The NeelDown Video Review: Bret Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be
– The DVD collection set is broken up into 3 discs. The main program is featured on disc one. Besides the features I am about to explain, it is filled with interview segments and some tribue videos.
Features the main story the DVD has to offer, through Bret’s early career to and through Stampede Wrestling, featuring in depth on coming to WWE, and the various stages of his career including with the Hart Foundation, the Intercontinental Champion, to the WWE Championship. Furthermore, the Hart family feud, feud with Austin, U.S.A. versus Canada, Survivor Series 1997, WCW, Owen Hart’s death, and Bret’s problems with WCW, to name a few.
One half of all the matches this DVD set offers chosen by Bret Hart himself, including Bret versus Owen Hart from WrestleMania X, Intercontinental Championship matches against British Bulldog and Mr. Perfect, King Of The Ring 1993 semifinal match against Mr. Perfect and more.
The second half of assorted matches. Here is my review of them.
– The Action Zone New York, 9/29/1994
Bret Hart v. Owen Hart – WWE Championship Match
Shovefest to start and Owen gets a cocky slap. Owern misses a dropkick and gets catupulited into the corner and then schoolboyed for two. Bret nails only two hiptosses and Owen takes a rest on the outside. Bret locks in an arm bar, Owen stands out of it but gets rolled up in a backslide that gets two. Jim Neidhart grabs Bret’s ankle and British Bulldog comes down to keep him occupied. Back after ACTION ZONE ADVERTISEMENTS, this is the premiere by the way, and Owen has a reverse chinlock applied. Doc notes that if it were George Foreman in there, he would have no hair to pull. Good observation there. Bret fights fire with fire by pulling Owen’s hair and eventually getting out of the chinlock before getting knocked back down by a knee lariat. Owen with a GROIN STOMP OF DOOM and it’s back to the chinlock. Bret runs into a belly to belly off the ropes which gets two for Owen. Bret goes with some chin shots in the corner but Owen sends him into the turnbuckle knocking him down. Owen up top and nails a missile dropkick, then slaps Davey Boy for assurance. This allows Jimmy to hammer on Bret’s knee. Owen works the knee and takes him down by then locks in a Figure Four which Bret fights off and headbuts out of, but it’s back to working the knee. Owen goes back with the Figure Four. Bret gets out and gets the atomic drop and clothseline for two. That sets up the Russian leg sweep which also gets two. Small package by Bret gets two. Backbreaker, and then a second rope elbow, but the Anvil had put the foot on the rope to break it up. Owen sneaks in a crucifix but it gets reversed for two. Owern pulls the hair and gets a leg lariat for two. Bret blocks a suplex and sets him up top for a superplex but gets shoved off. Davey Boy shoves him off the top, crouching him over the top rope, Bret pulls him back in and covers for the win. A lot of stuff we have seen before at the WrestleMania match andnot too thrilled about that finish either, but an exciting match with a lot of good chemistry none the less. ***3/4
– In Your House 5/14/1995
Bret Hart v. Hakushi
Hakushi works on a headlock to start and then shows off with some cartwheels, which Bret chuckles at. They go into a test of strength won by Bret until Hakushi cheap shots him down and gets an arm wringer. Bret whips him off to break it but Hakushi comes back with a sloppy flying forearm for two, then goes back to working the shoulder with an arm bar. Vince notes that he can’t lock in the sharpshooter if this continues. A bit early, but whatever. Bret gets a schoolboy for a nearfall. Bret shoulders him down gives him three hip tosses forcing him to go out and take a breather. He tries sneaking back in from behind but the fans let Bret know, so that doesn’t go anywhere. He gains advantage though until his face is planted onto the turnbuckle. Hakushi sends him to the corner with a big Irish Whip and then a scoop slam and a Vader Bomb for two. We see Jerry Lawler enjoying this match. Hakushi stomps a mudhole in the corner and charges in with a bronco buster, then stops to taunt on the turnbuckle. Bret gets dumped and Sting- of wait that’s Shinja, takes advantage. Back in and Hakushi gets a cheap choke. This goes on for WAY too long and finally Hakushi gives