Triple H: The King of Kings

DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008

MATCH #1: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. John Crystal, Raw, 5.22.95

They lock up to start and Crystal goes for the arm. Helmsley counters it and goes for the arm himself. Crystal counters and Helmsley breaks it up by going to the ropes. Helmsley backs Crystal into the corner and slaps him a couple of times. A few European Uppercuts follow. Helmsley hits a leg lariat and I laugh while trying to picture him doing that today. He hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and avoids a right hand from Crystal. Helmsley follows it up with a Diamond Cutter for the win at 3:09. Typical mid-‘90s jobber match, and I’m sure no one would have predicted the star Helmsley would become.
Rating: ¾*

MATCH #2: WWE Intercontinental Championship Match – Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Marc Mero, Raw, 10.21.96

This was supposed to be Mr. Perfect’s big return to the ring. Perfect comes down with Marc Mero, Sable, and Gorilla Monsoon. Jim Ross is in the ring to get the scoop as a “Hump His Face Goldust” sign makes it right on camera. Monsoon says he will not allow Perfect to wrestle tonight. Perfect announces that Mero will take his place tonight, and Helmsley agrees as long as the IC Title is on the line. Mero has been the champion since 9.23.96, and this is his second defense.

We come back from commercial with Mero dominating Helmsley. Perfect joins the commentary team. Sable slaps Helmsley in the face so he goes after her, and Mero doesn’t take too kindly to that. Mero hits a sunset flip for two. They trade some more pinning combinations for near falls. Helmsley hits the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to take the advantage. Helmsley drops a knee for two. A Harley Race high knee gets another near fall for Helmsley. Perfect is pretty concerned with the fans’ feelings here. Mero makes a brief comeback but Helmsley cuts him off with a clothesline and we go to commercial. We come back to Mero hitting a slingshot legdrop for a near fall. Mero hits a Samoan Drop and goes up for the Wild Thing, but Helmsley pushes the referee into the ropes, knocking him down. Helmsley goes up for a superplex but Mero drops him on his face and hits the Merosault for two. Both are up now and the referee takes a bump. Helmsley grabs a chair and Sable tries to stop him, and Perfect actually succeeds and takes the chair. Then in a shocking swerve (at least when I first watched this match when I was 14), Perfect clocks Mero with the chair! Helmsley picks Mero up and delivers the Pedigree to get the pin and win his first title at 6:40 (shown). That was a big deal for me at the time because I was such a big fan of both Mero and Perfect (and disliked Helmsley but liked seeing him), and the match was pretty solid for a 1996 TV main event.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: King of the Ring Final Match – Mankind vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, King of the Ring, 6.8.97

Mankind beat Savio Vega and Jerry Lawler to get here, while Hunter beat Crush and Ahmed Johnson (after he lost to Johnson in the first round he received another chance). I believe this was the only King of the Ring tournament to have only eight guys from start to finish (actually seven, since Hunter took two spots). Helmsley starts with the headlock. Mankind shrugs it off but Helmsley goes right back to it. Oh boy. Mankind hits a back elbow and stomps on Helmsley. Helmsley takes a powder and comes back in the ring to rake the eyes and kick away on Mankind, sending him to the floor. Helmsley follows him, and Mankind takes advantage, slamming him into the guardrail. Mankind gets back in the ring. In the intro to this match I think Helmsley said this was their first match, but JR notes that they fought on Shotgun Saturday Night a few weeks ago. Wrestlers have terrible memories. Anyway Helmsley is in control and hits a neckbreaker. JR notes that Helmsley has “cerebral abilities,” a precursor to the nickname JR would give him later on. The crowd is just dead for everything they do here. Chyna gets in a shot and the crowd pops more for that than anything Helmsley has done. Mankind hits a low blow on Helmsley, buying a little time. Mankind charges at Helmsley but hangs himself in the ropes and loses his mask while falling to the floor. He puts the mask back on right away of course. He almost backs right into Chyna, and Helmsley hits a baseball slide and his head hits the guardrail. Helmsley slams him into the stairs. Back in the ring Helmsley stays in control and uses his knee a lot. Mankind comes back with a stun gun and gets a near fall. Mankind uses the same move again for another near fall. He stays in control for a bit and throws Helmsley to the floor and hits a back body drop. He hits the flying elbow off the apron and moves the match back into the ring. He hits a Double Arm DDT and Chyna distracts the referee. Helmsley kicks out at two. He tries the Pedigree but Mankind back body drops him and Helmsley tries a sunset flip but Mankind gets the Mandible Claw on. Chyna blatantly interferes and pulls Mankind to the floor. Helmsley hits a neckbreaker against the ropes and Mankind falls back to the floor. He crawls back in and Helmsley pulls his mask off and goes to the top rope.

