The Way Too Long Review of Triple H – The King of Kings

First off, I really suck at picking names for columns, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I chose this one to basically stick my middle finger up at those that bitch that my stuff is too long or too wordy.  It’s as if they clicked on the link, saw the length of the review and their day was ruined because they were now trapped on their computer, forced to read it, unable to pry their fat ass off the chair or use the ‘back’ button.  Well phooey on them.  I like to explain shit.  I like to have shit explained to me.  I figured people would be more upset at some of the tasteless jokes I cracked or that my ratings were all wrong.  But no, it’s the length.

This is why America sucks.  Because people want stuff to be quick, stupid, and meaningless.  Take our last presidential election.  You had two very smart, highly educated, articulate men forced to shout catch phrases at each other because stupid people don’t have the patience to sit down and listen to what their actual agenda was.  So the whole campaign focused around buzz words.  “VALUES!”  “HOPE!”  “EXPERIENCE!”  “CHANGE!”  They don’t actually have to explain what values they have, what they have to hope for, what their experience means, or what change is because stupid people will lap it up like the dogs they are.

Well wrestling fans are incredibly stupid.  And your average smart fan is just as stupid as your average mark, only they think they’re smart.  They’re not.  They’re just obnoxious.  And why am I bringing this up?  Because the minute Triple H returned, smart fans collectively farted their hate across message boards all over the internet.  Here’s a good one from a board I read when I need to feel particularly smart… the W board.

“Good to see Triple H satiate his ego and get his revenge on Orton.   God I really hate that man.”

This kind of stuff seriously makes me laugh.  Satiate his ego?  Give me a break.  Triple H made Randy Orton’s career.  Here was a guy with no personality and a bland moveset who the biggest star in professional wrestling at the time said “That kid, that’s the one I’m putting in my new star-making faction.  It will be like the Four Horsemen, only it will have a previous world champion, a current world champion, and two future world champions in it.”  And thus Triple H took a very bland, very green kid and made him into a legitimate star.  And regardless of whether you think Randy Orton deserves his spot or not, you can’t deny he’s over.  It’s because Triple H works.  He’s a star and he’s a star maker.

And really, on the subject of ego, here’s a guy who is arguably the most powerful professional wrestler since Hulk Hogan in terms of his political power and he goes over two years without being the world champion.  You know, from the time Hulk Hogan won the WWE Championship in 1984 to the time he lost the Undisputed WWE Championship, he never went as long as Triple H did between title reigns.  And he sure as hell wasn’t fucking the boss’ daughter.  Oh no.  He left that to Randy Savage.

So smart marks, drop your stupid, groundless hating.  You come across like an incredibly ignorant child who’s bitching to his parents about the popular kid in school who has all the money and all the cool people hanging around him.  You want to see an ego?  Look no further then Vince McMahon himself, who does stupid shit like devote thirty minutes of air time on Raw to his public temper-tantrum over a venue snafu.  I’ve listened to smart marks talk about how bad things are going to get when Vince McMahon kicks off and Triple H ends up in charge of the WWE.  I say bring it the fuck on.  Because unlike Vince McMahon, Triple H seems to have a good perspective on what works and doesn’t work these days in professional wrestling.  You guys see ego?  I see a guy with a long history of making smart business decisions.  He’s the guy I want in charge.

Okay, opening rant over.  Allow me to spit out Mr. Levesque’s cock from my mouth and we’ll get to the review.

Between the matches, Triple H provides commentary on where his career was at this point, and what he thought about the matches. Thankfully, kayfabe is ignored and it makes for a better set as a result.

Disc One

-Trips talks about how he started to like wrestling. They show a pic of him as a body builder, and goddamn does he look funny. I swear, the angle of the picture makes him look like an Oompa Loompa on steroids. Ted Arcidi started training in his gym and hooked him up with Killer Kowalski’s school. He ends up working for WCW. The night of Starrcade 94, he calls his mom and finds out that J.J. Dillion had been trying to call him. Vince McMahon and company promised him a good spot. He agreed on the spot, and called it the best decision he ever made.

Match #1
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. John Crystal
5/22/95 Raw

This is Triple H’s debut. Lockup, and Crystal grabs a wristlock, reversed by Trips into a hiptoss and a stomp. They trade hammerlocks, with Crystal getting the best of it, so Trips grabs the ropes. I have to say, he has the snob gimmick down perfectly. Slugoff by Trips and a spinheel kick (!), then a blatant choke. Suplex and then a chinlock with some body shots. Trips lets go of that before it becomes boring, then shoots him off and slams him. Crystal misses a roundhouse and Triple H hits a diamond cutter for the pin.
1/4* Well, that was lame. That said, I must admit that I never would have dreamed he would go on to be one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, so kudos.

-Triple H talks about how his opening run was scary because he worked mostly against local guys, who may or may not have been crap. When asked who he learned the most from in wrestling, he says Marc Mero with reservation, because Mero sucked and it forced him to become a ring general. Well, that was brutal. He talks about how big the IC title win was for him.

Match #2
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mr. Perfect
10/21/96 Raw

Perfect comes out with Marc Mero, Sable… and Gorilla Monsoon? Perfect is limping, so Jim Ross asks what’s up. Perfect says that the doctors won’t let him wrestle. Trips jaws with Perfect, but Monsoon won’t let him wrestle either. Perfect offers Marc Mero up as a sub. Trips says he’s not wrestling him. Monsoon says that Trips isn’t obligated to wrestle him and that he’s free to leave. Perfect calls him a chicken. Triple H says he’ll only do it if Mero’s IC title is on the line. Mero accepts. OK…

Match #2: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Marc Mero vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
10/21/96 Raw

Mero is a weird case. He absolutely does NOT have the respect of his peers. I’ve heard few if any positive stories about him. Mick Foley absolutely destroyed him in his first book. A bunch of guys were brutal on him during RF Shoot videos. And Triple H just buried him further in this DVD. Following the death of Chris Benoit and the media shitstorm that surrounded it, Mero came off as a huge douchebag, spitting on the business that brought him his fame and fortune. Wrestling is full of guys like Mero who, once their time is up, bury the business for personal gain. Some seek redemption, like Superstar Billy Graham did. Mero never achieved that level of stardom, so the door will never be open to him again. That said, he really did have a decent year in 1996 with the WWF, before the injury. He had a few four-star matches with Steve Austin, including a nice opener for the 1996 King of the Ring. I don’t think he was completely worthless in the ring, but clearly he acted like his shit didn’t stink.

To the match, which starts after a commercial break. We come back with Mero hitting a backdrop, then a pair of armdrags into an armbar. Trips to his feet and he shoots off, but Mero dropkicks him out of the ring. Trips threatens to use Sable as a human shield, so she bitch slaps him. Mero into the ring, and he smacks Triple H around and they trade pin attempts. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Trips for a double KO. Both guys up and Trips slams him into the turnbuckle and suplexes. Kneedrop for two. Flying knee for two. Hard whip to the corner and Trips bows to mock Mero. Catapult to Trips by Mero for two, but Trips pops up with a clothesline for two. Commercial break, but we cut back to it quickly, with Mero hitting a slingshot splash for two. Punches in the corner, and a samoan drop. Mero climbs and goes for the Shooting Star Press, but Trips pushes the ref into the ropes. This doesn’t cause a DQ. Trips tries a superplex but Mero throws him off and hits a diving moonsault for two. Trips reverses a whip and sends Mero crashing into the referee. Trips grabs a chair, so Sable tries to stop him. Perfect in and he takes the chair away from Trips, then turns on Mero and KOs him with the chair. Sable freaks out with her shrill voice, while Triple H picks up Mero and gives him the pedigree for the pin and the title.
*1/2 A nothing match, and you could spot the turn coming a mile away.