him a Snuka chop to the face. Cartwheel back elbow by Hakushi, but he goes in again and gets met with Bret’s foot. Hakushi counters a tilt-a-whirl with a backbreaker for two. Hakushi nails the Kamikaze but it only gets two. Hakushi goes for a long slingshot headbut from the apron but it misses and Bret nails the Russian leg sweep for two. Running bulldog gets another two. Sideslam backbreaker + second rope knee drop sets up the Sharpshooter but the mime interupts. Kahus turns into an atomic drop however and gets leveled with a clothseline. Bret goes with target practice but the mime grabs his leg going to the ropes and Bret takes him out on the floor. Hakushi gets a dropkick for two afterwards. Bret blocks a suplex and hits one of his own, taking them both to the floor. Shinja distracts Bret getting back in which allows Hakushi to hit an Asagi Moonsault. He escapes the ten count and blocks getting suplexed back in, then reverses a roll up into one of his own for the win, ending Hakushi’s undefeated streak. Good stuff from both guys here, ***1/2
Winner: Bret Hart
– Survivor Series 11/19/1995
Bret Hart v. Diesel – WWE Championship Match, No Disqualifications
Diesel unties the turnbuckle to start, so Bret does the same with his corner. Bret drives him to the corner but gets hammered with CLUBS to the back followed by some stiff knee shots. Vinny Mac and pals note that as champions these men are both great rolemodels. I’m not sure where that one came from, even for Vince. Bret heads out so Diesel meets him with CLUBS and then sends him onto the railing. Diesel steps on his neck for a choke. Back in, but Big Daddy Cool’s jabs are too much so he gets sent out again. Bret gets sent into the steps and then pressed into the post. Diesel gets a chair and wacks Bret in the spine with it, shades of the Rumble where Hart did the same to Nash. Diesel dominates and tries the Jacknife but Bret gets his feet into the ropes to block it. Bret BITES Diesel’s head to get out of it then locks in a sleeper, or just jumps on his back to rake the eyes since it didn’t last, something like that. Bret attacks the leg and then works on the knee and then locks in a Figure Four, which has never worked before on BDC. Diesel makes the ropes, atlthough if he didn’t, what would Hebner do, disqualify him? Some food for thought there if you will. Back to working the knee, but Diesel kicks him into the corner and his head bumps the exposed turnbuckle. CLUBS send Bret out, but then he takes Diesel’s leg and jams it into the post. Bret finds some sort of magic cord or cable of some kind tied to the ringpost, and ties the other end to Diesel’s foot. Diesel uses the free leg to boot Bret in the face, but he’s still got the other foot tied. Bret gets a second rope axe handle then goes to get the same chair he was hit with earlier. Diesel boots the chair into his face however. Bret regains the chair and wacks him with it, then jabs the knee with it. Bret gets the sideslam backbreaker and goes and gets the chair, which was apparently outside. He’s up top with it, but Diesel crotches him and tosses him off. Diesel unties the cord and tries choking Bret with it but gets pushed into the corner. Diesel gets a sidewalk slam for two. Into the exposed turnbuckle Bret goes. Now, the smart thing might hav been not to take the pad off in the first place, especially since the risk doubles and how you are with corner shots, Bret. That results into getting the snake eyes, but at least on a covered turnbuckle this time. Bret counters a second snake eyes attempt and sends Diesel forehead-first into the exposed buckle. Bret wails away and gets a lariat for two. Second rope bulldog by Bret gets two. Russain leg sweep gets two more. Clothesline sends Diesel to the floor, but he dodges Bret’s plancha to the outside. Bret tries to recharge on the apron, but Diesel meets him with a shoulder that sends him from the apron through the Spanish table. Pretty nice looking bump. Diesel stuffs Hart for the Jacknife, but Bret is so weak he just flops back down, and as Diesel goes to lift him back up Bret gets a sudden small pacakge for the one two and three. Diesel, who is royally pissed, fights off the officials and delivers a Jacknife afterwards, for good measure. Hey, this is supposed to be the rubber match. ***3/4 with an extra boost for the table bump and no long laying around from it.
