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HHH's main strength is his understanding of developing future talent, to be honest. It obviously had it's roots in the creation of Evolution and really become noticeable through the creation of NXT as a legitimate developmental territory. I remember an episode of Raw from 2004, and the entire episode was geared towards putting a newly drafted Shelton Benjamin over the top, and Trips' made him a star that night. As far as Trips' career goes, there's few people that I would trust to be a hype man and to deliver a satisfying payoff than him. Not without his faults, obviously. The Booker T shit was garbage fire. Dimming CM Punk's light post-Pipebomb is fucking hilarious in hindsight, but yeah. I like HHH. The fact that these hot takes on Trips' career and the hyperbole that followed was spawned by a Trump tweet is hilarious too by the way. Hysterical.   

I do feel the revisionism and astroturfing  pooped out by the WWE machine is overblown, sure. It's always going to be. I don't think Taker was as good as some think he is, and has been helped by the WWE propaganda system too, but I'm not going to say he outright sucks or anything. And he is absolutely the archetypal WWE product. 

Edited by Rehabilitated Rick
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26 minutes ago, Rehabilitated Rick said:

The fact that these hot takes on Trips' career and the hyperbole that followed was spawned by a Trump tweet is hilarious too by the way. Hysterical.   

Was it? Entrances of his were brought up, I mistook it for performances, and off we went.

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I wasn’t looking for that, that’s for sure even though I’m not a fan of who is the current President AKA a dingbat of a human being. But back to Triple H... He has as you said put over young talent. But I’d argue that he was only really successful with three people. John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Batista. Everybody else was either poorly executed, or in the case of recent times the wrong guy to put over the young talent. Also he’s done it too many times to the point that it’s super predictable, unsatisfying, and useless. See also the Undertaker.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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There are times where the machine - see Reigns (2017) and Orton (2003) have been reliant on Trips' to be the balance and reason to work within the confines of the command structure (Vince's expectations) where fans have rejected whoever the machine want's to lead the company into the future, and he has come up short. There's no denying that. Not to his own faults. And there are times where fans were clamoring for something else - see Jericho (2000) and Booker T (2003) where he outright used his clout to stamp them out. Which could be due to Trips' own selfishness and insecurities. Who knows? WWE has always been cut-throat, and why, in the peak of his in-ring career would Trips' not politic to keep his spot at the top secure? As I said, when HHH relinquishes his ego, and the more he has matured, the better he has become. I think we have to separate HHH at the height of his dominance which produced outliers like Evolution, and the businessman that produced NXT, Bryan, and whatever else. 

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I Would put a qualifier on his putting over Cena, too.  Their whole Wrestlemania build, HHH fed into the “Cena can’t wrestle” narrative and probably codified if for an entire generation of fans.  Obviously, Cena learned to play into it over time and it didn’t stop him from being the top guy, but try as he might (even during his Indy Cena run with the US title) he could never shake it.

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Really he shouldn’t be constantly trying to put over a new talent. Cody actually is starting to have that issue to. One guy shouldn’t be doing that too much. Again it gets predictable, and it becomes a revolving door of talent getting that big push, then one of the previous pushed guys gets knocked back down, because Hunter has to keep his spot, when he really shouldn’t. It seems that’s less of a problem now, but then we just had an anniversary episode that did some of the worst ratings ever for this guy.

I just don’t care for the guy like I don’t care for Shane Douglas. both are super similar guys who were inspired by other territory heels from bygone era’s. But they were never truly consistent. I always say that the only guy that did it right recently was Bobby Roode. Better than Hunter, or Douglas ever could, and his run was super short.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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Another one in recent times is Rollins. I think Rollins is garbage. The worst. But HHH contributed to getting him over. Owens was a HHH pick, too. HHH keeping his spot is a symptom of WWE's overall problem, which is their inability to let go of the older vanguard.

Also if we're talking matches. Go back and watch HHH's match with Ambrose at Roadblock. That's some good shit. 

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30 minutes ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

But back to Triple H... He has as you said put over young talent. But I’d argue that he was only really successful with three people. John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Batista. Everybody else was either poorly executed, or in the case of recent times the wrong guy to put over the young talent. 

Depends on how you define success. Is he responsible for all subsequent booking stumbles that might diminish the shine he puts on someone? Someone not using that shine to springboard to perennial main event status is no knock on the times he's given rubs IMO. You only counting outright coronations as successes is taking quite a narrow view.

He essentially put Shelton on the map as a singles competitor, and over the next couple years he rode that into a solid upper-midcard run. He's set Jeff Hardy up for success multiple times. He shined Ambrose up nice during their mini-feud in 2016. I'm missing the poor execution in any of those.

Heck, IIRC he even gave Maven a rub in 2004 before they finally attempted to push him in earnest. It didn't work out for Maven in the long run, but I don't consider that a shortcoming of the job Hunter did. He gave Maven a great set-up for a potential run. On his part, I count that as a professional success. As a perennial main eventer, not every prospect he comes in contact with is going to pan out. But when he sets out to be giving as a performer, he generally does a good job. 

