WWE – Bret Hitman Hart: The Dungeon Collection

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WWE – Bret Hitman Hart: The Dungeon Collection
Three-Disc Set
Released: March 5, 2013

This is a SLACKAMANIA/PDRMatt exclusive DVD review. My boy Slack handles the interview portions while I tackle all of the match recaps. I want to work on the first Bret Hart DVD set here pretty soon. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the latest WWE Home Video offering based solely on one of my wrestling heroes and hopefully one of yours: Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

DISC ONE

A Real Privilege

Bret welcomes the fans to his Dungeon Collection and says it was a real privilege to do and went through hours and hours of footage to pick out rare and interesting matches including ones from Stampede and Japan. He thinks it’s a real treat for his fans.

My Backyard

Bret put over Stampede Wrestling, saying it was the perfect name for it with a great and rowdy fanbase. He praised Ed Whalen and said everyone loved him and what set Stampede apart was the different styles of wrestling seen on TV and the ethnic diversity. Bret said he learned even from a young age who the good and lousy wrestlers were and said he always studied wrestling even over schoolwork.

Bret On Dynamite Kid

Bret said at first Dynamite didn’t like him because he was a Mr. Know-It-All. Bret had his first series of 60 minute draws against him and they were grueling. Unfortunately these matches were not filmed or just in 5 to 10 minute highlight reels. Bret wished the fans could see the complete matches to see 2 young guys have long and grueling great matches especially the first 10 minutes. Bret says he genuinely means this: that Dynamite is the TRUE best there is, best there was, and the best there ever will be and if not for him guys like Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect would have never had their style (There’s someone else too hmmmmmmm). Bret said he feels bad for what has become of Dynamite as he is one of the real tragedies in wrestling.

  • Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart vs. The Dynamite Kid – 2/3 Falls (Stampede Wrestling, December 1978)

We pick up 17 minutes into the match. Bret has taken the first fall. Not sure if this is where the second fall begins or not. While Dynamite had been a wrestler for a few short years at this point, Bret was actually just a rookie here. Both guys are just a little above average-looking guys, too. Looks like Bret was working the leg before we started watching, as Dynamite is selling the knee. He then kicks Bret in the knee and goes to work on the leg – stomping and wrenching the knee. You can already see shades of greatness from Dynamite as he takes a nice bump after a comeback one-legged flying forearm from Bret. Bleeding from the forehead, Dynamite gets back on Bret and grabs a half crab. Bret makes the ropes, but lies there long enough for Dynamite to come down from the second rope to stomp the back of his knee. Dynamite busts out the Mexican Surfboard almost twenty years before anybody saw that on the national scene. Once Bret gets back up, Dynamite goes for a dropkick and misses. Now Bret returns to the knee. Ed Whalen says this fall belongs to Dynamite and it’s hard to argue that point. Dynamite delivers a hiptoss, but Bret grabs an armdrag. Dynamite now just tries to wear out Bret with a chinlock. Bret escapes and hits a slam before dropping an elbow. Dynamite kicks back and starts choking Bret in the ropes. Bret lands an atomic drop, but Dynamite returns fire with a suplex that takes them both over the top rope crashing to the floor. The ref calls for the bell. I believe Bret wins via DQ due to Dynamite being the aggressor there. (13:28 shown) If we had saw this in full length, it would have gone a little over 30 minutes. You could already see that Bret understood the psychology of wrestling quite well while Dynamite did everything he could to sell a bump. While I’m sure that finish wasn’t fun for either guy, it certainly leaves things wide open for a rematch. **½

World Tour

Bret toured Puerto Rico and Hawaii before landing in Georgia in 1979. Bret said he was tanned and believed he was going to get a push, but politics make him cannon fodder for the stars.

Bret On Buzz Sawyer

Bret said Buzz wasn’t the most likable guy out there and that he had a lot of issues but was a great wrestler with amateur experience and was a bulldog. He said at times Buzz had flashes that looked like he could be one of the all-time greats. He wrestled Buzz in the following match just a few days into being in Georgia and Buzz had just arrived a few weeks prior and was early in his career. Bret said that while he was made into a jobber in Georgia and hated the politics, he learned a lot from the legends of the territory and proud to get the exposure there. He said he didn’t hate to lose he wanted pushed to make more money but that in retrospect he could see why he wasn’t as he was young and thin.

  • Bret Hart vs. Buzz Sawyer – (Georgia Championship Wrestling TV, September 1979)

With both guys being amateur wrestlers, they essentially just do an exhibition. I will say the video quality of this match is about the worst of any match I’ve ever seen on WWE DVDs, but it doesn’t bother me. Just something I noticed. This is the “worked shoot” type of atmosphere I like. Some might find amateur wrestling too much like the apartment wrestling ads you used to see in Apter mags, but I’m a fan. I always liked watching the guys who could wrestle in the UFC over anybody else – like Randy Couture, Frank Mir, and Chael Sonnen. In professional wrestling, you halfway expect these things to turn from a friendly exchange of holds into a ‘rasslin match out of some kind of show of disrespect. It never really does. At one point, Bret shoves off an armbar and they do a shoulderblock sequence, but Buzz is right back on the arm. Bret controls the head in the second half of the match while some Georgia chick clearly not from the penthouse suites of Atlanta keeps cheering him on. Sawyer stops a headlock with a back suplex. They then come up and collide for a double-KO. Both try for a dropkick only nobody wins that battle. They each try for the quick rollup finish, but neither man can get the three-count as we come to the ten-minute time-limit draw. (9:46) Pretty enjoyable little match. Buzz Sawyer is a guy I wish I could see more of at some point. I think I really need to get more GCW and witness his feud with Tommy Rich to appreciate the guy. As for Bret, he would soon return to Stampede and become their biggest star before Stu sold the territory to Vince. **

A Lot Of Promise

Bret was humbled in Georgia (By Sheiky baby?), but returned to Stampede putting on 20 pounds and feeling great.

Bret On Leo Burke

Bret praised Leo as being a great locker room leader and many loved him. Leo was one of the first that seen star potential in him. Bret tells a story how Leo nearly broke his nose during an abdominal stretch and then did a knee drop on his face.

  • Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion Leo Burke vs. Bret Hart – (Stampede Wrestling, January 1983)

Watching Leo Burke here, he kind of reminds me of Matt Borne. We catch up about ten minutes into this match. Burke is dropping knees and smashing Bret’s face in the turnbuckle – really just abusing Bret. In a humorous explanation of why Leo is such a bad dude, it appears Leo Burke has turned heel because of monetary inflation. That’s HILARIOUS to me. After a few minutes of this, Leo takes his time heading up to the top and gets slammed down to kickstart Bret’s comeback. Burke cuts him off with a sleeper, but Bret falls into the ropes. Another try at the comeback for Bret, but then Leo ducks a charge and Bret collides with the ref. To make matters worse for the ref, Burke knee drops him. Burke finds an international object in his tights, but Bret blocks the punch and drills Burke with a PILEDRIVER. Cover, but no ref. Wait, here comes another ref Cedric Hathaway to count the 1-2-3! (6:09 shown) Looks like we’ve got a new champ, but no! The original ref lowers Bret’s arm and decides to DQ Burke, which means no title after all for Bret. Short, but fun. **

The Best It Gets

Bret is in WWE now. He said he got his Hitman character off of 2 people, Dynamite and tennis legend John McEnroe. Bret said he loved working with Dynamite. They had only one televised singles match in the WWF, at the Capital Centre house show in September 1985. He felt it was a great match and received a lot of praise from guys like Randy Savage and Terry Funk.

