Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Every HHH Wrestlemania Main Event Sucked

Say what you will about Triple H, but the guy is a major player in WWE. Multi-time World Champion, main eventer, sometimes charismatic guy, head of NXT and various development projects, and one of the smartest, hardest working dudes in the business. That having been said, when it comes to being the main event of Wrestlemania... this is where the multi-time WWE World Champion falls a bit short and since we've had another in a series of them, I'd figure this would be the best time to talk about every main event HHH has partaken in at the Showcase Of The Immortals and why they suck.

For the purposes of this write-up, the main event of Wrestlemania refers to the closing match on the card. I'm not counting so-called "main events" that take place during the middle of the card or anything of the sort. For all intents and purposes, the main event of Wrestlemania is the last match on the show.

Also, for the purposes of this write, this is NOT a history of HHH's Wrestlemania matches; only his main events, so no mention of the farce that is his World title defense against Booker T at Mania 19 with the racist storyline. To be completely fair to Hunter, he's had some good Mania matches when not scratching that last match - his match with Undertaker at Wrestlemania X-Seven and the one with Daniel Bryan Danielson at Mania 30 are top-notch wrestling matches worth of the Show Of Shows.

Wrestlemania 2000
WWF Champion HHH defeated The Rock, Big Show, and Mick Foley in a four-corners elimination

Why It Sucks: The common discrepancy told here is that HHH was the first heel to win at a Wrestlemania main event, which is not true. That honor goes to Yokozuna, who defeated Bret Hart at Wrestlemania IX to win the WWF Championship. However, HHH is the first heel to walk out of Wrestlemania as WWF Champion and that left everyone with a downer ending. Setting that aside, however, the whole idea behind the four-corners match - a first for Mania main events and not the best idea - was that there would be a McMahon in every corner. So it was less about the wrestlers and the championship and more about the McMahons. This wouldn't have mattered if the ending was good, but it wasn't good. And as such, the match sucked. Even back in 2000, during a hot period for WWF, this sucked hard.

On The Bright Side: It gave Mick Foley one Wrestlemania main event under his belt for he settled into his first retirement despite his match with HHH the previous month being a worthy conclusion to his active career.


Wrestlemania X-8
Triple H defeated WWF Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho.

Why It Sucks: Much like the previous match, this was less about Hunter vs. Jericho and more about Hunter vs. Stephanie, who just so happened to be in Jericho's corner. I guess she forgave her for all those horrible things he called her the previous year. Not a great match by any means and only made more apparently by the fact that this was following the legendary Rock vs. Hogan match that felt like the bigger main event on this night. There's debate as to whether this match or the legends match should've closed out the show and I've always been of the opinion that the main event should always be a World title match. In this case, however, considering the lack of gravity in the World title match, ending Mania X-8 with Rock vs Hogan would've been a blessing.

On The Bright Side: I struggle to find a bright side to this match between it really is such an unmemorable slog. If not for the fact that it was the main event, this would've been a forgotten and quite frankly mediocre match. Did I mention that this was the end of Chris Jericho's reign as the FIRST UNDISPUTED WORLD CHAMPION IN THE UNIVERSE WHERE HE BEAT BOTH STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN AND THE ROCK IN ONE NIGHT?

Whatever, next.


Wrestlemania XX
Chris Benoit defeated World Heavyweight Champion McSon-In-Law and Shawn Michaels in a Triple Threat match to win the title.

Why It Sucks: In a vacuum, this match was pretty good and could have been the one exception to the rule, as it told a good story and featured some great action from top notch wrestlers... but it's a match featuring Chris Benoit overcoming the odds and finally winning the big one, with the classic image of the new World champion Benoit celebrating with longtime friend and fellow reigning WWE champion Eddie Guerrero. After what happened at the end in 2007, the match has a bit of a taint to it where you have this feelgood moment between two best friends that is difficult to stomach considering how they met their end not long after. This is a case where circumstances and not HHH or bad booking could be blamed for the match not being that remembered classic.

On The Bright Side: If you can look past the players involved, you're getting a hell of a triple threat match here. I'm not big on multi-man Mania main events for the title, but this was as good a match within the framework as you can get. The bright side is there, but buried by so much of the other stuff that it's hard to see it.


Wrestlemania 21
Batista defeated World Heavyweight Champion McSon-In-Law to win the title.

Why It Sucks: Of all the matches on this list, this one sucks the least and could very well be the only match in this list that doesn't quite deserve to be part of the list. It told the story it needed to be told and in somewhat convincing fashion. That having been said, if there was a negative to be had, it's that Batista could've been more dominant and not evenly balanced. Sometimes, it felt like McSon-In-Law got a bit too much offense and also the match should've been a tad shorter. Beyond that, however...

On The Bright Side: This began Batista's ascent into the main event scene that would make him one of WWE's top stars and certainly cement his place as the face of Smackdown that isn't Undertaker. My quibbles mentioned aside, this is a pretty good match that told a good story and gave the people a satisfying conclusion. It is also the last time that a Wrestlemania main event would end with a genuine feel good happy ending until Daniel Bryan Danielson's World title win at Wrestlemania XXX.


Wrestlemania 22
WWE Champion John Cena defeated Triple H via submission to retain the championship.

Why It Sucks: Good lord, ol' Hunter gave it his best shot... but sadly, the crowd was not buying anything that John Cena was selling... other than his merch, of course. The Cena Riots were nearing full swing by this point, with chants of "Fuck You, Cena" and "Cena Sucks" being so loud and so blaring, it makes today's Roman Reigns reactions seems like a bunch of children throwing temper tantrums.

On The Bright Side: If you take the audience out of the equation, this is a semi-decent little match. Perhaps nothing that could be deemed Wrestlemania-worthy - whatever that means these days - but it is still a solidly performed and well-executed match. It just wasn't the right match for this audience.


Wrestlemania 25
WWE Champion HHH defeated Randy Orton to retain the title.

Why It Sucks: Context is key here; HHH and Randy Orton were in the midst of a feud where Orton punted the McMahons and Hunter has to defend his family-in-law. This is a feud that really needed to be contested in a No Holds Barred affair... but instead, we get a hokey stipulation where if HHH gets counted out or disqualified, he loses the title. As such, you had a slow, plodding wrestling match with its teeth pulled out and no bite. It doesn't help that there has never been a single match between HHH and RKO that could be considered good. It also doesn't help matters that this is on the same card as the incredible match between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker and having to follow that one was a tall order. This match needed a lot more than what it delivered and that was its downfall.

On The Bright Side: There hasn't been a Wrestlemania main event featuring HHH worse than this. Has HHH had worse 'Mania matches than this? Oh, absolutely... and there have been worse Mania main events than this... but as far as those two factors combined, this is the bottom of that proverbial barrel.


Wrestlemania 32
Roman Reigns defeated WWE World Heavyweight Champion HHH to win the title.

Why It Sucks: I'll be brief here because the less time I give this stupid show the better, but suffice it to say, you have a guy that the company is pushing to be the face of WWE and yet people want nothing to do with him. And then there's HHH as WWE Champion wrestling the usual slow-paced, boring-ass match he usually does to try and get this guy over as the next big thing. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, this failed miserably. A Wrestlemania main event is suppose to give the crowd a nice, feel good moment to send them home happy... and this certainly did not accomplish that task.

On The Bright Side: Roman's a young guy and I'm sure he'll get a moment that people will be accepting of him. I just hope it's not something as hokey as announcing that you have a life-threatening disease for the sympathy pop.

And that's the list.

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