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Magic, Memories, and Mania
MAGIC, MEMORIES, AND MANIA: Top Ten Worst Moments of Triple H’s Career

Oct 13, 2012 - 1:00:45 PM
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By Shawn Valentino, PWTorch specialist

There is probably no wrestling superstar in the last ten years who has generated more divergent reactions than Triple H. Many consider him one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, while others think that he is has politicked his way to remaining on top far past his prime. I am somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. The Game, at his best is an extraordinary talent who can not only have tremendous matches but his promos can bring out the nuances in a feud for maximum drama. Look no further than the two recent matches against The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Both were examples of brilliant storytelling in the ring and leading up to the battle.

Unfortunately, as amazing as he is at times, it is often balanced off by some equally embarrassing moments, plodding matches, and a disturbing lack of self-awareness at how he has a tendency to come across. Let us look back at his recent “retirement” storyline with Brock Lesnar. It has all the elements of Triple H at his worst. Not only was it a below average main event match at Summerslam, even worse were the contrived attempts to manufacture emotion and his ignorance of the concept that this is just not a story people will believe in. Today, we will take a fun look back at some of the worst moments in the career of Triple H. And if you really want to have fun, head to YouTube to rediscover the laughter many of these segments generated.

(10) Goldust Tourette's Promo

This had to be one of the most ridiculous moments I have ever seen. It pains me to write this, but the storyline was that Goldust had been electrocuted, so he had some type of bizarre Tourette's syndrome and would start tweaking out in the middle of conversation. It was leading up to the WrestleMania 19 match against Booker T and I do not even know how to explain the utter hilarity that ensued as Goldust stood face-to-face with Ric Flair and Triple H, attempting to explain how his partner would defeat him for the Championship. With a straight face and some of the worst acting in the history of entertainment, Goldust struggled to talk as Triple H and a seemingly drunk Ric Flair could not contain their laughter. Even Jerry Lawler lost it at the announce booth. This is a classic moment of unintentional comedy.

(9) Caught With His Pants On

This was from the DX BBQ skit back when Triple H and Shawn Michaels re-united in 2006. In fact, nearly every time this watered-down version of DX has appeared on television since then, it has been outright embarrassing, but this one was truly something special. Triple H and Candice Michelle were both serving beers at a table with awkward looks on their faces. Then, they periodically convulsed until it was painfully obvious what was going on. The emphasis on the word painful because once it was revealed that there were two women underneath the table popping up, implying they had been giving them oral sex, while both obviously had their pants completely on, it made the acting in adult films look Oscar-worthy in comparison.

(8) Summerslam 2012 Angle and Match Against Brock Lesnar

If wrestling fans knew one year ago that Brock would return to WWE, we would all be salivating with anticipation at the possible dream matches. It only made sense that he would eventually face off against Triple H. Unfortunately, it made sense only in context because the actual build to the battle was an abomination. It was the classic case of unbelievably illogical booking because Lesnar had broken The Game’s arm, but he recovered and pointed out that he had been hurt much worse before. Sadly, I was the one who was hurt, as I sat in the arena during a lame, slow, emotionless contest with an anticlimactic ending. This was followed by an ill-fated attempt to obtain sympathy from the crowd that resulted in “You Tapped Out” chants. The supposed broken arm suffered in the match and the teased retirement angle that has followed (with more bad acting) has further ruined the return of the man that was once considered the “Baddest Man on the Planet.”

(7) I Love You Pops

I mentioned earlier about Triple H’s lack of self-awareness. It is baffling to me that someone who is so obviously intelligent gets caught up in so many horrible moments where he is forced to stretch his acting skills and take his character into ill-advised territory. One of the worst examples of this was when he supposedly relieved his father-in-law Vince McMahon of his duties and took over the Raw show. Not only was it terrible storytelling, because we had seen him forced to give up his power seemingly every year for a decade or so, but it was also some horrendous acting on the part of both Vince and especially Hunter. After some of the most pathetic attempts at emoting I have seen in my life, he looked at a bawling McMahon and said, “I love you Pops.” I think wrestling fans worldwide threw up because it was another gag-inducing moment.