There are glaring, high-profile examples where he's outright jammed people up. I think those blind people to some of the opposite examples. 

Edited by West Newbury Bad Boy
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I haven’t been watching the WWE now in quite a while, but if you want to point at a moment where he put somebody over go with the Rhonda match. The crowd was hot, and the finish was right. The Rollins stuff didn’t work out at all. The match stunk, and it gave him a new moniker, and gear that didn’t get over. They would try again with the Brock stuff and that looks like it didn’t work either. So that’s a swing and a mess for him on that one.

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5 minutes ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

The Rollins stuff didn’t work out at all. The match stunk, and it gave him a new moniker, and gear that didn’t get over. 

Among his contributions to Seth's success, you should also count the Evolution-Shield stuff in 2014 and Hunter doing a lot as an on-screen character to prop up Seth's subsequent heel singles run. I didn't care for the Mania 33 stuff either, but on the whole he did a lot of elevate Rollins. 

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HHH is an overachieving midcarder. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match of his that made me think, “Shit, this dude HAS to be champion/in the main event.” His boring work drove me away in the early 2000s and made it really hard to keep watching during the Authority stuff. His matches aren’t good so he makes them long to cheat some semblance of epicness out of them, a bad habit he’s passed on to other wrestlers who shouldn’t follow that lead. He’s also responsible for NXT so I like the man in general, but as a performer he’s the pits.

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His use of the sledgehammer was one of my biggest criticisms of him and I know he wasn't the first to use it, I think The Rock used it on Kane to his back or somebody like that in late 98. HHH brought it back in 01 on Austin to get heat in their feud.I thought it was such a cheap way to get heat. Disregard the fact that you really have to suspend disbelief, I always thought it discredited him as a dominant threat especially for someone who is supposed to be viewed on the same level as Austin or Rock. It would be one thing if your a lower card guy or complete underdog feeling the need to even the odds but not a top guy whose supposed to be booked as a superior wrestler than even Rock or Austin. Sting had a bat to fight off a whole gang of guys that most of them were bigger than him, it made sense. I'm glad that other main events in WWE didn't feel the need to have a signature foreign object that's out of the paradigm of Wrestling because it really takes me out of his matches 

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While I don't think Hunter is a transcendent in-ring performer or anything, I feel he's had plenty of high-end matches that go against the extreme takes people have about him. He's a perfectly adequate WWE main event style guy who'll do in a pinch. He's definitely gotten more chances at the plate because he married well, and between that and him presiding over a down time for his company he gets a lot of flack. There's also a lot of high-profile self-indulgence that rubs people wrong and he's had his share of flops, I get that. 

Having said all that, I continue to be amazed as the years go by that he can still inspire pages of discussion like it's still the early-to-mid 2000s. And it's not just the Orange Man's tweet. Every few months, I feel like I see discussions like this pop up in one place or another. It always surprises me to be reminded of the fervor people still have for a guy who I rarely give a thought to beyond "He's fine, I guess..."

Unless we're talking about DX promos and skits. That stuff is unfathomably awful and embarrasses me more than any top act in any company ever. And that covers a lot of ground. 

Edited by West Newbury Bad Boy
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But HHH's matches are good. I can go into some autism about match quality metrics. But I personally don't buy into the progressive match style of Davey Richards-NJPW-PWG synthesis moving my emotional palette than say, Dustin vs. Cody did. Kenny Omega is a good wrestler for the most part, but TNT viewing data suggests he isn't catching on like I've lead to believe he could. So am I wrong here? Cody vs. Dustin was fucking incredible! and that match style was vastly different than whatever is the norm domestically now.  And that was a Triple H match to the fucking tee. 

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Triple H matches overall would've been looked back on a lot better if their average length was cut by 20%.

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I really like Triple H but I think timing was his biggest enemy.

He ran as a long term heel champion, trying to pull off the old school NWA touring style, right at the peak of indy awareness in the wrestling world. More and more of us were seeing clips of Japan, Lucha, ROH, CZW etc and this opened up our concept of what a "good" wrestler was. This was also immediately after hotshotting things around in the late 90's and the massive appeal of seeing the top stars of WCW/ECW come into the WWE. The demand for this long term, dominant heel, who finally gets beaten by the underdog hero just wasn't there. Not until Benoit won the Rumble anyway and even then, we didn't think he was facing Triple H at Mania when he won.

They sort of tried again with Rollins but he's just not that guy. He's Dolph Ziggler with a push.

In a vacuum Hunter's run was very good but in the grand scheme of wrestling at the time it just wasn't what people wanted.

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I think I'm the only one who really enjoyed HHH vs Rollins. 

