NoDQ.com > Columns > Burnham's Words - The Hitman Plays The Game
Posted by Alex Burnham on 02/05/2013 at 12:44 AM
Bret Hart and Triple H have been linked through the majority of Triple H’s early WWE career. Whether it was from the DX feud with the Hart Foundation, or just the one on one rivalry of Hart vs. Michaels, HHH has been linked to Hart. Recently, the drama has picked up with Bret Hart’s new comments on Triple H.
"I have a certain amount of respect for Triple H. I remember when he first came in, I remember commenting on stuff that he did. Because I'd usually give wrestlers my thoughts and try to help them on stuff... Triple H has always been a good wrestler. But great? What is he now, a 1,000 time world champion? How great really is he?”
"I look at [CM] Punk... I can look at certain wrestlers and I go, this guy is an innovator. Like a Rey Mysterio, who's done stuff that no one has ever thought of before. Punk has done stuff -- really unique moves and you go, 'gee I've never seen anything like that before.' They innovate all the time, and they create new sequences and moves and things.
"Then you look at someone like Triple H. When I look at him -- he's always had a good look as far as his body went -- he always had a pretty muscular physique. But you look at someone like Hunter and you wonder, what has he really done. One move that he ever created that nobody ever saw before or some highspots or an idea for a match... He's mostly a guy that just showed up and they made him. He's always been a decent wrestler -- I would consider him a good wrestler and pretty talented. But great? I don't know, I don't think so.
"What has he ever done that's great? He's never had a great match, I don't think ever. Whenever I look at Triple H's matches, including the last one he had with Undertaker -- and I don't really mean it as a knock -- but I told myself before I watched it because I'm trying to like Paul now these days, that I want to see him do something to make me think he's got greatness in him.
"Before Triple H wrestled Undertaker last year, I remember watching it and going, 'I can picture the whole match in my head, I can tell you exactly what this match is going to be like and how it's going to go. And I remember watching it and it went exactly how I predicted it... I thought it was mediocre at best, maybe a 4 out of 10, or 3 out of 10.
"I think Paul is a little overrated... overrated for being great. I can sit here and tell you that there was one match that he ever had with anybody that I thought was great. It's kind of a shame, he should have a great match somewhere with somebody. And you'd think that he would have had it by now, but I don't think he's a great wrestler."
Those are just a few quotes that Hitman has recently stated about Triple H. I will be the first to say that I do not fully agree with any of what Bret Hart has said about Triple H. I think Triple H is a great wrestler. Not the greatest of all time or even one of the greatest of all times, but he is a great performer. He is definitely a ring general. He does have the ability to carry people through matches. He can be entertaining.
Hart said Hunter never had a great match. Bull Shit. I saw WM20 when Benoit vs. HBK vs. HHH took its place as possibly the greatest triple threat match of all time. I saw the first elimination chamber. I’ve seen Triple H inside the Hell In A Cell. Triple H vs. The Rock in a ladder match at SummerSlam 98. I’ve seen his matches from his feuds with Shawn Michaels. To say that is preposterous. It is completely false. Then Hart calls HHH vs. Undertaker mediocre?
I will say this, Hart has never been a supporter of the WWE products direction ever since 1997. Maybe he is still bitter over HHH for the Montreal Screwjob, but come on. Hart’s entire WCW career was forgettable. He hated the vulgar direction of then the WWF. He hated that Michaels and Hunter were getting to go out and do whatever they wanted. I just don’t see where these words are worthy of being stated.
For a long time in the WWE, Triple H was the main heel. He had a long stretch where he was the main heel at mid late stages of the Attitude Era. He was easy to hate then too. He was the champion. He was married to the boss’ daughter. He had control. He had all his friends. He was on top of the world. For the fan base, it was perfect. Imagine how many hate the jock who has the hot girlfriend? The jock does whatever he wants, he has his fellow jocks, and he gets away with it all because he is a jock. It could relate to normal people. Triple H could take it to that level though. The McMahon Helmsley Era produced great television. Who can forget HHH vs. Cactus in the Street Fight and Hell in a Cell matches? I may not be a 100% for sure, but if I’m not mistake their street fight at the 2000 Royal Rumble was the first time barbed wire was used in the WWE. It was sure as shit the first time I’ve seen the barbed wire bat in WWE. Sounds pretty innovative to me.
Triple H gets negative connotation put on him for his run around the time Evolution was forming and up until he dropped the belt to Batista, for supposedly burying talent. Was he burying Goldberg? The already established WCW superstar already had a name for himself, and so did Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash. He didn’t bury them. He even dropped the belt to Goldberg. He didn’t bury Chris Benoit or Shawn Michaels, both of whom he dropped the belt to. He didn’t bury Randy Orton, who had a nice short reign that is extremely similar to everyone else in today’s era. The only person I can think Triple H might have buried is Booker T at WM19. Booker T would go on to win a lot more championships, and have a run as World Champion. So whom did he bury? Not much of anyone. He even had some clean losses to guys like Shelton Benjamin in there. It was all good for business. McMahon called the shots then, and still calls the majority of shots. McMahon will do what is best for the company, not what is best for his favorites. Bret Hart will tell you all about how true that statement is.
Triple H has helped put over talent. He did the job to John Cena at WM22. He helped catapult Jeff Hardy into a legitimate contender. There are numerous others. Batista became a huge star when he beat Triple H. He did three straight times. If Triple H hadn’t had that dominant of a run, would it have made Batista what he is? People were just waiting for Batista to lash out against him. When he finally did, the star was born.
Hunter is far great that Hart on the mic. That is a true fact. Hart was subpar on the mic at best most of his career. Sure he gave a good promo or two, but how many stand out? Hunter can cut a solid promo and brings intensity. Hart use to wear glasses when he cut his promos to hide how nervous he was. I think that is Bret’s problem. Bret had to use his technical skills to get over, because he wasn’t oozing with charisma. Triple H on the other hand was a solid in ring performer, and a great talker. Hart is judging everything on a pure wrestling stand point. If you muted HHH vs. Undertaker either of the last two years, it probably sucked. But it was the emotion, the crowd, and the ENTERTAINMENT that made it. It won’t go down as a great skilled wrestling match, but it will go down as great for how it played on emotions. The characters were well invested in, and the performers played out their role in the story. That’s what made this match special. That is what made the majority of Hunter’s matches special that are great. He could tell the story. Now I’m not saying Bret Hart couldn’t do that, because if you’ve seen WM13 you know he was in one of the most iconic story moments in all wrestling history. Yet if you judged HHH whole career on how well he “wrestled” then no he isn’t great. But if you judge it on how well he entertained and performed, then he will surely go down as one of the greatest of all time.
What are your thoughts? Are you against The Game? Are you not so sure Bret will be the best there ever will be?
Alex Burnham's Plug
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