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JerryvonKramer

A thread in which Dylan compares various wrestlers to HHH

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Listening to the Wrestling Culture pod, I was interested by Dylan's claim that HHH is "average". Considering he has more experience of main events and "big matches" than A LOT of guys who have big reps from the 80s, I was wondering how far Dylan would push this claim and on what basis.

 

What follows is a list of guys, mainly from the 80s, I want to see how Dylan rates HHH vs. each of them. Not in terms of "peak year" but simply in terms of work (or "total package", including promos etc., depending on how far he wants to take it)

 

Rick Rude

Dino Bravo

Greg Valentine

Ronnie Garvin

Curt Hennig

Brian Pillman

Paul Orndorff

Roddy Piper

Rick Martel

Barry Windham

Mike Rotunda

Steve Keirn

Tito Santana

Butch Reed

Mike Enos

Wayne Bloom

Ted DiBiase

Koko B. Ware

Dory Funk Jr.

Haku

Harley Race

Tom Zenk

Tommy Rich

Hulk Hogan

 

I think that's a decent and random enough cross section of guys who could be compared to Triple H.

 

Dylan can do this any way he likes - comment on each guy, or simply three lists "better than HHH", "not as good as HHH" and "about the same as HHH". Along the way, I think we'll learn what he considers to be "average".

 

Although this thread is intended for Dylan, feel free 1. to do this exercise yourself -- might be reasonably fun to see how people's ratings compare and 2. to give Dylan more names.

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I am not Dylan. But I would rate every single one of those guys above Triple H.

I like Hunter well enough myself but atleast 75% of those guys i'd say are easily better then HHH too

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I'd probably rather watch Helmsley than Zenk.

 

I think I find Dory at his worst even more boring than Helmsley at his worst. Maybe.

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No, I haven't watched any Montreal at all in fact. I struggle to believe the guy we saw could have been THAT much better though. Like Duggan, for example, is a LOT better in Mid South than in his WWF days, but the gap is not that big.

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I don't think I'd put Bravo above HHH myself, although I could be convinced. But it is a pretty drastic difference. He had a different body type and was a lot more athletic. I haven't even seen him in Montreal, but I have seen some late 70s Mid Atlantic and it genuinely surprised me. So believe me, I do understand the skepticism. Everyone else I'm pretty comfortable saying is better except Zenk, who doesn't have as many good matches.

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This is not terribly hard. When I was talking on the podcast I was talking about in ring, but I'll try and make notes on other aspects of performance as well. Still this initial list is really cupcake stuff.

 

Rick Rude

 

This isn't close on any level. Rude was the much better worker, better on the mic, better character, better wrestling gear, better angle involving cuckolding of rival, et. There is no metric where HHH is better other than over all "stardom" and that is entirely circumstantial in my view. Can anyone imagine HHH having a match like Rude v. Steamboat or Rude v. Warrior? I'll set the bar lower. Can anyone imagine HHH executing a spot with as much consistency and violence as the Rude Awakening?

 

Dino Bravo

 

I'd take HHH with the minor qualification that I haven't seen much Dino in Montreal yet. That could change things.

 

Greg Valentine

 

Valentine smokes HHH in the ring. I mean absolutely demolishes him. Both guys worked a "deliberate pace" but Valentine's actually added to his matches. He was a much more convincing wrestler and tough guy than HHH. He was better at working long (see Backlund draw from 79), better at working gimmick matches (see v. Tito and Dog Collar v. Piper), was better at working blood feud/tight brawls (see v. Wahoo, v. Piper, v. Tito, v. Garvin), he was better v. underdog faces (see v. Owen), he was better in "technical" showcases (see v. Bret), he was better in escalating matches that started cleanish and led to babyface fire segments (see v. Steamer, v. Tito). Valentine is one of the most underrated workers in wrestling history. HHH is one of the most overrated.

