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Triple H knew doomed WWE tag match with Undertaker could ‘turn to s–t’

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D-Generation X versus The Brothers of Destruction in Saudi Arabia was doomed from the start, and Triple H could sense it.

“I remember getting ready to walk out there and no matter what doubts I have, by the time I’m at Gorilla [position] and we’re ready to go, like I’m in game mode. No pun intended,” Triple H, whose nickname is “The Game”, said in a phone interview. “I’m there and I’m focused — this is gonna kick ass, we’re gonna take this thing and go with it. It doesn’t always go that way, but that’s my mindset. That is honestly one of the matches that I can tell you going to the ring I was thinking, ‘Please don’t let this turn to s–t.’ ”

The tag team match that pitted Triple H and Shawn Michaels against The Undertaker and Kane at WWE Crown Jewel in November 2018 fell well short of the expectations of an outing featuring four of the company’s biggest legends — though well past their prime. The disastrous match — during which Triple H tore his pectoral muscle early on and Kane had his mask and hair fall off as just one of the botches — is featured in the third episode of “The Last Ride” docuseries that concludes June 21 at 10 a.m. on WWE Network.

During the series, Undertaker — whose real name is Mark Calaway — mentions how his mind wasn’t in the right place because of family issues. It’s something Triple H noticed right away.

“Mark was in a really bad headspace, he had a lot going on at home with his family,” he said. “Usually, when I would engage Mark in those conversations, he would talk about them and he was almost so far down the road of that he was just shut down on all of it and then he just wasn’t there. He just wasn’t at all there.”

Triple H, who said he and Michaels were “very focused” on the match, painted a similar picture for Kane, whose real name is Glenn Jacobs and is the mayor of Knoxville County in Tennessee. He remembers when the four of them were in Australia for Super Showdown earlier that year — for Triple H’s last singles match with The Undertaker — that it was hard for Jacobs to focus solely on wrestling because of his other responsibilities. Jacobs had also not wrestled since June.

“Kane got brought into this last minute, he’s like the mayor,” Triple H said. “We all get, even in Australia and he’s like have council meetings and stuff on the phone in the afternoon and he’s all into the mayor mode and you could just tell he’s not focused on this. He’s kinda there and I don’t mean that to be an insult. It just wasn’t his priority.”

WWE
D-Generation X vs. The Brothers of Destruction at Crown Jewel.WWE

Part of the point of the match was to be something fun for Michaels, who ended up being a bright spot, to do with his WWE buddies. He hadn’t wrestled since his retirement match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26 in 2010 and Triple H said coming back for this match was “really kind of something he [Michaels] got talked into” as a way to have some fun in the ring one more time.

But by the time they got there, it was “already starting to feel less fun.” It also came at a time when Undertaker was dealing with some self-doubt in his career, something he explores in “The Last Ride.” Triple H was hoping for a special moment that never materialized.

“At that moment, we all just wanted Shawn to have to one match to come back and have this fun moment with a bunch guys who arguably should be able to do this match in their sleep,” Triple H said. “And it just didn’t pan out and walking down the ramp I remember thinking to myself, man I don’t know why and every step of the way just kept getting worse.”

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