As "Monday Night Raw" fans know, this Sunday is the biggest wrestling pay-per-view event of the year, WrestleMania XXVIII. In the last of a five-part Q&A with WWE superstars, WWE icon Triple H talks about what the event means to him.
Q: You are a veteran of WrestleMania. How will the feeling you get when walking to the ring Sunday compare to your first WrestleMania?
Other than the fact that you have done it before and you know what to expect, the feelings will be the same. Just an indescribable rush of adrenaline when you have 70,000 to 80,000 people all going crazy. It’s hard not to be excited. I think the energy at least for me is going to be the same as the day I first walked to the ring at WrestleMania.
Q: What is the biggest adjustment you have had to make in transitioning from full-time wrestler to full-time management?
Full-time wrestlers have fewer meetings than full-time managers do. I spend time in meetings a lot. And wearing a tie is kind of a downfall. I think it’s just learning to deal with situations in a business way as opposed to a locker room way. There is a large world of difference and you just have to learn that transition.
Q: If you could transport any wrestler from history, in the prime of his career, to face you at next year's WrestleMania, who would it be and why?
It would be one of two people. Ric Flair or Buddy Rogers. Buddy Rogers might not be a name that everyone knows, but he was probably one of the first way over the top flamboyant wrestling personas. Not like a Gorgeous George, he was a technically skilled wrestler who could wrestle anyone and make them look good. I think it would be interesting to step into the ring with him.
Q: When you get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame one day, who is the first person you thank?
I would thank my parents for always telling me I can do anything in my life that I wanted to do and for letting me go out there and attempt to live my dream and encouraging me to do so.
Q: What is your favorite WrestleMania moment not involving yourself?
The [Hulk] Hogan-Andre [the Giant] slam from WrestleMania III. At that time I was just a fan like everyone else. Andre was just this immovable mountain and Hogan was the man. It was the first time I had seen a so-called passing of the torch in a really big way by two global stars. That was just a moment that you can never forget.
Q: Twenty years from now, when people are looking back at the career of Triple H, what do you hope they say?
I hope they would look back on my career and say that I gave everything that I had every single night to entertain them. That is what I have prided myself on and my career. If you paid $20 in a small arena somewhere in the middle of the U.S. to see Triple H, you got the same level of performance that you got if you came to a pay-per-view event. I try to give them the same guy every night and left everything I had in the ring every night. I wanted to make sure I never took anyone for granted that spent a penny to see me. They got everything I had and I hope they enjoyed the show.
Q: Finally, now that you are in management, any chance you can sign Ultimate Warrior to a one-day contract for a future WrestleMania and then squash him in the ring?
It’s funny, a lot of people bring that up in a negative way like it was this terrible thing in my life. While working with him personally wasn’t the highlight of my life from a business standpoint, for me to go to me first WrestleMania and wrestle a legendary figure in the business -- and that is what he was and is -- like the Ultimate Warrior, a Hall of Fame superstar in the business in my first WrestleMania appearance, squash or not, was a mind blowing thing for me. I was thrilled to be in that position and to have that match with the Ultimate Warrior. I was thrilled with the fact that at that time Vince McMahon was willing to put me in that role. The Ultimate Warrior wasn’t there till the day of the show, so I had to do all the promotion for that match. I wanted Vince McMahon to look at me as a guy he could count on to handle the return of a guy that he was hoping would be a huge impact on the business. He had the trust in me and I would do a good job with it. So to me, that was nothing but a good experience. Potentially, I could bring him back and get the win.
John Cena talks about WrestleMania
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Cody Rhodes talks about WrestleMania
-- Houston Mitchell
WrestleMania XXVIII is available on pay-per-view this Sunday. Contact your local cable TV or satellite provider for more information.
Photo: Triple H. Credit: WWE