Wheel Man for SCOTT STEINER
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Halifax, NS
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Re: The 2011 MOTYC Thread
So. Triple H vs. the Undertaker. Seems to have caused some controversy here. Here are my thoughts on the match:
First off, it was entirely a finisher/kickout spotfest. Crabtree and others are right about that.
However, to criticize the match because of that is like criticizing the Divine Comedy for talking about God too much; that is to say, completely missing the point.
Going into the match, nobody thought Triple H was going to win. Nobody beats the Undertaker at WrestleMania. But Triple H was going to try. Like others have said, he's not Shawn putting his career on the line. He's got nothing to lose, he's going to go all out and try and kill Taker. And he does.
Yes, the opening portion is slow. Yes, there's a lot of stalling. But the match has the one absolutely amazing moment that entirely makes up for the slow pace. When Triple H hits Undertaker with Taker's own finisher, after several chairshots, including one to the head (is this rare in WWE nowadays? I think it is, but I don't watch WWE so I'm not sure), and three Pedigrees, and Taker kicks out. The actual kickout isn't all that notable, deep down everyone knew it was coming. The Undertaker doesn't lose at WrestleMania.
It's the way Triple H reacts to that kickout that makes the match. You can practically see his thought process after the kickout. He scurries away, thinking "holy shit, how the fuck did he kick out of that, he's not human" as the crowd pops like crazy. Hunter then decides he's got to kill it with a fucking sledgehammer, so he goes and gets the sledgehammer that is under the ring because it's WWE and there is always a sledgehammer under the ring. Whatever.
Anyway, before Triple H can use the sledgehammer to kill whatever it is that possesses the Undertaker at WrestleMania, Taker locks in Hell's Gate, and after pretty much an eternity of feeling around for the sledgehammer, Triple H finds it, but then drops it and taps out. The Undertaker doesn't lose at WrestleMania.
And then the bell rings and suddenly Taker's mortal again. He can't stand up and gets stretchered out. He's not the same as he was during the match. Something happens to him from bell to bell at WrestleMania that makes it absolutely impossible for him to lose. It's kind of eerie, honestly.
Yes, the actual wrestling kind of sucked if you look at it through the lens of having watched six hours of ROH in the two previous days. But fuck it, I thoroughly enjoyed the match despite that.
So what star rating am I giving it? I'm not. Star ratings are great for wrestling that tries to be the best scripted athletic competition, where they claim they are the best wrestling in the world. They're a quick comparison point and are excellent for that provided you are comparing two like things. But you can't rate lots of different apples, then try and rate an orange on the same criteria. There's nothing wrong with liking both, or only one or the other, but I'm going to restrict my serious star ratings and MOTY considerations to matches where star ratings actually apply, which is not this match. Star ratings can also apply to WWE matches if you want them to, but I don't think they can be rated on the same scale as indy/Japan stuff, personally.
However, I would say I agree far more with the people saying ****1/2 or so than the people saying it sucked.
This is the other wrestling section. It's still fake to us.