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post #51 of 688 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 04:38 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Just been watching this

Theres some really good stuff in this video, some early Ricky Streamboat matches, some Jack Brisco and an André the Giant match that i haven't got to yet,

Match listing for this first set:-

Big John Studd vs BlackJack Mulligan

Big John Studd vs Ricky Steamboat

Stan Hanson vs Tash Togo

Tash Togo vs Hiro Matsuma=Judo Match

Johnny Walker vs Buddy Coke

Eddie,Mike Gram vs The Medics

Paul Jones vs Dick Murdock=Lights out

19 Man Battle Royal

Jim Brooks vs Tony Charles

Jack Brisco vs Bobby Shane=TV Title

Rick Flair,Harley Race,Masked SuperStar vs Wahoo McDaniels,Dick Murdoc,BlackJack Mulligan

Big John Studd vs Ricky Steamboat

Andrea the Gaint vs Masked SuperStar

Ricky Steamboat vs Ken Patera

Also for anyone who follows thenwachannel on youtube this was uploaded onto their backup page because the main page has two strikes so if theres anything on the main page you want to keep, better download it soon in case it all goes.


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post #52 of 688 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 04:53 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

First of all, I've got to say how much I'm loving this thread. Although I'm a huge fan of early WWF, I never really explored any of the other territories - I've still never seen much of the Memphis stuff, nd I'm only vaguely familiar with WCW, if I'm honest. So, its been pretty great looking through some of the older matches, stuff I'd never seen before, that I found myself really enjoying. Some great reviews, some strong recommendations and some brilliant matches.
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post #53 of 688 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 05:10 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Originally Posted by the modern myth View Post
First of all, I've got to say how much I'm loving this thread. Although I'm a huge fan of early WWF, I never really explored any of the other territories - I've still never seen much of the Memphis stuff, nd I'm only vaguely familiar with WCW, if I'm honest. So, its been pretty great looking through some of the older matches, stuff I'd never seen before, that I found myself really enjoying. Some great reviews, some strong recommendations and some brilliant matches.

That seems to be the best place for Memphis on youtube if you'r looking to watch some, cant say how good it is, i haven't really watched that much of it

That is a must see page to, it has so much on there, you will never get bored, they have a Four Horseman set which i think is a 48 part set, with each video being 2 hours long.

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post #54 of 688 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 05:12 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Buying DVD comps are also a great way to see some of the best that territories have to offer. Memphis, Mid-South, WCCW etc. Oh hey, I happen to sell them too .

What are the odds, right?
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post #55 of 688 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:03 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

This was the feud that first introduced me to wrestling. Before seeing this, I had seen no wrestling whatsoever. I was lent a VHS, a recording of Sky TV broadcasts of WWF shows from 1991. The opening segment was this famous one, where Damien’s snake bites Randy Savage: I was instantly hooked.

The angle worked brilliantly, and all started back in early 1991 when Randy Savage lost his career ending match to Warrior at Wrestlemania. His devastation at losing the match was palpable, but led to one of the greatest Wrestlemania moments of all time. Elizabeth came running to console him, and the two reunited in an epic and touching moment in the centre of the ring. These days, people would find that mawkish. It was pulled off so well, though, that people were genuinely moved by it.

The story of Savage’s redemption had been great. Elizabeth had brought him peace, turned him back on the path of righteousness and helped him through the dark period of forced retirement. It was a beauty and the beast story, and through Elizabeth’s devotion and forgiveness, the audience, too, learned to forgive Randy Savage’s years as a despicable heel and welcome him back to the side of the baby face! When Savage and Elizabeth kissed and made up, it was as if Savage was kissing and making up with the fans as well. It was one of the swiftest, sweetest and best executed face turns of all time.

It’s kind of ironic that one of the most beloved eras of his work, when he was arguably at his biggest, was after he lost a Career Ending Match. Also ironic that the man he lost it to left the company less than six months later, while Randy Savage wound up winning the WWF Championship. The popularity of Savage at the time goes some way to explaining Savage and Elizabeth’s PPV wedding; billed as one of Summerslam’s main events. The wedding at Summerslam was booked as a ‘Match made in Heaven’, but the ceremony soon turned to Hell. Jake Roberts highjacked the occasion and wreaked all kinds of Hell. Check it out:

Impassioned fans called for Randy Savage to be reinstated – they want retribution for him. In the storyline, Savage seemed to leaving the company with a happy ending; he had to leave the WWF but he had the love of his life to share his retirement with, and was all set to ride off into the sunset with her when Roberts, the cowardly heel, the vicious bully, attacked him and tormented him, mercilessly. I remember being outraged at the time, yelling at the screen “he’s retired! He can’t even wrestle you! He’s not allowed!” To me, it felt like somebody kicking a cripple. Man, I hated Jake Roberts.

Jake Roberts was king heel at this point. Ric Flair hadn’t really made any waves in the WWF, and the Undertaker (though getting a big push) wasn’t as over with the fans yet. Roberts did some of his best work at the time. His mind games with The Ultimate Warrior would’ve led to something amazing if Warrior had stuck around. As it was, Savage got to work with a heel at his peak. Fresh from trying to bury Warrior alive, Roberts was in full psychotic mode at the time. Aligning himself with the mysterious Undertaker only served to enhance his image as the glorious prince of darkness.

Oh, how Savage was tormented. Roberts hassled his woman; he almost slapped her, he bragged about hassling her, he was a master manipulator worming his way into Savage’s mind. Which, in itself, is a pretty weird place to me. I mean, seriously, imagine trying to play mind games with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage!? That’s like going on a psychedelic safari.

Anyhow, long story short, Savage was re-instated. The two men faced each other but, bizarrely, it wasn’t at Wrestlemania. It wasn’t even at a proper pay per view. They had a rather short, underwhelming match at This Tuesday In Texas and a better, though not as climactic as it could have been, rematch on Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Savage went on to win the WWF title at Wrestlemania, while Jake Roberts became the second victim of ‘The Streak’ and left the company not long later. It’s a real shame because these two guys had laid the foundations for a very long, very satisfying future rivalry. If only!
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post #56 of 688 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Awesome effort modern myth on one of the best feuds of the early 90s. I'm also a fan of their matches in the 80's as well when the heel/face roles were reversed especially the SNME match in '86.

Both Roberts and Savage are masters at implementing psychology and building it with the story of their feud into the matches so well. The madness and the sadistic snake were perfectly matched.

The slap to Elizabeth and the infamous snake bite have to be two of the most shocking things to ever happen on WWF television.

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post #57 of 688 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:20 AM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Glad to see this open again, It will give me a reason to start watching some more old stuff again, not really been watching to much of it the last month or so.

Love a bit of Terry funk, I wouldn't be against anyone calling him the greatest north American wrestler ever. The way he was able to move with the times to keep up with the trends going on in wrestling was really something to be seen. He went from a very good match based wrestler in the 70's and 80's having classic matches with Briscos, Harley Race, Ric Flair to name just some, Before moving onto a more hardcore based style when aged stated catching up with him and he knew he could no long work that way anymore, He was able to keep himself relevant in the wrestling world over a long time frame where as most of the guys from his age are now forgotten by most people.

My favourite match of his as to be the I quit match with Ric Flair it's story telling at it's finest, you can tell that they hated each other with out them having to use over the top spots and chair shoots to the head to show you that. That something i love about the likes of Terry Funk and Ric Flair they could get themselves over without having to do those things, they could use their in ring work to tell you a story, they didn't need over the top spots to get themselves over like many people today and more so in the 90's needed to do, Wrestler today are lacking that ability.

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post #58 of 688 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 08:08 AM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Great thread, speaking of Savage and Memphis, Id like to repost something I put in the territories thread that might be more apt here, people may dig it.

Recently Ive been enjoying the fuck out of going through the Lawler/Savage feud of 84/85 (I think its those years?), watched a title match, cage match and loser leaves town, fucking awesome how they keep building in intensity.
What really hooked me in was this promo, exactly the type of old-school promo I just cant get enough of, amazing how magnetic everyone is in this vid, exactly the type of believable money promos that guys could only do in the territory days when guys had to learn to draw money with their mouths wherever they went, here you get
Savage at his psychotic best, deranged yet not nonsensical like he'd often become in the WWF, those fuckin eyes!
Lawler at his babyface best, ths is the type of thing Cena needs to learn to do, a good guy babyface who's pissed and needs to kick this guys ass.
Austin Idol swinging his axe -need i say more.
and Joe leduc who manages to somehow be twice as unnerving as all of the above.

If I lived in Memphis when this happened id like fuck! take my money,I need to see these guys fight, you just don't see promos like this anymore.
The matches if anyone wants to see them
Southern HW title
Cage match
Loser leaves town
Been meaning to do proper reviews for the matches, might try and work on it that if i get time over the weekend, really loved this whole rivalry.

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post #59 of 688 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 08:21 AM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Watched and wrote about the Savage/Lawler matches months back. The LLT from 85 is probably a top 3 LLT Lawler match.

Lawler vs Savage, Steel Cage Match (Memphis 12/12/83)

Thought this was very good, but honestly felt they could have done so much more and had a better match. Savage despite being a bump freak and trying his darndest to work over Lawler and lay a beating on him just doesn't have the aura/ability that a Dundee/Funk or Mantell has when beating up Jerry Lawler. I mean Memphis as a whole was all about guys doing things that most wrestlers would have no problem doing....but just pacing it so much better and getting crowd reactions most guys today could only dream of. Savage was really good though trying to constantly break away whenever Lawler threatened to get on top: loved him going to the top of the cage for a break after Lawler unloaded some vicious punch combos in the corner. They also do one of the best double KO spots I've ever seen: Savage does a great airplane spin and both men sell the fuck out of it as a major manouevre and whilst they're spinning Lawler hits what feels like a real desperation punch that floors both men. Savage also bumped impressively and almost broke the cage on a couple of occasions with how fast he was bumping. He also worked a great opening to the match in trying to ground Lawler immediately after getting his ass kicked in the strike exchange and his constant use of a foreign object to halt Lawler's momentum as well as a killer headbutt to the bollocks after the ref stopped Lawler attempting a piledriver were great heel spots which got the crowd pissed.

