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The John Report: Respecting The Game

“It’s not an easy life. Careers are short, careers are fast. I’m not that tough, I’m no tougher than anybody else in our business, but I respect our business. I love our business. I put my life on the line every day for our business and I gladly do it. And I will continue to do it until I can do it no longer. You have to earn respect in the business. It’s not given to you. You earn it.” – Triple H talking about the wrestling business to Tough Enough students during season one.

When you think about World Wrestling Entertainment over the last 15 years one of the first names that will pop in your mind is that of Hunter Hearst Helmsley or Triple H. The Game. The Cerebral Assassin. The King of Kings. Pick a name, you know who it is. There’s a good chance you have a strong opinion on him too. He’s been in WWE’s main event for over ten years now. At the past ten WrestleMania’s, he’s wrestled in the WWE or World Title match eight times and one of those times was due to injury. Some think he’s a great company guy while others think he’s selfish. Some think he’s still got it while others think he’s overrated. Either way, HHH is the kind of guy that draws attention good or bad among fans of all kind. In my decade of writing online, there’s no person in WWE that can either be as loved as he is by one side or as criticized as he is by the other side.

In preparation for this article I realized that despite writing online for ten years myself (on and off at various points, mind you) I have never really written a full column about the guy. Crazy huh? I’ve covered a lot of people before, but not him. I figure he’s due. While doing some digging, I found out that he’s been working for WWE for 15 years now. What better way to catch up on his career than by running through it year by year with some thoughts that come to mind? I’ll try to hit the highs and lows as best I can. I’m mostly going off the top of my head here with a few peaks at his Wikipedia page when I forget some of the details. And don’t worry no Chyna pics here. We don’t need to re-live that chapter of his life. Speaking of it/her, HHH deserves massive praise for going from a questionable looking female to marrying a beautiful and rich woman. No wonder some people hate him! He struck gold in the marriage department. Okay, I better get back on topic before I offend the female readers.

A Year by Year look at Triple H’s career
1995 – Debuted as the “Connecticut Blue Blood” Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He wore a robe, he did a bow and he was an arrogant heel that we were told came from a rich family. Not much happened for him that first year.

1996 – He had valets with him at ringside for his matches and he lost to the Ultimate Warrior in under two minutes at WM12. Later in the year, he was scheduled to win King of the Ring, but that changed when he took part in the MSG Incident (hugging Michaels, Diesel, Razor in ring while out of character). He bounced back by winning the Intercontinental Title later in the year.

1997 – This was a big year because Chyna debuted as his manager/bodyguard. She stood out because she basically looked like a dude. He went on to win King of the Ring, having his first good feud in the WWF with Mick Foley. Once the fall came, his gimmick changed. Gone was the blue blood stuff, replaced by the cocky, arrogant character known as Triple H – the buddy of Shawn Michaels. The best part about the change was we got to see how funny he really was. You could tell he was having fun too.

“What I can tell you about Triple H? There are few people in this business that have a real, honest commitment inside to this business and the company. But I can assure you there is no one in this busines today that has the commitment to this business that Triple H has. And it’s not because of belts or money; it’s because inside, in his heart, he loves this business. This business is what he lives and breathes about.” – Shawn Michaels

1998 – With the DX gimmick going strong and Shawn forcing to retire (or so we thought) due to back injury, he led the new DX with the New Age Outlaws & X-Pac joining him. They were hilarious. They did a lot of funny stuff, most memorably the WCW invasion and the parody sketch of The Nation of Domination. In-ring, he was starting to come into his own thanks to that memorable ****1/4 ladder match with The Rock at Summerslam of that year. A knee injury slowed him down to end the year, but there were rumblings that a main event push was coming in 1999.

1999 – He turned heel at WrestleMania, joining The Corporation and his push up the ladder began. He also became noticeably bigger this year. I always joked, calling it the “HHH Diet” because if you look at him in late 1999 he looks like a different guy compared to the skinny frame he sported the year before. I’m not saying he used something. I don’t care. Just saying you could really notice it. You could also notice his work in the ring improved. He really found his niche as an overpowering heel. The year ended with his first WWF World Title and that legendary angle where he married a passed out Stephanie McMahon (the sweetheart daughter of Vince) on her wedding day to Test. At the last PPV that year, Armageddon, Stephanie turned on her dad and the McMahon-Helmsley era began.

2000 – This was by far his best year. He was amazing in 2000. He had the two best feuds of the year (with Cactus Jack and with The Rock), he had three of the best matches of the year (Cactus, Rock, Jericho) and he was the best overall performer in a year that I feel was the best in the history of WWE. On top of that, he had great matches with everybody. There’s even a match from Raw with Taka Michinoku – a good worker who was nearly a jobber by this point – that got a lot of praise on the internet because of how much offense HHH gave him. You know how in sports there’s a Most Valuable Player trophy given to the guy that makes everybody around him better? In 2000, HHH defined what it meant to be the MVP. Any time he had a match it was better for him being in it. His promos were fantastic because his main event heel persona was still fresh. In terms of angles, he made them work. Remember the Angle/Stephanie/HHH love triangle in the summer of 2000? That was a HUGE deal. He was at the center of everything in 2000 and he delivered the goods in every possible way. I’ll go so far as to say that Triple H in 2000 had as good a year as anybody in the history of the company.

“One thing that comes to mind with Triple H: He’s our generation’s version of Ric Flair. A guy who can lead in the ring and have tremendous performances with everyone, from the biggest of the big, to the smallest of the small, and everyone in between. He always gives his 100%. In our Last Man Standing match he could barley walk before it- and he couldn’t walk real well after it, either – but he never thought twice about going out there and giving a great match. You have to respect a guy like that.” – Chris Jericho

2001 – The year picked up where his awesome 2000 ended thanks to a hot feud with Steve Austin. Their 2/3 falls match at No Way Out 2001 is one of my 10 favorite matches ever (I gave it five stars). A couple months later, he formed the two man Power Trip alliance with Austin that had so much potential. They ended up winning the tag titles and then in the match where they dropped the tag belts to Jericho & Benoit (maybe the best Raw match ever), Hunter tore his quad muscle in the ring. Amazingly, though, HHH continued working AFTER tearing his left quad and went to the planned finish where he had to take the Walls of Jericho on the announce table. He didn’t have to do that. Nobody would criticize him if he laid in a heap in pain. The guy earned so much respect that night. Sadly, though, he would miss the rest of the year due to the major injury. A lot of people ask about what caused the WCW Invasion to fail. To me, missing HHH for that entire angle was a huge blow. I’m not sure if he would have turned face against Austin or if they would have continued to dominate, but he was as good as anybody in the WWF at that time. His presence would have made it better, I’m sure of it.

2002 – His return to Raw in MSG in January of 2002 was huge. Maybe the biggest pop I’ve ever heard for a returning superstar. The other thing was he looked bigger. Too big. It seemed to hurt his mobility although obviously the major quad surgery hurt that too. It was also known by smart fans at this point that he was dating Stephanie in real life, so when they did the on screen divorce angle it garnered a lot of attention (the vow renewal segment where HHH dumped her was fantastic, by the way). His WMX8 return and World Title win over Jericho was weak. It focused too much on the HHH/Stephanie story while burying Jericho big time. He dropped the Undisputed World Title to Hulk Hogan at Backlash a month later. After a good, but not great Hell in a Cell match with Jericho while he was on Smackdown, the wheels were in motion to get him back on Raw. Shawn Michaels was back as a regular on camera, so they reunited DX for one night and HHH turned on him. After seven months as a face, Hunter was back to his preferred role as a heel. At Summerslam, Michaels made his in ring return in a street fight to defeat HHH in a match that I said was ****1/2 (out of five stars) and was clearly the best match Hunter had since returning from the quad injury. A month after that, Hunter was given the World Heavyweight Title by Eric Bischoff. All seemed right in the world of HHH again. Wrong. His feud with Kane revolved around the infamous Katie Vick storyline that saw HHH simulate having sex with the corpse of Katie, which was a mannequin. I swear to God, if I ever met Vince McMahon and he let me ask him one question I would ask what he was thinking with regards to Katie Vick. One of the worst angles ever, if not the worst. Maybe it was HHH’s punishment for dating Vince’s daughter? I don’t know. I guess he passed that test. He ended up dropping the World Title to Michaels at Survivor Series only to get it back a month later to end the year.

