WWE Hart & Soul
Written by: Tom Hopkins
I start this with a little apprehension and I’ll tell you why. There’re 12 matches and by my count, 9 are available on other WWE DVD’s or services (like Classics.com). I don’t know how that will turn out in the review but I guess we’ll see.
The Main Characters
The Hart family is one of the well-respected wrestling families in all of the sports entertainment business. They hail from Canada and you may have heard of some of their ranks – Stu Hart, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, the British Bulldog and there’re a bunch of others which this DVD will document.
The Hart’s have been wrestling almost as long as the modern sport has been around, with Stu wrestling in the 50’s before starting his own wrestling corporation. The Hart legacy still lives on to this day in the current WWE.
The Film (1:36:46)
There’s a montage of sorts that starts off the DVD, as is the norm with the WWE DVD programs. So we start at the beginning with Stu Hart. He and his family lost their home in a land dispute and had to live in a tent for two winters. The Harts moved to Edmonton where Stu thrived as a wrestler. He was even ready to go to the 1940 Olympics when war broke out. He entered the military and was even mulling a 1948 Olympic appearance but when he realized he couldn’t put food on the table doing that he went into professional wrestling. He eventually met Helen and they went on to have 12 kids (with Owen being born when Stu was around 50!). Stu came into business with Stampede Wrestling that was very fair to the wrestlers. Rocky Johnson, Sika and Mad Dog Vachon all talk about how great it was working up North. Stu went on to build a big mansion in Calgary that was one a hill that had a fantastic view of the city. The Hart kids talk about the house, the gym, the people who would show up, as well as animals (the wrestling bear lived with them for a while in the basement!). It was a three-ring circus.
The oldest boy was Smith and the siblings feel he was under a tremendous amount of pressure from Stu and Helen to lead the family. The kids also talk about Stu’s various business ventures around this time. Unfortunately, the family wasn’t always thriving monetarily. Even when times were tough Stu was always optimistic. Let’s talk about another Hart – Alison. She was the ninth Hart and the ones the rest call the smartest. She didn’t get into wrestling (showing how smart she really is). The Hart boys were always around the business, driving the boys, selling the programs, manning the gate, refereeing and finally wrestling. We look at another Hart (Keith – the 3rd oldest child). Keith says he went into wrestling to impress his dad. Keith was the one who left the biggest impression on Bret. We talk about Bruce (4th oldest) now. Bruce was the booker of Stampede and brought some great talent in, including the British Bulldogs. Let’s chat about Wayne who many consider the black sheep of the family. Bret always trusted the word of Wayne. We take a look at Ross (5th oldest), who the rest call a real hard worker and was the archivist because of his great memory. Ellie (oldest girl but the middle child) is profiled. She would end up marrying Jim Neidhart. Diana (11th oldest) is next. She was a model for a while before she met Davey Boy Smith and she ended up marrying him. She’s sitting in a room with some pictures of him in the background but I thought they had a pretty nasty divorce, didn’t they?
The wedding took place around 1984 and Stampede had closed for the summer. Stu and Helen decided to get out of the business and basically cut a deal with Vince McMahon that sent Bret, the Anvil, and the British Bulldogs to the WWE. Bruce wasn’t included in the deal and he’s still ticked off about it. Bret saw that WWE was going to explode and Bruce didn’t and I guess we can safely say that Bret was right. The Anvil and Bret formed the Hart Foundation and they were getting very popular. Davey Boy and Dynamite formed the British Bulldogs and they were doing very well for themselves in the ring, too. The two teams wrestled a bunch of times and had some great matches. When the two wrestled it’d be a big family affair. Dynamite is shown a lot but not really mentioned. The two teams even wrestled at Wrestlemania III.
Bruce kept the territory going but he was without his big stars. That’s how Owen, Pillman and others got their starts. The whole family thought that Stampede would’ve kept going strong and would succeed. The revival lasted until 1989. It was restarted in 1999 but closed in 2005. We take a step back and look at another Hart – Dean. Dean had a whole bunch of schemes, even trying his hand at concert promoting as a teenager. Bret says that Dean would start having problems later in his life and he would eventually die. Bret says he wanted the old Dean back and Bret believes he let his Crohn’s disease get the better of him and lost the will to live. Smith calls it the first family tragedy. We skip ahead in the wrestling world to the 1992 Summerslam main event between Bret and Davey Boy. Diana said that Davey was suffering from a staph infection at the time, which explains why Bret said he had to carry him the whole match. He doesn’t mention that here, though he said it in his DVD. We take a look at Owen, the youngest of the 12. He was the baby of the family Owen was one of a kind, and was a great playful practical joker.
We move ahead to Survivor Series 1993 and the big Hart tag-team match. This first started the Owen/Bret feud. Their Wrestlemania match is briefly profiled. Things for the Harts were never better. Unfortunately in 1996, Georgia’s son Matthew passed at 13 years old. Speaking of Georgia, Bret says that she’s the one who helps steer the family. We move ahead to 1997 and Bret’s Hart Foundation which was a big family gathering for the extended Hart clan. They were loved in Canada but reviled in the USA. This led to the huge Canadian Stampede match with a young Tyson Kidd at ringside. The whole family ended up in the ring, including Natalya and Davey Boy’s son. Natalya says that was the last time the family was in the ring and happy together. Bret agrees that it was a crowning, great moment. Bret would win the title at Summerslam that year, but it all spiraled out of control after that. Brian Pillman died in October and that hurt, even though he wasn’t family but he was a close friend. A month later Bret was screwed out of the WWE title at Survivor Series. A lot of the Harts watching on TV had no idea what was going on. Davey and Jim stuck by Bret and went to WCW with him, except for Owen. The Anvil called it a big mistake and says he wished he stayed with the E. Owen wanted to go but he didn’t want to leave any more than Bret did and thought WCW was a bottomless pit.
Bret realized that WCW had no idea what to do with him but he got paid very well. He even says that no one really cared about his WCW matches. Davey Boy ended up busting his back on a steel door that WCW used to unveil the Ultimate Warrior. He busted a bone in his back and got hooked on pain killer drugs like morphine. As he was recovering, Owen died after a terrible fall at the Over the Edge PPV. They actually show footage of Ross talking to the crowd which I don’t know if it had been aired before. No one knew what was going on since the lines to Stu and Helen’s were busy. Soon everyone got the terrible news. Bret says there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t think of Owen. Everyone talks about how great Owen was and I never really heard anyone say anything bad about him. A lawsuit was levied against the WWE and it really tore the family apart. It was especially tough on Stu and Helen and Helen passed away shortly after the settlement. Bret suffered a stroke within a six-month span of this and that was coupled with Davey’s death. The Anvil calls Davey one of his best friends. Stu would pass away in 2003 and suddenly the family were without their figurehead. The Hart house ended up being sold and it was a real end of an era for the family.
The Hart family would never really die and now the WWE is home to a third generation of Harts! Natalya, Tyson and Harry form the Hart Dynasty. Natalya says her father was against her doing it but she did it anyway. She’s the first third-generation Diva in the WWE as a matter of fact. Harry continues his father’s (British Bulldog’s) legacy. Tyson was a family friend who made his way into the group. We end with a closing montage about Stu and his legacy. Bret mentions wrestling in Madison Square Garden as a big highlight for him.
