That notion was hopefully put to sleep once and for all at SummerSlam when Trips got a match out of Khali that was both passable and dramatic. Iâ<80><99>m a Trips fan, but I still bet against that one. When you look at the entire oeuvre of Triple H â<80>” and view his work without malice aforethought â<80>” itâ<80><99>s impossible to not conclude that he is among the very best of his generation.
I put the criticism of Internet blowhards down to jealousy â<80>” jealous that they canâ<80><99>t get a girl like Stephanie, jealous that they canâ<80><99>t get, er, a girl like Chyna, jealous that they canâ<80><99>t touch the pleasure parts of any McMahon regardless of sex, jealous that they donâ<80><99>t know Motorhead, jealous that they never hung out with Ric Flair, jealous that theyâ<80><99>re not 12-time champions.
I donâ<80><99>t blame you. Itâ<80><99>s a lot to be jealous of.
Trips has a couple flaws: Heâ<80><99>ll bigfoot the occasional storyline. And no matter what he thinks, he just isnâ<80><99>t funny.
But Trips has headlined a lot of big-money pay-per-views. The live crowd buys him as a legit badass. He does great, intense promos. Unlike say, Kurt Angle, he mostly understands whatâ<80><99>s best for his character. He has elevated lesser stars via his presence in groups like Evolution and DX, especially Batista.
His work is vastly underrated. He’s a latter-day Harley Race. Trips works a very deliberate style without looking slow. Everything he does seems reasoned and logical, except when it makes sense to be ill-reasoned and illogical. Heâ<80><99>s very reminiscent of Race and Johnny Valentine, two pretty good workers to be compared to. Triple H has that Flair intangible, too. He keeps the crowd hooked.
Add it all up. Triple H is probably the best in the business right now, period.
Why Internet jerks dislike him, I really donâ<80><99>t know. Internet geeks like to prove theyâ<80><99>re smarter than the average bear by ignoring the obvious and using an irrelevant set of standards to choose â<80><9c>stars.â<80>
Take, for example, Bryan Danielson of ROH. Good little worker. But give my promotion Triple H, yours can have Danielson, take a year to build up both and see who sells more tickets. It wouldnâ<80><99>t even be remotely close. Yet a quorum of Internet boobs have crowned Danielson â<80><9c>the best worker in the world.â<80> He couldnâ<80><99>t draw real money if you dipped him in superglue and dragged him through a bank vault.
I donâ<80><99>t often quote Hulk Hogan, but once, when he was asked who the best worker in wrestling was, he replied, â<80><9c>The guy with the most money.â<80> He wasnâ<80><99>t far off.
GAIL KIM LEAVES TNA
Ordinarily, Iâ<80><99>d say, â<80><9c>Who cares?
But given that the Knockouts segments do better than most within the context of TNA Impact, maybe Kimâ<80><99>s departure is a big loss.
Nah, Iâ<80><99>ll stick with â<80><9c>Who cares?â<80> Maybe the Knockouts segments outdo the rest of the show because the rest of the show sucks out loud. Kim is a solid talent, a hot dish and a good worker for, well, you know, a girl. But since the days of Mildred Burke, Penny Banner and their ilk, few chicks have drawn money. Kim and the other Knockouts have popped some decent ratings. But thatâ<80><99>s not drawing money.
Shelly Martinez and Traci Brooks could draw money. A dollar at a time, that is.
Still, thereâ<80><99>s something about those two. Four things, to be exact. I was backstage at an indie show talking to a TNA wrestler, and I mentioned that I thought Brooks was super hot. He rolled his eyes, so I said, â<80><9c>Well, I like that burnt-out stripper look.â<80> The reply: â<80><9c>Sheâ<80><99>s DEFINITELY for you, then.â<80>
What women have drawn real money in the modern era? Elizabeth, with her work in the Hogan-Savage split. Sunny and Sable sold a lot of merchandise. Chyna was an intriguing freak show. And thatâ<80><99>s about it. One thing is certain: Women actually WRESTLING hasnâ<80><99>t been a legit attraction in a long time. So Kim leaving TNA is no big deal, even if â<80>” as presumed â<80>” she arrives back in WWE tout de suite.
MEAN GENE, COME ON IN HEREâ<80>¦
When I worked for WCW, I used to bad-mouth Hogan all the time. I probably shouldnâ<80><99>t have, but Iâ<80><99>m a lifelong Flair guy, and Hogan used to sabotage Ric way too often for my liking. Also, when Hogan took out more than he drew, it didnâ<80><99>t matter if the crowd was HUGE, we were still failing. It didnâ<80><99>t make sense to me, but WCW was always run by Hogan marks until Vince Russo arrived.
Once, a wrestler (who shall remain nameless) said, â<80><9c>Look, Hogan hears about it every time you blast him, and that canâ<80><99>t be good.â<80>
I replied, â<80><9c>How does he hear about it?â<80>
The wrestler said, â<80><9c>Put it this way â<80>” tonight, when you go to the bar after the show, badmouth me in front of Okerlund.â<80>
I did. The next day, said wrestler repeated â<80>” almost word for word â<80>” everything bad Iâ<80><99>d said about him. Mean Gene ran right to him with the dirt.
Okerlund lasted as long as he did in wrestling because he was the best interview guy ever, no doubt about that. But being stooge to the stars sure didnâ<80><99>t hurt.