It’s rally time for Nashua’s own Triple H
Sunday night, merely months before his 50th birthday (July 27), Nashua’s own Paul Levesque puts his career on the line in the super bowl for his “sport.”
Levesque already owns legendary status, a first-ballot Hall of Famer if there ever was one. He has nothing to prove in his craft.
Yet here he is, one more time, an inspiration to us all.
OK, perhaps this is laying it on a tad thick, but Levesque, known to hundreds of millions on this planet as “Triple H” remains one of the amazing success stories out of Nashua and this region.
He is, of course, a WWE personality of the utmost proportions, a sports entertainer in the world of professional wrestling.
And Sunday night, “The Game” as he is known, takes on David Batista on wrestling’s grandest stage, Wrestlemania 35.
I once caught up with Levesque, back before Wrestlemania came to Boston in 1998. He was just approaching this wild level of super-stardom, in the early days of the WWE’s “Attitude Era” and as Hunter Hearst Helmsley at the time, had clearly understood where he came from.
As I peppered the Nashua High grad with an inane succession of “Do you know …?” questions, he calmly, in a way only befitting of Triple H noted, “Hey buddy, I’m not taking this trip down memory lane. I went to school with thousands of kids. Now, let’s talk about Wrestlemania or …”
The man gained instant credibility in my eyes, telling this stargazing young reporter to “Do your job,” a decade before Coach Belichick coined the phrase.
Anyways, Triple H is now as far from those early days, playing the villain before 50 or so “indy” fans in some middle school gym for gas money as he could be.
Today, he is, of course, married into the WWE Empire and helps run the billion-dollar operation.
Occasionally, he returns to the ring, and Sunday night’s Wrestlemania from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey should be an epic performance.
Fairly fresh to the Nashua scene, I’ve often wondered why Levesque is not held in higher esteem locally for his incredible rise from nothing.
It seems as though the city and all of New Hampshire would embrace him for it.
Perhaps, it’s the professional wrestling “thing” stopping it.
But that’s a debate for another day.
It’s the first Sunday in April, time for Wrestlemania. And time to again admire the career of Nashua’s one and only, Triple H.
LONGO’S WRESTLEMANIA PICKS
So, yes, I had “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in WrestleMania I and have picked a slew of losers in the three-and-a-half decades since. That won’t stop me from making picks on the card, tentatively set for Sunday in New Jersey.
Here’s a look at my selections for the card now tentatively set:
Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (winner takes all match) – Rousey has added a new dimension to WWE with her UFC background, Lynch might be the hottest commodity in the company and Flair is the daughter of a legend and potentially the best overall athlete in the mix. I’m going with Flair to be the new undisputed champ with the “Figure 8” on Lynch, and don’t be surprised if the Nature Boy has a hand in the outcome.
WWE Championship match: Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston – Yes, it’s all about Bryan and his return. Sorry, Kofi.
Universal Championship match: Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins – More is Lesnar, and Rollins is ridiculously overhyped. I’m headed to “Suplex City” and so is Seth.
Intercontinental Championship match: Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley – I don’t know enough about Lashley or Balor, other than for sure this match doesn’t last very long. I like Lashley but I’m sure we’ll be bored stiff by this one.
United States Championship match: Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio – Isn’t Mysterio about 170 pounds soaking wet and Joe a big monster? Seriously, how are these two in the ring together? Joe should squash the peanut.
Women’s Tag Team Championship match: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs. The IIconics – Nobody annoys like Bayley annoys. I’m rooting for the veteran Phoenix in this one. Her straight role to Santino Marella a decade ago was priceless. Beth and Natalya get the “W.”
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre – McIntyre is bigger, stronger and more entertaining. Still, the WWE’s marriage to Reigns continues on. When in Rome …
Batista vs. Triple H (no-holds-barred match) – H loves him some Triple H. Let’s go Paul, er Hunter, er H.
Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles – Orton was AJ before AJ was AJ. I’m with the original.
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz (falls count anywhere match) – Shane is a legend here. He could sit home and count his millions. He’d rather be soaring 25 feet in the air through a table. Legend, baby. Miz falls.
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin – Old man Angle just can’t walk away. In real life, Corbin buries this has been. This is wrestling though. Angle will make him tap.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal – I’m going darkhorse here, ignoring the obvious with Braun Strohman. My pick is Apollo Crews in a head-scratcher.
Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal – Has to be Asuka, especially coming off her loss to Charlotte Flair.