Posted in: Doctor's Orders Doctor's Orders: Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H - 10 Years in the Making
By The Doc
Jun 24, 2012 - 7:18:16 PM
Question of the day: Are you or are you not interested in Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H? If not, explain yourself. If so, name a match that evoked comparable emotions
I did not watch the PPV last Sunday, as the NBA Finals took precedent over a card that did not do enough for me to care about it. I was disappointed to read that Ziggler’s match with Sheamus was full of apparently mistimed sequences that kept Dolph from hitting a home run, I was not surprised to read that the triple threat WWE title bout was the match of the evening, and I was utterly shocked that the WWE decided to have John Cena beat the Big Show (cooling his momentum with a loss – yes, winning still matters to some of us). Yet, the piece of news that I took away from reading recaps of No Way Out and the one thing that was interesting from an otherwise God-awful edition of Monday Night Raw was the (all but) confirmation that we will be getting Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H at Summerslam. There are some little details that need to be worked out, but that match alone will find me ordering Summerslam at the house.
There are those of you that have expressed everything from indifference to extreme hatred of one or both of these men taking up television time, but some of you are like me and you find that this is the most compelling television offered on WWE Raw right now (with all due respect to Ms. Lee). Brock vs. Trips is a dream match and the build up to it an unlikely scenario. Rewind the clock just ten years and you’ll find rumors of Trips pleading for (and being granted) a second World Championship in the WWE to keep himself away from the freight train nicknamed “The Next Big Thing” who had essentially mowed through every top star in his path. You know how the IWC can be with all the false rumors being spread by dirtsheet writers seeking more VIP members and such, but it wouldn’t have been too far out of the realm of possibility given that it was a creative disagreement that would’ve seen Steve Austin lose to Lesnar on Raw that led to Stone Cold “taking his ball and going home.” Take all of the emotions away from it and the “bottom line” was that Austin quit because he didn’t want to do the job to Brock, as both The Rock and the Undertaker did in such glorious fashions. It is entirely plausible to think that Triple H, he with the massive ego who has never put anyone over (as pundits like to argue), might have politically pulled the strings to get Lesnar to Smackdown with the WWE title so it could be Kurt Angle putting Brock over instead of him.
I wrote a few weeks back that I thought Trips got a bad rap, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that he is an egomaniacal, power hungry lunatic that loves the spotlight – that’s one of the signature traits of almost every top star that the wrestling business has ever produced. I find it fascinating to get inside the mind of the Cerebral Assassin as he prepares to face Lesnar in 8 weeks. Brock proved with the loss to Cena that he’s around to make money, do what he’s told, be a dominant force along the way, and then go home somewhere around $5 million richer. I’d imagine Trips is itching to add his name to the short list of guys that have defeated Brock. Think of all the top names in the business that Trips has laid down for in the past decade or so…from Austin to Rock to Taker to Cena to Batista, the majority of the top names in the business have major victories over Triple H to their credit. Most often, Trips has lost to the biggest stars when it mattered most without reciprocity. Despite all his major wins, The Game has a lot more high profile losses, particularly at Wrestlemania and Summerslam. In fact, against superstars that were asked to carry the company from the Attitude Era onward, Trips has never defeated any of them at the WWE’s top two PPVs. You would think that the story set-up at Summerslam ’12 would be similar to what we saw at Extreme Rules two months ago, in that Brock will kick the living you-know-what out of Trips before The Game finds a way to eke out a victory. Despite victory having become less important in the minds of the people running the WWE, winning is still something that historically matters and as long as Trips is listed in the books as the man who defeated Brock, then that’ll surely be a boost to his ego and give him a big win over a big name at a big event.
But what if he doesn’t win?
If there is any truth to the rumor that Brock Lesnar will be wrestling the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29 as a serious threat to the illustrious streak (or battling The Rock for the WWE Championship), wouldn’t you think that he would need to win almost every match from here on out, even if by tainted means? Lesnar losing to Cena is one thing; Cena is the face of the WWE. However, losing to the guy that Taker has beaten twice in two Manias potentially weakens the potential impact that a Taker (or Rock) vs. Lesnar match could have on business. And what of the ego of the $5 million man? Reports suggest that he’s cool with losing, but will he want to lose to Triple H? He didn’t do too well with all the losing that he did back toward the end of his two year initial run with the WWE. In fact, as soon as he started losing, that’s when everything went south. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Losing to Triple H might be a little more than Brock is willing to do. I can think of two or three guys to whom he’d be most willing to lose: The Rock (who put him over huge ten years ago), Undertaker (who fully cemented him as a main-eventer in 2002), and Cena (to whom it’d be difficult to argue against losing). Obviously, Triple H is not on that list. Paul Levesque, that corporate wannabe if there ever was one who represents much of what made Brock leave in the first place; a wrestling business lifer that doesn’t try to understand that the grind isn’t for everyone and subsequently costs the WWE talents like Brock. Why on Earth would Brock, who probably has as much creative control over what he’s doing as anyone in the locker room, give his blessing to lose to THAT guy?
One of the fascinating things about Brock is that there’s a lot more to this guy than everyone else on the roster. His mere presence brings questions to the table that are already answered for most when they sign their contracts. It has long since been verified by history that Vince McMahon views everyone as replaceable and, therefore, the CEO gets control of their careers; they must do what he says or else. Only two guys have been able to step away from the wrestling bubble/Vince conglomerate and actually make it big in other avenues and Brock Lesnar is the other one. That gives him a one-up on everyone else; it gives him power that others don’t have. He’s a sports celebrity that has come to wrestling to make a lot of money now that his mixed martial arts career has peaked and is on the downturn. Given how successful he was as a box office draw in something more popular than the WWE, he expects to be catered to like any other celebrity has been in the past. Whether or not he deserves that preferential treatment can be debated amongst critics and fans from dusk until dawn, but the fact remains that he likely expects it and will get it because he holds more cards than the wrestlers.
Triple H has had to work his entire life to get to where Brock Lesnar has gotten to in two full years and a handful of months as a main roster WWE superstar. Arguably, Hunter had to make friends with the right people, endure an embarrassing backstage fallout from the MSG incident caused by his friends, scratch and climb his way up the ladder (both physically and politically) to make it as the lead villain in the most profitable era in business history, become the face of the company during a time where he’d (unfairly) be the wrestling media’s scapegoat for the WWE’s fiscal bottom line being cut in half, marry into the McMahon family, put forth several more years of historically significant in-ring work, and become an important member of the corporate infrastructure to get as much power that Brock wields by simply being a monetarily marginally successful pro-wrestler from 2002-2004 that came back as four times the bankable commodity that he’d been when he left. You think that doesn’t get Triple H’s blood boiling a little bit? Few can match Triple H’s competitive drive…
Triple H is like the Tom Brady of the WWE. He came about in such a way where little was expected from him, but then he did everything that he needed to do to become one of the best in the game. Brock is the Peyton Manning to Hunter’s Brady. He came in with all the hype and expectation that a physical specimen possessing a ridiculous amount of natural strength, size, and stamina would warrant. As the highly touted prospect, he was afforded opportunities to get to the top that others needed to work much harder to attain. It’s another element in the fascinating contrast between Lesnar and Trips that makes a match between the two so emotionally gripping, from a fan perspective.
Quite frankly, I’ve been grasping at straws to keep my interest in the current product up to column-writing standards. With Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, I’ve at least got something I can circle on the summer calendar to maintain my attention. Hopefully, something will rise up to match it and create for a really good summer for wrestling. In the mean time, though, we’ve got Brock vs. Trips.