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Bret Hitman Hart:

The Best There Is,

The Best There Was,

The Best There Ever Will Be:

The Matches

By Kirk Angel

 

Hey, Kirk Angel here. Welcome back to the Bret Hart DVD review. Last week I reviewed the documentary, which you can read HERE. This week, I’ll cover the matches. I’ll point out most of the important moves during the match, try to cover the end as much as possible, and then give my overall thoughts. Semi-funny comments and notes are included for free! I will rate the matches not with the highly overused Five Star System, but with the newly created Hart Foundation System. The system works as follows:

 

NEIDHART: Equivalent to one star. Bad match. Occasionally you’ll see a good move, but probably not worth seeing again.

SMITH: Equivalent to two stars. Decent match. A few good spots, but nothing that special, though.

PILLMAN: Equivalent to three stars. Good match. Could have been better, but could have been a lot worse.

OWEN: Equivalent to four stars. Great match. It’s missing something that keeps it from being awesome, but is better than most matches you’ll see.

BRET: Equivalent to five stars. Excellent match, pun not intended (or is it). It was one of the best matches of that year, and may have been the top match of that year.

 

Let’s start the show.

 

Match 1: The Hart Foundation w/Jimmy Hart and Megaphone vs. The British Bulldogs w/o Matilda, Madison Square Garden, 7/13/85

 

Magilla Gorilla Monsoon and THE LORD Alfred Hayes are announcing. The bell ringer is fucking crazy. I swear he rang it 20 times during the intros. It must have been a young Eugene. THE LORD bitches about Jimmy Hart finding new ways to torment him, not unlike the way THE LORD tormented many fans, but not me. Hart has a hammerlock on The Kid early, but Dynamite runs around the ring, eventually sending Bret out. Neidhart tags in and gets double-teamed, causing Jimmy to bitch to Magilla and THE LORD.  THE LORD says that Bret was the most-improved wrestler of 1985. My choice was SD Jones. The Harts come back with the Demolition Decapitation on Davey (combo backbreaker and second rope elbow drop). Davey Boy reverses out of a tilt-a-whirl slam and power slams on Bret. Crowd’s getting behind the Bulldogs, even though they’re getting crushed. Davey locks a crucifix on Bret for one. The Kid finally gets the tag. Bret accidentally dropkicks Neidhart, and gets thrown into Neidhart by the Kid. Dynamite’s ruling all sorts of shit. Bret goes chest-first into the top turnbuckle, giving Dynamite a two before Neidhart interferes. Bret sold it as if he were dead. Dynamite hits a top rope front dropkick, and Davey crushes Bret with a running powerslam, with Neidhart breaking up the pin. Harts regain control. Bret locks in a Boston Crab, but Dynamite interferes. Neidhart switches with Hart, but The Kid goes after the Anvil as well. Davey reverses a scoop slam with a backslide, but Hart breaks it up. Bell rings out of nowhere at 13:12. Match is stopped due to curfew? BOOOOOO! *Throws garbage in the ring* Good match, even if it was a little short, but the bullshit ending hurt it. PILLMAN

 

Match 2: The Hart Foundation w/Jimmy Hart, Megaphone, and an Extra “T” vs. The Killer Bees w/o Honey, Madison Square Garden, 2/17/86

 

Bret’s listed as “Brett Hart.” Hi-larious. Little Eugene’s at it again on the bell. The crowd hates the Harts. Magilla Gorilla Monsoon and THE LORD Alfred Hayes are announcing once again. The announcers say this is an elimination match, since the WWE actually had a tag team division then. The bell rings a bunch of times to start the match. *Strangles Eugene* Gorilla claims that Jim Brunzell has the most awesome dropkick in wrestling. Mike Awesome would later trademark all “Awesome” moves. Blair locks in a figure four on Anvil, but Bret legdrops Blair. Bret’s tagged in and lays an ass kicking down on Blair. Gorilla mentions that Ventura would say “The Bees are not buzzing.” Second-rope elbow drop by Hart misses. Brunzell’s tagged in and throws Bret into Anvil. Harts regain control with the Demolition Decapitator, but Blair breaks it up. Bret slams Brunzell on the bare floor, pissing off Blair. Bret throws Neidhart shoulder-first into Brunzell’s ribs in the corner. Brunzell comes back and nails Bret with a dropkick. Both men are down. Their partners come in untagged, with Neidhart pulling Hart on Brunzell, while Blair is sent out, for two. Brunzell finally makes the tag after Neidhart accidentally throws Bret into an empty turnbuckle. Blair atomic drops Bret into Anvil, and goes for a cover, but moves, allowing Neidhart to hit Bret to a huge pop, then gets a two. Abdominal stretch is broken up by Anvil. Blair drops down, and Brunzell hits a dropkick after a tag. Brunzell gets a one before the bell rings at 18:47. Another draw? Not as good as the Bulldogs match. Kind of disappointing, given the two teams, but I’m sure fans of older matches will like these two, since modern wrestling’s ruined me on the pre-90s stuff. SMITH

 

Match 3: Bret Hart w/Ugly Tights and Jimmy Hart vs. Ricky Steamboat w/o Fire-Breathing Ability, Boston Garden, 3/8/86

 

