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The Bret Hart Best There Is Thread

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30 minutes ago, BloodyChamp said:

I grew up on southern territories and WCW so I’m behind on Bret Hart matches but he had so many good matches that most Bret Hart marks are still behind on Bret Hart matches. The guys I watched were all about mat wrestling, brawling but not abandoning the “wrestling” part of it, and telling a story with their matches. With that said I think Bret Hart straight out of cartoonland might have been the best at it all.

My favorite thing about him was something I’m not sure everybody else noticed, but take it away and he’s nowhere near as good. What I’m talking about is how he wrenched in on every wristlock, waistlock etc he ever did. He would grimace his face like he was actually trying to twist the guy’s arm. When he did a headlock there was no daylight between the guy’s head and his elbow. When he had a guy in the scissors he was the only guy who looked like he was actually restraining the other guy with his legs (the scissors was usually 1 of those painfully fake looking resthold tbh). He practiced the neobasics. 

and because he always acted like he was legitimately trying to win an athletic contest even during restholds, it paid off in added believability with his roll-ups and flash pins.

He was always trying to win the match.

DDP and Jake Roberts were always 3 seconds away from winning because they had one super-protected secret weapon killshot.  Bret was always 3 seconds away from winning because he knew dozens of reversals and counters, most of which no opponent could be ready for because even Bret never used them, but he knew them, because he'd been wrestling for basically literally his entire life.  So the fans knew, no matter what the situation, he had something in his back pocket that would work.

Speaking of always trying to win, a detail of Bret's matches that I always appreciated that I haven't seen mentioned before is this:  he is the only babyface I ever recall seeing who would regularly glare and/or bark at the referee after a two count.  Sure, in wrestling it's traditionally heelish, but every legitimate athlete in real sports, no matter how "babyface" they are, yells at the referee from time to time.  It's the competitive spirit.  Trying to get that call.  Nobody's mad when their favorite baseball player shoots the ump a dirty look after a borderline strike call.  Hell, usually we agree with them.  (and true enough, Hebner was often dramatically slow for the sake of the narrative; Bret's objection was warranted 😄 ) Another aspect of him always behaving like someone who wanted to win and was trying to win should have been behaving.

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Nick Patrick’s slower as the match went on counts used to annoy the f*** out of me! They were probably why heel Flair got so many face cheers lol!

As for Bret in WCW, I’m a bigger fan of it than most. If you personally love Bret Hart like most fans, you’ll love his WCW work because of how seriously he took it and how solid it was inside that squared circle, booking aside. He just wasn’t going to go out there and dog it no matter what.

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others have covered the book (the original release is the absolute best autobiography in wrestling) but I'd also like to say Bret is one of my 3/4 favourite shoot interview subjects too. Very lucid and credible, self-critical to a point, a natural storyteller without too much of the gaga. High opinion of himself but anyone from the biz usually acquires one.

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That was Kulka.

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On 4/10/2019 at 8:37 PM, BloodyChamp said:

Nick Patrick’s slower as the match went on counts used to annoy the f*** out of me! They were probably why heel Flair got so many face cheers lol!

As for Bret in WCW, I’m a bigger fan of it than most. If you personally love Bret Hart like most fans, you’ll love his WCW work because of how seriously he took it and how solid it was inside that squared circle, booking aside. He just wasn’t going to go out there and dog it no matter what.

 

I enjoyed Bret's WCW run a lot as a kid.   Wish he hadn't gotten concussed, I wonder what it would have been like if he had a few more years on his career.

The closest I can think of to Bret in the little things is Tanahashi during his last hot run this past year.

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I really liked Bret's series with Sting those were the types of dream matches I was hoping to see it's just too bad a lot of it was surrounded by terrible television and unwatchable PPVs.  WCW wasted the hell out of Bret Hart.  They waited too long to push him into anything worthwhile,  WCW could have made some real headway in Canada and parts of the northeast if Bret was in a prominent role prior to the company's collapse. They had the hottest free agent out there off the most talked about angle/screwjob in history and they fucking squandered it. 

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Not running Canada until it was too late was a major WCW mistake. Passionate fanbase, and they had Bret dropped into their laps to draw. 1998, his first year after he came over from the WWF, had ZERO cards in Canada.