“He doesn’t try to be somebody else. He’s Triple H, and all he’s doing is being himself. And he turns the volume all the way up to 5 or 10 depending on where he’s at. All he’s doing is being himself and that’s what’s made him successful. It’s Triple H.” – Steve Austin

2003 – His title feud with Scott Steiner at the start of the year was a huge flop. The posedown on Raw was one of the worst ways to hype a title match I’ve ever seen. They had a brutal match at the Rumble and then a rematch at No Way Out that was also bad, but better than the first. At WrestleMania he defended against Booker T. in a match that a lot of people thought Booker would win. Didn’t happen. This was around the time when some internet fans were starting to get on HHH due to the fact that he was engaged to Stephanie by this point, so people thought he was using his power to avoid putting people over. Triple H and Stephanie got married in October of 2003, so he officially became his boss Vince McMahon’s son in law at that point. Later in the year, he dropped the belt to Goldberg, but after he flopped as champion they put the belt on HHH again. Personally, I always thought Goldberg was a very overrated talent. He drew in WCW, but he wasn’t that talented. There wasn’t much depth to him. Some will complain about him being poorly booked. He was in some ways. Ultimately, though, the lack of talent is what hurt him in my eyes. It wasn’t a good year for Hunter in terms of feuds or quality matches although I’d recommend checking out the match against HBK on Raw to end 2003. On the bright side, seeds were planted for a bright future because the Evolution stable with Orton, Batista & Flair had begun and that led to good things.

2004 – This was a good year for him. His feud with Michaels picked up again while Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble, setting up a showdown for HHH. In other words, after having a year full of poor matches with poor opponents, Hunter was all set to feud with two of the three best workers in the company (Angle being the other). The result? A great year for Hunter, probably the second best of his career after 2000. The HHH/Michaels/Benoit trio had two matches at the five star level at WM20 and Backlash while Hunter had individual feuds with both guys. I loved the Hell in a Cell match with Michaels at Bad Blood while the Benoit feud led to a very good Ironman match with HHH on Raw. Somewhere in there, Eugene got involved too and Hunter went over him at Summerslam that year. The night after Summerslam (at a Raw I was at actually), Evolution turned on new World Champion Randy Orton. The deal was Hunter was jealous that somebody else got the belt from Benoit instead of him, so they attacked him viciously and Hunter won the title back at Unforgiven a month later in cheap fashion. They ended up making the World Title vacant to end the year, which led to the beginning of the great HHH/Batista storyline. As we ended 2004, though, one thing seemed clear to me. The quality wrestler that was HHH was back. He looked healthy, he was having great matches with a lot of different people and the future was bright.

2005 – The Batista feud that started the year was fantastic. The fans really bought into how Triple H tried to screw Batista over by avoiding him. Batista ended up winning the Rumble while also learning of HHH’s heel tactics. That led to a very good match at WrestleMania where HHH dropped the title to him. It was the second year in a row where HHH put over a first time World Champion. They followed that up with a couple more really good matches, including a ****1/4 Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance that made me marvel at how good it was. He took some time off to rest injuries, then came back and had a mini feud with Ric Flair that ended with HHH ultimately winning it as the heel. The Batista feud was huge for Batista while also proving that HHH had a lot of value as the veteran wrestler that could put over the fresh main eventers.

“He’s a classy guy. He’s a leader. He’s always willing to help, and that’s unusual when you’re on top of this business. He’s a ring general, so he’s able to change the tide in the ring in the middle of a match. He just knows what he’s doing.” – Ric Flair

2006 – The heel version of Triple H was prominent in the early part of the year as he earned a championship match at WrestleMania 22 against John Cena. Cena was already the title holder, so HHH didn’t have to drop the belt this year. He simply tapped clean to the STF in the center of the ring making it the third year in a row where he put over the babyface choice of that year. Following WM, he kept coming up short in title matches and he started to do crotch chops, which was a sign that DX was coming back. It led to him teaming up with Shawn Michaels again as well as a feud with the McMahon family that was very tongue in cheek. The DX/McMahons feud was campy. Match quality didn’t really matter. Later in the year, after they ended the McMahons feud, DX moved on to feud with Rated RKO, which was made up of Orton and Edge. They had a few good matches. Nothing special, though. I’d say 2006 was a big step back for HHH in terms of in-ring action, but you could see he was having a lot of fun doing the DX comedy.

2007 – The year started out in a bad way for him since he tore his right quad muscle in January. It was the same way he tore his left quad in 2001. He was out of action for seven months, returning at Summerslam. He quickly had another feud with Orton, winning and losing the WWE Title at No Mercy. He looked good in his return from his second major leg injury although in his late 30s with two torn quad injuries behind him it was unlikely that he would regain the quality form he had earlier in the decade.

2008 – He was back in the title picture after returning from injury, taking on Orton and Cena in a triple threat match at WrestleMania. The match seemed pretty flat because we’ve seen these guys wrestle a lot by this point, so doing a triple threat at Mania wasn’t that big of a deal. Plus, HHH’s face character was pretty bland because if he doesn’t have DX jokes to make there’s not much to him. After Mania, he won the belt from Orton and successfully defended it against him after WM. Realizing he was starting to get bland on Raw, they moved him to Smackdown in the draft lottery. This was huge because he had been on Raw for so long and the running joke that “HHH doesn’t want to work Tuesdays” that Paul Heyman made at the 2005 ECW PPV had gained a lot of steam. The idea was he would help the ratings on MyNetworkTV where Smackdown was now airing. Did it happen? Not really. Ratings didn’t really move with him. The move to Smackdown led to better matches from HHH because Smackdown was more of the wrestling show. I really enjoyed the matches he had with Jeff Hardy while the Kozlov feud wasn’t good at all.

2009 – It was time for another feud with Randy Orton. Yawn. They feuded so many times over the years that it wasn’t met with a lot of buzz. Orton won the Rumble while HHH brought the title from Smackdown with him. This time they had Orton attack Shane, Stephanie and Vince. It was revealed that HHH is actually married to Stephanie. Shocking! I loved how they made a big deal out of that considering they were married for 6 years. No idea what percentage of the audience knew or not, but they acted like nobody knew. This led to many hilariously bad Orton/HHH segments including the awful one in Orton’s “house” where HHH attacked him. My name for HHH became “Hunter the McMahon Family Avenger” as he did his promos while puffing his cheeks out. Remember too that a couple years before this he feuded with Vince and Shane for a long time. And they wonder why nobody cared when they had a boring match in the WM25 main event? That should have told them that the feud was dead. But no! They feuded for three more months. It was one of the worst feuds of the year, at least to me. A huge letdown. When they did the draft lottery, HHH was moved to Raw again even though he was on Raw for months before. To prove that he was a very smart man, he dumped the Avenger gimmick to go back to doing DX with Shawn. They had some fun, did some good segments (Vince’s birthday), did some really bad ones (Little People’s Court) and then as we got into 2010 it just ended.

2010 – Looks like no Triple in a title match at WrestleMania. Crazy huh? I’m not sure what the future holds for him, but there’s talk of a heel turn later in the year. I’m in favor of it because his babyface act has really become stale. The guy’s better as a heel. I think he knows it. We know it. Let’s see it happen.

There’s no question that the best period of his career came between 1998 to early 2001 when he tore his quad. After that there have been a lot of ups and downs, but as I wrote I’d put the 2000 version of HHH up against any wrestler in any calendar year in terms of having great matches. That was his best year. He really came back strong in 2004 and 2005 before getting hurt again in 2007. It’s a shame that injuries have slowed him down as much as they have because there’s no telling how much better his career would have been. It comes with the business, though.

The Other Side of Triple H
It’s not fair to talk about Triple H without looking into his life outside the ring a little. That’s what society does to people in the public eye. As we all know Triple H has been married to Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie since 2003 (as WWE finally acknowledged in early 2009) and he has two daughters with his wife. There are those that think that’s not a big deal. There are others that think it’s a big deal. What does HHH think?

