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Friday, October 20, 2006

Game Over: At Whose Expense?

The road to the top for Triple H was a long one. Under the downright abysmal pun name of Terra Ryzing, he made his way from the independent scene into World Championship Wrestling. After a fairly unforgettable run wrestling on WCW Saturday Night, he was lucky enough to find a spot on the WWE roster.

The Greenwich Snob, Hunter Hearst Helmsley certainly didn't have an easy climb to the top, but he eventually made it there, and upon his arrival he unleashed a reign of "Terra" that has prevented more than one superstar from "Ryzing." His latest victim however, baffles the mind.
Triple H effectively destroyed the credibility of Rob Van Dam, Kane, and Booker T in 2002. Time heals all wounds, however, and Rob Van Dam and Booker T both have been positioned into World Heavyweight Championship roles in 2006. Possibly Kane will get a chance to run with the ball for more than a day as well.

However, the latest victim of the Cerebral Assassin might not be so lucky. On the August 28th edition of WWE RAW, Triple H and Shawn Michaels were slated to face mystery opponents. A little over a week removed from overcoming five members of the Spirit Squad, Ken Kennedy, William Regal, Fit Finlay, ECW World Champion The Big Show, Umaga, and both McMahon's at Summerslam, DX was unreasonably on top of the world.

Despite the fact that the McMahon/DX angle had more than run it's course, and most agree that the reunion of Degeneration X reunion has largely been unable to recapture the group's past magic due to religious beliefs amongst other things (like the fact that no one wants to see two 40 year old guys acting like high school sophomores), we are still in the middle of a McMahon vs. DX feud.

Smackdown's number one prospect, Ken Kennedy, and their two strongest mid-card heels, Finlay and Regal, showed up on RAW to gain a measure of revenge in a handicapped match against Degeneration X. All three men, and the Smackdown brand itself took a huge blow as Triple H pinned Regal for the victory.

After the match had concluded, Shane brought ECW World Heavyweight Champion, The Big Show, out for his vengeance. I breathed a sigh of relief as together with the three defeated Smackdown superstars, Big Show was finally getting the advantage.

Both Michaels and Triple H were worked over with Finlay's Shillelagh. Both Michaels and Triple H were chokeslammed. Michaels laid in the ring and played dead. Triple H on the other hand was showing signs of life.

Out comes Vince McMahon. Now, Vince McMahon is not a wrestler, but we've all seen that he's no normal man either. He's built, and there is some credibility to the idea that Vince can hold his own. Add to the equation, Vince is carrying a lead pipe.

Michaels took his beating and laid prone on the mat as expected. Triple H, however, does not stay down so easily. Between Vince and Shane, Triple H had to have taken approximately 20 blunt strikes to the head the aforementioned lead pipe.

Now, I am certainly not built like Vince McMahon, but if I were to hit you in the head with a lead pipe once, I am pretty sure I could muster up the amount of lethal force required to kill you in one or two blows. Since you are an O Show reader however, I'll not test my theory...

Shane hit both men with running lead pipe strikes right in the head. At no point did Triple H ever simply lay down and act as though he was unconcious like his stablemate. Triple H, after 20 or so blows to the head with a "lead pipe" continues to crawl around the mat, as if somehow he was going to get up and exact a measure of revenge.

Only days after what should be considered a deadly assault, Triple H and Shawn Michaels announced that they would be back in action that Tuesday on ECW against the Big Show. Wait, wha?

Maybe it's my fault. Maybe, I underestimated the amount of pain that Triple H can withstand. I didn't forget about the time that Steve Austin operated a crane and lifted Triple H and his car 50 feet in the air and pulled the release. Triple H not only lived, but wrestled the next week on Raw as Jim Ross explained it as a "miracle."

This is in stark contrast to the wrestling world I grew up watching. Hulk Hogan, wrestling's equivalent of Superman, took three Earthquake splashes from Earthquake and was out of action for months. If a wrestler was hit with a chair or piledriven outside of the ring, you could expect him to be out of action for some duration of time. A table or the ring bell? That was months off TV. Many major stars spent time at home selling injury angles. Very few had ever incurred anything nearly as serious as being struck in the head with a lead pipe.

Somehow, we had moved from there to a place in wrestling where the only credible weapons used by wrestlers are the baseball bat, lead pipe, and sledgehammer. Thanks to the Cerebral Assassin's resistance to lay down, we can now cross another off that list.

What has happened to injury angles in professional wrestling? Can the lead pipe be rebuilt as a credible wrestling weapon? Is there anything in this world capable of stopping Triple H?

Indeed the Game is Over, but his book fails to mention that talent and traditions that have been completely destroyed while "Making the Game."

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