HHH v Rikishi (1/6/00)
- Cal tossed this out as a comparison to the Rock/Kane match I go on about from time to time, in that it's a good example of Trip making his opponent look like a legit threat. I don't think it's as good as Rock/Kane, but Hunter does make Rikishi look good here. The thing that seperates the Kane match from this, is that Rock managed to make Kane look like a monster without having him blow through all of his big stuff. Instead, Rock was the one that hit all of *his* big stuff, let Kane kick out and come back for more, and eventually managed to put him away with two Rock Bottoms, a People's Elbow and a bit of assistance from the fuggin' Undertaker. If that doesn't establish you, then what does? Here, Rikishi hits his Samoan Drop, his superkick and his Bonzai Drop from the middle turnbuckle, and Hunter kicks out of all of them. I'm not taking a jab at Trips by saying that, because he was the WWF champion at that stage and there was no way he was losing it on TV, but what I am saying is that Rock managed to get Kane, who was pretty un-important at that stage, over by working a match that left you knowing Kane still had more in the holster, at least offensively. It was kinda like a touring Flair defence in that regard, where the challenger comes up short and Flair escapes in a way where you think the challenger, if it weren't for a shady trick or time limit expiration, would've had him. Obviously the roles between Rock and Flair are different, so it's not quite as clear cut as that, but the general point remains. You don't *really* get that sense here, but at least Rikishi still has the Rikishi Driver, and that's what manages to make this a strong "Hunter playing Flair performance". If he hits the Rikishi Driver, you know it's over. So does Hunter, which is why he eventually says "Fuck it!" and just blasts him with the belt in full view of the ref'. Rikishi had already kicked out of a chair shot before that, and that puts it over the top even more. So it's a good match. I think the Rock match was "smarter", and ultimately better, but this isn't that far off. Won't vote for it, but it's a lot of fun.