Anyone who’s an inside fan of the WWE or wrestling in general will enjoy the interview that Triple H recently did with the Grantland website. He talks openly about behind-the-scene doings and his relationship with father-in-law Vince McMahon.
There are a few points in which he references the nostalgia of the 1980s WWF scene, or even earlier WWWF memories, including the following:
- When comparing the no-holds-barred Attitude Era of the late 1990s to today’s more tamer WWE wrestling: “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 PG as you can get.”
- When talking about the WWE developmental system and his own early days training under Boston area wrestling legend Walter “Killer” Kowalsi, who ran a wrestling school in Malden, MA: “You have to have a big ego, but asking questions is not a weakness. It’s a strength. It’s great to know that I’m really good at this, and I have all the faith in my ability to take that gamble every day. It doesn’t mean I can’t get better if somebody is willing to help me. That’s why I went to Kowalski’s school. When I looked at the schools that were available, I thought, ‘Kowalski was a big star. He knows how to be a big star. He’s been there, maybe he’s figured it out.’ So you have to have a healthy ego, but you also have to be willing to learn and understand you don’t know everything.
- Regarding what was probably the original WWWF Heavyweight Title strap from 1963: “This past year, I got the first WWWF championship belt that Buddy Rogers lost to Bruno Sammartino. The night we put Bruno into the Hall of Fame, Bruno saw it. He hadn’t seen it since the day they switched it. He was amazed.”
There’s a lot more to this interview in terms of modern-day WWE discussions, and it is amusing to see HHH downplaying his own power in the company (e.g., “I wish I had the brainpower and the wherewithal and the drive to be as maniacal and devious as people fucking think I am.”). Please — this is a guy who learned from Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash about backstage politics.
Either way, the Q&A is well worth your time to read.