Hey yo. It's John Cantonopoulos (not real last name) at the Headlines "desk" on this first Monday in the month of February. I'm filling in for Andrew today because he's unable to do it due to computer issues. Check out his always entertaining Smacking of Smackdown column from Sunday because it deserves your attention. Also head on over to TJRSports.com to read my column about the Super Bowl as well.
There's been a lot of talk on the internet over the weekend about a Bret Hart interview with WrestleTalk TV that was posted late on Thursday night. It sparked a lot of controversy because Hart had a lot of critical comments about Triple H as a worker with many interesting comments including this one:
"I think Paul is a little overrated… overrated for being great. I can sit here and tell you that there was one match that he ever had with anybody that I thought was great. It’s kind of a shame, he should have a great match somewhere with somebody. And you’d think that he would have had it by now, but I don’t think he’s a great wrestler." Credit to InsidePulse.com for transcribing it.
You can watch the whole thing here or just scroll down because I've got the key quotes in this column.
Here are more Hart quotes.
“When I look at Triple H — he’s always had a good look as far as his body went — he always had a pretty muscular physique. But you look at someone like Hunter and you wonder, what has he really done? One move that he ever created that nobody ever saw before or some highspots or an idea for a match… He’s mostly a guy that just showed up and they made him. He’s always been a decent wrestler — I would consider him a good wrestler and pretty talented. But great? I don’t know. I don’t think so.
“What has he ever done that’s great? He’s never had a great match, I don’t think ever. Whenever I look at Triple H’s matches, including the last one he had with Undertaker — and I don’t really mean it as a knock — but I told myself before I watched it because I’m trying to like Paul now these days, that I want to see him do something to make me think he’s got greatness in him.
“Before Triple H wrestled Undertaker last year, I remember watching it and going, ‘I can picture the whole match in my head, I can tell you exactly what this match is going to be like and how it’s going to go. And I remember watching it and it went exactly how I predicted it… I thought it was mediocre at best, maybe a 4 out of 10, or 3 out of 10."
I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but I do see some of his points. I don't think Triple H was ever a worker known for innovating or anything like that. And that's okay. Not everybody is going to bring something new to the table in their matches.
I also think Hunter has had quite a few awesome matches in his career with ones against Cactus Jack (Royal Rumble 2000), Chris Jericho (Fully Loaded), Steve Austin (No Way Out 2001) and Shawn Michaels (Summerslam 2002) sticking out in my mind. I'm not sure Bret has seen a lot of those matches or most of the matches during Triple H's best years (2000 to 2005), but I have no idea of knowing that. There are a lot of other Triple H matches I liked and I'm sure many of you can remember them as well.
Is Bret only talking about when he worked in WWE at the same time as Triple H? Because if that's the case Hunter improved a lot after 1997 when Bret was out of the company. He grew as a performer in 1998 and 1999. Then in 2000-01 he had the best year and a half of his career until he tore his quad. Coming back from that was tough on Hunter, but he had some strong years in the mid-2000s too. His feud with Batista was outstanding in 2005 and he did a lot to make Batista into a top guy. I have a lot of respect for what Triple H has done in his career. He worked hard to get where he is.
The other thing worth mentioning is that Bret Hart is absolutely entitled to his own opinion on the matter. I think most wrestling fans would agree that he's in the discussion of one of the best wrestlers ever and a guy that brought out the best in his opponents. I would rank him higher than Triple H. I think most people would. On WWE television, though, Hunter's considered as big of a star or even bigger than Bret.
Will these comments hurt Bret's chances of working with WWE again in the future? I doubt it. I think HHH is a guy that doesn't get bothered by people criticizing him. He's been married to Stephanie McMahon for ten years and he's in a position where he's basically the heir to the WWE throne as second in command to Vince McMahon. He's smart enough to know that a lot of fans still like and respect Bret Hart. I think we'll continue to see Hart pop up on WWE television from time to time.
I also don't think Bret and Triple H were ever that close. Bret was close with Shawn, then they started feuding in 1996, that carried over into Montreal 1997 and then for years they had a grudge. In 2010 that fence was mended. But I don't think Bret was ever friends with Triple H, nor would I expect them to be close friends in the near future. I think Hunter played a major part in the Montreal Screwjob (coming up with the idea of what happened) even though he wasn't involved in the match. That's why I think Bret isn't a huge fan of the guy.
As far as Undertaker vs. Triple H match from last year at WrestleMania 28 goes, I thought it was the match of the year. That should tell you that I thought highly about it. I think Bret's point of view is that he would have liked a more technical match and instead what we got was a physical brawl where they used weapons including many chair shots. Plus the match was full of dramatic nearfalls that I think traditional wrestling fans didn't like that much. I think the match was a lot of fun and being in Miami the night of the match made it a special moment for me.
