Written by: Arnold Furious
The WWE recently started doing “career” DVD’s and they’re based on the format that RF Video have been using for their shoot interviews (career interview followed by some matches as extras). So as I’m reviewing those I may as well go back and review the ones RF Video did that I have too. Why do I start with Bret? Because he’s my favourite wrestler. May as well start with him. I might add this is the first ever flashback done from the comfort of my swanky new leather chair.
We’re in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the Hart Family household. We start with some footage from the Terry Funk retirement show, against Tiger Mask in Japan and some bits from Stampede.
Rob Feinstein runs the intro and asks how Bret got started. He started selling programs. He talks about watching all the matches and studying it. He wrestled as an amateur in high school where he was a champion. He knew there was a difference. He wrestled as an amateur in college and won championships there but his grades suffered. Stu wanted him to go to the Commonwealth games but Bret wanted out of the amateurs and became a pro instead. He started as a referee and got ‘officially’ smartened up by the boys.
Bret goes on to talk about the Funks who gave him his first match against Dennis Stamp. He also mentions Pogo who stiffed the hell out of him. He spent 4 months learning the basics and making sure he knew how to fall properly. He says he was naturally better than both his brothers that were working at the time (Bruce and Smith). Bruce had been booked on a Puerto Rico tour with Smith and didn’t want to go so Bret took his place. He had a few matches in Stampede as well and Dynamite stiffed him a lot in their early matches. He spent 2 months in Puerto Rico that he hated and went to Texas for the summer and started full time in ’78 in Stampede.
Bret points out he got tagged pretty good with a missile dropkick to the jaw. TM was a skilled innovator. Bret says he himself wasn’t a junior heavyweight wrestler but that’s where the Japanese put him. Bret says the newest guy on a Japanese tour wouldn’t have his stuff sold and get worked over when they were blown up. Bret puts over the top guys like Tiger Mask and Fujinami. He says Japan was hard and it was more like a fight than a work. He worked 6 tours. He talks about working with Dynamite Kid in Stampede that he thinks were better than DK had with Tiger Mask and Fujinami. They had the first ladder match in wrestling and he took the match to the WWF (which was stolen from him). He talks about nearly getting beaned in the head with the ladder in the first match.
Bret didn’t like Bad News’s psychology and he always cut off the babyfaces comebacks. He says Bad News didn’t sell a lot and was hard to work with.
Owen wanting to be a wrestler
Bret talks about how he was making good money, for Stampede. So he told Owen to come in and make money while he could and go back to school later. Owen was glad he became a wrestler.
Stampede being sold/joining the WWF
Bret says there were no promises or guarantees. DK was pissed at the pay off’s and walked. Bret didn’t have Japan fo fall back on so he stayed. He was told the WWF “had big plans” for him and were going to bring in all the Harts but he ended up there on his own. He talks about how New York style (WWF) was mocked elsewhere. He talks about losing to Rene Goulet but the money was good. He wasn’t considered a threat but knew he could do better than most of the guys they had. He got helped a lot by Bob Orton but didn’t get any kind of push. He talks about Wrestlemania being a success and that pushed the promotion onwards.
Cowboy Bret Hart
The WWF were planning on putting a ‘cowboy’ gimmick with horses on him but Bret wasn’t interested. “I hate cowboy boots and country music”. They said he was missing a hell of a gimmick. Bret threw in the idea of bringing in Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart forming the Hart Foundation. After Wrestlemania they brought Neidhart in and turned them heel. Bret says he took a lot of Dynamite Kid’s style. He says it was a chance to do his own thing after working with shitty workers for months. Goulet wouldn’t even take a dropkick off him.
Bret enjoyed working the matches against them especially the cage matches. They juiced in every match until they found out that Orndorff-JYD made all the money while they ruled the shows. Bret says they had good matches with a lot of teams like the Killer Bees and the Rougeaus. Bret wasn’t happy working the flips and stuff intially because of his amateur background.
Locker room leaders
There were Cliques. Bret hung out with Orton, Muraco, Fuji etc. He points out that everyone liked Hogan back in the day because he was good to everyone and everyone made money. Bret talks about Hogan being fed one killer heel after another and drawing big money off it. Bret talks about the drinking and girls the life drew.
