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Moving Right Along: Moving on Triple H

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Guest TSMAdmin

Moving Right Along: Moving on Triple H


Greetings all and welcome a brand new variation on the theme that is Moving Right Along. This time, instead of writing something about some general wrestling holds, we’re going to be examining one wrestler and their signature holds and how well they are executed and how effectively they build to a finish. I am hoping that this exercise will be a pretty good guide on how well people use their basic moves to have matches in an effective manner. Basically, this variation will allow me to write a lot more articles without having to think really hard. But I shouldn’t have told you that… Anyway, don’t be concerned, I’ll still be pumping out the original flavor Moving Right Along columns in between tape reviews no one reads, but for right now, let’s focus on the task at hand, a task known as Triple H.


Oh, and just so everyone knows what is going on here, this is in no way a debate over Triple H’s backstage politics and choice of sexual partners. I really don’t care. Well, I sort of care. But that’s not what this article is about and it really shouldn’t come into consideration here. And that will hold true to each and every one of these articles. I don’t give a flying monkey’s BUTT how much backstage influence someone has; all I care about is the execution and psychology of holds.


The Pedigree

Might as well start at the top as I always say. The double underhook piledriver is truly effective hold when correctly applied that drives an opponent strait down on their heads with all of the weight of the person applying the maneuver driving down directly on top of the skull. This is what should make the pedigree a more effective hold than a regular piledriver in storyline terms. However, here the problems begin for Triple H because he never seems to be actively setting up the head and neck. He instead treats the pedigree as a one shot knockout blow that wipes his opponent out in one swift stroke. Hunter should instead work more on warming the crowd up in anticipation of the hold, the same way Terry Funk held the crowd in mortal fear that he was going to piledrive Ric Flair during their feud in 1989. Perhaps an injury angle would be a nice way to but some more importance on the hold. Another issue with Hunter is that he often releases the underhook on the way down so his opponent can brace for the landing. While that’s a pretty nice thing to do and all, it looks completely horrible and ridiculous, with the worse example of this being the pedigree Triple H put on Shawn Michaels a few weeks ago.

Grade: C+



One of the “new additions” to the post-injury Hunter moveset is the tried and true DDT. Hunter’s DDT is actually pretty good if unspectacular. While it doesn’t seem to have the same snap that a Rock DDT does, it does appear to make solid contact, which is a vast improvement over the John Cena and Chris Jericho versions of the hold. Triple H generally manages to make his back and his opponent’s head the first things to hit the mat in the correct manner as opposed to landing on his ass like the lesser practitioners of the move do. The problems again come when trying to fit the DDT into the overall flow of the match build as Hunter commonly uses the move simply in order to get a hot two count. I think it would work better if Hunter stayed away from using the DDT in a quick manner, and slowed it down a bit to make it look more like he is working the neck in preparation for the pedigree. Put the opponent in position, pause for a bit, and then drive him into the canvas. Slowing down the pace would allow the move to look more like a grinding step in a long-term goal, instead of a short-term weapon getting a near fall.

Grade: B


The Chestbreaker

One of the original unholy knee trio, along with the high knee and the knee drop (which has worked its way out of the rotation), the chestbreaker has long been a unique staple to Triple H’s offense. For those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, it’s the hold where Hunter hooks his opponent as though he is going to hiptoss them, but instead brings them strait down onto his knee. The only reason I clarify it is because I don’t think a single announcer in the history of WWE announcing has ever actually called the move anything other than “whattamaneuver.” Anyway, the chestbreaker lands somewhere in between the face and chest so its targeting an area that would be injured by the pedigree so that’s a plus. I just wish the chestbreaker wasn’t just such a kayfabe breaking travesty of a move. Triple H just never, ever uses the move unless his opponent is going for a backdrop. Making the move a mandatory counter throws it into the same category as the Kidman powerbomb counter in that it makes the person taking the move look like they haven’t done a bit of scouting in years. The other problem with the chestbreaker is that when Triple H executes the move, the opponent and Triple H both go a little bit into the air before coming down. Now, why exactly would the opponent be jumping? Nothing Triple H is doing should be forcing his opponent up in the air. The obvious cooperation necessary to pull off the move makes it look completely ridiculous.

Grade: D+


The High Knee

Speaking on the unholy knee trio, here is the high knee. At the beginning, Triple H used to get some pretty nice height on the move, but now, Hunter just doesn’t get the air anymore. Sometimes, it seems like Triple H is just barely hopping off the canvas and his opponent is ducking slightly in order to put the knee in the rough area of his face. Hunter also telegraphs the move a little by always missing a clothesline before hitting the knee. Why he can’t just throw the guy off the ropes and hit the knee is beyond me.

Grade: D


The Spinebuster

The staple of all WWE matches, Triple H also added a spinebuster to his moveset after coming off the injured list when he added the DDT. And also like the DDT, Hunter also applies the spinebuster extremely well, although it also doesn’t fit into the context of setting up Hunter’s finish. Granted not every move should revolve around setting up the pedigree, after all Ric Flair still chopped while setting up the figure-four leglock. Anyway, Triple H uses the spinebuster in the classic Arn Anderson style, absolutely snatching his opponent up, adding a twist and driving them into the canvas. The key to making the spinebuster look good is making sure the guy taking the move bend a little at the back as he’s getting jerked off the canvas. It creates a minor whiplash effect that improves the way the move looks. Watch The Big Valbowski, The Rock, or John Cena hit guys with spinebusters and taking them strait up and down and you will see significantly less impact in their versions.

