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Star Makers

*unnecessary introduction redacted* 
Scott, there's been a lot of talk on the blog over the years of who made who, or didn't. We all know Triple H loves to talk about how no big star (like, say, Mick Foley or Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin) ever laid down for him. My question is, who made the most stars by feuding with, teaming with, and/or jobbing to them? Rock's great, but he ruined people as often as he made them. My money's on either Shawn (absolutely made Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, and I'd argue he was a pretty big part of HHH breaking the glass ceiling in the first place with DX. And that's just before his comeback where he laid down for pretty much everybody.), or Savage, who made everyone he feuded with look like a million bucks, win or lose, and pretty much singlehandedly turned DDP from scrub into Main Eventer. But then you know more than I do, so who would your picks be?  

Yeah, Savage is a real good pick.  When it came time to do business, he would MAKE people.  Flair of course would go from town to town making local guys into bigger stars every night on a smaller scale, too.  Yeah, Flair gets flack for not putting Luger over at the right times, but he made tons of other stars.  

Comments

  1. I'd go with either Special Delivery Jones or Iron Mike Sharpe.

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  2. It depends really on your definition of 'star'. If by top draw, then Savage is definitely going to be the way forward there. He was the perfect storm of larger-than-life, yet strangely human that could connect with the fans and get other people over at the same time. Shawn Michaels from 2002 onward is another great choice.

    Now, if by star you just mean 'recognized name', then I think the list begins and ends with Hulk Hogan. For years, Hogan elevated everyone he competed with into $20,000 a night business across the country. And once the top heels finished with Hogan, they were solid mid to upper card from then on. How did King Kong Bundy achieve national fame? Paul Orndorff? Ted DiBiase?  When flavor of the month, generic challengers like Haku or Nikolai Volkoff got finished, they parlayed that run into semi-successful mid-card careers.

    The beat goes on. What was Mr. Perfect's first major feud in the WWF, that propelled him towards the Intercontinental Title in 1990? You could even say Hogan turned the Undertaker from scary gimmick wrestler to serious threat in 1991, as Taker's first title win (albeit brief) proved he had a higher ceiling than contemporaries like the Barbarian, Berzerker and Warlord. Hell, even Yokozuna could point to the King of the Ring '93 victory over Hogan as a watershed moment in his career. From that point on, Yokozuna never really reached those same heights again, even after 3/4ths of a year as champion!

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  3. Maybe the reason Flair never "made" Luger because Flair knew he wasn't worth it? Flair laid down for everybody else, and Luger was put on top of WCW and WWF and it didn't make a difference.

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  4. "What was Mr. Perfect's first major feud in the WWF, that propelled him towards the Intercontinental Title in 1990?"

    agree on most of the others. but not on this one. the horrible Hogan-feud might actually be the main thing to damage Perfects WWF career.

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  5. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Your forgetting Angle and Lesner in 02. Granted he didn't do it alone but he helped. And he put the Rock on a higher level with the WM 18 match. (But he didn't elevate KIDMAN....that is an unforgivable sin. Bad, BAD Hogan)

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  6. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Scott Casey...he was in the survivor series you know.

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  7. I think it was more that Flair thought Luger was a little *too* worth it. As in he was a threat to Flair's spot.

    It's the classic move of putting over guys you know will never threaten your spot while being difficult with legit threats. HHH putting over Shelton twice in 2004 is a perfect example.

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  8. Savage was great but he did not take DDP from "scrub" to main eventer "singlehandedly".  DDP was a damn popular upper mid-card face just from his refusal to join the nWo and reunite with Hall and Nash.  Savage helped take him over the top, but to say he was a scrub is rewritting history.

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  9. That very well may be true, although even if Flair felt that way, I'm not sure it would really be his place to make that decision.  I can see someone making the case for waiting in 1988, since Sting was clearly a star on the horizon, but in '91 after Sting hadn't worked out on top and Flair regaining the title didn't seem to move the numbers either, I think Luger probably deserved an honest attempt.  I don't think he had much chance to succeed coming out of that debacle though.

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  10. Yeah, as I recall DDP shunned the NWO at the start of January 1997 and then started the Savage feud in March, so he was definitely already pretty over at that point, but Savage definitely helped him cement his status.

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  11. - Triple H's whole legend began when Mick Foley put him over. What Mick did for Haitch made him a star after almost a whole year of trying to get over as a main event force. I'm disgusted that Triple H buries him behind the scenes. 

    - Flair was king at making anyone look awesome. 

