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September 22, 1997 / TJ Hawke

Cactus Jack vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley from WWF 1997

Post by TJ Hawke:

HHH was supposed to face Dude Love, but a video aired when Dude’s hit. Dude Love said Falls Count Anywhere wasn’t really his thing. He hints that it’s Mankind’s thing though. There is an incredibly goofy (in a good way) video where Mankind showed up and told Dude that someone else was better suited for this match. HHH freaked the fuck out when Cactus Jack showed up on the screen. HHH sold more for Cactus Jack’s name than the majority of his opponents in the last fifteen years.

Jack and HHH immediately strated to brawl around the ringside area. Jack was completely in control. Chyna got involved. HHH seemed on the verge of getting control, but Cactus then sprayed him with the fire extinguisher. Cactus eventually missed a diving elbow to the floor, and Chyna then sent him into some stairs. HHH was in control after that. After a commercial break, Jack hit the sunset flip off the apron nearfall spot. HHH tackled Jack into Chyna to take her out. HHH remained in control for a few minutes. He went to pedigree Jack through a table on the ramp, but Jack gave him a low blow. Jack then gave him a piledriver through the table: 1…2…3!

You can really see how much greener Triple H was at this point compared to how much comfortable he would look in his matches with Mick in 2000. Mick also brought a level of intensity and focus here that was missing from the ECW brawls on this set. I would speculate that spacing out plunder brawls (as he would have had to have done in the WWF) would make his performance stand out more at the time. If you’re just doing the same plunder brawl every show, you would naturally get a little complacent about your performance.

Match Rating: ***3/4

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