Owen Tribute: Chris Benoit vs. Bret Hart (10/04/99)
This was one of the greatest moments in Nitro history. Analysis: This was proof that the little psychology ideas can all add up to one big thing, and those ideas can make a huge difference between something that’s good or bad and something that looks real or fake. They made this look a real as possible by way of augmenting in little psychology ideas, such as the way they put lots of snap behind their punches, the way they moved their head when selling a punch, the way they fought for a submission hold, because their opponent was trying to stop it, and the way how a move or counter realistically and naturally fitted into each part of the match.
These two never got away from what a wrestler’s ultimate purpose was supposed to be, finding ways to win. When a wrestler truly shows he wants to win, fans rally behind him and thus become emotionally invested in what they do.
Granted, back-and-forth matches, with a fast pace and tons of crazy high spots, can be good popcorn entertainment and will likely receive “This is Awesome” chants, but when winning is not the real purpose of the match — the high spots and sheer craziness are what’s getting over with the crowd, not the wrestlers themselves.
This was almost unadulterated with the only real thing marring it were the commercial breaks. It had superb psychology, crisp moves, ultra-realistic chain/mat-wrestling, and amazing emotion. This was the greatest Nitro match ever. **** 1/2
Final Verdict: No doubt, disc 3 picks up where Disc 2 left off. There are oh-so many important, historical, and awesome matches on both discs. Bret Hart was one of the finest in-ring workers of all time. If I were going to wrestle someone in their prime, he would be on the very top of that list. He never injured anyone in his career, yet he could make everything look extremely real. He was a firm believer in the philosophy of give-and-take, always wanting to make someone else look credible, even if they were booked to lose. He was someone who always could adjust to the wrestler’s style he was working with by changing up his and was one of those wrestlers who could envision ideas in his mind that would work and then execute them exactly how he schemed it out. There weren’t many, if any, wrestlers better than Hart at telling a compelling story in the ring, either. His in-ring career was an elegant representation of art.
From all the DVDs I’ve seen, this had the greatest collection of matches up to this point.