GUAN MEN ZHUO ZEI – Close the Door to Catch the Thief
Trap your opponent in order to thoroughly and permanently defeat them. In physical engagements or battles, use proper planning to seal-off any possible avenues of escape. In diplomatic and strategic endeavors, know which buttons to push in order to secure victory. A necessary ingredient of this strategy is that the defeat is acknowledged by the person defeated.
Stephanie McMahon Sprung a Trap on Paul Heyman
On the April 30, 2012 episode of RAW, Brock Lesnar broke Triple H’s arm after not taking too kindly to Triple H’s disregarding of the contract that Lesnar had made with interim GM John Laurinaitis. After taking a couple of months to heal, at the No Way Out pay-per-view on June 17, 2012, Triple H challenged Brock Lesnar to a match at Summerslam. On the June 18, 2012 episode of RAW, Triple H presented Paul Heyman with a Summerslam poster bearing Lesnar’s face on it, knowing full well that such a move would appeal to Lesnar’s ego. Triple H ended the confrontation with Heyman by choking him and punching him square in the face, also hoping to goad Lesnar into a fight at Summerslam. None of this worked, however, in getting Brock Lesnar to agree to fight Triple H. As of the 1000th episode of RAW, Triple H had not yet received the answer from Lesnar that he wanted. The only responses that he had received were rantings, refusals, and legal actions of Paul Heyman.
What did end up working was that Stephanie McMahon needed to take action and trap Heyman into accepting the Lesnar vs. Triple H match. On the July 23, 2012 1000th episode of RAW, Stephanie used the pretext of Heyman mentioning her children to come down to the ring and interrupt him. After admonishing Heyman to never mention her children again, she threatened him and berated him for filing so many lawsuits against the WWE and Triple H just to cover up his own inadequacies. Heyman at this point was still partially in control of himself, and he did respond by saying some things about Vince McMahon. Stephanie countered that Vince at least had the balls to get in the ring with Triple H, which is more than Brock Lesnar has. Also, Stephanie’s kids will be proud of their grandfather and father, whereas Heyman’s kids are ashamed of him. Stephanie than pulled out the big artillery by saying that Heyman’s career has been characterized by failures in WCW and even ECW. Heyman was nothing but a corporate parasite. Stephanie then slapped Heyman flush in the face, knocking him down.
Heyman’s hasty response to being thus insulted and slapped was that he screamed that the match was on! If they want it, they got it: Triple H versus Brock Lesnar at Summerslam! Heyman then, in a menacing manner got in Stephanie’s face, asking her if that’s what she really wanted. Did she really want her husband to get beaten up by Lesnar?
At this point, Stephanie gave a wry smile, and Heyman knew that he had been trapped. Heyman stopped himself and laughed out loud, saying that he knows that Stephanie tricked him. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had gotten what they wanted, and Heyman / Lesnar’s continuous holding out on granting Triple H a match at Summerslam was put to an end.
Triple H knew that Heyman could resist his own attempts to get Lesnar to agree to a match, but Stephanie’s efforts would have a different effect on Heyman. Stephanie, also a shrewd strategist in her own right, knew exactly which buttons to push to get Heyman to make the steps she wanted him to make. Stephanie truly shut the door and caught the thief.
During the Cena-Batista feud in the spring of 2010, Cena succeeded in trapping Batista, then beating him so badly that Batista acknowledged defeat. All of this had the effect of driving Batista out of the WWE, and he has yet to return.
At the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on April 25, 2010, Batista was given his rematch for the WWE Championship against John Cena. The stipulation for the match was that it was a Last Man Standing match, rendering Cena’s STFU submission hold almost meaningless, unless he could get Batista to pass out from the pain for the referee’s ten-count. During the match, Cena put Batista through a table with an Attitude Adjustment, but Batista answered the ten-count. Cena also did manage to knock Batista out from the pain of the STFU. However, Batista kept answering the ten-count.
Cena then had the idea that, if he couldn’t knock Batista out, then he’d at least prevent him from being able to stand up. Cena rummaged into a tool box that Batista had brought into their match, and he found duct tape. Cena then duct-taped Batista’s feet around the ringpost so that Batista couldn’t get up. The fully conscious Batista frantically struggled and tried to remove the tape and get to his feet prior to the referee’s ten-count, but he was unable to do so. The referee continued to slowly count as Batista struggled, powerless to escape the tight duct taping of his ankles. Cena just watched from the opposite side of the ring and smiled as the referee counted to ten and awarded him the victory in the match.
Batista had been trapped by Cena, but he did not feel that this victory was legitimate or that winning in this manner captured the spirit of the Last Man Standing match. Batista did not feel that he had been defeated; so he wanted another chance to prove that he was the better man than Cena. Batista won a triple-threat match to once-again be named the #1 Contender for Cena’s WWE Championship. Cena then won a beat-the-clock challenge and won the right to choose whatever stipulation he wanted. Because of Cena’s kinda-cheap manner of victory in the Last Man Standing match, their next match would be an I-Quit match. This would be Batista’s last chance at the WWE Championship, and Cena would waive his right to a rematch if Batista defeated him. This makes the I-Quit match the paramount, feud-ending, door-shutting-on-thief type of match.
At the Over the Limit pay-per-view on May 23, 2010, Batista challenged WWE Champion John Cena in an I-Quit match…a type of match that Cena had specifically chosen and also had never lost. During the hard-fought match, Cena and Batista administered brutal beatings on each other and used chairs, announce tables, and automobiles in their attack. After the fight spilled out to the entrance ramp and stage area, Cena ultimately won the match and closed the door on their feud when he hoisted Batista up on his shoulders for an attitude adjustment down to the arena floor and through the roof of the car that Batista had used to try to back into Cena. Hoisted on Cena’s shoulders on the edge of the ramp, Batista couldn’t safely get down…and he didn’t want to be thrown down; so he acknowledged defeat by screaming, “I Quit!” Cena, however, punctuated his victory by Attitude Adjusting Batista down through the roof of the car on the arena floor, leaving Batista beaten, bruised, injured, and unconscious in a heap down below. The following night on RAW, Batista rolled out to the arena in a wheelchair, threw a tantrum in front of Bret Hart, and quit the WWE.
Successfully trapping an opponent gives strategic advantages. Stephanie McMahon was able to trap Paul Heyman and secure a match between Lesnar and Triple H. John Cena was able to take advantage of the rules in Last Man Standing matches and used some available duct tape to trap Batista; then Cena shut the door on his feud with Batista in their I-Quit match and, at least temporarily, shut the door on Batista’s WWE career. In the cases of both Heyman and Batista, their acknowledgement of defeat cemented the victories of their adversaries.
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