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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009, 08:33 AM
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Default Best Two - Bret Hart

The Excellence of Execution will be the recipient of our second "Best Two Series" thread. The man ruled the mid-90's in the WWE, and won almost every championship offered everywhere he went. Picking two matches all-time from him is going to be a massive challenge.

Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith, Summerslam

This match is one of two measuring sticks for non-gimmick Intercontinental Title matches. The build-up was simple - two face wrestlers, the champ was Hart who had regained the IC Belt from Roddy Piper in another face vs face encounter just 3 months prior. Smith, Hart's brother in law, was long overdue for a shot at the belt. What ensued was a clinic of near falls and close calls that wouldn't be duplicated until Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty did it a year later.

Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect, Summerslam

Hart's first IC Title win was against the incomparable Curt Henning at Summerslam '91, and featured such moments as Hart kicking out of the Perfectplex, Henning submitting to the Sharpshooter, and Hart knocking out Perfect's manager "The Coach." This would be the last match for Henning until the '93 Survivor Series, though the two men's paths would cross again as Henning was Ric Flair's manager when Hart won his first WWF Title from him at a show in Saskatoon.

With so many Hart classics out there (vs guys like Michaels, Austin, Benoit, etc.) which TWO will you choose?
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2009, 09:37 AM
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I'm going to have to agree with you on your first choice IC. That match with Bulldog at Summerslam was epic. It was just a regular match, no special gimmicks, no "no DQ", just two great combatants battling it out over the IC title. Add in the additional factors, match held in the challenger the Bulldogs home country as well as the Bulldog being married to Bret's sister. This was a battle for pride, for family, for countries, a battle to see who was the better man. It was exciting, fast-paced, filled with breathtaking counters and close-calls that saw the finish end with a quick counter to a roll up, almost as perfect of a wrestling match as you could find.

My second choice, would be the Bret Hart vs SCSA match as Wrestlemania. Long has been said, this is the match that made Austin into a main-eventer and I for one agree entirely with that statement. Austin's blood soaked face, refusing to tap out is one of my favourite wrestlemania moments. The match was brilliantly hard fought and painfully match to watch and the end results speak for themselves, Hart turned heel and formed the Hart Foundation, Austin turned face a thus began the Austin 3:16 era. Without this match, wrestling might've taken a different course and these two men's careers might never have been the same. This match made Austin a star and turned Hart into a legend (if he wasn't already one).
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2009, 09:38 AM
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Well I guess I have to go with two very obvious choices:

1. Bret Hart vs Steve Austin, Wrestlemania XIII:

Now this match just had it all. Both men put on a great show that night, and it was the match that kickstarted the career of one of the most popular and successful wrestlers of all time as well as laid the foundation for one of the greatest and most memorable times in wrestling history. You had the best at the time in Bret Hart, and you had the hope for the future in Austin. A great match, a great ending. And Bret Hart once again proved why he is the "excellence of execution".

2. Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels, Iron Man Match at Wrestlemania XII

Now the second - as said, very obvious - choice is of course the Iron Man match against HBK. I think you really have to consider the fact that this was the only iron man match in Wrestlemania history as far as I know (but please correct me if I am wrong), and it happened at a time when viewing habits were very different to the "golden age" and people were beginning to get much more into shorter, flashier matches. But HBK and the Hitman went at it old school, and the fact that WWE actually let them go over 60 minutes in that match, basically entrusting to them, and them alone, the success of one entire Wrestlemania just goes to show how great the Hitman and Michaels were in their prime. Not many wrestlers can keep going for an hour straight, while still delivering a match worth watching; and even if they used restholds in that match, I believe no one can claim that they were used without reason. That match is testimony to the athletic abilities of both men, and of course also to the great ability Bret Hart had in storytelling. He was the last of a dying breed back then, one of the last "old school" guys. And this match shows just why he was so good at that. Maybe he was never made to survive the Attitude Era and Monday Night Wars, maybe he just was not the right guy to enter that period. But at that time, he was the best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever would be.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post

2. Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels, Iron Man Match at Wrestlemania XII