Bret Hart comes out in yellow and black tights. Weird. Magilla Gorilla Monsoon and THE LORD Alfred Hayes are announcing for the final time. Bret attacks Ricky before the bell, but The Dragon comes back and throws Bret chest first into the turnbuckle. The Dragon breaks out a patented armdrag. Bret blocks a second; however, Dragon flips backwards and hits a second one. The Mouth complains that Ricky’s done every illegal move, but that can’t be, ‘cause he’s a family man! Anyway, Hitman fights back with a swinging neckbreaker. Bret attempts a tilt-a-whirl-sideslam, but the Dragon flips through and hits a scoop slam. Steamboat tries a big splash, but Bret brings the knees up. Bret scoop slams the Dragon on the outside and hits a running powerslam inside for two. Bret hammers the Dragon with a textbook backbreaker, but misses a second rope elbow drop. Steamboat tries everything to put away Hart, including several chops and a back suplex, but can’t. Ref tries to get Ricky off of Bret in the corner, but Ricky pushes him away. Steamboat gets reversed back into the turnbuckle, lightly avalanching the ref. Bret covers after a clothesline, but there’s no ref to make the count. Bret wakes the ref and goes for a flying cross body, but the Dragon rolls through for a three at 15:09. Good match. Good mix of restholds and action and a little bit better than the last two matches. PILLMAN

 

Match 4: Bret Hart w/o Jim Neidhart vs. Ted DiBiase w/Virgil and Million Dollar Title, Odessa, Texas, 3/8/89

 

Ted DiBiase demands to be referred to as the Million Dollar Champion. Damn right. He deserves credit for creating a title after not being able to buy or win one. A pre-suicidal Tim White is your ref. Match starts with no bell and no commentary. Great. Bret attacks from behind, hitting a side Russian leg sweep for two, followed by an atomic drop and flying cross body for two. DiBiase blocks a rollup, but gets caught in an inside cradle for two. Teddy goes outside for a nine count, but Bret slings him back in. Teddy’s tied up in the ropes, but escapes to duck a dive from Hart. MDM lands a second rope elbow to a standing Hitman. DiBiase drops the Million Dollar Fist Drop and suplexes Hart for a two. Teddy attempts another suplex, but Bret stops him and hits one of his own. DiBiase tries a back body drop, but Bret inside cradles him for two. Teddy goes for a scoop slam, but is inside cradled again for two. MDM comes back with a second MDFD for two. Later, both men land a clothesline. Once they get up, DiBiase heads up top, but Hart slams him off. Bret hits a backbreaker and a second rope elbow drop for two. Hart goes for a running kneelift, but runs into the turnbuckle. MDM tries a figure four, but Bret kicks him to the floor. Hart slingshots himself onto DiBiase. Both men slug it out, oblivious to the bell, and get counted out at 15:10. Very good match, double countout and lack of commentary notwithstanding. These two always clicked very well in the ring. OWEN

 

Match 5: The Hart Foundation w/Sunglasses and Menacing Laugh vs. The Rockers w/o Fonzi Jacket and Plate Glass Window, Saturday Night’s Main Event, 4/28/90

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon is your lone announcer. Jannetty and Hart go move for counter-move to start. Jannetty tags in Michaels(!), who hits a flying cross body, but Bret rolls through for two. Michaels tags in Jannetty and hit a double side Russian leg sweep and kip up before Anvil obliterates them with a double clothesline. Shawn’s tagged in and tries to slam the Anvil, but he ain’t budging. Neidhart goes for one of his own, only to see Shawn to sneak out the back and nail a picture-perfect dropkick for two. Jim snatches Michaels’ flying cross body and slams him. Bret’s tagged in and catches Michaels to nail a reverse atomic drop. Demolition comes out to scout the match, since they were the champs, and the Rockers and Harts were the top challengers. Hart’s distracted and gets dropkicked to the floor, and we go to commercial… We’re back as Michaels avoids Hart’s second rope elbow drop. Marty gets tagged in, with the crowd getting behind the Rockers more, even though both teams are faces. Marty surprises Hart with a sunset flip out of the corner for two. Hart reverses a back body drop into a reverse neckbreaker. Hart tags and attempts to catapult Neidhart onto Marty, but he moves. Michaels back in, but eats a flying shoulder tackle from Jim. Anvil almost blocks a springboard flying body press out of the corner, but Michaels manages to hit it, then gets launched to the floor after the pin attempt. Demolition tries to throw Shawn back in, drawing Marty over to fight them. All six men get in the ring and go at it. Match is ruled a double disqualification at 9:06. Very entertaining match, as they arguably had the best series of tag matches in the WWE in the 20th Century. The Foundation would win the tag titles from Demolition at SummerSlam in a best 2-out-of-3 falls match. OWEN

 

Match 6: The Hart Foundation w/World Tag Team Titles vs. The Nasty Boys w/Jimmy Hart, Megaphone, and Helmet, WrestleMania 7, 3/24/91

 

