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TRIPLE H - 'He was never a great wrestler'


Michael_3165

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I couldn't sleep so thought I would have a look on youtube for shoot interviews and I came across Bret Hart's shoot with the WrestleTalk crew. He says that 'what has he ever done that's great', 'he never had a great match'. 

 

Now I know that Bret is Bret and he will always knock a lot of guys that have drawn money or done things in the business but I want to ask the question...

 

Is Triple H an all time great wrestler and has he done things in the business? Is he overrated? Underrated?

 

I personally like Triple H. Sure he had a tendency to steal off of other workers but to say that he hasn't had good matches would be to dismiss some of the fantastic work that he has produced over the years:

 

vs Cactus Jack at Rumble 2000, vs Michaels Summer Slam 2002, vs Austin No Way Out 2001, vs Undertaker WrestleMania (?28), vs The Rock (various 2000)

 

That said I don't believe that Triple H is at or will ever be at the level of The Rock, Austin, Hogan or Michaels. He has always missed something but I can't put my finger on what it is. 

 

It is interesting that Bret then goes on to say how great a wrestler CM Punk and AJ Styles are but especially in terms of Styles he too hasn't drawn much money or achieved many 'great' matches that I personally enjoyed. 

 

Thoughts? 

 

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Triple H has had more great matches than Austin, Rock, and Hogan for me. He was always my favourite as a youngster, which some of my mates found mental because Austin and Rock were knocking about. I went fucking apeshit on his return from injury, one of my favourite ever returns. The crowd reaction was incredible and showed how much he'd been missed.

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I think he will be remembered as a legend in the Shawn/Bret mould but not the tippity toppity Austin/Hogan type. The thing going in his favour is that his legacy will be rammed down our throats for the next 40 years. Wrestling is fake and if they say he's a legend for long enough, the majority will believe it.

 

I like him now, but around 2003 he was a complete detriment.

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I've never understood the sentiment that Triple H is/was a great wrestler. Has he had great matches? Yeah, you could say he's had a few. But they were all with great workers. Terrible wrestlers have had great matches. What I wanna know is, where are the great Triple H matches with guys who could be deemed lesser workers? There aren't any. I know it's an extreme example, but look at the Scott Steiner match from Rumble 2003. Someone like a Ric Flair or a Bret Hart would have gone out of their way to make that at least a passable match. You adapt and play to the strengths of your inferior opponent. Triple H has never been capable of this, whether it's through stubbornness or just from not being very good. To me, they're one and the same. He wanted to have HIS match, which was never going to work, and look what happened.

 

Look at Brock Lesnar's matches since he returned. The ones against Triple H are pretty poor when placed in a vacuum, but when you compare them to Lesnar's other matches in recent years the Triple H ones look absolutely TERRIBLE.

 

His run as the company ace in 2002-2005 is one of the least fondly remembered periods in history, and sends any drawing argument smashing out of the window. His refusal to elevate the likes of Booker T, RVD, Scott Steiner and others did huge damage to their careers. Almost everyone he feuded with during that period came off looking worse.

 

And what of these supposed great matches? Almost every single match people will point to will be heavily gimmicked and papered over with countless weapon spots. That's not impressive. He's also guilty of trying to fabricate "epic" matches and having them fall flat on his face. It's funny how every time I get that feeling about a match he seems to be at the centre of it. When i think about it, the match against Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 30 was a minor miracle

 

His reputation for being a great or even good wrestler is almost solely based in kayfabe and perception.

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I didn't actually mind him in 2003, except picking up niggling injuries every month

 

2001 was when he was a detriment to the show, fans were dying for him to turn face, instead he had that interminable feud with Austin, culminating in the worst match with the best talent I've ever seen

 

Throw in the amount of people he just slaughtered at the beginning of 2001 (Angle, Jericho, Jeff Hardy) then the shite feud against Taker and Kane when he teamed up with Austin (Admittedly no one came out of that one looking good)

 

In terms of his overall legacy though, he's definitely in the tier below Hogan, Flair, Austin and Rock, his 99-2000 run alone makes him a great

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Depends on what you classify as great wrestler. If your talking about just ring work his body of work is better than The Rock, Undertaker and Austin. If Bret was on basing people at his level there ls only a handful who truly are. I would say Triple H is a great wrestler but if idea of great is stricter than mine fair enough.