“I haven’t read a dirt sheet in 10 years. And that’s the damn truth. Yes I’m in a top position. Yes I’m married to the boss’s daughter. Yes I sit in production meetings. But, at the end of the day, there is only one person with stroke in this business. And that’s Vince McMahon. If he doesn’t like something, whether it’s my idea or not, it’s not going to happen. I want guys like John Cena around. I want to bring new guys up and help make them. People always accuse me of not wanting to drop the belt to a guy. That’s complete crap. I didn’t drop the belt to RVD because no one asked me to drop it to RVD. I’ve yet to see Hulk Hogan lose to anybody. He wrestles once every 6 months, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest name in active competition today, he’s not going to lose to you. There was supposed to be a Hogan/Michaels II, and Hogan was supposed to lose. All of a sudden his knee started bugging him.” – Triple H in 2006

I can totally see where he’s coming from in terms of saying he was never asked to put over a guy like RVD, but people will blame him for that. I get that. It comes with the territory, though. He works for a company, he marries the boss’ daughter and he becomes part of the family that runs this company. There are those that will shrug their shoulders, say “no big deal” and move on. Others will think of conspiracy theories to somehow put the blame on Triple H. Just last week I made a joke that the answer to every WWE question is that either “Vince is crazy” or “blame Triple H.” It’s a joke, though. I don’t really think he holds people down or refuses to put people over. Maybe I’m naïve. Maybe I just want to see the good in people.

There are other instances, though, that his detractors will point to. When the Montreal Screwjob happened at Survivor Series 1997 the idea to screw Bret over was Hunter’s idea. I don’t know how true that is, but enough people involved have said it to make me believe it. That’s another thing where some are going to say that WWE was in the wrong, but others believe it was the right move because they thought Bret might take the World Title to WCW. You know what this probably did, though? It earned him the trust of Vince McMahon. It let him know that of all the people that Vince had on the roster, a guy like HHH was somebody he could turn to as a loyal WWE employee.

To deny that HHH has backstage influence would be wrong too. He definitely has some influence. When Sheamus shot up the card to become the WWE Champion it came out that he was one of HHH’s “boys” meaning he was somebody HHH liked among the newer wrestlers. Next thing you know the guy goes from wrestling Goldust in ECW to WWE Champion in a couple of months. Coincidence? Or proof that the influence exists? It’s all up to you and your personal feelings on the guy. Personally, I like Sheamus. I’m glad they pushed somebody new. People want to blame HHH? Fine, I can’t stop them. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, after all.

One of the best things about Triple H is his sense of humor. Sometimes he’ll try to do something to make us laugh and he’ll fail miserably, but he’ll be the first guy to make fun of himself for that too. I like that. If you can’t make fun of yourself, who can you make fun of? I think a lot of wrestling fans have a sense of humor because if you can’t laugh when you watch wrestling you might be watching for the wrong reasons. Maybe he’d be upset at me for making jokes about how if you want to get a push in WWE you should find out what gym HHH trains at because it worked for Sheamus (HHH told us that he works out with Sheamus on the road). It’s a joke. When I say that if a WWE performer is in an interview they should always say HHH is the best wrestler ever and that they want to work with him I’m only joking. It’s funny, though; the diehard HHH fans will get on me for stuff like that. And I ask why? Hunter’s a joker. There has never been a performer in the history of WWE that has made more dick jokes than this guy. I can still remember him doing guest commentary one time saying “testes testes…1…2…3” and it made me laugh. How about all the sausages over the years? The guy has a sense of humor. That’s what makes him appealing to his fans. He comes off like a regular guy living the dream, having fun and enjoying life.

I don’t know how much longer Triple H is going to wrestle. He’ll be 41 years old this year. He’s got two torn quads, he’s got bad knees and I’m sure other pains that we don’t know about just from being a pro wrestler for twenty years. That’s what happens. He’s also got a tremendous weight on his shoulders because in all likelihood when his father in law Vince, who will be 65 years old this year, decides to step down it will be Triple H running the company from a creative standpoint along with his wife. Stephanie’s already second in command while Triple H has been sitting in creative meetings for many years. Does he have say in booking plans? Probably. How much? I don’t know. I’ll never know. Doesn’t matter. Point is, aside from his father in law, the future of the WWE will be in his hands. Whether you like him or you don’t like him, one thing’s for sure. He’s not going away.

Through the years I’ve read, seen and heard a lot of things about HHH. However, it’s this quote that I feel best summarizes the man:

“I watch wrestling tapes all the time from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s-whatever I can get. I don’t watch for moves; I watch for the story they’re telling, why they did things at a particular time. A lot of our guys today don’t understand the business. We all grew up as huge wrestling fans, and we need to understand why we liked it so much. It was because back then, they told stories, as opposed to just flip, flopping, and flying. The guys that make the most money in our business have never been the guys that do moonsaults and jump off the top rope and do big dropkicks. It’s the guys that tell the best stories that are in the main events, that are on top.” – Triple H

What that tells me is that he’s a fan. He’s not a guy like Lesnar that went into WWE because he had nothing else or Goldberg going into wrestling because he failed at football. Hunter wanted to be a wrestler and he became one. Deep down, at his core, despite all the success he’s had and all the power he has now as well as going forward, the guy loves the business. He grew up wanting to be a wrestler, he pursued that dream and then when he accomplished it he didn’t rest on his laurels. He continued working as hard as he possibly could to achieve that dream.

Ultimately, Triple H is a fan of pro wrestling that’s living his dream. I think wrestling fans are always going to be on the fence with him. Some are going to always like what he does while some will always criticize. It comes with the territory of being who he is. You can call him what you want, good or bad, but I think one thing’s for sure. The man has earned our respect through 15 years of hard work and for years to come both on screen and off.

The one thing all wrestling fans should agree on is that HHH deserves at least one thing: Respect.

* * *

Big thanks to triplehunleashed.com for the quotes used in this article. They have a really awesome HHH interview archive there.

Later in the week I might post a top 20 match list of HHH on my blog. It won’t be that detailed, but I’ll make sure to list the matches that I like the best from his career. Thanks for reading.

John Canton – oratoryjohn@gmail.com
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  1. March 1, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    As much as we all joke about HHH being the “McMahon Family Avenger” this was a really well done article about him. He obviously loves the business. I had a bit of a laugh thinking of when he used to bow to people..then you reminded me about Katie Vick. I forgot about that. Thanks.

    :)

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:03 AM

      I think I should apologize for reminding you of Katie Vick.

  2. Paul K
    March 1, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    100% agree with you John. I’ve been a fan of HHH for years. Like you, I prefer him as a heel, because he can be so intimidating when he sets his mind to it. Does he have too much power backstage? Maybe, but who cares? As far as I’m concerned he’s earned it.

    • JCITY617
      March 1, 2010 at 8:39 PM

      GREAT ARTICLE…..99-01 BEST VERSION OF TRIPLE H BY FAR

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:04 AM

      I think he’s earned it too. I’d rather have people with a wrestling background in power than some writer.

      • Aaron
        March 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM

        But I’d rather have a NON-ACTIVE wrestler than an active one with power.

        I give HHH some credit, he has stayed out of the Title picture. With his age, I think one more run would be fine.. but not contantly in the picture.. I’m hoping he’s on hs way to helping to develop the future.

  3. Drunk Andy
    March 1, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Good read there John. As you mention, there are a lot of HHH haters out there but you have to respect what he has done and for staying on top for so long. I think his sense of humour helps as well because you cant take the wrestling industry too seriously and he knows this.. He has done the sausage jokes to death though. Word

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:04 AM

      His sense of humor is a huge plus.

  4. brian fedotoff
    March 1, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Trying one last time to get a job in wwe john? just kidding, great column, and good job dealing with the politics and perception of hhh, maybe he has power becuz of steph and maybe its becuz vince feels he earned his trust. Funny watching the rock hhh ladder match now w/ the rock as heel and hhh as face, since both better known as vice versa.

    • Jericho
      March 1, 2010 at 7:17 PM

      That made me legitimately laugh out loud, rofllllll.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:05 AM

      Yeah, that was pretty funny. Like I said, key to working for WWE is being nice to HHH. This will be attached to my resume.

  5. March 1, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    Top notch as usual. I’m glad you wrote this because I think too many times people rip him for things they perceive he does. Fact of the matter is he will go down as a Top 10 guy in the history of WWE. I named him the Wrestler of the Decade in the column I wrote just after the new year. He’s on top not because he’s married to Stephanie but because the guy can flat go. Vince is a smart man and he’s not going to keep putting over HHH just because he’s Stephanie’s husband. Does anyone really think that had Stephanie married a guy like Santino Marella that Santino would be a 13 time World Champion? No, let’s also remember HHH became a champion before he married Steph, so Vince saw HHH had what it took to become a main event guy before he became part of his family. I bet all the HHH haters this much, that nobody works harder than he does so it’s not like he just shows up and wins and goes home. Remember this, Orton and Batista wouldn’t be the top draws they are if it wasn’t for HHH. I’ll be the 1st one to admit that I didn’t like the fact he went over Orton at WrestleMania last year, but his track record speaks for itself as not being a selfish guy. He lost to Benoit, Batista and Cena in consecutive WM main events, all after he was a “McMahon”. HHH was the glue that held WWF together in 2000 when Austin was out and like you said he had one of the best years that any wrestler has ever had. I’ll quit my mini rant here, but thanks for writing this John, it’s time we looked at another perspective when it came to HHH.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM

      Good stuff here. I rip him a lot and I will continue to do so in a humorous way, but I have a lot of respect for the guy and always will.