Winner: Bret Hart
In Your House 12/17/1995
Bret Hart v. The British Bulldog
Shove fest to begin until they go back and fourth with technical work, won by Bret who slows it down with an arm bar. Davey Boy gets out with a hairmare and goes with his own arm bar. Bulldog gets a scoop slam but Bret goes back to the arm bar quickly after. Bret off the ropes with a press for two. Atomic drop and GROIN STOMP OF DOOM by Bret. Never seen him get the atmoic drop out so early. Big hip toss by Davey Boy. Bulldog hangs him in the tree of woe and stomps away as Bret’s sister and Jim Cornette watch on. Snapmare into rear choke by Bulldog, executed well. The “EC-Dub” chants start up now, but die off just as soon. Cornette nails Bret with the Santa-themed tennis raccet and Davey Boy goes back to the rear choke. Bret gets out and goes shoulder crazy in the corner, but Bret takes one of his many devestating Irish whip bumps, but escapes the count with a foot on the rope. Bulldog with a back drop for another two, and, you guessed it, back to the rear choke. Bret gets out and hits a second atomic drop. See, I knew the early part must have just been a conspiracy. Running bulldog gets two. Bret takes advantage of the doubles over Smith and nails a piledriver for two. Gut shot and Russian leg sweep by Hart, followed by the second rope elbow. Bret sets him up top and tries a superplex but Bulldog hangs him to dry on the top rope. Outside they go and Bulldog rams him into the post where Bret bleeds badly. Bret sent into the corner and is down to his knees setting up a Bulldog piledriver that gets two. Delayed suplex from Bulldog gets another two. Gorilla press only gets two. Bulldog gets out of the Sharpshooter and nails a shoulder sending Bret outside into the railing. Back in and Bret nails a German bridge for two. Double clothseline and it’s double KO time. Bulldog gets tossed after a charge and Bret gets a plancha and hammers away. Bulldog catches him off the ropes and slams him down on the floor. Bulldog pulls away the pad and tries a suplex on the concrete floor, but Bret blocks and croches him on the railing. Sideslam backbreaker gets two. Bulldog takes a SICK bump off of a whip to the corner and falls on his head on the recoil. Superplex by Bret. Reversals off of a crucifix get two. Bret gets a foot up in the corner and rolls him up with a cradle for the win. No complains, just twenty minutes of great wrestling. ****1/2
Wrestlemania XIII 3/23/1997
Bret Hart v. Stone Cold Steve Austin- Submission Match (special guest referee Ken Shamrock)
Slugfest to start and Austin gets shoved into the pole outside. Austin comes back by crouching Bret on the barricade and they brawl through the crowd. Austin gives him with FAN’S COCA COLA DRINK THROW but Bret goes back in control. Bret blocks a piledriver and turns it into a back drop. Back at ringside Bret gets an axe handle. Austin whips him into the steps and gets a punch off the apron. Back in Bret gets a swinging neckbreaker and works on the hamstring. Bret misses a stomp to the knee and Austin gets the Stunner. King brings up a good point (seriously) that he should watch out not to knock out his opponent because he won’t be able to submit. Bret mistakingly picks up a special Wrestlemania chair, so he has to go get an old blue one instead, and he puts Austin’s leg in it. Bret goes up top but Austin runs up and gives him a chair shot, followed by another and a suplex, but misses the second rope headbut. Austin gets a legsweep and locks in a submission but to no avail. Austin locks in a Boston crab but his eye gets poked. Bret charges but gets dumped as Austin’s celebration cycles some boos. Bret whips Austin to the gate taking out the timekeeper’s table. Austin is bloodied and Bret hits the knee with the chair. Austin gets a low blow out of the corner and hard face-first whip. Austin stomps a mudhole and sets him up top and connects with a superplex. Austin gets an extenstion cord and tries to choke Bret out, but Bret grabs the bell and nails him with it. Bret has the sharpshooter locked in and after a while of struggling Austin passes out and Shamrock stops the match. *****, one of the best Wrestlemania matches ever, and what most people say was the best wrestling match of all of the 90’s.
