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[1996-03-17-WWF-MSG, NY] Bret Hart & The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels & Diesel


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  • 3 weeks later...

Tons of heat, just as you'd expect for a tag match at MSG two weeks before Wrestlemania with the participants in the top two matches. But kind of a weird match, as Undertaker and Diesel keep brawling away from the ring while Bret and Shawn lay on the mat. Really, and this proved true over several years, Undertaker and Shawn have way better chemistry than Bret and Shawn, as their 3 minutes or so going at it is great! This is also notable for Diesel cementing his heel turn, cracking Shawn on the back with a chair. I can kinda see why this got ****1/2 in the WON, because it's a super-hot crowd and there's a lot going on, but the contrast between the Undertaker/Diesel and Bret/Shawn stuff was too strong to make sense.

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  • 8 months later...

It's clearly a match to further some storylines. As you say, Nash and Taker are never even officially in the ring together. And Bret and Shawn feel like they're testing their 60-min rest holds to see how the crowd responds (not very well in the early bits, as the white hot crowd almost dies a few times).

 

What I like in this match is how much the crowd likes Diesel, how much more they like Shawn, and how much they go batshit insane for Taker. I had no idea he was that over that early. Watching the crowd respond to his brawling with Nash and his few moments in the ring with Shawn really made me happy.

 

One other thing: This feels like quintessential Kevin Nash. Taker does 95% of the work. In fact, I haven't seen Taker move that much and that fast in years.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...

This was a ton of fun, in front of a super-hot (and big--14,000+ paid and 17,000 in the building) MSG crowd. The Diesel/UT brawling is actually really good for the brief moments we see it, and I actually was a fan of the unusual layout. Undertaker has a compelling program for the first time since the first go-round with Yokozuna 2+ years ago. A little bit of House Show Bret creeps in here, and for maybe the first time Shawn really does look like the hotter, superior worker of the two, as he sells Bret's stuff pretty beautifully. The UT/Shawn faceoff is GREAT, to the point where you wonder why it took another year and a half for them to finally work a singles program. Diesel, who never tagged into the match, makes a second return with a chair and clobbers UT and Bret with it to draw a DQ. Shawn is upset but forgiving...until he turns his back and Diesel clobbers him, then scampers away when UT sits up to cement his full heel turn. Diesel would later explain this by Shawn telling him his back hurt and asking him to do some chiropractic work on it--"I just did what he asked and all of a sudden, I'm the bad guy."

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  • 1 month later...

A tale of two matches. The brawling and stops/starts with Diesel and UT were great. The laying around on the mat and nothing but headlocks by SHawn and Bret was lifeless and awful. We do get Diesel's big heel turn officially here and a great fan cam. I can't believe this received ****1/2 as at its best, it was a disjointed match with lulls in the action.

 

**1/2

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  • 2 years later...

I thought this was a damn good match. This really feels like a huge match during the entrances. Shawn and Undertaker definitely get the biggest pops. Undertaker and Diesel brawl to the back right away, to a big crowd reaction, leaving Bret and Shawn in the ring. They work a solid technical match with Bret settling in in control. It's not all that exciting but in a way, the entire match in Shawn Michaels as a face in peril with the Undertaker occasionally functioning as Bret's partner, so to that extent Bret on top was perfectly effective. The couple times Shawn gets a comeback tease the crowd reaction big. Undertaker is in there with Shawn a little bit for one section, then later it's during an Undertaker/Shawn section that Shawn gets his real comeback and man, it's a totally awesome comeback. It's drawn out a little bit and culminates with Shawn hitting two huge flying forearms, Undertaker bouncing off the ropes for both to walk into the next move, followed by a big dropkick and he follows it up with some dives. Diesel comes back out with a chair, hits Bret and Undertaker for the DQ, then hits Shawn when he protests.

 

The Bret/Shawn stuff I wouldn't consider much as a singles match, but it kind of wasn't a singles match and functioned well in the broader scheme of things with the Undertaker's role as Bret's partner not being at all insignificant to the match, though he's in there maybe 5% of the time. Very fun stuff.

 

I've been reading to WONs of 1996 recently and apparently this was the first sold-out MSG in many, many years.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-03-17-WWF-MSG, NY] Bret Hart & The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels & Diesel

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