I saw the running time and thought it was a little bit short. Well, I did get through the whole thing and I do think it was a bit short. It seems to me that this was almost done as a documentary that would be on something like the Biography Channel. The actual wrestling itself seemed to take a backseat to the story and drama of the Hart family. To show the point, there’s a lot more in the extras of Disc One that could’ve been included to focus more on finer aspects of the family members as well as other wrestling angles. Hart’s WWE run was basically run over in a span of minutes and only focuses on his feud with Bret and the Hart Foundation stuff of 1997. Speaking of Bret, he’s seen a lot on the DVD in his interviewed comments but I don’t remember him being profiled all that much on here. This DVD has its pluses and minuses. I think the wrestling (this is a wrestling company releasing a wrestling DVD) was lacking in the program and it was almost played down. That was a big minus for me. On the plus side, I feel that all the Hart clan had a fair shake in here and you could really learn a lot about the Harts as a family. A lot of the siblings got on here to record for the documentary and I thought that brought a well-rounded look at the family. It’s not a perfect feature, in some ways I feel that it was rushed to cash in on Bret coming back to the E, but it was a good enough documentary to warrant a viewing.
1) Stu the Athlete (2:32)
We hear about Stu playing a whole bunch of different sports including Tennis, Baseball, Football, Cricket and even Ice Skating.
2) Helen’s Car Accident (1:13)
Helen had a bad car accident where she went through the windshield in Montana while she was pregnant with Bruce. She was hospitalized for a year!
3) Terrible Ted the Wrestling Bear (1:15)
Stu actually wrestled this bear. It was a real bear. The bear stayed with the Harts during the summer. The Hart kids played around with their friends by sending them in with Ted the Bear. That definitely gave their friends a scare!
4) A Letter from Dean (1:44)
Diana has a letter from Dean, the brother who passed away from Crohn’s Disease. Diana reads the letter talking about his family and how he loved growing up with 11 siblings.
5) Stu vs. The Tiger (1:19)
Stu loved animals, and Keith talks about how Stu visited a circus and he ended up wrestling a tiger!
6) A Hart Family Thanksgiving – 1987 (4:39)
This looks like actual footage of the family during their Thanksgiving. I think it is Keith that is recording this on a camcorder. He asks a girl when she’s gonna marry Owen. Bret is there with his kid. It’s family footage and I thought it was perfect as an extra to this DVD.
7) Helen Throws In The Towel (1:23)
Bret mentions the Backlund match where he lost the title and Helen threw in the towel. Bret always thought it was funny that Helen walked past Bulldog so casually like she didn’t care that he was hurt.
8) Owen The Prankster (4:05)
Bret said that Owen’s jokes were also so planned out. Owen talks about putting a sardine in Bret’s mouth during a match. He would keep keys for hotels to give to people so they’d walk in on other people. Owen one time pretended to be a British writer, Jim talks about getting fired for being framed as cutting Blassie’s hair. Owen pulled a lot of pranks on Bulldog, he picked Goulet’s wallet and blamed it on some guy, took the Nasty Boys bags and chained to the top of pipes. Owen was always the prankster!
9) Chris Jericho’s Flight with Owen (1:31)
Jericho says he didn’t spend a lot of time with Owen but he did talk with him on a plane ride. Jericho said he had a great 3-hour conversation and Jericho mentions they got into the business the same way. Owen told Jericho that he should never be late.
10) The Uninvited Guest (0:42)
David Smith talks about everyone getting into the ring at Canadian Stampede and some guy sneaking in pretending to be Jade’s boyfriend.
11) Bret Hart Returns to WWE (2:55)
We all know how Bret left the WWE but Bret doesn’t seem too upset about it anymore, calling it just one night and how it shouldn’t define his career. Bret says he never forgot the fans. We see Bret backstage getting ready to enter the arena and hearing everyone chant for him. Bret says he thought he’d never forgive Bret but they did. I guess time does heal all wounds.
12) Post-Raw Celebration (4:00)
This is after the January 4th, 2010 Raw and I guess after Vince kicked Bret in the balls. The Hart Family Dynasty, the divas and some of the talent come into the ring to be around Bret. Mark Henry is there, as is Jericho. Natalya stands next to Bret for the most part before David and Henry hoist Bret on their shoulders. Bret walks out and goes around ringside meeting with fans.
—Disc Two (2:57:23)—
The Hart Dynasty (Natalya, Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith) introduce these matches and guide us through the whole thing. I wonder if this is what the whole collection was supposed to be, a two-disc Hart Anthology of matches, and the inclusion of Bret in the WWE necessitated the new feature found on Disc One.
—Keith, Bruce and Bret Hart vs. The Kiwis and Dynamite Kid—
This is the oldest match on the set, coming from the Stampede Wrestling archives and it took place in May of 1979. This one is JIP and the video quality is some of the worse you’ll see on a WWE DVD. We see Bruce issuing an atomic drop to the Dynamite Kid, who has a full head of hair here. Kid fights out of trouble with some forearm uppercuts and makes the tag to one of the Kiwi’s. Bruce fights out of the corner and tags in Bret. Bret cleans house and he starts working over one of the Kiwi’s. A bodyslam gets two for Bret. Bret gets thumbed down by the other Kiwi. Bret takes a double fist to the throat and he’s covered but his foot makes the ropes to break up the pinfall. The Kiwi’s have some of the worse wrestling tights I’ve seen. It’s way too many colors that don’t go together. Dynamite tries to double-team Bret at the apron so Keith runs over to restore order. Dynamite is tagged in and he sends Bret hard to the corner. Bret reverses an Irish Whip to the corner and Dynamite literally flips over and has his back hit the turnbuckles. Dynamite is not nearly as roided up here as he would be in the WWE. Dynamite ties up Bret in the ropes and charges but Bret frees himself and not only does Dynamite crotch himself, his back lands right on the apron corner. Dynamite tags out and he looks like he’s in pain. He still manages to double-team Bret in the corner. One of the Kiwi’s: Sweet William, has Bret locked up. Bret tags in his brother but the ref didn’t see it. That’s always a good heel spot. Bret gets stomped at in the heel corner as the other Kiwi, Nick Carter, tags in. Bret headbutts him down but he can’t manage to make the tag. Bret takes a running knee to the gut and in comes Dynamite. Bret is bodyslammed and takes a stomp from the second rope. Bret blocks a forearm and issues one of his own. He sunset flips Dynamite but that is broken up by Carter. Dynamite headbutts Bret in the small of the back before tagging in William. Bret headbutts William in the gut and he’s able to tag in Bruce. Bruce cleans house and he’s helped out by Keith. Things go way out of control which leads to Bruce getting dumped and getting his head rammed into the ringpost. Bruce is busted open now and William goes to work on that wound. Carter comes in for more punishment. Bruce gets dumped again and Nick tries sending him to the post again but this time Bruce counters. Keith and Bret start doubling up on Dynamite before they toss him. Keith gets tagged in and he back drops William. A knee drop follows and he dropkicks William to the outside. Carter comes back and he’s busted open, too. He is slugged down and covered by Dynamite breaks up the pinfall. Carter gets piledriven down and he covers and Dynamite again breaks up the pinfall. William runs in to club at Keith and the ref finally calls this at 14:54. The brawling continues on the outside until order is restored. We get a Hart interview. Keith says this was no wrestling match but a street fight. There was about 10 minutes that was clipped off (based on the announcers calling of the time) and I would love to see the whole thing, but I doubt that exists. This was a wild brawl for the time that we saw. ***.
—Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs(c) for the WWE Tag Team Titles—
This is a Boston Garden duel from November 1st, 1986. I feel like I’ve seen this one before but they’ve fought a bunch of times so I am probably just remembering another match. Matilda chases Jimmy from the ring before the match starts. Bret and Dynamite start off and their lock-ups lead to a stalemate. Hart boots Dynamite and immediately they push him into the heel corner to double-team. Dynamite fights his way out of the corner and elbows both of them down. The Hart Foundation take a breather on the outside as Dynamite tags in Davey Boy. Hart is atomic dropped into the corner and Davey Boy sends Bret to the other corner. Davey Boy charges but Bret flips over him and rolls him up for two. Neidhart is tagged in and he’s promptly dropkicked to the ground. Davey grabs a side headlock which he breaks by sending him to the ropes. A shoulderblock goes nowhere for either guy. Neidhart bodyslams Davey Boy before tagging in Bret and slingshotting him in off the apron onto Davey for two. Davey is atomic dropped now by Bret before taking a backbreaker over the knee. Neidhart comes in and sets up Davey over his knee so Bret can elbow him off the second rope. He covers but Dynamite makes the save. Davey Boy ducks a clothesline but it kneed in the back by Hart on the apron. Hart brings him to the outside and bodyslams him on the wooden platform. Neidhart slows down Davey Boy with a reverse chinlock all while Dynamite tries to make the tag. Bret interferes and distracts the ref which allows for Bret to whip Anvil shoulder-first into Davey Boy. Davey Boy sneaks in a crucifix on Bret for two. The Harts are doing everything imaginable to keep Davey from his corner and while the ref is distracted Davey takes a double-DDT for two. Bret grabs a sleeper but Davey is able to free himself and he press-slams Hart crotch-first over the top rope. Dynamite makes the hot tag and he destroys Bret with a clothesline. Bret is whipped to the corner and Dynamite delivers a snap suplex and a headbutt before locking Bret in a sleeper of his own. Neidhart knocks Dynamite down with an axehandle off the top that gets the ref, too. Davey Boy is dumped to the outside as Anvil drapes Bret over Dynamite. Anvil revives the ref and Bret almost gets the pin, but Dynamite kicks out at two. So Anvil bodyslams Dynamite and puts Bret over Dynamite and again Dynamite kicks out. So the Anvil revives the ref but Davey sneaks in and rolls up Anvil for the slow three-count at 13:59. Of course, neither was the legal man and I thought that the slow-count ruined the match a bit. This was a pretty hot match but the last two minutes were so drawn-out that it soured the whole thing for me. I’ve seen a LOT better from these two. **1/2.
David calls this one of the best matches of all time, but he thinks he may be biased. We get the British Bulldog interview from before the match. David looks a lot like his father. We get Bret’s comments before the match, too. Might as well make it a Hart hat-trick and hear from Diana, too.
—Bret Hart(c) vs. British Bulldog for the WWE Intercontinental Title—
This is their famous Summerslam match from August 29th, 1992 and I’ve only reviewed it in about 10 different DVD sets. Bulldog is lead down the aisle by Lennox Lewis and he gets a monster pop. Bret calmly shoves Bulldog, who shoves back. Bret is quickly dumped to the outside and seems a little irked. Back in and Bret with a takedown, with Bulldog getting a headscissor kickout. Again, but Bulldog misses the headscissor. Bret with an early victory roll gets two, then a small package for two, then a side headlock takedown. Bulldog reverses to a wristlock, only to get elbowed and Bret starts working the arm. Davey reverses into an armbar of his own. Bret escapes but Bulldog comes back with a crucifix pin for two. Bulldog goes back to the arm. Bret escapes and drives his knee into Davey Boy, then stomps him in the gut. Bret with a rear chinlock, which Bulldog escapes, but Bret shoulderblocks him down. Atomic drop (called a reverse piledriver by Vince) for Bret, and Bulldog tries again for the crucifix, but this time Bret is on to him and Samoan drops him, a spot repeated from the Perfect/Hart match. Bulldog comes back and monkey flips Hart down and Bulldog takes control of the match, sending Bret hard to the corners. Bulldog charges but hits Bret’s boot. Bret with a running bulldog, then he heads upstairs, only to be caught by Davey Boy. He goes upstairs but misses what seemed like a diving headbutt. Bulldog gets tossed outside and Bulldog wanders around a bit, until Bret with a slingshot plancha onto Bulldog. Bulldog was supposed to catch him but didn’t so Bret had to grab his neck and sort of bulldog him to the ground. Bret drives Bulldog’s back into the ringpost and rolls him back into the ring. Bret starts working the back, and a neckbreaker gets two.
Dropkick for Bret, followed by a back body drop for two. Suplex for Bret gets two. Bulldog with a backslide out of nowhere for two. Bret with an elbow off the second rope gets two. Bret slugs Bulldog down, then works in a reverse chinlock. He releases and puts on a sleeper instead. Bulldog makes the ropes so Bret stomps Davey (hard) in the face, then puts on another sleeper. Bulldog backs Bret into the corner to break the hold, but Bret goes right back to it. Again Davey drives him to the corner (but dives too early) and slugfest ensues. Bulldog tries to body press Bret, but messes up and Bret is crotched between the middle ropes. Davey press slams him this time and covers. Bulldog suplexes Hart, also for two. Bret does his run-chest-first into the turnbuckle spot leading to a Bulldog pin for two. Bulldog hits the powerslam but Bret kicks out at two. Bret makes the apron, Bulldog tries to suplex him in, but Bret goes up and over and German suplexes Bret for two. Bulldog with a superplex gets two, and double clothesline knocks both guys out. Bret, on the mat, hooks in the Sharpshooter, and turns Bulldog over for the move proper. Bulldog makes the ropes. Bret is sent to the ropes and sunset flips Bulldog, but Bulldog hooks the legs, sits on Bret and covers for the pin and the win at 24:20. Bulldog gets the IC title, Bret teases leaving a few times, but they share the manly brotherly hug to the delight of the crowd. Definitely a great match, but two really obvious blown spots lowers this half a star. ****1/2.