    - Dolph Ziggler jobs and makes the entire roster look like a million dollars. How many Brogue Kicks has he taken so far?

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  12. I was in high school during the late 90's and I recall everyone running around throwing up DDP hand signs, he was very over. 

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  13. Bret Hart. He made a fucking pirate seem like a credible mid carder.

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  14. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I was in the muscial Tommy in 97. During some of the songs we more or less had the freedom to do what we wanted so a castmate and I worked the diamond cutter sign into one of the routines. I flashed the sign, then did the "bang" part as I dropped to my knees. So yeah I would say he was over., (Related note..I didn't both with kneepads so my knees hurt for about 3 month afterwards

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  15. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    FUNB?

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  16. Yeah he was. I've never understood people that had a problem with giving him the belt, he was the company's #1 babyface. Even more so than Sting, DDP went up against the nWo head on and took his beatings like a man while Sting was hiding in the rafters like a little bitch. Hell, Jay-Z stole his hand signal, that should tell you something right there.

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  17. Terry Funk used his credibility as an old timer hardass to put people over and give them credibility ever since the late 80s, not to mention everyone he had a feud with beforehand. You could argue that his involvement with ECW made the whole company, and then he helped give a rub to Foley in WWF and then jumped to WCW and tried to give credibility to their whole hardcore division. He was pretty much the template for the semi-retired wrestler who uses their post-prime years to try and give back to the wrestling business, and it's inspired the likes of Foley and Jericho to follow in his footsteps. These are all reasons why Terry Funk will always be one of my favorite wrestlers. 

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  18. Is the whole story about Flair being totally unselfish and always wanting to put guys over to make new stars really true? That seems to be the book on him, but there's guys like Steiner who felt Flair tried to make him look bad - a claim that Lance Storm even supports based on watching their Clash match. I admit I only became familiar with Flair during his WWF run but the only guy I can see that he really made a star was Sting. I guess Steamboat to? I don't know what his standing was prior to feuding with Flair - was he already a star on Flairs level? I just see "making" a star as an established star working with a guy who's not there and putting him over until he is.

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  19.  I don't know if HBK's post 2002 run resulted in him making a lot of stars. He was willing to job, for sure, but did anyone really come out of an HBK feud on a higher level than when they went in? I don't blame him for this, as it's more their 50/50 booking, but he'd put a guy like Kennedy over then win the rematch. Or win the pay per view match and lose the forgotten Raw match. His most significant job I thought was to Jeff Hardy on Raw, in terms of elevating a guy.

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  20. It's an interesting argument: Did Luger bomb in 91 and in his WWF run because Flair didn't put him over, or was he just not capable of being "the guy" and Flair was justified in not putting him over? I'm thinking the latter, but unfortunately we'll never know.

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  21.  I liked DDP when he was a midcarder, but I didn't see him as anything more than that, even as a mark who really liked him...even when he turned on the nWo I knew he was popular but didn't take him as a top guy. The Savage win shocked me and made feel that he was a main eventer - so it definitely cemented his status. Being a popular midcarer is fine but eventually you need that win over a main eventer.

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  22. Well, you also probably have to separate the Jim Crockett years from the Ted Turner years somewhat.  Flair helped build a ton of guys up through the 1980s as strong challengers for house show runs, but it really wasn't until his long-time position as the main guy was threatened in the late 1980s that you really heard of him scoffing about putting over some of the guys they had in mind. 

    I think a lot of those battles were more petty and had less to do with the guys he faced than they are portrayed to be though, because I think the overriding issue was that Flair was paranoid about Dusty Rhodes booking and worrying that he'd try and destroy his career if given the opportunity. 

    When Dusty left in 1989, Flair obviously seemed more at least, trading the belt with Steamboat and putting Sting over on top, but when Dusty Rhodes came back to WCW and rejoined the booking committee in early 1991, they were battling once again.  Jim Herd mentioned in his Observer interview that he thought the biggest mistake he made was bringing Dusty Rhodes back, because it really drove a wedge between him and Flair.

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  23.  Still with this behind the scenes rumor mill bull about Foley and HHH?

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  24. It is in reference to what I like to call the Stone Cold Hollywood Hogan vest haha.

    http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTaK86qU8VEQvBxnov_vgTCSXp_A_Va4E9PBDqL_gudpzw3ACfNuAceSEyw

    http://www.geocities.ws/drockmx/hogan04.jpg

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  25. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Ah much appreciated NWA88. I am actually not new, I was just going by my real name, Mike Southern, before. I switched my log in from facebook to discus and figured I would go with a nickname. So really its just like Syxx beco

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  26. Foley had a way of making anyone, rookie or already established star:

    - Obviously, he solidified Triple H as a main event heel. He did the same for Edge in their Wrestlemania match.