Only worked with him twice. Once in Boston garden and they worked a great match. They were meant to work at Wrestlemania but Bret got put in the Battle Royal and the Steamer got Hercules instead. Steamboat went out of his way to give Bret a great match. They had another great match in Washington which wasn’t taped and that was it. Everyone was happy to work with Ricky.
Tag title change
DK refused to drop the tag titles to Shiek/Volkoff. He said only the Harts deserved the belts and would only drop to them. Hart Foundation started wearing pink at the same time and Vince decided that was what they were missing. As a result they ended up with the belts even though DK was injured. He went through the match hurt. Bret points out that Shawn never would have done that (that’s dig at Shawn #1) and points out that DK ended up in a wheelchair because of his dedication.
Bret points out that he was lied to all the time. Just before Wrestlemania 4 Vince called Bret and says they have more fan mail for him than anyone else. Bret thinks that was bogus but the idea was Bret would leave the Harts and go solo as a babyface. Bret wanted to stay heel but saw the chance and took it but ended up losing to Bad News all the time thus setting Brown up for a run with Hogan. So much for the big push.
Back into tag teams as babyfaces. They had some good matches with Demolition as well. Reactions were still good and the business was strong. They got the tag titles again but Vince talked to them both separately. Vince told Bret they were going to give him the big push but they’d have to drop the tag titles first. But Vince suggested Bret would be main eventing (this is 1990). Bret talks about the match against the Rockers where they were meant to drop the belts. The top rope broke off and Bret blames the referee because they could have got the ropes fixed while Bret and Shawn worked a chinlock. They finished the match but no one could hit any spots. Bret didn’t want it to air because it sucked. For some reason the WWF decided to keep the team together and keep them as the champions. Vince promised the push later.
Vince asked Bret to work on his interview skills to get more of a push. He had a match with Randy Savage and Vince needed them to change the match so Randy would have a leg injury. Vince told Bret “you’re the great worker, you sort it out” and he did. Bret talks about how the Hart Foundation had been together 6 years and that was long enough. Bret was happy to drop the belts to the Nasty Boys but points out they were pretty stiff.
The WWF wanted to put him in with Hennig after he’d won the IC belt. Bret refused to work a program if he wasn’t going to get a win. Bulldog took the losses over the summer instead. Perfect was hurt going into Summerslam. Bret puts Hennig over for putting him over. Bret says it was a great match but when Hennig was healthy they had better matches on house shows.
He was easy to work with. He was a little lazy but he had a lot of heat. Bret talks about the Bushwackers and matches like that and they were the easiest matches of his career.
Bret was suspicious of Roddy’s motivation for getting involved in the IC title picture. Bret points out they were close friends. He was uneasy about Wrestlemania and facing him but Roddy laid the match out to him and it was exactly what Bret wanted to do. Bret talks about how the bladejob was planned but he made it look like it was hardway. Flair got fined for deliberately blading in the main event but they believed that Bret was cut hardway.
Vince wanted Bret to drop the belt to Shawn at Summerslam but they decided to have the PPV in England. Bret said if it was in England he should drop it to Bulldog. He sold it to Vince and Vince wanted to do it. If it hadn’t have been in England they’d have done Shawn-Bret in a ladder match. Vince didn’t understand the concept so he got a trial match – Bret v Shawn on a house show in a ladder match. Vince said he wouldn’t use it on anyone else. Bret talks about getting his idea ripped off. They went to Wembley anyway so it was Bret-Bulldog. Bret says that Bulldog was really nervous and forgot everything. Bret says he carried Bulldog through the match because he got blown up. Bret says he got busted talking in that match and that’s the only time he remembers getting caught on camera. Bret says Summerslam ’92 made him. Flair and Savage saw the match and they both put him over big time.
Vince got pissed at Flair for changing stuff in title matches and lost confidence in him as champion. Bret turned up in Saskatoon for a house show and got told Backlund, Savage and himself were on a short list for winning the title. Bret found out he was going to win the title hours before doing so. There was no time for anyone to get at him politically. Flair was happy to put Bret over. Bret talks about Flair’s psychology being all over the place. He talks about how Flair never got tired. He put his differences with Flair down to them being from different eras. He puts Flair over for being safe but believeable.