 

Ronnie Garvin

 

Garvin is far better. Underrated on the mat, great striker and brawler. For a french guy, who mostly worked in the South he was a surprisingly better than average promo as well. Carny stuff I've seen from ICW, is better than shitty DX skits. Hammer Jammer is better than Hornswaggle under the ring in DX shirt or Chyna as ringside neutralizer. Loved his match with Big Bubba and the ten count spot in that was better done than similar HHH spots in any LMS match. Tully taped fist match was good and the Worldwide match is possibly the greatest free tv match I've ever seen - far better than any HHH match I've ever seen. Miss Atlanta Lively was better than Katie Vick. Flair series was awesome and better than any HHH series. Was a far better tag wrestler and his short lived team with Windham was miles better than any HHH team. Garvin feud with Jake in GCW was fun. Garvin working unprofessional match v. Scott Steiner in AWA, was better than HHH working unprofessional match v. Scott Steiner in WWE. I mean really this is a slaughter.

 

Curt Hennig

 

You could maybe convince me that 2000 HHH was better than any year Hennig had in the ring during the Mr. Perfect era, though that character was way better than any HHH character. But career v. career this is another monumental ass beating. From 82-88 Hennig was a tremendous worker who could work sprint brawls with Hansen, broadway classics with Bock, excellent 2/3 fall matches with Buddy Rose, play a great FIP in a tag match, or work cheating, bumping, cowardly heel v. Lawler, Wahoo or even DJ fucking Peterson. He was also a much better promo than HHH.

 

Brian Pillman

 

Pillman from 89-92 was a brilliant babyface worker, among the best I've ever seen in a wrestling ring. I've never thought "boy HHH is among the best I"ve ever seen" at anything in wrestling other than backstage politicking. I don't like heel Pillman as much, though it was better than heel HHH. For hokey home invasion angles "Pillman 9 mm" trumps HHH beating up Randy in front of his fake wife. Loose Cannon was also far more entertaining than "lol DX."

 

Paul Orndorff

 

I wish we had more prime Mid-Atlantic Orndorff but I'd still take him over Trips. Orndorff was Hogan's best overall opponent (angle, promos, drawing and match quality taken into account) and I cannot imagine HHH being able to "handle" a role of the consistent "loser" to Hogan. I liked the feud with Cactus a lot in 93. He was the best part about early SMW with his crazed piledriver spots. Ornndorff beat Vader's ass, HHH backed down to Bret Hart. I don't think this is nearly the landslide the others have been, but I would rather watch a best of Orndorff comp.

 

Roddy Piper

 

Piper easily. Even now I'd rather watch trainwreck, unintelligible Piper promo to HHH "epic" promo. Prime v. prime Piper decimates HHH as a promo and was a better worker too. I like his matches v. Rose a lot, the Valentine Doc Collar match, the Bret match from Mania, the six-man right before Mania III, the Savage match with the great airplane spin spot, Rude Cage match, et. He was lighting the World on fire but he was a guy who worked his character really well into his match. He was also more likely to work too short than too long which is a huge plus in a head to head v. Trip.

 

Rick Martel

 

Well HHH was probably a better promo than face Martel, though I cop to liking the Model act a good bit. As a worker this is another epic destruction of HHH. There is nothing he does better than Martel. People give Martel shit for the decline of the AWA in 85, but HHH in that role would have been so much worse it's comical to think about. The idea of HHH going to Japan and having compelling matches? The idea of him having a legit very good serious v. Boris Zhukov? The idea of him having a legitimately great match with Brad Rheingans based entirely around milking holds and slow build to highspots? I mean this shit doesn't even pass the laugh test.

 

Barry Windham

 

You are fucking with me right? Windham at his peak might be the best North American talent I've ever seen. Was literally excellent at everything. Was a big guy who could wrestle like a big guy as a face or heel - or wrestle as a chickenshit big bumping heel or as underdog/FIP babyface. Was a great brawler. Is probably the best tag team wrestler of all time, certainly no worse than top five. One of the few American wrestlers who was good at working a hierarchical main event style, though he didn't have to and wouldn't always if he didn't think the situation called for it. Had really good performances going back to 81 and really great singles performances as late as 93. Tremendous big man bumper and brilliant at selling both fatigue, long term damage and a body part. Had a really varied and compelling offensive and an excellent delivery of said offense. Also if you compare HHH singing happy birthday to Vince, to Windham's stellar musicianship in West Texas Rednecks he wins via that metric as well.