—The Hart Family vs. Shawn Michaels & The Knights—
This is a Survivor Series battle from November 24th, 1993. Of course, Jerry Lawler was supposed to be here instead of Shawn but he got accused of rape (or something) and was quickly jettisoned out of the match. I previously reviewed this on Most Powerful Families in Wrestling. Ray Combs (former host of Family Feud, who committed suicide shortly after this) interviews the Harts, who have Stu alongside him. Todd Pettengill interviews Shawn before the match, too. I don’t know if we ever found out who the Knights were, but one popular myth was that one was Glen Jacob’s who would later become Kane. Combs does a terrible routine before the match. In fact, only Vince laughed at the jokes. Maybe Vince wrote the jokes? The Knights are introduced, and then the Harts, who have Stu in their corner and he’s wearing a Bruins jacket (this takes place in Boston). Bruce starts against Shawn and Bruce tosses Shawn into the Red Knight, then takes out the other Knights. Keith is tagged in and he works on Michaels’ arm. Shawn with a suplex attempt is reversed to a small package for two. Shawn with a slam and the Red Knight comes in so Keith tags in Owen. Owen with armdrags all around and a dropkick sends the Red Knight to tag in the Black Knight. He’s tossed around and tags in Blue Knight, who has to face off against Bret. Bret with a pair of atomic drops and a clotheslines gets two. Keith comes in and the fireman gets a fireman’s carry. He tags in Bruce, who goes off the ropes but takes a knee to the back from Michaels. Scoop slam and Michaels is tagged in. Backbreaker and elbows to the back follows. Red Knight is tagged in, and gets a double underhook suplex for two. Black Knight comes in and Bruce landslides him up for two. Shawn comes in, and sends Bruce outside. Back in with no damage done and Bruce comes back with a clothesline. Black Knight comes in as Bret is tagged in. Bret gets a pair of roll-ups for two, sideslam, elbow drop from the second rope, and a cover is broken up by Shawn. Owen is tagged in and Owen gets a spin kick and that pin is broken up by Blue Knight. Everyone comes in and it leads to a spot where the Harts are in the corner, and all toss the Knights to the middle and into each other. Owen Hart with a missile dropkick and the Black Knight is pinned and outta there at 10:49.
Owen now works over the Red Knight as Bret comes in. Bret tags in Keith who works on the leg. Bruce comes in, then Bret, then Keith again. Keith goes for the Sharpshooter but Red Knight kicks him off into the turnbuckle. Snapmare but a knee drop misses. Keith with a figure four but Shawn comes in, drops and drops an elbow to break the hold. Blue Knight comes in, and the heels cheat by tripping up Keith and start working on his arm. Michaels comes in and continues the devastation. Red Knight comes in, and they continue working on the arm. Blue Knight comes in next, and slams Keith down on his arm. Shawn comes in but misses a dive and Bret is tagged in. Shawn quickly bails and Red Knight is tagged in. Bret catches him, drops him down, then puts him in the Sharpshooter and at 18:07, the Red Knight is gone. Blue Knight comes in and clotheslines Bret down, then tosses him to the outside. Bret is back in and is suplexed by Blue Knight. Shawn comes in and works over Bret even working in a sleeper. Blue Knight comes back in and drops a head butt to the abdomen for two. Bret comes back with a shoulderblock from the second rope and both guys are out. Bret makes the tag to Owen, gets a dropkick, then drops an elbow from the second rope. Michaels comes in again, and a double noggin knocker ensues. Michaels distracts Owen, and gets slugged by Stu. Somersault dive over the top from Owen follows, then the Blue Knight and Michaels are sent into each other. Flying bodypress hits Blue Knight and Owen covers, but moves in time for Shawn to drop the elbow on his teammate. Sharpshooter by Owen finishes the Blue Knight at 23:47.
It’s the four Harts against Shawn, and isn’t good news for Shawn. He hesitates going into the ring, until he’s sent in forcibly by Bret. Bruce is tagged in and Michaels chokes him on the mat. Sweet Chin Music, but Bruce kicks out. This wasn’t Shawn’s finisher yet. Michaels gets kicked in the face going for a back body drop and Bret is tagged in. Bret slingshots Michaels to the corner, drops an elbow and gets a two count on the ensuing cover. Side Russian legsweep gets two. Backbreaker but Bret is kicked in the face. Owen is tagged in, and he hits an overhead toss on Michaels. Owen runs the ropes but inadvertently hits Bret, who is still holding his eyes on the apron, and Shawn schoolboys him for the three count to eliminate Owen at 27:16.Owen isn’t too pleased and yells at his brother who is on the outside, thus beginning his heel turn which would culminate in a series of matches at Wrestlemania X and Summerslam 1994. Bruce with a clothesline gets two. Keith comes in and gets an abdominal stretch, but Michaels hiptosses him over. Bret is tagged in and the end is near. He sends Michaels to the corner where he does the Shawn flop over the top. Bret sends Michaels again to the corner which leads to Michaels getting crotched. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter and Michaels decides enough is enough and turns tail and runs. He’s counted at 31:00, leading to a victory for the Harts. This was entirely too long, but it wasn’t the worst match I’ve seen today. There was a lot of dead time and rest holds which hurt the quality a lot, though. *1/4.
This next match is a reason a lot of wrestling fans probably bought this set.
—Bret & Owen Hart vs. The Steiner Brothers—
This is a very famous match that took place on January 11th, 1994. It was on a Coliseum Video that was hardly seen. I’ve reviewed this when it was on WWE Classics.com. This comes from the 1994 Wrestlefest Coliseum Video and is a well-regarded match. Scott and Bret start with some decent mat-wrestling. Scott hooks the leg and does a variation of a spinning toe-hold which Bret turns into a side headlock. Gorilla says he’s never seen anyone weakened by a side headlock as Bret gets shoulderblocked to the outside. Hart schoolboys Scott for two before armdragging him down into an arm-bar. Owen comes in and he’s bodyslammed down. Rick is brought in and he and Owen start their own mat-wrestling sequence. I think it was actually a bit better than Bret/Scott. Owen tries for a leapfrog but Rick catches him and powerslams him. A back suplex follows for two. Owen responds with a German suplex for two. Rick kicks out and brings in Scott. Owen hits his patented spinning heel kick for two. Owen gets a T-Bone suplex for two. He rolls up Scott but Scott bridges up and hits a double underhook slam. He covers but Bret breaks up that pin. Bret is tagged in and Rick goes to work on his arm. Bret breaks free but misses an elbow drop and Rick goes back to the arm. Bret breaks again and this time he’s able to make something of it, hitting a dropkick before DDT’ing Rick. Bret doesn’t break out the DDT often. Gorilla says there will be no submissions in this match even though Bret’s finisher is a submission. Bret hooks on a sleeper hold but Rick eventually breaks by backing up into the corner. That is a brief reprieve since Hart goes right back to it. Rick lucks out and passes out, right into the ropes and Bret has to break. Bret takes forever to break.