Grade: A-


The Reverse Neckbreaker

Finally, lets turn to Hunter’s reverse neckbreaker. If you’ve watched Triple H for a while, you will note that Hunter never applies the neckbreaker in the traditional, “Ravishing” Rick Rude manner. Instead, Hunter will typically duck underneath a clothesline, reach back and apply the neckbreaker. Now, while this does work the neck in preparation for the pedigree, it also looks extremely awkward as the guy taking the move usually leans backwards so Triple H can grab them more securely. Isn’t it more likely that the opponent would turn around, rather than stand there and let themselves get caught in the neckbreaker? Much like the chestbuster, this move requires way too much of the opponent’s help to make it look actually feasible. Hunter also seems to have trouble getting a good grip when hitting the move and sometimes appears to be taking his opponent down by the hair instead of locking up the head correctly.

Grade: D+


In Conclusion

Hunter’s newer offence seems to clicking quite a bit better than things he has been pulling out for many years now. The chestbreaker and neckbreaker seem especially contrived and are weak moves that should either be restructured a bit or phased out of Hunter’s moveset. I still believe he needs to slow down his offence a bit to make his build to the pedigree more deliberate and forceful. Playing the pedigree as a knock out punch would work much better if it was a quicker move, like the stunner, but it’s not so it shouldn’t be treated in that manner.

Final Grade: B-


So there you have it! But before we go, let’s go to Thesmartmarks.com message board for a little segment I like to call… The post of the week.


Post of The Week


This week, we head off to the No Holds Barred section of the forum, reliving all the fun and excitement of Rip and Zeus going at it. Anyway, here comes the Flying Dutchman! It’s long…


The Flying Dutchman: Bubba Ray Dudley is one of THE best workers the WWE has right now and all of you completely overlook it due to the herd mentality that thrives on this board, one of the tenants of which is apparently "So and so sucks because they're fat."


Bubba is an incredible bumper and seller. Case in point, look at ANY TLC match to see his bumping abilities. As for selling, just watch any match he has. Bubba easily keeps track of what's injured and sells the injury throughout. Not to mention the fact that he isn't a pussy like half the other people on the roster and doesn't break his falls with his arms or legs. He always lands either flat on his back or flat on his face.


Bubba ALWAYS executes moves crisply and smoothly (except in the case of Big Show who's size makes it tough for anyone to handle) and makes them look viscous at the same time. By the same token, he makes other people's moves look good as well. How many times have you seen Rikishi fuck up a Samoan Drop? He does it constantly. Well, every single time Bubba takes it, the move looks great. Why? Because Bubba even tries to make his opponent's moves look good.


He has a great-varied moveset, but even I'm stymied as to why he doesn't utilize it all. I know for a fact that he can do a beautiful double underhook suplex and does an evil looking version of the camel clutch, but they're not really seen all that often. He should work them in on a more regular basis.


His in ring timing is excellent too. He makes the amount of time he spends on the ground per move conceivable, i.e. he's not getting up quickly after a DDT or getting up slowly after an arm drag. I've never seen him miss his cue for the 3D when he was tag teaming with D'Von.


And finally, he's a crowd pleaser. Say what you want, but he always gets the crowd into the match and I don't just mean with the "GET THE TABLES!" screaming. When a partner is looking for a tag, he yells at the crowd to get into it. When he's injured in a singles match or is in a submission, he'll scream to make the audience understand he's in pain, rather than just grimace and frown like some people. At Wrestlemania X-8, in the elimination tag match, he gets thrown out of the ring and while he's recovering, he yells to D'Von "Don't let him tag!" How many other workers out there actually throw in the little things like that? How many workers have the sense to actually talk to their partner in the ring? Not many, I can tell you that.


Don't get me wrong here. Yes, Bubba is my favorite wrestler (next to Benoit), but at least I can back up my stance with good solid points. Meanwhile, all the rest of you can say is "He's fat."


Is Bubba better than guys like Guerrero, Jericho, Benoit, or Angle? No, of course not. But he is a damn good wrestler and still on of the best the WWE has to offer the fans. Should he be going over guys like Benoit, Guerrero, or the other Smarks love slaves? No, not yet. He still needs to be built up more as a credible threat. So you guys can sit there and blast him all you want, but until you actually manage to put up a convincing argument as to why he sucks, I'm just going to continue looking at you as if you've just given a blow job to a horse.


Me Again! See, I like this sort of thing because its well thought out and backed up with at least some attempt at dialogue. Basically, simple saying someone rules or stinks in twelve words or less has never been my favorite form of expression. I like to think, and that’s what The Flying Dutchman did. Granted now I’m thinking about horse sex, but I’m thinking nonetheless. And that’s a good thing. This has been Mark “Goodear” Goodhart reminding everyone to spade or neuter their pets. See yah.


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