The SmarK 24/7 Rant for The Best of Bret Hart.
– I don’t believe this is the same thing as I did in a previous Coliseum Video Rant, because the matchlist in the preview appears to be different.
WWF World title: Bret Hart v. Bam Bam Bigelow
This is a dark match main event of a Superstars taping, not the finals of King of the Ring or the match from Spain that’s on the Bret DVD. The commentary about Bret’s hectic defense schedule places this one during Bret’s first title reign when that was his “gimmick,” but Jim Ross didn’t start until after Bret lost the title and he’s on commentary, along with Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage. It can’t be after Wrestlemania X because Heenan was gone by then and Savage was back in the ring, so I guess the match was taped before Wrestlemania IX and they recorded JR on commentary afterwards. Bammer shoots in and Bret evades him to start, but they fight for the lockup and Bret goes down. Another try, and Bret gets sent to the floor this time. Back in, Bigelow pounds the back, but misses an elbow and Bret goes to work on his arm. Bammer misses a charge while escaping and Bret armbars him again. Bigelow tries a press slam to escape, but Bret falls on top for two and slugs away. Running elbow puts Bigelow on the floor, but Bret follows with a dive and misses. Bam Bam runs Bret into the post to further injure the back. Back in, Bigelow stomps on him and works on the back. Bearhug into an overhead suplex gets two. Bret takes his bump into the turnbuckles and Bigelow follows into a body vice, which is truly an underutilized submission move. That and the Hangman. Bret fights out after two arm drops, and flips into a suplex to break free. Bam Bam drops a headbutt on the back, however, to retain control. Butterfly backbreaker sets up the flying headbutt, but it misses and Bret comes back. Bret slugs away in the corner, into the Russian legsweep for two. A flying clothesline gets two. A flying bulldog sets up the Sharpshooter, but Bigelow powers out, and catches Bret with a bearhug. Bret bites him to escape and tries another backdrop suplex, but Bigelow falls on top for two. And surprise surprise, Bret finishes with a victory roll at 13:43. I KNEW this match was looking familiar by the end, as they pretty much did the same match spot-for-spot at King of the Ring and in Spain. It’s a good match, sure, but let’s have some variety. ***
Bret Hart v. Blake Beverly
Well how could it have been a Best Of Bret without Mike Enos on it? Blake grabs a headlock to start and turns it into a chinlock on the mat, but Bret blocks a rollup attempt and gets two. Blake goes back to the chinlock and the bored announcers do a weird comedy routine with Bobby Heenan about how tag team matches are different than singles matches. Bret slugs away in the corner and gets a monkey flip, and into his own chinlock. Genius trips him up and the ref sends him back to the dressing room, which seems unduly harsh. If he was truly a genius he would have talked his way out of it. Blake gets a backbreaker for two and goes to a bearhug, and into a powerslam for two. Back suplex gets two. Back to the bearhug as I’m about ready for Bret to wrap this one up. Blake misses a blind charge and they collide for the double KO, which is fitting because this match is so dull it’s putting me out. Russian legsweep gets two for Bret. Backbreaker and elbow set up the Sharpshooter, but Beau Beverly heads out to the shock of all. Blake nails Bret from behind during the argument and gets the pin at 9:50?!? Then it gets worse, as Sgt. Slaughter also heads out and reverses the decision in Bret’s favour. Wow, a reversed decision win over Blake Beverly, there’s one for the mantelpiece. You want to see a textbook example of Bret dogging it, here you go. *1/2
Bret Hart v. Headshrinker Fatu
This is from Monday Night RAW during the Manhattan Center era, and Bret is champion, so we’re still in early 1993. March 1, to be exact, according to the CRZ archives. Fatu misses an elbow and Bret starts working the arm, doing the exact same sequence here as he did with Bigelow. Bret overpowers him and then fakes a knee injury, which allows him to get a rollup for two. Bobby praises Bret for that one. Back to the arm, but Fatu superkicks him for two. Clothesline gets two. Fatu goes to the Vulcan nerve pinch, as Samu joins us at ringside. We take a break and return with Fatu beating on Bret outside, and back in with a headbutt. Backbreaker gets two. Headbutt gets two. Piledriver gets two. Fatu goes up and Bret drops him on the top rope and brings him down with a superplex, and that gets two. Sharpshooter, but Afa distracts the ref and Samu breaks it up, switching in for two. Back to Fatu, but Bret gets a sleeper and runs him into Samu, then gets rid of Afa and finishes with the Sharpshooter at 11:50. Fatu was in the mood to work here and it was fine, albeit nothing you’d want to bring home to meet your parents or anything. **1/2
Intercontinental title: Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels
Obviously this is between Wrestlemania VIII and Summerslam 92, and it’s Shawn’s favourite city, Syracuse. No special stips here, unlike their later matches. I’m pretty darn sure I’ve done this on a previous Coliseum Video rant, but it’s Bret v. Shawn so huzzah. Shawn takes Bret down with an armdrag and goes to work on it, using the hair for leverage. That’s a chancy strategy with Bret. Bret takes him out of the ring and Shawn throws a tantrum before returning. Cheapshot in the corner, but Bret hits a clothesline in return and gets two. Gorilla thinks it’s only a matter of time before Shawn gets some gold, and JR thinks that they’ll dominate the 90s. Do they predict lottery numbers for an encore? Bret pounds him in the corner, but takes his fourth turnbuckle bump on this tape and Shawn chokes him down. Sherri adds a shot on the floor, and Shawn gets a high knee for two. We hit the chinlock and Shawn hits the superkick, but Bret blocks the teardrop suplex and tries to come back. Shawn hits boot on a blind charge, and Bret hits the flying clothesline. Inverted atomic drop and clothesline to the back gets two. That was new. Backbreaker and elbowdrop gets two. Sleeper, but they tumble to the floor and Bret takes a Pillman-esque bump into the railing and gets counted out at 8:50. Sherri hurriedly gives Shawn the belt and tells him to run to the back before the crowd riots oh, wait, sorry, got ahead of myself there. This was just a warmup for the great matches they’d have later. ***
This was less “The Best of Bret Hart” than it was “The Pretty Good of Bret Hart”, as the first three matches were pretty much the same template with Bret walking the heels through the match he wanted, while the Shawn one showed a bit more fire but didn’t get any time to develop. For collectors only.