As someone who does not enjoy Rollins at all, nor HHH post-2000, it was a really well laid out match. Yes, it plodded a bit, but it was preferable to Rollins' usual excess. The false finishes hit well. I thought Rollins sold the knee well, and the match was laid out to serve the purpose of Rollins being put over as the guy, rather than just HHH slipping on a banana peel (see: the Jeff Hardy match).

Nash HIAC was better than it had any right to be. The ladder match too to some degree.

He had a really good little period there in 2004 post Mania, where he had these throwaway matches with Shelton and Tajiri, also a schmozz with Eddy that was fun for the troll value of what was being implied. 

I thought he sold well for Khali - it was an interesting change of pace for him to see him as the underdog babyface, almost as Warrior type guy. Was it any good? No. Just different.

Also really enjoyed the six mans with Evolution and The Shield. They managed to showcase each Shield guy as having unique offensive qualities and put them over accordingly each time. 

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48 minutes ago, Rehabilitated Rick said:

 Cody vs. Dustin was fucking incredible! and that match style was vastly different than whatever is the norm domestically now.  And that was a Triple H match to the fucking tee. 

No it wasn't. The longer it went, the more people cared about it. Exactly the opposite of a Trips match.

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Triple H having veto power the moment he married into the McMahon family was his biggest enemy, not timing. He was conscripted into a war of scrutiny whether he knew it or not. Which is where the cries of ''glorified mid-carder'' or ''Ric Flair cosplayer'' stem from. It's very difficult to analyze a career which I admit had no real grassroots. I understand where the criticism comes from. 

Edited by Rehabilitated Rick
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1 hour ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Heck, IIRC he even gave Maven a rub in 2004 before they finally attempted to push him in earnest. It didn't work out for Maven in the long run, but I don't consider that a shortcoming of the job Hunter did. He gave Maven a great set-up for a potential run. On his part, I count that as a professional success. As a perennial main eventer, not every prospect he comes in contact with is going to pan out. But when he sets out to be giving as a performer, he generally does a good job. 

My favorite example. Loved their Nov '04 RAW match the night after Survivor Series where they built it up all throughout the show as Maven's big shot as a show-long story, great hope spots and story. Wish it did work out for Maven in the long run. They also had a fun match on Sunday Night Heat in the summer of 03 in the 80s heel champ vs lower card babyface style. 

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13 minutes ago, L_W_P said:

I really like Triple H but I think timing was his biggest enemy.

He ran as a long term heel champion, trying to pull off the old school NWA touring style, right at the peak of indy awareness in the wrestling world. More and more of us were seeing clips of Japan, Lucha, ROH, CZW etc and this opened up our concept of what a "good" wrestler was. This was also immediately after hotshotting things around in the late 90's and the massive appeal of seeing the top stars of WCW/ECW come into the WWE. The demand for this long term, dominant heel, who finally gets beaten by the underdog hero just wasn't there. Not until Benoit won the Rumble anyway and even then, we didn't think he was facing Triple H at Mania when he won.

They sort of tried again with Rollins but he's just not that guy. He's Dolph Ziggler with a push.

In a vacuum Hunter's run was very good but in the grand scheme of wrestling at the time it just wasn't what people wanted.

The transition to him wanting to be Jack Brisco (while looking like a Harley Race knockoff) came too soon after sarcastic, clever asshole Triple H. He can come off as a badass, but it's tonal dissonance when you still want to be a class clown. To be fair, I cared less and less about SCSA when he went from badass who was occasionally funny to singing goofy songs and trying to get shit over so WWE can sell more merch. 

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Another quality is Trips' comedic timing. You could say D-X were problematic, they were. It was a product of a fucked up time period. Bad optics. But he hasn't lost that comedic value. The alibi of any 90's cultural figure is ''oh this was just the manifestation of societal norms then and we delivered the content for the market''. Fine. Trips on commentary just a MONTH ago was a net for attitudinal fans (like myself) to stay tuned in. He is hilarious. I haven't been following the empty arena era really. But Jericho and Triple H has made me turn on the cable box. 

Edited by Rehabilitated Rick
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13 minutes ago, Rehabilitated Rick said:

Another quality is Trips' comedic timing. You could say D-X were problematic, they were. It was a product of a fucked up time period. Bad optics. But he hasn't lost that comedic value. The alibi of any 90's cultural figure is ''oh this was just the manifestation of societal norms then and we delivered the content for the market''. Fine. Trips on commentary just a MONTH ago was a net for attitudinal fans (like myself) to stay tuned in. He is hilarious. I haven't been following the empty arena era really. But Jericho and Triple H has made me turn on the cable box. 

Comedic timing is one thing. It also helps that his position allows him to say stuff nobody else could get away with. Easy to be le edgy badass and wink at the audience when you’re in the family. 

Also, taking out the cultural implications or whatever, I find the DX stuff deeply unfunny. 

Edited by West Newbury Bad Boy
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