Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Triple H: The Bravest, Smartest, Strongest, Toughest... and Boringest

Too cool for school? Booooring.
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Yesterday, I wrote about the beginning of where the Triple H backlash began and whether he really deserved it. The study in Triple H continues today.

If you ask most people who don't give a shit about the backstage stuff what annoys them most about Triple H, my guess is if they have an answer, and believe me, he has enough fans out there that you're going to have a bunch of people say nothing annoys them, is that nothing seems to faze him. He's totally unaffected in that nothing you can do or say to him will make him show any kind of vulnerability. To use wrestling terms, he doesn't sell, even if in the ring, he sells, if that makes any sense. He always seems to need to be the center of attention in any segment he's in, regardless of whether it's warranted or not.

A lot of times, this doesn't come off as anything but annoying. He tries to be funny, and the only one laughing is him and sometimes the people who are fans of his most. If he levies an insult at you, you're supposed to take it to heart, but nothing you can say to him will make him think of you as anything but a mere annoyance, someone that he'll defeat in the ring. He always has to be portrayed as the smartest, the funniest, the toughest, the bravest, the strongest, the coolest... hell, any positive adjective you can describe, and that's what Trips seems to have to be portrayed as. As I said in Instant Feedback Monday, it's like he has this pathological desire to have all his attributes maxed out at 99 at all times. Is it ego? Is it bad writing? I don't know, but what I do know is it plays off terribly most of the time.

Look at the final segment to RAW Monday. Everyone did their part to make it pop except for one guy. CM Punk held the crowd in his hand. John Cena served as a great counterweight. John Laurinitis' big ol' melon head was the perfect thing for Punk to kick. Then there was Trips, whom every time he interjected into the fray seemed to be out of place, changing the tone to one that didn't fit. I'm not alone in this either, as chatter from message boards, Twitter and from B-Stroud at With Leather all noticed the same thing. And it's nothing new.

Sad thing is, he didn't always come off like this. There were times when he actually showed vulnerability, and it enhanced his story. This well of goodwill dried up mostly in 2001, but at the same time, when he sold for guys outside the ring as well as inside of it, it made for a much more interesting ride towards the match. I mean, did anyone think that if Trips went "Pffft, nbd" at everything Batista did and said leading up to their WrestleMania 21 match that it would have been as much of a moment? No.

That's the thing, being a no-selling creep doesn't make for interesting storytelling for most. It makes things boring. When you have guys showing vulnerability, it usually reveals character, and character makes a story work, especially if the endgame of that chapter is having the guy who would be otherwise invulnerable winning.

So yeah, even if you discount the backstage stuff, and as people who aren't backstage or in the company and who don't know exactly what went down (don't kid yourselves, my guess is a bunch of dirtsheet writers don't exactly know either), there are a lot of reasons why Triple H is perhaps the most annoying and boring wrestler in the last 10 years. This is definitely a hurdle that folks like me have to enjoying him now, regardless of how many people he puts over or helps enhance.

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