Mankind runs over and puts on the Mandible Claw with Helmsley on the top rope. He escapes it by thumbing Mankind in the eye. Mankind hits an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline for two. He hits the running clothesline that sends both of them over the ropes. He tries an elbow off the apron but Chyna pulls Helmsley out of the way and Mankind takes another head bump into the guardrail. The referee yells at Chyna as Helmsley throws Mankind into the steps. He sets Mankind up on the announce table and hits the Pedigree on it. Helmsley gets back in the ring and Mankind tries to as well, but Chyna breaks the scepter on the back of his head behind the referee’s back. Helmsley hits a running knee and Mankind falls backwards onto a photographer. He rolls Mankind back into the ring and covers him with one hand and Mankind kicks out. The crowd is finally woken up a bit and is getting behind Mankind. Helmsley picks him up and delivers the Pedigree and this bore-fest is finally over at 19:25. For two guys I like a lot and for what they would go on to do later, this match was a shocking mess or uninteresting brawling and meandering around. Helmsley didn’t have the move-set to go almost 20 minutes at this point, and Mankind never had much offense, so they really struggled here. Todd Pettengill is there for the coronation, and Helmsley puts the cape on, but smashes the crown on Mankind.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #4: WWE European Championship Match – Owen Hart vs. Triple H, WrestleMania XIV, 3.29.98

Triple H won the European Title back from Owen on 3.16.98, and this is his first defense. Chyna is handcuffed to Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter at ringside. Owen attacks right away and hits an Irish whip to the corner and a back body drop and he has Helmsley reeling. He goes to the mounted punches in the corner. He follows that up with a rana for a near fall. Helmsley reverses a whip and hits a back elbow and kicks Owen to the floor. Chyna takes a swing at him but Slaughter holds her back. Helmsley tries to take advantage of the distraction but winds up getting tossed into the guardrail. Back in the ring Helmsley tries a Thesz Press but Owen catches him and tries a Sharpshooter. Owen lowers his head and Helmsley hits the knee to the face. He backs Owen into the corner and chops, punches, and kicks him down. He hits the Harley Race knee for two. He hits a boot in the corner and a DDT for two. He goes to work on the ankle, as JR tells us that Owen just got his cast off today. Owen comes back and charges in the corner and avoids the boot to the face and pulls Helmsley crotch-first back into the ring post. A missile dropkick gets two. A belly-to-belly suplex also gets two. A leg lariat gets another near fall. Owen hits an enziguiri and hurts his own ankle. Chyna wants to interfere but Slaughter pulls her back. Owen tries another rana but Helmsley blocks it and hits a powerbomb. Helmsley puts Owen up top and Owen knocks him down and hits a high cross body for two. Helmsley comes back and tries the Pedigree, which Owen counters to a Sharpshooter attempt. Helmsley kicks him off, and Owen falls down landing his head right on HHH’s nuts. Owen counters another Pedigree attempt into the Sharpshooter. Chyna is able to help HHH reach the ropes, even with Slaughter trying to hold her back. Owen is pissed about that. Chyna throws powder into Slaughter’s eyes and Owen goes after her. HHH distracts the referee and Chyna hits a low blow and HHH finally hits the Pedigree to get the pin at 11:29. The wrestling was really good and the addition of Slaughter and Chyna at ringside was fun. After the match Chyna beats up Slaughter just for fun. Before she got crazy she was great.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: WWE Championship Match – Mankind vs. Triple H, Raw, 8.23.99

