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[1996-12-15-WWF-It's Time] Bret Hart vs Sid

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Last few minutes. Shawn seems to be going through a tough personal time and is a mess on commentary. The match is a little clumsy. Bret would go on to carry Sid to some really strong matches, but this isn't one. Sid shoves Shawn, who gets on the apron and runs into Bret, leading to a Sid victory. Shawn takes an incredible bump. Bret ends up slugging Shawn after the match. I'm surprised they didn't book him any type of retaliation at all. Shawn ends up trying to do a promo vowing to kick Bret's teeth down his throat but his mic goes out. Then, he gets heckled by a fan on his way out. Bad night for him.

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Soon after we join, we get Sid and Bret REPEATING A SPOT that's blown the first time, which is total amateur-hour stuff and downright shocking to see Bret do. Michaels looks and sounds like hell. Bret beats the crap out of Shawn for costing him the match. A good start to the build to WM13 that of course won't lead anywhere. Suddenly, somehow, the WWF title scene feels fresh with a bunch of top challengers who could conceivably win it at any time--more like the Triple Crown or IWGP belt than something to be possessed by a singular babyface.

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The pre-match stuff is great. We get Dok Hendrix showing video of earlier in the day on Superstars with Sid, Bret, & HBK getting in a three man brawl. Sid's promo is great saying Shawn beat Bret, he beat Shawn like a dog, & that means it'll be even easier for him to beat Bret. Bret's interview is great as he's in full whiny mode hating on Shawn & getting pissed when Shawn's music hits during his interview.

 

Pretty good match. Bret's a smart enough worker to keep things interesting by working over Sid's back most of the match. It's not all that compelling, but it covers the time well & makes sense from a psychology standpoint. Austin gets involved & clips Bret's knee. Davey Boy comes out to run off Austin. I love all the mixing of the top feuds. It keeps things fresh & interesting over the long term. Excellent booking. Bret works from underneath now. He kicks out of a chokeslam in a good near fall. The finish sees Shawn finally getting involved after Sid pie faces him. He gets on the apron & Bret is swung into him. Shawn takes a huge bump off of the collision. Sid capitalizes & hits his powerbomb for the win. Bret loses his temper after the match & beats the shit out of a woozy Shawn. That ruled. It looked like a bar fight. Shawn cuts a promo to close the show saying he's going to kick Bret's teeth down his throat. Tremendous main event overall in terms of booking with multiple feuds being teased & set-up for the coming year.

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Shawn is definitely at a low point in his life, but goddamn if he doesn't come up with some real gems on commentary. Shawn mocking Bret as the Moral Judge of the Universe and calling Sid the biggest piece of luggage in history because he has to carry him everywhere is lol-worthy. Bret is not as good as carrying Sid to a great match because he forces Sid to wrestle his match. Bret is a grinder and he just grinds Sid into the ground forcing Sid to sell (yuck!) and work underneath. Stupid! Sid is a badass. Bret is a great seller! It could have been great. Just a dumb match from Bret that shows he didn't trust Sid at all. Lots of shades of grey booking in the main event. Sid seems to be straddling the line. Shawn is all over the place. Bret seems like a babyface, but wrestles this match as a heel, but Bret wrestles as a heel more often than not. The finish was great with Austin clipping the knee. Bulldog saves, but Owen is arguing. So that's interesting and definitely was Austin/Bulldog for Mania 13 before Shawn left. They take too long to get into finish losing some of the momentum. Shawn lets Bret have the chair. Sid decks Bret and is pissed at Shawn. Pie-faces him. Shawn takes exception to it. Gets on apron. Don't get on the apron in a Sid match! Sid throws Bret into Shawn and Sid powerbombs him for the win. The Master & Ruler of The World! ***** booking, pretty average match though. Bret by the numbers.

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Sid went from looking like the coolest guy in the world at Survivor Series to a bumbling clutz here. Bret didn't seem in much of a mood to have a classic either. Add to that HBK who is a complete TRAINWRECK on commentary and maybe at one of his lowest points period and you have a mess all around. This looked like a really poor PPV all around with not much juice being injected and everyone seemingly waiting for Royal Rumble build.

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From what we see the match seemed like a mess, but I liked the angle. Shawn does come across as messed up but it works in the context of him coming unglued after losing his title, looking like he's going into a slow heel turn whether that's intentional or not. Good teaser for the Bret/Shawn match that didn't happen, at least when it was supposed to.

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