Welcome to another edition of Coliseum Corner! With the soon-to-be released Bret Hart: Dungeon Collection DVD on the horizon, let us go back to the CHV days when some of Bret Hart’s marquee matches were first released.
WrestleFest 1988-07-31, Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Bret Hart VS. Bad News Brown
At Wrestlemania IV, Bret Hart and Bad News Brown were the last two combatants in a 20-man Battle Royal. After eliminating the Junkyard Dog, heels Bret Hart and Bad News decided to share the winner’s trophy. That was until Bad News double crossed the Hitman with a ‘Ghetto Blaster’ and eliminated him to become the winner. As both Superstars were heels, this betrayal marked the beginning of Bret’s long run as a babyface.
At WrestleFest Bret Hart wrestled Bad News in a singles match. As most will know, the Hitman (post Stampede Wrestling days) was a notorious tag team competitor and was rarely seen wrestling without his partner Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart. This is one of Bret’s breakout matches where you can begin to see why Bret eventually became a huge star on his own. The match in itself was a back and forth affair where the fans were solidly behind the underdog. If you own this match or have access to it, be sure to watch one of Bret’s earliest WWF singles matches as a fan favourite.
Live Superstars of Wrestling, 1989-10-10, London Arena, London, England
(WWF World Tour)
Bret Hart VS. Dino Bravo
In what was the WWF’s first live televised UK event, Superstars of Wrestling was filmed for Sky Television at a time when fans in the UK were relatively new to the American wrestling craze that had been going on for so long across the pond.
On this card Hulk Hogan defended his WWF title against ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. The undercard tag team wrestler Bret Hart found himself in another singles bout with Dino Bravo. In hindsight Bret Hart probably had more singles matches than any other tag team wrestler in this era of the WWF. This perhaps was a testament to his ability.
The match yet another milestone in Bret’s career and was an exciting battle of which he played the underdog against a powerful man. This encounter had excitement that had you really believing Bret could win the match. He was giving as well as he got – if not more – and had the crowd firmly in his grasp. Not a bad achievement, being on the first ever televised live event in the UK.
Superstars Taping, 1992-10-12, Saskatchewan Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
(Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em)
WWF Championship: Ric Flair VS. Bret Hart
Fast Forward three years to London in ’89 and Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart had already won another Tag Team Championship with Jim Neidhart, and broken out into full time singles competition with two reigns as Intercontinental Champion under his belt. The Hitman had recently put on a display of brilliance while dropping his Intercontinental Championship to his brother-in-law Davey Boy Smith in the main event of Summerslam 1992, in front of 80,000 fans in Wembley Stadium and was now being looked at as a serious contender to the WWF Championship. On October 12th 1992 Hart finally got his chance. CHV got this one in the can and brought it to you fans as an exclusive, on the Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em video release.
The Nature Boy was around six weeks into his 2nd WWF title reign when a match for the WWF Title against challenger Bret Hart was declared. Soome stories you may have heard; Ric Flair was a failure as champion, Vince McMahon was looking for a new star to replace steroid induced wrestlers that had caused the WWF so much bad press, and that Bret Hart was a successful draw not just in America but internationally.
Either way, Bret Hart had his chance to prove himself as a main eventer and climb that last rung to becoming one of the all-time greats. This match is probably one of the most important matches to fans of the Hitman because it was the night he finally became “The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be”. This match wasn’t unlike any encounters either one of these men had had before. It contained the same hard hitting technical wrestling with plenty of fan interaction and Flair used what cheap tactics he could to stop the Hitman. This match went back and forth until Bret pulled down the singlet straps and this time it was all business.
Televised Event for Spain, 1993-04-24, Barcelona, Spain
Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart VS. Bam Bam Bigelow
It had been almost three weeks since the Hitman had lost the World Wrestling Federation Championship to Yokozuna at Wrestlemania IX and on a huge European tour it was still clear that Bret was still the man. In the main event of a show broadcast on Spanish television, Bret Hart tackled the Beast from the East Bam Bam Bigelow.
This match was an enjoyable affair where you can really see how far Bret had come. He was a champion without the belt and a solid main eventer. Bam Bam dominated much of the match which endeared the audience to Bret. With the crowd solidly behind the Hitman, Bret fought hard and showed the fans in Spain and tho#se watching on Coliseum Video that there was a new sheriff in town.
Join us next time wrestling fans for more Coliseum Corner! Make sure to get your pre-orders in for the new Bret Hart: Dungeon Collection DVD/BD by clicking here.