-Triple H and Shawn discover Chyna in a hotel room. They both decide that she would make the perfect bodyguard for Trips. Vince shoots them down, saying that nobody would sell for her and that it would make him look wussy. Trips then talks about the Curtain Call, which landed him in the dog house. And I don’t mean the Randy Orton dog house. I mean the “You’re jobbing to drunken Jake Roberts every house show for the next three months” dog house. Vince McMahon told Trips that if it had been anyone else, they would have fired him. Shawn was champion and untouchable. Vince told Trips to “Learn to eat shit and like the taste of it.”  Trips asked if it this was it for him, if he was going to be doing job duty for the rest of his contract, because if so he was going to ask for a release. Vince said that he was already over it but he still had to do his time. The time wasn’t as long as they make it out to be. It didn’t end with the King of the Ring 1997. In fact, it ended right around the time of the previous match, when he took the IC title from Marc Mero. It was still a five or so month long jobathon, but he wasn’t ever totally buried.

Match #3: King of the Ring Finals
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind
6/8/97 King of the Ring

What a crappy tournament. Ahmed Johnson was originally booked to win it and then move on to face the Undertaker at Canadian Stampede, and thus Triple H wasn’t in the plans and was knocked out in the first round. Only Ahmed’s head got swollen and Vader was injured, so the WWE decided to just give the damn tournament to Triple H anyway. He was inserted back in as a replacement to Vader, then beat Crush and Ahmed Johnson (whom had already eliminated him) in route to this match. Now these guys had really, really good chemistry together. However, I remember this match not being so good. Lockup goes nowhere. Lockup and a headlock by Trips. Mankind muscles out. Crowd seems gone. Top wristlock by Trips goes nowhere too. Mankind gets a takedown on Trips and stomps away. Nosehold by Mankind which could be lethal for Helmsley. He bites at the nose, then shoots off but Trips bails. Trips gets in and kicks away at Mick, knocking him out of the ring. Mick grabs Triple H and smacks him around the outside, slamming him into the guardrail. Back into the ring, and oh man is the crowd dead. Mankind goes for a ten punch but Trips turns it into a hotshot. Kicks in the corner, shoot off into the corner, then a swinging neckbreaker. Choke on the ropes and an elbowdrop. Trips had no heat at this point in his career, so I can understand the crowd not giving a shit, but this is still brutal. Slug off in the ring, and the crowd doesn’t give a shit about Mankind’s comeback either. So Trips just fires off a clothesline. Punches in the corner and then Mick crawls over to Chyna, who gives him a nice forearm. At this point, Mick was one of only two or three guys who would sell for her. Mick to his feet and then he gets a low blow out of nowhere, again to no reaction. Fans don’t even care enough to chant”BORING!”  Trips ducks a Cactus Clothesline attempt and gets caught in a hangman, which draws some noise. Baseball slide by Trips sends him back into the guardrail, then a slam into the stairs. Back in the ring, Trips punches Mick down and drops a knee, then another one. And finally, the fans break out a BORING chant. Mankind catches Trips on a charge and hotshots him for two. Another hotshot by Mick gets two. Mick goes for something but it’s a botch and both guys fall down. Wow, this is terrible. I can’t believe this made it into the DVD. Mick slugs away in the corner, then hits the running knee smash. Mick slings Trips into the corner for a tree of woe, then Mick drops an elbow on his face. Mick dumps him to the floor, but misses a baseball slide. Trips charges at Mick but gets backdropped on the concrete, drawing the second positive reaction of this match. Mankind to the apron where he drops the Big Elbow to the Trips on the concrete, which was his original finisher as Cactus Jack. In the ring, he hits a double arm DDT for two as Chyna was distracting the ref. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE but Mankind backdrops and hooks in the claw. Chyna grabs Mick by the hair and drags him out of the ring. Neckbreaker by Trips knocks Mick to the floor. In the ring, Trips unmasks Mankind and climbs. Mick catches him in the Mandible Claw on the top rope, but Trips kicks off. Trips falls to the mat, but walks into an atomic drop. Clothesline by Mick for two. Cactus Clothesline sends both guys to the floor. Mick tries to drop a backelbow off of the apron but Chyna pulls Trips to safety and Mick eats it hard. Trips whips Mick hard into the stairs, then preps the announce table. Pedigree on the table hits with an audible ‘thunk’, back in the days when the tables weren’t built to collapse. If they have shaved off the first ten or so minutes of this match, it would have been pretty bad ass. Trips back in the ring, while Chyna grabs the scepter and shatters it over Mick in a cool visual. Trips then knees Mankind off the apron and into the cameraman in another kick ass, sick looking spot. In the ring, Mick is certainly done for, so Trips makes an arrogant cover… for two. Trips is pissed and hits the pedigree for the pin and the King of the Ring. After the match, Triple H beats up Mankind some more. The opening was a big fat DUD, the rest was really good…
** overall. Skip the first 10 minutes and I would call it ***1/2 or so.

-Trips talks about how the blue-blood thing wasn’t really him. He’s was an obnoxious blueblood, and Shawn was the same way, so that’s where they wanted to get. This moves into a talk about Owen Hart, whom Trips loved in the ring but thought he never really scratched the surface of his potential, something I disagree, as I think there needs to be a distinction made between living up to your full potential and being used to your full potential.

Match #4: European Championship
(c) Triple H vs. Owen Hart
3/29/98 Wrestlemania XIV

Special stipulation: Chyna will be handcuffed Sgt. Slaughter. Owen is the babyface here, and man, they really could have done a lot more with him in that role. Spear by Owen and some mounted punches to start. Whip to the corner and a backdrop. Trips gets up only to get clotheslined. Another clothesline in the corner and a 10 punch. Frankensteiner for two. Shoot off, reversal, and Trips gets a backelbow. Trips kicks Owen out of the ring. Hart gets his breath then dares Owen to take a shot at her. Trips comes off the apron with a sledge but misses and hits the guardrail. Headlock punches by Owen, then back into the ring where he catches Trips with a sort of spinebuster. Sharpshooter but Trips avoids it. Owen lowers his head and eats a facebuster. Chops in the corner by Trips and some stomps. Shoot off and the flying knee for two. Suplex and a crotch chop. Trips smacks Owen to the corner, where he fights back. Shoot of the corner by Owen but Trips gets a foot up and a DDT for two. Trips finally remembers to start to work the injured leg and starts to beat on it. It’s amazing this guy has gone on to become one of the best workers of the last decade. Elbowdrop to the leg and Trips grabs a leglock. He lets go of it and does some crappy stomping to the legs. Owen finally fights back and hits some shoulderblocks to the gut. Shoot to the other corner and Trips tries to get a boot up but Owen knowns better. He slides out of the ring and crotches Trips on the ringpost. Missile dropkick off the top by Owen for two. Belly to belly for two. Spining heel kick for two. Enziguri but Owen hurts his own ankle. He covers for two. Trips turns a rana into a powerbomb for two. He sets Owen on the top for a superplex but Owen throws him off and hits a crossbody for two. Catapult attempt by Trips but Owen turns it into a sharpshooter, but Trips kicks him off that. Owen does the classic ‘bounce off the corner, fall down onto the guy’s nut’ spot for two. Owen lowers his head but Trips turn it into a KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! but Owen turns that into the Sharpshooter. Owen teases a tapout but Chyna muscles Slaughter over far enough to help Trips grab the ropes. Mounted punches by Owen while Chyna throws powder in Slaughter’s eyes. Owen gets distracted by this, allowing Triple H to smack him in the back of the head. Low blow by Chyna, pedigree by Trips for the pin.
*** Meh, I don’t think anyone thought Owen was walking out with the title here.