    - He helped get Orton ready for the main event.- He made Shawn look like a badass in their matches.

    - His matches with the Rock gave Rock that mean streak he really needed in the ring.

    - His matches with Taker gave the character the vulnerability his character needed at the time.

    - Vader looked like a killer thanks to Foley.

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  27.  Thanks for the information on that. Flair seems like the kind of guy that would be fine helping you make more money, just as long as it's not cutting into his. Which in fairness probably describes most people in wrestling.

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  28. Flair also helped make Nikita Koloff a star, and was part of the process that was grooming Magnum TA before his accident. 

    Anyway in the early to mid 80s, Flair helped make starts without necessarily having to lay down for them.  Don't forget - he had been a multiple time NWA champion and for years before Turner bought WCW.   Especially when he was the NWA champ and toured from territory to territory he'd make the local stars look great, but still somehow sneak out a win or a draw and retain the title.   And then move on to the next territory.  To some extent that's what his finishes with Luger were, but that didn't work as well now that JCP/WCW was a national promotion.

    And really, IMO that's part of the problem JCP/early WCW had in general - they kept doing non-finishes and never really gave feuds a good blow-off.  Yeah, Flair, like every other big star could be self-involved and used politics to help himself - but WCW's booking at times didn't really do any favors.  The constant turnover of bookers and promoters probably did a lot to help make everyone feel insecure and look out for themselves. 

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  29.  Awesome call. Just by the way he worked, Bret made everyone look credible. He never squashed guys per se. Stone Cold's the obvious example, but I'm even thinking of his matches on Superstars against Waltman and Backlund. Made everyone look like a million bucks.

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  30. Ah ha!  Well, welcome back in your new incarnation.  And nobody is going to blame you for forgetting about FUNB -- as it was entirely forgettable haha

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  31. No problem!  And yeah I agree, it's not exactly 'unusual' behavior for an aging champion, although it's certainly not commendable. 

    I guess that's the lesson about the wrestling business to be learned -- you really do need someone in charge who can sort through the paranoia and the egos and do what's best for the company.  WCW really never had the type of organizational structure to support that effectively, so it was always sort of the case of the inmates running the asylum, with wrestlers on the booking committee rehashing old rivalries with each other.

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  32.  I think you also have to remember the ego of guys like Flair, Hogan, Austin, HBK - really almost any top guy.  I don't think it's entirely selfishness- they honestly believed that being the top star was what was best for the promotion. The WWF was sucessful for years with Hogan on top, JCP had some great yars with Flair on top.
     

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  33. Triple H was number 2 heel in the company back in early 99 and was having the best matches on the card back to mid 98. The Foley match and feud was great but people seriously need to revisit H's 99 run.

    --Backlash 99 -- awesome match with X-Pac
    --Over the Edge 99 -- Owen dies -- HHH and Rock still go out and have a solid match due to their chemistry
    --KOTR 99 -- not booked (mark against him)
    --Fully Loaded 99 -- beats Rock in a strap match and best match on the show -- becomes number 1 contender
    --before Summerslam in July -- gives the promo of his life and declares himself The Game  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ac6oh37_tc
    --Summerslam 99 -- in the main event triple threat, best match on the card or tied for best with Shane-Test
    --night after Summerslam 99 -- wins world title in a very good match against Foley
    --before Unforgiven 99 -- loses the belt to Vince with Austin's help (mark against him)
    --Unforgiven 99 -- wins the belt back in the six pack challenge -- best match on the card
    --Rebellion 99 -- beats Rock in a cage match -- best match on the card
    --No Mercy 99 -- beats Austin with Rock's accidental help -- second best match on the card to the Hardyz/EnC ladder match
    --Survivor Series 99 -- loses belt to Big Show in triple threat in an OK match and WTF booking (neutral mark)
    --Armageddon 99 -- beats Vince in a hellaciously overlong brawl when Stephanie turns on Vince (match is a mark against him, booking is a mark for him)
    --first raw of 2000 -- wins belt back from Show in a very good match and reforms heel DX

    If nothing else, we need to admit that if Austin "created" the WWF wandering brawl style in early 98 because of his neck issues and reduced mobility, then Triple H was rescuing the main event style and saved it by mid 99 and carried it into 2000 when the Radicalz helped him cement a more mat-based main event style that basically lasted for the next two years at least.