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All those points about who he kept down and refused to lose to are completely irrelevant to the question of how good a wrestler he was/is

 

Hunter's body of work is great. Yes, he had some poor matches when he was incumbered by injuries or carrying too much muscle mass. But he assembled a collection of great matches, many of which can be read about in his thread. That many of them are against other guys widely regarded as good to great wrestlers does not factor into it for me - it just means that nobody had to carry anyone in that instance. The idea that Triple H had THAT many great matches over the course of his career JUST because he was in the ring with someone better than him every single time... I'm sorry, it doesn't wash. To be honest, was The Rock actually a "great worker" because I don't see him ever lauded as such, and yet many times they had matches that were really exciting, sometimes the best matches on the show at a time the roster was loaded. Who was the ring general supposed to be there then?

 

In terms of making other people look better, Trips was so good as a cunt that he got me excited watching his title defence against Rikishi - and I thought Rikishi was shit - and made me actually believe the title was in jeopardy even though the timing of the match makes that idea look ridiculous in hindsight. One of my favourite matches ever was against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XVII (watched it last night) even though at the time I was bored of the Undertaker and felt like watching him was becoming a chore. Two months later he had what I thought was an exciting match against Kane. Was that also Hunter having a great match because he was in the ring with a stellar worker? OK, maybe you don't remember that one or rate it as highly as I did at the time. Fast forward and I really enjoyed his match with Sheamus at Mania XXVI even though I didn't give two shiny shits about Sheamus as a character or as a wrestler. His match with Undertaker at Mania XXVII knocked my socks off even though it was several years into what I consider to be the "Undertaker only has enjoyable matches against really good wrestlers" phase. I expected very little out of that match because perhaps this "Hunter needs carrying too" idea had gotten to me a little at the time, which I blame this place for, but they went out and tore it up.

 

I feel obliged to add - Hunter's never been my favourite or a guy I ever cheered for. At times I hated him because of guys I wanted to see pushed instead, and because I knew he'd had a part in Montreal, and Hitman was my hero. I really hated the guy. But it never blinded me to his obvious talent and the fact he had some blinders. In fact, in 2000 when he was consistently knocking it out of the park on PPV and on TV, even against some pretty marginal guys, I thought there was a case for him as best wrestler in the world.

 

His reputation for being a great or even good wrestler is almost solely based in kayfabe and perception.

 

I've never disagreed with anything more.

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He's alright. In 2003 he was the fucking shits. Roided out of his head, cosplaying Harley Race/Ric Flair and slowly defeating WCW (which he finally finished this year). 2004 was a miracle comeback for him, great rebound. 2000 and 2004 were his best in-ring years. Oh and the times he was doing stuff with Jeff Hardy in 2007/8? That was good. Never forgave whoever booked him to mock Chris Masters for obeying a drug policy. If it was H then fuck him, how cunty.

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Triple H had a great match with Big Show built around him primarily working the fingers, once. Plus, he had genuinely brilliant TV matches with Rikishi, TAKA and Shelton Benjamin. He's alright by me.

 

His main problem has always seemed to be though that he wouldn't wrestle PPV matches organically, he had a pre-conceived idea of what made a main event epic or great or whatever. So whomever he'd wrestle, he'd try and recreate that same style; Goldberg? 30 minute methodical, technical match! Steiner? 30 minute.. Oh, you get the point.

 

But, yeah, he's definitely a brilliant wrestler but he's always been better, for me, when he's wrestling on TV or away from the title/main event where he's not trying to rehash Harley Race or Ric Flair matches.

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All those points about who he kept down and refused to lose to are completely irrelevant to the question of how good a wrestler he was/is

 

Hunter's body of work is great. Yes, he had some poor matches when he was incumbered by injuries or carrying too much muscle mass. But he assembled a collection of great matches, many of which can be read about in his thread. That many of them are against other guys widely regarded as good to great wrestlers does not factor into it for me - it just means that nobody had to carry anyone in that instance. The idea that Triple H had THAT many great matches over the course of his career JUST because he was in the ring with someone better than him every single time... I'm sorry, it doesn't wash. To be honest, was The Rock actually a "great worker" because I don't see him ever lauded as such, and yet many times they had matches that were really exciting, sometimes the best matches on the show at a time the roster was loaded. Who was the ring general supposed to be there then?