-Trips talks about how difficult Shawn was to work with in the week leading to Wrestlemania 14. When the show was done, he was happy. He talks about forming his own version of DX. The original plan had been to scrap the whole faction. Trips pushed to sign Sean Waltman, then bring in the New Age Outlaws. The fans turned DX babyface because of their anti-WCW stuff. Trips says that DX was fun, but it would never get him to main event level, so he pushed to split it off. That pissed off the Outlaws and Waltman in real life. He changed his look and style.

Match #5: WWE Championship
(c) Mankind vs. Triple H
8/23/99 Raw

This was the night after Summerslam, where Mankind won the championship in a triple threat match with Jesse Ventura as the guest referee. It was one of only two times I was FLOORED by the outcome of a WWE pay per view main event. Try to guess the other. The original plan for that night had been for Triple H to take the championship, and some speculated that Steve Austin refused to job to him. It’s true in a way.  Austin was okay with jobbing to Trips, only not right away.  Figuring his career was coming to an end or at the very least that a long term absence was nearing, he wanted to push back the big money match with Trips until a later date to maximize his profit.  Plus the WWE chose to not have the sitting governor of Minnesota award the championship to a bad guy, so they booked Mankind to win instead. A lot of people read too much into it.

To the match, in which the Rock is doing color commentary. He starts by asking “Who booked this crap?”  So in comes Shane McMahon as the surprise guest referee as if to answer that question. This is also, I think, Lillian Garcia’s first night doing the ring introductions, and wow did she SUCK as it. She’s actually become quite good at it, but here it was terrible. Slugoff to start. Mick brawls him down in the corner and hits a running kneelift. Mick was seriously out of shape here. According to his second book, he blew himself up the night before Summerslam doing batting practice with the Minnisota Twins, trying over 200 times to hit a home run. Quote, “By time I had left the field I was exhausted, sweating, and vaguely aware that I had just screwed up big time.”  Let it be said that it’s the single greatest excuse for being out of shape in the history of wrestling. Mick brawls Trips down and makes a cover, but Shane doesn’t count and jaws with the Rock instead. Elbowdrop and Mick calls for the Socko Claw. That was quick. He gives it Shane instead of Trips. Shane knocked out of the ring. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE but Mick backdrops out of it and slaps on the claw. Chyna, who had turned face earlier in the night to start her feud with Jeff Jarrett, turns heel again by helping break up the submission hold, only to get the claw herself. Double arm DDT for… nothing because Shane is out of it. Another ref runs down and counts for two. They brawl to the floor where Trips gets tossed into the guardrail. Mick gets whipped into Chyna who hiptosses him into the chairs in a neat spot. Mick gets tossed onto the announce table. Rock yells at Trips and Mick for spilling soda on his shoes. Mick brawls him and grabs a chair, but Trips boots it into his face. Both into the ring, where Mick fights back with a headbutt. Neckbreaker by Trips for two. Facebuster for two. Trips rips off Socko and tosses it into the crowd. Kicks and then a schoolboy for two. Mick fights back with some punches, but he runs into a flying knee and a kneedrop for two. The Rock is being an obnoxious ass on commentary… it’s amazing anyone would cheer for him during 1999. I mean, he wasn’t exactly nice or anything. It was a weird period for wrestling. Mick fights back, but gets shot to the corner. Mick gets a shoe up and then a clothesline for two. Cactus Clothesline sends both to the floor. Chyna argues with the referee while Mick throws Trips over the announce table. Shane McMahon comes to life and chairs Mick, who no-sells it and gives chase. Trips comes in with a VICIOUS unprotected chair to the head on Mick, then another sick ass one ot the Rock on commentary. I’m sorry hardcore smarks, but unprotected chair shots to the head need to be banned for life from wrestling. In the ring, pedigree by Trips finishes and gives him his first championship.
*** An overbooked garbage brawl, but still entertaining.

-Trips kind of backhandedly buries Mick, almost saying ‘despite winning the belt from a hand-over guy (lame duck) like Mankind, it was a big deal.’  After that tactful moment, Trips notes that he wrestled every houseshow leading to Wrestlemania against Steve Austin because Shawn was injured, so he knew they would have some good matches with eachother. Funny enough, they skipped over Triple H jobbing the championship to Vince McMahon. Even Vince McMahon’s DVD didn’t include that match. So I’m guessing if Vince McMahon had a take-back on that one, he would use it.

Match #6: WWE Championship, No Holds Barred
(c) Triple H vs. Steve Austin
10/17/99 No Mercy

Trips carries a sledge hammer with him during his entrance, but Vince McMahon takes it away from him. Trips jaws with Vince, then punches him out, so Austin bails from the ring to jump him. Trips and Austin brawl on the hardwood floor, with Austin slamming him into various objects. They slug it out again and Austin knocks Trips down on the ramp. Austin tosses Trips into the trash, then dives off the rail with a clothesline that connects. Austin grabs a garbage can and whacks Trips with it. Austin reverses a whip and shoots Triple H into the guardrail. Austin then picks up a piece of steel railing and throws it at Trips. More guardrail slamming, then they brawl into the crowd. You can’t see the action. I wish they would save this crap for house shows. The fans pack in around the wrestlers so the guys can’t fight, because fans are fucking morons who think that by touching one of the wrestlers they’ll have a story to tell their friends for the rest of their lives. “Oooh, I touched Steve Austin! They were trying to have a match and I reached out with my hand and touched his sweaty skin. I have seen the top of the mountain and you will worship me as though I were a God!” If you have a friend who brags about reaching out and touching a wrestler in the middle of a match, do them a favor and violently slap them across the face. It’s the only way they will learn. Austin smacks a guy with a crutch, with some stupid fan reaching his hand out as if to let Austin whack it with the crutch instead. Fucking idiots. They give up on the crowd brawl and make their way back to the hardwood floor. There, Austin swings an entire boom mic onto Trips. Only they pull the camera back for a wide shot of it and it looked terrible. Like, so bad it was comical. To the aisle, Trips fights back and loads up a suplex, but Austin reverses it into his own. Clothesline on the floor by Austin, then to the ringside area where Austin crotches him on the rail and clotheslines him off into the fans. More ‘reaching out and touching’ by the fucking morons. Seriously, the WWE should napalm the arena where the fans act especially stupid like this. Austin loads up a piledriver, but Trips backdrops him into the hardwood. Trips loads up the pedigree, but Austin slingshots him into the referee and both tumble back into the ringside area. Want another reason why brawls into the stands are stupid? Because if after it’s over, those fans in the sections where the brawl didn’t happen DIE. I mean, they go as quite as a mouse’s fart. Watch this match for proof of that. Both guys get back into the ring. Trips stomps on Austin and grabs a blatant choke. Shoot off but Austin ducks a clothesline and KICK WHAM STUNNER~! with no referee. Well, that was early. The ref is out of it, and Trips is on his feet. Austin brawls and goes for the stunner again, but Trips pushes off and Austin wipes out the referee again. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! with no referee. Another ref comes down and counts for two. The ref and Trips have a shove off in a cheap heat moment. Thesz Press by Austin and mounted punches, then an FU elbow for two. Shoot off and Austin tosses Trips over the top and to the floor. They brawl over to the table where JR loses his headset. Lawler takes this chance to steal all of JR’s catchphraises. Austin chokes Trips with JR’s headset, then tosses him in the ring. Trips is bleeding, so Austin punches him down and slugs away at the wound then covers for two, then two and two. One of these days they’re going to have to book that spot to have the pin happen on the second or third try. Do it on PPV so that it makes the spot more reasonable. To the floor, Austin whips Trips into the stairs. Austin tries to choke Trips with a cord, but gets hit with the ringbell instead. Trips grabs the bell and uses it again. He preps the announce table then suplexes Austin onto it. The table didn’t give. Nice spot, but it also was the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak, leading Austin to need surgery on his neck after working against it for over two years. Trips punches away at Austin’s face, then tosses Austin into the ring. Stomps in the corner and a choke with the foot. Austin slugs it back, then shoots off Trips. Reversal and a backelbow, but Trips misses a kneedrop. Austin lowers his head and Trips chopblocks him. Trips wraps Austin’s leg around the ringpost a few times, and both guys seem gassed. Trips drops his weight on Austin’s knee, then slams it to the mat. Austin misses a clothesline and Trips kicks the knee. Elbowdrop to the knee then a standard leglock. Austin to his feet where he slugs it out, but Trips gets a facebuster for two, two, two, and two. Mounted punches and then Trips bails to grab a chair. Austin kicks it away from him and punches him down. Austin grabs the chair but Trips stops him. Clothesline by Trips, who’s selling fairly well here, and he climbs. Austin pops up to stop him and fires off a superplex. Both guys are out, but Austin gets an arm on top of Trips for two. They fight for the chair, and then Austin PLASTERS Trips in the head with it, then fires off 10 shots to his legs. Trips shouldn’t be able to walk at this point. Rocky comes out with a sledge hammer but misses Trips and hits Austin in the gut with it. Trips, who shouldn’t be table to stand, gets up after being hit in the leg ten times with a chair, pedigrees Rocky, and then covers Austin for the pin. Lame finish. Fans pelt the ring with garbage. Trips doesn’t even sell the leg injury post-match. Austin pops up as Trips walks up the aisle. He jumps Trips and they fight backstage, where Trips *RUNS* to escape with Chyna (who turned face to win the IC title from Jeff Jarrett, then turns heel again here to open the limo door for him) and that’s it.
* Garbage brawl, horrible finish, lots of lame looking spots, and Trips no-selling the leg injury was the icing on the cake.