 

Mike Rotunda

 

I find Rotunda boring as piss for the most part and think he is a pretty fair comparison to HHH. He was definitely more fundamentally sound than Trip in the ring, but that didn't translate to much because he was largely a black hole. Varsity Club was better than DX, but Rotunda was the least interesting aspect of that. I would lean toward HHH here because the chances he has been afforded means he's had more good matches.

 

Steve Keirn

 

Keirn was better. Fabs were a great, great tag team and I also have enjoyed other Keirn I've seen as he's sort of a bruising type that can also work well on the mat. I suspect if there were more footage of him available this would be considered a slam dunk.

 

Tito Santana

 

Tito easily. Really underratd babyface who was better at showing fire than Steamboat and some of the other "top" babyfaces of the era. Feuds with Savage and Valentine are better than anything HHH has ever done. The glimpses in the AWA tell us that he was good before his WWF run too. Again with more footage this would probably be even more evident.

 

Butch Reed

 

If you listened to the podcast you know my answer. Reed had a better look, was better in the ring, and was better on the mic. Even if I were just looking at Doom era Reed, I'd take him over the great majority of HHH's career. Add in Mid-South and stuff like the Blackwell match from St. Louis and this is not close at all.

 

Mike Enos

Wayne Bloom

 

Well, this is tough because neither of these guys got anything near the chances HHH had, nor did they have an extensive career as a secondary guy like Barry Horowitz. Bloom was actually a very good promo, a big time bumper for a guy his size and could work. Enos was an awesome offensive wrestler, a good bumper, had lots of neat counters, et though he was not a very good promo. I would say both guys were better in the ring, but it is really hard to compare them over all.

 

Ted DiBiase

 

Ted in a walk. Million Dollar Man was a far more memorable gimmick and really that was his low point in a lot of ways. Really awesome brawler and was good as fuck as both a babyface and as a heel. The awesomeness of the brainbuster angle laps any angle that HHH was ever involved with and Dibiase was involved in plenty other memorable one as well.

 

Koko B. Ware

 

I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't take Birdman/High Energy Koko over HHH, but when you factor in Memphis this is another easy pick. Great wrestler in his prime and Trip was never a great wrestler. Probably worth going back to see how much good Koko there is from other periods actually.

 

Dory Funk Jr.

 

I agree that Dory is pretty god damned boring, but so is HHH. I actually liked Dory v. Brody and I fucking hate Brody. Would I like HHH v. Brody? Highly unlikely. Still this feels like a toss up.

 

Haku

 

I fucking love Meng as a character. Just a big fan of the tough gatekeeper to the stars role that he played so well. Sort of like a Mark Henry before there was Mark Henry, though Henry in that role was a better worker. In his younger years he was a very good bumper. The Islanders were an underrated team and I enjoyed him as King Tonga too. Overall I prefer him to HHH and in the ring I'd much rather watch him.

 

Harley Race

 

Not sure I buy Race as Kurt Angle criticism and even if I did I'd take him over HHH. In fact I'm not sure there was ever any point in his career where Harley wasn't better than HHH. Seriously put aside his classic stuff for a second. Harley working sprints v. Tommy Rich, Harley as challenger in the AWA in 90 and having an awesome match at Wrestlerock with Martel, Harley in Puerto Rico, Harley in entertaining brawl v. Hogan and bumping like a loon for JYD, Harley taking huge bumps as Vader's manager. Honestly I'd take Harley from 86-90 over any comparable run from HHH - and that's Harley well past his prime, supposedly carry around a bag of shit for part of the run. Prime Harley? I mean really would you rather watch dock worker, with crazy old man strength and tattoos or Tom of Finland's guy working twent plus minute matches v. Kevin Nash.

 

Tom Zenk

 

I fucking hate Zenk.

 

Tommy Rich

 

We don't have much of prime Rich, when he was the first national star. We do have more than enough Rich as an awesome heel from Memphis, Rich with Mr. Donnie, Rich as the Big Don, Rich in USWA, et to know that Rich was fucking awesome. Absolutely great promo, all time classic facial expressions and heel mannerisms, could work a solid tv match v. Eddie Gilbert even in an out of shape state, post-meth problem still throws better punches than HHH ever has. I would guess if we had more prime Rich he would be considered a top fifty ever candidate.

