Reviewing some of the matches
Michael Holly | Boston, MA. | 11/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got this from a forum that I used to post at; I no longer post there. Took me a little while to find this, but it's a well written account of some of Bret's matches that will be on the DVD.
w/Jim Neidhart vs. The British Bulldogs
Every time these teams wrestled, they blew the roof off the arena. They were quite simply the two greatest tag teams the WWF had ever seen and they stole the show on a regular basis.
vs. Ricky Steamboat - Prime Time Wreslting 07/28/86
This match (taped in Boston on 03/08/86) was 15 minutes of fantastic scientific wrestling that was supposed to set up a match between them for Wrestlemania 2. This was the first time these wrestlers ever met in the ring, and they still reached **** and delivered the WWF Match of the Year.
vs. The Rockers - Saturday Night's Main Event #26
While somewhat hindered by the incredibly lame and illogical finish, this was a fantastic match. The execution was nearly flawless, the reversals were amazing, the psychology was smart, and the action was intense. With another five to ten minutes and a decisive finish, this could have grown into one of the greatest tag matches of all time. Everything in this match looked so smooth without coming across as rehearsed or contrived and the frequent tags on the part of both teams helped build a smart match that was full of action.
vs. Mr. Perfect - Summer Slam '91
This was fantastic and still holds up as one of the greatest matches in the company's history. The execution was very crisp, there were over a dozen false finishes, there were several smooth reversals, and the momentum shifts were downright incredible. These wrestlers were on the same wavelength throughout the entire match but not once did the match seem overly rehearsed. As good as this match was, both men were reportedly upset with its quality. Apparently, this match wasn't nearly as good as their series of house show matches from 1989. That is almost frightening.
vs. Davey Boy Smith - Summer Slam '92
This contained every crucial element necessary for a great match. From a technical standpoint, this match was fantastic with smart psychology, fantastic reversal sequences, a plethora of moves, and dozens of false finishes. The "family feud" added an extra dramatic element as did the environment. The 80,000 screaming fans didn't just pop for the entrances and high spots, but were actually white hot throughout the entire match. It is rare to see a crowd stay that hot for that long. This is, quite obviously, Davey Boy's crowning moment and anyone who has seen this match will understand why Bret Hart was wearing his first WWF Championship within six weeks. This was the first WWF PPV without Hulk Hogan and there was a lot of weight on the shoulders of these two to deliver a solid main event. Needless to say, they more than met all expectations and put on what many consider to be the greatest match in the WWF's history.
vs. Mr. Perfect - King of the Ring '93
The fact that they were both faces created a very different dynamic which accentuated Perfect's will to win at any cost. When Perfect was unable to out-wrestle Bret, he decided to surprise him with a cheap shot. When Bret stayed in control Perfect finally decided to go after his injured hand. This showed a certain level of desperation, but also showed how important winning this match was. The execution was great, the pacing was great, the psychology was great, and the storytelling was great. Mr. Perfect's attempt to take a page out of Bret's playbook by "playing possum" was classic. This is your 1993 WWF Match of the Year.
vs. Owen Hart - Wrestlemania X
Owen finally stepped out of Bret's shadow and earned the victory of his career here. This was the greatest opening match in WrestleMania history and one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches ever. The psychology was fantastic with both wrestlers being extremely focused with their plan of attack and both doing a fantastic job of selling their opponent's offense. The execution, from the mat work at the beginning to the high impact moves in the middle to the pinning combinations at the end, was incredible. The numerous momentum shifts and countless near fall situations raised the excitement factor and kept the fans into the match from bell to bell. Add to this the storyline and character development and you have yourself a contender for Match of the Decade. You simply aren't going to find many WWE matches that are this good.
vs. Hakushi - In Your House
This was a fast paced cruiserweight style match that really shows how flexible Bret was in the ring. Hakushi would have seen a lot more success if more wrestlers were willing to work his style.
vs. Diesel - Survivor Series '95
This wasn't your typical Match of the Year contender, but it was fantastic nonetheless. The pace here is very slow, but is also very deliberate. Bret's first real move (an arm wringer) didn't happen until eight minutes in and the first near fall didn't take place until about ten minutes after that, but the match never seems too repetitive. Diesel almost seemed like a vicious monster from an old horror movie here and his slow pace made him seem very confident of victory. Surprisingly, Diesel did a fantastic job of selling his injury after Bret got on the offensive. Bret trying to keep his distance from Diesel accentuated both Bret's intelligence and the incredible threat that Diesel imposed. The finish is easily one of the most memorable in the company's long history. The table bump that Bret took was unlike what most fans ever seen before and the fans were sure that Bret was finished after it. Bret collapsing while Diesel was trying to Jackknife him only to surprise him with a pinfall was downright shocking. I have seen surprise victories before and since, but none were as well executed or as surprising as this one was. Both men have a match to be proud of in this one.