Rick recovers quickly and hits a second rope crossbody for two. Bret is sent to the corner chest-first and Rick covers for two. Scott is tagged in and hits a nice suplex for two. Bret reverses an Irish whip into the corner but Scott ducks the charge and Bret posts his shoulder. Bret makes it to the apron and Scott tries to suplex him in but Bret reverses that and Scott lands hard on the outside. This enables Bret to take in Owen. A gut-wrench suplex gets two and he goes to the abdominal stretch, even though Scott obviously hurt his knee. Owen hits a belly to belly for two and tags Bret back in and he catches Scott with a side Russian legsweep. Owen comes back in and Scott is sent to the ropes, right into Bret. Owen covers for two. Owen misses a follow-up dropkick. Rick comes in with a belly to belly for two. Scott comes in with a full nelson suplex for two. Rick comes in and lays out Owen with a clothesline for two and puts him in a Camel’s Clutch. Scott comes in and lifts up Owen in a suplex but piledrives him down. Bret has to come in and make the save on the pinfall. Owen gets dumped to the outside but he’s able to slingshot Scott to the outside when he makes the apron. Bret gets the hot tag and atomic drops Scott for two. Bret does the backbreaker/second rope elbow combo for two. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter but Rick makes the save. So Owen tries for the Sharpshooter and again Rick makes the save. The Steiners try for their top rope clothesline but Bret holds Rick and Owen victory rolls Scott for two. All four men brawl in the ring but Bret and Rick get dumped to the outside. Scott follows with a top rope axehandle and Owen follows with a pescado. The ref counts both teams out in a really lame finish at 24:56. The Steiners and Hart continue brawling and the WWE officials have to break them up, including Pat Patterson. Gorilla sees him and says, “Is that Pat Patterson? Boy has he got fat! He let himself go!” That made the match for me. There’s just some wild brawling here which is capped off by a little handshake between the teams. This is a much lauded match for a reason, these four guys went all out and totally busted their asses. If you want to see what a great tag match looks like you have to look here. The finish knocks this off the rating slightly. ****1/2.
—Bret & Owen Hart vs. The Quebecers(c) for the WWE Tag Team Titles—
The Harts challenged the Quebecers for the Tag Titles at the 1994 Royal Rumble (held on January 22nd). Pierre starts things off with Bret and I should mention Johnny Polo is in the corner of the Quebecers, and you’ll know Johnny better as Raven. Pierre with a slam, but Bret comes back with a knee to the gut. Owen comes in with an axehandle off the top and a hiptoss into a pin for two. Jacques is tagged in and Owen gets him with a suplex and a dropkick, and Jacques goes to his corner for support. It doesn’t matter as Owen hits an enzuigiri for two. Bret comes in and Owen sets up Jacques on his knee for a Bret elbow drop off the second rope for two. Small Package for Bret gets two. Sunset flip for Bret gets two. Bret gets a cradle but Pierre comes in to break the count, drawing Owen into the ring. Owen rolls up Jacques, but he’s not the legal man. The ref counts anyway and it’s a two-count. The Quebecer’s bail. They eventually come back in and Pierre is tagged in, and Bret brings him in via a slingshot. Owen’s tagged in and hits a flying clothesline for two. Owen with a leg drop gets two. Bret comes back in, Pierre comes back with a powerslam and its Bret’s time to play face in peril. Quebecers with some old-fashioned heel cheating ensues. A kick to the gut gets two for Jacques. Pierre comes off the top rope but lands right on Bret’s boot. Bret makes the hot tag and sends the Quebecers down with dropkicks and back body drops. He gets a overhead release suplex and a spinning heel kick on Jacques. He puts Jacques in the sharpshooter but Bret had come into the ring to take out Pierre and the ref doesn’t see it, allowing Pierre to break the hold. Owen is now the Hart in the peril, getting dropped on his throat on the top rope for two. Owen comes back with a double dropkick and tags in Bret. Bret cleans house with a side Russian leg sweep on Jacques, a backbreaker on Pierre, then the 80’s staple, a double-noggin knocker. He hits an atomic drop sending Pierre to the outside, then Bret goes off the ropes. Polo held it down and Bret goes through, smashing his leg into the guardrail and hurts his knee. The Quebecers take advantage of it, working the knee, using chairs and canes as Owen distracts the ref. After teasing a count-out, Owen rolls Bret back into the ring where he gets pounded. The Quebecers keep working the knee, leading to a Jacques Boston Crab, broken up by Owen. Bret actually makes an attempt at a comeback, but doesn’t tag his brother. He goes for a Sharpshooter but he’s in too much pain and the ref stops the match at 16:42 due to Bret’s injury. The Quebecer’s retain the title and Owen is PISSED. This was a good match leading up to the injury, and the finish makes sense in the long run of the PPV and the Owen/Bret feud that would develop. This used the tag formula very well, and kept an angle going, it was just a great match to watch. ****.
—Disc Three (2:50:07)—
We see the build-up to this match, and in fact we saw the previous two matches at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble that highlighted the whole Bret/Owen feud.
—Bret Hart(c) vs. Owen Hart for the WWE Title in a Steel Cage Match—
The rivalry grew to this match – brother vs. brother in a steel cage for the title. This was at Summerslam 1994 (August 29th) but was not the main event, if you can believe it. This is from the WWE Bloodbath DVD. The only way to win is to go through the door or over the top onto the floor. This is the silly blue cage version which was used due so bigger guys like the Hulk could escape over the top. A real mesh cage would replace this version around the time of the Attitude era. Owen attacks Bret as soon as he enters the cage and it’s on. Owen is a man on fire. He sends Bret to the corner and gets the standing punches on him in the corner. He follows with an uppercut and just kicks away. He whacks away until Bret gets him with an inverted atomic drop and then a clothesline. Owen recovers first though and stomps away at his brother. He chokes him using his Bret’s shirt. He keeps pounding away and tries sending Bret to the cage but Bret blocks that by putting his foot to the cage. Bret follows with a DDT and it’s Bret’s turn to wail away on his brother. He knocks him down and connects with a legdrop. Bret tries to escape but Owen quickly pulls him down. Owen tries for a kick which Bret holds onto and Owen follows with an enzuigiri and you could hear the impact from all the way over here. Owen tries to climb out but Bret catches him and gets a belly to back suplex on Owen who was standing on the top rope. Bret tries escaping through the cage but Owen holds his leg and he can’t make it. Owen sends him hard to the corner but Bret kicks him on the walk over and bulldogs him. Bret tries escaping again but Owen pulls him back, then jumps over him to try to escape. Owen is pulled back and Bret makes a beeline for the door. Bret is pulled in and Owen jumps halfway across the ring and gets his body halfway out the door. Bret holds him in and claws at Owen’s face and drags him in. Bret drops an elbow to Owen’s head and Bret starts to make the climb over the top. Owen grabs at his ankle before he can get over and he scoop slams him of the middle of the top rope. Owen starts the climb and gets both legs over but Bret catches him and pulls him back in and over the top. They slug it out on the top rope and Owen knocks Bret down. He kicks him off and hits a missile dropkick on Bret. Owen kips up and makes a lunge for the top of the cage. He gets over but Bret grabs his foot before it gets over the top. Bret pulls on anything to get him back in and he climbs over Owen to the top. He straddles the cage but Owen won’t let him go.
