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Friday, September 22, 2017

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EOTR Feud Of The Week: Triple H vs Shawn Michaels

By @Phranchize19 and @TrueGodImmortal

The Triple H and Shawn Michaels rivalry was one of the best feuds in wrestling history. The story virtually told itself. Triple H and Shawn Michaels were the best friends. Shawn is forced to temporarily retire while during that time, Triple H began his ascension to the top of the wrestling world. Shawn comes back and wants to reunite only for Triple H to turn on him. They would have MANY hellacious battles. I feel Triple H got the better end of the rivalry and rightfully so. It was Triple H’s time. I do however feel this rivalry benefited Shawn Michaels because it helped him get back into the swing of things as a competitor.

Favorite Matches

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
Hell in a Cell (Phranchize's Pick)

-I think this was simply phenomenal. It put an end to the rivalry (temporarily) and it was a fitting end. These two would do battle inside HIAC longer than any competitors in history. Both men would bleed and Triple H would bleed twice. The back and forth battle was almost 50 minutes and there was no lapse in the action IMO.

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
Summerslam 2002
(True's Pick)

-Of all the matches they had, this is still my favorite. The first in their storied rivalry of the 2000s is still their best. For 30 minutes, both men went out and gave it all they had. What made this match even more surprising and enjoyable is that HBK hadn't wrestled in over 4 years, but he looked like he hadn't missed a beat. Shawn wins, but Triple H ends up walking out healthy and able to continue on following his post match attack. This match is perfect.

Least Favorite Matches

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels 
European Championship
Monday Night RAW 1997 (Phranchize's Pick)

-It wasn’t really a match and honestly was a stupid yet necessary plan to get the belt from HBK to Triple H. I chose this one because it didn't actually happen during their bigger rivalry, but it's probably the worst match between the two.

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
Bad Blood 2004
Hell In A Cell (True's Pick)

-Phranchize selected this as his choice for the best, but looking at their rivalry from 2002 to 2004, this is their worst match for sure. It's far too long, drags on, and just feels a bit overbooked. It's not a bad match, it just feels as if it's trying too hard to top their other matches. The only other choice I had for this was their Armageddon match that was a 3 Stages of Hell contest, but I enjoyed that more than this match. Not a bad match at all, but just not on the level of their others.

Underrated Matches 

This rivalry actually has some slept on matches. While many look towards their triple threat matches with Chris Benoit (which count, but don't count) and the Elimination Chamber matches they were a part of, two matches come to mind. The first? Their very underrated clash on a December 2003 episode of RAW where it seemed HBK won the title in his hometown, but that decision didn't stand. That would lead to the main choice for the most underrated.

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels
Royal Rumble 2004

-Last Man Standing. This was supposed to be the final match of the feud, but as we know, it wasn't. It was a great contest that showed both men going to great lengths to win. While it's not the best of their series and rivalry, it's a match that deserves much credit for the back and forth action. Triple H retains the belt since both men can't make the 10 count, but for nearly 30 minutes, these two beat the hell out of each other and give it their all, making for a great contest and their most slept on match.

Winner Of The Feud
In many ways, there is no loser. Triple H wins the feud, considering he has more victories over Shawn in this rivalry, but HBK is a winner for putting on classic performances through the entire feud. Still, if we have to pick one winner, Triple H would defeat Shawn at Armageddon 2002, retain at Royal Rumble 2004, and get the final victory over him at Badd Blood 2004 (also a one off match at Taboo Tuesday 2004), with the sole true victories for HBK coming at Summerslam 2002 and Survivor Series 2002 in the Elimination Chamber. Still, the fact remains, HBK vs HHH was a great rivalry and one that will be appreciated for years to come.



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