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  34. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I actually don't mind the fuck you part. Its like when I was laughing at my dad because he had to go to his mother in laws and he called me an asshole. My reply..."yes dad but I embrace that" :)

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  35. The truly ironic thing about HHH wanting to forget Foley is that Mick also "made him" in an earlier feud too.  Their feud in 97 was pretty hot and helped get Chyna over, since Mick was one of the first if not the first to let her beat on a guy,.

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  36. I think that any 'aging' champion - whether it's Hogan or Flair or Dusty or whomever may not really see the difference between what's good for them and what's good for the company.  Their company made tons of money with them on top in the past, it's only natural that they'd think that the success could continue and for them to think that they're not the problem.  Instead it must be the fault of the booker or promoter or opponent or whomever. 

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  37. He still wasn't that over until Foley, all those matches were like ***, no one gave a shit until Royal Rumble 2000. 1999 wasn't a great in ring year for WWE. 

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  38.  Don't forget Foley also had a big hand in making Edge

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  39.  Is that where the Steiner/Flair animosity stems from, that Clash match?  I've wondered about that because I've always heard the story that Flair wanted to make Steiner "the man" at one point and Scott balked at the proposal because he wanted to stay with Rick. I remembered thinking that match was awesome when I was a kid (huge Steiner mark) and I was fairly disappointed when I saw it again on the History of the...DVD.  I wouldn't say it looked like Ric was making Scott look bad on purpose so much as it was a matter of Ric, at his age and physical condition, wasn't going to bump for most of Scott's high impact offense, which really did not sit well in a long match.  Scott's whole appeal was his crazy suplex's and the Frankensteiner; he wasn't a great storyteller.  He wasn't even very experienced as a singles wrestler at that point.  Booking a TV time draw* in those circumstances was a terrible idea.  They should have done 10 minutes of Scott hitting Ric with everything he could (Steinerlines and the safer Belly to Bellies that Ric would take) and then the Horsemen run in, Brother Rick runs in, crazy brawl, draw, settle it in a tag match on a future card and just sidestep Scott's title hunt until he decides to seriously pick it up again.  Instead they exposed Scott's limitations and didn't really do anything to draw further heat for Flair.  It was just a wasted match-up.

    *A really oddly timed one at that; I remember it being announced as something like 27 minutes and 30 seconds.  Even as a child I realized something was up with the clock expiring at such a convenient time just as Scott was going for a pin.

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  40.  Ah, but you forget that Undertaker was a token gimmick, mid card jobber--even losing to Shawn on multiple occasions in 97.  But when Shawn put him over at Wrestlemania 25, he was a made man.  Give Shawn most of the credit for Undertaker being a star today. 

    Okay, I'm kidding.  You make a valid point with your post.  But HBK was pretty much the gatekeeper to the main event.  If you could hang with him, you were on your way there or pretty darn close.

    Going 50/50 with Shawn is no small feat, either.  So, I would argue that going even stevens with him did elevate some guys.  Orton got the upperhand in his feud with him in 2003 AND 2007 (the "Age of Orton" basically solidifying him as a main eventer).  Edge hung with him in 2005 AND 2007.  It's hard to say if the Kennedy feud would've done anything due to a failed drug test and attitude problems in his final year with WWE.  And with their feud, both Jericho and Shawn manage to elevate Jericho from semi-main eventer to bonafide superstar in 2008.

    Then there's little things like accepting PPV matches with a green (at the time) Batista and Chris Masters.  He tapped out during the Legacy tag match in 2009. There's also him putting over Hardy in 2008. For some reason, HHH and HBK were willing to put Hardy over on multiple occasions, a rare occurrence in Clique history. 

    Let's not forget that HBK was their best worker from 2003-2008 (people like Guerrero, Angle, the Man from Edmonton weren't working for company the entire time period, obviously).  Even though he never got the belt and didn't want it, he still deserved it.  So, in a sense, he probably deserved more winning feuds than he got

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  41.  Good call on that one.

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  42.  Agreed.  Having the best match on a WWE 1999 PPV isn't saying much.  Other than maybe Backlash and Summerslam of that year, there was extremely forgettable and sometimes atrocious stuff.  The height of Russo booking where the matches matter very little in the grand scheme of things.

    HHH revisionist history always grinds my gears.  The whole being pushed down because of the MSG Clique incident--he didn't appear on a KOTR ppv, but was feuding with Mr. Perfect 3 months later, winning the IC belt a month after that, given 3 different managers in order to get over (Perfect, Hughes, Chyna), and won the KOTR tournament the next year anyway.  He was punished for a whole 3 months, but he likes to act like it was for 3 years.