Bret talks about working with Shawn and then Razor (who was green but he got a decent match out of). Bret goes off to talk about Hall for a while and how he feels sorry for him. Hall can be really annoying but when he’s away from his buddies he’s a good guy. We go on to the Lawler feud and Bret talks about how it was supposed to be Hogan but Hogan was being forced out. Vince told Bret that Hogan said he wouldn’t work with Bret because he wasn’t in his league. Bret was pissed about the whole situation because he felt he’d earned the top position. Bret was happy with KotR because he wrestled 3 different matches and he enjoyed all of them.
He stiffed the shit out of Bret with the sceptre at KotR. Bret decided to get Lawler back for the potato shots. Bret talks about Lawler hitting him with another potato shot to the face against Doink. Bret punched Lawler legitimately but Lawler never said anything. Bret put the Sharpshooter on for real and kept it on for 5 minutes. Lawler couldn’t walk afterwards. Bret calls it retaliation for the potato shots. Later they got a better understanding and worked easier matches with a lot of heat.
Bret talks about his contract where he got the rights to use his own name outside of the WWF. Piper talked him through the contract negotiations. Bruce was originally supposed to work with Bret but Bret shot it down because Bruce had just had knee surgery. Owen was on the verge of quitting to be a fireman. Bret puts Owen over as being a great worker with an individual style. They decided to do the family split but Bret always wanted to patch things up onscreen later. The first few matches they had on house shows were pretty bad. A week before Wrestlemania they went back to Calgary and re-wrote the whole match from top to bottom. Bret wanted Owen to be a real shit in that match to stay heel. The whole thing of big brother vs little brother could have turned Owen babyface. Bret talks about how Owen was great to work with and got more respect after Wrestlemania.
Bret takes another dig at Shawn (#2) because he’d have never dropped any title to Backlund. Bret thought the angle was shitty until he thought about it. Backlund was a great guy and a great worker. We get a few stories about how Backlund bought beer for the younger guys touring Japan and giving Bret birthday cards and stuff. Bret talks about how then dropping the title to Nash a few days later was too early for Nash.
Bret thinks Nash got better working with him. He taught him pacing and psychology. Bret liked Kevin at the time and didn’t have a problem with him being champion so he acted as the heel in their Rumble ’95 match. He thinks that Nash got more over because of that. Bret says the worst PPV match he ever had was with Backlund at Wrestlemania 11. He talks about the Nash-Shawn match where Shawn turned himself babyface by being the underdog (dig #3). Bret talks about the filler matches against Hakushi and other guys. He says they were all good guys but just lesser undercard guys. He really liked working with Hakushi. Bret says he ran an idea by Vince about working with Nash again. He talks about watching ECW and seeing the tables break in there. Bret wanted to do it as a surprise in the Survivor Series match out of nowhere. He wanted to beat Nash and then lose the belt back at Wrestlemania. Vince had other ideas. He wanted Bret to drop it to Shawn because Nash wasn’t drawing.
Bret talks about not having a problem with Shawn at the time. He talks about the backstabbing and politics behind the scenes that saw Nash removed from the main events. Bret didn’t really want to be a transitional jobber guy for Shawn. He blames Vince for booking him weakly between winning the belt and losing at WM12. Bret talks about having a great match with Bulldog at IYH in December but how it wasn’t really big news and the next night the show focused on Shawn Michaels instead. He got to sit at home for 3 months with the “concussion” angle after Syracuse. Bret worked tours all over the world and got matches against Nash and Undertaker where he’d take powerbombs and chokeslams every night while Shawn was sat at home. He knew where the whole thing was going when all the preparation for Wrestlemania was all “Shawn, Shawn, Shawn”. Bret talks about chatting with Shawn before the match. Shawn wanted to work with all his buddies (Nash, Hall, 1-2-3 Kid and HHH) after winning the belt. Bret thought that might be a problem for the locker room morale. Bret talks about Shawn becoming a primadonna (dig #4) when he got to the top. He talks about Shawn sandbagging him (dig #5) and throwing potatoes (dig #6). Bret says the match with Shawn was a great contest in the Japan style. Bret talks about how they timed the match and how it came off as perfect. It was planned to be “shoot like” with Bret being pissed at the ending. It was there to set up a re-match down the line where Bret would win, then do another re-match where Shawn would win with Bret passing the torch. Bret talks about how Shawn was over the ladies in the crowd but the guys didn’t like him and the boys in the back didn’t like him (dig #7).
