WWE star Chris Jericho defends Triple H after Bret Hart stated he wasn't a great wrestler, comments on his own Royal Rumble surprise entry not being spoiled
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Jericho on Bret Hart’s comments on Triple H: "It was funny because when I saw that comment that Bret had said, I was kind of surprised because I think that Triple H has had a lot of great matches, dozens of great matches. I could think of two or three that I was in with him myself, so, maybe, I don’t know why Bret would say that, maybe it’s still a little bit personal or some bad vibes or taste in his mouth from what happened years ago. But I’ll tell you face to face that Triple H has had many great matches and I always enjoyed watching him work, even up to the match he had with Lesnar. I don’t know if that was a great match, it was definitely a very good one, so I would definitely never ever bury Triple H’s wrestling talent for sure I think he’s one of the best we’ve ever seen."
What benefit does it have for Bret Hart to make those comments? "He’s saying it just because, old, old, old wounds die hard, or whatever the cliché is. You know, I’m sure Bret has made his peace with Shawn over the Montreal Screw Job; maybe he still has some lingering issues with Triple H as part of that. I don’t know, cuz I think Bret is very much one of my favorites of all time, one of my top two or three as a matter of fact, but maybe there’s a little bit of bias in this or something like that for him to say that Triple H has had no great matches. Cuz I don’t think anybody could ever say that he’s had no great matches.
"You might say 'well this guy’s a jerk' or 'I don’t like him personally' or 'backstage I don’t like him' or 'politically I don’t like him', but there’s one thing you can never doubt with Triple H and that’s his wrestling ability, especially as a main event performer, like you said earlier, in the early 2000’s as the top heel in the company, I think you could throw any baby face’s name out there and you could probably match up a quote unquote great match that he had with that person, for sure.
"Triple H may be a little bit underrated as far as the amount of flak that he takes over the years, but, as a performer, I’ll tell you straight up he was definitely one of the best, from that era and even up until last year. The match he had with Undertaker, the match he had with Undertaker the year before, both WrestleMania matches, were both amazing matches. Maybe not the same levels as the ones Shawn had with him but definitely in the exact same ballpark.
"Triple H is just one of those guys, he’s got it, he always has had it, he’s a great ring general, he’s very smart in the psychology of putting together his matches, believable when he works, so definitely definitely definitely. Like I said, I could give you 3 matches that I had with him, personally that I thought were great. The Last Man Standing that we had in Dallas, the title match we had at State College where I won the title, and then the tag match with me and Benoit versus Triple H and Austin. All of them were what I would consider to be some of my best performances, some of my best matches that I ever had for sure.
Outside of your matches with him, what do you think was his best match ever? "Y2J – It’s hard to say cuz there’s just so many eras, like you said, I would have thought of the Three Stages of Hell with Austin, was a great one. I think he had a 60 minute Iron Man Match that’s forgotten against The Rock where Shawn was the referee, that was great. I think the three-way with Benoit and Shawn at WrestleMania, whatever it was, was amazing. And I think the ones he had with Undertaker, both of those were great. But that’s the thing, when you get a guy who’s had as many great matches as he has, it’s hard to just say here’s one or here’s two, you know. There’s just so many. There’s this one there’s that one there’s this one and that one, I mean the Batista WrestleMania match was great as well. That’s what makes a great worker, not just a short burst, but longevity of a career, 10-15 years of having great matches with a whole variety of different opponents and whole variety of styles. You know, that’s what makes a great worker to me."
On his Royal Rumble appearance: "Y2J – Well it’s funny because, two things about that was, one, I was so happy that it didn’t leak. Like I thought for sure, sooner or later it’s going to leak on a website or dirt sheet or somebody would hear something and it would get out. But nobody knew that I was there until the moment that music played. And I think that was such a cool vibe, that we could still surprise people, still surprise guys like you who have your finger on the pulse and have spies or contacts or sources. And that’s what wrestling is all about. It’s all about the surprise element that takes you back to when you were a kid. When I was a kid, we had no internet or no dirt sheets. All we knew, all I knew, was what was coming by promotions. And that’s how we’d have a surprise.
"I think of when Dave Hebner's evil twin brother Earl Hebner and they screwed Hulk out of winning the title. If you would have heard earlier today that Earl Hebner's brother Dave was in the building and they’re identical twins, it would have killed some of that magic. And that was cool for us to be able to do that at Royal Rumble and have a complete surprise, legitimate surprise. And then number two was, I didn’t even think about it until afterwards, that I was in there for so long, like 48 minutes, or whatever it was. And Vince even asked me after 'how did you stay in such good shape? I was like. I don’t know, I’m not sure."
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