 

Hulk Hogan

 

Hogan by every metric. Far better interview, far more charismatic, far better look and was a better worker too. HHH's best matches might be better than Hogan's (maybe), but I would rather watch a collection of Hogan v. a collection of HHH.

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Hey, this is a really fun discussion. Here's a few more random ones:

 

Kurt Angle

Keiji Mutoh

Shawn Michaels

Shane Douglas

Rick Steiner

Dean Malenko

Mistico

Taz

Kevin Nash

Scott Hall

King Kong Bundy

Sid Vicious

Raven

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I think Barry Horowitz was better then HHH.......Yes I HATE HHH. I also admit I think a lot of the hate for HHH is a generational thing. If you grew up where your first exposure to wrestling was the Attitude era and after you probably hold him in high regard.

 

To a guy like me who grew up watching the territories, he doesn't even crack the top 100 wrestlers of all time, at least with me anyway.

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K so am I the only guy here who's actually a Dory Jr fan? I get the criticism and his style isn't something I can watch on a regular basis either but when i'm in a certain mood I really enjoy the old school, slower mat style and i'd put his best matches up against almost anyone elses.

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I actually really like some of his matches on the All Japan set. Especially the one with Brody that Dylan mentions and the 8/31/83 tag vs. Hansen and Gordy.

 

Those matches show that when he was in the mood, Dory could show some fire and at least the hint of a personality.

 

However, far too often he stinks up the matches in which he's involved by showing zero emotion at all. Just no ... ooompf. I mean I'm not a Dean Malenko fan and have been one of his bigger critics, but at least Malenko LOOKED like he was calculating and methodical. Dory just looked like he didn't care. That's the thing that I think a lot of people don't like about him.

 

But when he's good, he's pretty good.

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I think Barry Horowitz was better then HHH.......Yes I HATE HHH. I also admit I think a lot of the hate for HHH is a generational thing. If you grew up where your first exposure to wrestling was the Attitude era and after you probably hold him in high regard.

 

To a guy like me who grew up watching the territories, he doesn't even crack the top 100 wrestlers of all time, at least with me anyway.

I think it would be an interesting experiment to go to a more "generic" wrestling board than this one and try out the same thread and see what sort of things people say. I'm not about to sign up to one to find out, but ... I think if someone wins enough titles and spends enough time on top, then people will assume that he must be doing something right. Of course, the main trouble with that is that most of your sample population wouldn't have seen or even heard of a lot of the guys I listed there.

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I kind of feel like Enos, Bloom and Bravo are on the same level as HHH and that everyone else is better.

 

I tend to see HHH as a guy that has no real idea of his strengths or weaknesses. He's not as funny as he thinks he is, he isn't as good in the ring as he thinks he is and he's not as interesting as he thinks he is. So what you're left with is a guy that works matches that are too long for his talent level and he gets too much screen time for his overness/capability of getting over.

 

I've said it about HHH and I've said this about Orton. If you took the sheer amount of effort it took to get them as over as they are and divided it into 4 individual pushes that you could probably have gotten 4 people as over as they are.

 

I think HHH is a career mid-carder who fucked his way to the top. I see little merit to him as an actual worker.

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You say that Loss, but you can be sure that they'll use all the smart terminology, talking about "workers", booking and so on. I'm sure they'd argue that HHH is "a good worker" :D

 

Look at this article, for example: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/438805-...hes-of-all-time

 

Triple H, one of the most hated wrestlers in the business all due to whom he married, which hinders him from being one of the best wrestlers in WWE’s history. To me, despite his “burials” and “holding down talent” theories, HHH will be known to be as a great psychologist.

 

HHH was a unique wrestler to me in the 90s because everyone in WWF was starting to acclimatize to the jumbled brawling, except HHH and a couple others. HHH was more about the fundamentals of wrestling, making him a complete alternative in the Attitude Era.

 

His forte was psychology and storytelling, which was great to see. His heel work has also been his forte.

 

His style was a mixture of the all time greats - Harley Race, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair. His work was at is apex in early 2000 to early 2001.

 

He had handfuls of great matches during that era with wrestlers such as Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and many more.

 

After he injured his quad, his work became more by-the-numbers and less interesting. HHH can still have a good match here and there, but he never reached the level of consistency prior to his quad injury.