Bret took some time off to do some acting. He talks about the WCW offer and how Owen had signed to a 5 year deal at the time. Bret talks about his agent negotiating with WCW but Bret didn’t meet with them and didn’t want to. Eventually he spoke with Bischoff and gave them an impossibly high number. Vince came back with a 20 year contract where the Hitman character couldn’t be buried. He got a level of rights that no other wrestler had previously had.
Austin asked Bret to come back and depose Shawn because no one in the back liked him. Bret talks about how Vince and JR buried him on the commentary at Survivor Series (which is true, if you listen Vince is a total prick). He talked to Vince about it and thought it was a crack in the deal right away. Bret says he talked to Shawn about doing the return match before he came back and Shawn wanted to do it. Bret talks about how he’d have beaten Shawn by “breaking his leg” in a shoot style finish leading up to Shawn’s big comeback where he’d have beaten Bret. But it turned out Shawn didn’t want to lose to anyone (dig #8).
Shawn Michaels, again
Bret talks about how he took some cheap shots at Shawn in interviews but then asked Shawn if it was ok and he said it was fine. Bret thinks he was “working a shoot” with the idea of doing big business. Bret thinks Shawn refused to work Wrestlemania with a bullshit injury (dig #9). Of course Shawn came back fine after Wrestlemania and that’s where the heat started. Bret points out that Shawn was out of his head on pills at the time and can’t remember most of the time period clearly (dig #10). Bret talks about offering to bury the hatchet and Shawn responded with the “Sunny days” comment. Bret says there was no truth to that rumour so he was pissed about the suggestions because it got him heat with his own family. Bret reels of a list of guys who were on pills and were likely to die – “Spicolli, Pillman, Shawn Michaels, Hall, Bulldog (this was before he died) and Waltman”. Bret says that Shawn was out of it all the time. Bret waited for an apology but one never came. Bret says he felt he couldn’t trust Shawn in the ring so they never had the 10 minute match at KotR ’97. Bret talks about the backstage fight and how he pulled out some of Shawn’s hair and Shawn walked out. Shawn came back and Bret suspected that Shawn had only come back because Vince was planning on off loading Bret.
Survivor Series ’97
Bret skips ahead and says he thought Shawn and HHH were in on it. Bret says they haven’t got any integrity. Bret talks about punching Vince McMahon and that he thought it was the right thing to do. They really skip over this which suggests that Feinstein was afraid to ask a lot of questions about it after Bret had spent 30 minutes talking about Shawn already.
Bret says he doesn’t understand WCW at all. They hired the wrong guys. He says he likes Eric Bischoff and thinks he showed moments of greatness but was burned out by the time he turned up. The booking down there was minute to minute. Bret couldn’t figure out what was going on from one show to the next even with his own storylines. Bret takes a moment to run down Kevin Sullivan, Terry Taylor and Vince Russo for not being good enough as bookers. Russo never understood the business, which is why he failed.
Bret laid it out to Goldberg and they were planning a year long feud where Goldberg would learn how to work better. Bret went to Bischoff with the metal plate story and he liked it. So Bret is supposed to get a streak going before challenging Goldberg and they forgot about it and screwed up the in between storyline and Bret even lost to Booker T in the process. So they screwed the booking up and then Bischoff came up with a new suggestion. He wanted Bret to turn on the Canadian fans. That makes no sense at all. Bret tells him to listen to them chanting his name out on the street at 2pm on the day of the show. Bischoff then suggests that they do the Goldberg story but then Hogan comes out and backstabs Bret. Bret said that was just as stupid so they went to Hogan who turned around and said – it’s fine as it is.
We move on to the Michael Landsberg interview because RF Video screwed the tape up.
Originally the doctor’s were saying July for the next diagnosis (that would be 2000). Bret suggests he may have to retire. Bret says apart from the concussion he’s fine. But he is concerned about the level of workrate in wrestling today. He puts Benoit, Hennig, Austin, and Foley over as good workers. He says Mongo isn’t a good worker and wouldn’t work with him although he likes him as a person.