  6. David H
    March 1, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Great stuff. I remember submitting a question about HHH in 2000 to “your questions, my answers” a while back. Never really understood this talk of a “Ring General” until I recently rewatched the triple threat with Angle and the Rock. The one where Angle gets concussed early on when the announce table collapses. Obviously Angle coming back out later on to finish the match was heroic, but HHH and The Rock clearly improvised the rest of the match, and it was pretty great. I think that kind of thing shows why these rare guys like Triple H, guys who know exactly what they’re doing and are in control all the time, are so valuable to the company.

  7. Alex V.
    March 1, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Adriana’s a wrestling fan with no sense of humor.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM

      LOL @ the Adriana reference. That’s inside, people. Can’t get into that.

  8. Heather
    March 1, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    I used to love when he came out as Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He had the best entrance theme…still does actually. That was a great article, John. It really reminds you that he had to work his way up the ladder just like everyone else does and he’s earned the status that he has.

  9. March 1, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Thanks for the feedback so far. I’ll try to reply to everything when I get some time.

    To answer a question I’d say yes, the goal of this column was to find directions to HHH’s gym.

  10. MDK
    March 1, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Great commentary. I think for all the stuff said about HHH he does really eat, sleep & breathe wrestling.

    And like you say he knows how to laugh at himself.Some of my favourite Triple H comedy moments include Loved his Vince McMahon impression which included the ear rub shocked face, and I think it was Survivor Series 2007 when he teamed with up with Kane and a few others and tried to give them a pep talk, and his teamates all brought up things he had done to them, including Kane mentioning Katie Vick.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM

      Haha I remember that Kane thing now. Good stuff.

  11. jay to the r o c
    March 1, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    wow, great article. year by year recap was a nice format. im a hhh fan (tho im also a fan of the jokes) was nice to see some objectivty about him.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:14 AM

      Thanks. See, I think the jokes are going to come with the territory and even the diehard HHH fans are going to realize that.

  12. Alex
    March 1, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Why didn’t you mention that Triple H stresses his throat and releases a SERIOUS VOICE~~!! during all his serious feuds, while he has a slightly squeaky average voice during his comedic segments and normal promos. I think its notable that someone as famous as him he thinks people forget his voice every now and then…

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM

      That’s very true. When he busts out the SERIOUS VOICE~! it’s like a different guy.

  13. Vince
    March 1, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    Good stuff! I look forward to reading The Raw Deal each week!

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:16 AM

      Thanks Vince McMahon. Can I call you dad too?

  14. Chris
    March 1, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    I don’t mind HHH, I used to like him a lot. But the fact of the matter is that he didn’t lay down to Kane when he was supposed to. And he hates people who are either better than him, of course those who aren’t his “buddies”, or he sees as a threat. The man has also never laid down in a big match to Jericho, which to me is unacceptable., even Cena has laid down once to him. I pray for the day that a face Jericho pins HHH at Mania or Summerslam for the title. I honestly am happy that Stephanie is around because she likes guys like Jericho and CM Punk, you can tell. All in all I don’t mind him, but you can tell that he doesn’t like certain guys, who are usually good, and he treats those guys like shit.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:25 AM

      You could be right. Could be wrong too. I don’t care about not putting over Kane. Can’t say I’m a huge Kane fan. As soon as his entrance is over he bores the hell out of me.

  15. Edswoggle
    March 1, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Fantastic column John- I made me remember why I have been a Triple H fan for so many years, even though I have been one of the masses who has criticized the shit out of him…but this read reminded me that it’s ok to do that- this article is the perfect example of the cliche “Having your cake, and eating it too”.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:26 AM

      Because of who he is, what he’s done and what’s in his future (running the company) he’s going to get criticized no matter what. I think he knows that too, which is fine.

  16. Jaykob
    March 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    John, so glad you wrote this. It summarizes my feelings on the guy.

  17. Alexcellence
    March 1, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    you pretty much stated the obvious, John in this whoooole article. My only beef w HHH were his Title matches at every WM he’s been on since 2000 (except 2001). He made me feel like a douche after losing at Elimination Chamber, so its either he got overruled by Vince…or he saw the disaster of his Main Event last yr and wants no part of it this year. But if ur making the point that HHH deserves respect…NO FAN from the past 15 years is going to deny that.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:27 AM

      I give him credit (or Vince credit) for realizing he shouldn’t be in the main event this year. Others deserve it more.

  18. Mike B
    March 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Great article John. After reading ‘Making the Game’ – his half autobiography, half workout book, you can really see how dedicated he is. I think you really captured him with your part about him alaways wanting to be a wrestler, and the best one at that. He really is this generations Ric Flair.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:28 AM

      Michaels is more like Flair in that he has good matches with everybody, but HHH is a tireless worker that has been good for the business.

  19. Joe M
    March 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Great article as always. I would really like to see you write more of these type of articles on the maineventers of today like Cena, Orton,Bautista, etc. It was a great article and I really learned a lot. Thanks again

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM

      I’ll probably write about others too. Maybe Undertaker next. This was like a template of sorts. It seemed to go over well, so others will follow.

  20. TKO
    March 1, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    excellent read

  21. Andre
    March 1, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    Great article man. I don’t understand how people can hate on any wrestler. Is John Cena or HHH my favorite? No. But I respect them for what they do and entertaining us weekly.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:33 AM

      Wrestling fans are critical by nature. There are those of us that don’t hate, but we have our likes and dislikes. Others want to hate because that’s their nature. To each their own. They all deserve our respect, though.

  22. March 1, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    I’m sorry John, love your stuff–but do not respect this guy. Like things about him, enjoyed things with him, otherwise, no respect. If there was a guy who worked in anybody’s place of work like HHH, people would think he’s a total douche.

    You do not go banging the bosses daughter, and then walking around pretending you have no power. He’s full of crap. He’s a con artist and liar. He really has not done anything all that cool in 6-7 years. He does not do that great of a job “creating” new stars. He’s buried them more often than not.

    Really? He’s helped elevate what, like 5 guys in all these years? I could name 30 people off the top of my head he’s buried just by having one match with them.

    Recently, he pissed away the last few months until getting back in the title picture. We could partly credit him for killing the Survivor Series. He has not been a real draw for years, and he’s not as over as people try to portray him. Buyrates and ratings support that. That’s why he ran off Smackdown so he could blame “those guys for not drawing” instead of the fact it’s in a shitty timeslot. The ratings never increased when he was on the show.

    HHH is a “mark”, not a fan.

    There will be more on this guy eventually on my website, New Wrestling Rules!

    http://1wrestlingrules.wordpress.com/

    **sorry, I always have to plug.

    • Jaykob
      March 2, 2010 at 12:13 PM

      “You do not go banging the bosses daughter, and then walking around pretending you have no power.”

      Triple H doesn’t pretend that he doesn’t have power. He admits he sits in production meetings, admits he has Vince’s ear, admits he has a say in the creative process. He also said Vince as the final say and won’t do anything he doesn’t want to do. Where is he misleading people?

      As for the bosses daughter thing: It’s not like Triple H tracked her down in some corporate office to seduce her, she was talent at the time. They worked an angle together, probably got to know each other, took the normal route that most people take in a relationship. A lot of relationships are started in the workplace. It’s possible that Triple H just got lucky, she liked him, he liked her, the rest is history. Anyone who criticizes him for dating the bosses daughter is just a hater, plain and simple – don’t hate the player hate THE GAME (see what I did there?).

      “He’s a can artist and a liar”

      Have you met this man personally. These are strong terms to throw around toward a guy who you only get a peripheral glimpse of in any real sense.

      “He really has not done anything all that cool in 6-7 years”

      More accurately, what he’s done in 6-7 years hasn’t been as good as what he accomplished between 2001-2002. Not many people would dispute that, but it’s not like he’s been terrible either. He’s still one of the strongest talent they have and you grossly misrepresent how over he is now. He gets the loudest pops next to John Cena, clean the wax out of your ears.