    Next, he improved inside the ring through 1999.  It was a gradual improvement, though.  He always had the Rock's and Foley's help to put him over, though.  However, he wasn't really hitting 4 stars or more until the Foley matches.  Foley's willingness to put him over at all costs gave their matches a heightened sense of drama, elevated the matches they were in, and elevated HHH's standing, period.

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  43. That's a good point as far as pointing out that inconsistency -- it seems the whole Steiner/Flair match has been retconned as the source of their problems, but I think it actually stems from issues between them that came up in 1998/1999, as I don't recall it ever being mentioned before that point and Steiner went on record several times that he was not interested in being a singles competitor.

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  44. Yeah, I agree.  There is a certain logic to that too -- maybe if we deviate from what works OK, the bottom will fall out and we'll be in worse shape than we are now.  I guess at some level you have to balance that fear with the reality that you can't last forever and eventually you'll have to let someone else on your level.

    Wrestling promotions are particularly bad about that, even for successful angles -- look at Hogan's WWF babyface title run, which ran probably a year or two past its shelf life.  Promoters have a tendency to hold onto what works until there is almost no life left in it for some reason, things rarely end on a high note.

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  45. I don't care for HHH at all, but I'd pay for that on a Blu-ray.. 

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  46. Yeah one of the things that makes Bret special is that unlike most of the guys, Bret was willing to work in the midcard with guys who were going somewhere big AND with guys who had no big plans.  Maybe it's generosity or maybe it's a lack of self-esteem, but it is unique.

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  47. "Rock's great, but he ruined people as often as he made them"?

    Boo.  When Rock turned face again in the spring of 1999, he made several missteps as a face for the first, say, 4-5 months of that run.  That's the only time I really remember him having the power to ruin people (because of his popularity, not backstage clout) and actually doing it.  At the same time, I can only remember him "ruining" one guy:  Billy Gunn.  He absolutely trashed Gunn during guest commentaries and the "Billy praying to God" promo.  But if there was one guy who had a dozen chances and didn't make it, it was the Smoking Gunned Outlaw Rockabilly Badass Mr. Ass The One Billy Gunn.  From my vantage point, he ruined a guy that didn't belong with him anyway.

    On the other hand...
    -He helped build HHH's career on several occasions with their feuds in 98, 99, and 2000 with the Rock not really getting a clean pin on him if I remember right (and outright losing the feuds in 98 and 99, while being the first face to let a heel walk out as champion at Wrestlemania 2000).

    -He was the first main event guy to put Kurt frickin Angle over when Angle went on to win the championship at No Mercy 2000.  HHH and Taker refused to do so in the months prior.  You could blame the booking staff for the results if you want to, but HHH vetoed the Stephanie turn and Taker made their match into a squash in July of 2000.

    -Here's a biggie:  HE WAS THE FIRST WWE MAIN EVENT GUY TO JOB TO CHRIS JERICHO in a relatively clean fashion in the first "Jericho can't win the big one" angle.  No Mercy 2001. He jobbed to him again in December 2001 AND again at Royal Rumble 2002.  Without this, Jericho's not a main eventer.  Without this, we do not get the awesomeness that was 2008 Jericho.

    -He passed the crown over to Lesnar at Summerslam 2002.

    -He jobbed to Hurricane and truly got him over until... well, ya know, Mr. Stephanie McMahon wanted to squash him

    -He jobbed to Goldberg and even gave an "off the air" speech to the arena trying to build Goldberg up even more after the match.  Did he have to do that?  Hell no.


    If you wanted to argue that he "ruined" Booker T in 2001, you might have some evidence.  But Booker was over like gangbusters 6 months after their feud.  If you want to see someone ruin Booker T, look at HHH in the Spring of 2003 and in the Summer of 2007 (which caused Booker T to leave).  I consider Booker and Jericho pretty good guys, and I have no clue why HHH was determined to bury them every chance he could get.  Thankfully, they'd come up with new ways to get over each time.

    The defense rests. Or, if we're in Canada or Britain, the defence rests.

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  48. Why isn't Foley regularly on TV?

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  49. Personally, I think the revisionist history is acting like Triple H was nobody and no good until he stepped in the ring with Foley at RR 2000.

    The McMahon-Helmsey era stuff that people fawn over started before he ever wrestled Foley in 2000.

    Also, I'm not sure I understand the logic of why being one of the best workers and having some of the best matches in a down year is a bad. Beating Rock consistently and Austin once and having ***-**** PPV matches for six months is bad because Russo was booking (part of the time, he was gone by October) and everyone else in 99 was mostly having shit matches in both promotions?