  • Bret Hart vs. The Dynamite Kid – (Capital Centre, 9/14/85)

This is the only time these two wrestled 1-on-1 in the WWF. In my early days of collecting matches online, this was one of my first introductions to Dynamite Kid. I had seen WrestleMania 3 and a Survivor Series appearance, but I had never seen him wrestle a singles match. Bret gets into his heel shtick early on complaining about hair pulling and bailing on the match to shout at the fans. Back inside, they start running the ropes as Dynamite catches a dropkick and catapults Bret into the corner. A knee drop to Bret causes him to roll out and regroup. After a walk around the ring, Bret returns inside. Dynamite catches a kick and spins Bret around for an atomic drop. Snap Suplex by Dynamite gets two. Bret counters a chinlock into a hammerlock, but Dynamite starts to run and drops to the mat, causing Bret to go flying out to the floor. Now Bret is IRATE. Back in again, Dynamite rolls through a wristlock and grabs one of his own. Bret is able to kip up and yanks Dynamite down to the mat by his hair. Bret buries a knee as Dynamite comes off the ropes and then lowers the boom on him. After some headbutts and such, Bret takes Dynamite to the floor for a slam on the concrete. Back inside, Bret delivers a backbreaker for two. Dynamite sneaks a sunset flip, but Bret escapes at two and makes him pay with a stomp the “mid-section”. Bret punishes Dynamite with a couple of lifters, but then Dynamite ducks one and backslides him for two. Dynamite lands a backbreaker, but can’t capitalize. Bret ties him in the ropes and charges him, but Dynamite moves at the last second allowing Bret to basically crotch himself in the ropes. HERE COMES DYNAMITE. He explodes on Bret with a running clothesline and then whips him in for the chest-first bump. Another knee drop gets two. Nice back suplex to Bret gets 1-2-NO! Now he lands a Flying Knee Drop for 1-2-NO! As Bret shoves Dynamite into the ropes, he drops to the mat only to cause Dynamite to trip onto the ropes as he comes back around. Dynamite tries a desperation O’Connor roll, but Bret hits the mat as Dynamite goes flying out to the floor. Turnabouts fair play, right Gorilla? Due to instant replay, we miss how Dynamite gets the rollup on Bret, but he does get the three-count. (12:27) Naturally, Jim Neidhart runs down to assist in beating down Dynamite, but Davey Boy Smith makes the save. How can anybody from 1985 in the WWF follow that? And yet, they have to because this wasn’t the main event. Just non-stop from bell to bell. ***½

Energy

Bret’s favorite house show arena to go to in the televised house shows was Philly. He said Boston was great too but nothing beat Philly as their fans were rabid and felt they could jump ya. It was like being at a zoo or the Wild West.

Bret On The Islanders

Bret said he watched the Spectrum match vs. The Islanders and loved it. He said he felt all 4 of them brought it that night and had a great match, but it was the fans that made it special. He said classics are not only just wrestling, but the stories, hot crowd etc. He felt the Islanders were in the prime of their career at the time of this match. He praised Haku as a total pro and Tonga Kid (Tama) was good too but unfortunately his career was derailed a few months after the Islanders broke up.

  • WWF World Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation (w/Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis) vs. The Islanders – (Philadelphia Spectrum, 3/14/87)

This is the first appearance in the Spectrum for the Hart Foundation since winning the tag belts back in January. It takes a little while to get started, but Haku and Neidhart begin things here. Anvil thinks he’s so tough, but then goes down after a throat thrust and chop. Haku wins a test of strength and dropkicks Neidhart down. Tama gets in a shot from the apron and that’s all the Anvil can handle right now. Tag to Bret, Haku superkicks him and follows up with an atomic drop. The Islanders make a wish on Bret as Tama tags in for the first time. Tama starts to chopping and sends Bret out to regroup with his team. Back inside, Anvil takes over for Bret. The Hart Foundation just can’t get anything going here. Bret even tries the old knee-in-the-back trick from the apron, but Tama stops that. Down goes Bret, but here comes the Anvil from behind. Now the heels take control and Tama is *your* Islander-in-peril. They cut the ring in half and Jimmy Hart and Danny Davis choke Tama when they get the opportunity. Tama gets a desperation sunset flip, but Bret tags Anvil on the way down to null any counting from the ref. Tama fights out of a chinlock by the Anvil, but runs into an elbow that takes him clear over the top rope to the floor. Back in, a backbreaker from Bret gets two. Tag to Anvil, he collides with Tama. Back to the feet, Anvil gets lifted up for a slam, but Bret dropkicks him back on top of Tama, but Tama rolls through on top of Anvil! A distracted ref counts 1-2-NO! Back to Bret, he charges into a knee in the corner. Tama crawls for the HOT TAG TO HAKU! Baaaack Body Drop to Bret. He punches Anvil away and then whips Bret into him. As Tama gets tagged in, Danny Davis appears on the apron and gets knocked out by Haku. Meanwhile, Tama levels Bret with a flying bodypress! While the ref is busy trying to get Haku and Neidhart out of the ring, Davis sneaks in and turns the cradle over into Bret’s favor. The ref then turns back around and counts the 1-2-3 as the tag champs retain. (18:24) Just good old-fashioned tag wrestling. ***¼

A Sign Of Respect

In 1989, they flew from the states to Italy for a tour. They had to wrestle that night so Bret was cranky. He went to find out at the arena who he was going to wrestle on the first night and he couldn’t believe it, it was Andre The Giant! He thought it was a joke!

Bret On Andre

Bret said Andre loved his drawings and they’d tell each other many jokes. Bret even used to joke on what he’d do to Andre if they ever wrestled. When he got the match he asked Andre what they would do out there and Andre just said relax. He said when he was down for an elbow he was hoping Andre wouldn’t be off by a couple inches ala Vader as it would really hurt. He joked to Andre after the match he had his shoulder up during the pinfall and wanted a rematch. He later found out from Pat Patterson that Andre requested the match and had the card changed even because he wanted to wrestle Bret one time. He felt honored by it.