Also over the weekend, Arda Ocal of The Score television network here in Canada had a talk with Bret Hart about his comments regarding Triple H from his WrestleTalk interview. It's a shorter clip at just under seven minutes in length.
Here's a quote from Hart in that interview talking about Triple H.
“He’s a decent wrestler. I wouldn’t put him in the top 1000 great wrestlers. To me he was very mediocre. I never saw him contribute an idea in his life. I never saw any genius come out of Triple H, nor in any of his matches.”
Not in the top 1000 wrestlers ever? Wow. I think that's a little harsh. I strongly disagree with that. I will also admit that Bret Hart's knowledge of wrestling history is greater than mine and I'm not doubting that for one second. That doesn't mean I'm going to list the top 1000 wrestlers ever, but I'm also going to respect Bret Hart's opinion. I'll say this, though. Sometimes Bret is unfair with his criticisms of people he doesn't like. I think he's off on his take on Ric Flair (claiming he was never that great) and also Triple H.
I should point out that I liked Bret Hart as a performer more than I did Triple H. If I had a list of favorites Hart would be in my top ten and Hunter would probably crack the top 30 or so. However, as a Bret fan even I think he was a bit over the top with his criticisms.
The last comment on this is that not everybody in wrestling is going to get along. The guys that make it to the very top usually have a very big ego and some of them, like Hart, aren't shy about sharing their opinions. I doubt we'll ever hear a guy like Triple H make a controversial comment like that because he's an top executive in WWE and making comments like that wouldn't be good from a company perspective.
What do you think about all of this? Let me know in the comments below.
In Other News
- There's a poll up on WWE.com asking if The Rock's WWE Title reign will eclipse the 434 day reign of former champion CM Punk. As of Monday morning there are over 56,000 votes and 58% of the voters think Rock's reign will last longer than 434 days. Ummm…no. Rock's reign will last a little over two months when he drops the WWE Title to John Cena.
The best way I can summarize this is by reminding you that if you think the majority of the people on the internet think like the people that write for and visit this site then you are wrong. The majority of the fans are the people that think wrestling is real or at least the results are legitimate. They're the ones that WWE markets their company towards because for the people like us they know we're probably going to watch anyway. What they care about are the casual fans that think The Rock will have a WWE Title reign that lasts longer than 15 months. That's why WWE is a very successful company and why fans online should be less angry when WWE doesn't produce television geared towards them.
In other news, 58% of the people that voted in that poll also think The Undertaker really works at a funeral parlor in Death Valley. They're looking for him right now.
Then again this is WWE.com where polls are probably rigged, so really it doesn't matter. Don't get worked up too much, internet. It's going to be okay!
(Editor's Note: When I started writing this at like 11:15amET the number was 52%. At 11:45amET it was at 58%. That many votes in that little time? Hmm.)
- TNA wrestler Sting (yes he's still there) did an interview with the Big Wrestleshark Show saying the same things everybody in TNA says about what the company needs to do to become bigger. While I'm happy that TNA is going to be taking Impact on the road for the rest of this year, they've done this before. Nothing they do is that new or fresh and that's their problem. I bet if you looked up interviews with TNA people from 2006 they probably have the same "Impact needs to go on the road" comment.
I want TNA to succeed, but I think there are far too many delusional people in positions of power there like Dixie Carter, Eric Bischoff & Hulk Hogan to name three. On the plus side, at least nobody has said "my boobs are out" during the last couple of episodes of Impact. That's progress! (WrestlingInc)
- Zack Ryder released his single "Hoeski" on iTunes. I watched maybe 30 seconds of the video before my ears started to bleed. I wonder if Vince McMahon knows that this song exists, if he's listened to it and if he'll somehow punish Ryder for it because it wasn't his idea. Isn't that why Ryder barely gets screen time despite the fans actually liking the guy? I have no idea. (iTunes)
In other news, February 13 is the one year anniversary of this moment that really helped Zack Ryder's career go off a cliff. Bad joke? I don't care. I liked it.
Best part of that clip is Eve's top. Yes ladies I'm single. Even if I wasn't I would still think that way. Also I don't think that was a very safe bump, but I'm glad Ryder came out of it without any major kind of injury.
That's all I got for you today. There's more news, but this is already longer than a typical Headlines because I like to write a lot. I would love to see your opinions regarding Bret Hart talking about Triple H, so be sure to deposit them below.
Monday Night Raw is tonight. I don't think the WWE Champion The Rock is scheduled to be there although Brock Lesnar is expected. I'm not writing about this one live, so I'll have it posted at some point on Tuesday by the early part of the afternoon at the latest.
Have a great week. I'll see you Tuesday for the Raw Deal.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org