THE CHEAP "OBTUSE HEAT" ANGLE The Big Promo Am Winning Again! I Am the Greetest! January 20, 2004 by Jeb Tennyson Lund and Brad Smoley OnlineOnslaught.com
"I'm going to start what I finish. Mick, it's time to start what I finished." — Randy Orton, promo one of fifteen, RAW, January 13, 2004
"It's time to rectify the cowardness that has never been displayed in the history of the WWE." — Orton, promo eleven of fifteen
The genesis of most great feuds is a great promo. The memorable clashes in wrestling's past and present often become full indelible conflicts only when one person exposes their fear, jealousy, respect or loathing with captivating intensity. Would anyone today remember Flair-Steamboat without The Dragon's devastating and epoch-making, "Your mom," retort? I think not.
Fans witnessed just such a promo last Monday. Faced with the unenviable task of putting a new spin on an old rivalry, Triple H and Shawn Michaels cut a promo that not only provided the necessary drama for their coming Royal Rumble match, but may also have defined the themes underlying the Road to WrestleMania.
In exposing their contempt for one another, each man mined their many exchanges in the past for moments, gestures, comments and motives that could add momentum to their eventual clash in the future. Both men tore apart the other's character. Both men defended their own worth. And both men absolutely transfixed the audience.
It is not my normal practice to devote my column space solely to documenting exactly what happened. It's a column, not a recap. But I was simply dumbfounded as I watched this dialogue on Monday night. How could these men be so good? How could they entertain so much with such a dark and well-known subject? How could they find so many new spins on old envy?
Even though I didn't have a tape in my VCR, I had an ace up my sleeve. I was chatting with fellow OO columnist (and artist) Brad Smoley. Fearing that even the few minutes needed to unwrap a blank tape, feed it into the machine and start recording might see the end of the promo, I begged him to help me transcribe what we were hearing. Brad was kind enough to transcribe most of Triple H's comments, while I transcribed Shawn's. Both of us corrected each other's faulty memory and lagging typing skills.
Here, then, is the majority of their exchange. We come in after Coach introduced them and asked a question, and after Triple H had begun his first major speech.
HHH: Okay Shawn, listen. There's a history you have to talk about right now. A HISTORY you CAN'T AVOID if you wanted to avoid it, because it is in your past. Shawn, it is in MY past as well. I AM the BEST DAMN GAME you EVER PLAYED! Shawn. Your future is all about our past. You can't beat what your past has held almost as true for this long... that is that I AM A BETTER ONE than you can ever have been! Listen Shawn, YOU know it and I KNOW IT and ALL the CROWD KNOWS that I AM THE GAME AND YOU CAN'T PLAY on this WAGON. This wagon is what me and you and I rode on together, Shawn, before Randy was finishing to start things, but after Flair had started his finisher, it was YOU AND I SHAWN, and ME! Shawn, you always knew I was the BETTER, SHAWN, and now that time has SAILED! HBK: Oh, PAINT your wagon, Hunter! PAINT IT! You talk about your wagons and your work, but you're just like that guy from Wagon Train. Remember that guy? OF COURSE NOT!!!! NO ONE DOES! Because he didn't PULL the wagon, Hunter. IT WAS THE HORSE. And I am that horse. I harnessed the company TO MY BACK and pulled it for 1996 and '97 and '98 across America. I PULLED THAT WEIGHT in Montana and through great empty states like Wyoming and Dallas. When all the settlers were starved and thirsty, I GAVE THEM WATER. Because I am the workhorse that this company built its Tower on. You say I was JEALOUS of you? AFRAID of you? That you were the one supporting me all along? Believe what you want to believe, Hunter. But when I was pulling that Tower you were the LITTLE KID with the wagon who wanders over a hill because he thought he saw a kangaroo, and all of a sudden his parents don't know where he is. And everything has to stop because we can't go any further, because maybe the kid isn't lost just over that last hill. Maybe he's been eaten by a bear or an Indian. And soon that Tower HAS LOST A WHOLE HOUR of pushing West that day, and it's GETTING LATE, and we're going to have to STOP for the night where there's fresh water and some acorns, because WE COULDN'T LEAVE LITTLE HUNTER AND HIS WAGON BEHIND. And who found you and kept you safe all that time? That's right, Hunter. ME. THE HORSE— HHH: —YOU DON'T HANDLE THE GAME!