In January 2000, in order to reflect the change in Triple H from cock-joke telling and Intercontinental Championship holding second-fiddle DX funnyman to legitimate World Championship contender hot on the heels of Steve Austin, Jim Ross began to refer to Triple H as the "cerebral assassin." Having already coined the moniker of "The Game" to reflect Triple H's desire to embody an untouchable standard of excellence in the wrestling business, the "cerebral assassin" name reflected the cold-blooded and intellectual manner with which Triple H would destroy his opponents on his way to the top. 15 years later, Triple H has taken the "cerebral assassin" title to heart in all facets of his on-screen and real-life professional like within WWE. Triple H is a rare performer in the history of wrestling who, in crossing the line between "shoot," "work," "fact" and "opinion" so many times, he's effectively become the same person to wrestling fans (and likely many others in the wrestling industry) when the lights are both on and off the cameras. Thus, like his career, this list blends personal and televised moments. There are certainly hundreds of moments (both known and unknown) where Triple H has succeeded at being the "Cerebral Assassin"....
12. Paying Off Rikishi To Hit Steve Austin
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xb73h6_wwf-smackdown-triple-h-rikishi-s-se_sport By Survivor Series 2000, Triple H was hot in contention for the WWF Championship, while at the same time, Rikishi was hot as a heel who was behind the wheel of the car when Steve Austin was hit by an automobile at Survivor Series a year prior. Austin missed a year from TV in storyline due to the intentional accident, though in reality, he needed neck surgery. Austin's return for Survivor Series 2000 involved a match against Triple H, but given that Rikishi was battling The Rock on that show, the reason for Triple H and Austin's match needed to be developed. Triple H and Steve Austin's match came from the surprising revelation that the "Cerebral Assassin" lived up to his name and paid off Rikishi to hit Austin at the Survivor Series. Triple H's reasoning for doing so was that he didn't have to worry about Austin as a WWF Championship contender and as a wrestler in the company overall. The idea that Triple H would've had to in storyline prey on RIkishi's latent racist belief that The Rock was being held back because of his Samoan heritage in order to convince him to do his bidding by hitting Austin is pretty despicable, and the kind of work that a "cerebral assassin" would do.
Besides having been an independent professional wrestling manager for a decade, Marcus Dowling is a Washington, DC-based writer who has contributed to a plethora of online and print magazines and newspapers writing about music and popular culture over the past 15 years.