Wrestlemania Greatest Matches #26: Triple H vs. The Undertaker (Wrestlemania 17)



The Build: This was sort of a “pair the spares” situation. The rumored match was Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, but Michaels showed up to TV intoxicated and that was called off. Undertaker was headed toward a match where he teamed with Kane against Rikishi and Haku, so he was deemed available. So Undertaker interrupted a Triple H promo and the challenge was thrown down. The most notable angle for build was Triple H smashing Undertaker with a sledgehammer and busting him open the hard way.
The Match
Triple H is played to the ring by Motorhead. Lemmy gets 95% of the lyrics to “The Game” wrong. Still a pretty bad ass entrance. Undertaker rides his bike to the ring. I think he was coming out to “Rollin'” by now, but it’s dubbed over here.
They’re brawling on the floor immediately. I don’t even think we had the bell there. The go back in the ring and we hear the bell as Jim Ross notes that Undertaker has never lost at Wrestlemania. They trade blows early with Undertaker getting the better of The Game. Big pop for Old School, but Taker gets thrown off the top rope. Triple H goes to work on Undertaker, can’t get the pin, and gets in the referee’s face. The referee pushes back, which is the sort of thing that it doesn’t feel like would be allowed today.
Triple H goes to get his sledgehammer, but the referee stops him from using it. This sets up a really cheesy ref bump where Undertaker blocks a Pedigree and Catapults Triple H into the referee. But that’s not the real ref bump, Undertaker beats up the ref after Triple H kicks out of a Chokeslam.
They fight into the crowd and find themselves on a platform. Taker Chokeslams HHH off the platform onto the floor and then Taker drops an Elbow from the platform. Taker runs the paramedics away and drags HHH back to the ring. Taker gets the sledgehammer, but HHH cuts him off with a low blow. HHH goes for a Tombstone but Taker reverses into his own Tombstone. Somehow, the referee is still down. It’s literally been ten minutes since Taker dropped that elbow on him, but he’s still out.
Taker goes for the Last Ride, but HHH nails him with the sledgehammer. Referee finally wakes up to count 1………………2…………….NO! Awesome near fall there.
Triple H sets up a Ten Punch in the corner but Taker counters with the Last Ride. That’s a cliche now, but this was the first time it had happened. Good finish to an excellent match.
Rating: ****. Really enjoyed that, think it’s underrated historically. Not as good as their other Wrestlemania matches but still damn good in its own right. Lot of memorable moments here.

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