Bret thinks it’s probably a good time to go but he didn’t want to leave on a bad note like he did in the WWF. He wanted to retire when Owen died. We get clips of Goldberg stiff kicking Bret and ending his career in the process. Bret says he wouldn’t miss the roar of the crowd. He’s disillusioned with the wrestling audience though. Not the Canadian’s so much or even in Europe. It was about respect. But the American audiences have the odd person that aren’t good people. American audiences forget you’re a person.
We get clips of Vince’s interview where he talked about meeting with Bret and how Bret talked about himself the whole time. Bret talks about the meeting with Vince McMahon and how he wasn’t allowed to talk to Vince about Owen’s death because of the litigation over it. Bret whinges about how Vince promised him the pictures and footage of his career and didn’t get it. He talks about how Vince “couldn’t recall” that part of the conversation. He really runs Vince down calling him a son of a bitch and a creep.
RAW is Owen
Bret didn’t agree with the show. He thinks they exploited the wrestlers for ratings. Bret compares how he doesn’t hold a grudge against Goldberg but Austin holds a grudge against Owen. Bret walked out on the RAW is Owen show because if “reeked of Vince”.
Davey Boy Smith
Bret doesn’t regret taking shots at Bulldog for going back to the WWF. Bret blames the bad blood on remarks that Davey made. Bret thinks its convenient that Davey has fallen on hard times and Vince is helping him out at the same time as the court case. He mentions how Bulldog had the problem before and Vince just fired him.
The Bret “Hitman” Hart book
Bret says they’ll be a more detailed book later when he reaches his final chapter. He says the book they have out isn’t as detailed as he wanted. Bret says he’d never go back to the WWF because he wouldn’t want to work with Vince again. He calls Vince a “pathological liar”.
That’s the end of the interviews at around 2 hours 20 minutes. Bret comes off as bitter and he complains a lot about what happened to him BUT he’s really honest and upfront about everything. There’s no one time where I thought he was lying. It’s like they say – “If you’re not stealing a little you’re stealing a lot”. Bret is quite happy to call someone a bad worker and call it how it is. Chris Reynolds may want to avoid this because Bret has a lot of bad things to say about Shawn Michaels. From what I hear most people say the exact same things about Shawn but Bret isn’t careful about saying what he thinks. I like the interview personally although I think Rob skips over some important angles and matches. They focus so much on the Shawn Michaels issues it means they don’t get a chance to talk about other stuff.
Now…the matches –
Bret Hart v Tiger Mask (Misawa)
My favourite 2 wrestlers, ever against each other. Only it’s before either one of them hit the big time so yanno, not so great. We join with Bret giving TM a backbreaker. Snap suplex gets 2 and Bret goes to a chinlock. He gives up on that for an abdominal stretch. That’s reversed and Bret has to hip toss out. Misawa eats a boot in the corner but a Bret elbow misses. Flying body press from Misawa gets 2. Bret takes a HUGE front turnbuckle for 2. Misawa starts with the elbows and hits a crossbody but it’s declared a time limit draw at 4.30. *. Very clipped, very short. Now I want to see them one on one for 45 minutes.
Hart Foundation v The Rockers
This is also in Japan. Bret-Jannetty to start. They shoot some near misses at speed and the crowd digs it. Shawn gets the tag and the Rockers double team only for Niedhart to come in and lariat both of them. Shawn sells Niedhart’s size but reverses a powerslam into a cradle for 2. Shawn goes for a slam (comedy spot), Neidhart reverses and Shawn gets a roll up for 2. Rockers make a load of tags while working the arm but Jannetty ends up getting shoulderblocked out the ring. He comes back in fast and gets a drop toehold before tagging Shawn in. Double arm ringers into double thrust kicks for 2. Neidhart powers out again and tags Bret. Bret-Shawn and of course that RULES but not for long as Neidhart comes back in to LAUGH. Bret cheap shots Shawn from the apron and comes back in to drop a leg. Backbreaker and Bret rocks Shawn’s blonde mullet with some forearms but Shawn ducks one of them and gets a backslide for 2. Neidhart back in and he gets a lot of height on a backdrop for 2. Bearhug from Neidhart but Shawn breaks it. Flair bump to the floor from Shawn and Bret goes out to kick his ass and throw him back in. Tag to Bret and he goes to work on the lower back. Shawn reverses on a tilt-a-whirl though but Bret elbows him in the head to prevent a hot tag. Neidhart in and Bret whips him in shoulder first for 2. Bret in again and he takes a front turnbuckle on a reversal but Shawn is too screwed to tag out. Neidhart is slungshot in but misses with the splash. Shawn is still too screwed to tag out and Bret comes back in. Sunset flip from Shawn gets 2 so Bret throws him outside for Neidhart to play with. Back inside and Bret almost mockingly works a chinlock just a few feet directly in front of Jannetty. Shawn armdrags out but is too disorientated and goes to the wrong corner. Bret misses with an elbow drop and Shawn gets the HOT TAG to Jannetty. Spinning back elbow from him and a superkick for 2. Brisco corner roll up gets 2. Backslide for 2. Jannetty misses a forearm smash in the corner though and falls out to the floor. This allows the Neidhart tag. Jannetty outspeeds him and tags Shawn back in. Neidhart shoulderblocks him for 2. Shawn comes back with a back elbow for 2. Crossbody gets 2 and Neidhart tags out. Michaels gets all cocky about having crossbodied Neidhart and goes for it on Bret only for him to roll through and get the pin at 14.39. ***3/4. Ending was a bit sudden but otherwise this is a great formula for a tag match. It helps that none of them suck or anything and 3 of them were world class workers at the time but this is a good format for a tag match.