— HBK: —and if it weren't for me finding you, you'd have stayed on the other side of that hill all night until you woke up the next day, alone, and wandered off to nowhere until days later you'd be half-starved lying in your wagon in a gully and get found by Bischoff and his tribe and put in some dumb ice-man suit. And meanwhile me and the company would have moved on. FACE IT, HUNTER! HHH: See, that's funny, SHAWN. That's a good joke. You hear about the one I did to Austin about the Andy Griffith bit? I WORKED IN a Roscoe P. Coletrane joke, Shawn. NO ONE works in the THINGS I CAN DO. YOU are a jealous man. Whyspyr obviously thinks I'm hot. Stop talking now and get closer to my face and FACE ME! You've always been scared to fight me, Shawn! All of those bunches of times you were so scared— HBK: —HOLY SHIT! WHAT'S WITH ALL THESE FUCKING GEESE?— HHH: —admit, Shawn, it, Shawn, you Shawn, are scared Shawn! Shawn Shawn Shawn Shawn Shawn! It doesn't even SOUND like a WORD anymore. I'VE got a treadmill and no GOD or Jesus or TUNA will save your ass from the ASS MACHINE, you ass. Shawn, WE WERE FRIENDS AND YOU HATE THE GAME AND IT IS SAD FOR YOU! BULLSHIT! I say again the words: BULLSHIT! HBK: You wanna know what's funny? Friendship is funny. It takes two to tango, and only 1-2-3 to PIN a man, but it takes a VILLAGE to raise a child. The Wheel in the Sky keeps on turning, Hunter. But I do know where you're gonna be tomorrow: SCHENECTADY. MAYBE ITHACA. It's hard to say— HHH: Don't you think it's about TIME you kicked someone in the face? I'm not going TO PLAY with your children at THE company BBQ. This is no GAME. Are you gonna finish that jello? HBK: And you know something else, Hunter? Most people would tell you that they'd rather be a hammer than a nail. But you know what, I'd rather be a hammer than someone who has DIED, been PUMPED FULL OF EMBALMING FLUID, put in a BOX, and then BURIED under the GROUND. Like the Undertaker and everyone else who came at HBK. And just like them, Hunter, you're going to be buried underground. I'm going to turn your world into a TUNNEL and put you in that tunnel, and BURY THAT TUNNEL — and you'll never find your way OUT of the tunnel again, because the light at the end of it is gonna be my smilin' face WATCHING YOU STUCK IN A TUNNEL FOREVER. So I'm gonna take your wagon and stick it in my tunnel, but you're never coming OUT. TUNNEL! HHH: No one beat me after strong got the strength for two evolution mine time is in future of the past ring days over the gone. GAME. HBK: And when Jotham feared his brother Abimilech, he knew he was A STONE. A STONE THAT I CARRIED LIKE A WHOLE COMPANY ON MY BACK. I've paid for and BOUGHT the biscuits that the jugglers bring to the tunnel. But when the COFFEE SPILLS, it's the CABOOSE THAT FLEES like a WOLF in SHEEP'S CLOTHING. And YOU know how good you have to be to pluck the tunnel badger! HHH: Fight me. FIGHT me. Fight ME. FIGHT ME. I'm THE game. I'M the game. I'm the GAME. FIGHT the game. You CAN'T fight the game. The game is unfightingable. Don't look at me! Give him the stick. DON'T give him the stick!— HBK: —1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3— HHH: —eating my brain HELP FOR THE LOVE OF ALL OF YOUR GODS!!! GaaaAAaARRghGHH! HBK: DEMONS STRENGTH SOUL DODGEBALL COUNT-OUT I BUILT A CESSNA FROG-TREE HHH: Fight me fight me fight me fight me fight me fight me fight me fight me fight me. [superkick to Coach]
— FIN —
I'm glad Brad and I were able to share these moments with you. I know that we — and the Royal Rumble — are all going to be much better because of them.
People say this so much that it means nothing and it's usually not true - but I swear I was sitting in the library killing time reading this when I got to the part about the tunnel and proceeded to make a spectacle out of myself. Thanks a lot. >:)
Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastardPeople say this so much that it means nothing and it's usually not true - but I swear I was sitting in the library killing time reading this when I got to the part about the tunnel and proceeded to make a spectacle out of myself. Thanks a lot. >:)
AWESOME!!! You're welcome.
And thanks to everyone else who enjoyed it. I was worried it was going to be too damned silly to be funny, so I'm glad I was wrong on that account.
Originally posted by ParagonOfVirtueIf I hadn't seen the promo on Raw, I would have thought this was the oddest piece ever. But since I did see it, man. This is DEAD ON. Hilarious. Shawn.
Thank you. Tunnel.
As for the Body Massage reference, that was Brad's doing. He wrote all the HHH stuff; I wrote all the HBK stuff. We didn't collaborate so much as independently write a page of nonsense each. I just integrated the gibberish in a way that might be conversational. Half of the hilarity is his fault. But thank you for the sig-file honor. I DID write that one.
Anyway, if you like the GI Joe films, here are a bunch more links to them (the last one is a techno remix):
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