Owen brings him back in and they exchange blows on the top rope. Bret knees him in the gut and slams his back into the cage, causing Owen to fall off. Bret tries climbing over but Owen catches him and pulls him in. He tries for a piledriver in the middle of the ring but Bret reverses it into a back body drop. Bret pounds on his brother but Owen sends him to the ropes. He goes down and on the return they both shoulderblock each other, leading to a double KO. Owen makes a run for the cage door but Bret catches him and pulls him in. Bret knocks Owen down viciously and drops an elbow to his face. Bret tries to exit over the top but Owen catches a leg before he can. Bret kicks him off and tries to leave again but Owen is still there to catch him. Owen pulls him off and Bret lands hard on the ropes and the mat, injuring his knee. Owen calls for the door to be open and he tries exit that way but Bret still manages to catch him. Owen kicks him hard in the chest but Bret pulls his legs and drops a head to the gut. We go to wide angle camera and we miss something in the ring, but Bret is up and Owen is down and Bret climbs to the top rope. Bret tries for an elbow drop but Owen rolls out of the way. Owen is up and makes his way over the top and he gets one leg over before Bret prevents him from getting any further. Owen gets his leg free and he climbs over but Bret drives Owen’s head into the cage to hold him there. He gets Owen back over and down to the mat and Bret makes the mad run to the top. Owen catches him and hits a variation of what is now called the FU. Owen makes the climb to the top but Bret catches him and pulls him in. Owen tries sending Bret into the cage but Bret blocks and it’s Owen that is sent face first into the cage. Bret now climbs over and gets both feet over but Owen grabs Bret’s hair, pulls himself up and brings Bret back inside for a belly to back suplex from the middle of the top rope. Owen hits his piledriver and Bret may officially be dead in the ring. Owen is no worse for the wear either, and he struggles to pull himself up and over the cage. Bret grabs his leg before he can exit and climbs up to meet his brother.
Owen pounds away at Bret and knocks him off the cage, but the momentum of those blows causes him to fall off too. Bret calls for the door to open and gets halfway out before Owen catches him. He gets three quarters out but Owen catches him. Bret goes wild and punches away to get Owen to loosen his grip and gets oh so close to leaving. Owen pulls him in and throws wild rights and almost makes it out. Bret pulls him in and slingshots him into the middle of the cage. Bret crawls to the door and gets half out before Owen lunges across the ring to catch him. Owen sends Bret hard to the turnbuckles. Bret tries to slam Owen but he goes up and over and behind and Owen tries to bounce Bret off the ropes but Bret ducks and Owen goes headfirst into the cage. Bret’s knee also hit the cage, making his climb to the top that much harder. Owen tries getting up but he’s too beat. He revives in time to grab Bret’s arm, as his two feet are already over the cage. Owen pulls him in and clubs away on his back and pulls him in. Owen sends Bret to the ropes and hits the spinning heel kick leading to a double KO. Owen starts to climb out of the cage but Bret grabs his leg. He climbs up with him but Owen kicks wiggles free and gets both legs over. Bret holds onto his hair and pulls him back onto the top rope. Bret tries to send Owen face first into the cage, but Owen blocks. He wails away at his brother but Bret won’t fall down. Bret kicks Owen in the face, off the top rope and Bret straddles the cage before Owen catches him and hauls him back into the ring. Owen gets a pair of forearm uppercuts on his brother. An Irish whip is reversed but Owen ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm of his own, knocking both brothers out. Owen recovers before his brother and makes the climb to the top and gets both legs over but Bret catches him and gets a superplex from the top of the cage! They’re both knocked out now and it takes Bret a few times to even get up. Bret crawls very slowly to the cage door but Owen crawls behind him and grabs his leg. Owen musters all the strength he can and pulls Bret in and puts the Sharpshooter on him. Bret grabs Owen’s leg to trip him up and put the Sharpshooter on him! That counter would cost him his WWF career a little over 3 years later at Survivor Series, as Patterson stooged that spot to McMahon so he’d know when to ring the fucking bell. Bret gets almost all the way over but Owen lunges and grabs Bret’s hair and pulls him in. He pulls him to the top and both men fall down. Owen crawls over his brother and climbs up but Bret catches him yet again. Owen is out over the top and Bret follows him there. They hang very close to the ground until Owen’s feet get hung between the cage and the ropes allowing Bret to jump down for the win at: 32:20. British Bulldog celebrates at ringside and Neidhart is so pissed he attacks Bret from behind. Anvil closes the door and chains it shut allowing Owen and Neidhart to pound on Bret in the ring. The whole Hart family tries to climb in but Anvil and Owen pick them off one by one. Eventually, the Bulldog comes in but Owen and the Anvil bail before anything happens. Well, that was quite the dandy, and easily the best of the blue-cage version matches we’ll ever see. *****.
There’s some funny stuff with Natalya and David arguing about this next match.
—Bret Hart & British Bulldog vs. Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart—
The Hart family fought against one another on the November 7th, 1994 episode of Raw. Owen and the Anvil are blindsided by the Bulldog and Bret as they enter the ring. Neidhart is clotheslined to the outside and Owen is press-slammed onto the Anvil. Anvil gets to the apron and is sling-shot in by Bret. Anvil reverses an Irish Whip but a blind charge finds the boot of Hart. Hart leaps at the Anvil but he’s caught and Anvil bearhugs him. Bret literally bites out of it and tags in the Bulldog. A shoulderblock goes nowhere. Owen is brought in and Bulldog is double-teamed in the corner. Bulldog comes back with a clothesline and he backdrops Owen out of the corner. Bulldog suplexes Owen down and covers for two. That was a really fast count. Anvil works over Bulldog and delivers a running knee to the gut for two. Bulldog is clotheslined down by the New Hart Foundation and Owen stomps away at his brother-in-law. Neidhart gets a gut-wrench suplex for two. We head to what was a commercial break back in 1994 and we return with Bulldog sunset flipping Owen for two. Owen returns with an enzuigiri for two. Owen causes Bret to chase him around the ring and as the ref restores order and gets Bret back to his corner, the New Hart Foundation hits the New Hart Attack. Owen covers and Bret has to make the save. Owen heads upstairs and tries a crossbody that Bulldog rolls through for two. It looks like Bulldog was supposed to catch him there. Owen locks a camel clutch on Davey and the heels continue double-teaming him as we head to another commercial. Bulldog and Owen collide and he makes the tag but the ref was distracted and he didn’t see it. Owen and Anvil try a double-team but Owen ends up dropkicking Anvil by mistake. Bret is tagged in for real now and he delivers a noggin-knocker (which is called by Vince) before he just slugs away at both Owen and Neidhart. Anvil is bulldogged down for two. Bret hits his backbreaker which sets up the second rope elbow for two. Bret goes off the ropes and Owen sneaks in a knee to the back. The Anvil tries to bodyslam Bret but Bulldog dropkicks Bret onto the Anvil. The ref clears Bulldog from the ring which allows Owen to hit an elbow drop off the top. Anvil covers for two. Owen and Neidhart try a double clothesline but Owen is tripped up and Bret ducks Neidhart and clotheslines him down. Owen is dragged to the outside and sent into the steps which allows Bret to put the Sharpshooter on Neidhart to end this at 14:15. This was a good TV tag match. The ending sequence seemed a bit messed up (maybe Bulldog should’ve tripped Owen sooner) but it was solid overall. ***.
—Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog for the WWE European Title—
This match was for the newly created European title and was battled over in Europe on the March 3rd, 1997 episode of Raw. Of course, the title would never see a match as good as this again. This is from the 03/03/97 Raw, which was held in Berlin. The European title was making its debut this night, the winner becoming the first champion. The video looks like the European shows, much darker than normal. Both men exchange wrist-lock reversals. Bulldog reverses a monkey flip attempt leading to Owen being taken down but kipping right up. The two slap hands in a show of sportsmanship that ECW fans would pop for. Owen does a really nice reversal, sitting off the ropes and flipping Bulldog down, but walks into a powerbomb and is catapulted to the outside. Bulldog helps Owen back into the ring. Owen gets a quick roll-up only to be arm-dragged down. We cut through the commercial and return with Bulldog working the arm. Bulldog tries for a bow and arrow but Owen grabs the ref to cause Bulldog to lose his grip. Bulldog charges Owen but is backdropped to the outside. Owen helps Bulldog back into the ring, much like Bulldog did before. Owen leapfrogs Bulldog but lands awkwardly on his leg, which he favors. Bulldog goes over but Owen was just playing possum, takes down Bulldog and tries for the Sharpshooter. Bulldog kicks him off and is pretty pissed down, shoving his brother in law. Owen responds with a spinning heel kick off the ropes. Backbreaker for Owen, and he is going to work on the back. Legdrop for Owen gets two. Owen nails Bulldog with a knee to the gut then stomps him to the outside. Bulldog headbutts Owen from the apron and sunset flips in for two, but Owen comes right back. We take another break and return with Owen hitting an overhead release belly to belly suplex for two. Owen tries for a camel clutch but Bulldog stands up while he’s seated on his shoulders and drops back. Owen quickly takes down Bulldog and pins him using the ropes but only gets a two. Owen hits a second-rope elbow drop but again, it only gets a two. Owen puts on a chinlock, which Bulldog tries (and fails) to elbow out of and sets Bulldog up on the top rope. Owen tries for a superplex but Bulldog falls on top of Owen for two. Bulldog comes back with a flying clothesline, a pair of running clotheslines and a suplex for two. Owen is sent chest-first into the corner then gorilla pressed between the ropes. Owen is brought in from the apron but reverses and German suplexes Bulldog for two. Owen is sent to the corner but Bulldog holds on when Owen tries to flip over. Bulldog tries a powerslam but Owen kicks him off. He comes right back with a high crossbody which Bulldog rolls through giving him a two-count. Owen locks on the Sharpshooter but has to break when Bulldog makes the ropes. Owen tries a tilt-a-whirl but falls off. He tries for a tombstone piledriver but Bulldog counters into a running powerslam for two. Bulldog argues with the ref allowing Owen to get a victory roll, but Bulldog counters that and sits on top of Owen, which is enough for the pin and the European title at 16:49. This was a great match, definitely one of the better ones that’s been seen on Raw. There were a few places where the spots looked off which draws the slightly lower rating. ****1/2.
—The Hart Foundation vs. Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and the Legion of Doom—
The Canadian Stampede (July 6th, 1997) was home to this match. I have to say, the heat for this match is probably unlike any you’ll ever see. I swiped this from the Brian Pillman: Loose Cannon DVD review. This epic 5-man took place at Canadian Stampede, held on 07/04/97. Austin and Hart start off, and the Calgary crowd is absolutely rocking, literally shaking the camera. Hart and Austin slug it out, with Hart getting incredible face heat and Austin the heel heat. They are cheering every offensive move by Hart, his clothesline, his headbutt, and his atomic drop. Austin takes over with a lowblow, then stomps a mudhole and goes for the Million Dollar Dream. Hart reverses that into a pinning combination for two. Austin sets up Bret on the ropes and charges but crotches himself. Anvil and Shamrock are tagged in, with Shamrock going for the ankle lock, which Pillman breaks. Pillman comes in and sends Shamrock to the corner and hits a backbreaker for two. Shamrock comes back with a belly to belly and Owen is tagged in to take on Goldust. Owen gets backdropped but comes back with an enzuigiri. Hawk comes in and hits a gut-wrench suplex/leg drop for two. Hawk gets a headbutt from the top rope but Owen kicks out at two. Owen comes back with the Sharpshooter but Animal breaks that up. Bulldog comes in with a suplex for two. He follows wit ha running powerslam but Goldust breaks up that pin. Bret comes back in to take on Animal and Animal quickly misses a blind charge. Goldust is tagged in and is quintuple teamed in the corner, drawing the American team who is quickly dispatched. Owen comes in and misses a blind charge, sending his shoulder to the ringpost, but a spinning heel kick and a missile dropkick makes the fans erupt for Owen. Owen is powerbombed and powerslammed, and the LOD hit the clothesline from the top, but Neidhart interrupts the pin and again all 10 men enter the ring, except Austin, who slams the knee of Hart into the ringpost, then drives a chair into it.
