A scripted relationship turned into a real-life marriage for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) executive Stephanie McMahon and wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
After splitting from fellow wrestler Joan “Chyna” Laurer in 2000, Levesque, 52, grew close to the businesswoman, 45, following a story line that involved him interrupting her onscreen wedding. Their dramatic romance on TV also led to issues offscreen, as WWE CEO — and McMahon’s father — Vince McMahon disapproved of her dating a wrestler.
“Before anything happened romantically [between us], we spoke to Vince about the situation, and he told us it was okay with him. Soon after that, though, he changed his mind. He said he gave it more thought and realized, ‘This won’t work out. You two cannot do this.’ He took it away just like that,” Levesque wrote in his 2004 book, Making the Game: Triple H’s Approach to a Better Body.
The split lasted just under one year before the Hall of Famer and Stephanie reconciled. “As for Steph and me, we tried to adhere to Vince’s wishes and cool it off, but after a while it just didn’t work,” he wrote. “It was too late to stop. We were in love. We ended up getting back together after about ten months, and Vince gave us the green light for good this time.”
Levesque popped the question in February 2003 and the pair tied the knot in October of that year. They have welcomed three daughters — Aurora, 15, Murphy, 13, and Vaughn, 11 — and Stephanie has frequently gushed about her husband’s parenting skills over the years. “#HappyFathersDay @tripleh and to all the Dads celebrating today!” she wrote via Instagram in June 2020, alongside a black and white photo of the New Hampshire native cuddling with his children.
She continued: “I couldn’t have asked for a better father to my children. Thank you for always being there with a shoulder to cry on, to play dress up, to get your toenails painted, to show them how to train, for always listening, being the audience for fashion shows, teaching them how to overcome their fears, and for wrapping your big arms around them when they need it most.”
Four months later, the former WWE performer commemorated their anniversary by sharing a photo that featured her gazing lovingly at her husband in the ring. “No words to describe how much I LOVE YOU!!!!! 17 of the most incredible years of my life!” Stephanie wrote via Instagram at the time. “I am grateful for you and our children every day and every day I appreciate you more. Forever ❤️.”
The twosome have navigated their fair share of ups and downs over the years. In September 2021, Levesque underwent emergency surgery after going into heart failure following a battle with pneumonia. “I was nose-diving and sort of at the 1-yard line of where you don’t want to be really, for your family and your future,” he said during a March 2022 appearance on ESPN’s First Take. “There’s moments in there when they’re putting you out for stuff and you think, ‘Is this it? Do you wake up from this?’ That’s tough to swallow and makes you think differently.”
Two months later, Stephanie announced that she was taking a leave of absence from the WWE organization to “focus on [her] family.”
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