Still it just didn't feel as epic or hate filled like the Dundee or Mantell matches and between Savage flubbing a double axe handle to the floor as well as randomly throwing out a missed top rope elbow which he barely sold afterwards I thought there was a bit of a structure problem. Savage really should have had an extended beatdown and I think Lawler's comeback would have worked much better after the double KO spot and both men staggering to their feet. The piledriver being an automatic DQ kind of took me out of the drama as well, hard to buy the match as being as brutal as they tried to display when you can be DQ'd for 1 move and the DQ finish itself whilst good in prlonging the feud and cutting off a great Lawler comeback and making his chase of Savage all the more dramatic just killed what could have been a great ending. A very good match but not without its faults that could have made the match all the more better, Lawler was his great self but some of Savage's offence and move selection felt extremely off for a man who supposedly was incredibly detailed in structuring his matches.
Lawler vs Savage, (Kentucky 4/9/84)

Yeah this was more like it and a better match than cage IMO. Savage rules it terrificly as the deranged loony who's convinced Lawler, the cameramen, the crowd and Lance Russell are all in some great conspiracy against him and its a much more impressive heel job by Savage that felt more along his niche than trying to work like a Dundee or Mantell heel in the Cage match. Right off the bat they do a rule of threes spot that I've come to adore in Jerry Lawler matches, here Savage yanks his hair twice in the corner and Lawler is absolutely disgusted that the ref isn't doing his job and on the third attempt yanks Savage's hair who promptly flips out at all this injustice and Jimmy Hart at ringside is terrific at belitting the ref for favouritism. They do a cool little spot where Savage after circling the ring and acting further demented has his hand grabbed by the ref and ends up eating a punch from Lawler and again he and Hart are going insane at the supposed shenanigans whilst Lance is trying not to lose his shit with Jimmy in particular. Savage's control segment is also terrific, he really beats the shit out of Jerry with headbutts, kicks and plenty of double axe handles and ring post shots. It also serves as a nice bit of desperation from Savage after losing the wrestling exchange with Lawler as well as the strike exchange: loved the headscissor spot where Lawler spikes Savage on his head and Jimmy Hart screams he used the hair. Lawler is also just insanely awesome selling wise throughout this: he's grasping his hand every time he misses a fist drop and feeling the fingers, he bumps like a madman including an insane flat back bump onto the concrete and there's a great 30 second stretch where his legs go wobbly as he eats some gorgeous punches from Savage and an elbow which he sells beautifully by limply shaking his leg.

The Lawler comeback is as great as always, he leaves it a lot later in the match and it comes off much more dramatic with him throwing literally everything he has left, it'll be said a 1000 times by me but the Jerry Lawler comeback will never be bettered by anyone, he just lands some incredible 'fuck you' haymakers and here he does another awesome trait of his by selling his exhaustion by making his last couple of punches noticebaly weaker and Lance picks up that he may have punched himself out. Saw a few people say the finish killed their enjoyment but I didn't have a problem with it on Lawler's end as much as I did the referee. Lawler eats a piledriver from Savage behind the ref's back but Savage spots his cornermen getting into it with the ref and turns his back on Lawler who crawls over and rolls him up but the refs are too slow in getting around to the pin and it comes off quite bad in the piledriver being blown off. Its not like Jerry gets up and flies over to Savage because he does sell it well by crawling over like its his last hope of winning, but had the refs been more alert it could have worked better as a flash roll up instead of an awkward 7 second pause before the 3 count. Still this had great character work from Savage and Hart, Lawler bumping and selling superbly and a better double KO spot than in the Cage. Great match all round.
Lawler vs Savage, Loser Leaves Town (Memphis 6/3/85)

Awesome match right here and the best of their matches together, the coup de triumph if you will. Really smartly worked in the opening with Lawler's LLT experience allowing him to pick his spots and remain calm whilst Savage constantly stooges and stalls after each exchange and searches for the best way to secure the advantage. It was refreshing to see a LLT worked a lot more causally and building to a conclusion and both men really sold the magnitude of the match in how they approached the match, Lawler moreso considering he'd put his career on the line against Savage leaving town. I adored Savage trying to taunt Lawler and bait him into making a rash error only for Lawler to spit in the face of Savage and draw him back into the ring before unceremoniously dumping him on his ass again. Lawler even resorting to a low blow again called back to his LLT experience in there being no code of honour in such an environment and Savage really sold it well as a spot he didn't expect from Lawler. Savage also adds to his frustration by gloriously immitating the boxing spot where he covers his face and eyes to protect himself from Lawler's punches as well as trying to get inside Lawler's head, so simple yet so brilliant in building each sequence to mean a great deal in the context of the match. Sadly around 14 minutes of this is clipped which is a crying shame because it cuts out around 8 minutes into the match, which has consisted of Lawler outworking and outsmarting Savage and building to that transition spot. We return with both men colliding into one another and selling the wear and tear and whilst what we get before the clip and afterwards is supreme wrestling, the clip cutting out the transition to Savage's control segment really hurt the match's flow in building from Lawler controlling-Savage controlling-the finish.

Once we come back to the match, Savage opens up a nasty cut by drilling Lawler from the apron into the announce table and then proceeds to beautifully work over the cut with rights and lefts and gouging and biting. Its a tremendous beating consisting of 0% Lawler offence and his selling of the beating as well as the ref coming in every so often to check on the ever increasing cut over the right eye terrificly builds the drama and the crowd becomes noticeably more anxious and voiceferous for Lawler with every second that passes with him looking ever closer to defeat. The moment the ref calls for the bell due to Lawler being too hurt to continue is a really great moment with Jerry almost collapsing in agony and the crowd on the verge of rioting as Savage smugly strolls around the ring. Lawler crawling to ringside and begging the officials to let him lose his eye and go down fighting instead of losing his career on a whimper and the accompanying reaction is pro wrestling done right. I know a lot of people aren't big fans of matches ending soon after a match is restarted but Lawler being moments away from defeat really adds to the drama and makes a sudden death shoot-out all the more appropriate a finish and his comeback really ranks as an all time great one, even by Lawler standards. He musters up one last breath and pulls down the strapping and again times it to perfection in getting a thunderous reaction before unloading with the customery 'fuck you' haymakers and Savage bumping like a madman with no answer. The following piledriver is an ever so delicious finish when you consider Lawler being unable to hit the manouevre in both previous matches was a big handicap in Savage being able to hang with Lawler and handicapping Lawler.
Btw if you can, try and find a link for Dutch Mantell & King Cobra vs Bobby Eaton & Sweet Brown Sugar from 7/19/82. Its a top 10 tag match for the 80s imo and absolutely essential viewing, wrote about it as well:

Spoiler for Review:
Terrific shout as a 1982 MOTYC. This is classic tag team wrestling done to perfection and worked in traditional southern tag formula which is by far the greatest tag team formula. This is wild, chaotic and features a tremendous FIP segemnt as well as continuing the Mantell vs Eaton feud.