This prompts Bruce Hart to interfere at ringside. When order is restored, Anvil is tagged in as Owen limps to the back. Austin takes on Neidhart, then Pillman, and stuns him. Bret interferes and drives the knee of Austin into the ringpost in retaliation for what he did to his brother. Austin’s knee is injured now, as Bulldog covers Hawk in the ring for two. Neidhart and Animal do the test of strength, Hart comes in with the Hart Attack move for one. Shamrock goes after the leg of Hart but waits to long and is clotheslined down by Pillman. Shamrock is dumped outside and sent into the announce table courtesy of Pillman. All hell breaks loose on the outside now, with the Foundation sending one of the LOD into the steps. Back in the ring, side Russian legsweep for Hart leads to a pin, but Goldust breaks up that pin. Bulldog comes in to square off with Shamrock, and he stomps at him in the corner. Goldust is tagged in and goes for the Curtain Call but Pillman breaks the up. This leads to a Bulldog superplex but Animal breaks the pin. Austin comes limping out of the back, and he returns to action and whips Hart around, suplexing him for two. Austin walks into a DDT, and a backbreaker leads to the elbow from the second rope for two. Bret follows with a sleeper which Austin reverses to a chinbreaker for two. Bret tries for the Sharpshooter but Animal breaks that up. Austin puts a Sharpshooter of his own on, but Owen comes running from the back and breaks that up. Owen is tagged in but is clotheslined to the outside. Austin follows and goes after the whole Hart family which draws Bret over there. Austin is rolled back into the ring and Owen rolls him up for the pin at 25:13. That doesn’t finish things, as a melee ensues in the ring, with the Hart family at ringside coming in and finally cops coming in to break things up. When things have cleared, Austin comes back with a chair and is destroyed by the Harts, and is then arrested. This was an epic, entertaining match, done perfectly. *****
—Bret & Owen Hart and British Bulldog vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker and Dude Love in a Flag Match—
This is shortly after the previous match, taking place on the July 21st, 1997 episode of Raw. Bret calls for the Canadian Anthem to be played. We are in Canada here and everyone in the crowd sings along. Michaels was supposed to be in this one but he wasn’t physically able to take part. So Austin and Foley charge in headlong but it’s three on two. Dude is backdropped over the top leaving Bret and Austin to wrestle in the ring. Austin is clotheslined down and atomic dropped to the outside. Owen pulls Foley in but stops when he sees Austin trying to capture the American Flag. Owen connects on an enzuigiri on Foley and heads to his ladder only to be knocked over the top to the outside by Austin. We head to commercial as the Undertaker’s music hits. We return with Bulldog bodyslamming Foley and covering but there’s no pinfalls here. Foley blocks a back drop attempt with a boot and he starts to climb but Bret stops that. Foley returns by sending Owen into the top turnbuckle a bunch of times before he tags in Undertaker. Taker chokeslams Owen and he covers but again he doesn’t realize there is no pinfall. Regardless, Bret breaks up the pinfall attempt. Austin is tagged in and he and Owen slug it out in the corner. Austin is sent to the corner but explodes out with a clothesline and a suplex. Austin drops an elbow and puts a chinlock on Owen. Owen fights out of it but is met with a charging knee of Austin’s. Owen is sent to the corner but he ducks out of a charging Foley and scrams to his corner to try and get the flag. Owen reverses a swinging neckbreaker with a DDT. Austin is tagged in and he slugs at Owen. He seats him on the turnbuckle and tries a superplex but Owen counters and drops Austin. We take another break as Undertaker stomps at Owen in the corner. We return with Foley grabbing a sleeper on Owen. Owen back suplexes out of it but he can’t make the tag. Austin comes in, ducks an enzuigiri and tries a Sharpshooter. Owen kicks him off and clotheslines Austin down and Owen is able to make the tag to Austin. Austin isn’t aware of it, celebrates and turns around to get clotheslined by Austin. Bret goes after Austin’s knees and tries a figure four using the ringpost but Foley makes the save with a running clothesline. Austin tags in Taker and he takes on Bulldog and Owen. It’s a chokeslam for Davey Boy and he’s ready for the Tombstone but Bret returns with a kidney shot. Bret and Taker exchange rights and they cancel each other out with a double clothesline. Taker sits up and he heads to the flag. Owen makes the save but he gets slugged down. Everyone ends up brawling on the outside save Bret and Taker. Bret is by himself and he heads up to get the Canadian flag as Taker is blocked in getting the flag by Brian Pillman. Bret captures the flag and this one is over at 11:50. This was actually a lot of fun to watch and I thought the pacing was done well and the brawling was pretty intense, comparable to the Stampede match. It wasn’t as great, of course. ***1/4.
Our hosts talk about living up to the legacy of the Harts.
—The Hart Dynasty vs. D-Generation X(c) for the WWE Unified Tag Team Titles—
It’s a long gap between matches for the Hart’s, as this one is from the December 25th, 2009 Raw and is the only WWE match on here I’ve never seen before. Shawn and Tyson start this off and Shawn actually dwarfs Tyson. Shawn shoulderblocks Tyson down but gets hiptossed anyway. Shawn returns with a hiptoss but Tyson is up quickly. He tries a dropkick but Shawn catches him and slingshots Tyson into the awaiting right hand of HHH. Trips comes in and does a fairly long vertical suplex that harkens back to the days of Davey Boy. Tyson is sent hard to the corner. Trips goes for the Pedigree but David clotheslines Triple H down as the ref was distracted. David and Tyson double-team Triple H in the corner as we return from a commercial break. David gets a big suplex on Triple H for two. Trips is shouldered into the corner as Tyson gets in some old school choking. Triple H charges out of the corner but is tripped up with a drop toe hold. Tyson is tagged in and comes off the ropes and runs right into a clothesline by HHH. Michaels is tagged in and he hits his flying forearm on Tyson before kipping up. It’s a bodyslam for the Heartbreak Kid! Michaels heads upstairs and David charges on the apron only to run into the boot of Michaels. Michaels tries an elbow off the top but Tyson is able to duck out of it. Tyson hits a springboard blockbuster for two. David is brought in and he sends Michaels into the corner where Shawn goes up and over. Michaels is driven back first into the ring apron. Natalya sneaks in a shot on HBK while the ref was distracted. Michaels is tripped down and Tyson comes in with a seated dropkick for two. David comes in with a big suplex for two. He hits a back suplex for two, too. Tyson and David double team Michaels by sending him back-first into the corner and Tyson drops an elbow for two. Michaels and Tyson collide with a shoulderblock that sends Tyson to the outside. Tyson tries a springboard something but Michaels catches him and atomic drops him. Michaels makes the hot tag to Triple H. He delivers a high knee to David, as well as spinebuster for two. Tyson runs in and he takes a spinebuster. Triple H sets up David with a Pedigree but David reverses that and it’s a Hart Attack type move (with a springboard elbow). Tyson covers but Shawn makes the save. Tyson preps Triple H for a running powerslam but Triple H wiggles free and David finds himself running into a Sweet Chin Music. A Pedigree ends this for DX at 12:16. Why would they end the DVD with a Hart loss? I don’t get that but whatever. This was a perfectly acceptable tag match. **1/2.
This is the standard Fullscreen/Dolby Digital 5.1 offering WWE usually puts out. It sounds great and it looks great and that’s all you need. WWE always gets high marks here.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This is a big fold-open DVD case with the standard liner notes containing the match listings.
D) Easter Eggs
1) The Slammy Awards!
This is from March 21st, 1997 and it shows Owen about to present a Slammy Award but takes it himself! This was a great moment for Owen. To get to this head to the extras, highlight Owen The Prankster (d’uh) and press left twice. I can’t remember the last time the WWE had an Easter Egg on a DVD set!
We start with the usual array of WWE commercials (WWE Classics on Demand, Best of Raw 2009, John Morrison Rock Star DVD, a National Guard spot and of course the Don’t Try This At Home message). I don’t know how to grade this DVD. On the one hand you have a very good documentary on the Hart’s with a lot of relevant matches to the Hart Family Legacy. On the other hand, more than half of the matches are widely available somewhere else. So I will look at this like I did with the Hogan Ultimate Anthology. That was a lot of rehashes of matches but told Hogan’s story very well. Do the matches on here tell the whole story of the Harts? I don’t think it did as good a job. I think if you’re going to talk about the Harts you’d need the Wrestlemania X match. Some more Stampede would’ve been nice, too. It’s not like it covered the big moments of the individual Harts in the big PPV’s. The matches on here were very heavily Hart-themed, which makes sense, but I feel was a bit too rushed together to really cull out a ton of great matches that featured the Harts and just relied on matches that had a bunch of them involved. It tried to be a Hart Anthology without really featuring all the big moments. It’s a great collection of matches for people who don’t have previous collections and anyone who likes the Harts will find this a great compliment to the Bret Hart DVD but people looking for rare Hart matches will have to look elsewhere.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 There’s at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, don’t even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever