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[1992-08-29-WWF-Summerslam] Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith

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Pretty much echo what I said last time I watched this:

 

There are quite a few matches that happened in 1992 in WCW alone that are better than this, but this was easily the best WWF match of the year. All of the things Bret has said about his performance and Davey Boy's lack thereof appear to be 100% true, Bret is calling spots and trying to help Davey get his act together several times throughout the match. Great match, but an incredible one-man performance.

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I pretty much agree with what Loss said. The Piper playing bagpipes segment was pretty funny. Great crowd reactions throughout the match and How did they get Lennox Lewis to go with Bulldog?

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One of the better matches I've seen either man in. I liked this the first time I saw back in the mid-nineties and it has stuck with me throughout the years. Maybe the best carry job of all-time? Certainly top ten.

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I was there cheering the Bulldog on. My Dad's secretary only had to queue 5 hours for the tickets as well!

 

Pre-match they had "Grown men in skirts playing vacuum cleaners". The Brain was on top form. Watching it now you can see what a carry job it was. Bret had to keep grabbing chinlocks to talk Dog through the spots. Quite a lengthy battle with no brawling, pure wrestling all the way. Had an advanced closing stretch with both surviving finishers. The final move was great. As a main event of a big show it certainly did it's job and sent the fans home happy. It doesn't hold up as a great match today. The post match was corny but fitting as it was happy families with the two of them embracing Diana in the ring. Her 'concerned' looks during the match were a highlight for someone who appreciates bad acting.

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How did they get Lennox Lewis to go with Bulldog?

Lewis had a fight with Razor Ruddock scheduled shortly after SummerSlam which was heavily advertised at the time. I'm fairly sure that the UK version of the event had commercial breaks in it in which the Lewis-Ruddock advertisements appeared prominently.

 

Lewis was something of a new hope for the Brits at the time, a man who won gold in the 88 Olympics for Canada but chose to represent the UK upon turning professional in 1989 and who was one fight away from being able to challenge for one of the heavyweight titles.

 

So it would stand to reason that Lewis was there as part of the campaign to generate interest for his fight with Ruddock, which was an unusual one for us in that it was airing live at a time that suited the Brits rather than the customary early-hours fights that emanated from the US (or so I remember, at any rate). I think he was also appearing on breakfast TV at the time.

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Like Ronnie said Sky Sports pushed British Boxing super hard in the 90s. Every ad break seemingly had an advertisement for a Lennox Lewis or a Prince Hassam fight on Sky Box Office.

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Sure is a big crowd from some of the camera angles they show. They are really into match too. Great match. A bit too much cutting away to Diana though. Pretty interesting that the big matches for Summerslam were both good guy versus good guy. Bret kicks out of the powerslam while Davey survives the sharpshooter. One of my favorite finishes too.

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Diana's promos would come a long way by 1996. The crowd reaction for DBS is what a home court advantage is all about, and is responsible for this being such an indelible moment. Kudos to Bret for working as a somewhat subtle heel here and giving the crowd what they want rather than sticking to his babyface routine. His offense was so crisp and smooth and absolutely held this thing together. You can almost pinpoint when Hart starts working timeouts into the match to keep DBS clued in as to where they're going next. Really sloppy attempt by a shot Davey to throw Bret over the top, who somehow saves it by getting himself tangled in ropes. Starting with the running powerslam the heat picks up as we get near falls off that and a superplex, while Bret worked a creative spot to lock in the Sharpshooter after a double clothesline before the great finish. This was a very good match and an all time performance by Bret given what he was working with, but it didn't hold up at all for me as any kind of classic or MOTYC, even for the company.

 

***3/4

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Bret's promo is right out of early 1997. I MADE YOU AND THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. Only thing missing was complaining about Jack Tunney screwing him. Heenan gets off about 8 classic lines in a row shitting on the bagpipers. "Don't applaud him, he might play more!"

 

This is one hell of a performance by Bret--his cut-offs early on are all great, he paces things well, and the crowd is electric enough that Bret's chinlock-centric control still come off well. And that pescado-into-a-neckbreaker thing...I don't know what that was, if it was what Bret had in mind, or what, but it looked awesome. They do some convincing near-falls down the stretch with both guys escaping the other's finisher, and I liked Vince & Bobby going completely silent at the finish, letting the crowd reaction speak for itself for once. Not a World MOTYC but I have no problem considering this the best WWF match of 1992. It simply isn't a strong in-ring year with tons of competition for it, and this was legitimately as compelling of a story as Bret/Piper but greater in scope.