1999 WCW events in Canada:

March 29, 1999 - Toronto - this was the Bret Hart-Goldberg confrontation with the steel chest plate

March 30, 1999 - Kitchener, Ontario (WCW Saturday night taping)

November 21, 2019 - Toronto - Mayhem PPV, WCW world title tournament semis and finals, Hart vs Benoit main event

2000 WCW events in Canada:

February 26, 2000 Winnipeg - house show, drew 6,683. Original main event was Hart vs Benoit, but by the time the card happened, Hart suffered his career ending injury, and Benoit was in the WWF. Bret made an appearance, main event ended up being Sid vs Lex Luger. I was there, and drank many beers, because this card was bowling shoe ugly. Nitro in Minneapolis 2 nights later only drew 4,638.

August 13, 2000 - Vancouver - New Blood Rising PPV

August 14, 2000 - Kelowna - Nitro

August 15, 2000 - Kamloops - Thunder

September 18, 2000 - Kitchener - Nitro

 

That's it. 8 cards in the 3+ years after Bret. Half of them held in junior hockey arenas. None of them held in Alberta.

 

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Another low-key thing about Bret is, from his book, dude didn't spend many lonely nights on the road. Flair gets all the headlines for Space Mountain and all that but Bret seems like one of the few 80s-90s guys whose after-match addictions definitely weren't alcohol and drugs. 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, alstein said:

The closest I can think of to Bret in the little things is Tanahashi during his last hot run this past year.

Broken record, I know. But in terms of doing the little things, making every headlock and armbar mean something, there's this guy called David Starr...

Edited by AxB
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

I really liked Bret's series with Sting those were the types of dream matches I was hoping to see it's just too bad a lot of it was surrounded by terrible television and unwatchable PPVs.  WCW wasted the hell out of Bret Hart.  They waited too long to push him into anything worthwhile,  WCW could have made some real headway in Canada and parts of the northeast if Bret was in a prominent role prior to the company's collapse. They had the hottest free agent out there off the most talked about angle/screwjob in history and they fucking squandered it. 

He had a better match on Thunder against, of all people, Luger. That was Luger’s last good match. It’s on any list of Bret Hart hidden gems that people need to see imo. Not that the Sting matches were bad, but let’s just say those are some of the ones that really hurt to go back and watch because of how much better they could have been at 1 time. I was glad to hear Bret admit he misjudged Sting his DVD though.

Edited by BloodyChamp
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5 hours ago, Hagan said:

Another low-key thing about Bret is, from his book, dude didn't spend many lonely nights on the road. Flair gets all the headlines for Space Mountain and all that but Bret seems like one of the few 80s-90s guys whose after-match addictions definitely weren't alcohol and drugs. 

 

Best There Is, Best There Was, And Best There Ever Will Be just became an even cooler catchphrase 😎

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7 hours ago, Hagan said:

Another low-key thing about Bret is, from his book, dude didn't spend many lonely nights on the road. Flair gets all the headlines for Space Mountain and all that but Bret seems like one of the few 80s-90s guys whose after-match addictions definitely weren't alcohol and drugs. 

That was a part of the book that really threw me. Talk about honesty!

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Another guy in WCW he seemed to have pretty good chemistry with was DDP.  Also,  I loved the steel plate under the hockey jersey moment with Goldberg.  That might have been the last great thing I saw in WCW.  I have people nearly 20 years later saying how dope that was.   They were both laid out for what seemed like forever.  It's a shame Goldberg was still green and Bret got his career ended like he did (although that might have been the second time around they tried this feud) ?  My memory of it all is pretty fuzzy as I gave up on WCW pretty much right around the end of 1999 I believe.  Anyway,  that was a great moment.   

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Speaking of Bret he really did get that "fuck you" money from WCW.  I remember it being a huge # at the time and I'd say in 2019 still not many people making this.. 

 

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3 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Speaking of Bret he really did get that "fuck you" money from WCW.  I remember it being a huge # at the time and I'd say in 2019 still not many people making this.. 

 

That's the one he turned down in '96. He got sightly less in '97. I think $2.3 instead of $2.8 per, but I'd have to double check that number. But, yeah, he was basically second only to Hogan in the world at that point, until Austin's merch pushed him way above both of them.

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Bret was I believe 3-0 vs. Goldberg, was that leading somewhere?  I wonder what the plan was with Bret if he hadn't gotten hurt.  It's late WCW so probably something nonsensical. 

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On 4/12/2019 at 11:18 AM, Dewar said:

February 26, 2000 Winnipeg -
Original main event was Hart vs Benoit
main event ended up being Sid vs Lex Luger

i feel SO sorry for anyone that bought tickets for Hart/Benoit. talk about a downgrade!

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There really wasnt a need to bump a dead thread for a gif

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