vs. Davey Boy Smith - In Your House V
Davey was a lot more confident here than he was at Summer Slam '92 and took on a bigger role as he was in control of the offense for the most of the match. The two did an excellent job in playing off of their previous battles, but managed to put on a entirely different match than they had in the past. Bret's blade job was pretty brutal for that era and it was rare to see so much blood in a WWF ring. Although the winner of this match should have been obvious, they were successful in making the fans believe that Bret could not defeat Davey. This did not have the atmosphere or the historical significance that their previous match had, it was still incredible and a very strong contender for Match of the Year.
vs. Steve Austin - Wresltemania 13
One of the most important matches in the history of the business and every wrestling fan should be required to see it. Bret is known for being one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time, but he is also clearly one of the best brawlers of all time. The intensity of this match is impossible to capture with words and it seemed as though Austin and Bret really hated each other. Technically, this match was a masterpiece but, as with most of Bret's matches, where it really excelled was in its storytelling aspects. The psychology in this match was brilliant with Bret relentless in his attack on Austin's leg, and Austin doing a perfect job of selling his injury. The finish was also brilliant and created a situation in which the fans were guaranteed to get behind Austin and make him their new hero. It is downright remarkable how this match managed to turn Austin face and Bret heel without ever being too obvious about it. Steve Austin had many great matches prior to this one, but this is the night that he became a legend. This match paved the way for the Attitude era.
vs. Undertaker - One Night Only '97
This was Bret's last great WWF match and arguably Undertaker's best performance ever. The psychology here was great and I was shocked at how well Undertaker sold his injuries. This match completely blew their previous match from Summer Slam out of the water and, without the story revolving around Shawn Michaels, Bret and Undertaker were given all of the spotlight. This event was a UK-only PPV, but Bret pulled a few strings and had it shown in Canada as well. Sadly, Vince McMahon decided to burry this match. He did this to piss Bret off but was really doing an terrible injustice to the Undertaker as well. This match is undisputed proof that Undertaker does not suck and, with the right opponent, he can achieve greatness.
vs. Chris Benoit - Monday Nitro 10/04/99
These two had a few very solid matches in the past, but they were finally able to achieve greatness with this one. This contained several references to Stampede Wrestling and was a healthy dose of nostalgia for anyone familiar with that promotion. What also made this match great was its learned psychology. Bret and Benoit both went for several moves that had been successful for them in their previous matches only to have them be countered by their wizened opponent.
I'd better stop there. Simply put, Bret was the most dependable wrestler in the WWF's history and could always be counted on to deliver in the ring regardless of whom he was facing. He was completely flexible in the ring and always willing to build the match around the style of his opponent to accentuate their strengths. He could wrestle or could brawl, he was successful as a heel and a face, he could work tag matches or gimmick matches, and was able to play both the underdog or the experienced veteran. His execution was flawless, he had little wasted movement in the ring, his false finishes and momentum shifts were always well timed, and he was the greatest storyteller I have ever seen."
Excellent Documentary, Good Collection BUT incomplete.
Kristopher G. Williams | Memphis, TN USA | 01/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This set is definitely a must have for any Bret Hart or wrestling fan!! The documentary alone gives you a behind the scenes look at The Hitman's entire career, in his own words. HOWEVER BE WARNED, the matches in this set were "hand-picked" by Bret Hart himself and it is clear that Bret was less then objective when selecting his "best" matches. Most of the matches included are with people that are close to Bret (Several matches with Owen Hart & British Bulldog). I understand why Bret would pick these matches, especially in light of his tragic losses, but they don't necessarily represent his best or most influential matches. The most noticeable omission from the set is his infamous title match with Shawn Michaels which led to his falling out with Vince McMahon and the WWE. It seems as though Bret agreed to do the set only if he could completely have control over its contents. This is pure speculation but it seems to me that if Vince had his say so, the Shawn Michaels match would definitely have been included. On a positive note, during the documentary portion footage from this match is included and Bret does talk about the events that led him to part ways with the WWE. All in all, this is still the most comprehensive DVD set on The Hitman and should definitely be a part of your wrestling library."
The EXCELLENCE of Execution!!!
Wayne Maye | Richmond, VA | 02/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Hitman" Bret Hart is one of the greatest performers of all time, alongside Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair as the top three. As you will see in this AWESOME 3 DVD set, Bret Hart stood for everything that is (or was) right about the wrestling business. Bret never did anything demeaning, as he always done whatever was asked of him. I will review the matches, but as it relates to the story on Disc 1, it is tremendous. Bret (and others) get to tell their side of the story, and it's very easy to relate to Bret as he tells his side. As far as the matches go, here's my review:
Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs (Madison Square Garden, 07/13/85) ***1/2 (Awesome chemistry when these two teams face each other.)
Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees (Madison Square Garden, 02/17/86) ***1/2 (Another very good tag team match on this DVD.)
Bret Hart vs. Ricky Streamboat (Boston Garden, 03/08/86) ****1/2 (Most people might not have seen this match, but with these two legendary performers, they didn't disappoint.)
Bret Hart vs. Ted DiBiase (Odessa, TX, 03/08/89)**** (Again, another match that most people might not have seen. An excellent match between these two, even if the commentary is semi-non existant.)
Hart Foundation vs. Rockers (Saturday Night's Main Event, 04/28/90)*** (Wow, this match could've been a CLASSIC if given more time.)
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation vs. Nasty Boys (Wrestlemania VII, 03/24/91)***1/2 (Bret and the Anvil lost the tag titles in this match, setting up the long awaited Bret singles push.)
WWE Intercontinental Match
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (SummerSlam, 08/26/91)****1/4 (The CLASSIC match where Bret finally wins his first singles title.)
WWE Intercontinental Match
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (SummerSlam, 08/29/92)***** (Arguably Bret's best match ever. Required viewing for this one.)
Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (Barcelona, Spain, 04/24/93)*** Good match, but hard to view, figuratively, since it is with Spanish commentary.)
King of the Ring Semi-Final Match
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (King of the Ring, 06/13/93)****1/4 (Another classic match between these two.)
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X, 03/20/94)***** (The first match in the classic rivalry between these two brothers. More required viewing.)
WWE Championship Match
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (White Plains, NY, 09/29/94)****-***** (I'm debating the rating for this one, but it is another awesome match and the final one between the brothers.)
Bret Hart vs Hakushi (In Your House, 05/14/95)***1/2 (A very good match for these two @ the first In Your House PPV.)
WWE Championship Match
Bret Hart vs. Diesel (Survivor Series, 11/19/95) ****1/4 (The table spot makes it debut in this match, as Bret regains the title for the third time, also giving Diesel his second best match ever.)
WWE Championship Match
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (In Your House, 12/17/95)**** (Not better than their Summerslam 92 match, but still an excellent match nonetheless.)
Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestlemania 13, 03/23/97)***** (One of my favorite matches of all time, more required viewing.)
WWE Championship Match
Bret Hart vs. Undertaker (One Night Only, 09/20/97)****1/2 (Another match where most people might not have seen it, An awesome match that is one of the Undertaker's best.)
Owen Hart Tribute Match
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit (WCW Nitro, 10/04/99)***** (Bret and Benoit had a CLASSIC match in the wreckage known @ the time as WCW. The LAST true great match in that company's history.)
Easter Egg: Stampede Wrestling interview
How to Access: On Disc One, Go to Chapters. Highlight Stampede Wrestling'. Click the left arrow twice and the clip will play.
Easter Egg: Bret Hart discusses believability inside the ring
How to Access: On Disc Two, Go to Chapters, Highlight 'Bret Hart vs. Ricky Steamboat'. Click the Right arrow twice. The clip will then play.
Easter Egg: Bret Hart discusses where he got his nickname
How to Access: On Disc Two, Go to Chapters, Highlight 'Saturday Night's Main Event'. Click the Left arrow twice. The clip will then play
Easter Egg: Bret Hart Discusses Never Injuring an Opponent
How to Access: On Disc Two, Go to Chapters, Highlight 'Intercontinental Championship Match'. Click the Left arrow twice. The clip will then play
Easter Egg:Bret Hart "You Start the Fire" music video
How to Access: On Disc Three, On Disc Two, Go to Chapters, Highlight 'WWE Championship Match 11/19/95'. Click the right arrow twice. The video will then play
Overall, this DVD set is a must have for every wrestling fan. If Bret didn't directly go to the WWE and have his input, it wouldn't have been this way. And all of the matches on here are personally selected by Bret. So, even if he did leave out some of his other classics, I still have no arguments. Strongly recommended."
A must for any Hitman fan !
M. Williams | Wales | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, after years of looking like Brets legacy would be left to a 90 minute documentary the WWE and Bret have put aside differences to produce the BEST DVD WWE have ever put together. The DVD consists of a 3 set, the first disk featuring a 2 hour documentary on Brets career that goes right back to the early days of Stampeede wrestling and just watching Bret and Dynamite go is enough of a reason for any Bret fan to buy this in my opinion. From here its to WWE, the Hart Foundation, single action, title glory, his anti american stance and fantastic feud with Austin and beyond. It of course has a section on the infamous screw job, his brothers death and his time in WCW, scattered throughout are small pieces of intervies from Vince and other wrestlers.
