Pro-wrestling is all about those over-the-top characters, and no one is more over-the-top than Triple H, the top villain known for putting the smack in smack down.
But this morning, the big, bad superstar is getting major buzz for showing his softer side.
Documented on Twitter by Chris Olds through candid snapshots, the 13-time world champion and real-life WWE exec got into a mid-match exchange with a young fan during Monday night's WWE “Raw” event in Dallas.
“As we were sitting ringside, the young man was behind me and he was chanting my name, over and over,” Paul “Triple H” Levesque told ABC News. “It was just me being in character. I said, with eye brows up, ‘Hey, stop messing with me. I'm trying to do my job over here.’”
That was enough for 8-year-old Lucian Deering, seated nearby, to start crying. Then, his tears prompted the WWE superstar and executive vice president to do something very rare.
“I broke out of character, and put my head to his and messed his hair up,” Levesque said. “I just said, ‘Hey, buddy, it’s OK. I’m just playing around.’”
At that point, another WWE villain, Stephanie McMahon, also broke character to console Lucian.
Levesque didn’t stop there: He had one of the security guards take Lucian and his father backstage to chat, take pictures and get some WWE swag.
“They’re actually pretty nice not in their character,” Lucian told ABC News.
He got to add a Triple H action figure to his collection of more than 175 items.
His father, Chad Deering, was astonished by the turn of events.
“For him to come out of character in front of all those people on live TV ... it’s a pretty bold statement of, in reality, he’s pretty cool,” Deering said. “It’s a huge impression for an 8-year-old little boy that I can pretty much guarantee you he will never forget.”
For Triple H, that was what mattered.
“Putting a smile on his face, by far, was the best thing I did Monday,” he said.