 

In terms of making other people look better, Trips was so good as a cunt that he got me excited watching his title defence against Rikishi - and I thought Rikishi was shit - and made me actually believe the title was in jeopardy even though the timing of the match makes that idea look ridiculous in hindsight. One of my favourite matches ever was against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XVII (watched it last night) even though at the time I was bored of the Undertaker and felt like watching him was becoming a chore. Two months later he had what I thought was an exciting match against Kane. Was that also Hunter having a great match because he was in the ring with a stellar worker? OK, maybe you don't remember that one or rate it as highly as I did at the time. Fast forward and I really enjoyed his match with Sheamus at Mania XXVI even though I didn't give two shiny shits about Sheamus as a character or as a wrestler. His match with Undertaker at Mania XXVII knocked my socks off even though it was several years into what I consider to be the "Undertaker only has enjoyable matches against really good wrestlers" phase. I expected very little out of that match because perhaps this "Hunter needs carrying too" idea had gotten to me a little at the time, which I blame this place for, but they went out and tore it up.

 

I feel obliged to add - Hunter's never been my favourite or a guy I ever cheered for. At times I hated him because of guys I wanted to see pushed instead, and because I knew he'd had a part in Montreal, and Hitman was my hero. I really hated the guy. But it never blinded me to his obvious talent and the fact he had some blinders. In fact, in 2000 when he was consistently knocking it out of the park on PPV and on TV, even against some pretty marginal guys, I thought there was a case for him as best wrestler in the world.

 

 

His reputation for being a great or even good wrestler is almost solely based in kayfabe and perception.

I've never disagreed with anything more.

But he hasn't had THAT many great matches. How many great matches has he had without relying on gimmicks? The match against Daniel Bryan and that's about it. 2000 was a good year for him but even they were mostly gimmick matches to hide his weaknesses. All this pre-conceived "epic" shite against guys like Michaels and Taker is some of the most groan inducing bullshit I have ever seen in wrestling. The simple fact is he's been featured in a top position for 16 years and has had countless opportunities to have great matches, more opportunities than anyone apart from maybe John Cena. If someone else had been given the same number of opportunities as Triple H to have main event matches on a monthly basis, they could have carved out a career as one of the greatest of all time. Triple H has had these opportunities and doesn't come anywhere close. He wouldn't make my Top 100 of all time, that's for sure. And I don't know how you can praise his good matches and completely ignore the far bigger pile of shit attached to his name. And putting it all down to injuries and muscle mass is quite frankly embarrassing.

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All those points about who he kept down and refused to lose to are completely irrelevant to the question of how good a wrestler he was/is

 

 

 

Not necessarily, his match with Angle at Royal Rumble 2001 was shite precisely because all it consisted of was Hunter absolutely annihilating him, which might have made sense if Hunter was a babyface who ended up being cheated out of the title by the heel he's feuding with but he was a heel, easily twatting another heel, only to be cost the title by the No. 2 babyface in the company (?!?!)

 

Fair enough Hunter might not have booked that match or whatever but it still killed Angle's credibility as champion (and he needed as much as he could get at that point after the way he won the HIAC match the month before) so that match alone had the double of a shite match and burying someone

 

As I said in my post, he is a great wrestler, his body of work is very good but his low points do seem to be partly because of his attitude towards other wrestlers

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All this pre-conceived "epic" shite against guys like Michaels and Taker is some of the most groan inducing bullshit I have ever seen in wrestling.

 

I don't know what this means, in the slightest. So I interpret it as "Some people think these matches were great, I don't, so they must be wrong."

 

And putting it all down to injuries and muscle mass is quite frankly embarrassing.

 

I said he had "some poor matches" because the time frame when he was having the matches I thought were poor, was mostly between 2002 and 2003 when he was hurt a lot, and too big/lumbering/methodical. When he lost some mass and got smaller in 2004, he started having better matches again. What's the problem?

 

My opinion being different from your is "embarrassing"? To who? Because it sure as fuck doesn't embarrass me.

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