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Guest TheGreatPuma

Really sloppy attempt by a shot Davey to throw Bret over the top, who somehow saves it by getting himself tangled in ropes

This is a Bret Hart vs Davey Boy spot that they have done before.

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Really sloppy attempt by a shot Davey to throw Bret over the top, who somehow saves it by getting himself tangled in ropes

This is a Bret Hart vs Davey Boy spot that they have done before.

 

True, but the execution here was still sloppy. Bret should have landed on the top rope, here he had problems even catching the middle rope.

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I didn't think it was possible after Savage-Warrior turned into such a debacle, but Vince got this one right all the way down the line. There wasn't a false note to be found anywhere, from the prematch promos (Davey's was the best I've ever heard from him, and Bret's was in the top two or three) to the bagpipers and the returning Hot Rod (he sounded really good for an amateur), to the match itself and the reconciliation afterward. Even Diana was used just right. She wasn't a professional at this time, but she didn't need to be. She was the innocent bystander caught in the middle, someone who'd never wanted the spotlight but had it forced upon her because her husband and brother insisted on fighting each other. She played it beautifully from start to finish, and I can see why Vince decided to use her again in '95 when he decided to revisit this feud.

 

As for the match, Bret is full of crap. Yes, he obviously called the match, but to claim that he was the only one who did anything worthwhile is ego talking. The last time Davey looked this good, Captain Lou still managed him and Dynamite. If he had one good singles match in him before his body went south, this was it. He not only kept up with Bret, but he pulled out moves like the superplex that I'd never seen him use before. He wasn't quite in his prime, but for where he was in his career it was impossible for him to look much better. A carry job? Not on your life. Was Davey gassed toward the end? Of course he was, but he didn't noticeably slow down, and Bret didn't have to drag his worthless carcass around the ring or anything close to it.

 

As for Bret's performance, I've seen better, but this was supposed to be Davey's show, so it makes sense that he would be the one shining. Bret did what he was supposed to do about as well as he could, and even heeled briefly so the crowd would stay on Davey's side. I loved that Russian legsweep from the apron to the floor, which I'd never seen done before in my life, and his teases of turning his back on Davey once he'd been beaten only made the final embrace and reconciliation sweeter. Vince was right for once; what a moment.

 

Vince was noticeably less annoying here, although he threw in one Anglophilic line that made no sense when Davey was down: "The pound isn't the only thing taking a beating." I loved Heenan's retort: "The pound where he (Davey) lives?" There was also an unfortunate pun about Davey being top dog, but two bad lines in forty minutes is a lot fewer than I expected. He called the reverse atomic drop a reverse piledriver for the second match in a row, but I've heard other announcers do that, so it's not that big a deal under the circumstances.

 

Heenan's high point was when he was ragging on the bagpipers. That's the type of act that's tailor made for his sense of humor. His constant digs at the family relationship between Bret and Davey got a bit much after the first ten minutes; so did his shots at Diana. But his act was never built to sustain a forty-minute segment, either. It was built to do short TV matches on Challenge and brief segments leading into and out of commercials on Prime Time. That was WCW's mistake as well; they should have used him for syndie shows and possibly Clashes and kept Jesse for pay-per-views. I wasn't a fan of the King of England routine either, although it explained why he was wearing a crown at the beginning of Savage-Warrior.

 

For all the publicity Lennox Lewis got, you'd think we would have at least seen a camera shot or two of him during the match, but other than one plug for his fight with Ruddock, he was forgotten completely once the match began.

 

I think I can safely say that this was the WWF's singles match of the year to date, edging out Bret-Piper slightly and with nothing compelling in third place. It was definitely the feel-good moment of the decade in the WWF so far, even better than the Savage-Liz reunion at Mania VII given the setting and circumstances. I'm racking my brain, but right now I can't think of a WWF match or segment after this that came off so perfectly until the dawn of the Attitude Era four or five years later, Congratulations to all involved!