      “He has not been a real draw for years, and he’s not as over as people try to portray him. Buyrates and ratings support that.”

      Right, so the numbers are ALL is fault, never the angles, never the booking, never his opponent. All Triple H, all day. Anything good that happens in the WWE ISN’T because of him (even though he has ABSOLUTE POOOOWWEEEEEER!!!11) but anything bad is directly attributed to him. Am I getting the story straight?

      “HHH is a “mark”, not a fan.”

      Never knew this were mutually exclusive terms…but whatever.

      Anyway, you come across as a guy with a sentiment toward Triple H we’ve heard over and over and over and over and over again ad nauseum. Why would I want to read shit I’ve heard before? At least John’s blog was different and came across as more rational.

      • March 2, 2010 at 8:11 PM

        I will quote you back!

        “Triple H doesn’t pretend that he doesn’t have power.”

        Have you read this guy’s interviews? He always downplays his power. He always says it’s not him, it’s Vince. Sure Vince is the final say, of course, but to say he has little to do with the product is asinine! Even in John’s piece he quote HHH saying how he was never asked to drop the Title to RVD. Oh Please! If he wanted to work with RVD, or anybody else, he could say, “Hey, I want to work with that guy, I think we can draw”. He’s doing it with Shaemus right now! Then in that same quote, he compares himself to HOGAN?! Look, I’m not much of a Hogan fan, but at least Hogan drew tons of funds! HHH is the guy who goes against the guy who draws, period. He’s no Hogan. (BTW, I think Hogan was wrong in that argument, but HHH is no Hogan).

        Banging the boss’s daughter is the WORST thing you can do in wrestling. Period. Are you kidding? You think the guys respect that? Larry Zbyszko was made fun of for years when he married Kathy Gagne and won the AWA World Title. You just do not do that in wrestling. Like I said, if if some above average employee in your office married the boss’s daughter, and then started criticizing your work, you would not laugh him out of the room?! Especially if you knew more? Trick, Please.

        “Have you met this man personally.”

        HUH?! I do not have to know someone personally to know when they are lying. I do not know politicians personally, but I could show you that they were lying. That’s a silly argument. Are you Bubba the Love Sponge?

        “Not many people would dispute that, but it’s not like he’s been terrible either. He’s still one of the strongest talent they have and you grossly misrepresent how over he is now.”

        Sure, he has control over the book, idiot. If you have say how you come off and your dad has the final say, yeah, you’d come off pretty well! Are you old enough to remember the Iron Sheik going over on Brian Pillman for almost a year in the early 90’s?? Was Iron Shiek at that point more over than Pillman? How about Dustin Rhodes beating every heel in WCW in his 3rd year when his dad Dusty was booking? You do not think Vince wants his son-in-law to look good? Vince has booked him and Shane over main eventers too! Come on, man. You should know better.

        “Right, so the numbers are ALL is fault, never the angles, never the booking, never his opponent.”

        Yes. Somewhat no, but mostly YES. It is up to the top of the card to draw. Period. That’s a wrestling LAW!! Hogan, Austin, Rock, Flair, Inoki, Andre, Piper, could have backyard wrestling on the undercards, and they would sell out the house!! You are joking, right?

        HHH is in the production meetings! You just said he has a lot to do with what is on the show! Again, not final say, but doesn’t seem to have too many great ideas either.

        “He gets the loudest pops next to John Cena, clean the wax out of your ears.”

        I think Mysterio, Michaels, and Undertaker would disagree on that. Wait, is that wax in YOUR ears?

        “Never knew this (mark and fan)were mutually exclusive terms…but whatever.”

        Yeah, whatever, words only have meaning and stuff. “Marks” are people who think wrestling is totally real. “Marks” get mad because Koko B. Ware is in the WWE Hall of Fame because Koko “didn’t win enough Titles”. HHH thinks his titles have meaning as if he really won them, that’s why he is always wanting to be champ, even if he does increase buyrates. Did you watch him when he was out of the title picture this past Fall? He was pissing on the show doing a comedy act! He did not put anybody over, he did not elevate anybody, during his time away from the belt. He just wasted time until the big pre-WM PPV’s.

        A “fan” enjoys the product when it’s at it’s best, and is embarrassed when it’s at it’s worse. If you are a fan of other sports, you will understand what I mean.

        “Anyway, you come across as a guy with a sentiment toward Triple H we’ve heard over and over and over and over and over again ad nauseum”

        Uhhh, yeah. A lot of people said Wall Street was corrupt ad nauseum, and Main Street did not listen to them either.

        “At least John’s blog was different and came across as more rational.”

        John’s article was great, but I did not agree with much of it. Hence, the response.

        Now go read my blog!!

        http://1wrestlingrules.wordpress.com/

        • Jaykob
          March 3, 2010 at 12:48 AM

          This is great:

          “Even in John’s piece he quote HHH saying how he was never asked to drop the Title to RVD. Oh Please! If he wanted to work with RVD, or anybody else, he could say, “Hey, I want to work with that guy, I think we can draw”.”

          You’re not even making sense anymore. Triple H says he was never asked to drop the title. You cry “bullshit”, then as evidence that he was never asked to drop the title, you point out the fact that he never offered to drop the title. It doesn’t mater if the second proposition is true or not because, either way, it doesn’t change the truth value of Triple H’s claim that he was never ASKED to drop the title. What an irrelevant point!

          “Then in that same quote, he compares himself to HOGAN?! Look, I’m not much of a Hogan fan, but at least Hogan drew tons of funds!”

          He DID compare himself to Hogan, but not in terms of how much money they draw. He compared his willingness to lose with Hogan’s willingness to lose. Nowhere in his comment did he say that he can draw as much money as Hulk Hogan. Again, another nonsensical argument.

          “Banging the boss’s daughter is the WORST thing you can do in wrestling. Period. Are you kidding?”

          No it isn’t. According to your logic, it’s a fucking great idea. Money. Fame. Power. Sounds like the life to me.

          “You think the guys respect that?”

          Don’t see how it’s relevant whether they do or don’t. One’s job performance in most jobs is evaluated by one’s superiors, not one’s peers.

          “Larry Zbyszko was made fun of for years when he married Kathy Gagne and won the AWA World Title. You just do not do that in wrestling. Like I said, if if some above average employee in your office married the boss’s daughter, and then started criticizing your work, you would not laugh him out of the room?!”

          You keep making these ridiculous observations that have very little to do with why someone SHOULD not marry the bosses daughter. I can imagine someone saying to Triple H “man, remember what happened to Larry Lbysko? don’t do it man?” Right, because how popular an action makes you is always the way in which you should base life decision, right? Well, some of us left that mentality behind when we graduated high school. And if someone at work married the bosses daughter and then became my back, I might find him to be a douchebag, unless if course he was actually better at my job than I was. But again, my negative opinion does not determine whether or not he actually deserves the position or not.

          “HUH?! I do not have to know someone personally to know when they are lying.”

          You’re right, but you do have to observe them saying one thing that is the opposite of what actually happens or happened. So far, the so called lies of Triple H have only been lies in your head.

          “Sure, he has control over the book, idiot. If you have say how you come off and your dad has the final say, yeah, you’d come off pretty well! Are you old enough to remember the Iron Sheik going over on Brian Pillman for almost a year in the early 90’s?? Was Iron Shiek at that point more over than Pillman? How about Dustin Rhodes beating every heel in WCW in his 3rd year when his dad Dusty was booking? You do not think Vince wants his son-in-law to look good? Vince has booked him and Shane over main eventers too! Come on, man. You should know better.”

          Vince has also booked his son Shane to lose and lose horribly. He’s booked Triple H to lose. Triple H has been out of the title scene for almost a year now. There seems like a lot of evidence to suggest that Vince doesn’t favor Triple H as much as you’re saying. I bet you there’s one thing Vince loves more than his son-in-law and that’s money.

          And again, your “evidence” on why Tirple H is such a bad guy revolves around what a bunch of other people did in similar circumstances. What a crappy trial lawyer you’d be.

          “Yes. Somewhat no, but mostly YES. It is up to the top of the card to draw. Period. That’s a wrestling LAW!! Hogan, Austin, Rock, Flair, Inoki, Andre, Piper, could have backyard wrestling on the undercards, and they would sell out the house!! You are joking, right?”

          But Triple H wasn’t main eventing INSTEAD of Hogan Austin and the other random names you typed. None of the guys you mentioned were even in the picture. In order to demonstrate that Triple H shouldn’t have been put in the main event, you have to PROVE or at least show that someone else in the company AT THE TIME could have drawn more in the same position. I think that that might be incredibly hard to do, especially faced with the overwhelming evidence that, next to John Cena merchandise, DX merchandise has been the WWE’s biggest cash cow. So for a guy who’s not popular, he sure makes the WWE a lot of money.

          “HHH is in the production meetings! You just said he has a lot to do with what is on the show! Again, not final say, but doesn’t seem to have too many great ideas either.”

          Tell me which ideas are his and which are not. Then prove it.

          “I think Mysterio, Michaels, and Undertaker would disagree on that. Wait, is that wax in YOUR ears?”

          I think Triple H gets bigger pops then all three of those people, but whatever, we don’t have a cheer meter to prove it either way, so I’ll give you this one as a wash.

          “Yeah, whatever, words only have meaning and stuff. “Marks” are people who think wrestling is totally real.”

          Yep that’s a definition of a mark…Now what’s the definition of a fan?

          “A “fan” enjoys the product when it’s at it’s best, and is embarrassed when it’s at it’s worse.”

          What the fuck? That’s not THE definition of a fan, that’s YOUR totally fucking made up definition of a fan. Now the dictionary definition of “fan”, and the one everyone else uses defines fan as: “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc”

          Therefore (here it comes dummy)you can, AT THE SAME TIME, be someone who “thinks wrestling is real” aaaand be “an enthusiastic devotee or follower” of professional wrestling.

          You’re right..words do “have meaning and stuff”. You just don’t get to arbitrarily decide what then mean.

          “Uhhh, yeah. A lot of people said Wall Street was corrupt ad nauseum, and Main Street did not listen to them either.”

          Again, what the fuck are you talking about? These are opinion columns not forecasts. We’ve already heard the opinion that Triple H is a douche bag every self proclaimed “smark” on the planet it seems. We’re in no danger of NOT hearing the opinion again.

          • March 3, 2010 at 3:12 AM

            “This is great:”
            Thank you.

            “You’re not even making sense anymore.”

            Yes, I am. HHH is a main eventer, right? HHH could work with whoever he wants, right? I’m not talking about “dropping the title”, I’m talking about working, making money. Do really think he cannot ask to drop the title to who he wants? REALLY? I mean not just anybody, but another top guy? He just waits around waiting for people to tell him what to do? THAT’S what we are to believe he does in production meetings? Waits for people to tell him what to do? Are you joking?

            Picks 5 undercard guys and watch how Jericho works with them, then watch HHH with undercard guys, and see what I mean about putting people over. It’s not about wins and losses, mark.

            Dude, look at your DX merchandise closely, and really think about it.

            “He DID compare himself to Hogan, but not in terms of how much money they draw.”

            No shit. HHH can NEVER compare himself to Hogan in anything! HHH is not in the same class.
            Again, read my comment, I do not agree with Hogan’s unwillingness to lose. Hogan’s a mark for himself too (read my blog!). Especially at that point in his career. However, HHH saying “he’s more willing to lose” is crap. HHH does not make guys look good in the ring. He really does have more power than you act.

            “No it isn’t. According to your logic, it’s a fucking great idea.(banging boss’s daughter)”

            In gaining respect, dipshit. John’s point was we should respect him, I say, “no”.

            “Right, because how popular an action makes you is always the way in which you should base life decision, right?”

            We are talking about “respect”, not success. Again, words have meaning. I’ll buy you a dictionary.

            “One’s job performance in most jobs is evaluated by one’s superiors, not one’s peers.”

            Boy, I bet you are the best little ass-kisser at work!
            Job performance, yes. Legacy=no. HHH will be a somewhat punchline in wrestling history. Some of it from his peers, some of it by the people who write about wrestling. People do not completely respect the guy.

            “..you do have to observe them saying one thing that is the opposite of what actually happens or happened…”‘

            Go look up interviews he’s done with websites and newspapers over the years. Many times he’s full of shit.

            “your “evidence” on why Tirple H is such a bad guy revolves around what a bunch of other people did in similar circumstances…”

            Pointing out history repeats itself. History lesson, kid. Guys booking and and performing does not work. HHH is just another mark in wrestling partly booking himself.

            “But Triple H wasn’t main eventing INSTEAD of Hogan Austin and the other random names you typed. None of the guys you mentioned were even in the picture.”

            Really? Are you trying to argue that HHH would have been as big as Hulkamania if he was in 1983? Or Austin Attitude Era if he won that King of the Ring that he was supposed to? Or HHH would have been bigger than Inoki in Japan? You CAN’T be Fucking serious! The big stars CREATED those great times in wrestling! If HHH was such a big star (he’s a star, not a mega-star), WWE would not have had the same ratings for the last 10 years. If Austin or Rock was around in good shape, WWE would be doing better. Do you really doubt that?

            “especially faced with the overwhelming evidence that, next to John Cena merchandise, DX merchandise has been the WWE’s biggest cash cow”

            Bad take. Most of the merch they hawk IS DX AND CENA shit! WTF else are people going to buy?! If they sold Austin shirts, that shit would STILL Sell! Van Dam tells the story (which has been backed up) how he could not even get the WWE to sell his shirts in his home town at a WWE show. WWE pushes the stuff they want! It’s the business! It’s wrestling! They control it! Come on!

            “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc”
            There you go! A dictionary. Yes, but fans aren’t Marks. They are two different things.

            Example: Fan-Chris Jericho. Jericho seems to like having titles, but also thinks making your opponent look good draws money and creates interest. Jericho knows the Title will help you make money, because you are the main event. On the other hand, wins and losses are mostly meaningless if you perform well, and the fans are into you.

            Mark-HHH: HHH thinks he’s one of the only guys who can be the champ. He thinks winning 95% (example, not exact stat) of the time makes people understand he is the best. If he dominates his opponents, fans will believe he is just THAT much better than those guys. When he passes Ric Flair’s record 16 Title runs, that will make the best-est Wrassler in the entire history of wrestling!

            “Therefore (here it comes dummy)you can, AT THE SAME TIME, be someone who “thinks wrestling is real” aaaand be “an enthusiastic devotee or follower” of professional wrestling.”

            No, dummy. Enthusiasm could be positive (as you imply), it could also be negative (as I imply).

            “Again, what the fuck are you talking about? (wall st example)”

            Did they ever teach you “example” in school? The Wall St. example was not a “forecast”, it was an example.

            FOR EXAMPLE: In 2003, people criticized Wall St. actions, and banks lending practices.

            Wall St., pundits, real estate “experts”, and bank execs argued that those people just hated the wealthy, and thing were going to be fine, because everything was so great!

            “We’ve already heard the opinion that Triple H is a douche bag every self proclaimed “smark” on the planet it seems. We’re in no danger of NOT hearing the opinion again.”

            Yeah, you are right. We hear so many armchair scientists saying the sky is blue. Why can’t we have more stories about the sky been fluorescent pink? Jaykob wants more stories about the sky being pink. Anybody could do a story about the sky being blue! We’re in NO danger of hearing the sky is blue again.

            • Jaykob
              March 3, 2010 at 9:31 AM

              OK, I’m done with you. It is absolutely impossible to argue with a guy who can’t even recognize what the definition of a fan is. You actually think that being a mark and being a fan are two mutually exclusive things which means you’re an idiot.

              To help you, I direct you towards Andrew Johnson’s blog he posted a few weeks ago, where he discusses different TYPES, TYPES, TYPES of fans, the MARK being one TYPE, TYPE, TYPE of fan.

              https://johnreport.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/gc-sports-entertainment-weekly-the-six-types-of-wrestling-fans/

              See, everyone else gets what the word fan means, except you, which allows Andrew Johnson to properly use the English language to communicate with the rest of us.

              Because you speak a different language than I do (and presumably everyone else on earth) I’m not going to go through this last post you made and again point out every logical fallacy (there are just too fucking many).

              What would I really get out of such an exercise. You obviously are incapable of listening to reason or forming an intelligent thought. Every time I make a point, you argue against a different point that I didn’t even make. This is called making a straw man argument and there are SO fucking many in both of your posts that it’s hilarious.

              How about I just call you Straw Man from now on?

