Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
No Holds Barred
The Undertaker vs. Triple H
It's been well over a year and half since this match happened. Watching this live on ppv, I thought it was absolutely incredible. On first watch I seriously contemplated giving it the full 5 stars. I thought it was THAT good. Now, on this day, I think it's time to finally give it a proper rewatch and see how it holds up. Oh how feelings change...
First let's start with the good stuff. That being the beginning of the match. Instantly from the bell Trips looks on top of his game. He knows Taker normally charges straight for his opponent, so he decided to jump the gun and charges him first. Lands some nice looking body shots while managing to duck all of Taker's blows. Also, he counters old school and tosses him off the top rope. Nice little touches there, the Game knows his opponent well. Everything so far seemes to be done with much more force than a normal match. This one's sure as hell gonna be physical. Then we get on to some of the more memorable moments of the match; the spots. The backdrop off the announce table makes me cringe every time. Hunter could've easily broken a hip or severely damaged his back. The spinebuster through the announce table was something different and unexpected. Can't complain there. Essentially everything up to this exact point has been flat out awesome. They're destined to have an amazing match. BUT, I speak too soon.
Now the middle of the match. Man, I didn't realize how much this dragged. It started with a chokeslam for a 2 count. Ok, nothing wrong there. Well then we get a pedigree for a 2 count. No big deal, you knew that was gonna happen. Problem was at this point they're basically laying on the mat for at least 1-2 minutes after every big move. Now I know they've already taken a lot of punishment, but this isn't even selling anymore. It's just really really slow. Big move, near fall, lay down. I never realized all these complaints were actually true until now. What made it even worse was that FUCKING REF. I can't stand the way Scott Armstrong counts. It's so slow and deliberate, seemingly nothing is believable when it comes to nearfalls. The middle part of this match flat out sucked, I'll be honest. There were times when I just wanted to fast forward through it and not a single one of the pinfalls were believable finishes. But now that that's over, we get to the true aspect of why I loved this match so much at one time.
So we'll fast forward to Hunter's 3rd (and final) pedigree. He gets a 2 count of course (didn't believe this nearfall either) and seems to be thinking "what the hell do I have to do?" Then shit gets real. He grabs the chair and beats the living fuck out of Undertaker's back. Welts all across his side. Still Taker won't stay down. Taker stands up, gets WALLOPED over the head with the chair. Yeah, that was incredibly shocking considering that's been outlawed by the WWE. But see, these guys are the last outlaws. They don't give a fuck. So Taker's out in the middle of the ring. This is what puzzles me. Why wouldn't Triple H go for the cover? Instead he huddles in a corner, seemingly thinking to himself, "man, I'm gonna get fined for that shot..." No, but really. It's ok though because that would lead to one of the most amazing moments in all of Wrestlemania's history.
Taker is absolutely out of gas. He doesn't have the grip to go for the chokeslam, so Hunter's done fuckin around. It's TOMBSTONE time! Trips gives the signal, cleanly picks him up, and NAILS him with an absolutely perfect looking tombstone piledriver. This one's over folks. One, two, thr.. NO! The fucking Undertaker just kicked out. I kid you not, this was the ONLY time in 18 years I had EVER thought the streak was gonna be over. I still marked out on this watch, it still gave me goosebumps. Such an awesome moment. Problem was, as soon as he kicked out I knew there was not a chance in hell Triple H was walking out with a victory tonight. Time to resort to old measures.
Sledgehammer time? Not today, Paul. The Undertaker (sloppily) applies his Hell's Gate submission and chokes the life out of Hunter. The execution itself wasn't all that great but I'll be damned if they didn't do everything right past that moment. Hunter trying with absolutely everything he had to get out was fantastic. You could see the spot where he was going to attempt to pick Taker's entire body up and slam him but he just didn't have the strength. The crowd is eating this up of course, and when Triple H grabs the sledgehammer, you can hear thousands of people yell OH! over all the ruckus. As he slowly drops the hammer and his grip fades along with any ounces of strength he had left, you know the end is near.
Triple H taps at Wrestlemania... again. The last several minutes of this match are an absolutely amazing spectacle, there's no denying that. The symbolism behind the closing minutes is remarkable. Remember, Triple said he would end the streak or die trying, but in the end was Undertaker the real winner? Triple H walked out on his own power. Taker could not. As difficult as this match is to rate, I'm gonna do it. The beginning was great and the end was incredible, but the middle portion really drags it down imo. Still, what an amazing spectacle. Although nowhere near my MOTY list for 2011 list anymore, it's a great watch in spots.
Last edited by Corey; 12-14-2012 at 12:09 AM.