Now the second - as said, very obvious -
Not when you consider how many great matches Bret Hart had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
choice is of course the Iron Man match against HBK.
But it's so boring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
I think you really have to consider the fact that this was the only iron man match in Wrestlemania history as far as I know (but please correct me if I am wrong),
Nope, it's the only one. With good reason. In the top two matches of the Hitman's career? But it wasn't even the best match on that card. Roddy Pier & Goldust had a more entertaining Hollywood Backlot Brawl. Diesel & Undertaker had an ok big man match. And did you know you could fit nearly 40 Ultimate Warrior vs. Triple H matches from that show into the same ammount of time it took HBK & Bret Hart to bore everyone to tears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
and it happened at a time when viewing habits were very different to the "golden age" and people were beginning to get much more into shorter, flashier matches.
Would people prefer a shorter, flashier match between these two, or one that takes over an hour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
But HBK and the Hitman went at it old school,
If that style was still popular then we'd see more of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
and the fact that WWE actually let them go over 60 minutes in that match, basically entrusting to them, and them alone, the success of one entire Wrestlemania just goes to show how great the Hitman and Michaels were in their prime.
It can't have been what fans were expecting. Two wrestlers who you'd expect to have an amazing match, what they got was 40 minutes of rest holds, and 20 minutes of ok action.

Then on the other hand you've got The Rock vs. Triple H in an Iron Man match, neither of which are as good as Hart or HBK. Yet they have a vastly superior Iron Man match.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
Not many wrestlers can keep going for an hour straight, while still delivering a match worth watching;
They didn't go for an hour straight, Thye all but had a couple of cups of tea during it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
and even if they used restholds in that match, I believe no one can claim that they were used without reason.
For two babyface wrestlers who were supposed to be in their priime you'd think that each would lead the match for a while, do all the high paced stuff, then they'd switch and so forth. But neither did. Both took their merry time and never really got going. Unlike for example, the Joe/Punk hour long draw. Even if you find the first 35 minutes boring, it still ends strongly. Even if you don't rate the match as a whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonslayer View Post
That match is testimony to the athletic abilities of both men, and of course also to the great ability Bret Hart had in storytelling.
Like a bedtime story it made me fall asleep.

I possibly agree with the Austin match, I'm not sure yet. As for the second I won't pick the Wembley match as him & The Bulldog had a much better match at an IYH show. My econd choice is possibly The Hart Foundation vs. Demolition, 2 out of 3 falls.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2009, 03:38 PM
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Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin Wrestlemania 13. This is without a doubt my favorite mainstream wrestling match of all time. It had two of the best wrestlers ever. It had a little bit of everything, there was brawling, technical wrestling, blood and even some great chair shots which at the time you didnt see a whole lot of in the WWE. This match was also around the perfect time of a match for me, I believe it was about 25 minutes which is an ideal time in my opinion. It never seemed like it was dragging on. This match really brought out the best in both of them but particularly Hart. He showed why he arguably has the best ring psychology of all time. He went from being the top face in WWE for the past half decade to being the top heel during this match. Not many wrestlers would be able to pull that off. About the only thing this match was missing in my opinion was a belt. As I said before championship matches mean something to me even if the belt is only a prop, the match would just seem so much bigger if it was the main event for the World Championship.

Bret Hart vs. Bulldog at Summerslam 92. As mentioned above this may not have even been there best match together but I have to pick it because of the importance of it to Bret. This really showed people how good he is, this is the only time that I can think of where the IC title finished a PPV and Bret really delivered. In Bret's book he talked about how he was putting this match together in his head months before it even happened. Thats insane and really puts in perspective what made him so good. I think this match really opened up Vince's eyes in particular cause just a few weeks later he put the World title on him. Without this match who knows what would have happen to Bret, perhaps he would have been stuck in the upper mid card the rest of his career instead of being the top guy for the next 5 or so years.
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2009, 06:12 AM
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Bret Hart Vs. Owen Hart: Wrestlemania X I enjoy this match for numerous reasons, The first being it is a great Bret Hart Match and he loses. The Psychology in in the match as well as the selling and numerous other small little factors that make the match itself a good one. By that I mean a computer generated image of human shaped blocks going through the course of the match it would still be a good match because of the selling and perhaps most importantly in terms of simply looking at the match as itself is the pacing, brilliantly paced. There is also the other factor that goes into this match as being a great Bret Hart Match and that is the story leading up to it being great with the previous years survivor series match where Owen was the only one eliminated, with the events of the Royal rumble tag match he had with Owen and then going and winning the Rumble with Luger. Very well played out brother angle to that point, we all know how it continues from there.

Bret Hart Vs. Hakushi: In Your House this is a personal favourite of mine, I can't really pinpoint why I like it, but it is one of those enjoyable matches that you can watch multiple times and find new things about it at the same time.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:04 PM
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Hell, this should be re-named 'Best Eleven' for Bret, so many awesome matches, but here goes.

