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JJKH

R. T. & O.: Episode 1 - Triple H; seperating the executive from the wrestler.

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Hello Reader,

So for my first proper crack at this I thought I'd take on something that I've pondered a lot; namely why does Triple H the wrestler receive the same hate as Triple H the executive/backstage politician? As will be usual for this blog; I urge you to read what I have to say then take part in the conversation.

I'm going to lay my cards on the table here; I'm a Triple H fan and have been since he first dumped the Greenwich Blue-Blood persona to become a part of Degeneration-X. For long periods the man was the best heel in the business; and his match quality was better than most of his contemporaries during the height of his run (The Rock, Goldberg, J.B.L., Cena & Batista to name a few). When you add in all the other variables used to measure someones standing in the business (look, mike skills etc.) then I feel there's a pretty strong argument for Triple H's inclusion in the discussion on the best of an era/all time; but it's almost as if saying that is tantamount to besmirching one's sainted mother.

Yes; there's another side to this argument and that is Triple H the backstage politician and executive. Though I find a lot of the actions of that man indefensible; allow me to throw up an some counter points to the outpouring of hate the guy receives.

Firstly; wrestling is entertainment. As someone who grew up and still works in the entertainment industry I can testify that it attracts people with ego who will screw others over and take advantage of situations to get themselves ahead; even those who are nice people who rely on their high talent have management or members of their staff that will do this for them. It's the nature of the beast unfortunately; and it seems to be even more prevalent in professional wrestling.

But it's not like Triple H is the first master politician this industry has seen; the business goes hand in hand with Machiavellian power plays (maybe it's to do with it's carnival roots). Names such as Hogan, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Ric Flair have all pulled power plays, refused to put people over or held others down to varying levels at different points in their career; yet we as smart marks seem more willing to forgive and forget when it comes to those names (with the exception of Nash).

"But;" you're now going to say. "None of them married the bosses daughter;" and I say so what? Even trying to get into a relationship with her could have had a detrimental effect on the man's career; and, in my humble opinion, I think their relationship and marriage is genuine. They have three children and there have been no reports over the years, to my knowledge, that indicate problems in the relationship, even a dubious one, or that one has cheated on the other; maybe, just maybe, isn't it possible that these two people actually love each other? Yes this opens up more opportunities and leverage to play the politics game at a higher level than most before him; but again I say it's the nature of the beast. Both in entertainment and in life as a whole; there are few out there who could say that they don't exploit contacts and relationships to get a step ahead in life. So why is this basic part of the human condition more abhorrent when it comes to Triple H, I ask?

I'm a huge Undertaker fan; but I still don't like the way he power played C.M. Punk out of the main event picture during their series after Jeff Hardy's exit from WWE over a perceived lack of respect backstage. Does it effect my ability to enjoy the man's in ring work? No; and I imagine it's the same for those of you out there that know the story and are 'Taker fans. It has no effect on your enjoyment of what he does as a wrestler; so why does it work differently when it comes to Triple H?

It's got to the point where someone like Sheamus seems to pick up unwarranted hate by association; was he over-pushed at first? Yes; but he is by no means, now at least, the worst of WWE's upper mid-card to main event players. I agree he still needs to do some work to be perceived as a true main event player; but the level of negativity leveled at him seems disproportionate to his skills set and ability. And it all seems to stem from the association with Triple H.

Don't get me wrong; a lot of Triple H's actions over the years have been indefensible (I personally feel Montreal might not have gone down the way it did without his input for example; and of course the recent debacle of potentially ruining the Wrestlemania main event by bringing back his friend and letting him walk back into the top spot. Something I haven't seen said about this issue; the frustration by the fans is stemmed from the fact we all assumed the screwy booking of Daniel Bryan's main event run all pointed to him winning the Rumble and taking the belt at 'Mania. That's how it has played out before with other stars.). But even for all our frustrations with what we attribute to him as an executive; there have been good things (NXT, the performance center). But that is not the point of this posting.

Trust me; I accept and acknowledge all the wrongs of the man and the executive. But my point in all this is not to let it cloud the legacy of a debatable all time great as a performer; we don't do it with Hogan or Shawn or Austin so why do we do it with Triple H? Keep the hate, never forget or forgive, but don't let it cloud your opinion on his standing and legacy as an onscreen performer whom has been involved in many classic matches over the years with names such as Austin, Michaels and even a way past his best Flair.

Just weigh it up and give some credit where credit is due when it comes to Triple H the wrestler; that's all I'm saying. I encourage and look forward to any intelligent discussion on this subject; so have at me.