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  50.  Foley and Rock were and still are such rarities in THIS BUSINESS.  HBK only seemed to "get it" towards the end of his run, but Rock and Foley were pretty consistent with their "don't give a F" demeanor when it came to jobbing in glorious fashion.  They were going to do their best to give it all they had and put the match, the feud, and their opponent over.  It's funny how some main event guys--"made men" who could never truly lose their stature or luster--care about wins and losses in a pre-determined sport

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  51.  Being the best in a bad PPV year isn't necessarily bad, but it's also not something you can hang your hat on, either. I'd argue that Shawn had the match of the night at Wrestlemania 9 against Tatanka, but it's not saying that much because WM 9 just wasn't that good.  And, in the end, I don't think it adds to his Mr. Wrestlemania legacy.

    However, you are right about how revisionist history can work both ways.  And you can even make the argument that because he was in the best matches, he was carrying most of the show (while we had to endure crappy Ministry Undertaker main events).   Still, I look at most of his good matches from 97-99, and I see a lot of Rock and Foley--those two guys helped build him BIG TIME.

    Bottom line:  HHH was a pretty friggin cool wrestler by late 1999 and deserved a run with the belt, but he wasn't a "bad ass" until the Foley fights.  That elevated him to a new level and solidified his place there.  My opinion, though.

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  52.  And I applaud you for knowing so much from 1999.  I still think that's one of the crappiest years in wrestling in terms of quality, and I have blocked a lot of that out of my head other than HHH and the Rock stepping up their game.  You're carrying a huge burden by remembering that year.

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  53. And he put over Foley for his first title and elevated him from top midcarder to main eventer.

    So what if he trashed Billy?  I feel the same about that as I do about Austin not agreeing to put over Jarrett.  In both cases you had a white hot megastar and a guy that was never gonna be that top guy or even a main eventer.

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  54. "-He jobbed to Goldberg and even gave an "off the air" speech to the
    arena trying to build Goldberg up even more after the match.  Did he
    have to do that?  Hell no."

    Read over Scott's rant on that PPV again.  Even Scott (world's biggest Rock mark) admitted that Rock sabotaged Goldberg throughout that match.

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  55. Even earlier this year, if he had gotten the green light, he probably would have been more than happy to work a program with Ziggler.

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  56. I'll make the case for Chris Jericho, who was the first guy to put over a debuting John Cena AND a freshly-crowned world champion John Cena to give his first title run a sense of credibility.  Also, Jericho tried his damndest to put over Evan Bourne, before Bourne fucked it all up with his personal issues.

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  57. Is there a different Rock-Hurricane match than the one where the Rock beats the piss out of Hurricane for several minutes, loses to a fluke rollup when Steve Austin comes out to distract and then Austin's music plays while Hurricane runs away?  


    'Cause I don't really see that "making" Hurricane at all.  I'm open to a different match if you know where I can watch it.

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  58. Because he's crazy fat/out of shape and when he came out at RAW 1000 it was to almost zero reaction.  That would be my guess anyway, I think his time is done.

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  59. Plus the multiple concussions and back injuries.  If Trips is keeping Foley off of TV, it might be for Mick's benefit.

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  60. Everyone knew Jericho was holding the belt for HHH in 2002. Fell right back into the midcard and stayed there for a LONG time.

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  61. Yep, that feud helped transition HHH from Connecticut blueblood sissy to tough badass.

    Speaking of, has HHH made anyone except Batista?  He made be one of the worst about making careers.

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  62. Those matches you list in 1999 may have been "the best on the card" but were generally mediocre.  It's like calling a .275 hitter for a last place baseball team a good hitter because he has the highest average on the team.  And what is not revisionist is stating that very few people, if any, were going to wwf shows and buying wwf ppv's to see HHH he teamed up with Steph. in December.  He was an upper mid-carder being pushed as a top guy until the Steph alliance gave him the edge to be a true main eventer.

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  63. Well, that's the most over that The Hurricane got in WWE, so thank The Rock for that.

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  64. Can we all agree that the opposite answer to this question is the Big Show ?  I would call Kevin Nash a close second, but he really put over the act of entering the ring and walking several steps and made it look like a total killer.  

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  65. True. Nobody wanted to see Goldberg have a competitive match with The Rock. They wanted to see Goldberg beat the snot out of him.

