[Deconstructing the Moveset] – Why Triple H hit gold by losing the title

Thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy lives to write me this week about my debut column. I apologize for any confusion, the column will now be appearing on Thursdays!

ShamMol writes:
The Red Sox do not suck as bad as your column. How bout that for a horrible
and badly written insult?!

That’s a pretty good one. Keep ’em comin. Thanks for writing.

EazyV588 writes:
Are you gay or something? Those gravy matches never gave me a problem or seemed like a waste of time. It’s wrestling entertainment, NOT just wrestling, man. And who cares if they don’t know who Kamala is? Most woman don’t care for wrestling and the one’s who do become fans in the Stone Cold era (like me). I guess your “fear” is coming true as the girls do get a reaction. But wrestlings not out of style, they are just mixing T&A with wrestling. If the show was always just wrestling it would get boring.

I’m not gay or anything. I just like to watch wrestling. My “fear” doesn’t lie in females getting a reaction. As a matter of fact, I am very proud of what the women’s division has done for itself since the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young made their last run with the federation. Trish, Victoria, Lita, Molly, Gail, Nidia and even Stacy Kiebler all deserve every cheer they get for making their division the most athletic in the company. My “fear” lies in segments like the diva search getting more attention than someone who has worked hard within the company to be on the flagship show of the WWE. If the diva search gets more airtime than Chris Jericho and Christian’s feud, I’m upset. Thanks for writing. Another question, if you came on during the Stone Cold years, how do YOU know who Kamala is?

William Ricks chimed in with:
I can never get enough material on how utterly and nauseatingly horrible the Diva Search is. Seriously. But I’ve got to admit, having them go all catty and swear at each other (while my woman Stacy’s in the ring) is the absolute best use Vince could’ve gotten out of these vapid hos. It was the very first time I haven’t taken a bathroom break or a shower during one of their segments actually. Now the next step is to get them to actually physically assault each other. I’m serious–after all the garbage we’ve had to endure, the least Vince can do is have some of them get the Stone Cold treatment. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of women getting slapped around in real life, but for these gals I’ll gladly make an exception. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but at this point I want to see Carmella’s face get intimate with a high-heeled shoe, a fist and a toilet seat. Repeatedly.

William, you get an A for use of the word “vapid” in an e-mail responce to my column. Keep up the good work. It appears as if the WWE is granting your wish with the “boxing” match next week. Why not have a wrestling match? That’s what I want to know. The guys I watch RAW with argue with me over Carmellla. Jared and Murph, you are wrong and Carmella must go. We’ll see if the gutter-slut makes it through next week. Then we’re all free of the diva search and hopefully this new diva will go the way of the two guys who won Tough Enough 3. Thanks for writing.

And finally we have Timothy Brault:
I hate you.
p.s. Alot.
p.s.s. Good column, keep it up.

That Red Sox remark really got people steamed. Here’s me take on it, if the Red Sox overtake the Yanks this year in the AL East, I will agree with you that they were the better team overall this season, however, if they don’t, you better get ready to admit the same thing about the Yanks. Timothy is currently dealing with wetting the bed while attending college. Also check out his band Failed Silence.Thanks for writing.

And before we get to the meat this week, we have our Tivo gems:

Gem #1: Courtesy of Smackdown!
Michael Cole: Look at how supple Rob Van Dam is!
I know this is the proper use of the word supple1, but it’s still odd to me.

Gem #2: Courtesy of Smackdown!
The Kidman/London vs. the FBI
Kidman is pulling off this new angle perfectly. He is the older of the two wrestlers, genuinely concerned that he doesn’t want to seriously injure his opponents, London is the eager young guy who wants to win. The shooting star press is the most dangerous move in wrestling, and Kidman’s been doing it for years. It’s not like he’s in his rookie year wrestling for the championship at Wrestlemania 19 and built like a linebacker and ready to do the move. He’s Kidman, and as scary as it was to see him miss the move years ago on Nitro2 it’s even scarier when it hurts someone else. This angle is brilliant and I’m curious to see where they go with it.

Gem #3: Courtesy of Heat
Jericho/Stevie Night Heat interview
Jericho once again proves that he’s one of the best on the stick. It’s also always nice to see him get a win now and again as well. Jericho’s “yeeeaaaahhh” in brilliant as well.

Gem #4: Courtesy of RAW
Bischoff/Jericho/Christian
he situation surrounding the IC title is really interesting. Not since Jack Tunney was the figure-head president of the WWE have we heard someone say the words “30 mandatory title defense.” I also don’t know why the crowd booed Edge being stripped of the title. He was getting booed everywhere he went anyway. Jericho was also on top of his game on the mic that night and Christian’s return is a breath of fresh air since Edge was holding the title. Kudos to the crowd for their tepid reaction to a steel cage match between Jericho and Christian. We HAVE seen that before, and the last thing we want is another HHH/HBK feud. Another kudos to Jericho’s “yeeeaaaahhh” as well.