Stay well until we speak again

All the best

JJKH

P.S. Going to put my head on the block (again) and make a prediction here; Hogan's announcement tonight on Raw will be that has booking power over the show as host. He'll make the Triple H vs Daniel Bryan match and attach the "if D-Bry wins he gets added to the main event" stipulation because it serves two purposes. Firstly, it massages Hogan's ego and allows him to look the big hero; something I imagine he has in his contract. Secondly, if that's the way they're going then they'll have to let us know in advance or risk the buy-rate for the show (among those of us who don't/can't get the network) tanking; who's honestly going to fork out the best part of $70/£30 for a show headlined by Bootista versus Snoreton? In my humble opinion; you'd have to be mad...

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  1. CandieLand's Avatar
    Great blog JJKH; diplomatic and i enjoyed the read.

    I have to start off by saying i have never been a big fan of HHH; yes he's had great matches in his career and been involved in a lot of major angles (a little too many for my liking), and has undoubtedly earned the respect of millions of wrestling fans...BUT...

    ...for everything great he has done, there are always things that pop up every now and then; that make me question his attitude. Matches he didn't need to win, or comments that didn't need to be made. For example (and i know he is infamously known for allegedly doing this) there are many examples where he "buries" talent. I will never understand his win over Booker T at WrestleMania 19; Booker was gaining major support and he figuratively swiped him away like a fly. Why did he have to take an eternity to make the pin fall after the pedigree; there was no need. And its not as if Booker got the chance to make amends for the loss; he got swept under the rug. It just never made sense to me. And there are many other "victims".

    Then there's the constant need to throw himself into everything. One example being The Summer of Punk. CM Punk, coming off of the famous "pipe bomb" and the match of the year (one of my favorite matches ever) defeating John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011 is then nonsensically thrown into a feud with HHH. The potential for Punk was there, staring WWE in the face and instead of capitalizing on it....here comes HHH. There was no need for this; none. And there is a case that Vince may have demanded HHH be inserted into it, but if HHH really knew what was best for business, he would have steered clear and kept his fellow quadriceps killer away as well. I mean, how bad was Nash vs HHH at TLC 2011? It was rotten.

    The one thing that really annoyed me this past year was in one of elongated promos, he mentioned how he was an A plus player (yes, i know he was playing the heel at this point) but then he mentions the likes of Edge and Chris Jericho (a Hall of famer and future hall of famer) and inexplicably says that if they where the face of the WWE, then everyone would have been working for Ted Turner. Why did he say that? Was there really any need to broadcast such a pretentious statement? He was doing the heel work just fine; it wasn't necessary.

    I completely agree that his work within the performance center is fantastic to see, as a fan it's refreshing and i have no qualms about his dedication to the business; he has a head for the business and no doubt he will make mistakes (in my opinion he already has), but i hope that he starts to fade out of the in ring action. For me his (unnecessary) 3 match feud with Brock was very boring; the No Holds Barred at WrestleMania 29 being the best of the three. I would like to see him take a step back once the Authority angle comes to its conclusion and continue his good work in building the future.
  2. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Where to begin? HHH isn't a wrestler I have particularly liked at all. Did like him coming up as a midcarder during the summer of 98 feuding with the Nation, but other than that not a big fan. Not to say he wasn't a great heel because he was. You just won't see me sporting merch of HHH or whatever. Not good explaination, but in any case:

    You can't really compare his antics to others. HHH has just did it for a very long time. Shawn always comes back and gives back to the business. Granted he did some things that cost guys jobs in the 90s like Douglas, Vader de-push, Tatanka IC title reign, but overall he has helped make stars in the business today without wearing the world title. He isn't all about wins and losses. I mean his work with Mr.Kennedy, Benjamin, Orton, Batista, and so forth have been great. I mean, how many times did HBK challenge for the world title and lose to HHH in yet, HHH is still not recognized as on his level.

    Go back to Taker, yes he cost Faker Taker his job in the past. Who cares? He helped elevate more stars than he hurt unlike HHH. Whether it be Batista, Edge, Foley, Kane, Heidenreich, among others. Taker too wasn't a glory hog like HHH, he went several years without a world title reign like HBK. Back to the CM Punk situation, Punk compared himself right off the bat to John Cena. All Taker did was ask him to dress better to present the company. Punk obviously was getting a big head because you don't disrespect the deadman. You take advice like you should. I wasn't happy either that Punk lost the world title to Taker, however, do you think Punk should dress better than he did in those days? I certainly do. If you want to be the man of a company you must dress how they want you to dress. This isn't 98 anymore, WWE is a public company. You must please people such as ads, tv, and so forth.