Magilla Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby ‘Weasel Brains’ Heenan are announcing, and all is right with the world. Macaulay Culkin is spotted. I wonder if Michael Jackson let him off his leash. Hee hee. Shamone. Jimmy Hart’s managing the Boys, even though his stint with the Harts isn’t brought up. Bret hits a Lou Thesz Press on Saggs. Knobbs comes in untagged and eats a reverse atomic drop. Knobbs tags in and wants Anvil. It’s a basic big man brawl, with Neidhart cleaning house, as opposed to cleaning out a house. Bret’s in and goes to work on Saggs, hitting a side Russian leg sweep and a second rope elbow drop before the Nasties regain control. Bobby Heenan says that Bret’s cervial dervial of the back is hurt, making fun of Gorilla’s big vocabulary for a wrestler’s body parts. Classic. The Boys’ double teaming backfires, as Bret avoids an avalanche in the corner by Knobbs and clotheslines Saggs. Bret makes the tag, but… you guessed it, the ref misses it. More buffoonery ensues as Knobbs accidentally hits Saggs with The Mouth’s megaphone. Neidhart’s finally in and slams Knobbs onto a standing Saggs. Anvil’s on fire, leading to The Foundation nailing the Hart Attack on Knobbs. The ref is distracted by Hart leaving the ring, enabling Saggs to hit Neidhart with Jimmy’s helmet, and giving Knobbs the pin at 12:07. The Nasty Boys are your new World Tag Team champions. Not a bad match, but there were dozens of better matches that could have been used. SMITH

 

Match 7: Bret Hart w/Parents in Great Seats… at the Back of the Arena vs. Curt Hennig w/The Coach (No, Not Jonathan Coachman), Towel, and IC Title, SummerSlam, 8/26/91

 

Magilla Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby ‘Weasel Brains’ Heenan, and Peg Leg Roddy Piper are announcing this classic. Stu and Helen Hart are in the crowd, making robots look human. Bret reverses an arm drag with one of his own, sending Hennig out. Curt’s back in, only to take a crucifix from Bret for two. Bret hits a flying cross body on Hennig, but Curt kicks Hart out to the floor. Bret comes back in with a sunset flip for two. Curt tries to leave, but Hart damn near rips his clothes off getting him in the ring. Must’ve learned it from JBL. Hennig sneaks in a punch, and Bret rolls to the floor. Curt tries to sling Bret back in, but Bret goes flying into a photographer, stopping him from hitting the guardrail. Hennig throws Bret into the buckle, bouncing off back-first. Curt breaks off a flip-over snapmare to a sitting Hart for two, followed by a picture-perfect dropkick. Both men end up on the top rope, but fall into the ring, first Bret, then Curt onto Bret, for two, which pisses off Hennig. Bret tries another crucifix, but Hennig Samoan drops for two. Hart’s then thrown chest-first into the turnbuckle for two, followed by the Perfect Plex for two, causing Heenan to explode. Bret recovers with a reverse atomic drop and an atomic drop. Hart throws Curt across the ring by the hair, causing Hennig to crotch himself on the post. Bret hits a suplex, small package, and side Russian leg sweep, all for twos. Bret also uses a backbreaker and a second rope elbow drop for two. Outside of the ring, Bret fires Curt head-first into the post, with Hennig flipping over, selling like only he can. Hart tries the Sharpshooter, but the Coach gets on the apron, only to have Hart punch him off. Bret straddles the second rope, enabling Curt to kick the ropes and low blow Hart as the ref looked at the Coach. Hennig leg drops Bret across the abdomen and balls. Curt goes for a second, but Bret blocks it, ties the legs up, and locks in the Sharpshooter. Hennig taps almost immediately at 18:02, and Bret Hart is your new Intercontinental champion. Bret rips off what’s left of Hennig’s tights, leaving him in his underwear. THE LORD(!) Alfred Hayes interviews Stu and Helen, who are joined by Bret. THE LORD asks Stu how he feels about Bret, with Stu barely getting out an “It’s wonderful,” before THE LORD pulls away, even though Stu was still talking for another five seconds. Awesome match. Best match of the DVD so far, best singles match of Hart’s career so far, and best match of Hennig’s career, even though Hennig was injured going into the match. BRET

 

Match 8: Bret Hart w/IC Title vs. Davey Boy Smith w/Nearly 80,000 Brits behind Him, SummerSlam, 8/29/92

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon and Bobby ‘Weasel Brains’ Heenan are announcing and have no chemistry whatsoever. Bret gets booed during his intro, since this is essentially Davey’s hometown. Someone annoyingly blows an air horn about a million times during the match. Shoves are exchanged to start. In a unique spot, Davey catches a Lou Thesz Press and catapults Bret into the buckle, followed by a crucifix for two. Davey tries a second crucifix, but is Samoan dropped by Bret. Hart then lands a bulldog on the Bulldog! Bret goes to the top, but Smith throws him off. Davey goes to the top, but misses a flying headbutt. Smith tries to roll up Bret from behind, but Bret ducks down, sending Davey to the floor. Hart waits forever for Davey to look up, but decides “Fuck it,” and slingshots himself, managing an inverted bulldog, yet lands under Smith. Bret nearly blows out his knee and almost breaks Davey’s neck, but it wasn’t his fault! Seriously, since Davey wasn’t 100 percent. Bret rams Smith’s back into the post, and sends him in the ring. Hart nails a side Russian leg sweep for two. Davey then lands awkwardly on his knee after a back body drop. Bret hits a backbreaker and a second rope elbow drop to the back of the neck for two. Bret locks in a sleeper and refuses to break when Davey gets to the ropes. Bret finally releases, but goes right back to it. Davey rams Hart back-first into the buckle twice and breaks free. Smith gorilla presses and holds Hart, then falls backwards, crotching Bret on the top rope. Davey hits another gorilla press slam, a delayed suplex, a chest-first throw into the buckle, and his running powerslam finisher, all for twos. From the apron, Bret twists out of a suplex and nearly kills Smith with a German suplex pin for two. Davey fires back with a great superplex for two. It’s put over that everything’s been used, however, the Sharpshooter hasn’t, yet. Double clothesline is hit, but Bret maneuvers on the mat to lock in the Sharpshooter. Davey manages to power himself to the ropes. Hart tries a sunset flip, but Davey grabs Bret legs and drops down for the three at 25:11, and is your new Intercontinental champion. Bret almost leaves, despite Davey’s handshake attempt. Hart’s booed before he finally shakes Smith’s hand and hugs him. Diana, Bret’s sister and Davey’s wife, hugs both of them, which is important, since there was a family feud over her. Very good match, a great ending, and probably the best match of Davey’s career. OWEN

