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HHH vs Chris Benoit (WWF No Mercy 10/22/00)


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#1 soup23

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:24 PM

A fantastic match from the two best workers of 2000 in the US. HHH has a huge face reaction and chant before the bell rings and goes right to work on Benoit's leg. The opening four-five minutes revolve around this and it is compelling face HHH work with Benoit selling it like crazy. Once the action spills to the outside, Benoit is able to find an opening and go after the arm of HHH. This is really incredible with him just going right after the arm in a multitude of ways and making HHH seem vulnerable. HHH for his part I thought was strong in selling the limb. Headbutt to the arm was a highlight for me. Then we get the finishing stretch with Steph running out, HHH using that as a way to do a short cut of low blowing Benoit leading  to the pedigree and win. They did a great job before that in a sequence of HHH going for the pedigree and not being able to succeed because of the weakened arm. However, Benoit also can't lock in the crossface good because HHH goes after the leg that was hurt when he attempts the submission. King was great on commentary pointing out short cut pin attempts and desperation moves HHH was using because he was in the deep waters. A fantastic match that is pretty underrated. ****1/4 (8.6) 

#2 TonyPulis'Cap

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:19 AM

Really glad to see this one get the high praise - this is a match that I love. Back in 2000 when I first saw it, I was still at school and as you are at that age more into high spots and hardcore matches, but this was the first match that opened my eyes to deeper storytelling and psychology in a match. Triple H is truly excellent in this match, and I love his work on the leg at the beginning. Benoit had been the aggressor in so many of his matches since coming into the WWF and dominating in them, but here he gets completely taken apart and it's great watching him having to survive and then recalculate his game plan as the match goes on. As Soup highlights, as soon as he gets an opening on the arm, it's bang! he's straight on it and working it over in so many nasty ways. I loved the finishing sequence of them both having to adapt their moves because of the work that the other had done and even the ending with Steph coming out, plays well into the wider storylines going on and it doesn't effect the quality of the match. Triple H's overness with the crowd as a face in the match and the genuine sympathy that he was getting shows a real missed opportunity, given what happens the next month and the return to being a full on heel. Twice in Triple H's career you feel there's a big 'what if' from turning full on face - here and the night after Wrestlemania XVII. I'm right with you at a **** 1/4 - **** 1/2 rating.      

#3 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 03:15 AM

This was really good. You've got to give the Devil his due and acknowledge that 2000 was Triple H's year. I know people who don't like him try to claim that even his 2000 isn't that good but I haven't seen any evidence of that. He works hard in every match, is constantly selling on offense and defense and pays attention to detail with his transitions and set-up moves. He's an excellent performer. The problem is that he's not a beloved one. But then I suppose he doesn't deserve to be. I thought it was noticeable that he brought some extra offense to this going up against a great offensive wrestler like Benoit. Ross is always going on about Triple H the strategist and this was one match where he definitely worked smart. The crowd was lost in the beginning either because it was too cerebral for them or they were confused because Triple H wasn't a legit face but they grew louder during the finishing stretch. Usually, I'd hate the shit with Stephanie and the low blow but it kind of worked here. I liked the Crossface vs. Pedigree battle at the end and the low blow was in keeping with Triple H's character. And the Stephanie interference worked because of the headbutt angle. On the other hand, something about the bout lacked true main event quality (if you're thinking of it as a semi-main event) and the lack of a video package was also odd. But from my own point of view, this was a very goo bout. 

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