LOUDONVILLE — In the break between the first inning’s top half and its bottom during this season’s Siena College softball home games, it was common for the loudspeakers to blast Motörhead’s “The Game.”
Siena sophomore Neysa Ouellette was in on the joke.
She laughed, too, as she remembered how her teammates first reacted when that song was played before the Saints batted: “This is so aggressive. Why is this playing? We didn’t pick this, did we?”
They hadn’t — but it’s a familiar tune for Ouellette.
“Well,” Ouellette told her teammates, “this is my uncle’s song.”
Ouellette’s uncle is Paul Levesque . . . who is better known as professional wrestling personality “Triple H,” a 14-time WWE world champion who has mostly used Motörhead songs as his entrance music during his decades-long wrestling career. While Levesque still frequently appears on WWE programming, his main job now is as the company’s executive vice president of talent, live events and creative, and he is married to WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.
Nobody questions Ouellette on how she refers to her aunt.
Her uncle, though, is a different story.
“Everybody always asks me, ‘What do you call him? Triple H?’” Ouellette said. “But, no, he’s Uncle Paul.”
Ouellette, who turned 20 years old Saturday as her softball team clinched its spot in this year’s MAAC championship tournament, counts her famous aunt and uncle as two of her top role models.
“After my dad passed away, my uncle and aunt were always there for us,” said Ouellette, who grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. “He’s the father figure I have, and I’ve always looked up to [both of] them. I always admired their hard work, and the sacrifices they make for their family and for us.”
Her family is one of the top reasons Ouellette is at Siena. When looking for a college, Ouellette craved a school with a small-campus feel to it that also wasn’t too far from her mother Lynn and brother Peter.
“I wanted to be close enough for everyone to come watch,” said Ouellette, whose mother and Levesque are siblings.
Ouellette had a big crowd of family members at her games when Siena played at Quinnipiac last month. In that day’s doubleheader, Ouellette — who splits time between the outfield and catching for Siena — slugged a home run.
“I was so nervous,” Ouellette said. “I was down in the count and I was like, ‘Shoot — my family is all here. If I strike out, I’m going to be so mad at myself.’”
Her uncle caught the three-run home run on video, as well as her family’s reaction to it.
“All my family’s in it.” Ouellette said. “My cousins were jumping up and down. My mom’s crying. It was just so rewarding because I’ve put in so much work and got to see how proud of me they were.”
But that pride in Ouellette extends beyond statistical achievements on the playing field.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my niece; not only is she a great softball player, hitting her first home run for Siena a few weeks ago, but she is a remarkable person,” Levesque wrote in an email. “She is dedicated to her team, and brings a passion and commitment to the game that inspires everyone around her.”
While that home run was the first of her Siena career, it was far from Ouellette’s first hard hit.
“Ever since Ney hit me in the mouth with her bat at the age of 4,” McMahon wrote in an email, “I knew she was either going to be a WWE Superstar, a softball player, or both.”
Ouellette would like to be both. Her streak of consecutive years attending WrestleMania was stopped at 10 last year because of a conflict with a Siena game, but Ouellette wants her involvement with WWE to go beyond being a fan. The deal she has with her mom and uncle is that after Ouellette completes her degree in management at Siena, she can start to pursue a career in professional wrestling.
Already, she has spent time learning about the business. One of those times, Ouellette was at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and observed Levesque demonstrating technique for a host of performers that included former UFC star Ronda Rousey, who signed with WWE in 2018.
“And I was laughing because he’s my uncle,” Ouellette said. “We joke around a lot and we’re always picking on each other, so seeing him being so serious, it was like, ‘What’s going on here?’”
She’s serious, though, about wanting to become a professional wrestler. She knows, too, that there will be plenty of challenges associated with making that dream into a reality, including naysayers who will say success she finds is “just because of who my uncle is” in the business.
“But,” Ouellette said, “I’m up for it.”
Siena split its doubleheader Saturday at Manhattan to move to 11-7 in MAAC play before Sunday’s doubleheader at Saint Peter’s to close the regular season. The postseason is scheduled to start Wednesday for the Saints, who are 19-23 overall.
“We’ve been doing really well. Everyone has stepped up nicely. Our freshman came in and adapted really quickly,” said Ouellette, who is hitting .241 this season for the Saints and has appeared in 41 of the team’s 42 games. “We’ve had some big injuries . . . but people have stepped in and stepped up. We have to believe in ourselves and that we can win [the championship] because we can.”
Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.
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