Bret Hart v Tiger Mask (Sayama)
This is somewhere around ’84 so Bret has short hair and plain black trunks. TM is faster than him and throws a lot of kicks and elbows. Armdrag and a back kick at high speed and a senton gets 2. Brainbuster gets 2. Jesus, Sayama really was Amazing Red/Rey Mysterio fast when he wanted to be. Bret uses his slight size and strength advantage and drops a leg. TM fires back and drops some knees. Bret sits out to dodge the 3rd one and goes to work on the knee. TM comes back with the insanely fast standing switches into a bow and arrow stretch. TM drops a knee for 1 and goes to a hammerlock. He changes to a headscissors, Bret gets out and goes to a headlock. TM tags Bret with a dropkick and a back kick. Awesome piledriver gets 2 but Bret is in the ropes. Bret comes back with his own dropkick. TM reverses a front kick into a legsweep and clubs away at the back of Bret’s head with elbows. TM with a hammerlock again but he changes to a short arm scissors. They reverse standing and TM hits a gutwrench suplex for 2. Crossbody off the ropes gets 2. Sunset flip gets 2 and Bret gets pissed off enough to throw TM outside. Bret gets whipped into the rail however. TM goes after the leg back inside and goes to a Figure 4. Bret turns it over and gets the ropes. Bret sells the knee and TM goes right after it again with a twisting leglock. Bret rolls up out of it into the ropes so he’s able to hit a piledriver for 2. Bret is pissed at the count and drops some elbows for another 2. TM comes back with a flying knee but misses a swanton. Bret fires back – backbreaker for 2. Brainbuster from Bret gets 2. TM with the back kick and Bret is dropkicked outside. TM tries for a pescado and misses. Bret gets up a head of speed to kick his ass coming back in and TM springboards into a wicked concussion inducing missile dropkick. Bret is visibly shaken and the butterfly suplex finishes at 17.09. ****. Great match all round between 2 of the best workers in the history of pro-wrestling.
Bret Hart v Bad News Allen
This is a ladder match (one of the earliest ones) for $2,000. We’re JIP with Allen being whipped into the ladder. Allen kicks the ladder over when Bret climbs. Bret nails Allen with the ladder a few times and hits a suplex. Allen avoids an elbow drop and places Bret on the ladder before stomping away. Bret dodges an Allen charge in the corner while a ringside fan offers this sage advice – “hit him with the ladder”. I love Canadians. Allen drops a knee off the buckles but it’s Bret that takes advantage of the set up ladder. Ref is bumped in the process and Allen’s manager (whose name escapes me) runs in and pushes the ladder over. Outside and Bret is slammed on the floor. Allen climbs but Dynamite Kid runs in and pushes the ladder over sending Allen crashing to the floor. Bret gets the money down at 6.38 shown (around 12 minutes unclipped). **. Innovative for then but it doesn’t hold up in the same way that some of the early WWF ladder matches did.