-Trips takes credit for coming up with the McMahon/Helmsley era. He didn’t even know Stephanie outside of casual chatting. Vince decided to have Steph turn on him and run with Trips full time. Like most storylines involving the McMahons, it got off to a great start, so of course the WWE had to run it into the ground. We shift over to the feud with Mick Foley, where Trips says it was a huge honor for him to retire him.

Match #7: WWE Championship vs. Career, Hell in a Cell
(c) Triple H vs. Cactus Jack
2/27/00 No Way Out

Foley has said many times that he wishes he had retired following the Royal Rumble, so he’s obviously not that big a fan of this match. I haven’t watched it since it aired in 2000, so I’m going into it fresh here. There are dozens of chains on the door, so there should be no escape for Mick. He had promised to fall off the cage here, but doing an elbow onto Trips while he did so. Good booking gimmick, actually. Big brawl to start. Mick looks like he’s in great shape here. Ground and pound by Foley, then more punches. Shoot to the corner and a forearm shot. Foley tries to kick the door open, then stops Trips coming off the apron with an axehandle. Brawl around the ring. Trips gets advantage in the ring and fires off a dozen punches or so. Mick fights out of that with a clothesline. He lowers his head and eats a facebuster. Trips misses a charge and gets backdropped to the floor. A better spot would have been Trips getting backdropped out of the ring and into the cage. Ugh. Why have the cage if they’re not going to go full board with it? Mick grabs a chair but Trips knees him off the apron and into the cage. To the floor, Trips whips Mick into the stairs for Mick’s trademark sick bump off the stairs. Mick gets sent into the ringpost, then Trips grabs the stairs. Lawler notes on commentary that Mick must have magnets in his head, because it’s attracted to metal objects. SICK ASS looking spot where Triple H throws the stairs into Mick. He then puts the stairs on top of Cactus and smacks the stairs with a chair a few times. In the ring, chair shot to the back and then the face gets two. DDT by Trips for two, two, and two. Trips is getting mad so he grabs a chair. Cactus says to bring it, so Trips charges. Mick counters with a punch to the gut, and then a chair to the balls. Double arm DDT to the chair gets two. Russian legsweep into the chair gets two for Cactus. Mick opens the chair and places it in the corner, but Trips fights back. He brawls Trips into taking a seat in the corner, then tries to hit the running kneesmash in the corner but Trips gets a droptoehold, with Mick’s head spattering on the chair. It gets two. Trips brawls him out the ring, throwing him into the cage a few times. Trips loads up a pedigree on the stairs but Mick counters and slingshots him into the cage. Trips is bleeding now, so Mick throws him into the cage a few times. Mick perches on the stairs like a vulture to see the damage he’s done, then grates Trips on the cage. Mick slings Trips by the hair into the cage, then brawls some more. Mick drops the Big Elbow, only he uses a chair, off the second rope and to the floor. Nice spot, huge FOLEY! chant for that. Cactus grabs the stairs and throws them at Trips, but misses and it knocks one of the panels off the cage. Mick does a running Cactus Smash to the cage, busting a full hole in the cell. Mick tosses Trips through the steel and to the ringside area, where Mick puts him on the announce table. Piledriver on the table, which doesn’t break. Fans are going crazy as Mick looks up at the cage. He starts to climb, and the fans go completely nuts. Stephanie McMahon grabs his leg, so Mick climbs down. He takes out Triple H again and then grabs a 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire. Mick’s arm is bleeding badly from cutting it on the hole in the cage. Barbed wire shot to the face by Cactus to Trips. Trips climbs the cage, so Mick gives chase. Cactus tosses the 2×4 onto the top of the cage, but Trips stops him and saws at his face with the barbed wire. A kick sends Mick off the side of the cage and through the table in the same spot that Shawn Michaels took in the original Hell in the Cell. Trips stays on top of the cell while Foley recovers and grabs a chair. He tries to toss the chair on top of the cage, but he throws like a girl and fails three times. Well, that was awkward and killed the crowd. Mick climbs anyway and so Trips meets him with a shot with some barbed wire on top of the cell. Another shot and the wire, ripping apart his flannel. A few more shots with it and the wire is all messed up on it. Trips goes in for the kill shot, but Mick lowblows him. Mick brawls him around the cage, into the corner where the cage almost gives away. If that had happened, Trips would have been really fucked up. Mick gives Trips a snap suplex on top of the cage. Double arm DDT on top of the cell, and then Mick gets that crazy gleam in his eye again. He grabs the 2×4 and lights it on fire. Lawler tells Triple H to just jump. Shot to the face with the bruning 2×4 by Mick. He loads up Trips for a piledriver on the burning 2×4, but Trips backdrops him through the roof of the cage and into the mat, which is gimmicked to break. Another awesome looking spot, drawing a huge “Holy shit!” chant from the crowd. Trips is all crazy looking on the roof. He climbs down, then looks over the damage. Mick looks dead, and Triple H lightly kicks at him as if to check for signs of life. Mick actually starts to move, and Trips freaks out. Triple H punches him, but Mick is still crawling at him like the Terminator. Trips picks him up and hits the Pedigree for pin.
***** An awesome match, one of the better Hell in a Cells. The high spots were really good, and the brawling was top notch too.   Part of me feels like I should deduct at least a half star for Mick’s sissy chair throwing, but knowing him he likely has an amazing excuse involving jerking off for hours to a porn star he just met the previous night.

-Trips glances over the two-man Power Trip era, which is where he ended up injuring himself. We actually see about one second worth of uncensored Chris Benoit footage… and wow… even hear Trips say his name. Don’t read anything into it, Benoit fans. I seriously doubt they ever put one of his matches on DVD again, outside of pay-per-view reprints. They talk about how he rehabbed his injury.

-The 2002 Royal Rumble is shown from the point where Triple H entered at #22. I’m not going to bother recapping it because it’s clipped all to hell. I gave the full match ***3/4.

Disc Two

-Trips talks about his fallout with Shawn Michaels. Shawn finds Jesus, the match at Summerslam was amazing and then they comeback, which was going to be a one time thing, but one thing led to another, and Shawn ended up coming back and winning the title.

Match #8: World Heavyweight Championship best of three falls
(c) Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
12/15/02 Armageddon

First Fall: Street Fight

Ha, the confetti guns during Shawn’s signature pose shot it all together in one clump. Ric Flair gets ejected, then Shawn slugs it out. Shoot off, and Trips tries to dump Shawn but HBK skins the cat. Slugoff and Trips gets dumped. Baseball slide by Shawn as Trips grabs a garbage can. Plancha but Shawn misses and wipes out. Clothesline on the floor but Shawn takes the bump on his side, like Ric Flair. Crowd just outright died. Trips throws Shawn into the guardrail, then brawls him back to the ring. Shawn blocks a shot with the garbage can and then gets a crossbody off the second rope and into the garbage can that Trips is holding. No reaction. I don’t know why the WWE bothers going to Florida. The crowds are shitty 90% of the time. Shawn preps a folding table, then tries to suplex Trips into it, but Trips slugs out of it. Slam into the stairs by Shawn, then Trips gets tossed into the ring. Shawn grabs a garbage can and tries to hit a shot with it off the second rope, but Trips gets a foot up. No reaction. Buy a ticket to sit on your hands. Crossbody attempt by Shawn but Trips slowly rolls through for two. Clothesline for two. Trips sets up another table, then hits Shawn with the garbage can. Trips tries to suplex Shawn out of the ring and into the tables, but Shawn reverses with one of his own for two. Flying kneelift by Trips and he bails. Shot to back by Trips, and then he preps a chair in the ring. Shawn escapes from a backbreaker on the chair and backdrop Trips into the chair. Ouch. Hardwhip to the corner by Shawn, then a whip to the corner. Fans are killing this match. Shawn brawls Trips around on the outside, driving him into the guardrail and ring apron. Shawn opts for a garbage can lid over a chair, then whacks Trips in the back with it, drawing a groan. Sweet Chin Music but Trips blocks and whacks the leg down. Trips slams the leg onto the mat, then into the garbage can. Trips rings the leg into the ringpost a few times, then chopblocks him in the ring. Kneedrop by Trips, then a figure four which draws some reaction from the audience. Mostly ‘woooos’ but damnit, it’s something. Trips gets a couple two counts out of it while the fans go dead silent. And HBK chant fails to break out. The figure four lasts forever. Shawn rolls it over, and Trips gets out of it quickly. Trips limps to his feet… he’s selling that two seconds of reverse figure four better then the ten chairshots to the knee he took against Austin… and PLASTERS Shawn in the side of the head with the garbage can lid for two. Damn that was loud. Of course, when nobody in the crowd is making noise those hard shots tend to echo. To the floor, Shawn gets slammed in the guardrail, then brawled up to the structure, which is on fire. Trips grabs a 2×4 with barbed wire, but he stops to light it on fire. And what do you know, the wood just happened to be doused in gas. Shawn kicks low to stop him, and the damn 2×4 almost flies into the audience. Don’t worry fans at Armageddon, I’m sure if you keep showing up to these pay per views, one day a fire will break out in the stands. Hell, maybe Trips and Shawn set that little thing up as payback for being dead silent this match. Shawn swings it like a wild baseball bat at Trips’ face, connecting. Trips is busted open, and Shawn (with his hilariously bad haircut) brawls him back up the aisle. Another nice shot with the trash can lid puts Trips down in the ring. Shawn preps a folding chair, but Trips droptoeholds him into it. DDT by Trips and both guys are out. You know what, I’m pretty sure this match is now officially what Scott Keith describes as a ‘wank fest’. Pedigree but Shawn lowblows him to escape it. That’s what he gets for ignoring the KICK WHAM part of it. Flying forearm and a nipup, but Trips chopblocks him, KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! for the pin. Pretty underwhelming opener for the match.

Second Fall: Steel Cage Match

Trips quickly grabs a table from under the ring, before the cage lowers. You can win this fall by pin, submission, or escape. Escape? In a two out of three falls match? Weird. Trips smacks Michaels in the face with a garbage can, then preps a table in the corner. Shawn blocks getting rammed into the cage, so Trips slugs him around. Shoot off and a reversal, and Trips grabs a dropkick and slingshots HBK into the cage. Shawn’s bleeding now. Trips grates Shawn into the cage. Reversal sequence and Shawn slams Trips into the cage a couple times, then clotheslines him down. Thesz press and mounted punches by Shawn. Trips runs for it, trying to escape the cage, but Shawn catches him. Trips kicks off and gets both feet over the top of the cage, but Shawn grabs him by the hair. Ric Flair shows up again at ringside. Now that he’s retired, that’s the PERFECT role for him. Because as an evil heel manager, he was excellent at getting Trips heat at a period when he was running cold in the ring. Both guys almost escape, while Flair stacks more tables at ringside. Gee wiz Radioactive Man, I wonder if those will come into play during the ladder part of the match. Hell, why did they waste time setting up the tables originally during the first fall? They could have had Ric do it, and the match would have sucked a lot less. Not that it’s quit sucking with him out there, as neither guy does anything while Flair stacks the tables. Shawn crawls off the cage and crotches him on the ropes. Ric freaks out about that in that classic Flair style. Flying elbow by Shawn while Flair struggles to get the door open. He does manage it and gets into the ring, but Shawn cuts him off and beats him up. Trips tries to sneak out the door, but Shawn catches him. Shawn takes a chair from Flair and smashes both guys with it, and hell, Flair is busted open too. The man can’t even do a run in without bleeding if a cage is present. And the worst part is he bladed about fifty times better then either of the guys in the match did. Ric gets smacked around and 10 punched, while Trips slowly recovers. Atomic drop and a clothesline by Trips. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! but Shawn backdrops out of it. Sweet Chin Music to Ric, then Sweet Chin Music to Trips… but no cover. Grumble. Shawn instead sets up a table and splashes Trips off the top of the cage and through the table for the pin.

Third Fall: Ladder Match

A bunch of referees drag the super-bloody Flair out of the ring and to the back. Shawn stacks the ladder in the corner and punches Trips around. It looks like we’ve headed to the same ultra-slow pacing that killed the Last Man Standing match from the 2004 Royal Rumble. I’m pretty sure the same thing happened with their Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood in 2004. Shawn tosses Trips into the ladder. Shawn then suplexes Trips into the ladder in a weird looking spot where Shawn didn’t follow-thru with the move and Trips sort of twisted in the air to avoid the full bump. Shawn preps the ladder, which is one of those big 20 footers, but misses a splash off the top of it. Double KO spot. Trips picks him up and hits a vicious looking pedigree. Trips positions the ladder, then climbs as slowly as possible. Shawn is up and gives chase, grabbing Triple H’s leg and yanking him off. Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere, but Shawn is out of gas. He finally does climb and gets a hand on the belt, but Trips pushes the ladder over and Shawn crashes through the four stacked tables. He slides off of them, so half of them don’t break all the way. Well, that was nasty looking. Too bad it took so long to set up. Shawn’s out of it and Trips easily grabs the belt and wins another championship. Well, that fall was brisk.
**1/4 If I had to break it down, it would be * for the first fall, ***1/4 for the second fall, and * for the third fall. **1/4 sounds about right overall. This was long, boring, and had little if any heat for most of it. The highspots were nice looking but extremely convoluted, and the pace never really picked up. The psychology might have been nice except nobody sold the injuries for more then a few minutes. The only one left for me to review is the Bad Blood Hell in a Cell, which I remember as being long and boring. These guys are both capable of so much more. At Summerslam 2002, they shocked everyone by busting out a five-star match. They had a nice ****1/4 match on Raw in 2004. But everything else they’ve done against eachother has been so slow and boring that I’m surprised the HBK/HHH haters don’t use them as their rallying cries. The best and worst of wrestling can be seen in their series of matches.

