The disc I owned didn’t want to play any of the extra features. It kept freezing, and I couldn’t locate the disc anywhere online either. I guess we’re just going to have to do without it. You can click if you missed part one.
WWF Heavyweight Title: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (9/29/94).
This was from the very first “WWF Action Zone. It was after their cage match at SummerSlam ’94. Analysis: Aside from the weak finish, this was a really strong effort. Frankly, I could watch these two wrestle every day. Their fluidity, smoothness, and crispness together were on a nonpareil level; it was like watching poetry in motion. The entire feud was so effectual due to how relatable was, since there are so many people who could sympathize with Bret, for having to deal with an overly jealous brother, and there were others that actually could sympathize with Owen, for having to take a backseat to his older brother. For sure, though, it was easier to dislike Owen. He was so amazing at being a self-righteous and contemptible heel. There is nothing better in wrestling than a feud that has well-defined characters, who behave in an understandable manner, no matter if they’re face or heel. It’s called making characters human. *** ½
Bret Hart vs. Hakushi (w/Shinja) (5/14/95)
Analysis: Good match, although it does not hold up well. When this DVD came out, American fans were more accustomed to a puroresu-esque style and that was because people like John Laurinaitis brought the style over to America. They were also on different wavelengths at times, which marred this as well. Hakushi was more focused on shoehorning in his trademark spots in while Bret was more focused on narrating a coherent story. *** 1/4
WWF Heavyweight Title: Big Daddy Cool Diesel (c) vs. Bret Hart (Survivor Series 1995)
This is part three of the Bret vs. Diesel feud. At King of the Ring ’94, Diesel defeated Bret by DQ. At the Royal Rumble, the referee threw out the match because of interference. This time, there must be a winner. Analysis: This may have started tedious for some, but it progressively escalated to an intensified culmination. Diesel was too gigantic and powerful for Bret to handle and that made Hart take advantage of the No DQ stipulations, restoring to underhanded tactics. Because of how the story was told, the fans could understand why Hart had to use underhanded tactics. There was just no other way against the uber-monster Diesel. Hart’s character portrayed a protagonist who desperately wanted to discover weaken the uber-antagonist but also protect himself from being seriously injured. The booking walked a thin line here between desperation and heel turn with Bret, but everyone involved told the story in an apt and efficacious manner.
Honestly, Hart could adapt to about anyone he worked with and refashioned his style for the psychology and story to be believable. By no means was this a carry-job, though. Nash was great in his role, plus he sold the knee very well, exhibited great in-ring characterizations and wrestled how a heel big man should. **** 1/4
WWF Heavyweight Title: Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (In Your House V)
Leading up to this, Davey Boy Smith kept bringing up his victory at SummerSlam 1992 to play mind games with Bret. Analysis: This was hard-hitting, physical, and heated. Bulldog bumped around like a fish out of water and was as good as their Summerslam match. The only differences were the importance and breathtaking atmosphere. Not much else to say about this one other than it was great. ****
Submission Match: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Wrestlemania XIII)
These two were incredibly gifted wrestlers just clicked with each other. On an otherwise uninspiring WrestleMania card, these ring magicians defined the suspension of disbelief. This had nuclear heat, giving off a notion that they sincerely wanted to kill each other. Analysis: This had everything you could want in a brawl: intensity, hatred, psychology, storytelling, tons of color, conceivable selling, facial expressions, which helped articulate the narrative, an incredible atmosphere, and truly elegant booking. They pulled off what McMahon wanted them to do: a double-turn. Hart turned into a narcissist heel that only was concerned about winning, and Austin turned into a venerated babyface.
While Austin wasn’t a conventional babyface, this ended up revealing some of his inner face-like qualities, such as his resiliency and perseverance. The finish exemplified those two exact things, as he refused to tap out to the Sharpshooter, causing him to pass out from the pain. This was significant, historical, and flat-out tremendous. I cannot think of a match that was better than this one in WWE’s history. *****
World Heavyweight Title: Bret Hart (c) vs. Undertaker (One Night Only ’97)
After their controversial Summerslam match, these two locked up again in the United Kingdom. Analysis: Bret tried to trade strikes against the Undertaker until he quickly realized that it was an asinine idea to trade blows with the “Best Pure Striker in the WWE” (thank you, Cole). He the became more opportunistic, triggering Taker into a mistake that made his knee a vulnerable target.
Hart portrayed some of the most intense and calculating limb work, though Undertaker’s consistent and believable selling made it look even better. He moved around as if he could hardly put any pressure on his leg, adjusted to the injury by not doing moves would put duress on it, and displayed immensely agonized-looking facial expressions. Awesome limb psychology that’s solely missing today.
This was paced in a way where every moment came off as important, and they maximized the significance of each spot by way of executing moves with force behind them and selling them in a spectacular manner. Everything was fundamentally sound with every spot being tremendously crisp. This told a handful of compelling stories as as well effortless transitions that easily shifted from one story to the other.
What is this missing from receiving the full monty? A properly booked non-finish. I understood why they protected Undertaker here; he was involved in a heated feud with Shawn Michaels, and the pay-off was the first ever Hell in the Cell match; therefore, they had to make him look as strong as possible heading towards it.
Be that as it may, they could have still done a better non-finish. I am a fan of finishes where a heel does something so cheap or offensive that it sends the face over the edge and causes him to get DQ’d. For that reason, I believe a finish like that would have been ideal for this. I obviously still vehemently recommend this match, especially to those who prefer substance over style. **** 1/2