Mankind won the title at SummerSlam the night before so this is his first defense. The Rock comes out to do color commentary and Shane McMahon is out to be the special referee. Mankind comes right into the ring and the fight is on. Rock is great on commentary, totally burying both Billy Gunn and Gangrel, while asking “who’s booking this crap?” Mankind gets a cover but Shane pretends to be distracted. Mankind pulls Mr. Socko. Instead of putting it on HHH he applies it to the referee instead and tosses him over the top rope. That gives HHH the chance to recover and he tries a Pedigree. Mankind backdrops him and HHH tries the sunset flip, but Mankind puts Socko on. Chyna, who earlier was laid out with a guitar by Jeff Jarrett, comes out to try and help, but she tastes Socko as well. Mankind hits the Double Arm DDT but there’s no referee to count. Earl Hebner comes racing down but can only get a two count. They fight outside the ring and by the announce table, and they spill soda on the Rock’s $600 shoes, and that just pisses him off. Chyna helps HHH gain the advantage and back in the ring he gets a near fall. HHH tosses Mankind’s shoulder into the ring post. Mankind tries to comeback but HHH hits the Harley Race knee and Rock proclaims “Mankind sucks.” He then tells Michael Cole to shut his mouth and enjoy The Rock’s electricity. Mankind punches his way out of the corner and hits a clothesline for two. Shane has been down for an inordinate amount of time. They fight over by the commentary table and Mankind gets distracted by Rock, allowing Shane to hit him with a chair. Mankind shrugs it off but can’t shrug off a shot from HHH. He then hits Rock in the head with the chair for fun. Shane takes Hebner out and back in the ring HHH delivers the Pedigree to pin Mankind and win his first WWE Championship at 8:42. The Rock totally overshadowed the match on commentary, but the crowd was hot and it was pretty fun historically important.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: No Holds Barred WWE Championship Match – Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, No Mercy, 10.17.99

This is Austin’s first match since dropping the title at SummerSlam back in August. Helmsley has been the champion since 9.26.99 and this is his fourth defense. Vince McMahon (before grey hair) comes out during HHH’s entrance and grabs his sledgehammer, despite this being a No Holds Barred match. This gives Austin the chance to attack and we’re underway.

They brawl back by the technical equipment and Austin is firmly in control. They fight in the crowd and Austin uses some fan’s crutch to beat on the champion. Austin uses a camera crane to bash HHH in the face. They fight up the aisle and HHH makes a brief comeback but Austin reverses a suplex. He drops HHH nuts-first on the guardrail and clotheslines him into the crowd again. Austin throws HHH into the referee and they’re both down. HHH slams Austin’s face into the steps and the announce table. They finally get into the ring. Austin hits a quick Stunner but the ref is down so there’s no count. The referee almost makes it back to the ring but Austin tries another Stunner and HHH pushes him off into the ref and he’s down again. HHH hits the Pedigree and Earl Hebner makes his way to the ring but not in time to count three. HHH is pissed at him and they argue, giving Austin the chance to come back and hit the Thesz Press. They go back outside by the announce table and Austin uses JR’s headset to choke the champion. Back in the ring HHH is busted open. Austin continues to hammer away. HHH soon takes over and cuts off Austin’s comeback with a back elbow. HHH misses a knee but then starts going after Austin’s injured knee. He works it over for a few minutes and then a chair gets introduced but no one gets hit with it yet. Austin comes back and hits a superplex but HHH kicks out. Austin finally gets the use the chair and he unloads on HHH the same way HHH did to him back at SummerSlam. The Rock comes down to try and interfere, going for HHH with the sledgehammer but he hits Austin instead. HHH gives Rock the Pedigree and then pins Austin at 21:54. The ending was a little silly, but they wanted to set up a three-way for the next pay-per-view, so I guess it’s alright. It would have done a lot more for HHH’s credibility as champion if he just beat Austin clean, especially since Austin was about to be gone for a year anyway. Even so the match was a good brawl, but a far cry from what they would do just over a year later. The fight continues to the back and HHH gets in a limo with Chyna and drives away.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #7: Career vs. WWE Title Hell in a Cell Match – Triple H vs. Cactus Jack, No Way Out, 2.27.00