-Triple H talks about Evolution, which was designed to create stars out of Batista and Randy Orton. Trips feels good that it worked on Batista, who was scared to do stuff prior to falling under the wings of Trips and Ric Flair. He talks about the slow build to Wrestlemania 21, which was brilliant on so many levels. The slow burn is something that wrestling rarely sees these days, so kudos for pulling it off and doing it well. I mean, WCW might have been able to claim having done the best modern slow burn, except for the fact that Sting vs. Hogan set new standards for bad matches. Triple H talks about how people never expected him to drop three straight clean falls to Batista on pay per view. Which is why I never bitch about guys winning matches with great frequency. Because when they lose, it’s a big deal. It works everytime.  Hogan vs. Goldberg from Nitro. If it had been anyone but Hogan that Goldberg beat, it wouldn’t have been that big a deal. Same with Warrior beating Hogan at Wrestlemania 6. The same as Bret Hart beating Diesel at the Survivor Series. When you build up someone huge, the payoff when they lose is always good. The smart marks don’t like it, but the core audience goes crazy for it.

Match #9: World Heavyweight Championship, Hell in a Cell
(c) Batista vs. Triple H
6/26/05 Vengeance

The cell gets chain-locked. Trips slugs it out to start. Shoot off and Batista gets a nice clothesline and a side-slam. Brawl on the outside where Trips gets rammed into the cage. Back in, we have a standoff. Lockup and Trips gets a headlock. Shoot off and a shoulderblock by Batista. Clothesline in the corner, then Batista dumps him to the floor. Ram into the cage by Batista, then another. Trips looks like his plaything at this point. Hardwhip to the cage almost results in Trips breaking through the fence. Trips reverses a whip, puts the breaks on, and rams Batista into the stairs and ringpost. Batista on the apron, where Trips gives him a hangman. Running backelbow sends Batista flying off the apron and into the cage, with Batista bouncing between the ring and the cage like a pinball. Nice. Batista is tossed into the cage a couple more times, and he’s taking every bump full on. Clothesline on the floor with Batista noticably thunking on the ground. I’m loving this so far. Trips grabs a toolbox and pulls a chain out of it. Hard whip to the back with the chain by Trips, with Batista selling it perfectly. Trips then wraps the chain around Batista’s neck and chokes him. Batista gets a hangman out of it. He grabs the chain and smacks the SHIT out of Triple H’s back with it. I’m marking out here! Another hard whip and damn, this is cool stuff. Batista grabs Trips in a bearhug and rams Trips from pillar to post, and man this match is bad ass with a side of bad ass sauce. Trips is bleeding, so Batista tosses him back into the ring. Trips is freaking out as Batista pounds on him. Shoot off reversal and Trips gets a nice spinebuster to save himself a bit. Trips goes under the ring and grabs a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire. I don’t even remember that spot. A damn near full-force shot with the shair, and Batista has whole bunch of little blood droplets comign out of it. Another shot, this time at full speed, and man, I’m marking out big time. I did NOT remember how good this match was. Batista runs into a face buster, but then explodes out of nowhere and clotheslines Trips on a carge. Triple H’s whole face is red with blood, and now Batista has the chair. He hits Trips in the FACE with the chair. The fans are going fucking crazy, and Batista seems to be too, grating Trips in the face with it. I mean damn, they’re not holding back at all. And bless them for it, this match is fucking amazing. Batista grates Triple H’s face on the cage, and man he’s just bleeding all over the place. Batista picks up Trips and lawn-darts him into the cell. By the way, the announcers note that Trips has never lost in the hell in a cell. Unless of course you count that time he… you know… lost in the Hell in a Cell. At Armageddon 2000. In the ring, Batista shoulderblocks Trips in the corner. He charges at Trips but gets sent into the ringpost in another nice looking spot. Trips staggers about and then loads up a KICK WHAM PEDIGREE on the barbed wire chair, but Batista backdrops out of it. Slugoff, but Batista catches a charge and POWERSLAMS TRIPS ONTO THE CHAIR WITH THE BARBED WIRE~! for two. Fans were scared when the cover was made because they clearly want it to go on. Batista loads up his hand with the steel chain, but Trips DDTs him onto the chair. Goddamn!! Batista is knocked out of the ring by this and so Trips bails to give chase. Batista is bleeding now too. A single idiot sitting close to the mic is chanting boring at this. What a fucking idiot. I hope the fans that are actually enjoying this kicked the shit out of him after the show. Trips grates Batista on the cage, then tosses him into the ring. He grabs the sledge hammer from under the ring. Batista cuts him off from using it and they slug it out. Batista loads up the powerbomb but Trips backdrops out of it. Trips grabs the sledge and smashes him in the face with it for two. Fans seem surprised. Trips goes for the death shot but Batista kicks him in the balls and both guys are out. Batista grabs the sledge hammer and the end is near. Batista charges in for a finishing blow himself but Trips whacks him with a fist full of steel chain for two. Trips tries to drop a fist off the second rope, but Batista gets the sledge hammer up and Triple H takes it right in the mouth, spitting blood like a fountain straight in the air. Nice visual. Batista smacks Triple H around, and Trips is clearly finished. Batista brawls him down to his knee, and Trips collapses. Hard whip to the corner sends Trips up and over. On the floor Batista sends Trips into the stairs. Batista picks the stairs up and destroys Trips with them, making a crazy little PING sound while doing it. Batista places the base of the stairs into the ring and preps them in the corner. Trips gets rammed HARD into them a couple times, making the fans groan with every shot. Hardwhip into the stairs, and Batista gives the thumbs down. Batista loads up the powerbomb but Trips lowblows to escape. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! and a quick cover… for two! The fans go nuts as both guys are now out of it. Trips loads up a pedigree on the steel stairs, but Batista counters and hits a somewhat wussy looking spinebuster on the stairs. Considering that everything else has been full force, that sort of sucked. Batista loads up the power bomb again, but Trips has the sledge hammer. Batista outsmarts Trips by quickly firing off the bomb and then covers for the pin. I expected a more stunning finish, but otherwise…
***** This is how you blow off a feud. Like Brock/Undertaker from 2002, I expected nothing going into this match. Instead, I was treated to high-impact spots and lots of gore. I still think Brock/Undertaker was better, but otherwise this was a top-notch cell match and the best match of Batista’s career thus far. Big props. Even the semi-letdown finish was OK, because it was a nice twist on a finish they’ve done before. Why hold Trips up long enough for him to use the sledge? Just drop. Nice booking. Really, the only fault was the spinebuster on the stairs, and even it doesn’t take away anything from the match. This was epic.

-Trips took some time off to heal his neck, then came back for Raw Home Coming on the USA network. It looked like he was going to be a face, but instead he turned heel on Ric, busting him open and beating the crap out of him. He says that he made Ric look like a beaten old man, and that led to the last man standing match.