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I've seen this match quite a few times, but it has been awhile. So, I was looking forward to re-watching it again today. From memory, I definitely thought Bret Hart vs. Piper was a better match, and I also have always held the Savage-Liz reunion in higher regard. Granted, as a kid, I wasn't invested in anything more than Randy Savage, and ultimately was engrossed in the storyline of their reunion as a youngster. So, I know there is a nostalgia factor there. Watching this today, I still feel like, even to an outsider or non-wrestling fan, there is just more of an emotional moment with Savage and Liz. But, this isn't about that. This was a really great feel good moment. I still like the Piper/Hart match better as well. I actually think I would have Savage vs. Flair a little higher than this for me. I don't want to sound down on the match though, because off the top of my head I think I would have this as my number three to four match of the year in WWF behind those two. The moment itself, is probably the best of 92 in WWF. I do think Bret Hart was the glue, but I didn't get the impression that it was the huge carry job that some think it be. Davey held his own with some pretty great spots. I'm sure Bret was calling the spots, but Davey is the one that had to deliver them. I'm thinking of one with the amazing superplex towards the end. I think this was really good, with a great finish and moment. ***3/4

 

#436 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/

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This still holds up as one of the greatest carryjobs of all time. Bulldog is completely fooked here, yet there's never a moment where you can tell. Face vs face matches were still a rarity at this time and Bret never sabotages his face character for the sake if this match. Instead, he garners negative reactions from the crowd by wrestling a touch more rough with the Bulldog. He escapes an arm wrench by planting a nasty elbow jab right into the Smith's nose and the audience starts booing the normally babyface Bret. It's all very subtle and it's a testament to who great Bret Hart was.

 

★★★★¼

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WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret "Hitman" Hart vs "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith - WWF Summerslam 1992

We talk about Ric Flair carrying broomsticks to great match, but in no match is the phrase "carrying a broomstick" more apropos than here where Bret Hart carries Davey Boy's mindless body to not just a great match but the best match to take place in the WWF in 1992. It is very clear that Bret is forced to work into a chinlock to call the next sequence and then return to the chinlock to do much the same. Bulldog was sloppy at times and I would imagine very dangerous to work with. Bret looked pissed in his usual understated manner. Some of those strikes coming off the ropes looked extra stiff. The boot in the corner looked brutal. Then the Bret plancha to the floor may have been the most dangerous Bret spot ever because Davey Boy was out of position and Bret just said "Fuck it" and then yanked him down by the neck. Bret basically was getting in his payback for Davey Boy being blowed up and forgetting the entire match. 

Since we are in full Bret Hart ring general mode, we get a superb NWA Champion touring match. Bret was the heir to Lou Thesz and should have led the NWA into the 1960s with his amazing penchant for thriving as a champion in babyface vs babyface matches as a subtle heel in hard fought contests. Things like being subtly outwrestled early and resorting to a hard back elbow to escape a hammerlock is so old school I love it. Nowadays thats a meanginless spot, but built right you can come off like King Prick. Of course, a lot is added that "NWA Champion" Bret Hart is taking on the Hometown Hero, British Bulldog in front of the rabid Wembley Stadium so it adds that NWA touring Champion feel of the match. I thought the shine was pretty good and I think Davey Boy was still coherent at the time. The shove that sends Bret spiraling out of control to the floor was superb. Bret sold it well and it really put over the British Bulldog as a force to be reckoned with. Bulldog working in and out of an armbar while going for early pinning combinations was a smart way to put him over as a challenger looking for a win. The Crucifix Pin is always over in my house. Like I said, Bret was very chippy in this match in contrast to Bulldog working holds & pinning combinations. The Brain posits that these two are on equal footing because neither man is too bright. He was resorting to hard back elbows and a stiff kneelift ala Nick Bockwinkel. It is these subtle touches that heels Bret in the match, but not in the long term once the match is over.