Triple H has been the champion since 1.3.00, and this is his fourth defense. Their match at the Royal Rumble the month prior to this is one of my favorite matches of all-time. Cactus has promised to jump off the top of the cage, but HHH has rigged the door with tons of padlocks, so it will be tough for him. They start throwing hands in the ring and Cactus takes the first advantage. Cactus really wants to go out the door but he still can’t, and HHH delivers a low blow and takes the advantage. Cactus dumps HHH over the ropes and they fight around the ringside area. HHH uses the ring steps and a steel chair to abuse the challenger. A DDT by HHH gets a near fall. He tries to hit Cactus with the chair again but Cactus gets a fist to the midsection and then slams the chair into HHH’s groin. He hits a Double Arm DDT on the chair but HHH kicks out. HHH comes back and clotheslines Jack over the ropes. He tries a Pedigree on the steps but Cactus counters to a catapult into the cage wall. HHH is busted open now. Cactus stays in control and hits the Cactus Elbow with the help of a steel chair. He throws the steps at HHH and he moves, but it hits the cage wall and opens it up, giving Cactus the opening he needs; and good for the crowd for popping for it.

He runs himself through the door and cuts his arm open, and then throws HHH through it as well. Cactus hits a piledriver on the announce table. Cactus brings out the barbed wire 2×4 and hits HHH in the face with it. HHH climbs up the cage to escape and Cactus follows. He gets near the top and stupidly throws the 2×4 up there, and HHH uses it against him. He knocks Cactus off the cage through the Spanish Announce Table below. Cactus tries to throw chairs up on the cage, but climbs up without one anyway. HHH is waiting for him up there. He nails Cactus with the 2×4. Cactus comes back with a low blow and slugs away at the champion. HHH almost accidentally falls through the cage. Cactus suplexes HHH out of the corner and follows it up with a Double Arm DDT. Cactus gets a lighter out and lights the 2×4 on fire. He motions for a piledriver on the flaming 2×4, but HHH back drops him and Cactus falls through the cage and the ring breaks on impact. HHH climbs down and surveys his damage. Cactus moves his hand and he’s still alive! HHH hits two punches to the face and then ends the match with the Pedigree at 23:57. The ending was a little anti-climactic, but the bulk of the match was a great brawl with some creative spots and a fitting swan song (if only) for Foley.
Rating: ****¼

~DISC TWO~

MATCH #8: 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H, Armageddon, 12.15.02

Michaels has been the champion since 11.17.02 and this is his second defense. Earl Hebner gives Ric Flair the boot before the match even starts, and that’s a good call. They start off running and Shawn skins the cat early on. It’s a street fight so HHH grabs a garbage can from under the ring and they do a goofy looking spot with it. They brawl around on the floor and Shawn sets up a table. Shawn tries some high risk moves but the Game has counters for them. HHH has his leg bandaged and he’s either selling it really well or he’s in pain. There are two tables set up on the floor now, and HHH tries to suplex Shawn from the ring to the floor but Shawn reverses it and drops HHH to the mat. HHH comes back with a high knee. He tries to give Shawn a backbreaker onto a seated chair, but Shawn reverses it to one of his own. They go out to the floor and Shawn focuses on the hurt back. Back in the ring Shawn goes for the Superkick but HHH blocks it and now goes to work on the knee. HHH even uses the Figure-Four Leglock but Shawn won’t quit. Shawn turns it over but HHH quickly gets out. He gets up and cranks Shawn in the face with a garbage can lid for two. They fight outside the ring and all the way up the aisle. HHH finds a barbed wire 2×4 that someone had stashed away somewhere. He decides to light it on fire first. Shawn kicks him before he can get hit with it, and now he picks up the board and hits HHH in the face with it. HHH is busted open now. Back in the ring Shawn uses more plunder to keep the advantage. HHH makes a comeback and tries the Pedigree but Shawn hits a low blow. HHH perseveres and hits the Pedigree and pins Shawn to win the first fall at 20:32.

Now we start the cage match, and HHH makes sure to put some more weapons in the ring before the cage lowers all the way. You can win by pinfall or escaping the cage. HHH continues to dominate in the early goings of the second fall here. Shawn comes back and rams HHH’s face into the cage a few times and follows with a Thesz Press. Shawn’s been busted open somewhere along the line here as well. HHH tries to climb out, and dangles for a second before Shawn pulls him back in. They’re both straddling the top of the cage now, as Ric Flair makes his way back to ringside and he sets two more tables on top of the other two that were already up. They get off the cage and Shawn hits a Savage Elbow and sets up for Sweet Chin Music. Flair gets in the ring and comes after Shawn with a chair and gets beaten up for his troubles, even getting color. The distraction allows HHH to try the Pedigree but Shawn back body drops him and nails Flair and then HHH both with Sweet Chin Music. Shawn sets up a table and puts HHH on it. He goes to the top of the cage and hits a big splash to pin HHH and even it up at 31:08.

