JEDDAH — As far as Triple H was concerned, there wasn’t much left to say before he fought Randy Orton at WWE Super ShowDown: Between them, they have more championships than you can count. Triple H is a WWE Hall of Famer; Orton is surely going to be. Teacher and mentor, with years of history between them. Their careers speak for themselves. No elaboration needed. Let them fight.

Orton, however, had different plans in mind: The Apex Predator’s shot across the bow showed that he was willing to make the bout just a little more personal than The King of Kings was, and it paid dividends in their war of attrition when Orton walked away with the win. To say Triple H was too satisfied to take Orton seriously would be a stretch, but given the way Orton wrestled, it’s definitely fair to say he underestimated his former protégé. For once, The Game was only playing checkers.

Randy Orton mercilessly attacks Triple H: WWE Super ShowDown 2019

The Viper brutally slams The Game into the steel ring steps and viciously stomps on his hand: Courtesy of WWE Network.

What Triple H was looking for, clearly, was the kind of old-school contest immortalized by his mentor, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. And Orton humored him for a while, too, going hold-for-hold with the 14-time World Champion until he broke the lockup and punched The Game square across the face. The cheap shot successfully brought the brawler out of Triple H, who took the fight to his onetime student on the outside and traded heavy hands with The Viper back in the ring. Although what appeared to be a war of attrition never quite got out of Orton’s hands; The Apex Predator let his opponent punch himself out, and he landed his own blows at infrequent but key points in the match. He took less shots, but the ones he hit were big and purposeful.

Pride began to come into the equation, with Triple H risking a DX chop and Orton slithering into position for the RKO. Desperation, too, began to seep in, with Orton attempting a punt when an RKO failed to get the job done, and The Game administering four straight back body drops onto the announce table in an increasingly unhinged attempt to put his opponent away. With Orton splayed out in the ring, The Game took a moment to bask in his handiwork, believing, as he had on Raw, that his win was something of a formality — after all, many had made a move against him, and he’d outlasted them all. This was just another notch on the belt for him.

The disrespect cost him. When the WWE COO returned to the ring to finish off his foe, he sprinted full-tilt toward the wobbly Orton and found himself ensnared by the bite of a second RKO, this one enough to drop The Game for a fateful three-count that sucked the air out of an audience who clearly believed, like Triple H himself, that Orton simply didn’t have what it takes to get the job done. Of course, Triple H’s legacy still speaks for itself, and this match won’t change the fact that he has nothing left to prove. But when he looks back at the fallen foes who came at the King and missed, he’ll have to live with the knowledge that there’s at least one out there who didn’t.

JEDDAH — As far as Triple H was concerned, there wasn’t much left to say before he fought Randy Orton at WWE Super ShowDown: Between them, they have more championships than you can count. Triple H is a WWE Hall of Famer; Orton is surely going to be. Teacher and mentor, with years of history between them. Their careers speak for themselves. No elaboration needed. Let them fight.

Orton, however, had different plans in mind: The Apex Predator’s shot across the bow showed that he was willing to make the bout just a little more personal than The King of Kings was, and it paid dividends in their war of attrition when Orton walked away with the win. To say Triple H was too satisfied to take Orton seriously would be a stretch, but given the way Orton wrestled, it’s definitely fair to say he underestimated his former protégé. For once, The Game was only playing checkers.

Randy Orton mercilessly attacks Triple H: WWE Super ShowDown 2019

The Viper brutally slams The Game into the steel ring steps and viciously stomps on his hand: Courtesy of WWE Network.

What Triple H was looking for, clearly, was the kind of old-school contest immortalized by his mentor, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. And Orton humored him for a while, too, going hold-for-hold with the 14-time World Champion until he broke the lockup and punched The Game square across the face. The cheap shot successfully brought the brawler out of Triple H, who took the fight to his onetime student on the outside and traded heavy hands with The Viper back in the ring. Although what appeared to be a war of attrition never quite got out of Orton’s hands; The Apex Predator let his opponent punch himself out, and he landed his own blows at infrequent but key points in the match. He took less shots, but the ones he hit were big and purposeful.

Pride began to come into the equation, with Triple H risking a DX chop and Orton slithering into position for the RKO. Desperation, too, began to seep in, with Orton attempting a punt when an RKO failed to get the job done, and The Game administering four straight back body drops onto the announce table in an increasingly unhinged attempt to put his opponent away. With Orton splayed out in the ring, The Game took a moment to bask in his handiwork, believing, as he had on Raw, that his win was something of a formality — after all, many had made a move against him, and he’d outlasted them all. This was just another notch on the belt for him.

The disrespect cost him. When the WWE COO returned to the ring to finish off his foe, he sprinted full-tilt toward the wobbly Orton and found himself ensnared by the bite of a second RKO, this one enough to drop The Game for a fateful three-count that sucked the air out of an audience who clearly believed, like Triple H himself, that Orton simply didn’t have what it takes to get the job done. Of course, Triple H’s legacy still speaks for itself, and this match won’t change the fact that he has nothing left to prove. But when he looks back at the fallen foes who came at the King and missed, he’ll have to live with the knowledge that there’s at least one out there who didn’t.