Sunday 23 August 2015

Rock Versus Triple H: 2015 Edition

The Rock is many things. He's a Hollywood movie star. He's a highly accomplished third generation wrestler. He's a former eight time WWE world champion. He's a future first ballot Hall of Famer. He's one of the two biggest babyfaces of the Attitude Era (the other, obviously, being 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin). Some may even go so far as to say he was the biggest star of that era but I'm not one of them.

Triple H is also many thanks. He is the current on-screen boss of the company. He too is a highly accomplished wrestler and future first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. He's also former eight time WWE champion. He's one of the two biggest heels of the Attitude Era (the other, obviously, being Vince McMahon). Some may even go so far as to say he was the biggest heel of that era but I'm not one of them.

Rock pretending to fly as he hits a Rock Bottom there.
Together they had one of the greatest rivalries of the Attitude Era. It started off over the Intercontinental title and gradually progressed to one for the world title. Somewhere along the way it became a defining feud for both men, one that didn't actually require the involvement of a title or a reason for a match to take place. It was simply one of those rivalries that had been going for so long that it was one of those rare ever-ready, ever-present disputes, the sort of thing that could flare up at any time. Sort of like Cena v Orton now, only good.

Despite the pair having separate feuds in 1998, 1999 and 2000 they never actually had a one-on-one match at WrestleMania. They completely deserved to but the closest they came was the closing portion of a four-way elimination main event, also involving Big Show and Mick Foley at WrestleMania 2000. Behind Austin versus McMahon and Austin versus The Rock it was one of the defining rivalries of the time. Behind that second programme it was the greatest rivalry of Rock's career. It was quite possibly the greatest of Triple H's, with only his work opposite the various guises of Mick Foley coming close to being both as good and as important to his career.

I mention all of this because there's been speculation since WrestleMania Play Button that Rock and Triple H will face one another at next year's WrestleMania Star in Texas. This has picked up again recently because of SummerSlam. With the event being stretched to four hours (the first WWE event not named WrestleMania to hit that mark) and being held in NYC it's fair to say that WWE will want to add something to the announced card to make it special. A showdown between the on-screen boss and his old movie-making rival would fit the bill nicely. If they came to blows to set up a future match that would be A Big Deal.

Of course, part of the previously mentioned speculative chatter regaining a Rock and Trips bout is that it would somehow involve Rhonda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon. This would make sense given the segment involving all four at 'Mania earlier this year. But while a mixed tag match at WM32 would certainly be memorable it would also feel a tiny but like a squandered opportunity.

In Rock v Triple H WWE has a perfect chance to revisit one of the company's defining rivalries and give them the only kind of match they've never had: a WrestleMania showdown. Were it to happen and Rhonda Rousey was still on the card (her ability to wrestle a match for WWE has been questioned since her UFC boss Dana White stated publicly that he wouldn't let her) then she and Steph could have a singles match. That would probably be more enjoyable anyway: a squash in which uber-heel Steph gets tapped out in a few minutes sounds like a good addition to a 'Mania card to me. Meanwhile if either Rock or Tripper were considering retiring at all in the next little while this is a match that could provide a fitting end to either career (although the assumption that Undertaker's retiring in Texas makes that unlikely, nobody wants to see two retirement matches in one night). It's the match I'd like to see WWE revisit more than any other. One final addition to the feud at a WrestleMania sounds pretty good to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment