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[1995-02-26-WWF-Action Zone] Bret Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs Owen Hart & Bob Backlund

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Well, this just jumped right up and punched me in the face right out of nowhere. This is phenomenal. This is the main event on an episode of Mid South Wrestling happening in the WWF. The heat is unlike anything I've seen in all but a few WWF matches ever and Jim Ross is awesome on commentary. Between the heat, storyline and action all being so in sync, Jim Ross being in his element and the various grudges overlapping and playing themselves out, I think this has a case for being the best WWF tag match of all time. I do like the Clique tag from the year before and am happy to agree with anyone who pimps that match, but I think this is slightly better. It's that great. Bret plays FIP while Owen and Backlund work over his knee. The hot tag teases and cutoffs border on cruel to the audience because they're so into this, but it's superbly done. Most of all, it's given time to develop, but not too much time -- there's not really ever a moment where the pace slows or the rhythm gets stalled. Forget other WWF tags, this should be discussed alongside Austin/Zbyszko vs Windham/Rhodes, Benoit/Malenko vs Raven/Saturn and some of the other, more heralded tags of 90s WCW.

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WWF @ Ft. Myers, FL - Lee Civic Center - January 25, 1995

Action Zone - 2/19/95: Bob Backlund (w/ Owen Hart) defeated Davey Boy Smith (w/ Bret Hart) via disqualification at around the 12:30 mark when Bret attacked Backlund as Smith was caught in the Crossface Chicken Wing, moments after Owen assaulted Bret outside the ring; after the match, Bret attempted to get at Backlund before Owen pulled Backlund from the ring and the two left ringside

Action Zone - 2/26/95: Bret Hart & Davey Boy Smith defeated Owen Hart & Bob Backlund at around the 18-minute mark when Smith pinned Owen with the running powerslam as Bret applied the Sharpshooter on Backlund outside the ring; after the bout, both Smith and officials had to convince Bret to release the hold

It's too bad we weren't more hip to Bob back in 2006 when Will was making the Backlund set. Sounds like the tag, at the very least, would have been an interesting post-script to the title change. :)

 

John

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Just watched this based on Loss' review.

 

I think this has a case for being the best WWF tag match of all time.

I wouldn't rate it quite that highly but otherwise I agree with everything written above, great match. A flawless example of how to pull off the basic tag match formula. Feels like something every kid in any wrestling school should be forced to watch and try to emulate.

 

The hot tag teases and cutoffs border on cruel to the audience

Heh, they even got me on 1. After they'd been beating on Bret for a while and he finall reversed the fig-4 on Owen and Bob just comes in and casually turns them back over I coulndn't help but think "you motherfucker, damn" :)

 

Other random thoughts. I haven't watched any Bulldog matches in a while, i'd forgotten how freakin huge he used to be, geez. Also, Todd Pentingill was surprisingly decent on commentary with Ross, not great or even good but he was perfectly fine at it. Almost all my memories of the guy are as a backstage interviewer and whacky tv host in the studio.

 

Jim Ross being in his element

I've really missed announcers talking about the "imaginary diagnal line", sad sad day when that fell out of fashion.

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One of the cool things about wrestling nowadays is that no matter how jaded you are about the current scene. Somebody outhere somewhere has a match on tape from the past that they can throw out there and say "Look at this. This match rocks!".

 

So your jaded ass watches it with a "yeah, might be good" attitude. And by the end of it the 12 year old mark in you has beaten that jaded old fucker to death.

 

Like Flik I watched this on Loss' recomdendation.

 

Tremdous!

 

The best WWF tag team match of all time? I don't know. I'm still trying to process it. There's been some good WWF tag bouts. This match makes that argument really weird when you look at it as one team consits of one half of the Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs. Who obviously had some great matches.

 

I have no problem as this being a match a brought up for one of the best tag matches in NA in the 90's.

 

I thought Todd would ruin this match, but aside from the odd dumb remark, he mostley shut up and let Jim Ross call it.

 

And thank god. Jim ross was great in this.

 

Ross always seemed conflicted from 93 to 97. Betweening putting over the dumb shit Vince wanted and the guys he liked/respected

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This was a really great Owen Hart and Bret Hart performance. The Leg work on Bret and the bumping and heel moves by Owen are just the best. Backlund and Bulldog were good but not compared to the Harts. I felt bad that JR had to put up with Todd's shitty jokes though.

