WWE originally rejected Triple H’s name change due to AEW star (Exclusive)

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Vince Russo recently recalled how WWE’s higher-ups did not want Paul Levesque to become known as Triple H in his early days with the company.

Levesque used the name Hunter Hearst Helmsley when he joined WWE from WCW in 1995. Two years later, the future 14-time World Champion’s name was shortened to Triple H during his time as a member of the D-Generation X faction.

Russo, WWE’s head writer in the late 1990s, spoke to Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Dr. Chris Featherstone about the 52-year-old’s recent retirement. He said WWE originally rejected the idea because HHH was deemed to be too similar to “Double A,” the nickname of WCW star Arn Anderson:

“They really, really, really were hesitant,” said Russo. “He wanted to be called Triple H and the office was hesitating because of Double A, Arn Anderson, and they wouldn’t allow Hunter to call himself Triple H. I’m like, ‘Bro, it’s two completely different things.’ It was a fight at the beginning. They did not want him to refer to himself as that.” [2:09-2:38]

Watch the video above to hear more of Russo’s thoughts on the WWE executive’s decision to retire due to a heart problem.

How Triple H received another legendary nickname


The NXT founder famously referred to himself as The Game during an interview with Jim Ross on the July 25, 1999 episode of RAW.

Reflecting on that moment, Vince Russo revealed that he wrote part of the script for that interview, including the iconic “I am The Game” quote:

“I gave him that name, you know, The Game,” said Russo. “I don’t know if people realize that, but it came out of a promo. He first said it in a promo. It ended with him saying, ‘I am The Game.’ It was a promo and that turned into the moniker. I think it was something like, ‘I don’t play the game, I am The Game.’” [1:07-1:42]

The Game made an unexpected appearance at the start of night two of WrestleMania 38 on Sunday. During the short segment, he welcomed fans to WrestleMania and left his wrestling boots in the ring to signify his retirement.

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