Gem #5: Courtesy of RAW
Orton’s HHH imitation:
“Kane strong. ohh ohh. He beat Randy Orton. ohh ohh.” The facial expressions are really what made it great.

Anyway, now onto the column:

He’s Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He’s supposed to be the best in the business3, the top of the pile of what a wrestler should be, so why is a check in the loss column one of the greatest things that’s happened to him in the past year?

The answer’s not so simple. At Wrestlemania XX, Chris Benoit got what was coming to him, the world heavyweight title. Triple H got a big loss at the biggest stage of the year, the grand-daddy of them all. Finally, someone had bested Triple H and taken the title from him, not an easy thing to do. The title reign Hunter had killed superstars in the WWE. Scott Steiner was left att the wayside, Goldberg was a victim but held the title for two months, Kevin Nash was a victim, Michaels was able to hold the title for a month as well, but eventually gave it back. The title reign survived such atrocities as the arm wrestling match with Scott Steiner, the never actually happened bench pressing competition with Steiner, an Elimination Chamber, a Hell in the Cell with Kevin Nash, but Benoit took the gold and ran with it.

So why is it so good that he lost the title? It’s not so much that he simply lost it, but more how he lost it. He tapped out in middle of the ring, without being attacked by someone who wasn’t involved in the match. He tapped out.

And instantly the crowd, including mysef and my friends also attending, exploded into celebration. Was it that Benoit had finally gotten hold of the title? That was only part of the celebration. Triple H had finally decisively lost to someone. It was all that much sweeter that it was Benoit.

And then it all happened the next night, which I was also a part of. No, not the announcement of the RAW that Vince McMahon was going to “shake things up”4 with the draft lottery, the crowd started chanting the first time Triple H showed his beak in the Continental Airlines Arena.

“You tapped out! You tapped out!”

Simple and to the point, but it was the first chant that I can remember the crowd creating in a long time. Another that comes to mind is “Shane’s a pussy!” and the Kurt Angle “You Suck”5 The New Jersey/New York crowd started chanting, and would not stop. So again, why’s this good for Triple H?

Because he’ll always claim to be the best. He’ll claim that no one can beat him, and the crowd will always remember that at Wrestlemania XX, someone did just that. Any time that he mentions that he’s the best, the masses will remind him that he tapped out. Everyone will remeember that when faced with the pain of the crippler crossface, simply bearing the pain until he could once again reach his way to the ropes, he gave in. His title was on the line. The one thing that mattered most to him was on the line. If he could only bear the pain that Benoit was dishing out, he could walk away from what would be, without a shadow of a doubt, his biggest victory to date. Bigger than his August 23rd 1999 victory over Mankind where he won his first world title6. Bigger than his 1997 victory over Mannkind to earn the King of the Ring status. Bigger than his April 29th 2001 tag title win with Steve Austin over the Undertaker and Kane to become the second ever Grand Slam Champion. You get the picture, so why?

Because this was Wrestlemania XX, the biggest Wrestlemania to date.7
So until the day that the fans forget that he lost at Wrestlemania XX, he’ll always be reminded that he tapped out when it was all on the line in front of people in 90 different countries around the world, and in front of the 20,000 fans from 16 different countries.

It’s simple, he tapped out. And the crowd picked up on that it doesn’t happen all that often. So they’ll remind him at every opportunity they get.

1 Supple:

  1. Readily bent; pliant.
  2. Moving and bending with agility; limber.
  3. Yielding or changing readily; compliant or adaptable. See Synonyms at flexible.

2 He hit the turnbuckle and ropes instead of the mat. The reason it stands out so much is because Eric Bischoff was doing color commentary and when Kidman missed the move, Bischoff broke kayfabe to make sure he was okay abandoning his post at the table and going to Kidman. Just one of those moments in wrestling that stick with you.
3 Yes, of course Ric flair is the best, but certainly not as a performer. Ad again, yes Bret art is the best there is the best there was and the best there ever will be, but let us not digress
4 Vince’s previous announcements have included that he was going to go home to be a “genetic jackhammer” as well, so we were all a tad bit skeptical
5 I’ll have to double check that, I remember Edge egging the crowd on the chant it during his music, but I’m not sure if the crowd started it.
6 Despite rumors of Stone Cold not wanting to drop the title to Triple H and Summerslam (featuring Jessie Ventura) and Mankind was pinned the following night on RAW by Triple H
7 Each current one is, isn’t it?

And your final question:
Since when was Nidia from Puerto Rico?

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