WWE is celebrating that it has been twenty-five years since Triple H made his debut with the company, so I thought I'd share a few thoughts about him.
I first came across Paul Levesque when I was a newspaper deliverer. There would be a few wrestling magazines on the shelves, so - naturally - they would be what I read when I was waiting for the van to drop off the batch of papers to the shop on Saturday mornings.
One of the mags had WCW's latest wrestler featured. His name was Terra Ryzing. The moniker stood out.
And that was pretty much it. I can't remember ever seeing a Terra Ryzing match on the WCW TV shows I watched.
What I do remember, is - later that year, but most likely in early '95 because I watched WCW PPVs on a few weeks delay as I watched on German TV - I was watching Starrcade 1994 and Ryzing wrestled Alex Wright.
His name had changed. He was now a french aristocrat named Jean Paul Levesque.
Yet again, that was pretty much it. I didn't see him on WCW again.
1995 hit the spring or summer and there he was on WWF TV doing vignettes as he was about to enter the company. He was still playing an aristocrat, but was an American snob named Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
I kind of liked the character, but it was when he started mixing it with Shawn Michaels (my favourite) as part of Degeneration X in 1997 that I think he found his true calling.
The character has developed - or rather evolved (get it?) - over the years, but was in some big angles and matches in that time.
My personal favourite Triple H moment is when he returned to the company after injuring his quad in a match a year earlier. His music struck inside Madison Square Garden and that place went wild. He looked jacked up to the gills and declared himself as a competitor in the 2002 Royal Rumble.
Added into this story is the subplot that I had backed Trips to win the Rumble months earlier. I took a gamble figuring his return would coincide with the build to WrestleMania XVIII.
It was the first wrestling bet I had ever placed and made £350 profit from it.
Another huge Rumble betting win came in 2016. Once again, it was from a HHH victory. The profit was larger this time, but I still consider the 2002 gamble the best.