(6) The Scott Steiner Feud

In the dying years of WCW, Scott Steiner’s Big Poppa Pump character was one of the few elements of Nitro that still had some semblance of a cool factor. When rumors sprung that he was returning to WWE, there was excitement in the air that he could de-throne a stale Triple H and have a nice run as World Champion. Unfortunately that anticipation wore off quickly after a series of cringe-worthy segments featuring these two overly muscular specimens arm-wrestling and posing in the ring to build up to a confrontation. The actual matches not only lived down to the build, they put on some clinics in how to wrestle a dull, plodding main event.

(5) Little People’s Court

This may have been the low-point in the shameful DX run of the late 2000s. I cannot even remember the details of why Hornswaggle was in court, probably because I blanked it out of my memory, but this was wrestling “comedy” at its all-time low, no pun intended.

(4) Triple H Mocks Chris Masters's Muscle-Loss

The middle of the 2000s decade was an ironic one for WWE because we simultaneously saw a series of freakishly muscular wrestlers arrive on the scene while the company tried to clean up their image of being infested with steroids. Perhaps nobody exemplified the muscular bodybuilder type that McMahon loves more than Chris Masters. During this time period where wrestlers were dying at frightening rates, the Wellness Policy was supposedly forcing some of their stars to sport more natural physiques. When Masters came back after a couple months away from the ring looking much less muscular, but far more healthy, Triple H mocked him by saying that he could teach a course in how to lose 60 pounds of muscle. This was an inexcusable and downright immoral statement by a man who is destined to take over the company because it implies that steroid physiques are necessary to compete in the ring.

(3) Katie Vick

Do I even need to get into this? Triple H breaks into a funeral parlor to have mock sex with a mannequin of Kane’s supposed former lover. This one had it all. Necrophilia, distasteful humor, and mind-numbing storytelling. It made this one of the most reviled and remembered incidents in the history of wrestling.

(2) Race and the Booker T Feud

Most of these moments are ones that we can go back and laugh at, and The Game himself would probably chuckle at some of the absurd segments he has taken part in. His feud with Booker T leading up to WrestleMania 19 was no laughing matter, though. This was an angle with all types of racial overtones as Triple H and Flair made degrading comments about Booker’s “nappy hair” and how “people like him” do not become champion. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he was the heel in the feud and it may have been used to generate hatred and to put over Booker as a sympathetic star who would overcome the bullies. Unfathomably, Triple H ended up winning their big match at Mania, and in effect, it was proven right that “people like him” do not get to hold the belt. This was one of the most tasteless storylines in wrestling history.

(1) Randy Orton Feud and the Worst WresleMania Main Event Ever

WWE does not exactly have an exemplary record of logical storytelling and consistent characters, and this is one of their absolute worst examples of idiotic booking. Randy Orton was at his peak as a vicious, remorseless heel, and he reached his low when he attacked Stephanie McMahon. Here, it was finally revealed on television that Triple H was married to the boss’s daughter. Keep in mind that Stephanie is one of the most unsympathetic figures in WWE television history. So the story leading into Mania should be the Cerebral Assassin finally getting his revenge right? Ridiculously, WWE geniuses scripted Triple H to invade Orton’s home and obtain his vengeance even before the match took place. So what were they even fighting for?

Apparently, they both asked themselves that before the match because I was inside Reliant Stadium for WrestleMania 25, and this battle was an epic embarrassment. The match was laid out about as badly as the feud, starting off with each wrestler hitting their finisher in the opening moments. It was supposed to be a grudge match, but Triple H could not get disqualifiedm so it stifled the very nature of what the match should have been. What we got was a dreadfully dull Mania finale that made everyone in the audience wish we had gone home after the dramatic Undertaker-Shawn Michaels classic. Because it symbolizes everything wrong with modern WWE, from the awful writing to the character inconsistency to the illogical plot structure, I had this listed as the worst WrestleMania main event of all time and now it has the dishonor of also being remembered as the worst moment in Triple H’s career.

Please send questions, comments and feedback to valentino.torch@gmail.com and check out my book The Showstopper Lifestyle on Amazon. Feel free to add Shawn Valentino on Facebook.

[Torch art credit Travis Beaven (c) PWTorch.com]


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