Now we start the ladder match. The ladder becomes involved right away and Shawn uses it as a weapon first. He suplexes HHH but misses the ladder. Shawn sets the ladder up in the corner and goes for a splash but HHH mostly moves out of the way. HHH hits the Pedigree and climbs up. Shawn pulls him down and hits a Superkick, sending HHH to the floor. Shawn climbs up and almost grabs the belt but HHH recovers and tips it over, sending Shawn crashing through the four tables set up at ringside. That gives HHH the necessary time to climb the ladder and win the World Title for a second time at 38:32. The crowd was pretty quiet for a majority of that match and I don’t blame them. It wasn’t bad, and I think if they had just done a street fight, or just a cage match, or just a ladder match, it could have been very good, but they burned the crowd out and simply went too long. Triple H earlier said their matches kept getting better, but this one isn’t even as close to as good as Shawn’s comeback match from SummerSlam just a few months prior to this.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #9: Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Batista vs. Triple H, Vengeance, 6.26.05

Batista has been the champion since 4.3.05, and this is his third defense. HHH attacks right away but Batista quickly makes a comeback and nails a side slam. They go to the floor but HHH doesn’t want to fight Batista out there so he gets back into the ring. Batista doesn’t care what the challenger wants though, and they go back to the floor and the champ whips him into the cage walls. HHH comes back and rams Batista into the ring post. Back in the ring HHH drops Batista’s neck on the top rope. HHH runs at Batista with an elbow and knocks him off the apron. He continues to control the larger champion, and goes under the ring to grab a chain from a helpful toolbox. He whips Batista with the chain a few times. Batista comes back and gets control of the chain, and he gives HHH the same treatment. HHH rolls to the floor and Batista follows him out and rams his back into the post, the wall, and then the post again. HHH’s face gets rammed into the cell, and now he’s busted open. He comes back with a spinebuster though. He goes out under the ring and finds a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire under the ring. He nails Batista in the back with it. He hits him one more time and Batista’s back is bleeding now. They trade some maneuvers, and both go down when Batista levels HHH with a clothesline. He gets up and grabs the barbed wire chair and levels HHH in the face with it. He rubs it in HHH’s face, literally.

They go back outside the ring and Batista rubs HHH’s face against the wall of the cell. Back in the ring Batista rams his shoulder into HHH’s midsection, but then misses a charge and his shoulder hits the ring post. HHH goes for the Pedigree on the barbed wire chair but gets back dropped instead. He powerslams HHH on the barbed wire chair and it only gets two. Batista goes back to the chain. HHH reverses it to a DDT onto The chair and both men are down. Batista is busted open now as well. HHH pulls out the sledgehammer. Batista knocks it out of his hand and they slug away. Batista goes for the Batista Bomb but HHH backdrops him. HHH hits Batista with the sledgehammer but he kicks out. HHH goes to hit him again but Batista kicks him in the groin. Batista gets the hammer now but HHH had wrapped the chain around his fist and he levels Batista with it but once again he kicks out. HHH goes up to the top rope with the chain but Batista sticks the sledgehammer up in his chin. Batista whips HHH into the corner and he flips to the floor. Batista brings the steel steps into the ring and sets them up in the corner and bounces HHH’s face off them a few times. Batista goes for the Batista Bomb but HHH goes low and hits the Pedigree. Batista kicks out! HHH sets up the steps and goes for another Pedigree, but Batista counters it to a nasty spinebuster on them. HHH grabs the sledgehammer but Batista is able to hit him with the Batista Bomb first, and that finally gets the pin at 26:53. That has to be the best match Batista will ever have, and it was brutal and nasty and awesome. I was worried this one might not hold up over time, but it really has and it’s one of the best WWE matches of 2005.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #10: Last Man Standing Match – Ric Flair vs. Triple H, Survivor Series, 11.27.05