  • Bret Hart vs. Andre The Giant – (Milan, Italy; 4/10/89)

Okay, the video quality here might actually be equal to the earlier match with Buzz Sawyer. Anyways, Andre is EXTREMELY limited by 1989. He squashes Bret in the corner and steps on him down on the mat. He jaws with the Italian crowd a bit before turning around into a dropkick from Bret, causing him to fall back and get tied up in the ropes. All of a sudden, the quality of the footage gets a little bit better looking. Out of the ropes, and Andre chokes on Bret. Crowd starts to chant “Hogan”, but that feud has come and gone, folks. He grabs a chinlock, but again the Hogan chants get him all distracted. He applies a bearhug. Bret escapes over into the corner and raises a knee when Andre tries to shoulder-butt him. He starts headbutting and pounding Andre’s lower back to get him to drop. Unfortunately, Andre headbutts Bret to put a stop to that. Bret makes one last ditch effort to take Andre off his game, but then runs into a boot. An Elbow Drop by Andre is enough to finish off Bret, and pretty much anyone if you think about it. (6:30) Not much more than a squash, but there’s no way at this point in Andre’s life that it was going to be competitive. ¾*

Bret On Mr. Perfect

Bret liked and respect Perfect a lot. Those 2 were the workers of the WWF many liked to wrestle. Bret talked about how everyone was looking forward to their first ever match in the Philly Spectrum after WrestleMania V but it was a disappointment. They didn’t blame each other though and after a few tweaks clicked the next night in Toronto. Bret said that the Maple Leaf Gardens match was their first good match and led to many more to come. Bret said if he could back and wrestle anyone again it would be Mr. Perfect. He said even though they wrestled up to WCW that their real magic in the ring was in WWF.

  • Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect – (Maple Leaf Gardens, 4/23/89)

A gem from Toronto. A day later, these two would meet in MSG, which is featured on the Mr. Perfect DVD AND in my June WWEClassics on Demand Showcase post. Basic Bret-Perfect stuff to start with both men taking turns shoving each other out of a tie-up. Bret controls with a headlock for a while and gets a few nearfalls (including a crucifix!) on Perfect just to get him all upset. They do the slam exchange where they kick each other away to prevent a pinfall. Bret clotheslines Perfect out to the ramp way, causing Perfect to take a long timeout. Back in, Perfect gets a cheapshot off a tie-up and hits Bret with a knee lift. Perfect sends Bret to the floor, culminating with a trip off the apron to the guardrail. Back inside, Perfect reverses a corner whip to send Bret into the buckles chest-first for 1-2-NO! They head to the ramp way again where Perfect slams Bret’s chest hard on the ramp. Perfect works a spinning toe hold, but Bret kicks him off into the corner. Bret goes to work on the arm with hammerlocks. Bret tries another crucifix, which naturally fails. Perfect falls back on top of him and starts kicking at the abs. Bret reverses an ab stretch, but Perfect hiptosses out. Bret kicks off an O’Connor roll to send Perfect on the floor. He takes Perfect out with a pescado and brings him back inside for a suplex. That gets two. Backbreaker and a flying vertical elbow hits when the bell rings. (20:00) Ahh! Don’t worry, Bret. You’ll get him in 1991. We see the same shenanigans pulled at MSG as Bret wants five more minutes, but Perfect makes the valid point that he couldn’t beat him in twenty minutes, so what’s another five minutes going to solve? Perfect pearl harbors Bret, but gets crotched up top and beat back to the locker room. This one has a little more crowd heat, but this was every bit as good as their MSG match a day later. ***½

DISC 2

Bret On The Twin Towers:

Bret talked about he always called the wrestler the gimmick they had when he met them so he always called Akeem Gang after the One Man Gang. Bret said OMG was a bookworm and would laugh so hard at his drawings. He said Bossman was a good guy and a big kid at heart. Bret chose this match as it was the only meeting between The Hart Foundation and Twin Towers and they wanted to go out there and have a special match. Bret talks about a sunset flip spot where OMG squashed him and it was the closest he ever felt to paralyzed as while it didn’t hurt he couldn’t feel himself at all for a bit. You can tell the move hurt and even the crowd ooohhhed at it. Does Al Snow get called Avatar then?

  • The Hart Foundation vs. The Twin Towers (w/Slick) – (Duluth, MN; 5/17/89)

Anvil and Bossman start us off. Bossman knocks Neidhart down a few times with shoulderblocks, but then Anvil dropkicks him in the face. Tag to Bret, Bossman stops him with a backbreaker. In comes Akeem, he misses an elbow and takes a flying vertical elbow from Bret for two. Anvil trips up Akeem as he comes off the ropes, allowing the distraction and for Bret to jump on his back for a sleeper. Bossman breaks that up by clubbing Bret. Sunset flip by Bret, but then Akeem sits down on his chest, which is the dangerous spot Bret alluded to in the introduction. Bret is visibly out on his feet. Bossman Straddle connects. Tag to Akeem, he whips Bret in the corner for the DOUBLE SANDWICH AVALANCHE! Why doesn’t that hurt Bossman too? Just throw realism out the window on that move, I suppose. The Twin Towers now take turns wearing down Bret with bearhugs and chinlocks. Bret drops out of the way from a corner charge by both Akeem and then Bossman. HOT TAG TO NEIDHART! He whips Akeem into Bossman. Double Dropkick to Akeem! Tag to Bret, Anvil slingshots Bret into the ring from the apron for a splash. That gets two, but Bossman breaks up the pin. Anvil knocks Bossman out of the ring, and then Akeem knocks Neidhart out of the ring. He follows Anvil to brawl. Meanwhile, here comes Bret to take out Bossman with a pescado! This continues on, but Akeem runs Neidhart into the post, and makes it back inside to get the countout victory. (12:12) Afterwards, Slick gets handcuffed to the top rope while the Hart Foundation beats up the Twin Towers using Bossman’s nightstick, and eventually leaving with the handcuff key. What a bunch of jerks! Despite the injury, this was still another pretty fun match for what it was on this set. **¼

Greatest Supercard Of All Time

Bret feels the WWF/New Japan/All Japan Summit In April 1990 was the greatest supercard of all time. It was a big deal in Japan Many legends of Japan were on the card from the two rival Japanese promotions as well as the top stars of the WWF. The Japanese fans were familiar with the WWF stars through tours of Japan prior to arriving to the WWF or watching the shows as events like WrestleMania gained worldwide exposure. Bret said working in Japan was a struggle at times due to communication problems with the language and the Japanese didn’t care if they knocked out your teeth or not.

Bret On Tiger Mask II

On the card Bret and Savage were the only 2 guys that wrestled Japanese wrestlers. Bret talked about how he loved facing Tiger Mask early in his career in Japan and that facing Tiger Mask II was reminiscent of that He said Misawa was young and larger at the time and wasn’t as good as the original but in all fairness those were pretty big shoes to fill. He wanted to have the best match possible with him.

  • Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask II – (Tokyo Dome, 4/13/90)

From the WWF/AJPW Wrestling Summit show despite having Japanese commentary and Matt Striker/Josh Matthews alternate commentary for Classics On Demand the version on this DVD has neither. Tiger Mask II is Mitsuharu Misawa towards the end of his tenure as an incarnation of the Tiger Mask character. Seems like it would be a pretty rare thing to have any gaijin (in this case, Bret) to have wrestled both Tiger Mask I and Tiger Mask II. Early on, Tiger Mask works the arm a lot. Bret slips out of an armbar, but takes a dropkick to the floor. The crowd thinks it is time for a suicide dive from Tiger Mask, but he totally fakes them out and lands on the apron. Back to the arm for Tiger Mask. Bret backs Tiger Mask into the corner. Tiger Mask tries a crossbody out of the corner, but Bret rolls through for a two-count. Bret gets a chance to grab a chinlock. Tiger Mask escapes a headlock and makes Bret whiff a dropkick. He follows up with a catapult in the corner, but then chills out with a wristlock. Tiger Mask wants a crucifix, but Bret puts a stop to it and falls back on him. Tiger Mask escapes another chinlock and sends Bret to the floor to him with a plancha! Back in the ring, Tiger Mask grabs a cross armbreaker. Bret makes the ropes, but gets stuck in the armbar again. Bret feigns a knee injury off a leapfrog and then runs Tiger Mask over with a clothesline. Backbreaker gets two. Bret continues to knock Tiger Mask around before dumping him out to the floor so he can pose without interruption. Back inside, Bret hits a Russian Legsweep for two. Back to the chinlock. Tiger Mask comes back with a quick slam, but then Bret gives him a NASTY atomic drop. Suplex gets two. Another chinlock by Bret. When that doesn’t get the submission Bret wants, he changes over to an abdominal stretch. Tiger Mask reverses, but Bret takes him over with a hiptoss. Tiger Mask runs into a boot, but avoids a flying elbow drop from Bret. Tiger Mask climbs up top and hits a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! The sternum-first bump earns Tiger Mask another nearfall as the time limit expires. (20:15) This one had a slow build, but never really picked up to anything all that special like you would imagine it should have. It had the feel of a short time-limit draw. **¾

Bret On Ric Flair

Bret had heard for years from many he respected that Flair was the top guy. He wondered how come he never came to WWE till 1991. He said he met Flair for the first time in Nashville when he was with WCW still and was very complementary towards Bret. Bret praises Flair as a wrestler and performer. but said Flair has no psychology and always wrestled the same exact match no matter who he was facing. The following match chosen was their first ever meeting.

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair (w/Mr. Perfect) – (New Haven, CT, 11/13/91)

The REAL world’s title is shown on camera and then we see a message that this match was taped prior to the ’92 Royal Rumble. Flair stalls a bit to start like only Flair can, but then gets stuck in a headlock. He shoves Bret back in the corner and gets smacked across the face for it. Bret goes for the SHARPSHOOTER and Flair grabs the ropes before getting into a shoving match with the ref. You know the drill. Flair slips out of the headlock this time into an overhead wristlock. He pulls Bret down by the hair to break up his bridge, but Bret kips right back up and chases Flair into the corner. More of that goes down with Bret continuing to kip up until he headbutts Flair. Cue the Flair Flop. Flair is wrestling more like ’96 Flair instead of classic Flair. He goes low on Bret and chops him in the corner. While Flair styles and profiles, Sean Mooney talks about how awesome a match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair might be. Alfred Hayes is certain the match will happen at some point. Bret backdrops Flair out of the corner and heads up for the ten-count corner punch. Oh, Flair counters with an inverted atomic drop. WHO KNEW! Flair Flop. Rolling Knee Drop connects. He covers Bret with his feet on the ropes for a few two-counts. Of course when he gives up on that, he tells the crowd to shut up. Chest-first corner bump follows, as Flair tries getting the win with his feet on the ropes. SHUT UP, YOU IN THE FRONT ROW! Bret wins a slugfest, but runs into a sleeper. Bret runs Flair off into the corner to get the break. Flair counters Bret’s headlock with a shinbreaker and applies the FIGURE-FOUR! He uses the ropes for leverage. Flair starts to slap Bret around and like every good babyface, it fires them up to reverse the hold. Flair tries to suplex to the floor, but that ain’t happening. Bret brings Flair back in with a suplex of his own. Flair chops Bret in the corner. He has enough of that and DOWN COME THE STRAPS! Bret fires back and whips Flair into the Flair Flip to put him on the floor. Bret slams Flair’s head on the guardrail and then brings Flair back inside. Flair begs off, so Bret quickly mounts him for a bunch of punches. Ha, Flair stands up and wants some more. Bret obliges and after getting up twice, Flair goes back to begging again. Backbreaker sets up the SHARPSHOOTER. Perfect comes over and drags Flair under the ropes for the break. Bret lets Perfect know he shouldn’t do that. Another backbreaker leads to a second SHARPSHOOTER. Now he’s got Flair in the middle of the ring. Perfect distracts Bret to bring him off Flair. Back over to Flair, he goes low and dumps Bret out. Back in, Bret flips out of a suplex and O’Connor rolls Flair for 1-2-NO! Flair-Steamboat backslide sequence ensues. Bret takes Flair to the floor. Flair tries a piledriver, but Bret backdrops out. Flair makes it back inside the ring, but Perfect pulls Bret off the apron to give Flair the countout victory. Ahh. (19:19) You knew there was no title change and I can’t see Bret going over Flair this soon in his WWF tenure, so it just had to be DQ or countout. Not as good as their Saskatoon title switch a year later as Flair seemed too stuck on doing the same old stuff he’s always done, but still very good. ***¾

Bret On The Undertaker:

Bret didn’t think at first the Undertaker gimmick would be successful, but admits he was wrong and enjoyed the character. Bret talked about how Undertakers character has involved and how early on he was like ”Frankenstein” in mannerisms and in the ring. Bret said Taker wanted to show what he could do in the ring as a wrestler especially against him in their feud in 97 and was thrilled he got to showcase it. Bret chose the following match because while he was still ”Frankenstein” here you could see him start to blossom. Bret mentioned how it was 2 young guys at the time that had tasted success and on the rise

  • Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) – (Madison Square Garden, 1/31/92)

An interesting time in the careers of both guys as they both had already tasted some success, and then already lost it. Bret winning the IC title back at SummerSlam, Taker winning the world title back at Survivor Series. After Bret gives a kid his shades who is being held by the BIGGEST WWF fan ever Vladimir, Undertaker pops Bret in the throat coming back inside the ring. Lots of menacing choking follows. Bret avoids a corner charge and starts up with an inverted atomic drop, several clotheslines, and a running dropkick to take Undertaker up and over the top rope to the floor. Bret isn’t satisfied though, as he flies out on top of the Undertaker. Finally, Taker is off his feet. Bearer serves as a distraction though as Taker sits up and jabs Bret. Taker makes Bret eat the steps before heading back inside. More choking ensues. Bret tries a sunset flip and when he can’t take the big guy over, he avoids a punch. He pounds Taker in the corner, but then Taker reverses a cross corner whip sending Bret in for the chest-first bump. Old School when it was New School connects on the external occipital protuberance for 1-2-NO! Jumping clothesline scores another nearfall. Taker now busts out the claw hold, which in his case is more like just grabbing your sinuses. Bret pulls Taker down after another shot at Old School. Inverted atomic drop and a Russian legsweep gets two. Suplex gets the same result. Taker sits up, but then Bret gives him a backbreaker. Meanwhile, Bearer distracts ref Danny Davis. Bret lands a flying clothesline on Taker before heading over to take care of Davis. With Bret all distracted, Taker knees him from behind. Boy, the crowd just SHRIEKS in fear when that happens. The ref goes down as well. Bret still manages the SHARPSHOOTER, but no ref. When Bret lets go to wake up Davis, Taker nails Bret from behind. The urn gets involved, which ends with Bret getting bashed in the face. Taker covers, the ref wakes up, and delivers the three-count. (12:25) This wasn’t your standard 1930s Universal Studios monster against another big lug. Bret worked this match smarter than probably any match the Undertaker had been in as this character. *½

Bret talks about doing double shots all over the world and how he would only sleep at the airport and on the plane and many other wrestlers did it.