Opening 5 or so minutes of this is standard STF practice. Eaton wants no part of Mantell and does his best to avoid him from the get go, including backing further from the apron when a lock up brings Mantell closer to Bobby's corner. Sweet Brown Sugar (later known as Koko B Ware) was terrific early on eating all the babyface offence terrificly and getting some huge air on his bumps. There's a couple of great spots early on with Mantell charging after Eaton through the ring and around ringside and the highlight is probably Bobby locking up with King Cobra, being forced into Dutch's corner and then running for his life like a white man in downtown Detroit as Dutch sprints into the ring. Whilst all this is going on Cobra is dropkicking Sugar for fun and the whole match is impossible to keep track of. They continue the faces having the heel's number and Sugar being isloated as Bobby wants no part as long as Dutch is breathing and we then get a terrific miscommunication spot:

Mantell and Cobra have no love loss for one another and when Dutch accidentally rocks Cobra with a right hand they do a terrifc tease of their history getting in the way with Dutch blowing off Cobra who appears pissed and wants an explanation. Just as Bobby and Sugar are rejoicing at the prospect of the faces costing each other the match Dutch and Cobra sucker the heels and charge full sprint for their corner and once again Dutch ends up chasing Bobby round ringside who finally packs himself a chair for protection.

We then get the heel transition spot as Mantell runs the ropes only for Bobby to knee him in the back like a cheapshotting sleazeball and Bobby is tremendous here smelling blood like a shark as he gets in his kicks and punishment on a wounded Mantell. He throws some terrific punches which Mantell bumps tremendously for and we get awesome heel tag team work from Eaton & Sugar: taunting Cobra so he gets in the ring allowing them to jump in and out without tagging as well as beating down Mantell 2 on 1. Countless cheapshotting and taunting the crowd and double elbows, there's one terrific spot where they hit 3 elbows in succession and Jimmy Hart is leaping 7 ft in the air for each one . We get a failed tag as Mantell tags in Cobra but Bobby has the ref distracted as well as Mantell hitting a gorgeous sunset flip only for Bobby to boot him in the face like a smug prick.

Mantell finally makes the hot tag to a huge pop (crowd were insane during the heat segment) and Cobra comes in like a house on fire throwing rights and insane dropkicks. Eaton cheapshots Mantell again whilst he's defenceless and Mantell says 'fuck this' and picks up a friggin bullrope and swings it at Eaton as hard as he can. The ref throws the match out and Sugar takes a ridiculous over the top rope bump to avoid the bullrope, it was hilarious as was his dancing to avoid it earlier.

Terrific match which featured classic STF tag team wrestling with the faces outsmarting and outwrestling the heels early on, the Dutch vs Bobby angle being furthered at every opportunity, Sugar bumping like a freak and them managing to tie in the rocky relationship between the face tag team. No qualms with anyone ranking this MOTY for 82, fuck I may have it #1 myself.

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post #60 of 688 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Re-posting this review for this particular thread. Enjoy!

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart

"Son, you're lookin' at the best there is!"

The rivalry between Canadian legend, “The Excellence of Execution” Bret “Hitman” Hart and the Texas “Rattlesnake” Stone Cold Steve Austin is etched in wrestling history as one of the greatest ever. This is a review on some of the best matches of this historic feud that was one of the World Wrestling Federation’s most important programs in 1996-1997. The Hart-Austin feud further solidified the status of a legend, but it also was the meteoric rise of a new one.

WWF World Tour from Kuwait City, Kuwait
May 9, 1996

Before the famous rivalry officially began on TV in the fall of 1996, Bret Hart and Steve Austin actually had their first matches together on WWF’s tour of the Middle East and South Africa that year. While the matches they worked together at these live events are not part of the story in their TV/PPV feud, I appreciate watching quality matches that are not widely talked about like this one from Kuwait. The match automatically gets points for the talent performing, but they also have Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon on commentary!

The Kuwait City fans are absolutely electric for everything Hart and Austin do in this match. Austin riles them up with his heel antics and taunting. I love how Austin bumps for Bret. Austin was always great at selling a good heel beating bouncing of the canvas to make the babyface look strong. Bret gives a basic yet solid babyface performance selling well during Austin’s domination of the match, and working his signature hope spots like the bulldog and Russian leg sweep as they built to the finish. This may be one of their first matches together but their chemistry is already apparent. Their transitions in momentum, the pacing of the match, the momentum shifts, and counter wrestling just click together so smoothly it almost looks effortless. The action is nicely compacted and entertaining with the little time they are given.

Match Rating: ★★ 1/2

WWF World Tour from Sun City, South Africa
September 14, 1996

Once Stone Cold Steve Austin--the cold and pissed off Texan--entered the ring, he threatened to whoop everybody’s ass in Sun City including Owen Hart on commentary. It is Austin’s in-your-face brashness that makes him despised opposed to the internationally loved and respected Bret Hart at this point. We see this distinction more as Bret opened his arms to the children at ringside. Bret built a bond with the WWF fans, and to the majority he is their hero. Austin doesn’t give a damn how revered Bret is and he gets into Bret’s face not to show respect but attitude. Bret’s not going to be intimidated and he shoves Austin on his ass!