    Who did Flair hold down? The reason he left for WWF back in 92 was because the big its promised Windham would be getting the world title. Not Luger, not sticking to their word along with being disrespectful to the Nature Boy he left. As far as putting people over, no one in the biz was better at elevating the game of whoever was in the ring with him. Flair has lost to everyone that I can remember. He was midcard guy for years in WCW and WWE. Even when he was on top, he lost to them all whether it be Sting, Steamboat, ect.

    Other than Montreal, I couldn't tell you a time he didn't want to put over somebody. Maybe you can give me more info on Bret's politics because he always raised the game of others when they were in the ring with him. Remember the Raw match he had with 123 kid. Do I agree with Bret not putting over HBK? No, but I can understand why he didn't want to do it because Shawn not only making that comment that he wouldn't put him over weeks or months before Survivor Series. HBK also had the clique, Bret was worried about the other boys well at least I believe so anyway. HBK, Diesel, Razor overshadowing the main events like they did in the past.

    Austin didn't put over Brock and went home because it wasn't best for business. It wasn't because he didn't want to lose to Brock. It was because he thought it should have build. Not just a main event for Raw. Do you believe Austin/Brock match would draw money? Even today, I think it would have. What pissed him off to was they advertised matches for King of the ring that year and didn't tell him anything about it. Personal issues to boot....As far as Hogan goes for Austin not wanting to put him over. Well, he thought it would be a bad match for us wrestling fans. Had nothing really to do with losing. Other than that, can't recall him not wanting to put someone over other than H in 99 at Summerslam.

    Don't really care for the other 2 especially Hogan. Respond about HHHs career in a different comment.
  3. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    How can 1 respect what he has done in the ring when all he has done is hurt others by what he has accomplished? Who does he put over? His friends like Sheamus, Batista, Orton, HBK, so on. He politics his way into great success, but your response is he is human? Who wouldn't? Someone who cares about the future of this business which he obviously hasn't. That is why WWE is where it is today. LAck of top young stars because the likes of HHH didn't want to give the ball to someone else. Whether it be RVD, Kane, Booker T, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, or other up and coming stars on Smackdown. Remember when he went to Smackdown and destroyed all the future top stars like MVP who I saw as a future world champion. Forget when Taker was taking young stars in the backs side over HHHs during those days? RVD was a 2x most popular wrestler crowned by magazines. In yet, instead of him getting the ball. A heel should receive the new crowned world championship and he isn't ready even the fans wanted to see it. Demolished the roster from there from Scott Steiner, HBK, Kevin Nash, and even Goldberg. Booker T should have won at Mania, instead lost along with getting destroyed in promos by HHH with WCW comments. Goldberg is all hype, did you see that crowd during the chamber. Why not the big stage give him the strap everyone wanted to see? HHH always did that bs holding off a month so it wouldn't be on the big stage. Whether it be Rock in 00, 03 Goldberg, 09 Orton, and that is just a name of few.

    Glory hog, HHH vs Orton main event for the WWE title of WM is something we all wanted to see? Not! Biggest heel in the company facing HHH who wasn't even in the top 2 or 3 babyface. Faced 1000x already even on big stages like the Royal Rumble and Mania battled over world and WWE title on several occassions before. Yea, that was genius going after Taker/HBK just like going after Rock/Hogan. Seeing HHH raise the WWE title was never the way most wrestling fans ever wanted the show to end. It was quite the opposite which is why when you bring up he is up there as one of the greatest of all-time I question. Ah yes, lets hold off Jeff Hardy winning the big 1. I can beat him at No Mercy, get him taken out backstage with Edge replacing him, and have Edge take the pinfall for me at Armaggedon. Than Edge wins the title back at the next ppv and I win the strap back at EC to be able to face Orton at Mania. No reason at all not to hate HHH.......

    Is he top 50 all-time, I suppose 1 could say that, but he certainly isn't in my top 10. I could keep going, but you should get the point. You can argue the claims. I just never really liked HHH before this. Has nothing to do with wrestling ability, just as a character.....never really cared for him.
  4. JJKH's Avatar
    Hi CandieLand

    Firstly; thank you for the kind words about my writing. It is greatly appreciated.

    Secondly; thank you for taking part in the conversation.

    While I agree with your points completely on the points you raise; I just feel that these things seem to cloud the evaluation of Triple H as an in ring talent more than it does other game players (no pun intended) in the business' history.