Match #10: Last Man Standing
Triple H vs. Ric Flair
11/27/05 Survivor Series

Trips jumps Flair during his entrance and they brawl on the ramp. Trips tosses Flair into the ring. Flair is the IC Champion at this point but it’s a non-title match. Flair gets beat up in the ring, still wearing his robe, and clotheslined down by Trips. He gets kicked out of the ring, where he finally gets his robe off. Trips grabs a chair, but Flair grabs a kendo stick and cuts him off with it. They brawl into the crowd, where Flair chops at Trips and punches him around. Flair charges at Trips but gets backdropped over the guardrail and back to the ringside area, landing on the kendo stick. Suplex on the floor by Trips, which leads to a six count. Trips suplexes him over the ropes and back into the ring, which Flair sells like death. Elbowdrop, then a brawl to the corner. Flair fights back and chops away, so Trips dumps him to the floor. Flair tries to chop away again, so Triple H throws him into the ringpost. Flair blades off of this. Trips grabs a screwdriver out of a toolbox and jabs it into Flair’s forehead. Huge pop for this. Flair is bleeding all over the placeBack in the ring, more jigging with the screwdriver by Triple H. A pair of kneedrops by Trips. Flair tries to chop out of it, so Triple H dumps him again. Trips preps the announce table, and wow, Flair is just covered in blood. Flair reverses a whip and sends Trips into the stairs. Both guys up at five, and then Trips gives Flair a sick ass spinebuster on the floor. Triple H grabs a mic and jaws with Flair, telling him to get up, then to stay down. Flip flop! Flair gets up at seven and grabs a greco-roman cocklock on Trips. HHH smacks Flair in the head with the microphone to break that up. Trips preps another announce table, but doesn’t remove one of the monitors off of it. Gee, I wonder if he’s going to be backdropped onto the original prepped table? Sure enough, that’s what happens, with Triple H’s head banging across the standing table. Ouch. Trips beats the count up. In the ring, Flair hits some loud chops and shoots Trips off, but lowers his head into a facebuster. Trips punches Flair down and teases chairing Flair, but puts it down. Trips prevents a comeback and loads up the pedigree on a chair, but Flair lowblows out of it. Flair chairs Triple H in the head. Flair chops away in the corner, then crotches Trips on the ringpost. He wraps both of Trips legs into the ringpost, but doesn’t put much gusto into it. Fans can tell he’s doing it and don’t react, so he crotches Trips a few more times. Trips hobbles around the leg, so Flair chopblocks him and bites at the leg. Kneedrop by Flair and more chopping, then another chopblock. He starts to apply the figure four, but Trips kicks him off. Another attempt and again Trips kicks off, sending Flair to the floor. So Flair grabs a chair and whacks Triple H’s knee with it. Figure-four gets slapped on, and Flair grabs the top rope for extra leverage. Trips taps out, but that’s not the condition of the match. Flair lets go, and after a bit Trips gets up and clotheslines Flair down. He’s not selling the leg injury. Ugh. He grabs the steel stairs and smacks Flair down with them. Another charge with the stairs but Flair gets a droptoehold, with Trips falling down onto the stairs. That spot always gets a nice pop. Chops by Flair but Trips hits the pedigree out of nowhere. Flair gets up at eight. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! hits again, and this time Flair… gets up at seven. Ohhhhkay. Flair shoots the bird at Trips for good measure. More punches from Trips, then a third pedigree. Flair still gets up from this. Trips is much pissed and grabs a sledge hammer, whacking Flair in the back with it for the win.
***1/2 Good match. Thankfully nowhere near the ‘quality’ of the Trips/Shawn last man standing disaster from the Royal Rumble, which is what I feared going into this match. Age and injures pretty much kept Flair from getting too creative with offense at this stage of his career, so the comebacks that consisted of endless chops were a bit of a drag, and the Trips is not on Shawn Michaels’ level of being able to bounce around for him. I still have to say I’m happy overall. The pacing was good and the storyline was well done, and Flair looked like a gutsy old fart, coming back from all those pedigrees.

-Trips talks about the ‘new generation’ of wrestlers, noting that John Cena had a rep of being awkward in the ring. When they had a match early in his career, Cena asked Trips what did he think. Trips told him that he sucked.  Gee, that alone should be enough to get Trips over with the smart marks.  I bet any Triple H hater who listened to him say that he thought Cena sucked likely had to be rushed to the ER and treated for some kind of cranial trama after their head exploded.  Anyway, Cena asked for help. Trips says that makes him deserving of the spot he has.  Change that, if the Triple H haters listened to this segment, their head exploded followed by a stroke.  In summary, they died.  Trips talks about how Edge has turned himself into a player in the business. Trips notes that they’ve never really had a lot of interaction in the ring, and that he would like to have a one-on-one match on a big show with him.

Match #11: WWE Championship
(c) John Cena vs. Edge vs. Triple H
4/30/06 Backlash

This almost seems like a random choice for the DVD. Cena and Trips slug it out. Shoot off and Cena gets a shoulderblock, then another. Fans are hate-hooing the hell out of Cena already. Suplex by Cena to Trips for two. Edge is chilling on the outside, letting them kill eachother. 10 punch by Cena but Trips turns it into an atomic drop. Slugout in the center of the ring and a flying knee for two as Edge breaks it up. Like that would have finished it. Another slugout, while Edge plays the cheerleader on the apron, mocking the slow trading of punches. Both guys see Edge laughing at them and decide to destroy him. They sling him into the ring, where they do the punching ping-pong match spot on Edge. Cena dumps him to the floor and slams him around. Trips tells him “That’s not how you do a slam on the table!” and does one himself. So Cena says he can do a lot better. Edge is taking this beating so well I’m loving it. Both guys slam Edge into the table a dozen times. They toss Edge into the ring, where Trips backstabs Cena with a clothesline and dumps him, drawing boos. The fans loved the anti-Edge stuff. That was a very entertaining sequence there. Edge fights off Trips and stomps him on the apron. Edge loads up a suplex on the apron, but Cena drags Trips off the apron, leading to Edge snapping on the ring rope and Trips hitting face first on the apron. Cena climbs and eats a splash for two. Protoplex and the five knuckle shuffle, but Lita lowbridges him as he bounces off the ropes. Trips sends Cena into the ringstairs. In the ring, Edge shoots off Trips but lowers his head into a face buster. Clothesline by Trips gets two. Shoot off and Edge gets a boot, but charges into a spinebuster for two. Trips loads up a suplex but Edge flips out of it, slipping a bit on the lands, but he covers it up well and hits the Edge-o-Matic for two. Shoot off reversal and Trips grabs a sleeper. Edge trades for one of his own and loads up both guys for the FU at the same time, drawing a huge pop. Let it be said that the fans can boo Cena all they want, but when Cena decides it’s time to pop the crowd, he makes marks out of all of them. Edge wiggles out of the FU, while Cena holds Trips. Edge bounces off the ropes and spears Cena, which basically results in Triple H eatting a samoan drop. Another cool spot. On the outside, Edge loads up a slingshot on Trips, and you can see him swipe his forehead with a razor blade. Edge does fire off the slingshot, and Trips is noticably bleeding before he hits the post. No matter, it’s a good blade job. Edge preps an announce table and hits a SICK ASS implant DDT on the table, which doesn’t break. It does cause Triple H’s blood to splatter all over the table. Cool. Again, the table doesn’t always have to break, damnit! In the ring, Edge hits a missile dropkick on Cena for two. Cena gets punched around by Edge, then whipped into the corner and speared. John fires off an STFU out of nowhere. Edge crawls for the ropes. Edge tries to drop his hand to tap out, but Triple H grabs his hand to stop him, then smacks Cena in the head with a microphone. Triple H is bleeding a five alarm gusher here. Thick little drops of blood are oozing down his face. Trips grabs a steel chair and PLASTERS Edge in the head with it. In the ring, Triple H hooks in the STFU on Trips, and the arm drops twice but Trips is still alive. His face is thick with blood, but he does make the ropes. I never understood that. It’s no DQ, any weapon and low blow invented can be used, but damnit, the ROPE BREAK IS SACRED! FU but Trips rolls out of it, KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! but Trips turns it into another STFU. Edge is alive and he climbs the ropes, so Cena lets go and attacks him. The ref gets bumped on a flimsy spot, and then Cena loads up the FU on the top rope. Trips ends all of that with a tower of doom spot. Lita makes a run in with a chair, but Trips kills her with a spinebuster. Trips teases chairing Cena, but opts instead for the sledge hammer. He takes his sweet time getting into the ring, and then Edge spears him. He has the sledge now, but Cena catches him with the FU. Trips lowblows him to stop that, causing Edge to get dumped out of the ring. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! but Cena turns it into a bridge for the pin. Trips kills both guys with the sledge hammer after the match, then fires off some crotch chops to tease the DX reunion.
****3/4 really good match, very entertaining. Maybe second only to Benoit/Michaels/Trips from Wrestlemania in Triple Threat matches.