Ric Flair’s Intercontinental Title is not on the line here. HHH attacks Flair in the aisle before Flair can even take his robe off. They make their way to the ring and HHH is in control. Flair rolls out of the ring and HHH follows him out and grabs a chair. Flair surprisingly busts out a Kendo Stick and knocks HHH into the crowd with it and then chops away. HHH takes over and goes to work and suplexes Flair on the floor. Flair gets up around five and HHH suplexes him back into the ring. HHH works on the back. Flair tries to fight up out of the corner, but HHH dumps him to the floor. He rams Flair’s face into the ring post and grabs a screwdriver from the toolbox. He digs it into Flair’s forehead a bunch of times and Flair is busted open badly. HHH drops the knee to do more damage to Flair’s super bloody head. Flair chops his way out of the corner and HHH dumps him to the floor again and continues working the head. Flair reverses a whip and sends HHH crashing into the stairs. Unfortunately for him HHH comes right back with a spinebuster, and Flair thuds loudly on the floor. HHH taunts Flair on the microphone, and Flair is up at seven. Flair counteracts with a nut claw so HHH hits him in the head with the mic. He puts Flair on the table and goes for the Pedigree. Flair back body drops him and HHH takes a nasty bump between the two tables. Flair makes his way back to the ring. HHH barely makes his way to his feet at nine. The fight resumes in the ring. HHH thinks about using a chair but abandons it. HHH hammers Flair down and now goes for the Pedigree on the chair. Flair counters with a fist to the nuts.

Flair picks up the chair and nails HHH with it. HHH gets up at six. Flair bits his forehead and hits a few jabs and chops, including a blatant shot to the nuts. Flair then pulls HHH over to the corner and does more damage to the groin area, and then slams his legs into the ring post. Back in the ring Flair clips the knee and bites his leg. Flair works all over the leg and executes a kind of Garvin Stomp. Flair goes for the Figure-Four Leglock but HHH blocks it. He slams HHH’s legs into the ring post again and grabs a chair and slams it on HHH’s leg. He then puts on the Figure-Four and grabs the ropes for leverage. HHH taps out but Flair can’t win that way. HHH gets up at eight. He fights back with a clothesline. He then brings the ring steps into the ring. He runs them into Flair’s face. HHH comes charging again but this time Flair drop toeholds him and he lands face first on the steps. They both get up at eight and start chopping and punching each other. Flair tries a back body drop but HHH counters it to the Pedigree. Flair gets up at eight so HHH hits him with another one. Flair gets up again and sticks his middle finger up at the Game. HHH has had it and he hits a third Pedigree. Flair gets up one more time so HHH grabs his sledgehammer and hits Flair across the back with it. That finally keeps Flair down at 26:59. I actually liked this match a lot more than I remember. It could have maybe been five minutes shorter, but I dug the methodical but intense pace both guys brought and HHH looks like a really evil dude for just murdering Flair.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #11: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship – John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Edge, Backlash, 4.30.06

Cena has been the champion since 1.29.06, and this is his fourth defense. Lita is accompanying Edge to ringside here. I think that Lita deserves a lot of credit for getting Edge to the main event level the first time. JR notes that on this day in 1977, Superstar Billy Graham beat Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Title in Baltimore. He fails to mention that on this date in 2000, at this show, The Rock pinned Triple H to win the WWF Title. Edge takes an immediate powder to let Cena and HHH fight it out. Cena takes the early advantage and hits that weird suplex that he does and Edge breaks up the pin. HHH hits an inverted atomic drop and they trade blows. HHH hits the Harley Race knee and Edge breaks up that pin too. They trade punches again and Edge is on the ring apron laughing at him. Cena and HHH realize this and pull Edge into the ring and start unloading on instead. Cena clotheslines him to the floor and goes after him. HHH comes out too and they take turns ramming Edge’s head into the announce table. Back in the ring HHH attacks Cena from behind and throws him to the floor and Edge pulls HHH’s head into the middle turnbuckle. HHH rolls to the apron and Edge goes for a suplex but Cena comes over and pulls HHH to the floor. Edge is down in the ring and Cena comes off the top rope with a splash for a near fall. Cena hits a spinning slam and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Lita pulls him to the floor. HHH throws him into the steps and now he goes after Edge. He hits the Facebuster and a clothesline for two. Edge gets a foot up on a charging HHH, but HHH hits a spinebuster anyway. Edge responds with an Edge-O-Matic for two. HHH puts on the sleeper. Edge reverses it and Cena comes in the ring and picks them both up for an F-U attempt but Edge comes off the ropes with a spear. HHH rolls to the floor and Edge follows him out there. He catapults HHH into the ring post and HHH is busted open. Edge then hits an Impaler on HHH on the Spanish Announce Table. Edge hits a missile dropkick on Cena for two. Edge stays in control and hits a spear in the corner. Cena gets a drop toehold out of nowhere and puts on the STFU. HHH breaks it up by hitting Cena with the microphone from the floor. Edge comes outside the ring and gets smashed in the face with a chair and he falls into the crowd. Now we’re down to Cena and HHH in the ring. Cena gets a quick STFU on the bloody HHH. He reaches the ropes and Cena has to break the hold. He tries the FU but HHH counters to a Pedigree, which Cena counters to the STFU. Edge comes back and the referee takes a bump. Cena sets up for a super F-U but HHH puts Cena on his shoulders and drops them down and everybody is down now. Lita comes in the ring with a chair. She goes for HHH and eats a spinebuster for her troubles. HHH has the chair now. He tosses it aside and goes for his sledgehammer. Edge spears him before he can use it. Edge tries to use the sledgehammer but Cena picks him up in the F-U and HHH hits a low blow so Cena drops Edge over the top to the floor. HHH tries the Pedigree but Cena sweeps the legs and jackknife pins HHH to win the match and retain the title at 17:33. That was a really fun three-way and HHH really bled a crazy amount. They also had some good “get rid of one guy so that just two can fight” spots and the crowd was really hot.
Rating: ****¼