    For example; I see the same people, in the comments sections of articles on this site, go on about how good it is to see Hogan back while taking every opportunity to bash Triple H. Hogan was as bad, if not worse, than Triple H when it came to that side of things. My overall point being that, when it comes to ability as a wrestler, we as a community don't seem to give Triple H a fair amount of credit because we let the other things cloud that; I'm all about fairness and balance as a person and do my best to see both sides of the coin. By writing this post I was just trying to say hate the man all you want (rightly) for the stunts he's pulled but don't let it colour those moments when he rose above his petty tendencies and gave us truly quality matches and great moments.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with my blog; hope to see you taking part in future discussions.

    JJKH
  5. JJKH's Avatar
    Hi TheGreatOne

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and get involved.

    Firstly; can I say that I knew when posting this subject that it is one where emotions run high with people. I'm not defending any of the behavior you accurately list in your posts (very impressive; I'd forgotten some of those stunts to be honest) I am just trying to say that it shouldn't be the be all and end all when it comes to judging him as a wrestler. I feel the emotions/opinions over the actions of the man colour the perception of the man as a wrestler; something which doesn't happen to other wrestlers.

    To your comment about the list of game playing talent I listed; I was in noway implying that anyone of them had done things on the scale of Triple H. But to think they never pulled a stunt or two during their runs on top would be inaccurate; it's the nature of the beast in competitive entertainment (or just entertainment, if you will). It's deplorable but that's the way it is; by this and what I said in the main post I am in no way saying that we should just except that. We need to challenge everything that's wrong otherwise it never changes; but things are easier to accept if you apply that logic. Again, I am not saying we should just accept it as a part of life; but things don't get to you so much if you understand the logic. You can still disagree with it and rally against it; but create some distance from time to time to give yourself some respite now and again.

    As for the specific names and incidents I was referring to:

    Hogan and Nash - Their ENTIRE career; but in particular their runs that destroyed WCW

    Austin - I was referring to the Triple H incident; and I completely agree with you on the Brock Lesnar inspired walk out.

    Bret Hart - Admittedly; I was never a fan of Hart but I accept he put people over more than most top stars. I was referring to the lead in to Montreal; that was a power play by Hart, plain and simple. Whether it was about respect or not; it was a shitty attitude to have over doing what was right for the business.

    Ric Flair - I totally agree with your points about Flair putting people over on a regular basis and elevating stars; but he did play politics and power plays at times (though usually for the right reasons). Refusing cross over from JCP to Turner if Dusty Rhoades stayed as booker and refusing to drop the belt to anyone else but Sting once he got injured in the build up to his planned first world title are examples of him doing it for the right reasons; but are still power plays at the end of the day. Examples of where he did it for the wrong/self serving reasons include holding up a PPV until he got his new contract and leaving WCW while champion and sending the belt to Vince before he debuted.

    Shawn Michaels - Again; I can't argue with most of what you say. You even point out most of the things that made me list him; but I would also add beating the British Bulldog for the European Title at One Night Only in Birmingham when Davy had been all over UK TV promoting the event and that he was going to win it for his sister who had cancer (I'm a Limey; I'll forgive but I'll NEVER forget...). Up until the day of the event plan was for Bulldog to win.

    Undertaker/CM Punk incident - I used this as an example featuring a both a recent incident and a beloved figure in the business. While I disagree with you on Punk's attire; I take on board the point about his attitude. But it was an example, again of a power play or politics by someone that is never counted against them when we discuss their in ring work.

    It was in no way intended to paint these figures with the same brush as Triple H; but we never mention any of these things when discussing those individuals as wrestlers yet can't wait to take the knife to Triple H for them when having the same discussion about him.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with this blog; hope to see you get involved with future posts.

    JJKH
  6. CandieLand's Avatar
    No problem.

    I for one don't like Hogan and am not exactly jumping for joy that he is back so you will see no praise towards him from me. I'm sure the majority of top talents have at sometime tried to use their power to keep someone down or get their way; i mean Cena has been accused of this many times; Alex Riley being one example (which is probably the only one i will thank Cena for if true) . Orton as well after the mishap with Kofi Kingston. As you said it is part of the business unfortunately.

