch clause later but, with the Last Man Standing Match stipulation in which Triple H ended up, he lost his title and Randy Orton won two reigns in one day. Orton learned well after being The Game’s student some time back. HHH had taught him to seize opportunities when they presented themselves and that is exactly what Orton did. He noticed Triple H was weakened from his previous fights. From that point on, Orton realized that he was not just a good wrestler anymore. He was at the top of the industry and Triple H was facing painful night with his back against the ropes.
7. Reginald DuPont Helmsley, what Triple H dodged
It is definitely not one of the company’s most creative work in designing catchy and interesting names for its wrestlers. Triple H revealed on Chris’ show Talk with Jericho the name that was going to be given to him when he first joined the organization. Mr. McMahon had some concerns about if it was going to be possible to change Triple H’s baby face later on his career since he was coming from the WCW.
Vince was aboard with what Triple H offered to the business and what he was doing with the character but it did not convince him that the character was not American. They involved The Game in the decision-making process, so they asked him to brainstorm on the names he had in mind. They flew him to Columbus so that he could meet the crew and the people behind the curtain, and after all, when he found out that the company had chosen to name him Reginald DuPont Helmsley, he frowned his brow. Nonetheless, after careful consideration, they went for something else in the end.
6. Hateful awards: Triple H
Pro Wrestling Illustrated is a professional magazine that has given every Most Hated Wrestler of the Year Award since 1972. This uniquely prestigious award the most hated wrestler that is voted by the readers of the widely recognized magazine. On this occasion, Greg Valentine is not the person who hogs the title with three victories; Triple H joined the party. One has to think that in order to win such an award, one’s actions must reach the highest levels of evil and hatred. Therefore, winning the award more than once only demonstrates how much of a demon someone can become.
During 2003-2005, many hated Triple H and Evolution who always on the headlines and especially when HHH was World Heavyweight Champion. Scott Steiner, Bill Goldberg, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton were some of the main wrestlers that Triple H defeated, all that in the course of the years named above. There were also people who he could not beat in a moment, people like Batista and Chris Benoit. In exchange for remembered rivalries, Triple H captured the prize for the most hated character of the year, three consecutive times.
5. Shawn rescues Sting
Sting has always been a peculiar character. Yet, The Heartbreak Kid also has his share of weirdness inherent to him. One of the traits they share is how much the praise and preach about how they reunited with God and were born once more as Christians. So much so, that they ended up brawling in a sermon competition and a wrestling event that was carried out in Detroit a few years ago, organized by the Power Wrestling Alliance and Detroit World Outreach. Despite all, it contained kicks to faces, broken tables and of course sore muscles.
Earlier in the show, Buff Bagwell and Greg Valentine attacked Sting before The Heartbreak Kid stepped in to send a Sweet Chin Music into both superstar’s jaw. Many people believe that the show was as strange as it could get. However, fans got the opportunity to see Shawn and Sting dance around in the same ring. Nonetheless, we can say that Shawn Michaels left behind God since he launched his boot into Stings face later in WrestleMania. Talk about holy loyalty and betting faith in trust. Then again, Shawn has never been one to fully trust.
4. It wasn’t always Sweet Chin Music
Some of the oldest hardcore fans might remember it and not question this fact while most of the younger fans from the most recent generations might not be aware of but The Heartbreak Kid did not always play Sweet Chin Music to his opponents. Nonetheless, we must point out that it was his most frequently used move during his single’s career. During his last days as a member of the wrestling group The Rockers, Michaels sought to destroy from the inside the alliance, in the end, having success.
The last straw of the group was broken apart by an infamous move called the teardrop suplex, a sort of side-angled suplex that Michaels dominated with. He repeatedly used this move to finish off his opponents. He especially used this before dumping Marty Jannetty through a window. After that, he began to implement more frequently a straight sidekick to the face to his enemies despite the fact that it was a move he already used on a regular basis. It was not until 1994 when the finisher began to win popularity until it stuck among fans. Years later, Shawn added the whole stomping prelude to his repertoire.
3. Michaels married a Nitro girl
Love never lands where expected and Shawn can give a far testimony about how such a claim is true. WCW has always been a shadow of the WWE, but sometimes it shines on its own. One of those bright glimpses are the Nitro Girls, outstandingly sexy women who cheered in every event, kept fans excited, and electrified the ring throughout the whole show. Some people claim that the girls only used to call the attention of the men in the crowd. From time to time, the girls would participate in the storylines that are designed for wrestlers or at least have a small role in them.
One of these Nitro Girls was Whisper, better known by her official name, Rebecca Curci. There has been some controversy about who introduced Rebecca to the Heartbreak Kid. Some stories say that Kevin Nash did the job while others say Scott Nash was the intermediary. Regardless, Shawn fell in love with the cheer girl. They got married in Las Vegas in 1999, in a small Wedding Chapel whose only witness in the ceremony was an impersonator of Elvis Presley. Since that day, Shawn and Rebecca have been happily married and have had a life on their own.
2. The British Bulldog never caught a break
The British Bulldog strived long and hard to win the Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart, and he did. The 1992 SummerSlam was the stage for one of the most exhilarating matches in history between the dog and the sharpshooter. It is conventional to see a long reign after someone wins a title. However, it was not the case for the British Bulldog. He was caught using steroids, so the WWF stripped him from the Intercontinental Championship title and gave it to Shawn 2 months afterward. The dog was released from the industry. In a game so demanding as the one seen every week, additional strength is a temptation wrestler must not fall on.
A few years later, the British Bulldog was having a great streak with Owen Hart as Tag Team Champions until 1997. However, the WWF looked to expand the storyline between the pairs so they transferred the titles to the infamous partnership of Stone Cold Steve Austin and, of course, Shawn Michaels. A few months later, the dog had won for the very first time the European Championship and looked to defend it against the Heartbreak Kid in a highly advertised pay-per-view in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, the British Bulldog had no luck since he was easily defeated by Shawn Michaels and lost the title.
1. Appearance in Playgirl Magazine
Shawn has always been a sex symbol for the wrestling industry and on many occasions, he stamped his mark on it. One of those marks was when he posed for a section in an issue of Playgirl Magazine. What he did not know was that Playgirl Magazine was also popular with gay men at the time. His arch nemesis, Bret Hart, did not miss the chance to humiliate him throughout the WWF. In order to counter these events, Michaels thought that if he were able to be involved in Playgirl then he would be able to pick up his reputation with his fans from the other sex.
In the end, Shawn got the job at Playgirl and was heavily paid for it since it also provided protagonism for the industry and for himself. It’s no surprise! With such an athletic physique, anybody who played for the same side would have paid any price. Nonetheless, most superstars today still remind the Heartbreak Kid about how naïve he was back in the day only to get more attention from his fans and the world. Those who did not miss the opportunity to get their hands on the famous issue surely got to see exactly what they paid for.