Bret On Bam Bam Bigelow:

Bam Bam was Bret’s favorite big guy to wrestle and he’d seen or been in the ring with them all. He was super agile and coordinated for his size. Bret chose the following match to showcase Bam Bam’s skills.

  • Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – (Milan, Italy; 4/25/93)

I really wish there was alternate commentary for these international matches. In a funny little bit, Bigelow first shows off his agility by doing a little roll to his left, and then misses a lunge on Bret where he falls flat on his face. They tie-up, but Bret gets shoved out to the floor. Back in, Bret grabs a headlock, then gets shoved off into the ropes where he is promptly run down with a shoulder tackle. Bret then uses his speed to surprise Bigelow with a dropkick. As Bigelow’s momentum brings him off the ropes, he tries for an elbow drop and misses. Bret now decides to work the arm. As Bigelow gets out of the armbar, Bret gets caught for a press slam, only Bigelow tips over and Bret scores a nearfall. Bret runs Bigelow out to the floor. He comes off the apron, but gets caught and driven back into the ringpost. Bret takes some time getting back on the apron, but then Bigelow grabs him and again drives Bret into the ringpost. Whoa, now Bigelow has picked up the stairs! This match is on the verge of being out of control now. Bret makes it back inside at the count of eight. Bigelow pounds the back and sends Bret into the corner a few times. Now he’s dropping headbutts on his lower back. One-armed vertical suplex might do the trick for 1-2-NO! Time for a bearhug. Bret rips at Bigelow’s face to escape, but then gets caught with a nice back suplex for two. Canadian backbreaker to Bret, but he flips out and lands on his feet to nail Bigelow with a back suplex of his own. Not quite as painful-looking, but a suplex nonetheless. Both men up at eight. Nice moment as Bret gets caught using a crossbody block. Bigelow sells it like he just might tip over, but then at the last second he maintains his balance and drops Bret with a backbreaker. I love little things like that. Here’s something you don’t see every day from Bigelow. The Butterfly Backbreaker you used to see Jericho do. Bigelow looks to end this with his Flying Headbutt, but Bret moves at the last second. HERE COMES BRET! Ten-count corner punch followed by the Russian legsweep gets two. Flying clothesline gets two as well. Flying bulldog, but then Bigelow kicks away the Sharpshooter. Bret escapes a quick bearhug, but Bigelow falls on top of him after Bigelow counters a back suplex for two. After a whip in the corner, Bret catches Bigelow charging in and delivers the victory roll for the 1-2-3. (20:38) While Bret’s comeback to win is identical to the one coming up at the King of the Ring, it’s still great psychology and a great story told from these two. ***½

DISC 3

Evolution At That Time

We all would love Evolution to reunite in WWE pls follow me. Oh wait, wrong Evolution there, sorry! Bret said wrestling was changing from Hulk and cartoon characters to athletes that were smaller in stature and can wrestle such as him and HBK as the stars.

Bret On Kevin Nash

Bret said he had seen Kevin Nash in horrible gimmicks in WCW and was only brought in to be HBKs bodyguard, but then the WWF decided to give him a monster push to the main event scene and faced him off with Bret at King Of The Ring 1994. Bret said Nash was very nervous going into the match but that he felt it was the start of something good. Bret talks about the PPV trilogy he had with Nash (KOTR 94, Royal Rumble 95, Survivor Series 95) and said the best match was Survivor Series 95 because he won back the championship, but he thinks this was their 2nd best match.

  • WWF World Champion Bret Hart (w/Jim Neidhart) vs. Diesel (w/Shawn Michaels) – King of the Ring 1994

For starters, this was the surprise return of Jim Neidhart to the WWF. Step one in getting to the top of the WWF for Diesel first was winning the IC title belt. We’re in step two: a PPV world title match with Bret Hart. Art Donovan has no clue who any of these people are and need to be explained everything prior to the match. One of his more hilarious questions of the night ~ “Who is this guy [referring to Shawn Michaels] on the outside? Is he a wrestler?” Diesel corners Bret and pounds away before a boot choke. Bret avoids a running boot in the corner and delivers a headbutt to the groin area. Bret slips out of a slam and rolls up Diesel for two. Diesel misses an elbow drop, but goes to the eyes. Diesel chokes and runs his knee into the corner, setting up an easy gameplan for Bret. He applies a Figure-Four in the middle of the ring, but Diesel still reaches the ropes. Bret stays on the leg and hooks a spinning toe hold until Diesel kicks him off to the floor. Diesel gets tripped up and his knee posted. Shawn interjects himself momentarily and runs Bret down with a clothesline. Neidhart chases him around the ring, but the ref puts a stop to it. Back in, Diesel botches catching Bret for a bearhug. He recovers okay, though. Bret bites his way out and dropkicks Diesel out for a pescado, but he splats on the outside mat. Diesel rams Bret into the ringpost and brings him in for a HARD whip into the corner. Side Slam gets 1-2-NO! Diesel applies a backbreaker and then hits an elbow drop for two. HBK sneaks in another cheapshot with Bret up against the ropes right before a Bossman straddle (more Ray Traylor!) from Diesel. Shawn continues to be his awesome cocky self on the floor. Meanwhile, Diesel sends Bret into the corner for the chest-first bump. That only gets two. Diesel is PISSED at the ref, so Bret sneak attacks with a rollup for 1-2-NO! Diesel grabs a neck wrench and when Bret starts to come out of it, he gives Bret another backbreaker for 1-2-NO! From there, Diesel grabs a Canadian backbreaker while HBK unties the top turnbuckle. He doesn’t get it off completely though because of Jim Neidhart intervening. Somehow, Bret slips out of the backbreaker and grabs a sleeper! Diesel backs him into the corner, but runs into a boot. He grabs the sleeper again only to be backed into the corner once again. Diesel punches Bret INTO the ref, which is cool. That allows Diesel to expose the turnbuckle for real now. Bret blocks the smash and sends Diesel into the exposed turnbuckle instead. Bret proceeds to punch Diesel all around the ring until the big guy FINALLY collapses. Awesome! It takes THREE clotheslines to take Diesel back down. Russian Legsweep! Flying Elbow Drop gets 1-2-NO! Bret hits a bulldog from the middle rope and looks for the SHARPSHOOTER. Shawn’s on the apron and gets punched down for a nice Pillman guardrail bump. Bret hits a clothesline from the middle rope for 1-2-NO! They get into a backslide battle, but Bret kicks out of the corner and flips over Diesel into a small package for 1-2-NO! Diesel catches Bret trying to flip out of the corner. Bret shoves off the Snake Eyes attempt, but runs into a Big Boot. Diesel stands over Bret and motions for the Jackknife Powerbomb, but Bret’s just playing ‘possum and trips Diesel up into the SHARPSHOOTER! Ohhh, but Diesel’s in the ropes. Bret dropkicks Diesel out to the floor. Neidhart is standing by and hopes Diesel notices him. Diesel sends Neidhart into the ringpost while HBK runs in and BLASTS Bret with a title belt from behind! Diesel crawls back in the ring and drops an elbow for 1-2-NO! Diesel calls for the Jackknife Powerbomb one more time. Neidhart nails Shawn and jumps into the ring to clothesline Diesel after the JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB for the DQ. (22:41) Without a doubt, Diesel’s best match to date. Diesel and HBK continue the beatdown afterwards, but Jim Neidhart heads to the back “frustrated” with the ref’s decision. Great storytelling with Bret carrying Diesel to a great match in 1994 is really something to see. ****¼