Bret immobilizes Austin for a portion of the match with an armbar early in the match. Austin obviously gets frustrated with Bret outwrestling him because Austin believes he is supposed to be the new best wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation. However, the veteran still has the skill to negate that claim of Austin’s with every counter-hold Bret finds to outwrestle Stone Cold. This is a standard competitive story but it is understatedly performed.

Austin introduces the first strike of the match with a quick back elbow just as Bret thought they were going to play a physical game of chess going hold for hold in a wrestling contest. Austin’s game plan was set, he was going to use the clubbing blows to immobilize Bret then go back and try to wrestle the Hitman to defeat. The problem with that plan is Bret continues to outwrestle Austin until The Rattlesnake starts using punches against Hart. Austin must brawl as well as wrestle if he wants to beat Bret Hart.

Austin’s use of stall tactics on the outside to kill Bret’s momentum, or when Austin got dirty by poking Bret in the eye and sneaking in a low blow was all strong heel character work. When Bret eventually made his comeback he did a good payback spot from earlier in the match with the quick back elbow to Austin. I was pleased to see that addition because Bret was literally throwing the move in Austin’s face and he showed him that he can also play the striking game to build momentum. It was a subtle yet poignant physical message.

I thought they put together a beautifully executed wrestling sequence for the finish. It continued the story of the veteran putting the younger wrestler in his place with seasoned wrestling skill. This is a rare match that very few Hart-Austin fans have yet to see but they absolutely should. The technical wrestling is well-executed and accompanied with subtleties from both wrestlers. A terrific preview for what was to come when Bret would officially make his return on TV to feud with Austin.

Match Rating: ★★★



3:16, BRET!


The build to the Survivor Series is quite remarkable in its foundation based on the competitive nature of Stone Cold Steve Austin seeking to prove that he is the best wrestler in the company. Austin wants to prove this by defeating the best there was. Austin would go as far as crippling his former best friend to display his determination. If he would do that to Pillman, what lengths would he go in a match with The Hitman?

Bret has to answer Austin’s challenge not only because he would look like the quitter Austin claimed him to be, but Bret has something to prove too. Bret needs to prove to his fans and to himself that he still is the best wrestler in the company, and this belligerent yet ultra-talented man needs to be taught a lesson in respect. This is not only a battle of technical wrestling aptitude, this match is a clash of personalities and the will to fight for your status in the industry. Bret stated he is "greedy for respect" and when it was all said and done Austin would respect him.

Survivor Series
November 17, 1996

“Bret, I'll tell you what you're gonna see - My fist in your face and my foot in your ass as I kick the hell out of you all over New York!"

Stone Cold Steve Austin in the historic "mecca of wrestling" at Madison Square Garden, in front of a raucous crowd and a legend, shows no reverence. Instead, he flips off Bret Hart and his fans! The dichotomy of this face-off between the abrasive Steve Austin and the venerable legend Bret Hart is a compelling sight to behold.

They worked the first few minutes with some great wrestling exchanges as Bret brought the focus on an arm lock. The pivotal moment came when Austin draped Bret on the ropes with the Stun Gun. Austin was viciously consistent in this match during his attacks on Bret’s throat and chest by choking, stomping, dropping elbows to the throat any chance he got. The sternum to turnbuckle spot Bret is famous for in his big matches is worked perfectly into Austin’s assault on Bret's ability to breath.

The intensity is incredibly high in this match as the momentum shifts back & forth when they ferociously throw fists at each other and brawl all around ringside. It is marvelous watching Austin throw his venomous punches and Hart throw his spirited punches as the two go blow for blow, toe to toe. Steel barricades couldn't contain this mêlée! Bret was forced to raise his physicality level to combat Austin who introduced his brawling and dirty tactics into what was supposed to be a wrestling match. Austin used brawling to ultimately manipulate a wrestling advantage in his favor. Bret has the advantage in the technical wrestling department, but he had to brawl to survive a fight with Austin. Bret WILL FIGHT Stone Cold to sustain his chances of winning and to keep his pride intact by not quitting.

Austin was determined to make Bret quit in the final stretch by applying various submission holds. I love the psychology surrounding the Texas Cloverleaf applied to Bret. The move does primarily target the legs but Bret had to rely on his damaged upper-body for any chance of escaping the hold. This submission tested the will of Bret and he endured by grabbing the ropes.

The payback spots were brilliantly implemented into the match. My favorite was when Bret was able to turn the tables on Austin by hitting him with the Stun Gun. Bret also tried to deprive Austin of his breath with a sleeper hold. Austin also has a good payback spot when he finally executes a superplex on Bret. The Rattlesnake would be damned if he didn't get to deliver that move. You can see how much he wanted to do the move when he throttled Bret with punches and chops and how he secured his spot on the top rope, which eliminated any opening for Bret to counter the move like he did earlier in the match.

The ways they tightly wrapped psychology with the action is just impressive. Every move means something. For Austin it was a dissection of Bret, in body and spirit. For Bret it was to stand his ground, on the "holy ground" of MSG as he calls it. The same place he overcame the odds before (as JR mentions) against Mr. Perfect and Yokozuna, only this time he's fighting a totally different animal. The Texas Rattlesnake is unlike anyone the Hitman has ever faced before.