Bret Hart v The Stomper
The Stomper is Archie Gouldie who was a top brawler up in Stampede. Stomper boots Bret in the ribs for 2 but Bret reverses on the mat. Stomper hits a boot again for 2. Bret comes back with a scoop slam for 2. Bret takes a headlock to the mat and Stomper gets some near falls off roll up’s. Stomper tries for a slam and Bret falls on him for 2. We clip ahead to Bret working a sleeper. Bret is bleeding but not much. It seems Stomper’s main offensive period has been clipped out of the match. Bret gets a yellow for pounding on Stomper too much in the corner so he throws the referee across the ring for the DQ at 7.02 shown. 1/2*. Dull even with the clipping.
Bret Hart v Dynamite Kid
This is a 2/3 falls match but we’re JIP in progress at 1 fall each with 34 minutes gone. Bret works on the arm. The match has been a “ring-a-ding-dong dandy” according to the commentator. John Foley is at ringside in DK’s corner (no relation to Mick incidentally). Bret goes to the Abdominal stretch of DOOM and DK hip tosses out through the ropes. Back inside and Bret is dropkicked into the ropes again. Bret takes DK head first into the buckle at speed. Swinging neckbreaker from Bret gets 2 but a 2nd one is countered with the ropes. Vertical suplex from DK. Bret tries for a German in the corner but DK holds the ropes again and sits on Bret for 2. “Go, Bret, go” chant. Bret puts on a half crab but that’s reversed at the 40 minute mark. Vertical suplex from Bret gets 2 and DK BARELY got the shoulder up. DK hits a sunset flip for 1 and Bret reverses into a bridging pin for 2. Bret takes a front turnbuckle but comes back with a biel INTO THE ROPES. DK with an elbow smash though and a slam. Bret gets a roll up for a long 2. DK backdrops out of a piledriver so Bret hits a German suplex but can’t hold the bridge. Abdominal stretch applied with 45 seconds remaining in the match. John Foley rings the bell to make Bret think that he’s won with 30 seconds remaining and it ends in a schmoz at 11 minutes shown. I imagine this match is awesome when seen in its entirety but I’m not grading something so clipped down.
Bret Hart v Davey Boy Smith
This is later with Bret in pink and black. Bulldog gets a backslide for 2. Stampede crowd is firmly behind Davey here, which is a surprise. Bret pounds on Bulldog but gets dropkicked over the ropes for it. Bret comes back in and drives an elbow to the back of the head. Sunset flip from Bulldog for 2. Bulldog is slammed but Bret misses the elbow off the buckles. Clothesline from Bulldog and a hair slam. Bulldog delays on a vertical suplex for 2. Fisherman suplex gets 2. Bulldog drops a knee off the buckles and drops a running elbow for 2. Bret bails but Bulldog goes outside and press slams him back in through the ropes. Slingshot splash from Davey gets knees. Bret gets a chain from somewhere and NAILS Bulldog with a massive right hand, which sends him crashing through the ropes. Davey is bleeding now and Bret dropkicks him. Crowd noise is great as they chant “Davey” repeatedly. Swank piledriver from Bret and he taunts instead of covering. When he does cover it’s only 2. Bulldog comes back and press crotches Bret on the ropes. Bret takes a HUGE front turnbuckle for 2. Bulldog goes to a sleeper, which leads to a ref bump. Bret goes back to the chain but Dynamite runs in to prevent it. Bulldog takes the chain but the referee sees it. Someone is disqualified and it’s Bret. Again this is pretty clipped up but it is very good.
Bret/Keith Hart v The Kiwi’s
The Kiwi’s are a certain Southern hemisphere tag team (coughBushwackerscough) that tend to appear all over the place with the same basic gimmick re-tuned. They’re going by Sweet William and Crazy Nick here. This match so completely sucks that I can’t be bothered with it. Besides I have an official boycott on certain performers in the match (coughSheepherderscough).
Overall tape thoughts –
The matches are a mixed bunch but a couple of them are interesting enough (see Mask, Tiger, Rockers, The and Kid, Dynamite) to check it out for them as well as the shoot. Actually I rate the 2nd Bret shoot as the better conversation with him because he doesn’t even work for WCW and really shoots on them too. Recommended, especially if you’re a Bret Hart fan because you get his take on a lot of things. Just a little too much focus on Shawn Michaels but other than that – good stuff.