 

Nonetheless, let's count them down.

The point is, to a certain generation, regardless of the type of fan they are, HHH is "a great".

 

There's such a massive gap between this sort of view of HHH and Dylan's that I have to wonder if there might be some exaggeration on both sides. I'm not saying that there IS, just wondering about it.

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Those people are wrong.

 

I could convince people that the Earth is flat too. Just because a bunch of people believe something to be true does not make it so. Also those people believe that because they've been fed 12 years of propaganda that HHH is a "great".

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Dory Funk Jr.

 

I agree that Dory is pretty god damned boring, but so is HHH. I actually liked Dory v. Brody and I fucking hate Brody. Would I like HHH v. Brody? Highly unlikely. Still this feels like a toss up.

Who are you kidding, Brody kicking the piss out of HHH and refusing to cooperate with his bullshit would be goddamn awesome.

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Those people are wrong.

 

I could convince people that the Earth is flat too. Just because a bunch of people believe something to be true does not make it so. Also those people believe that because they've been fed 12 years of propaganda that HHH is a "great".

It's not quite the same thing, though. You can prove that the earth isn't flat with hard, indisputable mathematics. You certainly can't prove in a similarly concrete fashion that one artistic performer is better than another. The only quantifiable metric we have is the amount of houses/ratings/buyrates drawn; and by that scale, HHH actually ranks right up at the top of the list. (Of course with a big asterisk for various reasons, but still.) And I don't even like Captain Trips more than most of the other wrestlers listed in this thread, but my point is that it's not any kind of objectively provable argument.

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You say that Loss, but you can be sure that they'll use all the smart terminology, talking about "workers", booking and so on. I'm sure they'd argue that HHH is "a good worker" :D

 

Look at this article, for example: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/438805-...hes-of-all-time

 

Triple H, one of the most hated wrestlers in the business all due to whom he married, which hinders him from being one of the best wrestlers in WWE’s history. To me, despite his “burials” and “holding down talent” theories, HHH will be known to be as a great psychologist.

 

HHH was a unique wrestler to me in the 90s because everyone in WWF was starting to acclimatize to the jumbled brawling, except HHH and a couple others. HHH was more about the fundamentals of wrestling, making him a complete alternative in the Attitude Era.

 

His forte was psychology and storytelling, which was great to see. His heel work has also been his forte.

 

His style was a mixture of the all time greats - Harley Race, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair. His work was at is apex in early 2000 to early 2001.

 

He had handfuls of great matches during that era with wrestlers such as Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and many more.

 

After he injured his quad, his work became more by-the-numbers and less interesting. HHH can still have a good match here and there, but he never reached the level of consistency prior to his quad injury.

 

Nonetheless, let's count them down.

The point is, to a certain generation, regardless of the type of fan they are, HHH is "a great".

 

There's such a massive gap between this sort of view of HHH and Dylan's that I have to wonder if there might be some exaggeration on both sides. I'm not saying that there IS, just wondering about it.

 

 

 

Maybe I don't get it but I read that guys defense of HHH and I don't see it. His mixture of Race,Arn and Flair.....Um what?

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HHH was a unique wrestler to me in the 90s because everyone in WWF was starting to acclimatize to the jumbled brawling, except HHH and a couple others. HHH was more about the fundamentals of wrestling, making him a complete alternative in the Attitude Era.

What? Say what you want about 2000s HHH, but 90s HHH was working the same garbagey brawls as everyone else.

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It's the usual BS you get about how HHH was this huge NWA fan and blahblahblah...

 

I thought the article was shit. HHH pre-quad was a guy that had a primarily knee based offense. Was a weak talker and you could argue that he was the 4th or 5th most over person in DX at any given time. And his big bouts of overness were because of Foley/Austin/Rock. I know Scott Keith is derided by a lot of people but his breakdown in early 1999 of why HHH was a bad choice for WWE Champion really is a good argument against him as a good worker.

 

A really telling thing about HHH is on the History of the WWE Championship DVD set. They do a video history of all the title changes. All of the changes got big reactions from the crowd until you get to the first 2-3 HHH title wins. Those were met with huge indifference. He really owes Foley a lot for making people give a shit about him.

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