 

Match 9: Bret Hart w/Hulk Hogan Burial vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/o Luna Vachon, Barcelona, Spain, 4/24/93

 

Your announcers are… wait, this is in Spanish? WTF? Announcers are funny as hell, yet slightly annoying. Bret nails a dropkick, which causes Bam to bounce off the ropes to attempt and miss an elbow. Triple B tries a gorilla press, but Bret rakes the eyes and lands on him for two. Bret hits a flying elbow, sending Bam to the floor. Bret tries a Lou Thesz Press off the apron, but Bigelow catches and rams him back-first into the post. Hart sells forever on the floor. Bam comes out and slams him into the post again. Triple B puts him in a bearhug, which Bret breaks out of, only to take a back suplex. Later, Bam has him in a Torture Rack-like move (over one shoulder instead of both), but Bret wiggles free and hits a back suplex of his own. Triple B does a gutwrench backbreaker on Hart. Bigelow goes for the kill with his top rope flying headbutt, but Hart moves. Bret hits a side Russian leg sweep and a second rope clothesline, both for twos. Hart locks in a second rope bulldog and tries the Sharpshooter, but Triple B powers out. Bam goes back to Bret’s back, bearhugging him, but Hart bites out of it. Bret tries a back suplex, but Bigelow lands on Hart for two. Hart recovers, getting on the second turnbuckle and hitting a victory roll for a three count at 11:56. Could have been a good match, but just didn’t seem like a Bret Hart match to me, even if Triple B was involved. SMITH

 

Match 10: Bret Hart w/o WWE Title Push vs. Curt Hennig w/o Manager, King of The Ring Semifinal Match, 6/13/93

 

Jim ‘He’s a Hoss!’ Ross, Bobby ‘Weasel Brains’ Heenan, and Randy ‘Be a Man’ Savage are announcing. JR says that Hennig has injured fingers, but Bret’s are the one’s that are injured, which The Brain points out. JR redeems himself by playing up that their fathers were brawlers, but the sons are technicians. Curt tries an armdrag, but Bret reverses and hits one. Curt chops the hell out of Hart, leading to WOOOS from the crowd. Bret nails a crucifix for two, followed by Curt hitting a patented dropkick to Bret’s head, sending him to the floor. Curt holds the ropes open for Bret and kicks him coming in. Hennig hits a kneelift for two, with Bret rolling onto the apron. Curt tries to slingshot Bret back in, but Hart flies into the guardrail and damn near tears his knee up after it hit a huge bucket. Curt nails a sweet missile dropkick for two, and then throws Bret chest-first into the buckle for two. Curt’s on the top again, but Bret crotches and suplexes him off for two. Hart kicks at the leg, with Hennig patently overselling, almost flipping on top of his head. Bret steals from Ric Flair and puts Hennig in the Figure Four. After nearly a minute, Curt makes the ropes. Hennig comes back, as he slings Bret across the ring by the hair and locks in a sleeper. Bret makes the ropes, but Hennig sells the knee by falling backwards. Curt goes back to the sleeper, but Bret runs at the top turnbuckle and ducks at the last second, sending Curt head-first in. Hart tosses Curt across the ring by the hair, sending him crotch-first into the post. Bret hits a reverse atomic drop and side Russian leg sweep for two. In a lack of continuity, Bret sells his knee, but legdrops Hennig with the bad leg anyway. Bret nails a backbreaker and a second rope elbow drop for two, before trying the Sharpshooter, but Curt grabs Hart’s injured fingers. Hennig tries a Perfect Plex, but Hart suplexes them to the outside! Both men are back in, with Curt playing possum by selling his legs. Curt inside cradles for two, but Bret shifts his weight and gets the three at 18:54. Curt’s pissed that he got outwrestled and leaves, but comes back and reluctantly shakes his hand. Slightly off from their SS 91 match, but still an excellent match, especially with the added spots. Definitely one of the DVD’s top five matches. Bret would beat Bam Bam Bigelow in the finals to win the King of the Ring tournament. BRET

 

Match 11: Bret Hart w/WWE Title Shot Later That Night vs. Owen Hart w/Brotherly Jealousy, WrestleMania 10, 3/20/94