-Trips talks about being asked about retiring. He says although he’s accomplished everything, he says that his goal is selling out buildings, and that next big match. He considers himself a very lucky guy. He wants to leave a good legacy, and to be remembered as a guy who gave it his all the minute his music hit. And that’s the end of the feature.

BUT WAIT~! There’s two ‘bonus matches’ on this set. Yep. Bonus matches for a set we already paid money for. Yu huh.

Match #12: Hog Pen Match
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Henry O. Godwinn
12/17/95 In Your House 5: Season’s Beatings

The inclusion of this on the set must have been a rib. Hillbilly Jim is the guest referee. Triple H is undefeated at this point. I’m pretty sure his first lost was a DQ to Duke Droese at the Royal Rumble the month after this. The object of this match is to toss your opponent into a pen full of pigs and pigshit. Yep. I have to admit, I feel bad for the pigs here. HOG has a slop bucket with him. He tries to slop Trips, but moves out of the way. The ring announcer gets slopped, plus the fans who paid top dollar in the front row. It’s disgusting looking too. Pay for ringside seats, get disgusting shit thrown on you. WWF was a mess in 1995, no pun intended. In the ring, HOG beats down Trips. Thumb to the eye by Trips and a shoot off, but Henry knocks him back with some punches. Trips gets tied into the ropes and then has a handful of slop shoved in his face. Man, that’s nasty looking. Trips is pissed now, so he clotheslines HOG down, then dry-heaves a bit. Punching in the corner, but Hillbilly Jim keeps breaking it up. Knee to the gut and a neckbreaker. Kneedrop and some mounted punches. Flying knee by Trips, knocking HOG out of the ring. To the outside where Trips gets a whip reversed on a whip. HOG proceeds to hit the worst looking bulldog type move I’ve seen, trying to ram Trips into the stairs but it looked like shit. Speaking of shit, they brawl up next to the hog pen, where Henry fights back and slams Trips into the guardrail. HOG gets reversed on a whip and rammed into the gate of the pen. The poor pigs are shaking in the corner. Pedigree attempt but Trips gets backdropped. He doesn’t land in the pen, and instead is on the rail. HOG seems to have a heart attack while doing this move and falls dead on the floor. So Trips drops an elbow off the top of the pen. This match sucks. Both guys make their way back to the ring… lame… and then HOG tosses Trips into the corner and it’s a double KO spot. Zzzzzzzzzzz shoot off by Trips and he ends up hitting a dead-lift pancake bomb on Trips, which was nice looking and should have been his finisher. The replay shows the pancake bomb was indeed nice looking. Hard whip to the corner sends Trips up and down, then a whip to the other corner sends him up and over. They fight to aisle, where HOG goes for the Slop Drop, but Trips sandbags it and HOG wipes out the cement. Nasty looking. Trips gets reversed on a whip and shot into gate of the pen, which slices his back up all nasty. Slop Drop on the padding around the pen hits for HOG. He’s gassed from all this action and catches his breath. He charges at Triple H, but gets backdropped into the Hog Pen, giving the victory to Trips. Trips jaws with Hillbilly Jim, leading to Jim passing Trips over to HOG to get pressslammed into the pig shit, then scoopslammed in it.
1/2* Terrible start, but a couple neato spots. And Trips sells the shit with gusto.

Match #13
Terra Ryzing vs. Tony Roy
11/1/92 Northeast Championship Wrestling

This is Triple H’s first match ever. We’re on fan-cam, and so Jim Ross and Triple H provide commentary. And Trips is hilarious on it. He notes that the empty seats were in fact sold, but the fans are hanging from the rafters. Trips has a flat-top mixed with a mullet haircut and what looks like mascara on his eyelashes. Trips chokes Roy with a towel to start. Slug off in the corner, shoot off and a backelbow. Shoot off and a clothesline. Triple H talks about how he thought Terror Rising was the worst name ever, but Killer Kowalski thought it was good and couldn’t be told otherwise. Triple H asked if he could just have a name name. Kowalski says “you want a name name?” And so he changed Terror Rising to Terra Ryzing. Brilliant. Roy gets a hiptoss and a dropkick, then another dropkick, causing Trips to botch the spot where he was supposed to fly over the top rope. He instead rolls under the ring. Trips talks about how WCW signed him after a tryout match, and not to worry about the crappy name. The first time he saw himself on TV, he tuned in to WCW and saw “up next… TERRA RYZING!”  Heh. That’s WCW for you. Terra gets back into the ring, locks up and slams Roy. Elbowdrop gets two. Suplex by Trips and he jaws with the fans. Shoot off the ropes and a bearhug. He turns it into an atomic drop, then another bearhug, which he turns into a few pinfall attempts in a neat spot that most guys who use a bear hug aren’t physically capable of doing. Roy fights back with a 10 punch out of nowhere, a spot that you really shouldn’t do out of nowhere. Trips doesn’t put his hands up to block it, and on commentary he notes that things were going well until this point. Indeed. Whip to the corner and another ten punch, but Trips turns it into an atomic drop. Lame fist drop by Trips, shoot off reversal but Trips gets a sunset flip for two. That spot should be done by the babyface. Ugh. Then Roy bridges it for two. Double ugh. And then Trips does the powerlift out. Triple ugh. It does look really good for a beginner, even if the roles are all wrong. Trips turns the bridge into a backslide for two. Backbreaker by Trips for two. Trips notes that when he found this tape the month before they recorded the commentary, he was scared to death that it would be horrible, but it’s actually not bad. Trips goes for a powerslam but Roy turns it into a headscissors. He grounds a scissors for two. The referee looks totally lost himself and misses a few obvious pin spots. Trips too his feet, hitting an atomic drop, but missing an elbow. Scoopslam but Trips turns it into a crossbody for two. Trips looks a bit gassed due to the nerves and dumps Roy through the ropes. Roy gets up to the apron and Trips tries to suplex him, but Roy flips over it and grabs a sleeper. Trips rams him into the corner to break it up, then dumps Roy again. Muscle poses on the ropes by Trips while Roy gets into the ring. Trips shoves the ref, then smacks Roy again. Weird dropkick spot on the ropes somehow causes Roy to wipe out. They’re keepnig this spot going too long. Roy goes for a sunset flip, but Trips hangs on to the ropes. The ref kicks his hand off the ropes and then quickly counts Tony Roy to the victory. Roy celebrates like he just beat an thirteen-time world champion or something. Trips talks very glowingly about the match.
**1/2 As far as first-ever matches go, this has to be one of the better ones ever done. He might not look the part, but you can tell that there was something special about him.

Bottom Line: Thirteen matches total. Of those, you get a five star match, one that’s really close to five-stars, and a whole lot of underwhelming crap. Kudos to the WWE for not wanting to overlap matches with other DVDs, but I think they could have more carefully selected some of these matches. Maybe throw in his good match with Goldberg from Unforgiven, or the Iron-Man match with The Rock. How about his last man standing match with Chris Jericho at Fully Loaded 2000? So many options, so little value. Consider that the one five-star match on here is included in the Hell in a Cell set and likely will always make Batista’s set and it’s hard to justify giving this set a recommendation. Thumbs down.

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