In an article in WWE Magazine recently (via Wrestling Observer), Triple H talked about the recent ongoing debate he's had with CM Punk regarding what and who does and doesn't draw in professional wrestling.
It's a fascinating look into "The Game's" mindset ... and it's also alarming.
Trips seems to think just like Vince McMahon before him -- that little guys don't draw money because fans don't give a crap about little guys who can wrestle. They want larger than life characters.
Here's what he said:
"People don't pay just to see wrestlers. They pay to see stars, larger-than-life athletes, heroes and villains. Stuff they can't see in their own backyard. Punk misses the boat on Kevin Nash, and I'm not saying this to side with my friend, but Punk does look like the short order cook at Waffle house."
"I like Waffle House too, but I'm not sure I want to watch the cook. You can be the greatest at what you do. There has been a lot of phenomenal wrestlers. Ricky Steamboat was one of the best ever. But if he wasn't in a match with Ric Flair, tell me what else he headlined? And this isn't a knock on Ricky, he's phenomenal. Punk's mentality is `Do what I like.' He likes legit, technically gifted, skilled wrestlers. The fact is, I do too, I agree with what he's saying. Is John Cena the best technical wrestler? Absolutely not. Neither was Hogan, neither was Austin, neither was Mick Foley, neither was The Rock, neither was I.
"Make me a list of technical wrestlers who were huge stars, and I'll make you a list of terrible wrestlers who were huge stars. I guarantee my list is a mile longer than yours. But who am I to say for the 90 percent of the WWE Universe, who don't give a crap about that and like Cena, that they're wrong and they should change, and be force fed something they don't want? When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn't like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should've changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous."
While he makes a somewhat sound argument in regards to who has and hasn't drawn big money in the past and how that wasn't based on their skills inside the ring (I'm looking at you Hulk Hogan), there are some serious issues with what he's saying here.
For starters, he outright admits his mentality that smaller guys who look like Punk (read: skinny fat asses), aren't main event level players that will ever draw big. Which, of course, we know is a load of crap seeing as Punk's merchandise is selling on the level of John Cena, the biggest star in the company.
Speaking of which, where the hell does he get that 90-percent number? There is no way he honestly believes 90-percent of the WWE fan base likes Cena. That's just not true and trying to pass it off as such means he's totally out of touch with the fans of the product he has so much to do with week in and week out. If half the crowd is cheering and half the crowd is booing, how does he come up with 90-percent?
The comments about Steamboat largely ring true, although he drew when he was in his younger days and as he progressed and got older, he needed a bigger star to piggyback on. Which is fine, there are plenty of guys like that. And great technical wrestlers certainly have their place in the business.
Stone Cold Steve Austin wasn't the best technical wrestler, that's fair to say. But it almost feels like selling him short. Before he was "The Rattlesnake," who mastered the "new main event style" adopted by WWE during the Attitude Era, he was "The Hollywood Blonde" and "Stunning" Steve, an outstanding worker with WCW. His breaking his neck greatly affected everything about his style and how he worked inside the ring.
The big takeaway here is we get a good idea of what to expect going forward. As Triple H gains more and more power within the company, we can expect more and more of guys like Kevin Nash. Larger than life and can't wrestle his way out of a paper bag.