HHH (real name Paul LeVesque) began wrestling for the World Wrestling Federation in the mid 1990s after a completely unsuccessful run in World Championship Wrestling.

He was known as first as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and his original gimmick was that he was a stuck up snob from Grenich, Connecticut. He used aproximately four wrestling moves at that time...and one of them was a formal bow. Not very exciting. He was given Chyna as a valet to try to pump some life into the character, but it really didn't work. He even won the King of the Ring tournament in 1997, but still no one cared.

However, being part of The Clique has it's advantages, one of them a constant push no matter how much you suck (hence why X-Pac still has a job). So, he was teamed up with Shawn Michaels starting in 1997 to form a new group which would eventually come to be known as Degeneration X--two guys (and Chyna) who made a lot of penis jokes, said "SUCK IT!" a lot, and generally acted rebellious. It worked, becoming hugely popular within a very short of amount of time. It was around this time that Hunter Hearst Helmsley was shortened simply to HHH (spoken as "Triple H"), as he is known today.

Following Shawn Michaels' departure in March 1998 due to a career-ending back injury, HHH assumed leadership of DX. He brought in Sean Waltman (who had just jumped ship from WCW) and the New Age Outlaws as new members, and DX moved from being a heel stable to a babyface stable (they were actually tweeners for a while, but eventually became full-fledged babyfaces).

HHH served in this upper-midcard role until March 1999, at which time he turned on the rest of DX to become a heel and join the Corporation. He was in a holding pattern for a few months until other angles worked themselves out, but this eventually translated into a main event push for HHH starting in the early summer of 1999. He won his first WWF Championship from Mankind (Mick Foley) the day after SummerSlam '99 and kept the belt for most of the next nine months.

In his role as heel WWF Champion, he developed terrific skills on the microphone and also greatly improved his in-ring ability to the point where he's considered one of the better workers in the WWF. His feud with Mick Foley in early 2000 was especially memorable, and two terrific PPV matches with Foley really helped cement his role as a legitimate champion.

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