The silver lining of Bulldog being a zombie was that Bret was forced to put himself in positions to overcome Bulldog's offense. Usually Bret would ragdoll his opponent  but here he actually set Bulldog in motion and then would cut him off masterfully. Bret quashing the next Crucifix pin attempt was great. That boot in the corner was stiff as hell. I really liked Bret's bulldog. There's a great sequence where Bulldog press slams Bret off the top rope but then misses an ugly splash from the top rope. Bulldog ends up on the outside and thats where the crazy Bret plancha happens. Theres a very obvious moment where Bulldog is zonked out of his mind as he is just standing taking Bret's offense and Bret cant get him to bump until he hits a dropkick and Davey Boy's instincts kick in. Bret is so good at offense and just grinding out a match. He is in his element after the plancha cemented his advantage. Bret cant negotiate the pinfall after any of his Five Moves of Doom so he resorts to bieling Davey Boy by the hair and this draws the ire of the partisan British crowd. Great spot as Bret really puts Bulldog as the wronged babyface. Bret goes back to the chinlock to call a sleeper sequence. The "three arm" drop is such an epic moment in wrestling and signals the Bulldog comeback. Bulldogs blows a spot they have done a thousand times in Hart Foundation vs Bulldogs matches where Bulldog military presses Hart and falls back with him so that he crotches himself on the top rope. Like I said it was probably very dangerous for Bret to be working this match and I was surprised he let Bulldog press slam him again. Delayed Vertical and Running Powerslam only get two. Usually this would be the death knell for the hometown hero. Hit your finish and kickout means the heel is taking this. Bulldog hits a superplex for two. Bret is really calling for all the stops. One thing I noticed in this match was there was a lot of rushing. They were not really milking the moments as much as they could and I think it is because one was a zombie and the other was freaking out that he was in there with a zombie. Bret's Bridging German was a cool spot that you dont see often from him. Bulldogs kicks out and as they lied in a heap Bret applies the Sharpshooter! Honestly, if you didnt the finish but know the rhythm of pro wrestling with Bulldog blowing his wad (running powerslam) this should be the finish. I feel like Bret was working the smarts here in a good way. Bulldog makes to the ropes and then the iconic finish with Bulldog kneeling down on a sunset flip attempt for the win and a MASSIVE ROAR is let out from the British Faithful!

Bret proves why he is one of the all-time great ring generals here as he works the touring NWA champion babyface vs babyface match against a Hometown Hero Zombie. There are too many chinlocks (that are more jarring in how they break the rhythm) and general sloppiness to say this contends as one of the best matches of all time. Still, even with no sliding scale this match is incredible. Bret is the king of the babyface vs babyface match playing the subtle heel to perfection here. The match is built perfectly I loved how Bret had to earn his heat segment in the middle match. So many cutoffs and it was the plancha really won him that control. The finish stretch was electric and I loved the Running Powerslam nearfall before the Sharpshooter. I think that really added to the drama. One of the best individual performances in the history of pro wrestling as Bret Hart proves why he is an all-time great in the business. ****1/2

 

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I've never loved this and think their In Your House match a few years later is much better, but it's one of those matches your Bret Hart fans will often point to as one of his definitive performances. With pretty good reason as well -- he was good in this and clearly carried the load because Davey - WHO WAS ON CRACK!!! - is fucked to bits after about six minutes. Bret works subtle heel and it was decent stuff. He grabs Davey by his hideous dreadlocks and yanks him up off the mat and I bet it hurt like a bastard because I don't think Davey was in any shape to cooperate with the bump. Bret's strikes look rock solid as they usually do, those stompy punches again and his European uppercuts were a nice addition, but he laid them in a little extra this time. Couple of his stomps to the face looked mean and he popped Davey with a real potato shot elbow. Heenan: "Right in the ol' fish and chips." Bret starts getting some nice heat after throwing Davey out the ring and Heenan ponders, "Why are these limeys booing? It was a good move!" Can we really argue with him? Bret's plancha looks way nastier on account of Davey being too gassed to know where he is and about getting his neck wrung when Bret needs to adjust. At one point Davey just chucked him from a military press position into the ropes and Bret landed all awkward and no wonder he talks about Davey being fucked up during this. They do lots of shots of Diana in the crowd showing ANGST and Heenan asks if it's Mike McGuirk. Someone please find that video of all the times Heenan tears into Mike McGuirk. Jeez Louise he was great; maybe the greatest. Match drags quite a bit in the middle, but it likely would've stunk outright if just about anybody else in the company at that point was in there with Davey Boy so absolutely fair play to yer Hitman. He's clearly trying his hardest to make a purse out of a pig's ear, and for a guy you'd never say was an obvious spot-caller there are points where he's obviously in Davey's ear (and I'm not saying that to knock him). Biblical reaction for the finish. They should run Wembley again. You know, the new one. Unless they're worried it starts pishing rain and everybody's fake tan gets streaky. 
 

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Was Diana ever allowed to speak on WWF TV again after saying "intercontinental BELT"? 

Anyway, I did like seeing Davey going more technical because in his early career in England that was very much his style.  Too bad he got blown up so fast and had to be guided through the match by Bret.  That pescado/neckbreaker thing was all kinds of mean and I loved Bret's adjustment.  Really good match and easily the best WWF match of 1992 so far.

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