The psychology was so well crafted throughout the match that it strengthened the storytelling of the finish. Austin expertly used moves to systematically destroy Bret’s ability to breath (cut the air off the prey like a snake) from the Stun Gun in the first half of the match to the Million Dollar Dream in the closing moments. Austin was so determined to beat Bret into submission that he would not break the hold even when Bret had him pinned. Bret survived while showing Austin he's still a master of the ropes with a superb wrestling finish. Austin’s defiance cost him the match.

Match Rating: ★★★★ 3/4

Hart vs. Austin encompasses many elements but I think JR, who was fantastic on commentary putting over both wrestlers and the match as a tremendous deal, astutely pointed out the match is about wrestling, competition, intensity, and drama. I appreciate how Austin and Hart captured a real competitive feel when they fought. When the performers can make me suspend disbelief I can become more enthralled with the action. Hart and Austin’s chemistry together is phenomenal. They kept it highly competitive and both displayed greatness in this classic match but the dispute was far from over.

Submission Match
WrestleMania 13

March 23, 1997

The intensity level between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart had reached its pinnacle by this point. Through battles in the Royal Rumble Match and in the Final Four, through screw jobs and all-out brawls around arenas, the molten hot rivalry would climax at WrestleMania in a Submission Match.

Ken Shamrock was appointed special guest referee for this no holds barred war. How fitting to have this credible MMA Ultimate Fighter call a match between two of the fiercest competitors in pro wrestling when the objective is to make your opponent submit by any means.

Austin’s glass shattering entrance is one of the most iconic entrances ever at a WrestleMania. Stone Cold may have broken through the glass as a despicable heel but most of the fans in Chicago were highly entertained by his personality that exuded unadulterated attitude. Austin is edgy, abrasive, and but more importantly he is uncompromising. Whether he is a son of a bitch or whatever, many people appreciate that charismatic quality.

Bret Hart’s character has been compromised. He is bitter about being “screwed” out of championships and opportunities to fight for championships. Bret is disgusted with the emergence of attitude because he is a wrestler whose standards were rooted in respect and tradition. As Bret stepped over the shards of glass so did he pass what was left of his era. Due to Bret’s whining and complaining during the Road to WrestleMania, he receives a mixed reaction from the boisterous Allstate Arena crowd instead of the complete admiration that was once so strong with the fans.

When the bell rang there was no stare off his time, there weren't even wrestling exchanges as they immediately brawled because this rivalry had moved far past proving who the best wrestler is. This fight is about ravaging the other man’s body and his will. It is about beating the other man into submission – the ultimate defeat.

Bret eventually targets Austin’s injured knee to set him up for the Sharpshooter. Straightforward wrestling psychology effectively added to the story of the match. I love how both Austin and Bret sold Austin’s desperation hit of the Stone Cold Stunner. Austin’s injury was being exploited and he had to pull out the big gun to stop Bret, but it wasn’t necessarily enough to put the Hitman down for long. It literally just stunned Bret and he sold the effects well without completely shaking off Austin’s finisher before going back to controlling the match. The Figure Four on the ring post was a cool spot that caused the crowd to erupt. The overall viciousness from both men was visible in every move they delivered.

When Bret introduced a steel chair into the match to attack Austin’s knee and attempt to shatter his ankle like Austin did to Pillman, I thought that was a fitting callback to Austin’s first vile act of the feud in his attempts to prove a point and awaken the Hitman to come fight him. Austin indeed did awaken the Hitman but this is a more ruthless Bret Hart. When Austin was in control of the match battering Bret with the steel chair, each shot caused roars of excitement and approval from the fans. The tides of the match were not only turning but so were the fans, so were Bret and Austin...

You can see the outstanding character progression of both men as the match builds. When Austin attempted to lock Bret in the Sharpshooter, Bret used the dirty tactic of raking Austin’s eyes to escape instead of the honorable way of outwrestling the other man with a wrestling counter like he used to do. When Austin raked Bret’s eyes or punted him a low blow, the fans loved him more for it.

The fans accepted Austin for who he is and that is one tough SOB who is going to do what he wants to do. Austin’s not the man who preached about honor and whined about getting screwed. He’s the guy that says he’s going to kick Bret Hart’s ass with no hesitation about it. Austin was inspiring in his blunt acts of defiance such as giving referee Ken Shamrock two middle fingers in reply to the question of quitting. Before the match Austin had already vehemently stated “I ain’t got no quit in me at all!” Austin’s perseverance throughout this punishing match was proving his words true.


Austin’s performance is quite possibly the most inspiring wrestling performance ever - the blood gushing out of his temple as he resisted the pain, his refusal to quit, and giving it his ALL to attempt to escape the hold are all honorable actions. Austin’s body may have technically submitted because it passed out to the pain, but his will was never broken by Bret Hart.

Bret’s spiteful attack on Austin after the match and walking away from a confrontation with Ken Shamrock further established that he did not stand for honor and respect anymore thus solidifying the double turn. The double turn is one of the most riveting feats ever accomplished in wrestling storytelling. To have a once beloved hero descend in character as he stands in victory, and at the same time have this bad ass outlaw who in defeat ascends in the eyes of the fans by way of intensity, blood, and grit is absolutely remarkable.

Match Rating: ★★★★★

An image that not only displays the brutality of this match, it also defines the character of Stone Cold Steve Austin - "The World's Toughest Son of a Bitch!" This gruesome shot of Austin's face full of pain, dripping blood is one of the most memorable images of all time. Austin rose from the blood soaked ring and WALKED out of the arena. During this powerful moment, the fans showering him with their cheers christened Stone Cold Steve Austin as THE ANTI-HERO of the World Wrestling Federation. Austin’s defiance to quit in this match made him the most admirable man in the industry. Stunning a referee and refusing help further displayed his indissoluble pride and toughness.