    I think the main reason he garners so much hatred is, in my opinion, is his tendency to over indulge in the product. He deserves to be a pivotal part of the company, but all the time? He is basically always there. And that would be fine if everything he did was great, but it's not. He has been playing the heel really well as of late, but i don't see him as that big of a draw which leads to me to think why is he thrust into matches as special guest referee? Or why does he need to be involved in a certain angle? Although some of the angles he has been involved in have been good, i really think he needs to pick and choose rather than just do everything I don't think he does himself any favors whatsoever. Sometimes fans need to be relieved of his own ego that he forces down our throats. He is always there seemingly craving attention.
    Updated 03-22-2014 at 07:19 AM by CandieLand
  7. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by JJKH
    Hi TheGreatOne

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and get involved.

    Firstly; can I say that I knew when posting this subject that it is one where emotions run high with people. I'm not defending any of the behavior you accurately list in your posts (very impressive; I'd forgotten some of those stunts to be honest) I am just trying to say that it shouldn't be the be all and end all when it comes to judging him as a wrestler. I feel the emotions/opinions over the actions of the man colour the perception of the man as a wrestler; something which doesn't happen to other wrestlers.

    To your comment about the list of game playing talent I listed; I was in noway implying that anyone of them had done things on the scale of Triple H. But to think they never pulled a stunt or two during their runs on top would be inaccurate; it's the nature of the beast in competitive entertainment (or just entertainment, if you will). It's deplorable but that's the way it is; by this and what I said in the main post I am in no way saying that we should just except that. We need to challenge everything that's wrong otherwise it never changes; but things are easier to accept if you apply that logic. Again, I am not saying we should just accept it as a part of life; but things don't get to you so much if you understand the logic. You can still disagree with it and rally against it; but create some distance from time to time to give yourself some respite now and again.

    As for the specific names and incidents I was referring to:

    Hogan and Nash - Their ENTIRE career; but in particular their runs that destroyed WCW

    Austin - I was referring to the Triple H incident; and I completely agree with you on the Brock Lesnar inspired walk out.

    Bret Hart - Admittedly; I was never a fan of Hart but I accept he put people over more than most top stars. I was referring to the lead in to Montreal; that was a power play by Hart, plain and simple. Whether it was about respect or not; it was a shitty attitude to have over doing what was right for the business.

    Ric Flair - I totally agree with your points about Flair putting people over on a regular basis and elevating stars; but he did play politics and power plays at times (though usually for the right reasons). Refusing cross over from JCP to Turner if Dusty Rhoades stayed as booker and refusing to drop the belt to anyone else but Sting once he got injured in the build up to his planned first world title are examples of him doing it for the right reasons; but are still power plays at the end of the day. Examples of where he did it for the wrong/self serving reasons include holding up a PPV until he got his new contract and leaving WCW while champion and sending the belt to Vince before he debuted.

    Shawn Michaels - Again; I can't argue with most of what you say. You even point out most of the things that made me list him; but I would also add beating the British Bulldog for the European Title at One Night Only in Birmingham when Davy had been all over UK TV promoting the event and that he was going to win it for his sister who had cancer (I'm a Limey; I'll forgive but I'll NEVER forget...). Up until the day of the event plan was for Bulldog to win.

    Undertaker/CM Punk incident - I used this as an example featuring a both a recent incident and a beloved figure in the business. While I disagree with you on Punk's attire; I take on board the point about his attitude. But it was an example, again of a power play or politics by someone that is never counted against them when we discuss their in ring work.

    It was in no way intended to paint these figures with the same brush as Triple H; but we never mention any of these things when discussing those individuals as wrestlers yet can't wait to take the knife to Triple H for them when having the same discussion about him.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with this blog; hope to see you get involved with future posts.

    JJKH
    Yea, I forgot about the One Night Only things with Bulldog. That was right before the Survivor Series Screwjob which just added fuel to the fire for the Hart/HBK rivalry. As far as Flair goes, didn't know some of the things you mentioned as far as Dusty along with Sting situation. WWE always brings up WCW putting their championship on their TV saying how much of a bad thing it was and they put their world title on their show claiming to be real worlds champion. That is how WWE writes the story though.

    HHH, I just never really cared for. Not a big fan and never a guy who I could really get behind. He just was never 1 of the guys who you wanted to act like which is how my fan favs are. How 1 could be a fan of HHH over The Rock baffles me? At the time it did, but I can understand why not to like The Rock because the movies. I'm a fan of Bryan, Ziggler, Punk, ect. I like the reaction that Bryan gets even as a heel when he'd scream No to fans when he was called goat face. Of course I like doing the finger yes thing. I like doing Punk's clobbering time along with best in the world attitude. Showoff telling everyone how good he is by backing it up in the ring every single night. HHH just never did have anything about him I liked. I remember more Flair promos telling us how good he was than HHH ones. Why are you a fan of HHH?
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