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[1993-11-24-WWF-Survivor Series] Bret & Owen & Bruce & Keith Hart vs Shawn Michaels & The Knights (Elimination)

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Last few minutes of what set up the Bret/Owen feud. Owen accidentally crashes into a recovering Bret on the apron, is distracted and Shawn rolls him up for a pin. Shawn takes off running and gets counted out, resulting in a Hart Family win. Owen returns and argues with Bret.

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Knights did not provide much competition for the Harts. Match was too long with half of the guys included not being regulars in WWF. Bret is wearing his pink singlet while rest of Harts are wearing black. Owen gets eliminated by running into Bret on the apron. This all leads to one of my favorite feuds. Owen confronts Bret after the match and we get some shoving. Helen brings the acting with the emotion of seeing her sons not get along.

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I remember Heenan name-dropping Terry Funk on Raw around this time for seemingly no reason whatsoever, so there's some legit basis for the idea that he was supposed to be a Knight (and unmask during the match). Can't remember the match or the context, though.

 

This is really the Brain's true WWF swan song, as throughout this interminably boring match with 5 non-regulars, Bobby was absolutely on fire throughout. He was the best thing about most of this match, though the clip we jump to shows some pretty good action. Owen collides with Bret, and while Keith & Bruce are checking on the Hitman Owen gets rolled up and pinned and he throws a fit. Michaels gets put over huge during the match and on commentary, and gets out of doing the direct job, too.

 

That out of the way, the big angle of 1994 begins in earnest, as Owen runs back to get into Bret's face. Owen immediately gets some good heat for this.

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We saw what we needed to see here, which was Owen acting like a whiny baby. There's something repulsive about his attitude right off the bat; he has the perfect face and voice for a crybaby heel at this point in his career. The more he whined, the less sympathy anyone felt for him. At the time of the incident, you could at least see Owen's point about not wanting to live in Bret's shadow anymore. But a man who blames his brother for being hurt when he ​was the one who accidentally caused the injury deserves no sympathy, and here he got none. He even encouraged the boos, which is rare for a just-turned heel. (I know he teamed with Bret at the Rumble after this, but this is where he really became the character everyone hated almost until he died.)

 

Nice job by the other brothers not taking away from Bret as the focus of the angle. We didn't get Bruce or Keith up in Owen's face or shoving back after Owen pushed Bret. They knew that their job was over, and that it was time for Bret and Owen to have the spotlight to themselves. Unfortunately, that was also one of those moments that exposed the business; if this had been a real fight between brothers, Bruce and Keith probably would have taken Bret's side, and Owen would have faced the same three-on-one odds which Shawn had just run away from.

 

Speaking of whom, he tried as hard as he could to bump like a man who was taking the asskicking of his life, but it just didn't resonate with me. This was Lawler's angle, period. If he couldn't complete it and they still needed to have the match, they should have done what I suggested earlier and made it a six-man elimination with the Harts against the Knights. Bury Lawler for running scared from now until next Thanksgiving if you want to, Vince, but don't ask a guy with almost no prior history against the Harts to come in and act like he's hated them with a passion all along. (Or, just fast-forward about three and a half years and have yourself a ball.) I'm not sure I'd have had him take the Honky countout when he was going to be in a program with Hall for the IC belt soon, but he didn't matter much in this match to start with. Besides, that was probably the finish they had planned for Lawler too.

 

Combs sounded like he at least knew what he was watching, and he and Heenan showed some good chemistry. Vince was in super-serious geek mode, though, and so didn't really acknowledge either of them much. He completely stonewalled Heenan calling Helen "Sarah Heartburn", which wasn't his best line ever but still deserved at least a little something. I guess by now everyone knew that Bobby was leaving in two weeks, so why waste time trying to work with him anymore?

 

Helen overacted slightly, although the angle may have been a legit shock to her if the boys hadn't told her about it beforehand, which was possible so the camera could pick up her honest reactions. Stu didn't do much at all, and I'm wondering again if he quite knew what to do with himself in a wrestling world that was so different from the one he'd known.

 

Line of the Night 1: Combs, after Shawn is crotched on the top rope by Bret: "He's riding the horsie and he don't have a quarter!"

 

Line of the Night 2: Heenan, over a shot of Helen's concerned look: "She's thinking, 'Oh no, they're gonna repossess my teeth'!"

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They definitely built up having a high profile Knight because Bret before talked about unmasking them. We get to see the good part of this match that followed 20 minutes of pretty pedestrian action. Owen and Bret argue with each other. Shawn running off is a cheap finish.

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I have not seen much of Bruce or Keith before this but Keith looked to be pretty decent (in an 80ies prelim way) while Bruce did not. Bruce looked like an indy guy trying to get as much spotlight as he can (in the end even refusing to leave the ring while he was not the legal man). Plus I doubt Shawn really liked that super-stiff clotheline. It's hard to believe that Vince wanted to initially go with Bruce for the Owen role in the Bret vs. Owen feud. That would have been a disaster of epic proportions.

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