I'm going to first make the disclaimer that, unlike 99 percent of the Internet, I actually LIKE Triple H. He's one of these guys that can get a decent-to-great match with pretty much anybody (okay, anybody not named "Scott Steiner") and is a good franchise player for WWE.
Which is what makes doing this DVD review all that much more difficult. Basically, this set of discs reinforces pretty much everything people dislike about "The Cerebral Assassin".
For starters, there's no documentary. Don't look for one. To quote Stone Cold Steve Austin: "WHAT?"Now... I realize that promises of a documentary were never made explicit, but for arguably the biggest star in the company, you'd think it was a given.
The format is, essentially: Triple H talks about something, match is set up, match is shown. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Are you telling me that there aren't WWE employees just LINING UP to kiss the boss's ass? Aren't Bruce Pritchard and Steve Lombardi employed SOLELY to make poignant comments on WWE DVD's these days? I mean, it's on the checklist for every fricking WWE release: "Don't try this at home commercial with Big Show saying he 'dislocated his shoulder' even though it's clearly Rikishi's voice?" CHECK "Poignant Bruce Pritchard and Steve Lombardi comments?" CHECK "Blaming the subject matter's downfall on Eric Bischoff?" CHECK.
Now... I realize that there are others in WWE that have never been given the full documentary treatement, such as a certain "Nature Boy" that retired earlier this year, or a certain "Hardcore Legend" whose legacy collection has already been released. And it's a step up from 2002's The Game DVD, where he appears to be telling his life story while sitting down in a park somewhere.
Triple H's comments are noteworthy too, only because they make him come off like an arrogant ass at times. Jabs at opponents like Marc Mero, Mick Foley and even John Cena are largely uncalled for, even if its possible they were taken out of context.
For example, Trips is setting up his match with Cena at WrestleMania 22, when he goes back to an (earlier?) conversation he had with Cena, telling him that in the ring, he sucks. Well, if that was a comment made when Cena first started with WWE, then fine. If that was said right before they got in the ring at 'Mania... what the hell are you doing main-eventing the biggest show of the year against someone who sucks??
The match selection, on the other hand, is decent. A trio of matches against Mick Foley from various stages in their careers, plus matches against Cena, Austin, Owen Hart, Batista, Ric Flair and others are featured. Some are truly hidden gems, such as the Last Man Standing bout against Flair at the Survivor Series in 2005, but none of these matches seem like true "rarities" to me, just stuff lifted mostly from pay-per-views over the past decade or so.
One such rarity, however, is The King of Kings's first match ever (EVER!!!) at an indy show against "Flying" Tony Roy. It's hardly a spectacular match, but commentary by HHH and JR make it a worthwhile extra. Too bad there aren't more moments like this.
That said, I'm not sure this is really a "must have" collection. They could have sold me with a decent documentary, but otherwise it's kind of marginal. Buyer beware.
The King of Kings