Toy Story 3 is an amazing movie. It’s the big, grand conclusion of an epic story that has taken years to tell, complete with a long break in the middle while a lot of the principle cast grew up. At one point near the end, the toys, including the old guy in a cowboy hat years after his prime, are about to die at the hands of a monster that was a player in the story beforehand while surrounded by an intimidating metal structure, only to be saved at the last possible second in one of the best fake outs of all time. Everything ends with the main cast looking at each other as the audience cheers.
Compare this to Triple H vs. the Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as guest referee at WrestleMania 28. It featured the grand conclusion to the Triple H/Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker feud, which started in the late 1990s, had a rekindling during the early 2000s, and blew the whole thing off several years later. There’s even an old guy in a cowboy hat (and a referee shirt) with one of the great false finishes in wrestling history, all while surrounded by an intimidating metal structure. Everything ends with the main cast looking at each other as the audience cheers.
And now, in both cases, they’re going to (maybe) screw it up with an unnecessary sequel: Toy Story 4 next June and the FINAL Undertaker vs. Triple H match at Super Show-Down next month. It’s easy to understand why these things are happening, but at the same time it’s kind of hard to really get excited when everything else ended in the perfect way that it did in the first place.
It got started with a great one.
Now, I understand why the match is taking place. Super Show-Down is a one off show which isn’t the most important thing in the world but needs a way to attract casual fans to the 100,000 person seat Melbourne Cricket Ground. You’re not going to draw that many people with the Shield, Braun Strowman and Dolph Ziggler. You need to have some big stars that the masses are more familiar with and are going to draw in the casual fans. Fine. Makes sense, and has been done for years (like at WrestleMania nearly every year, often with these two guys).
The thing is though, the story is one that doesn’t need to continue. There are other ways and other people that could be brought back up. Heck have them in separate singles matches. Make them be a team. Do something other than putting the two of them together to say “we’re doing it again” and trying to recreate the magic that was such a perfect deal when they were both already old six and a half years ago.
What else could you put on? Well what about either of them facing someone without as long of a tenure in WWE? Say….Triple H vs. Samoa Joe or Undertaker vs. AJ Styles? That’s a pair of dream matches (the latter would make a lot of hardcore fans drool) and something you could build the show around. Daniel Bryan and the Miz are already having a #1 contenders match on the same show. Have Undertaker challenge Styles for the SmackDown World Title and say there’s a chance this leads to Undertaker vs. Bryan. How many extra eyes would that draw? Especially with the Triple H match as a bonus on the show.
Then an awesome rematch.
Flash back to me to the original feud itself. Ignoring the WrestleMania 17 match (absolutely awesome) and everything that happened as side stories from the Michaels vs. Undertaker feud (even more awesome), the story that ended inside the Cell was one that lasted over the course of four WrestleManias. The point was Michaels couldn’t stop the Streak and lost his career over it. Triple H gave it a shot and lost (in a pretty overrated match) so it was time for the two of them to combine forces and try to finally end the Streak or die trying, whichever came first.
That’s what brought us to the Cell, and one of the greatest matches of all time. Undertaker brought out the dark side of Triple H and Michaels was named guest referee. If the Streak was ever going to end it was going to be here, no matter what it took. This was the definition of stacking the deck against Undertaker and seeing how hard he could come out swinging. There was a recipe for an instant classic here and dang if they didn’t knock it out of the park.
The match is a roller coaster of emotions with the great moments from Michaels wanting to stop the match because Triple H is getting too brutal, followed by what might be the best near fall of all time off Sweet Chin Music into the Pedigree and then Undertaker unleashing one of the greatest beatings ever on Triple H, followed by stepping on the sledgehammer to let Triple H know that the end was near. A pair of Tombstones finally ended the match, the era (still not sure what exactly they’re talking about there) and one of the all time great stories. The trio embraced on the stage and it was finally over.
I mean, how are you supposed to top that? It was the way the fans wanted to see it happen and they couldn’t have done things any better. There aren’t many matches or stories that come anywhere close to this and six and a half years later, I’d really rather not see the feud continue. I know it’s not going to be able to accomplish this again, as they’re having about six weeks of build instead of three years (assuming you ignore all of their previous stuff).
And finally, a masterpiece.
This is a case where there’s only so much that can be done between these two and there’s little storyline reason for it to continue. Just hearing the promo from Triple H last week made me think that they were trying to do it all over again. You can almost never capture lightning in a bottle all over again, no matter how talented the two people involved in the match are.
They would be better off just leaving history alone. Either find a fresh idea to put out there or don’t put so much focus on what they’ve done before. All it’s going to do is make the fans realize that the match isn’t as good as what they did before. Come up with something better than “we’re doing it one more time” after the previous match was built on the idea of it being the big blowoff.
Is there even a need for this many promos? Just putting Undertaker vs. Triple H on a poster and the ads should be more than enough of a selling point. The story really doesn’t fit no matter how you look at it, as they feel like they’re trying to grasp at whatever straws they can. They built up something that was so good when they did it in the first place and concluded so perfectly what I really don’t want anything to continue the story. Not when it was so outstanding the last time around.
I’m sure the match is going to be a lot of fun as those two are incapable of having a bad match against each other. However, there’s just so much history between the two and the situations are working against them to ever come close to what they did before. It’s the kind of match that is going to draw in all of the people, but there are other ways to bring in a big crowd and not go back to the same story. It’s far from the worst idea in the world, but it’s also not the best ever. Let the history stay somewhere other than down under.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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