By: Joseph Montana
In the WWE, great heels are few and far between. We get a lot of potential greats that turn into just good ones such as Big Show, Kane and Batista. I’m reluctant to put Bray Wyatt in here because I’m still holding out hope that the Eater of Worlds will turn it around. While good sustains your career, it is the great ones that we remember and who ultimately become legendary like Bobby Heenan, Edge and the NWO.
WWE has been in a bit of a drought when it comes to producing great heels, but does have a couple of potential stars waiting in the wings. Over the next few pieces, I want to examine these potential heirs to the HEEL Throne.
But first, let me introduce the King of Heels…aka the King of Kings, the Cerebral Assassin himself, Triple H. (imagine Lillian Garcia saying it and it sounds so much cooler)
In recent memory H3 stands out as one of, if not the greatest heel in my mind. I know I’ll draw heat here, but for all his tyranny and backstage manipulations (read: Marrying into the fam), Triple H could/can draw heat like few can. If you looked up and down that current roster, with the exclusion of Seth Rollins, who we will get to later, you would be hard pressed to find a better heel.
His work as a villain has meant more to the company and business than very few others. Think of the awesome storylines that have come about thanks to his awesomeness as a heel. The McMahon-Helmsley era stands out big time. The Authority is a pale comparison to the Corporation. That regime ruled the Attitude Era with an iron fist. And sure Triple H started out at war with them but once he flipped from DX and married the boss’s daughter, his career took off.
If we rank him on Bret Hart’s Rating System which is a scale of 1-10 in three categories: Look, Talk and Work. I’m going to rank Triple H in his prime.
Here’s how I would score him:
Look: 8. This is during his jacked days when he came back from that devastating quad injury that kept him out for 8 months. Now I’m no John Cena in terms of physique…I’m closer to a Santino Marella, but looking back at Triple H as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, I can entertain the idea that maybe I could take him in a semi-fair, I have the sledgehammer type of fight. But coming back from eight months off is a different story. Eight months of training and honing his hobby of bodybuilding and using it to craft one hell of a build. Eight months of putting himself into some of the best shape of his career. I’m going to go ahead and place the sledgehammer down, make like Sir Robin and run away. The Game has the Look. Nowadays it’s a little more dad-body-ish, but in his prime the Cerebral Assassin was ripped.
Talk/Promo: 6. Many will argue that DX had some great promos with H at the helm and I will be the first to agree but this is looking at individual work not ensemble. In my opinion, Triple H has had some good promos but his overall body of work is somewhat pedestrian. I just never felt a rise or fall when it came to his promos on his own. Now pair him with Shawn Michaels and you get gold, but I attribute this more to HBK being one of the greatest promo guys of all time so there is a fall off when you take HBK out.
In-ring Work: 9. Triple H, for what he lacks in the promo department, will never be called a potato in the ring. This guy is one of the best workers in the business, each and every match he works proves it. His match against Sting at Wrestlemania is a prime example of how great a worker he is. He made an older, more ring-rusty Sting look good. He’s never let injury stop him from putting on a great match. When he tore his quad, he finished the match and even let Jericho put the Walls on him. That move puts most of the pressure on your quads. Triple H is one of the best at giving his all and for that I rank him high. Take into account all those times a PPV card has been revealed and you’ve thought to yourself Triple H vs. Flavor-of-the-Week….meh, and then it turned out to be one of the best matches on the card…that’s a credit to the King of Kings. If you don’t believe me, watch his matches against JBL or the Spirit Squad. In-Ring work also takes into account bumps and sells and Triple H is one hell of a seller, he takes his bumps like a champ. Aside from the occasional fall to the floor, hair flailing around tantrum/sell, he draws you in and makes you, just for a bit, believe this world is real and the outcome is still up in the air. For that I will always rank him as one of the best.
A Perfect Talent would be a 30. Brett Hart has his in the Dynamite Kid. He said a mid to high twenty would be a great talent. Triple H comes in at a 23. And He’s my blueprint heel.
So there you have it. Agree. Disagree. Don’t Care. Whatever your feelings towards my ranking of The Game, I think you can agree he has been one of the best, most consistent heels of recent memory. Feel free to leave me a comment or two and let me know what y’all think.