              • March 4, 2010 at 12:47 AM

                I gave you the definitions. See, I am talking above your knowledge. That’s okay.
                When you graduate from High School, and possibly kiss a girl for the first time, then you will begin to understand my points. It will be like an awakening.

                I say “Nay” to Andrew Johnson’s article. Though it was pretty funny.

                English? Are you from England, no wonder you are so full of bollocks.

                I made only valid points, you on the other hand, take everything at face value. You have not investigated this subject to understand the depth and layers of intelligence I bring to the table.

                I could think that when you see a car, you only see a “silver car”. You do not understand the engine, you do not understand the quality of materials, the details of the craftsmanship.

                The thoughts of anything beyond what you see on the exterior are confusing for your young, impressionable mind.

                I promise you, one day you will rise, and read back my words. A tear will drop from your cheek, and at that moment…you will understand.

                For now, I say so long.

                And go read my blog: New Wrestling Rules!

                http://1wrestlingrules.wordpress.com/

                • Jaykob
                  March 5, 2010 at 3:03 AM

                  Silver cars. Engines. Kissing girls. Airplanes. Donkeys. Chiropractors. Lasers. Antelopes. Ice Cream. Flying a kite. Orange Juice.

                  Typing random words is fun! Were you the one who wrote the Ultimate Warrior’s promos back in the day?

              • March 4, 2010 at 11:55 AM

                Wow. That was a fun argument to read.

    • jay
      March 3, 2010 at 9:17 PM

      NewWrestling: Good Stuff. You make a lot of sense here. Anyone who thinks H3 is good for wrestling or above the mid-card in talent is either naive or an owner of glow sticks……….. ___________________ Insert Penis Joke H3 sycophants love the penis jokes!

  23. kiefer
    March 1, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Good column JC. Post top 10 worst along with those top 20 so I remember which matches to swerve on dvds.

    Triple h used to be my favourite back in 99 to 02. When everyone was crazy for stone cold. I liked hhh. He’s lost his edge in the recent years which is a shame.

    Even if wwe is PG, the odd storyline couldn’t hurt post wrestlemania.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM

      I’ll do the top 10 or 20 on the weekend. I got too much to do this week. He lost his edge because of injuries and age. It’s hard to be as good as he was during that three year period.

  24. Rated R
    March 1, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Wow this reminded me why I continue to read your columns. You’re such a great writer John, you reallu should get a job out of it seriously. I’ll give this a 5 star column if I may. Great job.

    When I saw this on Rajah.com, I immediately thought “Oh please, the guy’s the most overrated wrestler in the world” and I was looking forward to bash him. As I read through though, it really made me think twice about the guy. I never knew anything about his early years in his carrier, so I got to know a little bit about how things started for him. I definitely have respect for the guy. He’s not someone I’d ever cheer for, but I don’t think I’d criticize him as much as I usually do.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM

      Thanks a lot Rated R. His early years weren’t really that great, but once he hit his stride in 1998 and got the main event push a year later he took off. He went from begin very good to great. And it shocked me, to be honest. Earned my respect, that’s for sure.

  25. John L.
    March 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Very nice article. Adding a note to the Montreal Screwjob. On Shawn’s DVD he said that in the meeting before hand HHH had the initial outburst of “He doesn’t wanna do business then fuck him.” Then everyone kinda opened up like, “well we were thinkin it and you said it so…..” Does that mean it was his idea? No, however I still think the original concept was his. Still great article nice read.

  26. Eric
    March 1, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Once again John a great column. I became a Triple H fan when he first formed DX because I was an HBK fan and I have remained a fan of his ever since.

    A lot of people talk about what it takes to be one of the best wrestlers ever and to me Triple H has it. I feel he’s in the top 5 of wrestlers of all time. Put him in the company of Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Chris Jericho and to me they are the top 5 of all time.

    Loe him or hate him Triple H is one of the best ever and I would like to thank John Canton-James for doing an excellent article about The Game.

  27. jay
    March 1, 2010 at 10:59 PM

    Suck it.

    I have watched H3’s entire career, and I am an unapologetic hater. (Your words.) In reality, I really have no respect for the man. I could go into great detail discussing my feelings, but why bother. H3 isn’t worth it.

    He will always be Hunter Hearst Helmsley a jobber/mid-card guy. He is selfish, overrated, and simply a product of the VKM publicity machine. Like his father in law, he has been bad for wrestling.

    He is a modest talent, with a big nose, and classless humor. The only time he isn’t selfish is when he decides that he shouldn’t be selfish for histories sake. H3 may want to be Ric Flair, but he will never be man enough to carry Flair’s jock.

    H3’s biggest contribution to wrestling is teaching people to say “Suck it.” What a legacy.

    Suck it.

    • JFS
      March 1, 2010 at 11:28 PM

      Wow that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Vince has been bad for wrestling!? What the fuck? There would BE NO WRESTLING without Vince McMahon.

      Go watch TNA, and suck Hulk Hogan’s dick.

      • jay
        March 1, 2010 at 11:49 PM

        Hogan has been worse for Wrestling, or at least equally as bad as VKM. TNA is a nice alternative, but is not much more than a small regional promotion.

        Wrestling had a great history before VKM. You really should watch it and learn.

        I am sure you won’t, because you will be too busy sucking things like H3 says you should.

        Even H3 above discusses watching matches from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. I can tell you the roots of much of todays wrestling. It is too bad you can’t do the same.

        • March 1, 2010 at 11:54 PM

          I think jay’s gimmick as the old guy that talks about the good old days of wrestling is drawing tremendous heel heat here on The John Report blog.

          • jay
            March 2, 2010 at 5:55 PM

            Shhh….

            It’s fun.

            But I wish you young guys were more open to learning about the history. You are missing out on some really great stuff.

            Thats why many of the the truly great wrestlers are all students of the game. There is very little in Wrestling that is origional.

            By the way, being the curmudgeon everyone hates is fun, you should try it sometime.

            • March 4, 2010 at 11:56 AM

              I don’t know if I’d get over that well as a heel. Maybe after WrestleMania.

        • Adam Bomb
          March 2, 2010 at 1:35 AM

          Damn right! Freakin Voodoo Kin Mafia.

        • Jaykob
          March 2, 2010 at 12:22 PM

          With all due respect, jay, most of the great moments I’ve enjoyed from pro wrestling I saw because I was watching Vince McMahon programming. He took wrestling into the mainstream and made it a world wide phenomenon. Honestly, I’d much rather watch a wrestling match in MSG then some high school gym.

          you suck it.

          • jay
            March 2, 2010 at 6:13 PM

            JKob: That is what Vince wants you to think. When I was young, I used to go to the Richmond Colleseam to watch wrestling. That is where Vince runs his shows today.

            The regionals ran shows 5 to 7 days per week. Monday through Wed might be in a gym, but Thurs, Friday, Twice on Either Sat or Sun would be in a real arena like MSG.

            VKM has had a lot of great moments, but that does not diminish tons of great moments that he had nothing to do with. Take a chance and watch a little World Class Championship Wrestling with the Von Erichs, Freebirds, Gino Hernandes, Chris Adams, Jimmy Garvin, Precious, Baby Doll, and Missy Hyatt to mention a few. Much of that programing stands up favorably to anything.

            Besides, don’t knock watching wrestling at a gym. It is a lot of fun. Plus paying 10 Bucks to be 10 feet from the action is pretty cool. You become part of the action.

            • Jaykob
              March 5, 2010 at 3:09 AM

              OK and I respect where you’re coming from, I guess. You clearly know a lot about the history of wrestling and respect the business. You’re probably a guy who knows more about it than I do as well (or maybe not, just the impression I get). I don’t think you’re going to convince me, however, that I should hate something, the WWF/WWE, that I derived so many awesome moments from as a kid. I loved the product that Vine McMahon had a hand in developing.

              With that said, there probably are a bunch of other awesome things about wrestling’s history that get overlooked by the casual fan. I appreciate you holding it down for the rest of us.

              I can relate because I’m the same way about music. I love underground metal that nobody else listens to and I’m a pretty big hard rock history buff. I get annoyed when people don’t know where their music came from, including all the great bands that are awesome but got lost in the shuffle along the way.

              You’re cool with me, even though I can’t relate to a lot of what you say.

  28. Adam Bomb
    March 2, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    this is absolutely perfect.
    some people think HHH is this terrible person trying to hold people down and keep himself at the top. They basically think he is….Hulk Hasbeen. And they couldn’t be further off. HHH is a better wrestler, better on the mic, and he doesn’t do the things he does to hold anyone down. All you Jericho conspiracy theorists can go away. You are getting to be as annoying as Cena fans.

  29. Jake X
    March 2, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    A this point in time I wouldn’t rate him as one of the greats. I think he is a very solid worker, but in 10 years time will people be talking about THE great HHH match in the way they do about Austin, Bret Hart, Hogan, Flair and even Foley?

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:58 AM

      I don’t know where he’ll rank among the best ever, but in terms of influence and power he’s going to have more power than any of those people because he’ll either be the main booker or second in command of the biggest wrestling company in the world.

  30. Chris
    March 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    It’s not a “Jericho conspiracy” as you say it Adam Bomb. He just hasn’t laid down to him for whatever reason. I’ve heard they didn’t get along in the beginning, but now they do. It’s not a conspiracy at all because you can argue that Jericho is better now and has been rewarded with multiple World Titles. I just want to see HHH lay down for him once.
    I don’t think HHH should’ve laid down for Booker, RVD, Steiner, etc. when it was argued he was squashing them. It wasn’t their time yet. Kane should’ve been Champion though. HHH just shouldn’t be in the Main Event of Mania as much as he has in the past 10 years. I think the company is starting to realize that by putting him in a program with Sheamus. I’m not the biggest fan of Sheamus’s, although I think he’ll be a solid Main Event-upper Mid-card guy, but he should go over. If they’re serious about building toward the future and building new superstars then Cena, HHH, Michaels, Taker, Batista and Orton all have to start losing matches and feuds to these younger guys. It’s time to see if Morrison, CM Punk, Kofi, Swagger, etc. can carry the ball.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:58 AM

      I’d love for HHH to lose to Jericho clean. It would have meant more 10 years ago than now, though.

  31. J
    March 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Great article. Really good read.

    I think a lot of people jump on the HHH being married to Steph thing. Really, not many people know the in’s and out’s of what goes on behind the scenes and they assume this happens.

    So what if HHH had a hand in Sheamus’ push? Sheamus has been one of the most exciting things about WWE TV for the past few months. So if he did, then he was right.

    HHH is one of the top guys but he’s earnt his spot in my opinion. And as you’ve shown, he’s put over a lot of talent, which is something he’s accused of not doing.

    • March 4, 2010 at 11:59 AM

      I think he’s put over a fair bit of people, but part of me wishes he did it more often. Still, I joke about it a lot, but it’s mostly tongue in cheek stuff.

  32. J
    March 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I think people’s issue is more he doesn’t put over the people they want him to (RVD, Y2J, Booker T) and they say “wahh triple H won’t lose to anybody”. But he put over a lot of guys, and also had a lot of great matches back in the late 90’s early 0’s.

  33. KeyserSoze
    March 2, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Great column. I know everyone would tend to pick HHH from 2000-2001, but I’ll put 2004-mid 2005 HHH was excellent, because HHH was back in top form, actually lost from time to time, and because of the whole Evolution vs. fresh group of top faces dynamic. It was like watching Flair & the Horsemen against the top faces in the NWA. In my opinion, I’d say Raw from 2004-mid 2005 was better than the much praised Smackdown of 2002-2003. I would love to see a future column on another wrestler with a year to year breakdown like that.

  34. Kev
    March 2, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    Great job! I wanna see one on Kelly Kelly!! Ok., jk but more stuff like this would be pretty cool. I like lookin back on the careers of my favorite wrestlers.

    • March 4, 2010 at 12:01 PM

      Thanks Crazy Crazy. I could write a career column on Kelly x2 in like five minutes. It would be only pictures, though.

  35. Chuck
    March 2, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    Let me just say, first of all, great piece.

    Second, HHH deserves respect. He’s a talented in-ring worker who’s worked multiple four to five-star matches in the past (Rock at SummerSlam ’98, Foley at RR 2000 and NWO 2000, Rock at Backlash 2000, and JD 2000, Jericho at Fully Loaded 2000, Austin at NWO 2001, Taker WM-X7, most of his matches with HBK, etc)

    He’s a great stickman (especially when heel), always capable of amazing promos, whether it was as snotty Hunter Hearst Helmsley, the DX punk Triple H, the center of the McMahon-Helmsley Regime, or the frontman for Evolution.

    He’s a hard worker–one of the hardest working ever, maybe–and he’s deserving of the main event spot he’s had the last ten years. No question. Anyone who says he should no longer be in the main event, or shouldn’t have had a top spot these last ten years, should reevaluate their criteria for such assessments.

    That said, all of these things make it all the more sad that HHH feels the need to abuse his booking privileges, hold down younger wrestlers (who don’t suck up to him), and book himself as a superman. He can be just as effective and just as good with the Invincible Avenger gimmick, and without booking himself as indestructible. And the more young talent that’s allowed to get over, the better he can look by working with them.

    His politicking is depressing to me. He has the talent and skill to not have to worry about his position; it’s assured. By being so greedy, he’s only hurting his reputation and hurting the business he cares so much about.

    That said, the last few months have been encouraging.

    HHH has been playing a background role lately, without any major singles storyline for him since at least December. This is the first time in YEARS I can remember HHH taking a back seat to other character developments, and I think it’s really great of Paul Levesque the man to allow that. Even in DX, HHH–probably for the first time since 1997-98–allowed himself to be the secondary character/sidekick these last few months, playing second fiddle to HBK’s Mania aspirations of defeating the Undertaker.

    His secondary role was marked enough that, on the Raw two weeks before the Rumble when he threw HBK out of the ring and said that HE would be the one who’d win, I didn’t end up thinking “Oh great, HHH comes out on top at the end of another edition of Raw.” Instead, it felt refreshing, and made for a nice surprise at the end of the show.

    Anyway, great article about a great wrestler. Kudos!

    • March 4, 2010 at 1:12 PM

      Thanks. Lots of good, valid points in there. Appreciate you sharing all that.

  36. Doodle
    March 2, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    I like Hunter, even if I am curious what the future of WWE holds once Vince retires (like that’s ever gonna happen)… one thing that I dig, that some people don’t know, is how much of a metal head the guy is… the introduction he did at a Motorhead show a couple of years ago was classic (even dropping a couple of F-bombs)… take THAT, TV-PG!!

  37. Doodle
    March 2, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Oh, and he did a guest spot on the Drew Carey Show, back in his “blue blood” days… great stuff… got to see an early version of “funny” Hunter…

  38. March 2, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Like most said, great article. I highly recommend HHH’s book about exercise/weight training. Every other chapter is more bio like and really shows how HHH got into wrestling and how he changes his workout with changes in wrestling (character, etc).

    And as John said, HHH is better as a heel. He gets guys over and similar to Austin some people like him even though he is a heel.

    • March 4, 2010 at 1:13 PM

      I never read his book. If he writes a true autobiography one day I’ll read it.

  39. Mike
    March 3, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Hunter has always gotten far too much criticism from the internet fans. Fact is..the man paid his dues, worked his ass off, and has earned everything he’s had in this business. Does it help that he’s married to Vince’s daughter? I dont think it can hurt. He’s allowed to certain things other guys cant (have his ideas heard, sit in on creative etc.) but its not as if he’s handed everything. He’s made Benoit, Cena, Batista and Orton look strong in recent years. He made Jeff Hardy look real good. He has elevated other guys.

    Personally, I miss the 2000-01 Hunter. He was friggin great during that time. His feuds with Foley, Austin and Rock were legendary. 2002-05 Hunter was excellent as well. Not a huge fan of the “McMahon Family Avenger” or DX Part 2/3 babyface Hunter…but I think thats more of a PG factor then anything else. I’m looking forward to a Hunter heel turn so we can get a glimpse of the greatness that was 00-01 and 02-05 Hunter.

    • March 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM

      Lots of people miss the 2000-01 Hunter. Injuries suck. They changed him. Such is life in wrestling.

    • March 4, 2010 at 1:15 PM

      No question his best parts were from 00-01 and 03-05. I’m not including 02 because there was a lot of shit in there. It’s a shame injuries robbed him of a lot, but that’s what happens in wrestling.

  40. Anon
    March 3, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    I don’t know if HHH heel would be as good as everyone thinks.

    Remember, its PG. He wouldn’t get away with half of what he used to and so it will not be as good as it once was.

  41. seo
    January 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  1. March 2, 2010 at 2:05 AM
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