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  66. Bingo.  For all the complaining about guys like Hogan, Austin, or even Flair not "making" enough guys in the ring, perhaps they should consider that these guys made guys they wrestled, or even guys on the same card as them but not wrestling them, more money than they ever made elsewhere. I've read many interviews with guys who loved Hogan from '84-89 simply because the gates were so huge and everyone was making good money.  Ditto Austin in the late 1990's - he and the NWO put wrestling back into the mainstream, thus cultivating a competitive environment that  gave guys television exposure, competition for their services, better contracts,and better merchandise sales.   For all the complaints about Hogan not putting over an Orndorff in '86 or Austin a Jarrett in '99, there were dozens of guys like a Jim Brunzell or a Scotty Too Hotty further down the card that made the money of their lives thanks to them. 

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  67. YankeesHoganTripleHFanSeptember 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    For the record I love my father.

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  68. Not mediocre at all. Who do you consider a neutral source on this? Scott's no defender of Triple H's 99 run.

    Here he is giving the HHH-Xpac match four stars -- http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/32737/The-SmarK-Retro-Repost---Bashlash-1999.htm

    strap match with Rock 3 and a half -- http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/32784/The-SmarK-Retro-Repost---Fully-Loaded-1999.htm

    triple threat at Summerslam four stars -- http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2009/08/14/the-smark-rant-for-wwf-summerslam-1999/

    six pack challenge four and a half, MOTYC -- http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/32984/The-SmarK-Retro-Repost---Unforgiven-1999.htm

    Austin/Trips 3 and a half -- http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/32866/The-SmarK-Retro-Repost---No-Mercy-1999.htm

    Hell , he even gave the 40 minute brawl with McMahon 3 stars -- http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/32724/The-SmarK-Retro-Repost---Armageddon-1999.htm

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  69. Nicely put. I can co-sign all of that.

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  70. I'm pretty sure that is less the Rock's fault and more Vince's. They were given 20 minutes to fill, they had to do that kind of match. I doubt the Rock would've minded losing in less than 10 minutes. The WWE put Goldberg in a position that exposed his weaknesses and the Rock did the best he could with it.

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  71. I'm pretty sure if 2012 Scott was reviewing those matches today.  They'd be much lower.  Example: he gave the tag match in NWO 99' 4* but in another review of that show, said he was pretty embarassed about that rating.  And rated it lower.

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  72. You could make a case for Cena, though it's not really his fault.

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  73. He also got the best of the Rock verbally in their confrontations, not many people get to do that.

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  74. I was all set to defend Paul Wight while thinking, "Most of it isn't his fault and he has been motivated in the ring about 1/3 of the time."  But I also like to think back to Andre and a lot of other monsters/giants.  If you could hang with Andre, you were a star.  But if you hang with Big Show (which is still kind of rare), everyone just shrugs their shoulders.  Here he is--an abnormally huge mf'er--and he somehow can't make people look like stars when competing with him?  So yeah, he simply does not make stars our of people. 

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  75. HHH put over Batista pretty big in 2005 (and Cena at WM22), but the laundry list of burials is lengthy.  

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  76. Agreed.  That reign could have been special if we didn't know he was just a placeholder for HHH and would have no main event role afterward.  He goes over Rock and Austin in the same night, unifies the WWF/WCW titles, yet is nothing more than a transitional guy for HHH's return.    

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  77. A strong list for sure.  I think we could also add the fact that Mick never actively "hurt" anyone's push either.  The Flairs, HHH's, and Rocks of the world have made some people look good, but hurt others along the way.  Foley never really buried anyone or held anyone back that I can think of.

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  78. Scott Steiner is one of those guys I think could have truly revolutionized the main event, had the solo push (WCW or WWF) happened for real.  

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  79. All great points.  Biggest reason the talent should probably not be involved in booking their, and everyone else's, programs.

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  80. Excellent points.  There wasn't a tremendous amount of great workers in 1999 WWF, but Hunter was doing well for himself.  By 2000 they had a pantload of workers, but HHH was putting in good work before then

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  81. I don't know that Mick has anything to add to things other than the occasional nostalgia pop or goofy promo.  

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  82. I've often thought the same about Luger's WCW and WWF runs.  The self-fulfilling prophecy concept.

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  83.  I don't necessarily believe the backstage rumors, but HHH has said publicly that no one put him over, a line that is so face palm worthy it's frighting

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  84. Yeah, that's a good point- I have mentioned how Rock buried Billy before, but that's almost as much on Billy's lack of ability as Rock trashing him. Rock didn't give him any more than he's given some other guys, but most of THEM had enough promo skills to bite back. Billy just kind of said "Oh YEAH? Well YOU SUCK!" and then went out and lost a match.