Winner: Bret Hart
One Night Only 9/20/1997
Bret Hart v. Undertaker – WWE Championship Match
Bret attacks to start but soon enough gets choked out. Bret fights him off to amount enough time to try to expose a turnbuckle befor being interupted. Taker slams him down but misses an elbow. Bret clothselines him up and over and then gets a dropkick, before falling victum to a spinebuster on the floor. They brawl up for a while on the outside until Bret turns the brawling tables back inside the ring, planting Taker with a DDT. Bret positions his foot on Taker and illegaly attempts to choke him out but breaks it. Taker reveres a whip into his own and into the turnbuckle Hart goes. Taker gets a crucifix for two. Taker drops Bret over the knee with a backbreaker and holds him in position, tag team leg drop style. Bret works on the knee but is sent into the corner where Taker misses a blind charge and rams his knee into the post. Figure four attempt while in the corner is broken up, so in center Bret locks in a normal one. Taker eventually reverses it into his own hold but Bret makes the ropes to break it. Bret sweeps him, here we go! Russian leg sweep! Sideslam backbreaker! Second rope elbo– no! Taker dodges it, and then they collide with dueling lariats. Taker goes low with a split legged leg to the groin. Taker mistakingly goes for a second one, only to have it countered into the Sharpshooter. Taker gets out and attempts a Chokeslam to no avail, Bret off the ropes and he gets flattened by a big boot. Bret escapes and gets the ringbell, but Taker meets him with another big boot. Now Taker has the bell, the ref snatches it. Bret gets sent sailing into the post face-first, damaging the ribs, what’s left of them. Old school is blocked, Bret tries a Tombstone, reversed into the real Tombstone but Bret gets out and then things get ugly when he gets tangled up in ropes and won’t back off of Hart so that’s a DQ. Rightfully, Taker demolishes the officials afterwords. ***
Winner: Bret Hart
WCW Nitro 10/4/1999
Bret Hart v. Chris Benoit – Owen Hart Tribute Match
Harley Race announces this one. Benoit takes him down with a headlock, reverses on the mat into a quick cover by Bret, and back into the standing headlock. They exchange hammerlocks and Hart slaps on a side headlock. Hart with a shoulderblock, Benoit goes down for a monkey flip but Hart scouts it out and they stop into a stareoff. Test of strength is won by Hart who takes Benoit over into a bridge, but Benoit comes back up and goes behind, sticking a knee in the back for support still holding onto the move. Hammerlock takedown by Benoit, oh baby it’s dungeon wrestling. Bret reverses it and Benoit backs him into a corner and gets a dropkick. Benoit slaps on an arm bar which is reversed by Hart into a Russian leg sweep, then snapmares Benoit and locks in a headlock and a big knee. Gut shot by Bret as things finally slow down to a regular match pace. Benoit chops his way out of the corner but Bret plants him with a DDT and gets the second rope elbow for two. Benoit counters a knee lariat into a schoolboy for a near fall. Benoit locks in a full Boston Crab but Bret makes the ropes. Back drop by Benoit gets one. Stealing a page from Bret’s book, a sideslam backbreaker by Benoit gets two forcing Bret to take a break outside. Back in Benoit drops an elbow for two. A second one misses and Bret takes advantage with the head shot to groin of DOOM for two. Bret stomps him to the floor and rams him into the apron. Benoit counters a tilt-a-whirl into a piledriver for two. Benoit’s bridge suplex gets two. Knee lift by Benoit gets two. Benoit misses a dropkick and Bret drops an elbow, then gets a back suplex for a close near fall. Bret’s charge runs into the ropes and Benoit follows up with a suicide drive to the outside. Benoit gets a crucifix for two, reversed by Hart, and that gets two. Bret with an illegal boot choke. Backslide by Benoit gets two. Benoit turns a suplex attempt into an inside cradle for two. Uncharacteristically, Bret gets a swinging neckbreaker for two. Benoit gets the atomic drop treatment and then is set up top, but Benoit headbuts him down only to be cut off by an uppercut by Bret. Superplex by Hart and he locks in the Sharpshooter but Benoit quickly counters to the Crossface but Hart grabs the bottom rope. Benoit gets three connected snap suplexes and nails the SWAN dive but it only gets two. Back suplex by Benoit. Bret knocks him down with an elbow on an attempt of a whip and nails a piledriver of his own for two. Benoit flips out of a back suplex and chops away. Hart blocks the third rolling German suplex and Bret clobbers him down. Benoit tries a Crossface but Bret stays on a knee to block it takes Benoit to the mat then gets up hooking the legs and locks in the Sharpshooter and Benoit is forced to submit. Respectfully, they hug afterwards in honoring Owen. Nothing but stupendous wrestling all around on both ends here. ****3/4
Winner: Bret Hart