WWE: Triple H – Thy Kingdom Come (Cert 15)
2 Disc Blu-ray / 3 Disc DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 127 minutes approx.
Triple H is not just the greatest wrestler that has ever lived but he is also the greatest human being that ever walked this fine Earth of ours. That is the message one takes away from this latest WWE home video release, which is less a biography, more a hagiography.
Already the subject of numerous previous releases WWE felt it necessary to gives us another dedicated to The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, The King Of Kings and more importantly, the Boss’s Son-In-Law. But this one is different because it is in HD! Facetiousness aside, the two hour plus documentary segment may be a story already told but this one is arguably the most revealing into both the personal life of our subject and behind the scenes of the WWE. With rare photos and footage of the early days of the skinny lad then known as Paul Levesque to his nascent entry into junior body building and his beginnings in pro-wrestling as a huge lug with a dodgy haircut, the story is interspersed with comments from Ma and Pa Levesque who gush lovingly about their awesome son.
It seems that everyone who saw huge potential in young Paul in his early wrestling days, be it at Killer Kowalski’s wrestling school, WCW or WWF, the potential to be something special in the business was there from the onset. Kowalski, Terry Taylor, Harley Race, William Regal, DDP, Kevin Nash, Jim Ross, Big Show, Road Dogg. Like the three wise men at the manger they all knew that there were in the presence of the future King Of Kings. Also on hand with their unbridled praises to the almighty one are other objective notaries in Triple H’s life Shawn Michaels, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, Billy Gunn, Ric Flair, Batista, Randy Orton and of course the McMahon family (sans Shane natch). Possibly the most surprising advocate is The Undertaker, who crawled out of his dark kayfabe grave to add to the deification of The Game, which will no doubt be the biggest attraction for many intending to purchase this title. No sign of CM Punk, Chris Jericho or Bret Hart you notice…
With rare openness we follow HHH’s journey from his WCW stint as the horrifically named Terra Ryzin to the French aristocrat Jean-Paul Levesque until his one year contract was up and he jumped to the WWF where he was repackaged as an American aristocrat (because Vince “no racism in the WWE” McMahon felt it would impossible to turn him face if he was French) named Hunter Heart Helmsley. From here the story becomes familiar as we walk through the key events of his WWE career: from the infamous Curtain call at MSG in 1996 that cost him his proposed King Of The Ring victory that instead went to someone called Stone Cold Steve Austin (whatever happened to him?) to the repackaging of his character with the introduction of female bodyguard Chyna, to the eventual formation of D-Generation X. Nothing new to report here but things get a little more interesting when we get to the big angle of 1999-2000 which saw him “marry” a drugged Stephanie McMahon and the real life romance that emerged from this purely innocent and platonic business arrangement.
Apparently it was the respective mothers that first notice spark between Paul (as he is referred to throughout this programme) and Steph, with our Romeo and Juliet apparently being the last to know. Actually Chyna was the last to know as she and HHH were in a long term relationship at that point, and while she was patiently waiting for him to propose, he was pile-driving the boss’s daughter. Not that this is brought up here. It’s interesting they discuss how this relationship would put HHH in an awkward position and how he was warned by Taker and Vince that people will assume nepotism was at play for any success he had. Yet almost without irony that is exactly how things played out – especially on TV.
Much like John Cena today, from 2002-2005 Triple H was beatified on TV as bigger than the whole company. The list of self-indulgent misdemeanours and blatant bias that fans – and the rest of the roster – had to endure over this period is far too long and numerous to even summarise here but it will stick in the memories of those who were watching at the time. Some may have forgiven but others won’t, especially as this is now coming into play at the moment with the current angle with Daniel Bryan, in which once again COO Triple H stands above every man without recrimination. The more things change…
The final act is the most revealing taking us backstage and behind the scenes of the daily running of the WWE which is fascinating to see but the plaudits still come thick and fast, accompanied by a slushy, manipulative soundtrack. Pat Patterson gushes how the wedding of Paul and Steph was the “most beautiful he had ever attended”. Jim Ross calls HHH a “Hall of Fame human being” and a teary eyed Vince McMahon says that Paul is “one of the best things that ever happened to him”. It’s a shock that the final image isn’t of Triple H walking off into the sunset on water.
It’s difficult to be objective about a presentation that itself is practically devoid of objectivity but as it stands however, this is a very well made documentary and the candid material on display makes for a visually and chronologically rounded programme. It’s a shame that the unabashed sycophancy and vomit inducing brown nosing reduces this to a vanity project, an ego stroke of epic proportions. I’m sure Hunter’s friends and family do value him this highly and that he is as committed to the wrestling business as he says he is, but this just lays on the praise far too thick, and unless you are a hardcore Triple H fan then it is difficult to look past this.
No Disqualification Match – Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (WrestleMania 29, 7th April 2013)
Motivation in High School
Hard Way In
Hunter Hearst Helmsley – The Name
Wild ‘n Crazy Guys
Evolution’s Fifth Member??
Two Movies at Once
Commemorating the End
Worst Gas on the Planet
Praising the Boss
Behind the Scenes – Photo Shoot
Behind the Scenes Wrestlemania 29 Weekend
The Levesque Game
King of Signs
Rating – ***
Man In Black
WWE Home Video UK are pleased to announce an exclusive signed sleeve competition. This time there are 20 Straight To The Top – The Money In The Bank Ladder Match Anthology sleeves (10 x DVD & 10 x Blu-ray) signed by the WWE’s resident Show Off DOLPH ZIGGLER up for grabs. All you need to do is pre-order Straight To The Top from the WWE Home Video UK website at http://www.wwedvd.co.uk/straight-mitb-ladder-match-anthology-p-11761.html and you’ll automatically be entered. (Those who’ve already pre-ordered have been automatically entered.)
All pre-orders must be made before Monday 4th November in order to be entered. Only UK residents are eligible to enter this competition.