VS Bulldog @ Summerslam

For an englishman, this match is even more special. The crowd was hot, the feud was sizzling, and the bulldog looks like a million,er, pounds. And thats just the point, isn't it? This match, above all else, shows how good bret was at making his opponent like like gold. Davey, God bless him, isn't on anyones top five wrestlers list. But in this match alone, he looks like one of the greats, and thats purely because his opponent was, quite frankly, the greastest wrestler to ever pull on tights.

Vs Piper @ WrestleMania VIII

Man, when I bitch (mainly to myself - I'm 27 and turning into a grumpy old man) that modern wrestlers dont appreciate good story telling, this is the one match id show them to illustrate how it's done. the build up to this match was classic, the emotion always bubbling under the surface. although piper was never easily pigeonholed as a face or a heel, this is a close to an amazing face vs face match that i can remember......

I love it all. Heenan and Gorilla on commentary. The blood. The drama. The look on Pipers face as he stands over Bret, torn over whether or not to hit him with the bell. And finally, Bret reversing the sleeper, when finishers still meant something. A-M-A-zing!!!

Honourable mention to any match Vs Mr Perfect...........boy I miss Curt
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:34 PM
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Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Submission match) - Wrestlemania 13

There's no need for me to explain why I have chosen this match, as others have already given the reasons. In the 20 years that I've been a wrestling fan I have simply never seen a better match than this one.

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Cage match) - Summerslam 1994

Most people talk about the great match they had at Wrestlemania, but for me this match was even better. I love the realism of this match. Normally, cage matches seem so unrealistic, like the wrestlers can escape the cage if they really want to. But this match was done so well that it avoided that problem. At Wrestlemania it was all about the younger brother trying to jump out of the shadow of the older brother. This match was very different. It portrayed the story of two brothers, equal in ability, trying everything they can think of to escape the cage, but for almost 40 minutes never finding a way to do enough damage to the other to escape. For the whole match it seemed like they just couldn't get away from eachother, almost like they were stuck to eachother like glue. And this is evident by the great finish, where even in the final moments, they were both on the outside of the cage, and one small mistake by Owen leaves him hanging from the cage, while Bret drops his feet to the floor. Never have I seen storytelling in a match as good as this.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:17 PM
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Bret Hart vs Chris Benoit- Nitro

The match at Kepler Arena in honour of Owen Hart. The match meant nothing to storylings, but it pitted two of the greatest wrestlers of all time against eachother in a match honouring Bret's brother and Chris's long time friend. The emotion for those who watched, as well as myself was intense. These two put on one hell of a match, and I am sure Owen was honoured.

I wish I was more creative for my second choice, but it is Summerslam 92

Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith


This match, looking back on it, was a huge match when I was young. It would have happened when I was five, yet I can still remember the match in my head. Everytime I watch it, I just have to look at these two men put on one of the best shows I have ever seen in professional wrestling. The crowd was one of the hottest I have ever saw, the emotion put for by Diana was great, and these two talent brother in laws put on an incredible story.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:29 PM
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To me, a professional wrestler's performance in any given match can be boiled down to two things: how well they put themselves over, and how well they put their opponent over. Ideally, the best wrestlers and matches will do both (save for the enhancement talent, which focus more on the latter, and Triple H, in the case of the former). So I'll judge these Best Two's by this standard.

Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin. WM 13
This seems like a no-brainer to me, as evidenced by how many times its been referenced. I don't really feel the need to go into that much detail, since its been done so much in this thread and elsewhere. I will say that I think this is the best example of one wrestler putting over another, win or lose, possibly of all time. Definitely Bret's best work to that end.

As for Bret getting himself over . . . that one's a little more complex, I think owing to the slow, gradual push he got for virtually his entire career in WWF/E. So, why not go with what could arguably be considered the start.

20-man Battle Royal, Wrestlemania 2

Yeah, it's a battle royal with 19 other guys, and it wasn't really "Bret's match." In fact, Bret didn't even win. But he came in second . . . to Andre the Giant. Bret outlasted the Iron Sheik, Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Big John Studd, and the Fridge (lol).
That had to have looked pretty damn good on Bret: outlasting living legends, losing only to the most dominant force in the WWF at the time (at the time Andre was unbeaten by pin or submission for 15 YEARS). Sure, this one ain't a technical masterpiece, but I like it as a highly underrated moment in Bret's career.

(Besides, what can I say about Bret vs. Perfect that hasn't already been said?)
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