BONUS MATCH #1: Hog Pen Match – Henry O. Godwinn vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, In Your House, 12.17.05

HOG comes right after HHH and tries to slop him, but he misses and some officials and fans get slopped instead. Hillbilly Jim is the special guest referee and apparently no one told him to call for the bell. Back in the ring they trade control in the first few moments until HHH gets twisted up in the ropes Andre style. That allows HOG to rub a handful of slop in his face. That angers HHH so he runs out with a clothesline and kicks away. He stays in control, hammering away on the hog farmer. They go to the floor and HOG comes back and battering rams HHH’s head into the steel steps. They fight over by the hog pen and HOG gets whipped into the metal door. HHH tries a Pedigree but HOG blocks it and almost dumps HHH into the pen. HHH knocks him down and hits an elbow off the pen. They fight back up into the ring and HHH stays in control. HOG comes back and hits that one cool move he had, the wheelbarrow face drop. They fight back up the aisle and HOG tries the Slop Drop but HHH blocks it. HHH gets whipped into the metal door and his back is busted open. HOG comes charging and HHH back body drops him into the slop to win the match at 9:06. Hillbilly Jim didn’t ring the ending bell either, but hey, the match really wasn’t half bad despite the stupid gimmick. HHH gets dumped into the slop anyway to really get his comeuppance.
Rating: **½

BONUS MATCH #2: Terra Ryzing vs. Flying Tony Roy, 11.1.92

This is Triple H’s first professional wrestling match, from Burlington, VT. He and Jim Ross are on commentary here. Ryzing attacks Roy from behind and goes to work on Roy. HHH tells the story of how he got the Terra Ryzing name and how it was going to be The Terrorizer. Roy comes back with a few dropkicks and Ryzing takes a break out on the floor. Ryzing takes control back when he comes back in and hits a bodyslam and an elbow drop. Ryzing uses the bear hug and breaks it up with an inverted atomic drop, then back to the bear hug. Roy comes back and hits the mounted punches in the corner. He delivers more in another corner. This time Ryzing stops him and hits another inverted atomic drop. Ryzing uses a sunset flip for two, and Roy rolls through with a jackknife pin and they do the backslide spot. Ryzing hits a backbreaker for two. Roy comes back with a flying headscissors or two. He goes to the headlock. Ryzing hits an atomic drop and a bodyslam, but then misses the elbow. He dumps Roy to the floor. He comes back in and puts on a sleeper, but Ryzing backs him into the corner. He throws Roy to the floor again. He won’t let Roy back in the ring, hitting a forearm, and then dropping his neck on the ropes. Roy finally is able to come back in with a sunset flip and the referee does that damn kick the hands off the ropes spot and Roy wins at 10:48. That was shockingly decent for a first match ever.
Rating: **

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About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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