Well I never, a wrestler has been caught telling porkies again! This time it's Triple H, who used his Grantland interview soapbox to bash Internet and dirtsheet coverage of WWE.
In doing so, he told an anecdote about how the charming Diamond Dallas Page turned PWTorch.com's Wade Keller from a hater into a big fan of his with just one amicable phone call two decades ago:
"[Diamond Dallas] Page would ... be so upset because the dirt sheets were ripping him apart all the time. Especially Wade Keller, who was fucking brutal: "Page is a waste of skin. I don't even know why he has a job there." Stuff like that. Page could do no right and it really bothered him. I would say "What do you care? Who cares what he thinks? Just do what you do, man, and worry about if they're cheering or not." But he'd say to me, "You don't understand, man. [Eric] Bischoff puts a lot of stock into this." So one day he came in with a dirt sheet and Keller had ripped him up and he got so mad that he went into Jody Hamilton's office and got Wade Keller's phone number. We were all in the office; it was me and Terry Taylor and I think Big Show, and Page called and left Keller this scathing message. A little while later, over the intercom, they say "Page, Wade Keller's on the line." They get on a phone together, and boy, they hit it off. And they're talking and Page is saying, "I just don't understand why you're giving me such a hard time. Yeah, I'm coming into this late, but I try and I work harder than everybody else." From then on Wade Keller was digging Page."
Given Hunter's natural distrust of the wrestling media and having belief in his colleague's manipulative ability, I'm sure his inclination at the time was that DDP had "just worked the dirt sheet guy" and easily bought into the idea that journalists in his field were dishonestly biased towards their sources. The problem is his perception was utterly bogus, in that case at least.
"The story as he remembers isn't at all accurate. The people who said the most negative things about DDP were Bruce Mitchell, currently the senior columnist at PWTorch, and Mark Madden, a former columnist for PWTorch Newsletter who announced for WCW during DDP's rise. DDP, as he has said numerous times in our recent interviews, and I always got along since we were both around near the start of our respective careers in the AWA. The idea that DDP called me and suddenly I "was digging Page," as Triple H said, is just not at all how things happened."
Keller also pointed out the irony of Triple H singling him out when Hunter's good buddies Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman have all done lengthy interviews with his publication and how he's done more to debunk the myth that The Clique were evil Darth Vader types that killed the careers of anyone who got in their way than anyone else on the so called "Internet".
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter also had some Twitter fun at Triple H's expense too over blowing his golden opportunity to bury his profession's critics in public:
"HHH sits there stewing for 18 years on a story, and then gets every single detail wrong in trying to make a point where none was to be made. Thank God he doesn't write one of those dirt sheets he cried about."
This week's Monday Night Raw is believed to have had another example of Paul Levesque holding grudges against the Dave Meltzers of this world. Apparently Stephanie McMahon insulting Daniel Bryan as only a "solid B+" as a WWE superstar was a riff on Meltzer accurately tabbing Hunter as that in the late 1990s when he was struggling to justify his monstrous push.
Better luck next time I guess, Trips.