Posted by James Tee
Summerslam was hyped as the biggest party of the summer, and it didn’t disappoint. It proved that WWE can still shock the world with Randy Orton and Triple H turning heel, and ‘screwing’ Daniel Bryan out of his WWE Championship.
Now, with Triple H doing what is best for business,
In my latest series, I will look at the life and career of one of the sole surviving men from the Attitude Era, and the man, who one day, will take over the WWE Reigns, Paul Michael Levesque, better known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
So in the fourth biography for Wrestlingnews.net, we will look at the career of, arguably, the most successful superstar of the 21st Century.
PART ONE – PAUL LEVESQUE TO TERRA RYZING
Paul Michael Levesque was born on July 27th, 1969 in Nashua, New Hampshire. His parents, Paul and Patricia already had a daughter, Lynn, who was four years Paul’s senior. Like most wrestlers of his generation, Levesque was an avid fan of professional wrestling. It is widely recognised that his favourite wrestler was Ric Flair.
At the age of 14, the young Levesque developed a love for body-building. Although describing himself as a good student, Paul also recognised that he got in trouble for not knowing when to keep his mouth shut. Shunning team sports in favour of honing his physique, Levesque would graduate from High School in 1987, heading into the world of body-building as full time as he could, whilst still trying to gain an education.
Winning regional contests on a regular basis, Levesque found early success in body-building. After winning Teenage Mr New Hampshire in 1988, a chance conversation with his workout partner, Ted Arcidi, led him to the wrestling school of WWE Hall of Famer, Killer Kowalski. Arcidi was known as both a wrestler and a body-builder, and at one time, held the world record for the bench press.
Like everything else he had found a passion for, Levesque poured everything into his wrestling development. With Kowalski’s school in neighbouring Massachusetts, Levesque was able to dedicate his time to honing his craft. As people in the group dropped out, Paul put in extra hours, and was soon ready for his debut.
On March 24th, 1992, Levesque made his debut for Kowalski’s IWF promotion as Terra Ryzing. Playing the role of a heel, Levesque was a one time IWF Heavyweight champion, and also captured the IWF Tag Team championship with Perry Saturn. After nearly a year in IWF, Levesque was approached by Pat Patterson and the WWF. Obviously impressed with the 6’4″, 275 lbs rookie, Patterson offer the young man a chance to join the WWF.
However, with a maturity beyond his years, Levesque realised he wasn’t ready for a major company, and instead, tried to get a try-out with WCW. Paying for his own travel down to Atlanta, the youngster wrestled Keith Cole in a match televised on WCW Saturday Night.
He would keep the name Terra Ryzing, after WCW tested out Terror Risin’. It took six months for the Terra Ryzing gimmick to be dropped, and keeping in touch with French last name, he was repackaged as Jean-Paul Levesque. Levesque would have only have major feud, with a young Alex Wright, who pinned JPL at Starrcade 1994. A tag team run with Lord Steven Regal (William Regal) was cut short when Levesque received a call from Vince McMahon.
Despite the deal offered by McMahon being for less money and more dates, the opportunity to enhance his own reputation and talent was too good to turn down.
NEXT TIME – THE START OF HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY
Many thanks for reading, come back soon for part 2.
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