Bret On Owen

Bret said Owen cared about having great matches especially early on in his push, but later in his career loved to be a prankster. Bret tells the story how their first series of matches at house shows pre WrestleMania were good but Owen was doing awesome aerial moves that were getting pops and had the crowd cheering for Owen. After several matches of these Bret and Owen scrapped their original plan for WrestleMania match as Bret feared a double turn as he was the bigger older brother etc. But they had a classic at WrestleMania with Owen acting like a brat and all and the MSG crowd was rooting for Bret to win. Bret mentioned how during his WWF title win that night how Owen had a stern look on his face post match but was so happy for him. He felt they had masterpieces of matches from WrestleMania on and kept getting better and better.

  • Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – No Holds Barred (Monday Night Raw, 3/27/95)

This is one of the last times they would ever face each other on TV. JR and Gorilla Monsoon are on commentary. Like Owen loves to do, he attacks Bret before the lights come back on. Bret makes his brother pay with a barrage of right hands in the corner followed by a hair slam. There’s a DDT and we go to the floor for some ringside brawling. Bret is in TOTAL control. Back inside, Bret beats Owen’s face up and then delivers a headbutt to the groin. Owen claws the eyes to avoid a backbreaker and delivers a headbutt to Bret’s groin. Inverted atomic drop to Bret. WOOO! Owen delivers the ENZIGURI KICK OF EXTREME DISCOMFORT! Back to the floor. Owen bounces Bret’s face off the steel steps. That’s just nasty. There’s a trip to the guardrail and we need a commercial break. AND WE’RE BACK! Chinlock is applied, but Bret breaks loose and delivers a crucifix for two. Owen sets up Bret in the tree of woe. While the ref is busy trying to loosen up Bret, Owen takes one of the turnbuckle pads off. Why the distraction? You can’t get DQ’ed. Anyways, the exposed turnbuckle smash backfires on Owen and here comes the Five Moves of Doom. Here comes the SHARPSHOOTER, but Owen thumbs Bret RIGHT in the eye. Awesome! Bret takes the chest-first corner bump for two. Here comes the Missile Dropkick, but Bret sidesteps and catapults Owen onto the exposed turnbuckle! Bret locks in the SHARPSHOOTER and it’s all over. (10:27 shown) Great, hard-fought match that didn’t need blood, chairs or tables to be violent. ***½

Bret On Pierre

Bret put over French-Canadian wrestlers such as Edouard Carpentier and the Rougeau brothers and how guys like Andre got their start there. He said Pierre was in that mold of great French Canadian Wrestlers. He talked about Pierre being stiff in moves but also safe with ya. He was proud of their matches especially the 2 they had at In Your House and RAW the next night and was very sore after them. The only negative thing was Bret didn’t care for the Jean-Pierre-Lafitte gimmick and thought the Bret/Jean-Pierre-Lafitte storyline was the worst he ever had in his career. (Pierre stole Bret’s jacket) ”I could have bought another jacket, it made me look pathetic” said Bret. However, he’s happy to include a match on the set.

  • Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre Lafitte – (In Your House III)

This is all part of the pirate Jean-Pierre Lafitte stealing Bret’s jacket. Bret starts the match off exploding on Lafitte with a suicide dive. JR mentions the word tope! Way to go, JR! Bret rips his jacket off Lafitte and tosses him into the ring for more of a beating. Lafitte goes to the eyes, but misses a corner charge and gets taken down for some arm work. Lafitte comes back to block a hiptoss with a clothesline. He begins to stomp Bret a bunch in the mid-section and then beats Bret into the corner. Bret reverses the whip, but runs shoulder-first into the ringpost! Just to have a little more fun, Lafitte throws Bret into the ringpost once more. Now Bret takes the sternum first bump in the corner to move the ring about six inches, says JR. Lafitte runs into a backdrop that puts him on the floor, but he lands on his feet and yanks Bret out for a SICK toss into the steps. Back in, Bret punches back, but runs into a spinebuster for two. Bret escapes a chinlock and on the second time, he delivers a sunset flip for two. Side slam sets up a Flying Legdrop for 1-2-NO! It’s CANNONBALL SPLASH time! Too bad he completely misses it. Bret mounts his comes back with an atomic drop and a clothesline. Lafitte kicks Bret off the SHARPSHOOTER and puts him on the floor for a Somersault Plancha! Well, Bret moves out of the way as Lafitte hits the floor with NO protection or anything! What a crazy pirate. If that’s not enough, then Bret sends Lafitte crashing into the steps! Back in again, Bret sends Lafitte into the corner for the chest-first bump. Russian legsweep gets two. Small package gets another two. Backbreaker connects, but the flying vertical elbow drop gets blocked as Lafitte brings his foot up. Bret tries a crucifix, but Lafitte stands strong and counters with a Regal Roll! Cover, 1-2-NO! Off a corner whip, Bret tries to float over Lafitte and gets caught. With Bret holding onto the top rope, Bret uses momentum to shift his weight on Lafitte to make him fall over for 1-2-NO! Bret runs into a knee in the corner, so Lafitte tries the Ric Flair corner pin for two. After Lafitte yells at the ref, Bret nails him with a dropkick and goes for his running bulldog. Oops, Lafitte shoves him off into the corner for another chest-first bump. That gets another two for Lafitte. Bret shoulderblocks Lafitte into the ropes and charges only for him to move and crotch himself in the ropes. Flying headbutt from Lafitte misses and a double KO spot follows. As Bret lays on the mat, he grapevines Lafitte’s legs and turns him over for the SHARPSHOOTER! Bret wins. (16:38) Such a good match with lots of exciting twists and turns. Bret gets his jacket back and all is right with the world. ***¾

Time Off

After WrestleMania XII Bret took time off after 12 years of action. He spent most of his time in LA pursuing acting and got a part on the Lonesome Dove series. Many wondered if he’d ever to wrestling at the time and while not mentioned here WCW pursued him hard as well. Bret said he thinks he would have stayed in acting full time had his acting career took off.