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  85. The worst thing you could say about Foley's "getting guys over" record is that he failed against Val Venis, by his own admission. He says it was the first time he felt he really hindered someone instead of helped them out, due to being out of shape. Venis had dozens of chances, but never really got put over big enough to get over the hump.

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  86. Yeah, DDP had a rocket strapped to his ass like few other midcarders- his push went WAY beyond just Savage. Very few guys have ever been pushed that hard.

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  87.  What Mar Solo and Caribbean Cool said.  Their interactions put Hurricane in a highly entertaining, top flight angle.  He could've been transitioned as an underdog, upper mid-card foil after hanging with the Rock on the stick and in the ring. 

    There were multiple times when the Rock "showed ass" and let Hurricane get the last laugh.  And that's the big difference between that angle and something like the Taka-HHH match people often refer to when talking about how HHH could get anyone over back in 2000. 

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  88.  I really don't want to come off as an arrogant type here because I've agreed with and respected many of your posts here.  But still, regardless of what Scott wrote, I know what I saw live.  It was an awkward "bowling shoe ugly" match that was a clash of styles and a 7-8 minute confrontation stretched out to almost 20 minutes  (extracurriculars included).  The Rock pretty much stalled a whole lot and got his butt handed to him in legitimate exchanges.  And I still thought what he did after the PPV was pretty classy.

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  89. I co sign this, 1999 Scott Sayz these matches would be way lower. 

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  90. although it wasn't all Bournes fault. some of it goes to the usual 50/50 booking: Jericho lost the match against him on ppv, but pinned him on Raw one night later.

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  91. the problem with this kind of logic is that this way you could defend Hogan sabotaging Austin in 1994 as well. maybe Hogan just didn't think Austin would ever be a top guy (actually many WCW higher-ups thought so as well with Austin not being "marketable enough" etc.).
     

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  92. although at this point, a victory over Foley really hardly means anything anymore. this is not 2004.

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  93. Terry Funk's name is really not mentioned enough in discussions about the "greatest ever".

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  94. not to take anything away from Bret Hart: but I wonder if he would have put in the same effort knowing that he would be losing those matches.

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  95. And it lit a fire under his ass and basically created the Stone Cold character.

    Gunn and Jarrett didn't step up.  Gunn kept milking ass jokes until he was irrelevant and Jarrett started his own promotion so he could be a main eventer.

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  96. Totally agree - I'd even go as far as saying that list demonstrates the validity of the notion that Foley made HHH. HHH got the biggest push of any worker in 1999 - leaping from a feud with X-Pac in March/April to winning the big 'un in August, going over two of the biggest stars in wrestling (Rock and Mankind) on several occasions, going over THE biggest star in wrestling once, and replacing Austin as Vince McMahon's agitator (except with the heel/face dynamic reversed). 

    And no one gave a fuck. He wasn't bought as a contender with any degree of seriousness by fans (marks and smarks alike) and wasn't over as a heel in any real way. Come on, this is a guy who was getting such poor reactions as champ they decided to slap the belt on Big Show. The feud with Foley - and I mean the entire feud, with Mankind getting fired, the locker room strike, Foley metamorphosing into Cactus Jack on Smackdown, the RR/NWO matches etc. etc. etc. - made HHH look like a straight up murderer, and gave him the credibility he needed to be taken seriously as a main eventer and champ.

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  97. Well, outside of Sheamus and Batista, nobody has deserved to be put over by Triple H because they don't love THIS BUSINESS enough.

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  98. so what? how is that an argument? just like Hogan could not be 100% SURE that Austin would "step up", Austin couldn't be sure about Jarrett.

    I mean, after witnessing Rocky Maivia turning into The Rock I don't think there is no way anyone can be certain about guys getting over (hell, in 2005 or 2006 who would really have predicted that Jeff Hardy would actually get his WWE main event run?).

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  99. I've always felt that Clash match was overrated. Scott Steiner was over big time at the time but his limitations as a singles wrestler are glaring in that match (at least to me). He even botches the pin-as-the-bell-rings finish as there is no realistic expectation after the last suplex that it's even going to be close. It was suplexes and the FrankenSteiner, absolutely, but he was not a good storyteller.

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  100. Wow, I obviously have watched a completely different set of interviews and matches from the three of you, but that's okay. :). Back when that was on I thought Hurricane was a joke before and a joke after. But I I'll agree Rock elevated him from ""total joke" to "just joke". :)

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