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I still think the Clique tag was a bit better, but yes, this is terrific. The work on the knee is awesome, the heel cut-offs are awesome, and Backlund is such a bastard constantly interjecting himself from the apron. Even Davey Boy finally getting hip to Backlund's interference and countering it was well-done. Davey Boy and Owen are also almost always gold together.

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Bret Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs Owen Hart & Bob Backlund - WWF Action Zone 2/26/95

 

Can the Harts (along with Backlund) outdo the Kliq? Thought the shine was great because it really established the babyfaces as dominant and Bret as pissed off. As a big Backlund fan, it was so weird to watch Backlund lose a suplex struggle to Davey Boy. Bret was hitting anything that moved. I loved how liberally Backlund was interfering. Bret was basically taking them two on one and kicking ass because he was so pissed about Survivor Series '94, the original screwjob. So it makes sense Backlund has to resort to tripping him from outside and wrenching his knee. Awesome heat segment working the leg. Thought Backlund was not great, but Bret/Owen killed it. I thought they could have used some more hope spots and more moments for Bret to sell. Like there was almost too much knee work there could have been some more of the other stuff to build drama. Still textbook leg work by Owen, really great. Heel miscommunication and the way Bret stumbled and crawled to make the tag was great. Davey Boy is such a great hot tag, Backlund repeatedly interferes, Bulldog stays concentrated and then sees him coming and double noggin knocker and then sends them into each other. Great finish with Bret applying the Sharpshooter outside the ring to Backlund and Bulldog hitting the running powerslam for the win. Awesome little tag team match. Falls shy of the Kliq match which I thought had the better heat segment with more drama and a crazier finish run. Loved the leg work and simple, elegant finish. ****1/4

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#333

 

This was much better than I remembered it being. I was really into Bret Hart around this time so I got a kick out of his entrance. I always dug his "best there is" pose when he stepped through the ropes. They did a good job here of playing up Bret's desire for revenge against both Backlund and Owen. I thought Owen was awesome at putting the heat on Bret instead of stealing the show with his comic antics. Bret's selling was tremendous, but I agree that the heat segment could have used a few more hope spots. I wasn't enamored with Davey Boy's hot tag, either, and I couldn't understand why the ref didn't overturn the result when Bret refused to let go of the sharpshooter. To me that would have made sense with Bret being too irate to care about the win.

 

I'd say the first half of the bout was better than the second, but it didn't take anyway from an outstanding WWF television bout. Ross was in his element and it felt closer to a Worldwide bout than your typical WWF fare. Even Todd "Didya get your free gift? Pettengill couldn't drag Ross down. Ross gets a lot of shit for prattling on about football and grade point averages, but when he's calling a match that he's into there are few better.

 

Unfortunately, this match was the end of the road for the great Hart family feud that felt more like an old-school territory feud than the stuff the WWF usually put out. They went down the wrong path with the Bret vs. Backlund rematch at Wrestlemania XI. Bret would go into a funk after that, and while the Yokozuna/Owen team was fun at first, that too would ultimately see Owen lost in the mire. At the same time, I'm not sure if an Owen vs. Bret blowoff at Mania would have excited folks since they wrestled so many times in '94. Still, it was good to see a quality match from a year that almost killed off my interest in wrestling completely.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-350-301/

 

#333

 

Fantastic! I had a blast watching this. Jim Ross delivered a stellar performance on commentary. I loved Backlund's heel antics. Such a great visual of Bret pulling Backlund by the leg out of the ring so Davey can get the count. Then the moment continues when he won't relinquish the Sharpshooter. Loved it. Crowd was super hot for it too. I agree it falls shy of the Kliq bout.

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Taped on January 25th. This had plenty going for it in the early stages. The crowd was hot. There was a strong rivalry between Bret and both opponents. A nice face shine. Then the beatdown starts. It was long and hard and hey look it's Earl Hebner. Pas pour moi. I suppose it was one of the better WWF tags of the decade. The bar could be stepped over.

 

Interestingly in the TV taping recap it said that Bret was DQ'd in the aftermath for refusing to release the Sharpshooter. The result was overturned. They obviously changed their minds on that, perhaps deciding that it made Bret come across as too heelish.

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