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Friday, July 3, 2015

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Classic Rivalries: The Rock vs Triple H

Some rivalries seem extremely genuine. It's not very often but every once in a while, you start to believe that these guys might really hate each other. When Austin vs Rock took place, it just felt like two men trying to outdo the other and put on the best show possible. When Triple H vs Shawn Michaels took place, you knew the two were just best friends teaming up to make the best feud possible. However, when The Rock and Triple H went head to head, it always felt real. Competitive, but real. Like the possible disdain they felt for each other could not be hidden under the guise of business. That made this their rivalry much more intense and aggressive. And long standing. The Rock and Triple H began fighting back in 1997, when The Rock was known as Flex Kavana.....errr..... Rocky Maivia. Rock beat HHH for the Intercontinental Title in February 1997 and from there a rivalry was born.

The feud amped up in the summer of 1998, as The Rock and The Nation of Domination took on HHH and DX. Rock and HHH put on two awesome matches back to back, one at Fully Loaded and another one at Summerslam in a ladder match.

HHH ended up winning the IC Title in that ladder match, and as the feud died down briefly in 1999 with HHH and Rock turning heel to join the Corporation, it soon rekindled in the summer AGAIN, with a Rock vs HHH strap match at Fully Loaded 1999. For the reminder of the year, HHH and Rock would have their feud continue here and there, but the apex of their rivalry came in the year 2000. With Austin out of action the entire year, Rock and HHH feuded over the WWE Championship for about 5 to 6 months. The summer of 2000 was once again carried by a Rock vs HHH feud, this time with the richest prize in the game up for grabs. Kurt Angle was added into the mix for Summerslam in a triple threat, but the fact remains that for 3 straight summers, WWE went to the old faithful Rock vs HHH feud to help carry the product. After the summer of 2000 however, the feud brought itself to a close and we never really got to see it truly rekindled from there. Outside of a match on RAW in August 2002 and a few small promos, the feud was finally put to rest.

Until we arrived at the 15th Anniversary of Smackdown, where a backstage promo between the two took place and immediately started rumors of Rock vs HHH happening again at a future Wrestlemania.

Well, they did end up having a segment with each other at Wrestlemania 31 that included Stephanie McMahon and Ronda Rousey, teasing a potential tag team match or a Rock vs Triple H match with Ronda and Steph in the respective corners. A rivalry rooted in the fight to be best, genuine competition and rumored real-life dislike, this is one of the best feuds ever. Below, we complied a small list of their best matches together.

Best Matches
-Fully Loaded 1998- 2 out of 3 Falls match for the IC Championship(seen above)

-Summerslam 1998- Ladder Match for the IC Championship

-Backlash 2000- WWF Title Match

-Judgment Day 2000- Ironman Match for the WWF Title(seen below)

We may never see a rivalry like this once again, and the crazy thing is, that after 17 years, the feud might not be completely over just yet. Time will tell.



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