Hart decisively defeated Austin but the story isn’t about Bret Hart’s victory. Austin’s performance and what he gained was more transcendent than a simple win in a match could have meant for him. If “Austin 3:16” was the seeds planted for the birth of a new era, then Hart-Austin at WrestleMania 13 is the emergence of that harvest. After this match Austin skyrocketed from this performance as the hottest wrestler in the company. The official kick off of “The Austin Era” would begin a year later. This WrestleMania 13 classic is widely regarded by wrestling fans as the greatest match in WWF history. A match as exceptional in quality and significant to an entire generation of wrestling fans deserves such recognition.

“You’re gonna have to KILL me to be finished with me!”

After WrestleMania, Austin still wanted to tear Bret to pieces because he believes even though Bret may have won the match at WrestleMania he did not beat Stone Cold. At the same time, hell no Austin isn't going to let Bret just walk away from this war. The contempt Austin holds in his cold blue eyes told a better story than any words written or spoken could. Bret sought support from his family because he believes Owen Hart and British Bulldog would not turn their backs on him like he believes the fans unfairly did to him. The Hitman also knows he will need reinforcements in his struggle not only with Stone Cold Steve Austin, but with other Superstars in the company. The technical victory was settled in the Submission Match but the moral conflict continued.

In Your House 14: Revenge of the Taker
April 20, 1997

Bret stated that he didn't care about these people anymore. Bret takes issue with the American wrestling fans because many of them in his mind didn’t support him through his problems with the company. Bret loathes the fans new found acceptance of Stone Cold Steve Austin. In the interview before the match for all intents and purposes, he declared war on Stone Cold and American wrestling fans. The situation is so personal in this rivalry that is competitiveness personified. Both men want to maim their opponent and take pride in doing it.

After taking their story to another level in the brutal no holds barred-submission showdown at WrestleMania 13, I didn’t understand why they would have a standard rules match a month later. It would make more sense if they had another no disqualification type match to settle things once and for all. Based on how they booked the finish I can see why they made it a regular match because it actually advanced Bret and Austin’s characters as heel and anti-hero.

Notwithstanding the rules, they started the match off brawling all over the place as if it was a no holds barred affair. During the match I thought Bret’s attack on Austin’s injured knee with a steel chair was a brilliant choice to build the match around. It was great continuity in story from WrestleMania 13. Austin would never willingly submit and Bret knows he must dismantle Austin’s body to overcome him.

I could see Bret’s heel character become more devious with every dirty move. The choices Bret made to accentuate the character in the progression of the match were on point. He raked at Austin’s eyes any chance he could, he thrashed Austin’s knee with a steel chair as the referee was distracted, ripped the knee brace off, gave essentially a one-legged man a low blow when Bret was firmly in control of the match, etc. Bret was just stellar with his heel psychology.

Bret’s work to systematically breakdown Austin’s knee was masterfully focused and Austin sold his moments in peril exceptionally well. They played up the knee injury in a few instances when Austin attempted to deliver momentum shifting moves like a piledriver but he couldn’t. Yet, he still continued to fight. This display from Austin again refusing to allow pain, injury, or Bret Hart beat him was courageous.

Even more courageous and a freaking awesome spot was the finish when Austin bashed Bret in the head with the knee brace, then locked him in the Sharpshooter! Bret submitting right there would have been the perfect finish and I would have rated the match higher if he had. However, I understand how the DQ finish was a continuation in establishing Bret’s alliance with Bulldog and Owen, Bret gets more heat because he couldn’t beat Austin, and Austin looks stronger for having Bret effectively beat in his own hold. So the DQ finish was a key factor in advancing the story and its characters. I personally would have preferred a submission finish after failed attempts from Bulldog and Owen to cause a DQ (LOD could have stopped them). Nevertheless, the direction they took makes sense and it is a great main event.

Match Rating: ★★★

The action after the match is the most thematically riveting part of this encounter for me. Austin got the opportunity to tear into Bret’s KNEE with a steel chair before locking him into the Sharpshooter again to truly test his will when the pain is unbearable. When they were finally separated, Bret didn’t walk out on his own free will. He was escorted out by the two men who helped him escape defeat from “the ‘fightiness SOB’ you’ll ever find.” The Rattlesnake despite his knee injury was fired up and stood tall. Once again, Austin achieved a victory greater than any match result in this war with The Hitman!

Street Fight
Raw Is War

April 21, 1997

This was actually an amazing episode of Monday Night Raw built around the Austin-Hart rivalry in multiple segments. The Street Fight is an incredible segment and the final 1-on-1 match between Stone Cold and The Hitman. Stone Cold Steve Austin is consumed by his hatred for Bret Hart. He wants to continue what he started at Revenge of the Taker.

As Bret entered the arena there was no mixed reaction for him at this point. He was showered with a chorus of boos. The American fans despise him as much as he despises them. Bret had lambasted them and claimed that they valued violence over dignity and respect. Disdain is what he will show them in a fight with their anti-hero. However, in hypocritical fashion, Bret had Owen Hart and British Bulldog help him attack Austin as the fight began. This can’t be a singles war anymore and Shawn Michaels cleared house with a steel chair to leave Austin and Bret alone to settle things alone in this battle.