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon and Jerry ‘King Fish’ Lawler are announcing. The fans end up getting tricked on the intro. The “Calgary, Alberta, Canada” part was done first, with the crowd popping for it, but then Owen’s music hit. Needless to say he came out to a ton of boos. They were so used to Bret being from there that they forgot Owen was too. Vince says that Bret was the “co-holder” of the IC title twice. Ok... Lots of counter wrestling to start, followed by Bret monkey flipping Owen into the ropes and clotheslining him out. Owen tries to leave, but Bret throws him back in. Shoving match ensues, but Bret slaps and rolls Owen up for two. Bret follows up with a crucifix for two. Owen fights back with a spinning heel kick, then kicks Bret out to the floor. Owen slams Bret back-first into the ringpost. Owen dominates with a backbreaker, a Camel Clutch, and a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Bret throws Owen toward the buckle, with Owen hopping up on the second rope and hitting a springboard flying body press, but Bret rolls through for two. Owen nearly breaks Bret’s neck with a German suplex pin for two. Bret tries a tilt-a-whirl slam, but Owen reverses into a Tombstone for two, damn near killing Bret again. Owen goes for a flying headbutt, but Bret moves. Bret crushes Owen’s balls with reverse atomic drop and a clothesline for two, then a side Russian leg sweep for two, and finally a backbreaker and second rope elbow drop for two. Bret catches a kick from Owen and three, two, one… INSIGURI! Both men try the Sharpshooter, but are blocked. Owen sneaks in a cradle from behind for two, but Bret’s kick out sends Owen to the floor. Bret slingshots himself onto Owen, injuring his knee on the landing. Owen snaps on an Indian Death Lock, then a Figure Four, which both reverse before Bret finally gets to the ropes. Owen grabs Bret by the leg, but ironically, Bret hits the insiguri and throws Owen chest-first into the buckle, followed by a leg drop for two. Bret then bulldogs, piledrives, and superplexes Owen, all for twos. Bret puts Owen in a sleeper, with Owen getting to the ropes. This distracts the ref, enabling Owen to low blow Bret. Owen puts Bret in the Sharpshooter, only to have Bret trip him and lock it in himself, but Owen makes the ropes. Owen reverses Bret to the corner. Owen charges and eats a boot, allowing Bret to set up a victory roll off the second rope. However, Owen drops down as Bret tries to roll through and gets the three at 20:18. Awesome match. One of the top five WM matches up to that point. Everything was excellent: the story, the wrestling, all of the counters, and especially the ending. BRET

 

Match 12: Bret Hart w/WWE title vs. Owen Hart w/Last Chance to Win WWE Title, White Plains, New York, 9/29/94

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon and Todd ‘Don’t Call Me Michael Cole’ Pettingill are announcing. We’re all doomed. Owen rules, as he steals the WWE title and poses with it. Slap fight starts the match. Owen tries a dropkick and whiffs, enabling Bret to catapult Owen into the top buckle and get a rollup for two. Bret arm-drags Owen to the floor… and here’s Jimmy. Neidhart comes out to Owen’s corner. Owen and Bret shove each other, leading to Bret slapping him and getting a roll up for two, followed by a crucifix for two. Anvil trips Bret, causing Davey Boy Smith to come out and even things up. And we go to commercial? Anyhoo, after the break, Bret’s caught in a Camel Clutch. Later, Owen fires off a belly-to-belly suplex for two and sends Bret chest-first into the buckle. Owen hits a great top-rope missile dropkick, followed by a bitch slap on Davey. This distracts the ref so that Neidhart can slam Bret’s leg into the post. Owen slaps on an Indian Death Lock, but Bret breaks free. Owen then puts on a Figure Four, but Bret reverses it… leading to another commercial. We’re back and Owen’s up on top, only to get stomach punched upon landing. Bret goes to work with a reverse atomic drop and clothesline for two, a side Russian leg sweep for two, and an inside cradle for two. Bret hits a backbreaker and second rope elbow drop, but the Anvil puts Owen’s foot on the ropes before three. Owen rolls up Bret for two, but Bret reverses for a two. Bret attempts the Sharpshooter, but Owen pokes him in the eyes and nails him with a spinning heel kick for two. Bret goes for a superplex, but Neidhart grabs Owen’s leg while the ref’s looking at Bret, sending Bret crashing to the mat. Davey retaliates by shoving Owen off, while the ref was paying attention to Bret. Bret gets the three at 14:47 and is still your WWE champion. Good match, but nowhere near as great at their WM 10 match, probably since it was on free TV. The interference didn’t help either. PILLMAN

 

Match 13: Bret Hart w/No Push Whatsoever vs. Hakushi w/Shinja, In Your House 1, 5/14/95

 