Bret On Stone Cold Steve Austin

Bret says him and Austin came from the same mold and loved their craft. Bret saw Austin as a rising star and feels he was an important part in the evolution of the Stone Cold character. The following match on this set was Bret’s comeback match in 1996 (he still hadn’t returned yet stateside as he’d return against Austin at Survivor Series 96) Bret loved all his matches with Austin and they still reminisce about them to this day. Bret said Austin was a guy that made wrestling FUN in and out of the ring. After Perfect if Bret could go back and have another match with someone it would be Stone Cold.

  • Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin – (Sun City, South Africa; 9/14/96)

Here’s certainly a rare one. We all think of the first-ever meeting between Bret and Austin came at Survivor Series, but in fact they had wrestled probably a half dozen times already before that match occurred. JR and Owen Hart have taken over commentary duties for this one. Since this is a battle over who is the better technical wrestler, there’s some basic mat stuff to start. Austin works a headlock, while Bret spends his time using the armbar. Austin changes his game plan with a test of strength. He gets the better of the exchange for the most part, but then Bret flips him over. Austin hits a Lou Thesz Press, but Bret hooks the arms with his legs and rolls Austin back for a nearfall. Bret wants the Sharpshooter, but Austin scurries to the ropes and slides out for a timeout. Back in, Austin escapes an armbar by yanking Bret down by the hair before giving him a low blow to ensure the tide had truly changed. He chokes Bret in the ropes a little bit and then whips him from corner to corner. Austin delivers a few elbows to the chest with Bret draped on the apron. To make things worse, Austin drops Bret on the cyclone-fenced guardrail. Back inside, Bret escapes a chinlock, but gets thrown back out to the floor. The floor mat comes up and Austin wants a piledriver on the EXPOSED CONCRETE, but of course Bret backdrops him over. Back in the ring, Austin counters a sleeper with a jawbreaker. Not a stunner, folks. Bret fires back with a clothesline and delivers a backbreaker for two. Russian legsweep delivers the same result. Austin blocks a suplex, but Bret counters Austin’s suplex by landing on his feet and rolling Austin up for 1-2-NO! Out goes Austin to the floor. Bret meets him out there with a pescado. Back inside, Austin reverses a whip and sends Bret in for the chest-first bump. That gets two. Austin wants a superplex, but Bret sends him down to the mat and delivers a TOP-ROPE vertical elbow drop. Sharpshooter? No! Austin has that hold well-scouted and thumbs Bret in the eye to avoid it. Austin wants a Stone Cold Stunner, but Bret slips out and hooks the arms to try for a backslide. With Austin overpowering, Bret kicks off the turnbuckle and flips back over Austin to catch him with a small package for the 1-2-3! (19:57) This is why I love wrestling. Bret and Austin are two of the master storytellers. You have to love a story that just builds and builds and builds like this from the ground up. ****

Simultaneously A Hero And A Rat

Bret says the most fun time of his career was the Summer of 1997 at the height of the Hart Foundation USA/Canada Feud.

Bret On The Patriot

Bret thought The Patriot was the perfect foil to the evil Hitman character especially since he was like a cartoon character. He thought his matches with the Patriot were good and liked the angles even more. He wished the USA/Canada feud lasted longer. He talked about how he didn’t want the bash the city of Pittsburgh in their feud as Pittsburgh is one of his favorite cities but Vince made him to get heat.

  • WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. The Patriot – (In Your House: Ground Zero)

OH MY GOODNESS, Kurt Angle vs. Bret? Oh, nevermind. It’s just Del Wilkes. Boy, he looks JACKED. Bret plays the dirty rat to start by running Patriot’s eyes across the top rope and hanging him in the tree of woe (where the US flag is hanging) to put the boots to him. Patriot fires back with clotheslines and takes Bret to the floor where he regroups. Back in, Bret cowers in the corner so he can sneak attack Patriot, but that goes awry for him as he runs into a series of armdrags. Patriot works the arm for a while. Bret finally creates enough distance between them and kicks at his knee. He takes Patriot to school and gives this match that little extra something with the ringpost figure-four! Once ref Mike Chioda makes him break, he walks over to Vince to say something negative about America. Back inside, Bret starts softening up the Patriot for the Sharpshooter. Meanwhile, here comes Davey Boy Smith to cheer on Bret. The crowd starts calling for Austin. Russian legsweep gets two. Patriot counters a suplex for one of his own as he mounts a comeback. DDT scores a nearfall. As Patriot comes off the ropes, Bulldog trips him up, allowing Bret to come up behind him for an O’Connor roll for 1-2-NO! As they exchange punches, Bulldog gets up on the apron, so Patriot shoulderblocks Bret into Bulldog, knocking him down to the floor. Rollup by Patriot, 1-2-NO! Whoa, looks like Louisville thought it was over. UNCLE SLAM connects, but Davey Boy pulls Bret away before he can get pinned. Patriot starts to back Bulldog up the rampway, and here comes Vader to ensure that Davey Boy no longer gets involved tonight. Again, the crowd reacts to Vader like Austin has just arrived. Everybody stands to their feet. While the Patriot takes care of Bulldog, Vader whips Bret into the steps. Afterwards, he rolls Bret inside for the Patriot to finish him off. There’s the PATRIOT MISSILE! Cover, 1-2-NO! Bret stuns Patriot with a hotshot though as he falls on the second rope. Running Bulldog followed by the Flying Vertical Elbow Drop gets two. Patriot turns the tables on Bret in the corner and catches the ref with an elbow by accident. He still manages to nail Bret with another UNCLE SLAM. Delayed count gets a nearfall. Double-KO ensues. Bret tries to get the quick win over Patriot with an O’Connor roll and an inside cradle, but Patriot seems one step ahead. Patriot levels Bret with the chest-first bump and then applies the Sharpshooter. But you see, Del Wilkes, no one can put Bret in the Sharpshooter and win the match. Well, okay, maybe Shawn Michaels. Bret powers out and reverses the hold on Patriot to get the submission victory. (19:20) This took its sweet time to get going, but it turned out okay in the end. Bret can have a good match with virtually anyone. After receiving easily the biggest push of his career, Del Wilkes would retire a few months later when he suffered a torn tricep. Just to further the notion that Bret is in fact a complete dick, he chokes Patriot with the American flag until the WWF agents and referees clear him of the ring. Crowd wants Austin, but Austin doesn’t come. ***¼

Wrestling Injured

Bret got hurt during a match with Dean Malenko on Nitro in November 1998 and though in severe pain did MAD TV just a couple days later. Before surgery he wrestled and made several appearances in WCW due to the Canadian Nitros and events. The reason he puts the next match on this set is because he thought he had a great match despite the abdominal injury.