They continued to tell the story of the violent act that initially took things to the next level when Bret wrapped Austin’s ankle in a steel chair in an attempt to break it. Of course it was a huge mistake for a man with an injured knee to go to the top rope, but that was the length Bret was willing to go to cripple Austin. Austin bashed the hell out of Bret’s injured knee and joints all over his body with a chair in a full on ruthless assault. It was an eye for an eye, or a knee for a knee!

Cornered in the ring like prey, Bret ultimately displayed an act of defiance himself when threatened by Austin with the chair. Or maybe it was an act of mockery as Bret flipped off Austin with two middle fingers in his face. Austin answered by continuing the beating with multiple chair shots before torturing him in the Sharpshooter again. Austin once again established his dominance in this rivalry.

Austin wasn’t declared the official winner of this match because the bell never officially rang even though a referee was there the entire time. In the record books this match is a no contest. Bret needed knee surgery so they used this angle to put him on the sidelines for a couple of months. Austin went over again without officially pinning or making Bret submit, and he never would in their legendary feud.

Bret would not surrender at the threat of steel chair assault, and Austin would not relent from torturing him with the steel chair. What a moment it was to see Bret and Austin flipping each other off as Austin executed the Hitman with his own Sharpshooter. Bret’s defiance couldn’t escape him from defeat and the drive Austin had to beat him wouldn’t allow it.

Unlike Austin at WrestleMania 13 but very much like the night before at IYH, Bret was carried out again by his family before being placed on a stretcher. Austin ultimately attacked Bret in the ambulance too in a scene that has become a bit cliché now but was so unpredictable and chaotic at the time.

I’m not going rate this match because I don’t believe it needs to be rated. It was a tremendous segment to advance the storyline that night. This Raw featured a lot of twists including Brian Pillman returning to extract revenge on Austin for breaking his ankle months prior. Everything thing seemed to come full circle this episode. Austin took out Pillman before the Survivor Series match with Bret and now this angle would go to new heights with more players.

The Hart Foundation vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust & The Legion of Doom
In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede

July 6, 1997

At Canadian Stampede, the Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin rivalry was place on a larger scale than ever imagined. At the heart of this highly spirited 10-man tag team match is national pride at stake, and the intensity between The Hart Foundation, Team USA, and the raucous Calgary crowd is gripping to watch. The passion showcased from these fans created a white hot atmosphere that rumbled the arena floor. You can see the cameras and building shaking! The reactions are like a championship finals game pitting the hometown team against its greatest rival team. It is an extraordinary sight to see.

The fans almost drowned out The Fink’s introductions and they nearly drowned out the entrance music they were so loud. Everyone in the Hart Foundation received a huge reaction – Brian Pillman, Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog, and Owen Hart; you would have thought it was the Second Coming when Bret made his entrance it was so thunderous!

The reaction Austin got was pure heat and “Austin Sucks” chants which was interesting since he had actively become the hottest wrestler in the company, but he was facing Calgary’s beloved and he would get no love tonight. Austin reveled in the heat and antagonized the crowd magnificently with his heel antics and dirty moves during the match. It is amazing to see Pillman or Bret rake eyes or choke and the place explodes, but when Austin or anyone on his team does the same thing the fans called for their heads!

The USA vs. Canada feud is one of best angles the WWF ever ran. It created one of the best dynamics in wrestling when Austin & his partners and the Hart Foundation were cheered or booed depending on whatever side of the border hosted the show. It made the angle such a highly entertaining program because so much passion was involved with the competitors and the fans. That made the reasons why the wrestlers fought for feel like a big deal.

Everyone worked their signature moves in the match and didn’t do anything too out of the box which wasn’t necessary anyway. The crowd was already captivated with everything from the big finishers to the smallest taunt. They did happen to continue the story of Austin out to cripple a Hart when he attacked Owen’s KNEE with a steel chair. Bret’s immediate revenge to Austin’s knee emphasized the level of bitterness in this blood feud which was needed in this environment. Austin slugging it out with Bret and the Hart brothers at ringside was awesome to see in this intense setting.

Bell to bell this has to be one of the hottest matches ever. The level of support The Hart Foundation had with their family in attendance and from the Calgary fans, it felt like a situation pitting five Americans versus an arena full of Canadians! Even though Owen Hart cheated to victory it was seen as a heroic effort in the eyes of those fans. The fans were truly as big an element in this match as any of the 10 men performing.

Match Rating: ★★★★

Calgary may have loathed Austin on this night but the world was watching as Stone Cold on one leg and a steel chair tried to FIGHT a ring full of Harts on his own. JR said it best, “HE DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN!” Austin carried away in handcuffs, cursing out every Canadian in sight, and throwing middle fingers in the air added even more aura to his badass outlaw persona. The Hart Family gathering was very touching to see as Canada’s own standing victorious in celebration.


The Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart rivalry may not have had what can be called an official “blow off match” with Austin getting a pin fall or submission victory over Bret, yet they accomplished so much without it. Namely, it got Austin insanely over. This feud was intensely entertaining television for almost a year that featured great promos, brawls, and classic matches. Together they created some of the best matches of their careers and cut some of their best promos ever especially in Bret’s case. Bret’s character had more depth and interest than ever before when he interacted with Stone Cold. Austin was primed to set the wrestling world on fire after working with Bret who perfectly opposed him in the ring and in character. This feud putting Austin on the map makes its role in the establishment of the Attitude Era very significant. I rank the Austin-Hart feud in the Top 5 greatest WWF feuds ever. It may be the best rivalry in company history.

Last edited by Clique; 11-16-2013 at 12:41 AM.
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