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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:21 am 
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Most of us, if not all, have been watching the WWE for many years. Earlier today, I was thinking about top heel WWE Champions since the championship's inception in the early 60s. Traditionally, the WWE has favored going with babyfaces to lead the company as its champion....... in other words, them being the face of the company. This is understandable, but in somewhat a contrast to the NWA's philosophy, which was to usually vote for a top heel to be the NWA World's Heavyweight Champion. From Lou Thesz's final reign as champion to Sting's reign in 1990, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jack Brisco were the only babyfaces that had lengthy reigns as the NWA World's Heavyweight Champion at a time when six month reigns were considered very short. Even Flair has criticized his own first reign as champion because of this and he had the title for well over a year in his first reign. The heels dominated the championship for three decades primarily.

In the WWE, a complete opposite dynamic was taking place. As I thought about this earlier, I realized that Superstar Billy Graham was the only heel until Ric Flair in 1992 to hold the WWE Championship for more than two months in a single reign. That is a 14 year gap...... just incredible. After Flair, Yokozuna was the next heel to receive a significant reign, which lasted much longer. There have been other heels after Yokozuna's reign, such as Bob Backlund (short run in '94), Psycho Sid (2 reigns..... each less than 2 months), Shawn Michaels (4 months from '97 to '98.... but overshadowed by Montreal Screwjob carryover) and some others.

However, this brings me to Triple H in 1999. I truly believe that this was a landmark period in WWE History in terms of heel WWE Champions. I know that people are going to criticize him for dating Stephanie and all as to why he maintained his top spot for so long, but the guy was a hardworker that really got over strong with the fans as a babyface and a heel. He was really the first heel in a long time that the WWE placed a lot of emphasis in carrying the promotion as the WWE Champion. Following 1999, he really stepped up his game so to speak when Austin was injured. The McMahon-Hamsley regime was entertaining and maintained its interests with pretty much everyone on the roster being involved in some way, which meant that most of the shows centered around him. Triple H and The Big Show to end 1999 was good and carried over to 2000. Triple H and Mick Foley followed. Triple H and The Rock had an incredible feud that year. Triple H and Kurt Angle was fantastic. Triple H and Austin ended the year on a high note. As I look back in the history books, Superstar Billy Graham in 1977 and Ric Flair in 1992 are the only heel WWE Champions that I can think of where you could argue had a more impactful reign than Triple H in 2000.

What are your opinions of Triple H's place in WWE history as a heel WWE Champion in 2000?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:30 am 
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My opinion on HHH is that he is a giant mark for himself and never puts anyone over, detroyed every credible guy he could ever lay his hands on, and has a big nose.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:53 am 
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How long did Sgt. Slaughter hold the title?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:55 am 
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I remember thinking at the time that HHH was one of the best heel champs I'd seen up to that point. Although I don't agree that 2000 ended on a strong note for him... You had that awesome HHH/Steph/Angle love triangle that resulted in nothing, and then Austin dumping him in the car only for Hunter to show up the next night was beyond bad... Up until then, though, I thought it was a helluva run...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:56 am 
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A shade over 2 months...... Technically, you can include him on the list with Flair and Graham.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:58 am 
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Meh, it doesn't really change your point.

Triple H was always pretty entertaining to me...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:59 am 
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Vann wrote:
I remember thinking at the time that HHH was one of the best heel champs I'd seen up to that point. Although I don't agree that 2000 ended on a strong note for him... You had that awesome HHH/Steph/Angle love triangle that resulted in nothing, and then Austin dumping him in the car only for Hunter to show up the next night was beyond bad... Up until then, though, I thought it was a helluva run...

I didn't like the car dump at Survivor Series 2000, but the build up was awesome. Although it took me a few weeks to get over that nonsense, I felt that he and Austin picked up their feud again once the build for Armageddon began. That six-man Hell In A Cell was awesome...... one of my favorite matches that year.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:05 am 
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Spec_Sun wrote:
Vann wrote:
I remember thinking at the time that HHH was one of the best heel champs I'd seen up to that point. Although I don't agree that 2000 ended on a strong note for him... You had that awesome HHH/Steph/Angle love triangle that resulted in nothing, and then Austin dumping him in the car only for Hunter to show up the next night was beyond bad... Up until then, though, I thought it was a helluva run...

I didn't like the car dump at Survivor Series 2000, but the build up was awesome. Although it took me a few weeks to get over that nonsense, I felt that he and Austin picked up their feud again once the build for Armageddon began. That six-man Hell In A Cell was awesome...... one of my favorite matches that year.

I didn't like the build because it involved Rikishi being the mystery driver. That was an example of having a set-up but no punchline. Killed everything else involved w/ that feud for me.. That HIAC was pretty fun, but it's hard for me to remember much of his involvement for the build when they were 5 other guys... Just Angle preparing for seemingly insurmountable odds and Rock doing impressions...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:24 am 
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The build toward Armageddon involved Foley, the Commissioner, finding a way to have all of these guys settle their feuds, which seemed to be interchangeable throughout the year. Pretty much, everybody in it had some sort of beef with each other dating back a year. Vince tried desperately to stop the match from happening...... even going as far as to attempt to stop it in the middle of the actual match by having a truck haul the cell...... only to have Foley put a stop to it. Triple H and Austin was still fresh to me after a few weeks passed after Survivor Series. Austin and Triple H were still brawling leading to the match, but picked up more steam after Armageddon leading into their 2 out 3 falls match at No Way Out in 2001.

I enjoyed heel Rikishi. Rock's promos toward Rikishi back then still have me marking out. "I did it for da Rock!" Oh man, that was awesome. I do agree that he didn't need to be the mystery driver, but it made sense to me given that he's Rock's cousin. After a short feud with The Undertaker, it was clear that Rikishi wasn't a top heel..... more of mid-carder, but he really didn't even get back to that level.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:37 am 
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Honestly Triple H was a product of really strong people carrying him, I mean the stuff with Foley was amazingly well done at the beginning of the year, he had a little thing with Rikishi which was fun, the Rock vs. Triple H again carried an excellent feud and I think Stephanie McMahon really held together that character. You take her away and I don't think 2000 happens.

Triple H is a weird wrestler he's not that great of a worker in my opinion. He's like Batista where he has matches where some how he flips the switch and its worth watching and he has some matches and feuds that are just terrible.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:47 am 
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His feud with Foley was good stuff. That Street Fight at the Royal Rumble is a match I really enjoy. I've always liked HHH. I think he gets a bad rap. He's kept a lot of people down but at the end of the day it was probably the best thing for the company.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:58 am 
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i used to reallylike triple h now i'm just sick of him . he honestly earned a certain legacy for himself but in my opinion now their trying to elevate his legacy to higher level . i know that statement is confusing . hunter is good maybe even great but they try to put him on the level of all time greats and i don't think he belongs there


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:37 am 
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Team Ninja wrote:
He's kept a lot of people down but at the end of the day it was probably the best thing for the company.


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