Bret On Booker T

Bret said Booker was strong and athletic which is a great combo to have. He didn’t enjoy many matchups in WCW but enjoyed the matches he had Booker. He actually designed a lengthy feud that had Booker T look good prevail over him and launch a new main event star, but it just made too much sense compared to WCW logic and they didn’t do it, they only had a few one-offs match wise.

  • WCW U.S. Champion Bret Hart vs. Booker T – (WCW Monday Nitro, 1/25/99)

So Bret is saying he can’t compete tonight because he’s got a groin injury. WCW President Ric Flair says nah. Now we’ve got a match, but it’s non-title. Tenay reprimands Bret for complaining about a groin injury going on several weeks now, as if Tenay knows what it’s like to have a male crotch. Oh, but Booker T can be out of action for several months with a “knee injury”? Give me a break, guy! Bret stalls a little bit to start, but Booker can’t wait to his paws on him. Bret takes a clothesline and decides to head out to the floor. Back in, they get into a test of strength, and Booker works him down so he can stomp on his hands. You know the deal. Bret makes him pay by catching with a boot out of the corner. Inverted atomic drop is followed by a DDT. Speaking of groin injuries, Bret headbutts Booker between the legs. Bret goes heel by running Booker’s eye over the top rope and choking him in the corner. To the floor, Bret sends Booker into the guardrail. Back in again, Booker small packages Bret for two and then begins a comeback. Harlem Sidekick gets two. After that, Bret’s trick knee acts up all into Booker’s groin. Bret delivers a Russian legsweep before taking Booker to school working the left leg. He wraps up Booker in the Figure-Four as a message to Flair. WOO! Booker fades and gets his shoulders counted a few times, but ultimately reverses the hold. Commercial break? Okay then. When we return, Bret reapplies the figure-four. Again, Booker turns over the hold this time into the ropes. Backbreaker gets two. Now Booker ducks a clothesline and hits a Flying Forearm. Axe Kick! That break dance move that doesn’t have a name for it yet! Harlem Sidekick! Side Slam leads to the Harlem Hangover, but Bret moves out of the way. Bret heads out and retrieves his US title belt. He looks to come off the middle rope onto Booker, but gets the belt kicked back in his face. Booker T lands a superkick on Bret to send him outside. Booker follows him out and really wants to choke Bret with a camera cable. While ref Randy Anderson takes the cable away, Bret finds his US title again, and nails Booker in the face for the 1-2-3. (12:32 shown) This was pretty good, but Booker’s big comeback at the end really came out of nowhere. Not sure why Bret chose this match over the superior one they had in February either. ***

Bret On Sting

Bret says he misjudged Sting. He thought coming along with The Warrior and being one of WCWs top stars that he’d be difficult to work with and political but he was a total pro. Bret praised Sting on every aspect being nice, caring, and safe to work with in the ring. Bret also appreciates how Sting made him look good in the matches they had and let him go over in their matches. He wished he could have returned the favor and thinks a lengthy feud could have helped WCW, but once again WCW didn’t go that direction and when they did wrestle they had bad storylines.

  • Bret Hart vs. Sting – WCW World Title Tournament Semifinals (WCW Mayhem 1999)

So just a little backstory, Hulk Hogan laid down for a heel WCW world champ Sting back at Halloween Havoc, which was scheduled to be the main event of that show. Sting faced Goldberg in the actual main event on the card and lost. Unfortunately for Goldberg, this match was deemed unsanctioned. However, WCW would strip Sting of the world title for attacking a referee after the main event, so JJ Dillon announced that a month-long 32-person tournament and the winner would become the new WCW world champion.

We are in Toronto for this one, so you can imagine how the crowd reaction is going to be. Sting is wearing a cut-off t-shirt, which makes me wonder what kind of shape he was in for this match. Real tense start as they tie-up strong and then stare each other down. Bret wins a slugfest and runs Sting’s eyes across the top rope. To the floor we go from some brief guardrail action near the announce table. Back in, Bret headbutts the groin and lands an inverted atomic drop. Sting goes to the eyes and takes over. He whips Bret from corner to corner, but Bret fires back with a stiff looking elbow. Suplex gets two. Sting finds a low blow right in front of the ref. Umm, DQ? Jumping elbow connects for two. Bret escapes a chinlock, but runs into a knee. We go to the floor again as Sting bounces Bret’s face off the announce table. He tries a Stinger Splash, but Bret moves at the last second, as that was always a good “miss” spot for Sting.

TLC_loves_DestinysChild

I’ve heard a lot of conspiracy theories involving a certain member of Destiny’s Child, but never *that* one.

Sting takes Bret hard into the guardrail before we go back inside the ring. Bret catches Sting coming in the corner with a boot. As he heads up top, Sting grabs hold of ref Mickey Jay. Even so, Bret still comes off the top onto both of them. Cue Lex Luger and Elizabeth. He has a ball bat and looks over Bret, but then decides to whack Sting in the knee. Bret gets up and takes the bat away from Lex. He beats him down and locks in the SHARPSHOOTER. Meanwhile, Mickey Jay stands up and rings the bell at 7:32. Huh? Bret wins via DQ, but being the man of integrity he is, doesn’t want to win that way. He wants the match to continue and gets his wish, because we are LIVE in TORONTO. Sting interrupts the Five Moves of Doom by avoiding the elbow drop. He slaps on the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Bret reverses into the SHARPSHOOTER for the win. (10:08) I agree with Bret here. There is a good story to be told between the Sharpshooter and the Scorpion Deathlock somewhere that was just never done. **

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Bret said before the concussion and stroke that he planned to wrestle full time for 2 more years and then do special appearances in matches and events like WrestleMania. Footage is shown of Bret looking at tapes and watching DVDs of various matches. He thanks everyone involved with the project to the wrestlers and even the referees. He said he thought at a time he had lost his history but with this DVD it showcases his history and he’s thankful for it.

Final Thoughts: A fun look back at Bret from the territory days to the height of the Monday Night Wars. The great thing about this set is its unreleased with all never before had matches on home video and many of the matches are rare. While Bret’s had more famous and classic matches there are some hidden gems and historical curiosities. You can tell Bret put in a lot of thought and research into this project and was satisfied. The only negative things were lack of Hart Foundation matches (only two) and a few matches had no commentary or not in English. It would have been nice to see Bret do some alternate commentary for those matches. Still a great journey of the career one of the best technical and popular wrestlers of all time. While this set isn’t for everyone, most fans will enjoy this collection as it’s a great complimentary piece to Bret’s 2005 Hitman DVD.

Also, if you own a Blu-Ray player, get the Blu-Ray edition as it has four additional matches with Yokozuna, the New Foundation, Hakushi, and Vader as well as more thoughts from Bret and an additional twenty minutes of stories. Thumbs up for Bret Hart: The Dungeon Collection.

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Posted on April 11, 2013, in NWA, Stampede, WCW, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. “Bret didn’t think at first the Undertaker gimmick would be successful”-Neither did anyone else, really. Laughed at Dynamite calling him a Mr. Know-It-All, because it’s kind of true. Even an ass like Billington could be right sometimes.

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