Hey Bret, hope you enjoy curtain-jerking the first IYH PPV. Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon and Dok ‘Where’d My Hair Go’ Hendrix are announcing? Kill me now. Tim White is your ref. There’s a suicidal referee and a Japanese guy referred to as “The Modern-Day Kamikaze.”  You know what that means. Simultaneous suicides! I start a one-person “You fucked up!” chant as Hakushi tries a back body drop, but Bret stops and holds Hakushi seemingly forever, until he elbows the back of his head. Hakushi sends Bret chest-first into the turnbuckle, followed by a second-rope springboard splash and a Bronco Buster. Hakushi’s dominating as he hits a handspring elbow, then spins out of a tilt-a-whirl slam and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Hakushi unloads a top rope headbutt for two, and then goes for a springboard headbutt off the top, but Bret moves. Bret’s comes back with a side Russian leg sweep for two, a bulldog for two, a backbreaker, and a second rope elbow drop. Hart goes for a Sharpshooter, but Shinja distracts him. Bret nails a reverse atomic drop and a clothesline, 180ing Hakushi onto his head in a scary spot. Bret gets tripped up by Shinja while Hakushi’s in the ropes, but hits a suicide dive onto Shinja. In the ring, Hakushi lands a dropkick, followed by Bret reversing a suplex, sending both men out to the floor, like in the Hennig match. While on the floor, Hart’s grabbed by Shinja, enabling Hakushi to bust out an awesome Asai moonsault. Hart tries to reverse a suplex with a rollup, but is blocked. Both men go for a German suplex, but Bret hits a victory roll for the three at 14:40. Fireworks go off for no good reason. Bret lost to Jerry Lawler later that night in a short match, right before the epic WWE title match between Diesel and ‘Sycho Sid! Is there such a thing as a negative star match? Good match, although you would have expected better from these two. They just didn’t seem to click, and a couple of fuck ups didn’t help either. PILLMAN

 

Match 14: Bret Hart w/Sunglasses vs. Diesel w/WWE Title and Previous Employment as Truck Driver and Bodyguard on Resume, Survivor Series, 11/19/95

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon, Jim ‘He’s a Hoss!’ Ross, and Mr.-Not-So-Perfect Curt Hennig are announcing. Let’s see. Survivor Series. The WWE Title at Stake. Bret Hart vs. a Kliq Member. Earl Hebner as Ref. Vince McMahon at Ringside. I’m sure nothing bad will happen to Bret! Both men take off one of the turnbuckle covers. It’s legal though; it’s a no DQ match. Bret rolls to the floor, but Diesel follows and drops Bret throat-first on the guardrail. Big Daddy Cool throws Bret back-first into the steps and the post, then nails Bret’s back with a padded steel chair. Diesel attempts a Jackknife, but Bret grabs his leg. Hart eventually locks in a Figure Four. BDC reaches the ropes, only Bret doesn’t let go after five. No DQ, bitches. Bret tries the Sharpshooter, but Diesel pokes his eyes. A second attempt is kicked away, sending the back of Bret’s head into an exposed buckle. Bret sneaks outside and rams Diesel’s leg into the post. Bret unloosens a rope from the apron and ties up Diesel’s leg. Hart nails a second rope elbow to a standing Diesel. Bret gets a chair, but Diesel kicks him in the face. BDC is too far away to grab the chair, though. Bret hits him with the chair once in the back and thrice in the tied-up knee. Hart nails a backbreaker and goes up top with the chair, but BDC ball shots him, which crotches Bret. Diesel launches Bret halfway across the ring, enabling him to untie himself. Hart charges, but Diesel chokes Bret with the rope. BDC sideslams Hart for two, then hurls Bret into the exposed buckle. Diesel limps to a Snake Eyes and tries one on the exposed buckle, but Bret wiggles free and rams BDC face-first into it. Bret second-rope bulldogs and side Russian leg sweeps Diesel, both for twos. Bret clotheslines Diesel out, but BDC sidesteps a slingshot dive. Bret tries to get back in, but a Diesel slingshot attempt flings Bret backwards through the Spanish announce table! Back in the ring, BDC goes for the Jackknife again, but Bret slumps to the mat. Diesel momentarily acts sympathetic, allowing Hart to sneak in an inside cradle for three at 24:51. Bret Hart is your new WWE champion. Diesel yells out “MOTHER FUCKER,” decks Hebner, Jackknifes Bret, knocks out three more refs, and Jackknifes Bret again in an awesome moment for the time. The crowd boos Diesel to death. Screw it, this match ruled, even if I’m far from a Kevin Nash mark. It was great from start to finish, so I’ll give it Nash’s best rating for a match, even if Hart gets all the credit. OWEN

 

Match 15: Bret Hart w/WWE Title vs. Davey Boy Smith w/Diana Smith, Jim Cornette, and Tennis Racquet, In Your House 5, 12/17/95

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon and Jerry ‘King Fish’ Lawler are announcing. Lawler heels Hart during the match, given their history. Davey’s wearing the same tights from SummerSlam 1992. Hope Diana washed them! I keed. Early on, Bret hits a flying cross body for two, but Davey kicks Bret out to the floor. Bret slides under Davey and crushes his shrunken balls with a reverse atomic drop. Bret tries a crucifix, but Davey Samoan drops, then leg drops him for two. Davey chokes Bret on the bottom rope and distracts the ref so Cornette can crack Hart with his racquet. Bret eats the buckle with his chest. That wouldn’t taste good. Bret comes back with a monkey flip and another reverse atomic drop, followed by a bulldog on the Bulldog(!) for two. Bret stops a back body drop and hits a piledriver for two, which Lawler claims he stole from him. Hart with a side Russian leg sweep, second rope elbow drop and an attempted superplex, however, Davey suplexes him out onto the top rope. On the floor, Smith clotheslines Hart, sending him face-first into the steps. Davey rams him back-first into the post, and Bret’s got a gusher going. Both men back in, and Davey piledrives Hart for two. Davey hits a big delayed suplex and a press slam, both for twos. Davey top rope headbutts the small of Bret’s back for two. Bulldog puts Bret in a bow and arrow, but Hart rolls off and tries a Sharpshooter, but Davey blocks it. Davey knocks Bret to the floor, and tries to suplex him back in, but Hart rolls through and German suplexes him for two. Davey charges, but Bret sends him to the floor. Bret dives out onto Davey, then attempts a Vader Splash, but Davey crushes Hart with his running powerslam on the floor. Bret sells it as if he were dead. Smith goes for a suplex on the concrete, but Bret suplexes him on the railing and clotheslines him off. In the ring, Bret hits a backbreaker for two. Hart whips Smith upside down into the buckle, with Davey scarily landing on his head. Hart nails a superplex for two. Smith charges Bret in the corner, but Bret gets his boots up. Hart then La Magistral Cradles Smith over for a three at 21:09 and is still your WWE champion. Solid match. Very slow starting. Far off from SS 92, but got better during the second half. PILLMAN

 

Match 16: Bret Hart w/His Little Pink and Black Tights vs. Steve Austin w/His Black Boots and Trunks, WrestleMania 13, 3/23/97

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon, Jim ‘He’s a Hoss!’ Ross, and Jerry ‘King Fish’ Lawler are announcing. Ken ‘Angle Stole My Ankle Lock’ Shamrock is your referee. This was the very awesome I Quit match. Austin double leg takedowns Hart and punches him to start. On the floor, Austin locks in a side headlock, but Bret posts him. Austin fires back with a suplex onto the railing, then clotheslines Hart over. After a huge brawl in the crowd for a couple of minutes, Austin throws Hart hard into the steps. Austin gets on the apron and elbows drops Hart. Steve picks up the steps, but Hart kicks him, sending Austin backwards almost onto the steps. In the ring, Austin tries a back body drop, but Hart hits a swinging neckbreaker. On the second rope, Hart elbows Austin in the back of the neck. Austin recovers and snaps Bret’s neck with a Stunner, but sells his legs. Bret puts a Figure Four on Austin around the post, with Austin selling it a ton. Bret grabs the ring bell and a chair, setting the bell on the apron. Remember this. Hart tries to break Austin’s ankle by placing the steel chair around it and jumping off the top onto it. However, Steve gets up before Bret can do it and cracks his skull with the chair, to a fairly big pop, then crushes Bret’s spine with it. Austin hits a Hart-like second rope elbow drop and side Russian leg sweep. Steve puts on a Boston Crab, but Hart makes the ropes. Then, in the ultimate insult, Austin goes for the Sharpshooter to a huge pop, but Bret rakes his eyes. Steve sidesteps a running Hart, sending him to the floor. Hart reverses Steve into the announcer’s table and railing, busting Austin open. The crowd absolutely loves the match. Both back inside, with Hart nailing a backbreaker, and a second rope elbow drop. Bret hits Austin’s legs with the chair. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter, but Austin rakes his eyes. Bret hammers Austin in the corner, but Austin fires back with a Greco-Roman kick to the nuts. Austin’s revitalized, throwing Bret chest-first into the buckle. Steve superplexes Hart, but hurts his head on the landing. Bret’s on the apron as Austin grabs an extension cord to choke Bret out. However, Hart grabs the ring bell that he placed on the apron earlier and belts Austin. This allows Hart to lock in the Sharpshooter. The blood’s just dumping out of Austin as Shamrock asks Steve if he wants to quit. Austin almost breaks out, but Hart, completely off of Austin’s back, hangs on to his legs, and gets back into position. Austin slowly passes out and Shamrock calls the match at 22:05. Austin was in the hold for 1:45. Bret poses to the delight of half of the crowd. Hart, still pissed off at Austin, kicks at Austin’s legs, prompting Shamrock to slam him off. The crowd shits all over Bret. This was the WWE’s best WrestleMania match so far, possibly Hart’s last great match in the WWE, and was the greatest match in Austin’s career. It was also the best match of this DVD set, which is saying a lot. BRET

 

Match 17: Bret Hart w/WWE Title vs. The Undertaker w/The Creatures of the Night, One Night Only, 9/20/97

 

Vincent Kennedy… KEN-EH-DAY… McMahon, Jim ‘He’s a Hoss!’ Ross, and Jerry ‘King Fish’ Lawler are announcing. Bret tries to lock in a quick Sharpshooter, but Taker kicks him into the ropes, enabling Bret to bounce off and clothesline a sitting Taker. Bret clotheslines Taker out and baseball slides him into the announce table. Bret dives onto Taker, but takes a spinebuster. Taker slams Hart back-first into the post. Back in the ring, Taker tries a back body drop, but Bret nails a DDT. Taker reverses Hart into a buckle that Hart exposed earlier and follows up with the HEART PUNCH OF DOOM! Anyway… ANOTHER HEART PUNCH!!! Taker follows up with a couple of elbow drops, then a backbreaker, both for twos. Taker tries a running knee lift into the corner, but Bret moves. Bret locks in a Figure Four around the ringpost, with Taker hardly selling, followed by a Figure Four in the ring.  Taker manages to turn it over after a minute or so, but Bret makes the ropes. Bret ducks a big boot and kicks out Taker’s leg. Hart ducks under a clothesline, headbutts Taker several times in the lower back, and hits a side Russian leg sweep for two. Bret snap suplexes Taker for two and follows up with a backbreaker, but eats a Taker boot on a second rope elbow drop. Hart ducks a clothesline, but both men hit one on cue. Taker sits up to some boos. Taker leg drops Bret’s balls for a two. Taker tries a second one, but Bret blocks and locks in a Sharpshooter. In an ego-killer, Taker powers out after it was locked in. Bret goes for it again, but Taker goozles him; however, Hart kicks out his leg. Taker drops down and punches Hart about a billion times in the stomach. This leads to… The big boot? The leg drop?!? THE HULKSTER! ONE! TWO!! KICK OUT!!! Sorry, but that seemed incredibly funny to me. Bret rolls out and grabs the bell, but a big boot disarms him. Taker tries to use the bell, but the ref takes it away. Taker goes after the ref, enabling Bret to clip his leg. With Taker’s leg on the bottom rope, Bret tries to assplant onto it, but Taker boots him to the floor and onto a cameraman. Taker throws Hart into the steps. Back in the ring, Taker tries to throw Hart into the exposed buckle again, but Hart drops down and goes back-first into the post. Bret yanks Taker off… of an Old School attempt. Taker tries the Tombstone, only to be rolled up for two. Bret stupidly tries for a Tombstone, which Taker reverses, but Bret hangs onto the top rope. Taker dumps him off, literally hanging Bret on the top and second rope. Taker pounds a choking Hart, causing the ref to disqualify Taker at 28:35. Bret is still your WWE champ. Taker chokeslams the ref. Owen Hart, Dave Hebner, and Gerald Brisco free Bret. Taker grabs Brisco and damn near breaks his neck with a chokeslam. The fans boo Taker as he chases the Harts and Hebner. Taker chases the announcer away too, when Bret’s announced the winner. It was slower than the review gives it credit, even though it was good, but you’d expect a little faster pace from these two. PILLMAN

 

Match 18: Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit, Owen Hart Tribute Match, WCW Monday Nitro, 10/4/99

 

I think I’ll play this one straight. Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay are announcing. Harley Race, since this is Kansas City, is your ring announcer. Race puts over the Hart family a ton. The two wrestlers shake hands and hug. Lots of hold-counterhold wrestling to start. Benoit has a standing armbar on Bret, but Hart reverses into a side Russian leg sweep. Benoit battles out of a side headlock, but eats a kneelift. Hart works over Chris in the corner, but Benoit fires back with patented chops. Bret stops him with a DDT and a second rope elbow drop for two. Bret tries a second kneelift, but Chris rolls through with a Boston Crab, holding Bret’s legs at the knees, but Bret makes the ropes. Back body drop for Benoit for one, followed by a backbreaker for two. And there’s a commercial… Benoit hits an elbow drop for two, then attempts a second, but Bret moves. Bret snap suplexes Chris for two and follows up with a backbreaker. Benoit flows through a backbreaker attempt and spikes Hart with a Tombstone for two. Chris locks in a Northern Lights suplex for two, followed by a kneelift for two. Benoit lights up Bret with a chop. Chris throws Hart into the ropes and tries a dropkick, but Bret holds on and elbow drops Chris twice. Bret back suplexes Benoit for two, and takes a run at Benoit in the ropes but Chris moves. Hart rolls to the floor, enabling Benoit to do a suicide dive. And another commercial… Hart tries to suplex Benoit in, but Chris reverses into a rollup for two, followed by one for Bret for two. Chris reverses an European uppercut into a backslide for two. Bret attempts another suplex, but Benoit inside cradles for two. Hart hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Benoit’s thrown into the buckle and reverse atomic dropped. After a top-rope battle, Bret superplexes Benoit, and attempts a Sharpshooter, but is reversed into the Crossface, with Hart grabbing the ropes. Benoit hits three snap suplexes, then a picture perfect flying headbutt for two. Chris hits a back suplex, even though the crowd is really getting behind Bret. Bret spikes Benoit with a piledriver, but Benoit get his foot on the ropes at two. Chris is thrown chest-first into the turnbuckle, but rolls through a back suplex and nails several chops. Hart tries a clothesline, but Benoit ducks and hits two Germans. Bret blocks a third one twice and a second Northern lights. Hart attempts a suplex, but Chris reverses into a Crossface, but Bret trips him and locks in the Sharpshooter for the submission at 23:01. Bret hugs Chris and holds up his hand, then looks up and salutes Owen. Probably the best match of Bret’s WCW career, possibly the best match of Chris’ career, and the one must-have WCW match on this DVD. BRET

 

Finals Thoughts: Three Smith’s, six Pillman’s four Owen’s, and five Bret’s. I would have dropped the Killer Bees’, Nasties’, and Bigelow’s, matches, and added the Piper match from WrestleMania 8, any Michaels match, the Austin match from Survivor Series ’96, and probably the Benoit match from Mayhem ’99, but I’m nitpicking at this point. Since there were five truly excellent matches and four great matches, I’ll grade it an A-. That’s my review of Bret Hart’s matches. You stay classy… planet Earth

Pictures and logos created by Sean Carless.

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).