An interesting note is the Bret Hart we get through the interview. This isnt an angry and bitter Bret. This is a more reflective Bret and with that comes a side you dont usually see from people on WWE DVDs. For one he is completely open with everything he says and on his reflection of his career gets chocked up on more than a few occasions. Bret has an almost photographic memory of his career and everything he has done and he tells his stories and states his point of view with an honesty and a frankness that makes him easy to listen to. He puts over everyone he worked with and even gives Shawn his props...something Shawn still seems unwilling to do.
The set also comes with a collection of matches selected by Bret himself.
Hart Foundation vs British Bulldogs.
One of the many meetings between these teams and an ultra stiff wrestling feast is here for the fans. Not their best match but then theres so many to pick from it wouldnt be fair to call one of the their best.
Hart Foundation vs Killer Bees.
A real gem of a match and a chance to see Bret really carrying a match and playing the heel (and loving every minute of it). Best match of the first disk.
Bret Hart vs British Bulldog.
Their match from Summerslam and its as classic and epic today as it was then. Its especially good to watch, after watching the documentary in which Bret points out a number of blown spots. Still, they cant hurt the match, which is a good example of Bret carrying the whole thing on his back and this was the match that truly made the HitMan.
Bret Hart vs Bam Bam Bigelow.
Not their King Of The Ring final, which is a little disappointing, but it almost follows the same format, right down to the finish and these 2 also had a good chemistry.
Hart Foundation vs Rockers.
Definetly not the best match these teams had, but its worth watching just to see Shawn and Bret in the ring together.
Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect.
The Summerslam 91 match these 2 had, with Perfects back going the way of the dodo, still an excellent high quality match with slick wrestling and Brets first major singles title (back when the IC belt meant something)
Bret Hart vs Ricky Steamboat.
Ricky will always be a wrestling god and this match is no exception. Brets still developing here so the type of match of the century they could have had once Bret hit 33 never happened, but its a great little match.
Bret Hart vs Ted BiBease.
This was during Brets first singles push and while he was protected, he wasnt allowed to go like he would be from 91 onwards. As a result, the match feels a little flawed and definetly stalled.
Hart Foundation vs Nasty Boys.
Taken from Wrestlemania 7 and featured the last appearence of the Hart Foundation as a team...until Bret reformed them in 97 and also a shock ending which showed how dominente of a team they were by this time.
Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect.
From the King of the ring and here Perfects back is BETTER which means, if possible, and even BETTER match. Fantasic wrestling, great heat, great psychology and the ultimate in classy endings. These 2 just couldnt have a bad match if they tried.
Bret Hart vs Owen Hart.
From Wrestlemania and possibly the greatest opening match in event history. The crowd are solidly behind Bret, which shows how good of a story theyd been telling. Owen plays his part perfectly, great commentry from the King and just a damn good match that should be watched again and again.
Bret Hart vs Owem Hart.
Filmed after Summerslam 94 and def not the best match these 2 had. Its almost like Bret and Owen arent really into this one, which is understandable after the cage match (which would have been better here) but still a good match and I think the last match they had until 96.
Bret Hart vs Hakushi.
From In Your House, filmed during the cliques year of dominance, which is why Bret was stuck in the mid card and is a great example of Bret making a star. By the end of this match people were even chanting for Hakushi.
Bret Hart vs Diesel.
Their Survivor Series match which features a slow slow pace but a great story being told and was probably Big Kevs third best match...ever. Bret plays rough and just seeing him jam a chair into Diesels leg is enough to make you squirm.
Bret Hart vs British Bulldog.
Taken from In Your House in 1995. Not as good as the Summerslam match, but then what could be, but worth watching for some great wrestling and a sick blade job by Bret that looks really disturbing when you first see it.
Bret Hart vs Undertaker.
Taken just after Bret won his 5th title and filmed from the UK where Brets anti american stance was a huge debate in terms of fan support. Bret works like a mad man to get a good match out of big Mark but the real star of this match is the crowd heat. Its just off the charts.
Bret Hart vs Chris Benoit. (Owen Hart tribute Match in WCW)
This being the tribute match to Owen and Nitros last great match. The wrestling is super slick, the match blows beautifully and tells a story, which is what wrestling is all about. Its also intresting to see both men really working stiff against eachother, especially from Benoit who snaps his german suplexes with more venom here than hes ever done in a WWE ring.
Bret Hart vs Stone Cold.
This one doesnt even need an introduction. A classic, classic, classic that changes the face of wrestling, created a star and role reversed 2 superstars in one match. My favourite moment is when Bret grabs a padded chair (the ones always used) then throws it aside for a pure steel one, signalling the chance in styles. This was literally putting a man over and making him a star. Something no one these days is willing to do. All the spot hoggers should watch this match and take head that new stars need to be created, and that sadly includes the bald one in this match.
All in all, possibly the best wrestling set WWE have ever produced. If there is one thing lacking it would be commentries on certain matches from Bret, but otherwise, it has everything any Bret Hart fan could want.